For me, writing is about understanding and exploring the human condition. We all experience times in life that leave us at odds to figure out how to survive them. On the flip side, we all experience those moments of awakening when we realize our lives can be so much more expansive than we’d ever envisioned. Add to that the constant state of upheaval of our world and there’s no wonder humans are drawn to stories.
When I’m not writing, I love to cook and have recently enjoyed baking. I am forever seeking ways of preparing healthy dishes without sparing taste. I’ve also overhauled a handful of houses and find reward in the process of bringing out a home’s personality. This habit of renovation brings with it an obsession for textiles and a penchant for revamping scarred furniture with good lines. At times when I have a yard, I love landscape design and gardening. With each house I’ve rehabbed, there’s some piece I hope to combine into my dream home.
Born in Panama, I’ve been fortunate to live and work in a variety of places, including New York and Boston. I’ve spent much of my adult life exploring the world from Colorado. The endless blue skies, wide-open spaces, and fabulous hiking trails make for a vigorous and inspiring everyday experience. Hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing are some of the ways I enjoy exploring the state’s natural beauty. I’ve also completed a couple of half-marathons, a triathlon, and several teaching certifications in yoga.
For the past few years, I’ve lived outside Washington, D.C. on the shores of the Chesapeake. The region is more vast, complex, and nuanced than I’d ever imagined. There’s never enough time for touring the area, as I’ve kept busy working on a memoir, a poetry collection, and two novels while completing an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles. I hold a BA in English and communication (Phi Beta Kappa) from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick. Since I started work on my first novel while I was in graduate school, I also completed a semester of post-graduate study in fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
My first professional writing and editing gig was at the Harvard AIDS Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The researchers whose work I translated for readers were generous in helping me to gain insight into their universe and to better understand the various medical disciplines. The knowledge I gained eventually led me to work as a journalist covering health and medicine in New York. Learning to write on a deadline, to write anywhere, to be precise, and to further develop my research abilities are skills that have proven invaluable in my creative work and may explain why I’m drawn to complex, research-driven projects. After a short career in journalism, I spent many years in the corporate world helping companies launch new products and business units. This work introduced me to fascinating people from all walks of life and led me to travel extensively, giving me a rich base of experience.
Sometimes I think I’ve spent too much time traveling and crave the refuge of home. When I started exploring long-form work, I saw my tendency to be social as a potential hindrance. Moving to a new place where I knew no one helped me develop the discipline and tenacity for writing books (I hope!). A few years ago, I heard Louise Erdrich speak at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. She said she spent the first eight years of her writing career tying herself into her writing chair. I hope it won’t come to that!
I live with my husband and our dog, Max (I know). Earlier this year, we lost our other rescue dog, Dillon, at the age of 17 ½ years. She was a sweet, adventurous creature with whom I hiked thousands of miles of trails and who introduced my husband to his first Colorado hike in summer snow.
For now, Max is holding the job of office assistant on his own. Meanwhile, I'm focusing on finishing my second novel and not getting lured by any shiny new projects.