The Love of My Life: I am married to an engineer who patiently tolerates my weird artistic whims while he takes care of all the mundane stuff that I abhor like bills and such. Without him I could not write. He's the solid ground which enables me to dance. After twenty-four years he still makes me laugh like a little girl, and I find contentment in the simple touch of his hand. I suppose that sounds like a romance writer’s pat comment about a spouse – we write about love so we must be in love – but for me it is true. It must be as this is Just the Facts Friday, right? My hubby is, perhaps, not the gorgeous hunk that my heroes are, but I think he’s too handsome for my own good. He still makes my heart flutter when he walks into a room, when he smiles at me, or even when he says something really sexy like, “I need to put new tires on your car before you go to Rochester. I don’t want you to have a problem on the interstate.” Words of love do not fall easily from the lips of my farmer boy, but they shine in everything he does.
My pride and Joy: I have two grown children – I know that is hard to believe since I am way too young. ;-D My son is twenty-one and my daughter is almost twenty. Both are in college and have homes of their own, so the empty nest syndrome is playing havoc with me. Somehow my elderly and overweight Bichon does not provide the same mental stimulation as my quick-witted kids. The house feels too empty without a basement full of laughing teens to feed. I told my husband we need to adopt a toddler or sponsor an exchange student or two, but I got an indulgent smile and a laugh which means, “Not in this lifetime, sweetheart.” I guess I will have to adjust.
My Roots: I was born and raised on a dairy in eastern South Dakota very near the Minnesota border. I am so rural that I shouldn’t by rights even claim to be a small town girl. I still live in South Dakota, but sadly the farm has left the family’s hands, and my country-raised husband and I settled into town life long ago. I guess I have become “citified,” at least as much as that is possible in a state with such a small population, as one of my daughter’s friends was surprised I grew up in the country. The conversation started when she wondered how I knew what milk-replacer smelled like, which is an entirely different story I suppose.
My Hobbies: Besides the obvious and expected such as reading and writing, I love to bake and sew. I don’t like to cook so much, especially now that the kids are gone from home, but I love the challenge of baking something really cool. The one I had the most fun with was making a Coor’s Lite can out of cake for a friend’s fortieth birthday party as she is the Coor’s Lite bandit. (Long story but no she is not a drunk.) The same applies to my sewing. I don’t really do it much unless there is a challenge involved. For example, I made my daughter’s junior and senior prom dresses to suit her expensive taste for a fraction of the cost. (Not including the hours of labor as she wanted something designed especially for her.) I also get a kick out of making costumes for Halloween.
My Writing: I have told stories and written poems since I first learned to write. My mother has stacks of stuff too embarrassing to ever see the light of day. When I was in middle school, I spent many nights telling friends romance stories based on their lives and imagined futures. Unfortunately, I let life get in the way for too long and did not start writing seriously until I was in my thirties. Even then I had no clue what I was doing. It took years of writers’ groups and workshops and many conversations with editors and such to get to the point where I have confidence in my skills. Writing is a natural part of who I am, but being an author takes work. Never doubt that.