A Per­son­al Note

To begin with, I was born in Des Moines, Iowa. When I was three months old my par­ents decid­ed to leave the nest of our Scan­di­na­vian farm fam­i­lies and go West to the moun­tains of Col­orado, so I con­sid­er myself a Col­orado native (or close enough). From lute­fisk to lefse to Uff da!” my moth­er nev­er let us for­get our Nor­we­gian her­itage. I grew up with hors­es, dogs, cats, caged birds, ham­sters, and even a piran­ha I kept in a tank in my bed­room (affec­tion­ate­ly named Killer), who all kept us in good spir­its even when times weren’t so good.

I start­ed col­lege at Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty in Fort Collins, plan­ning on going to vet­eri­nary school as I believed the con­ven­tion­al wis­dom that pur­su­ing a writ­ing career would only result in a sec­re­tar­i­al job. I then trans­ferred to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado in Boul­der and mar­ried when I was bare­ly old enough to order a drink. In those days I worked a vari­ety of jobs: wait­ress, sta­ble­hand, jan­i­tor, free­lance writer — and yes, sec­re­tary. The mar­riage was trou­bled but I had the chance to trav­el to Europe, and I had two mar­velous sons who to this day are the light of my life. The mar­riage end­ed and I put myself through grad school with two tod­dlers in tow. I grad­u­at­ed with a PhD in Eng­lish and Cre­ative Writ­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Den­ver, and I was off to pur­sue my dream.

After more than one for­ay into the mine­fields of mat­ri­mo­ny, I met the man of my dreams, a tall Croa­t­ian guy who flies air­planes and dreams of being a screen­writer. We restored a 120-year-old Vic­to­ri­an home in Cincin­nati, a house filled with mag­ic and mys­tery, and we have a cab­in at 8,000 feet in the San­gre de Cristo moun­tains where we go to write and remem­ber what’s most impor­tant in life: love, nature, and tak­ing time to reflect. We share our life with Emma Vir­ginia Woof, an 8‑pound Papil­lon who is always game to ride under an air­plane seat for a chance to sleep in front of a warm stove in a Col­orado cabin.