Since I was young I've been intrigued by the connectedness of things and of people. Those things that pull us together, the things that sever us.
I've looked for the stories behind the fairy tales, the real stories, of which the tales themselves are only a hint. I've wondered at the way love heals life, at the African proverb that tells us we are each other's medicine, and the ancient command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
I think human beings were made to be amazing, interesting, and delightful, and I'm awed by the mystery that we were designed to be so much more than we are.
I was born into a large family, making it even larger by my arrival. When all was said and done there were nine of us around the dining room table, ten when Mamita (my mother's mother) was living with us.
An Air Force family, we spent half of my early life overseas--in Turkey and Germany and parts in-between. In the States, we lived in the southwest, the mountains, and the Pacific Northwest, then moved to the Midwest, after which I went South and, like a homing pigeon, back to the Midwest again.
I studied history, music, science, and theology in college, and spent a lot of time teaching and communicating in those fields afterwards. Now, more than anything, my heart's in writing. And that heart is nourished by my husband, children, and grandchildren, my greater family and friends, and all the travel I can manage.
These are the things that have seeded themselves in my life and mind, all inseparable from the stories I write.
Photo: The author, age 11. The Pacific Ocean viewed from the coast of Washington State. (1969)
Photo credit: LeRoy E. Eckhardt (my father)