As I say on my Twitter profile, I am a writer, editor, mediator, human resources consultant, and attorney, and also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague. That pretty much sums me up. I worked as an attorney and in Human Resources for Hallmark Cards for 27 years, then retired to become a writer. I have a husband and two grown children.
As you can see, I have many facets to my life, and I struggle daily with how to balance them. At the moment, I am trying to spend more time on writing, but volunteer work and family matters—also important—keep creeping in.
I blog at Story & History: One writer’s journey through life and time. The title of my blog provides me both focus and freedom to post about the many facets of my life.
I am working on a series of historical novels about travel along the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush—that’s my journey through time. Some of my blog posts are about my research process and the history I have learned writing these books.
I also write about my family and personal experiences—that’s my journey through life.
Almost everything I want to write about fits within the themes of journey, life and time. If it doesn’t fit these themes, it probably doesn’t belong on my blog.
In addition to the historical novels that are still works in progress, I have a contemporary novel published under a pseudonym. It is a financial thriller, and reached #1 in that category in the Kindle store this summer.
If anyone is interested in reading it, please e-mail me at email@example.com, and I will send you the link to buy it.
Here are my answers to some of Jill’s questions:
What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
I don’t get mistaken for anyone these days, but when I was in high school, a friend started calling me Jane Fonda. Soon many of my other friends picked up the nickname. I don’t look anything like Jane Fonda, but during my junior year of high school (circa 1971), I wore a pair of green crushed velvet bellbottoms with a purple floral print top. My friend said, “That looks like something Jane Fonda would wear!” and it took off from there.
My friend even took me to see Klute, an R-17 movie, sneaking me in when I was still 15. That’s about the baddest thing I did as a high-school student.
This anecdote is part of my journey through life. I tell other stories in my blog posts, from all decades of my life.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
I had a good childhood, but there isn’t much I miss about it. I have been fortunate in life to (mostly) choose what I wanted to do in my education, in the careers I pursued, and in the family life I’ve led. That doesn’t mean my pursuits have been easy, or that my path through life has always been what I expected, but I have taken charge of my own life as much as I could.
One thing I have missed about childhood is the carefree life kids lead. Starting around the ninth grade, I began worrying about grades and class standings, then about where to go to college, what profession to pursue, what job to take, etc. And also about marriage, raising children, and doing well enough financially to educate my children and plan for retirement. Kids don’t have to worry about any of that.
Now that I’m retired, I’d like to find that lack of responsibility again. But life doesn’t work that way. There are parents to worry about, adult children who still need my guidance (though they may not think so), volunteer organizations to run, books to write, and my own future aging to prepare for.
I’ve concluded I will never be carefree again. Once an adult, always an adult. (Unless dementia strikes, which has happened in my family, and you can read about that on my blog also).
What do you think the greatest invention has been?
There are so many! The Internet—we now have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips! Other developments have also fostered the dissemination of information, such as the printing press, the typewriter, the telegraph, and the personal computer.
But I have to give the nod to indoor plumbing. First of all, anyone who has been camping knows how awful it is to be without indoor plumbing on a cold or rainy night. More importantly, public sanitation has decreased the spread of disease throughout the world, thus increasing life spans.
I have thought often as I’ve written about traveling the Oregon Trail how the pioneers had to dig latrines every night along the way. The cholera epidemics along the trail were largely due to contamination of the rivers and streams where they stopped. Diseases caused by lack of sanitation wreak havoc on the lives of my characters in 1847.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
This question stopped me. As I thought about the things I really want to learn, I realized they are all within my capabilities, if I chose to pursue them.
• Learning Spanish—I’ve learned other languages, and could learn Spanish if I took the time.
• Learning to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”—I used to play the piano, and could do so again if I took the time.
• Parasailing—I’ve always wanted to try it, but I chickened out the one time I had a real opportunity. But I could do it if I wanted. I’ll never be an Olympic athlete, but I’ve come to terms with that.
Is there anything about the opposite sex you just don’t understand or comprehend?
There are many things about the male of the human species I don’t understand. One of them is why they can’t just apologize when they’ve done something wrong. I had this explained to me once in a gender diversity seminar. Every male, I was told, wants to be the alpha dog. None of them wants to put himself beneath the other dog. That means they won’t apologize, because that would be admitting they had been wrong. It would sure solve a lot of relationship issues if men could get over this.
P.S. I know I’m generalizing about men . . . but really, isn’t this true? They don’t apologize. At least not effectively.
Thank you for taking the spotlight, Theresa. Congratulations on your novel! I’ve got it on my Kindle and I’m anxious to read it. Up next week, it’s L. Marie.