For years I had the personal-interests section of my bio down pat. Depending where I was along this journey, it read something like this: I love running, hiking, skiing, and yoga. I've run a couple of half-marathons, have completed a sprint-distance triathlon, and have climbed a 14er. My passion for yoga helped me crawl out of my cubicle and complete several yoga-teaching certifications. Then everything changed when a whitewater-rafting accident humbled me through several years of recovery. Health issues eclipsed the possibility of running and skiing. Pilates-based physical therapy, not the yoga I had practiced and studied, helped me regain mobility and range of motion. Gardening and landscape design improved coordination and helped me get stronger. Interior design and writing helped me translate the beauty I felt inside and found in the world around me.
This strategy of gratitude became key to my survival. "First writing makes suffering endurable, and it does this by making it beautiful," Roger Rosenblatt once said. Yes, that's how it happened for me. Life has a habit of reinventing itself, often through a process that isn’t linear. All of us must continue to embrace new challenges and live the questions to stay vital. I surprised even myself by going back to school to pursue a degree in creative writing.
Now I have an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles in addition to a BA in English and communication (Phi Beta Kappa) from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. I also completed a postgraduate semester in fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Some incredible writers and poets have nurtured both me and my work. Since going back to school, I also made a temporary move from the mountain-nearby suburbs of Denver to the beach. This has allowed me to focus on writing and to continue healing. Now I've got a memoir, a poetry collection, and two novels in various stages of writing and revision. I also found my way to run a 5K again and hope this will be the first of many races.
About My Work
Like many writers, my passion for writing began at an early age. As my mother tells it, my kindergarten teacher praised a story I wrote about a family "barbecow" for my creative spelling and my attempt to use a polysyllabic word in a sentence. My first professional writing gig was at the Harvard AIDS Institute where the researchers I worked with were generous in helping me understand their universe and gave me a glimpse into the various disciplines of medicine. The knowledge I gained eventually led me to become a medical reporter in New York. Later, after moving to Denver, I found myself keeping New York hours for my professional life and ended up taking a corporate job locally. This evolved into a career helping businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, launch new products and initiatives.
Learning to value my creative work meant claiming the voice I'd long told to stay quiet and keep small. And while our writing voice may shift with each particular piece of writing, there's also an ephemeral quality that allows us to distinguish one writer from another. Learning to value my creative work also made me learn how to root out the journalist, the marketeer, and the strategist from my prose—except when a focal character in my fiction works at one of those occupations.
I am particularly interested in how the acts of reading and writing shape who we are and how we imagine our human potential. I appreciate creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for the possibilities each of these outlets allows us to explore.
My new bio reads something like this: Angela lives with her husband and their two dogs along the Chesapeake. She is currently working on her second novel. I'll be filling out the rest as I go. I hope that you'll come with me.