I’m a Mainer: I was born and lived my first seventeen years in far northern Aroostook, The County. I earned my undergraduate degree in art from the University of Maine in Orono, then got a Masters in Social Work from New York University. I worked for five years as a psychotherapist and office director back in The County for Aroostook Mental Health Center. I built a house– with my own hands– weekends and vacations on mid-coast Deer Isle. I moved there to live full time in 1982. I opened a private practice in Blue Hill, a half hour from my Deer Isle home.
Island living in Maine is tough, particularly as a single. Ten years later, I moved to Tallahassee, Florida, and built a second private practice. Then I met my now-husband Drew on on the infant Match.com in 1998 and moved again, to Vicksburg, Mississippi, while he finished out his career in Vicksburg as a researcher with the Army Corps of Engineers. Using our successful experience in the emerging Internet dating market as a base, I re-branded myself as a Romance Coach and developed an online business helping singles find partners using Internet dating sites.
When Drew retired, we decided to make our southern base back in Tallahassee, thirty miles from the Gulf of Mexico. We lived the summer half of the year in that same house I built on Deer Isle (see below), surrounded there by the Gulf of Maine. Drew is a stained glass craftsman, and I make hand-dyed silk scarves. And we set about teaching ourselves to write.
2020 and the covid crisis brought about a change in plans. Suddenly travel, even in our Airstream trailer, seemed too risky to attempt. So we stayed in (hot and humid) Tallahassee and started wanting something different. More space, inside and out, plus a pool, seemed near perfection. But adding another house (the current one had new tenants) did not make sense. So we faced putting our lovely Deer Isle home on the market. The real estate market in both places was hot, and we bought here and sold there in less than a month.
Now we are in Tallahasse full time. It works and we are happy. But the ending of such a wonderful experience of Maine island living was poignant, though it lives on in memories. And our writing.
How (Not) To Pitch A Magazine, Brian Kevin, Managing Editor, Down East magazine. Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance workshop, June 9, 2018
Unputdownable, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance workshop, June 16, 2018
Devil in the Details, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance workshop, August 18, 2018
Agents Editors Writers 2108. Belgrade Lakes, ME. September 22, 2018
Pitch Workshop. Portland. ME. September 29, 2018
Blackfly Writer’s Retreat. Grand Lakes Stream, ME. May 2 – 5, 2019
I’m right in the middle…
Marketing for Writers with Allison Pottern Hoch, July 2019
Blackfly Writers’ Retreat. Online, April 30- May 3, 2020
Real Talk, Tanya Whiton. Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, June 2020.
How to Write a Play When You Don’t Want To (Or Feel Like You Can’t or Have No Idea How To Get Started), John Cariani. Blue Hill WORD conference, October 2020.
Iota Short Prose Conference. Roosevelt Campobello International Park. July 8-1, 2017
AWP Annual Conference and Book Fair, March 7–10, 2018, Tampa, Florida
Atlanta Writers Conference, March 9-10, 2019
Iota Creative Nonfiction with Penny Guisinger. Fall 2017 (Online).
Elements of the Novel, Ginger Moran. Fall 2017 (Online).
Creative Writing. Wesleyan University (Coursera). The Craft of Plot, Character, Setting and Description, and Style (Online). Fall 2018