1. I learned from your blog that you were a single mother raising 2 daughters alone for years. I think I read that you remarried about 12 years ago. Do you think your remarriage and new direction in life has aided your journey towards a more creative self or is it just that you have more time now that your children are adults?
You are correct that I was a single mother, raising a son and a daughter alone for 18 years. And, yes I met my husband 11 years ago and we’ve been married for almost 8 years. There were many factors which spurred my creative journey. I certainly poured a great deal of creativity and self-worth into raising my kids and I found myself in a bit of a void when they were raised and gone.
My move to Ohio and the wonderful experience I had as part of Antioch publishing’s creative department certainly helped to awaken my creative spirit. I had worked with art and artists for years but the caliber of creative ability and thinking was very contagious at Antioch. I had good friends there who were overwhelmingly supportive and nurturing to a wanna-be artist.
The announcement in April 2007 that the bookmark division of Antioch was up for sale was the wind beneath my wings in many ways, not only forcing me to examine where I as at in my life, but also lighting a fire in me to become the creative person I was longing to be.
And, finally, I get huge, huge support from my husband Bill in all my creative efforts. He is right there sawing wood, sanding, building my art table, carting canvasses and giving me wonderful support!
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, what would you see and why?
I am longing to travel the United States, especially the northwest. I would love to travel in an RV to all the national parks, to experience the grandeur, hear the whistling wind and see the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It would be a long, relaxing amble from place to place with lots of time to take photos, sketch and drink in the scenery, sounds and wildlife.
3. I know you read a great deal. What is your favorite genre of books and who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Stephen King, not especially because I’m a huge fan of horror but more because I love his writing style. The way that all the separate threads of his stories eventually come together in the story is very compelling to me. I tend to prefer stories with odd or interesting characters as written by John Irving. For me, the odder the better. And, I like for a book to be so engaging that I think about it when I’m away from it or long after I finish it. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is an excellent example. It’s not a pretty story, but definitely one that still haunts my thoughts a bit today (2 years later). John Grisham and Jodi Picout both attract me as their fiction tends to have a moral dilemma. Both the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon took me back in time for a rousing historical romp.
And then there’s Harry Potter. You’ve gotta love a character like Harry who defeats evil despite all odds and entertains on every single page of every one of the seven books. Pardon the pun, but these books are magical!!
4. What types of people are you attracted to and inversely, what types are you repelled by and why?
Open-minded, free spirits who take life lightly and can laugh at themselves are very attractive to me. Rigid, controlling people, not so much.
Life is too short to live any other way than to laugh and let it roll!
5. Who was the biggest influence on your life, your mother or father? In what ways did he or she shape you life?
My mother has been the bigger influence in my life. I’ve spent much more time with her over the years; she is much more social than my dad. Mom taught me how to laugh over spilled milk, how to pick my battles in life and how to cope during less-than-perfect situations. My mom is hands-down the best person I've ever known -- kind-hearted, gracious, generous and quick to offer support. She is the rock that holds our family together.
Like many men from the WWII era, my dad is reticent to show his emotions, putting up a macho front that is at times hard to push aside. As I've aged it has been much easier to understand and love the man behind the mask, a man who adores his family, is proud almost to a fault and has been the most influential person in my life in teaching me about the joys of hard work and dedication.
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