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 for 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.

I just completed 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, which can also be found on my website: dogearedstories.com.

In addition, I have begun a new blog: The Beauty of Thrift (beautyofthrift.com), a celebration of the wonderful art and handcrafted items I’ve found at barn sales yard sales and thrift stores over the years and have recently opened an Etsy shop called Channeling Nonna, which not only celebrates my collections, but puts many of them up for sale.