A brief bio

Hitting the big 5-0 this year makes me want to back into this bio, yet I can mark phases of my life by writers I have loved, from the time I first memorized ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at age 3 to my recent absorption last week in Geneen Roth’s Women, Food and God, a book that helps me in my journey with Weight Watchers, embracing fitness and health.

So first, my identity today: I am a lesbian, grad student, professional business journalist at a midsized community daily and online portal, and singer-songwriter-guitarist with two CDs to her credit. I am a single woman blessed with wonderful friends and family. I am an aunt to a niece and two nephews, and own two devilish male cats, one of whom likes to take salad forks from the kitchen sink and drop them in the living room.

Only a few short years ago, in 2004 and 2006, I lost my mom and dad respectively, yet was with them in their last moments on this earth, a special bond and experience that shapes me as a human being. Only after they passed did my musical aptitude really surface, even though I’d been playing guitar since age 10. Superegos and authority figures have had their way with me. Yet I have a playful side, reveling anytime I whoop someone in Scrabble or get to play a song for my seven-year-old niece, her eyes wide as saucers and her attention flattering and genuine.

In my days as a daily copy editor, managing editor and weekly news reporter, I absorbed the lyrics and music of Melissa Etheridge, the Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell, but I also studied the writings of my weekly newspaper editor, a gifted columnist, and came to revere E.B. White, and cherish his essays.

In college and high school I loved French literature and Edward Albee and Janis Ian. Still do. Well not the French so much, I’ve fallen out of practice. In third and fourth grade, I was all about Keats and Shelley, who were later replaced by Shakespeare and Rimbaud and Mark Strand and Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton and too many amazing poets to count.

I am also shaped by the broken leg that at age 9 turned me into an immobile, voracious reader, and the pericardial cyst on the lining of my heart at age 42 that required a will in advance of major surgery (just in case, since I had just bought a house in my little seaside city). That experience left me with a gratitude I hope never wanes. I am also a practicing Catholic despite the church’s repression of gays, and am close to clergy who are quite supportive.

I was born the day JFK was elected president. I like to think my journalistic contributions have made my birth, like Kennedy’s election, good for America. Or at least good for something. I have a fierce need to be good for something. With any luck, this blog about the usability of web sites will prove good for something, for some one besides me.

6 thoughts on “A brief bio

  1. I am hunbled by your comments and close read, not just on the bio, but on me. You’ve put your finger on a few things I didn’t: devotion, regret. Will try and filter that for bio re-write.

  2. rdkalm

    This is my kind of bio.

    We are teetering on the edge of sketch, but the information is so genuine, we’ll allow it, won’t we? She could do it in half the words if forced.

    User is not arrogant, she just knows herself. Not only can she express the information, but also it is information. Remember, I said the universal is in the specifics? She is honest with us in both her stumbles and her favorites. We know her prejudices and trust her more.

    The only criticism I really have, she has already tackled. How much better would this entire work flow if it ended with her new commitment to a songwriting blog? Then the story is advancing right? The injury that became devotion, the years spent with words and poets, the regret about her parents and her musical aptitude – all lead to something.

    The bio becomes a conviction. Who doesn’t want to read her lyrics now?

  3. I am glad you feel a connection. That’s what it’s all about! I don’t have another blog and haven’t written columns in a couple years for various reasons. I am a daily news reporter but do want to keep that identity to myself for now. I look forward to developing this blog and seeing where it goes, and perhaps if I can sustain it beyond our class!

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