I live with my husband--and our dogs and cats--in northern Maine. Originally from Massachusetts, I attended the University of Maine at Orono and earned a Bachelor's degree in Art Education and later a Master's in Counselor Education. For many years I was an art teacher, and then a guidance counselor, in public schools. I also completed the diploma program in Web Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh which later led to me creating Blackbird Studio, my own Web site design and graphics business.
I love to draw and paint in a variety of mediums (including pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, and oils) as well as work with stained glass, wood, and clay. My newest passion is making jewelry with resin, metals, and glass in which dried flowers, leaves, moss, gemstones, and my original art are incorporated.
For eight years I was a tenor drummer in the Northern Border Caledonia Pipe Band, and from time to time have enjoyed puttering with my dulcimer, harp, and guitar. My favorite music to play is folk music from the British Isles. And I find that when I listen to Celtic music, I envision scenes and plots and characters, and stories begin to emerge, so that is a good writer's block breaker for me.
My husband I belong to the 74th Highlanders of Foot, a group that specializes in 18th century Living History and the reenactment of battles that took place during the American Revolution.
My dream of a lifetime came true when I wrote and published a novel, The Blackbird of Kirthgarran: a mystery and love story set in eighteenth-century Scotland. My research began years ago and included trips to Scotland. Of course my dream can continue! I'm currently plotting a new historical novel.
When did I begin to love creating things?
My mom kept a scrapbook of my art work, and in it are finger paintings done when I was very small.
I used my parents' Corona portable typewriter when I could read and write; keys were not in QWERTY order and some had Spanish punctuation and accents. (Hemingway had a Corona portable!) I remember writing story after story. My mom was my role model for writing with her big typewriter, and my dad for drawing and painting. I remember longing for a "pointy" paintbrush, just like Dad's.
Much of the background material for The Blackbird of Kirthgarran was collected during my visits to Scotland. I carry many fond memories of that beautiful and haunting country, one of them being the day in Edinburgh when my husband proposed.
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