Today, we are often asked to write a little something about ourselves, a bio for our various social media accounts or a job opportunity or that dating site. Constructing a short statement that encapsulates who we are is sometimes difficult. What do we put in? What do we leave out? What information can we relay that shows the world who we are, what we care about, and what we’re capable of doing.
I’ve had many different bios over the years because I’ve had lots of different jobs. I served in a restaurant for five years. Then I became a reporter, working at five TV stations, three newspapers, and three magazines in my role as a sports reporter and feature writer. I spent 20 years teaching journalism and communications in a Title I high school classroom. For four decades I officiated amateur sports, an avocation that had me calling plays in football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. And, I’ve been an author for 28 years, a time during which I’ve had five novels published.
I mention all this because now I sense I should rewrite my resume once again. But I find I’m stumped. The problem is I’ve retired from reporting and teaching and officiating. Does that mean these parts of my life no longer apply? When I see the short blurb under my Facebook picture I wonder if I’m being disingenuous. “Novelist, teacher, referee, foster mom, lover of scuba diving, rock collecting, and playing my guitar.”
Hummm? Clearly some of that is no longer technically true. I locked my classroom for the final time last year. While my white football referee hat and whistle hang in my office, I’m no longer throwing flags. (At 66, I struggle to get out of the way and don’t feel the need to get run over by stampeding players ever again.) My foster mom license has lapsed since my boys—former students who had nowhere to go—are now in their 20s, and though they still call me Mom, according to the state of Arizona my days as a mother have technically passed.
There are no issues with my being a novelist. My fifth book, The Castle, was released by TouchPoint Press on September 13, 2021. And I have another currently in the pipeline. And, of course, I will always love rock collecting and scuba diving and playing my guitar.
I suppose the question is am I still a reporter? An official? A teacher? In my heart I will always be these things. These jobs shaped who I am. My experiences in those careers color my choices every day.
So, I’m taking a poll. Must we remove jobs we had in the past just because we are now retired? Or can we hold onto those things that have made us who we are?
Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.
Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Suspense
September 13, 2021
Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—a six-hundred-year-old pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt.
One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations.
Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.
One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target.
In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all.
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