I'm really not the rugged horse-back riding gal the adjacent photo might make you believe (ok, yes, that is a donkey, but we'd signed up for a North Rim Grand Canyon horseback riding tour, and naturally, I got to ride the ass.) While I do like horses and my neighborhood is adjacent to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, which means horses are my neigh-bors, I just don't do well with the dust. I can't steer them and I'm too much of a control freak. But I DO like hiking and kayaking and have explored 33 of America's National Parks with my family from Maine to Washington State, from Virginia to Hawaii and all across the west.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, I was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and went to college in Chapel Hill. I moved to California several weeks after graduation, having never been further west than Tennessee. I resembled Elly May Clampet getting off the plane in my floral print dress with my cowboy boots, two suitcases and $200 to my name. My first jobs in Los Angeles were as an Au Pair and as a Production Assistant, and I cleaned toilets in the San Pedro Youth Hostel so as to stay there for free. I began my career in television as a temp at KHJ-TV and eventually became part of the marketing team that developed the call letter change campaign for KCAL.9 and supported PRIME 9 NEWS. I worked in Public Relations and Sales/Sports Promotions there and was the Marketing Manager for Buena Vista Television before restructuring my life to spend more time home with my children.
For twenty years, I worked as the Assistant Director of UNC-Hollywood, an Entertainment Industry Internship program tied to the Communications Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. I've done a crazy amount of volunteering in the public schools and for local causes (when I should have been writing), written countless grants (when I meant to be writing my novel), raised a bunch of money (when I intended to be making money on my writing), campaigned for candidates (when I could have been blogging)....basically, I have found every excuse to NOT write.
So far my greatest accomplishments are two really cool college/grad school students. They have made the delayed dreams very much worthwhile. I love this time in their lives and in mine and FINALLY
I am writing about it!
In 2014, I took a chance and shared one of my stories on stage for the first time. The welcoming audience and tellers of tales at Story Salon has become like a second family for me. I've since shared stories across Southern California with Expressing Motherhood, WordNOW!, Breaker/Broken, Off My Head, 10 by 10, The Otter Story Hour, LitCrawl LA, Backstory, Flappers Comedy Hour, Tales by the Sea and Storytime. I also ventured into the world of Directing and Producing my own shows, raising money over $23,000 to date for local charities through my company JAM CREATIVE. It has been a great honor to bring other voices and stories to the stage through my productions of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER, Momnipresent, Manecdotes, Stories From the HeART and DIVERSITY: Stories of Connection in an Urban Jungle.
I currently serve on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission and am a member of the Board of the Burbank Human Relations Council.