I spent several years working in Chicago’s graphic arts and advertising industries as a writer, copywriter, editor, as well as a production and studio manager.

After receiving my Master of Arts in English from DePaul University, I spent the next two years living in Japan as part of the Japanese Exchange in Teaching Program, followed closely by a year in Italy, where I worked as a nanny and family chef.

Returning home, I soon found that the allure of living and working in Chicago had vanished and I headed north to Wisconsin to be near relocated family.

Here, for the next 16 years, midst marriage and child-rearing, I wrote an array of stories (from human interest to health, local politics to local history) for newspapers and regional magazines, as well as a wide variety of trade publications. During this time, I also continued editing and was eventually made editor-in-chief of a small publishing company in Williams Bay, Wisconsin where I directed the editorial and design of regional magazines.

I was also responsible for the research, writing and editing of four Wisconsin history books and worked for two local museums; helping with everything from tours to promotional material, training docents to researching and writing docent scripts.

When my family and I moved to Arizona in the summer of 2010, I found myself unemployed for the first time since my daughters were babes and was anxious to put pen to paper. I knew instantly what my focus would be. “Just West of the Midwest: a comedy”. The book chronicles the two years I spent working for the JET (Japanese Exchange in Teaching) Program in the early 1990s, in the small farming village of Shintomi, on the southern island of Kyushu. The result is a comedy, as well as a love story, about friends, second families, strange experiences, ancient cultures, youthful indiscretions and indelible life lessons.

Since then, I’ve also completed many other pieces, including another two year writing project: “Within Close Range: short stories of an American childhood”, stories about growing up in a family of five kids in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

At present, it seems as if my muses have steered me toward poetry. A rather fitting move because as I get older, I find my voice – my strength – in much fewer words.

I also have another passion: old stuff. And as I need fewer words, my path ahead also wants for fewer lovely objects. As a result, I have an Etsy shop called ChannelingNonna (channelingnonnavintage.com) where I sell a variety of vintage treasures I’ve discovered and continue to uncover in dusty barns, musty bookstores and treasure-filled thrift stores wherever I go.

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