About Me



            I don’t recall a time when I didn’t love books; a time when they weren’t part of my life. Pat Conroy wrote in My Reading Life, “My attraction to story is a ceaseless current that runs through the center of me.” I highly concur. I love the smell of the pages – no digital reader for me. I love the feel of the weight of the book in my hand. Studying the cover images. Reading every word on the dust jacket – front, back, and both flaps. I love browsing in a bookstore and perusing my book club monthly catalog to discover new treasures. I suppose I would rather receive a book for a gift than a diamond - which I do find lovely, but, of course, the jewel could always be sold to buy more books!
            My abiding love of reading began with my mother reading to me on her lap when I was just old enough to hold my head up. My grandmother, Muzzie, cajoled me to eat by placing a book on my high chair as she spooned food into my mouth. I had an extensive home library at my disposal by the time I reached elementary school. Still, I was sad the first time a Scholastic catalog was handed out at school, and my classmates all ordered books, but my Mama didn’t order any for me. With the next catalog, she rectified the situation. From the Third through the Sixth grades, I attended a private elementary school located across from our Public Library. Every two weeks, our teacher would take us across the parking lot, down through a wooded ravine, and across the street to that depository of bound delights. At that time, I loved biographies of historic figures and vowed to read every one in the age appropriate section where we were allowed to browse. But the books that I loved the most came from a bookstore at our local mall. That’s where I found the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Little House in the Big Woods is still my favorite book. I vowed to name my little girl, Laura, one day. And years later,  I held my Laura in my arms for the first time in a hospital delivery room. My daughter’s room is now filled with many of the books I enjoyed as a child, after first passing through my son’s appreciative hands.
            Writing has always been another pleasure of mine. I secretly dreamed of walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on display. I received A’s on writing assignments throughout school. “Best in Class” was frequently flourished across my papers. I wrote briefly for my college newspaper before turning to other extracurricular pursuits. After college, writing mainly consisted of crafting “To-Do” and grocery lists, but reading and the dream of writing my book remained. I returned to school to earn my M.A. in history following a divorce and rediscovered the pleasure of putting words on paper. My grad work culminated with First Place in the Graduate Division in the Caldwell Paper Competition – an award given by the Texas State Historical Society for the best papers on topics in Texas History. I wrote about the electric train that ran from Houston to Galveston in the early 1900’s and received a certificate suitable for framing along with a most-appreciated cash prize.
            With my degree in hand, finally, a moment of inspiration collided with the gift of time to write. What was I waiting for? I decided to write my book. And as I began writing my book, the floodgates opened and so many ideas of things I want to write about have poured out. So, I started this blog to share personal stories about my life as a daughter of the South. My hope is that, even if you haven't shared some of the same memories, the truths of the observations will touch your heart, stir your emotions, and give you something pleasant to think about.
            And now for some of the particulars of my life. I'm a native of Birmingham, Alabama and will always be an Alabama girl! I grew up in the suburb of Vestavia Hills on top of Shades Mountain. The mountains and woods of my hometown hold precious memories for me. I will always love a lofty view and a tree ablaze with Fall color. I'm an only child of two only children. I attended Ascension Episcopal Day School, then Southminster Presbyterian School, and then graduated from Briarwood Christian School. I earned my undergraduate degree in Paralegal Studies with a concentration in Business from Samford University. Following graduation, I worked for a law firm, married, worked for my father, moved to Houston, and gave birth to my two, wonderful children: Davis and Laura. Following my divorce, I returned to graduate school at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and earned my Master of Arts degree in History with a concentration in American History. I'm employed at the University. I blog (which you've found), write free-lance articles for magazines and websites, and am completing the re-writes of my first novel of historical fiction. Besides a good book and sweet tea, I love a crackling fire, historical markers, music, cats, a mountain-top view, the beaches along the Alabama Gulf Coast, anything cozy, Auburn football (War Eagle!), museums, cooking (and eating), and learning new things and going new places.
           I also love hearing from readers, so please let me know if you enjoy a post, have a story to share of your own, or just want to say "Hey!"
And, as always, I wish that your tea be sweet and your cotton high!

 


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