Since I was young, I have loved written words. My elementary school teachers, however, would say that I loved the spoken word even more. Most of my early report cards indicated that I was a bit of a “Chatty Cathy” (the talking doll I just so happened to play with as a little girl).
I loved books from an early age, and I loved the worlds they created. Some of my favorites were stories written by Beverly Cleary. I also loved stories about faraway places, being especially drawn to Japan and Africa. Through those stories, my love of culture as well as animals and nature was activated. Born Free was one story that stayed with me, captivating my heart and awakening the spirit in me to support environmental and animal justice. Biographies such as The First Woman Doctor, about Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, and stories of Florence Nightingale and Sara Barton raised my desire to be a strong, influential woman.
Writing about this now, I realize how those earliest stories shaped me to be someone who continues to care about our planet, nature, and humanity. Remembering what I gravitated toward helps me know why I continue to find ways to bring to life my passion for the written word. As an author of three children’s books to date, on topics of social and environmental issues, I hope to not only inspire the youngest readers, but also their parents and families.
Two memoirs have been brewing in me for over a decade, and the first was released on Valentine’s Day 2022. Mosaic Heart: Pieces of an Unfinished Life is a journey into my experience with cancer as well as what took place in my marriage and the discovery of my life’s purpose. My second memoir, Madonna Blue Heart, will focus on motherhood and addiction. I know there is a third percolating, too, but it’s too soon to name it or know exactly what story needs to be revealed. Sharing my heart and my journey allows me to give voice to my experiences while offering inspiration to others, which I will continue to do for as long as I’m able.