Two words could describe me: books and coffee. Then again, those two words could describe most writers. And yet, before I was a writer, those two words could still describe me. Perhaps I was subconsciously preparing for this epic period of my life, when my outer self would still to a boring existence and give way to my inner self, pored over a keyboard until I was able to magically hit the “publish” button.
I was born outside of Los Angeles, California, to two avid readers who eventually savored the coffee-addiction status of his-and-her coffee pots in their bathroom (this was in addition to the pot in our kitchen—definitely hardxcore). My younger sister and I watched a lot of TV like most children who grew up in the late ’70s and ’80s, but my parents preferred the quiet activity of reading whenever the moment grabbed them.
Southern California’s high desert and beach life was my scene until age 10 when we moved to a small town along the 49er Trail between Sacramento and Tahoe, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. It was here that I began drinking coffee at the tender age of 12 and received my very own public library card. I spent so much time in the school library and public library that I actually considered becoming a librarian simply so I could spend the rest of my life surrounded by crowded, well-organized bookshelves. However, my love of earth science kept me aimed toward a career in the sciences.
By eighth grade the grunge alternative rock scene took over my life and everything else paled in comparison to friends and music. By day I attended school, and by night I penned away at silly novellas that I would present to my friends about our teenage existence, sometimes embellished with sad, philosophical poetry. From eighth to ninth grade I attended a performing arts school, taking acting and voice lessons.
At age 15 we moved two states north to Monroe, Washington, an hour away from Seattle, hometown to some of my favorite bands. Once again we lived in a small town, but this time nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It was here that I fell into coffee and book Nirvana (yes, grunge pun intended). On every corner there was a coffee stand or a coffee shop. It was a happiness incomparable to anything I had ever known. Although, my pocketbook begged to differ. I spent many non-rainy, daylight hours in the forest surrounding our home with a book in one hand and a tumbler of coffee in the other.
I joined Newspaper at school, eventually becoming editor in chief. I was also Drama Club president, student coordinator over the G.L.O.B.E. Program in the environmental science department, and a teenager head over heels in love with a blue-eyed boy two grades ahead of me. I knew this boy was “the one” when he spent his hard-earned paycheck to cover my overdue library bill so I wouldn’t get in trouble with my parents (that's a joke of course. I knew he was "the one" for many beautiful reasons, intelligence, humor, and kindness being at the top of that list).
I eventually married that blue-eyed boy just two weeks after turning 19, and we are still happily married with three children (sigh). We share a love of coffee (although we still do not have his-and-her coffee pots in the bathroom). And we both declare ourselves waffle snobs; at one point in our lives we judged a restaurant based on their waffles (true story). However, my husband is not a fan of book reading. Every great hero needs his flaws, I suppose.
Several careers later in music and administration (but not earth sciences), I have returned to my first passion: books. And I have earned the title “coffee zombie” by my children who drone, “grounds… grounds… grounds…” as I pour a cup of dark roast writer’s ambrosia before approaching my keyboard.
My thanks to author Daphne James Huff for hosting me on her podcast, Writer Mom Life, to discuss my writing and publishing journey, homeschooling, and eventing at conventions and bookstores.