For whatever reason, I’ve recently been bombarded with questions, from both my readers and the media, about where I came from, who the hell I think I am, and exactly where I plan to go in the future. Rather then answer all these inquiries separately, why not kill 8 birds with one stone. So here we go.
#1 – Where are you from? I was born in Leesville, Louisiana, which is just outside of NOLA. My dad was stationed there during Vietnam, at Fork Polk. My mom flew down from Chicago so my dad could witness my birth. Yet, back in 1971, fathers were not allowed in the delivery room. The poor guy had to chomp at the bit until I was brought to him. Tiny, yet screaming like a banshee. I haven’t changed since. Shortly after, my dad was released from the Army, and they both moved back home to Chicago. The rest is true midwest history.
#2 – Where did you grow up? I spent the first few years of my youth on the south side of Chicago, in Bridgeport. A small 3-bedroom apartment at 38th and Union was my home. I went to Kindergarten through 2nd grade at Nativity of Our Lord, the local catholic school. Every weekend, I would walk to Cosmisky Park and watch the Sox game with my stepdad. I totally loved the multicultural neighborhood that Bridgeport once was in the '70's. When I was 8, my family moved to Evergreen Park, where I spent my formative years. That tiny house at 94th and Sacramento helped mold me into the person I am today. I’m proud to say that I’m still close friends with the people I grew up with. Right there is a bond that will never be broken. And my south side attitude is still fully intact.
#3 – What is your education? I spent K-2nd grade at a Catholic school on the south side of Chicago. After we moved to the south suburb of Evergreen Park, I spent 3rd grade through high school in the public school system, and damn proud of it. I now purposely choose to raise my kids the same way. After I graduated high school, I choose to attend Columbia College Chicago, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video Production. Shortly after, I moved to Los Angeles, where my real life education began.
#4 – Have you ever been in love? Yes, I have. 3 times actually. Once with a boy I met at Columbia College, another I met in Los Angeles, then another from Naperville. I was engaged to each of them. Married two of them. Still married to one of them. Each have their own special stories. I rarely blog about any of them, but they know who they are, and where they fit in the sequence. Even though I blog about almost everything in my life, there are a few things I need to keep private, for various reasons. But two things are for sure; each were (are) deeply loved, and I've learned an invaluable lesson in romantic relationships.
#5 – Why did you start blogging? I had just quit my corporate job with a major media newspaper in Chicago to revive my career as a freelance writer, and needed somewhere to vent my frustration of being a WAHM taking care of 2 kids. Because if I didn’t, an implosion was inevitable. And so it was. 7 years later, this is what is has become. Damn. I had no clue that blogging would take me where I am now. I am beyond humbled.
#6 – How do you handle the media attention? Um, it’s a bit weird. Honestly, I’m beyond flattered by it. Seriously, don’t understand it, but I’ll roll with it. Seeing myself on television and listening to myself on live radio is something I will never get use to. But one thing still holds true; I will never be a part of something I don’t fully believe in, whether you’re a media cooperation or a product. I do my homework on the daily, so if you come to me, I expect you to do the same. I will never beg, borrow or steal for any type of sponsorship. I’ve been doing just fine on my own.
#7 – When did you decide to become a teacher? Um, I never chose to become a teacher, it chose me. Honestly, I never in a million years thought I would be standing in front of a classroom of people, teaching them my craft. Even though I’ve spent 20-plus years as a professional writer, I’ve never, ever considered myself a role model. Despite all the media attention my work has gotten, I’ve always considered myself a work in progress. I am always my own worst enemy, constantly challenging myself to be better. So when this particular college asked me to be their creative writer instructor, I was floored. Extremely humbled and beyond grateful. This is a career changing opportunity that I will never, ever squander. And if I make a difference to just one student that dreams of being a career writer, I'd be happy as hell.
#8 – Where do you see yourself in 6 months? My most honest answer is who the hell knows. The way life had changed the past few years, only one thing is certain: Nothing is guaranteed. Things can and will change on a dime. I’ve learned the hard way to strap on my big girl panties and roll with the tide. If you choose to live your life a specific way, negative or positive, karma will do her job. 10 fold. So be nice. Play fair. Stay faithful to everyone you love. Continue to be authentic. Learn to recognize every amazing moment that presents itself. Open up your heart to anything possible. This is not a dress rehearsal, people. So I guess my final answer is to rock the hell out of every moment I have and see what happens…
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