At two, I vaguely remember falling face first into a fire while camping with my family at the ocean. I was doused with saltwater. This (I have always been told) is the reason I have no scarring today and established my deep affinity for the sea.
I also remember being confined (with my twin) underneath an upside down playpen. I believe my older sisters charged admission to see us. They did not tell me how much money they made. I am convinced this set the stage for my disturbed childhood, which is the basis for much of my fiction.
There were four sets of twins in our neighborhood. For years, I was convinced every family had at least one set.
I remember the tinkling call of the ice cream man during hot sticky summers. Popsicles were a dime. Can you buy anything for a dime now? I don't think so.
I remember Casey's Drive-in on Aurora Avenue. For a dollar, you could buy a deluxe hamburger, fries, and a milkshake -- and get change back.
I remember carrying stacks and stacks of books home from the library and reading them all in less than a week. Anything to do with animals. Especially horses.
I asked Santa for a horse for Christmas every year. I was to be disappointed each and every year, until I could buy one for myself.
My first literary effort was at 8 years of age. It was titled: "Thickamore The Backnus." It was well received and, although self-published with masking tape and cardboard, it has stood the test of time as does all good literature.
I first realized my writing could garner me positive attention when I wrote an essay in third grade about our chickens. I was mystified at the amused reception the piece received from my teacher. My intention had not been to amuse -- this was serious non-fiction. I was sent to the principal's office and as I read to him, he sunk lower and lower in his chair and covered his mouth with his hands. My mother carried the worn copy around in her purse for years. I only remember pieces and parts. Daddy roosters "fortifying" eggs, the inconsistency of hens' laying ability, and the trauma our neighbor's cats inflicted on our flock. It was my first foray into the use of clichés. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
Of course, our chicken house was another story. My mother built it out of discarded wood pieces. The neighbors were convinced she was building a bomb shelter. This was the early sixties after all.
I am currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaii, and focus on education and the study of disability and diversity in addition to writing fiction. I live with my husband, Gordon, aboard Orion, a 48-foot sailboat moored in Hawaii. I have one son, Andrew, who lives in Everett, Washington, where LOTTERY takes place.
I graduated in 1971from Shoreline High School and am always interested in reconnecting with former classmates.
When I am at a party and asked about myself, I sometimes cringe. People are fascinated at first but then they began to look slightly alarmed and begin to move away...
Oh, you've done shark research?
You compete in horse shows?
Your horse was a jumper champion?
You're working on your PhD?
You were in the Army?
You have published underwater photographs?
You sailed across the Pacific Ocean in a 39-ft sailboat?
Gee, you should write a book...
Oh, you have?
I am certain they think they are in the company of a pathological liar.