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 recently opened an Etsy shop called ChannelingNonna, where I sell a variety of vintage treasures I’ve discovered and continue to uncover in dusty barns, musty bookstores and disorganized thrift stores wherever I go.