Hi! I’m glad you’re here to check out my full bio. I’m not really that interesting, but I guess everyone has a different story to tell. Here’s mine…
I grew up knowing I was different. Whether it was my blonde hair and blue eyes that stood out in my Italian and Irish family, or my quiet nature, I was just different. When I was young my parents told me I was adopted. I didn’t exactly know what that meant, but it wold me I was different for a reason. Growing up as the middle child between an artist and an athlete, I learned to go with the flow and find my own way.
Books were my way.
Ever the student, I was reading and learning every chance I got. In first grade I was in the highest reading level, I wrote my first book in third grade, and failed my first (and only) book report in fourth grade because I hated the book. It took me a long time to realize the books I read for school were not the only acceptable books.
After turning away from English, I found a love in math and science, where you were either right or wrong, no opinions welcome. I loved it because I was usually right!
Through college I questioned my future. I’d learned to love reading again, but I didn’t see a future in that world. Having no interest in journalism and no idea I could be an author, I stuck it out in chemical engineering. After graduation, with a new boyfriend and a new job, I embarked on my adult life trying to find my way. But something was always missing with my career. I knew I wanted something else, something more, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Thankfully my boyfriend became my husband and he’s a patient man. He let me try out wedding planning, mommy blogging, sewing, jewelry making, and non-fiction writing. He stood by my side through grad school, two babies, a new house, a miscarriage, and the desire to uproot our family and move 800 miles. He’s a good man.
Three months before I finally quit my engineering job I was fired. It was a huge blow to my self esteem and left me feeling like a failure. I tried to bounce back, but I was driven by a need to prove my old boss wrong instead of a need to succeed at something I loved. For over a year I tried to do what everyone else said I should do. It wasn’t me. I didn’t love it and I didn’t do well. But when I finally decided I would change directions and do what I really wanted to do, I knew I’d made the right decision.
I started reading again. I found a whole new genre of books that I’d never known existed and it was like waking up from a long nap. I was energized and excited. I wanted to read more. And more.
So I did.
Then I started writing.
I wrote fast and I loved it. I couldn’t get enough and I couldn’t stop the flow of ideas. I couldn’t write fast enough for the ideas that came to me. I loved it. Over the next few years I learned as much as I could about the craft of writing, I wrote more, I got better, I kept going.
Then the shit hit the fan.
The day after I turned 35 I was diagnosed with Stage IV-B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
My world fell apart.
For almost five years we’d been talking about moving. The week before I was diagnosed my husband got a job offer. We were thrilled. Then we were crushed by my diagnosis.
We had a lot of new stuff to learn. Suddenly, writing wasn’t important. Moving wasn’t important. All that mattered was finding a way to get better.
Within two weeks of being diagnosed, I was indoctrinated into the world of cancer. Tests, surgeries, treatments, oh my. The first month was a whirlwind with figuring it all out, getting started with treatment, my kids finishing school, and moving 800 miles.
Two days after we got to Buffalo, my hubby started his new job and I picked up treatment at my new hospital.
It was seamless. Easy.
Except it was still cancer.
I tried to get into a routine. I tried to make life normal for my kids. I tried to support my husband in his new job. I tried to help my mom around the house.
I couldn’t do it all. After two months I got sick. The chemo was affecting my lungs and I couldn’t breathe. I started new medications, stopped others, and pressed on.
Two months later I received my last chemo treatment. I was cancer free. I was done. I was normal again. Life moved on.
And I was back to where I’d started the six month journey through the world of cancer. Reading. Learning. Writing. And that’s where I’m happy to stay.