Once Upon a Time ...
Once upon a time, there was a princess who wasn't really a princess, but thought she was a princess, and sometimes that's just as good as the real thing, especially if one lives in a world of one's own. And that's more or less how it worked. She lived in a world of her own, and it was good - certainly better than the rest of the real world. The real world passed her by, at best allowing her to float above the flotsam and at worst dragged her through the drudgery, largely apathetic to her joys and dismissive of her sorrows.
That princess was me.
A great thing about living in a fantasy world of one's own is that it really makes reality seem more malleable. When I was teased by someone, I could imagine them getting eaten by my imaginary dragon or I could have them breaking out in boils (I still do this, by the way - saves me millions on therapy and bail money, I'm sure). When I was complimented, I could plaster the news all around the billboards of my fantasyland.
But the most important thing about life I've learned while living in a fantasy world is something that doesn't have to do with fantasy at all.
The fantastical and the imaginary and the moveable, even the things of the most potent and most gripping narrative, can do nothing against the permanent things.
Not a hard leap for me to see why T. S. Eliot would become my favorite poet later on.
The first permanent "thing" I met? God.
I first heard about God at church, but I first met God in a story.
Since then, God and stories have wound their way into my heart and settled there. Given my love of stories, some people might be surprised to learn that I am the most surprised person to realize that I write stories, and that I write books for a living.
So, I write stories.
I'm a writer.
I write books that are young adult reads (my favorite), mostly fantasy (among my favorites), some sci-fi (because I like a challenge), and some that just need to be written, despite the different genres and styles and voices.
Through what I do and see and think and feel and make fun of, I want to show you how God works in mysterious and miraculous ways - both for our good and for his glory.
So, that's my story.
I'm hoping the ending is even better than I hope it is.
Backstory matters to writers. I do believe that what happens in our lives can change us in unexpected ways. So, here's a little backstory on me.
I grew up in Western PA, and I still call it home. I have a tightly knit family, and we are pretty close even when we are all spread around America. I love America - and it's a good thing, too. When I go visit my family, I have to travel through at least six states to get where I need to be. I still love to travel, and I want to make sure I do it as often as I can.
As for education, it's one of my most ardent beliefs that people should be educated - whether in school or on the job, I encourage lifelong learning, analysis (if not over-analysis), critical/creative thinking, and self-reflection. I have my bachelor's in Secondary English education (certified teacher) from Toccoa Falls College, and my master's in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.
Other jobs I've had range from bad to worse to decent. I taught middle school, high school, and college level for a while, teaching for eight years total before taking some time off to raise my kids and enjoy my writing full-time, among my other writing-related activities.
I'm a person that believes the more you try to do, the less you will get done. In theory, it's great. It's harder in practice.
So, my typical life doesn't change much. Faith and family come first. I try to sleep well, eat well, exercise at least an hour everyday, generally take care of myself stuff. I had to give up caffeine (doctor's orders) and I've struggled with anxiety and depression, so I admire people who go through mental disorders. I go to a great church and I check in on my friends. I love reading mostly philosophy and apologetics, but I like random other stuff, too. I have some favorite podcasts and cultural commentators I like to listen to. Other than that, I try to be a better person. It doesn't always work out well. I want to start my own business for writers and charity for student loan fundraising one day, so I need my writing to make me rich and famous so I can fund it.
I don't share a lot of personal things, but I currently live near Atlanta, so you just might see me out and about around there from time to time. Not that you would be likely to recognize me. I'm a wife and mother, so the high bun and hoodie look is a great disguise.
Anything else you're dying to know about me? Let me know in the comments below or check in with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. But don't try to message me on all of those at once. I'll think you're a stalker then, and I generally try to avoid those.