Two books are on the horizon....
One is a full length critical biography and the other, a short memoir with an anticipated ten bite-sized chapters. My life as an author continues through living, writing, researching, and uncovering hidden layers of where I came from and where I am going. I invite you to follow along and to discover for yourself, how you can peel back the layers of your own life.
Current Project: A Critical Biography
My current long-term writing project is about the woman we came to know as Nana in my book, Out of Chaos: A Memoir. It is about the woman who most influenced my childhood and still lives in my values today. It is about a woman born in 1904 Oklahoma Territory who was expected to assume a lowly place in her family. It is about her rise from girlhood angsts in Oklahoma to her life as a well-respected, honored, and well achieved woman in a central Oregon community.
This woman was known to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as the matriarch of the family. To her community, she was known as much more. My research for the development of this book involves sifting through hundreds of published accounts of her life and accomplishments, dating as far back as to 1910. It also involves reading another several hundred newspaper articles of which she was a syndicated columnist for in the 1950s. On the surface, and as she had described to me, it could sound like a perfect life. However, imperfections are found from my research, and more-so, how she kept these imperfections out of the limelight.
Up until her death in 1987, she had often told me what life was like for her when raising a family in the 1930s and ‘40s yet refusing to limit herself to homemaker duties. It is only now as I research her life in print that I am discovering the intricacies involved in which she gave much to her community and gained much in return. From her philanthropic work to her fraternal organization memberships, to her board member roles, to her business entrepreneurship, there is much we can gain from her story as woman in an era when women were expected to stay home.
Furthermore, as I relive her life through my researching and writing, I can’t help but to think of her as I strengthen my own community involvement to charitable causes and serving on boards. More about my maternal great-grandmother can be found on my Dedications Page.
Current Project: A Short Memoir
My current short-term writing project is a novella-length memoir, much shorter than Out of Chaos. This personal and true story is less about me and more about a celebration of connection, an argument of causes and conditions, and what could best be described as homage to familial notions. It is about the power found in the difficult process to renew what was once torn apart.
My written words for it thus far are a winding journey with each layer bent to a pulse, propelled on by success in overcoming lost connection. It is about old endings and new beginnings. It entails a recent and current unfolding of events, as if a postscript to my memoir, Out of Chaos. You see, our story never truly ends. There is always room for new understanding and for possibilities to open up when out of chaos.
It is a true story of putting two people back together, who decades earlier were torn apart, not by choice, but by the consequence of choices. I will push forward in this book with the goal to complete it this year.
As I write these two books, I continue to contribute personal essays to journals and other noteworthy publications. You can follow links to some of these, some to read in whole for free, all from my Publications Page.