By the fifth grade I’d read every single Nancy Drew mystery.
The author, Carolyn Keene, not only sparked in me a lifelong love of mystery and adventure, a fire that’s only grown in intensity, but she inspired me to pick up my #2 pencil and college-ruled notebook and write my first mystery in the seventh grade.
If only I inherently knew how to structure a story and make it past the first page!
Growing up ‘Goonie’
Born and raised in Astoria, Oregon, a maritime town rife with a sordid past, it was easy to develop an overactive imagination.
I spent countless hours roaming the woods, walking the railroad tracks, sitting outside my window on the roof looking at the river, and pretending I was a spy, an adventurer, or a detective.
That dreamy curiosity stayed with me into adulthood when I joined the Navy and traveled the world. I met fascinating people and experienced diverse, exciting cultures.
Two paths diverged in a wood, and I? I took the one that made my brain hurt.
After six years, however, it was time for a new adventure. With a drive to become a forensic scientist, I went off to college to study biochemistry. While I tortured myself laboring over Calculus, Physics, and Organic Chemistry, I also took classes in English History and Literature. I loved those classes, and in retrospect, should’ve changed majors.
But I didn’t. I’m stubborn that way.
I worked as a forensic drug chemistry expert for nearly ten years and what had drawn me to the field in the beginning; the sense of mystery, excitement, and discovery, no longer held. Something lacked.
When I met my husband and settled down to start a family (I have two beautiful, deliciously smart girls), I began to look inward and discovered what I needed.
To drink coffee and make stuff up.
Never Throw Caution Upwind
With a steaming cup of the brown elixir of life I set out to write my first novel set during the Civil War…and finished it. I joined a writing group thinking I was well on my way to being published, and soon learned I wasn’t even close.
After months of beating my manuscript to a pulp, I made the decision to pronounce it ‘dead’, and quietly shoved it under my bed to collect dust.
But remember, I’m stubborn. See above ^^^. I struck out to write a new one and this time I picked the early 1800’s because of my love of the time period surrounding the Regency Era. I admire and adore Jane Austen, so much, that we share a birthday. Yes, even in the womb, she called to me. I found my home.
Go Back from Whence You Came, Grasshopper
It’s been said that we can’t go back. I did; back to the fifth grade and my fascination for exciting adventures starring women. But this time when I opened my laptop, I was armed and ready to chase that elusive story in my head.
History isn’t done relinquishing her secrets. My humble aspiration is to bring some of those not-so-well-known tidbits to life.
In the Quit-Cow-Ski files you’ll find articles relating to women in history, especially spanning the years between The American Revolution and the War of 1812. I have a special affinity for British and American history and my hometown of Astoria, Oregon. Please feel free to peruse articles of interest and leave me a note when you’re finished!