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I guess, first, to say welcome to my world full of nooks and crannies, full of treasures, adventures, and secrets.

As a writer, I use my imagination to paint vivid imagery that’s page-turning fiction. My natural gift of storytelling was opened years before I thought about being a writer. It started in my hometown, Youngstown, Ohio. My father, a steel mill worker, had certain television shows he loved. Aside from our many family road trips — TV was Dad’s escape from a dangerous job that eventually killed him at age 52 after he contracted black lung disease. When his work schedule interrupted, Dad asked me to watch his favorite programs and tell him what he missed. I was finishing elementary school, when I perfected the on-the-spot-jaw-dropping- storytelling. I amazed myself at how I could hold Dad’s attention as if those television characters were our neighbors.

All through school, the knack of writing soared, but I wanted to become a modern jazz dancer, move to New York City, and make it big with a company like The Alvin Ailey Dance Group. However, a car accident halted all dreams of high kicks and effortless moves. Journal writing and my first story when I was a naive 22-year-old, The Last Merry-Go-Round, stung me as hard as a bee. My writing teacher said I had the chops but not the experience to write such a torrid love story. Hence, common sense took over and I put my dreams on hold. Occasionally, dabbling   here and there writing stories, but just tucked them away. I lived in Los Angles where there was a writer, actor, singer, and dancer on every block! My lack of confidence and fear of rejection pulled me into my world of secret writing. Yes, I was a closet writer for more years than I care to think.

A series of events—grandparents, parents, and friends’ deaths slapped me hard. Life was too short. Failure was better than nesting and waiting for that perfect opportunity.

What is your greatest life, artistic, academic and creative Achievements?

I often stare at my mirrored reflection and I replay my life over and over.I think one does ponder as they age because there is more substance. Challenges, mistakes, dreams, goals have rhythmically dancedas I sat in the front the row. Sometimes the performance was worth the ticket . . . other times not.

Choice was not mine until I believed in myself. I, as Dorothy from The Wizard of OZ, did not know I had to power to make my own destiny. This revelation came with such force when I opened my eyes and saw what others saw. I can be what I am with emotionally clarity. I can write. I can inspire through the power of words, which has become my life and artistic contribution achievement.  Academically, I was fortunate to attend a top university. Through brilliant professors and engaging students—I learned to mold my thoughts into fluid sentences which evoked intelligent conversations. There is an irony I learned during the final months of my mother’s life when we talked in an intimate, caring way. She walked with me through my life and filled in the blanks. The day she died was the day she passed to me the torch of her soul. I am strong.

What roles are you playing in transforming your communities?

There are two areas of community work important to me. Where I live, even though a large metropolitan city, there is a vast amount of homelessness which transcends young people, old people, and many nationalities. I have plans to volunteer at the shelters where I see mothers with children standing in the doorways or waiting on the benches outside until the shelters open. Thedespair of lost and helplessness is overpowering. I can use work experience for fundraising and one-on- counseling. I also have explored our city’s Central Library. There is a vast need for the children’s reading programs which distribute books and runs reading programs to lesser funded elementary schools.

 What are your future prospects in your career and your life?

I continue writing character-driven, page-turning- fiction as I seek representation from a traditional publisher (my first book: The Ears That Have Eyes was E-Published). I hope to finish my next novel, about a fractured marriage, this summer. I have over a dozen book outlines, two plays, and a children’s story waiting in the wings. It has been recently proposed I submit a short story to the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre for jury contest. They choose seven short stories for performances throughout the year. I’m working this piece about my father.

What is your parting shot to fellow women and girls?

I believe there’s an emotional and mental need to live your dreams. Fear of failure, although real, cannot and should not be a deterrent in life’s choices. Honor your family name. If what you see in the mirror is not what you like, look inside your heart and mind what needs change. Learn the meaning of the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and be confident in your answers.