Story telling is in my blood. My Scotch-Irish father was known to take any opportunity to spin a tall-tale or deliver a well-loved, well-rehearsed story from his childhood, and his crowds never tired of his delivery. He was completely at ease passing down our family history through oral-tradition, where as I am much more comfortable with the pen. It was the second winter after his death in 2011 that I discovered a talent for telling other peoples’ stories. The first opportunity presented itself while working for Ken Bauer in Apache Junction, AZ.
He was such a fantastical story teller that sometimes I felt the presence of my own father lingering about as I laughed out loud, sharing in Ken’s adventures. I began recording his stories as we drove around together, eventually convincing him to let me write one. We published his short story collection of memoirs entitled Crash Landing into a Field of Outhouses in the spring of 2014. This bitter-sweet project reminded me that once the story teller is gone, so are the stories – a constant reminder that I neglected to capture a single one of my own fathers delightful renditions, although a thin, sweet veil of recollection remains in my memories. Now I encourage others through my Memoir Workshops about the regrets of allowing time to slip by, and the importance of recording such cherished moments.
My second project was a true labor of love. While visiting my youngest brother, Sam, who was working on oil rigs in North Dakota, I was told many a heartfelt story about what a toll working in the oil fields has on family life. After meeting with, and instantly connecting with an oil field wife by the name of Kelly “Mama Bear” Brooks, she encouraged and assisted me in developing Waiting for Daddy’s Hug. This gave me an opportunity to use my photography skills and illustrate the book myself, along with expanding my skills as a writer into another unfamiliar genre. This was a story that needed to be told, and a book that I am proud to have published for these families.
I continue to busy myself with non-fictional works, along with trying my hand at the supernatural genre by collaborating with a local group called The Seven. Our first anthology, The Ancient published in March 2015, with the next project (a collection of individual novellas) entitled The Seven Deadly Sins. I am currently writing Envy.