Sometimes, people ask, "when did you start writing and telling stories?" Or, "when did you start painting?" I made up stories almost as soon as I learned to talk. "Too much imagination," my dad would say. Once I learned how a pencil - or crayon - could make words or draw pictures, I never stopped. I learned to read early, and went through all my parents' books and magazines. As a kid, I hid my story books all over the house, so I could disappear into a magical world at anytime.
In high school, I studied Art and English, then earned a Double Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Western Ontario in Visual Arts and English Literature. Afterwards, I completed a double specialist in Visual Art and English Language, and a Bachelor of Education at The University of Toronto.
I taught High School Visual Art and English. By going to night school, and summer school for two years, I earned a Master's of Education in Curriculum Design from Brock University. Afterwards, I took additional courses in Special Education and Literacy. Through out the years, I've continued to take courses in Creative Writing and the Arts .
Yes, I'm a nerd.
At first, my family lived on the outskirts of a small town, later we moved to a small fruit farm. We shared a rustic cabin on a small lake in the north woods with my grandparents. Those things are huge influences in my writing. My parents were fantastic role models. My best inspiration comes when I am in quiet, rural settings - and then the words and pictures flow like magic!
'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.' Pablo Picasso
WORDS - I write in a variety of styles and genres. As a high school student, I wrote for the Beamsville Express, St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Advance. I've been published in the Lake Report, in on line publications in Canada and the US, and in several anthologies. I've done public readings in school classrooms, at the Niagara Falls Public Library, the St. Catharines Public Library, the NOTL Strawberry Festival and other local venues.
December 2023 - Winner Adult Short Story South Simcoe Arts Festival 'Dry Bones' Spring/Summer 2023 - CBC Recommended Middle Grade/Young Adult Book List December 2022- 'All She Wanted for Christmas' published by CommuterLit e-magazine 2022 - Winner Muskoka Novel Marathon with YA novel, 'Rainbow Fire.' 2020 - Winner Muskoka Novel Marathon with YA Novel 'The Sound of a Rainbow' (to be published by Latitude 46 in 2023) 2019- 2nd Place Rotary Stratford Writers Festival, Fiction 'Twelve Stops to Airport' 2019 - Short List Non Fiction Eden Mills Writers Festival 'Just a Cuppa Coffee' 2019 Winner Muskoka Novel Marathon with YA Novel ' A Chain of Broken Hearts' Non-Fiction: 2019 International NOWW Creative Non-Fiction Shortlist 'Just a Cuppa Coffee' 2019 - South Simcoe Arts Festival Fiction Winner 'Moonlight with Tom Thomson' Fiction: 2018 - EMWF Fringe Festival Winner - 'Fairy Castle in the West' Poetry: 2018 - Canadian Author's Niagara Branch, The Bannister, 'Modern Love' Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry - Rising Spirits NOTL Writers Circle Contests, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 National Award (USA) 2014 in online publication Stage of Life with 'Stepping into a Lifetime' Personal Essay CommuterLit - frequently published
EDITOR 2019 - Fifteen Stories High - Anthology for Canadian Authors Association Niagara Branch 2018 - Ten Stories High - Anthology for Canadian Authors Association Niagara Branch