Extended Biography

When I worked in corporate America, I used to keep a page from an old Zen calendar out on my desk for all to see. It said “success is being able to live your life in your own way.” Each morning, after wading through thirty miles of rush hour traffic to sit down with the cup of coffee I desperately needed to face my day, I looked at that page. And every day I was haunted by the recurring thought that if I could live however I wanted, I wouldn’t be where I was.

It wasn’t so different a feeling than being a senior in high school, back in the eighties, when the question what shall I be? loomed large. Back when I graduated high school, everyone told me what I should do: they said I should go into art. I gave it some thought, and decided that I really couldn’t picture my future. I reasoned that in the absence of some profound vision, I should do something I loved and art seemed the most obvious choice.

I went off to college, did honors work in English, and came away with a BFA. I followed my college sweetheart to a new, bigger city, and struck out pell mell in hopes of making enough to stay warm and well fed, working for small businesses doing layout, paste-up, typesetting, and proofreading. Within a few years, I was freelancing for the city’s most prestigious company, doing project management, design and illustration.

Then I decided to get married and start a family, so I followed my man into his profession, helping him start and run a general contracting business. Building and remodeling was a lot like art, and if I didn’t have a good grip on communicating project scopes, deadlines, and contracts when I went in I sure did when I came out. I soon found that even when you plan things and do your best things can still go wrong. In the years that followed, the business grew and flourished: the marriage didn’t.

By that time, I had a baby daughter, so I fled to the safe confines of corporate America. In so doing, I learned even more about business: and business writing. I worked in a variety of industries, from chemical and pharmaceutical to material handling and logistics. I did training manuals and process documentation because I thought it was fun. But beyond that, there was little room for creativity.

Today, I’m on my own again and starting another business. Not just because it’s still the best way to get wealthy, but because I measure wealth differently today. Success really is being able to live freely. I have time to be a mother, time to be creative, time to breathe and think and not pass out from the rush and the stress. I wake up with work to do that doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy it, which makes my work even better.

Editing and proofreading allow me to read a wide variety of material with the purpose of bringing it closer to perfection. Writing and illustrating give me the chance to be creative. I bought my first Mac recently, and I’m gathering all the programs and expertise I need to offer full-service freelance support to my clients (read that low introductory rates). The plan is to make life easier for everyone while satisfying my own need for beauty and order. Today, I have all the tools at my disposal to communicate ideas to the world. So whether they’re your ideas or mine, it doesn’t matter: The joy is in the process.