Who I think I am.
Answering that “Who Am I?” question is always awkward. Because telling you who I think I am isn’t really helpful, is it? Well, I’ll try.
I grew up in Texas and currently live in Texas but have never felt like I belonged in Texas. I feel like I belong in some county on the west coast of Ireland. Maybe I’ll go there to stay someday. Or Scotland. I think I’d like Scotland. Maybe I’d fit in there.
I’m the daughter of a beekeeper and a painter. I’m the sister of three of the most fascinating, brilliant boys on the planet, and one who died before he even made it to second grade.
I’m a creativity evangelist. I believe that art will save us and that artists are the most important people in the world and that we are ALL artists. I’m a bit of a pest about it. I even moderate a Facebook group of creatives encouraging each other in their efforts.
I recently left my job at at Texas Tech where I was an editor and marketing manager in the eLearning division. It was a decent job. I got to use my skills as an editor, web developer, project manager, and well-honed critiquer-of-all-the-things to help people find educational options. But after a reorganization earlier this year, the environment wasn’t conducive to productivity. So as of June 2019, I’m seeking part- or full-time employment while working as much as I can on my novels*.
I’m a recovering perfectionist so I just do the best I can and remember that we are all connected and all living creatures deserve to have decent lives, too.
Anyway, as the Eleventh Doctor said: “We’re all different people all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good. You’ve got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
So for now, I try to remember the people I used to be. And hope that who I am now honors them a little bit.
*I write speculative fiction (science fantasy? Dark fantasy? Contemporary fantasy? The genres overlap). I’m obsessed with how our senses, if allowed, can carry us through time. Smell that bread baking and feel my long-gone grandmother right next to me. Pull an old quilt over my chin and there I am, sorting out the pieces of fabric with Granny. Hear bluegrass music and there’s my mom and dad, dancing in the kitchen. See a baby kitten and I’m back in my small bedroom on Christmas Day, throwing a baby doll to the ground and sneaking kittens into my brand new baby doll carriage. Taste frozen custard and it’s summer 1976 and I’m in the back seat of a station wagon, still wet from the swimming pool.
Our senses can take us back in time—and sometimes trigger us—but also possibly heal our grief. They can also save our sanity by rooting us in the here and now. Instead of worrying about my quickly dwindling savings account, I can sit quietly at my desk and enjoy how the little grey cat feels against my forearm. Smell the incense-scented candle. Taste the coffee. Listen to the soundtracks. I’m here, now, in this place and time and life is good. I don’t have to regret all the things I’ve said and done and ruminate about all the people I’ve let down and all the ways I’ve sincerely and completely failed. Right now, hands on keyboard, cat on forearm, coffee in cup, candle burning, soundtracks playing, right now is all I can handle, or need to handle.
So let’s take this obsession with our senses and how they intersect with time and write a big, fat series of novels about it, shall we?