From the time I learned to read, and discovered the magic and power of words, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first poem – about my dog – when I was nine years old. By the time I became a teen, I owned dogs, a pony, rabbits, ducks, guinea pigs, turtles, hamsters, gerbils, and fish. My mother was an avid gardener and shared her knowledge of flowers and food-producing plants with me. I loved animals and plants and wanted to write about them. Shortly after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a major in biology and a minor in English, I sold my first article to a major dog magazine. I soon became a regular writer for that magazine, as well as the same company’s horse publication. As time passed, my articles were published in many different animal and gardening magazines. I also wrote poetry throughout that time, and my poems appeared in regional poetry publications.
After teaching junior high science for several years, I discovered an affinity for troubled teens. I returned to college for graduate training in working with adolescents with emotional and behavior disorders. For the next thirteen years, I taught in special schools for teens in trouble. Many of them came from abusive homes, and they touched my life deeply. I began writing poems about them, and all of those poems are about real people – names changed, of course. My students also inspired me to write articles for education magazines.
In recent years, my writing interests have turned to screenplays and novels, as well as poetry. I wanted to explore themes of spirituality, redemption, freedom, individuality, courage, loyalty, compassion, and brotherhood. My two completed screenplays have met with modest success in contests, including the top 15% in the Nicholl Fellowship, second round in the Austin Film Festival, and semi-finalist in Scriptapalooza. In the future, I hope to continue to expand my writing skills and share my thoughts and feelings with an audience.