Hello! Thanks for visiting my website!
I’m a writer and teacher of writing who loves to encourage others. I believe that when we’re listening to our creative voice, we’re our best selves. So my interest in helping others in their process goes beyond the act of writing itself. If writing is your passion, then I hope this website makes you feel encouraged and confident. In particular I enjoy guiding emerging writers and watching them realize their talents. Currently, I’m a member of Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and the Borderlands Writers Co-op. I’m also the advisor to the Aims Community College Creative Writing Club.
I’ve been teaching for 19 years, beginning with ESL for refugees and international students in NYC with the Riverside Language Program and for the College of Staten Island. As I finished my MA, I taught comp and lit courses for Dutchess Community College. A stint on the West Coast brought me to the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, and I now teach creative writing, literature, and composition full-time at Aims Community College in Colorado. Guiding my students has afforded me the great privilege of seeing how so many writers improve, meet their muses, and blossom.
One of the reasons I created this website was to connect with other writers and share what I’ve learned through providing feedback on thousands of essays, short stories, and novel chapters. Currently, I advise my college’s creative writing club and participate in three critique groups. I’ve served as an editor for Signature Magazine, the Great Lakes Review, and Pendulum, as a reviewer for Norton and Bedford Saint-Martins, and as a contributor for Cengage. I’ve held numerous creative workshops at Aims Community College and local libraries in Colorado and New Mexico on topics such as creating strong character relationships, finding narrative voice, overcoming writer’s block, and reducing wordiness. I am also a regular contributor to the RMFW blog.
My Life So Far
Like most of us, I began writing when young. Again, like most of us, I was not particularly confident in my skills. Perhaps more interestingly, I have been a singer-songwriter for years. It wasn’t until I designed a course on Harry Potter that I began penning my own YA Pox series. I gained most of my understanding about people and the world through YA literature, and realized I should walk the walk and take those risks I had been avoiding. Books like the Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and everything by Madeleine L’Engle also motivated me to write YA and hopefully help teens envision themselves as powerful and compassionate.
As I began drafting my first novel, I began feeling hopeless, knowing I could never write like the authors who had inspired me. Luckily, I was soon too immersed in my new characters’ lives to care about anything but getting to know them. Eight years later, I have several completed novels on Amazon and several more to revise and publish soon. The hidden upside of being too insecure to query until now is that I’ve had time to revise and improve. Finishing six novels has also given me the confidence and insight to help my students and friends with their writing. Not to mention, writing is downright addictive — as it should be.
As time permits, when I’m not plotting character arcs or grading essays, I will periodically offer some free editing and commenting on drafts, pages, or queries. Keep in touch, and keep writing! By the way, this is Coda. She passed away last year, but she’ll always be my best friend. In this photo, she is wearing my brother’s bandana. Everyone in my family, including Coda, would like to encourage you to adopt a shelter pet.