I am a writer. I can’t remember who it was who said that if the first thing you think about when you wake up each morning is that you want to write, then you are a writer. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote stories as a young child. I even wrote poetry – something I wouldn’t dare attempt to do today. I write mostly in my head. I think of something I want to write about and then it develops from the embryonic stage to the page where it comes to paper life. When I am ready to commit my words to paper I tend to sit for hours and write oblivious of time. On occasions I’ve started to write in the early hours of the morning and stopped only to a rumble of my stomach which I realize as hunger. It might then be dark and ten at night and my eyes will have lost focus from straining with the limited glow of my laptop.
I am an insomniac. Until recently I started writing at around 5 AM. I am always amazed by what I can achieve between 5 and 10 in the morning. I feel justified for a hike after five hours of work.
I am a wife, a mother, a gourmet cook, and I like to think – a great friend. My husband is my rock. He stands by me no matter what. My daughter is the most beautiful gift in my life. I won’t say much about them without their consent. I have tremendous respect for them. It is hard at times for them to have me as a writer. I can’t help writing about them sometimes, but I try to be sensitive to them in what in write. It is inevitable that I write about my family from time to time. What is important to remember as a writer, particularly when writing creative nonfiction, is that our truth is our own truth. What I see and remember when I write personal essays and memoir is my truth. Other people who might have shared experiences with me might see things differently – might accuse me of getting it all wrong. I might be accused of not telling the truth. We all have our own truths. Please remember that. Please honor the truths of others.
As you will see from my general Blog entries, and much of my writing, I split my time between two homes. I live part-time in Big Sur, the place I cal my heart home, and in the hills above Silicon Valley – our primary residence and where my husband spends most of his time when not travelling for work.
My husband, Ken, is a brilliant man. I have tremendous respect for his mind, his intellect, and what he creates and designs in the tech world. I cannot begin to understand the intricacies of what he does. All I know is that he is talented and dedicated to his profession. Ken is an extreme bicyclist. He is an endurance rider, sometimes riding 780 miles in 3 and a half days. His stamina is amazing.
My daughter, Alexandra, is a talented musician. She is currently working on her career as an opera singer and sings with the innovative and amazing opera company, Opera San Jose. Alexandra is a thinker. She ponders and then enters into well thought out discussions and explorations of new ideas. She is a great conversationalist, and we enjoy many interesting and thought-provoking conversations together. Alexandra is also my toughest critic. She loves my writing and encourages me to take it to a higher level. She doesn’t let me get away with anything. She is also a picky editor. Alexandra edited my final manuscript for my MFA in Creative Writing.
We have one of Alexandra’s friends living with us right now. Her name is Siobhan and I love her to pieces. Having Siobhan around is like having another daughter. I feel blessed to have two wonderful young women living with me. This economy is tough on our young people. It is hard on those who have spent 4 years away at university and find themselves living at home again due to the instability of the job market. Alexandra and Siobhan have it a bit easier than most returnees – I hope! Ken and I are away a lot, and so the girls have the house to themselves quite a bit. They look after our dog, Mandy, and our cat, Hope. I am so grateful for that. Siobhan came for 3 months about a year and a half ago. I’m so happy she stayed. I know the girls will move out eventually, but I love having them around. We share so much together.
My family lives in London and Dublin. My step-father, Hugo, is struggling with advancing Alzheimer’s. He is living at home with my mother. She doesn’t want anyone else to care for him. She is a magnificent and loving carer. I admire her tremendously. Last year I spent 4 out of the 12 months back in Europe trying to be supportive. I’m going back again soon.
Speaking of my MFA, I have to master’s degrees. My first master’s degree is a master of science in human communication. I did this at the City University in London, where I also taught under and post-graduate students part-time. The components of this degree are interesting and varied – a topic for another time. Suffice to say, I started my professional life as a Speech and Language Pathologist, and with much additional training, I focussed for a while on counselling in therapy. More at another time. I did original research in a systems approach to the surgical decision-making process in the treatment of cancer of the larynx.
I’ve had a few careers in my life. I believe life is too short to restrict one’s self.
I grew up in London and Dublin. I spent eight years of my life in Dublin. I returned to England as soon as I could after graduating from high-school – five days after graduation in fact. If you are interested in reading the excerpts from my book in progress – Kippers on Thursday; Bombs on Friday, you will learn more about my life and the socio-economic and political history of that time.
Why have I chosen to write a blog? I’m writing this to help keep myself accountable for my writing. Every writer knows that the writer’s life is isolated and sometimes lonely. We often have very little feedback on what we write. I would like the readers of this blog to post comments on what I write. I’d like to hear what you would like to know more about. Tell me what works and what doesn’t work. When I post excerpts from essays or stories or chapters I am writing for my books, please remember that many of these will be shitty first drafts. I’ll let you know which pieces are “complete,” and which are in process.
I am working on two books at the moment. I’ll introduce each of them at the beginning of the excerpts.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I sincerely hope you will follow my blog. I know I will add to this section too as I go along.
I wish you all health and happiness, fulfillment and well-being.