I was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, because my hometown of Belpre, Ohio, didn’t have a hospital. So . . . am I a native of West Virginia or Ohio? It depends on who wants to know.
Early years were spent migrating between Ohio, my mother’s home state; West Virginia, my father’s home state; and Florida, possibly nobody’s home state, but, rather, a place people go when they’re tired of everywhere else. In fact, my family moved so often—18 times before I finished sixth grade—that some people suspected we were running from the law.
I left home at 14, finished high school at 16, and enlisted in the Air Force at 18, graduating with honors from the USAF Schools of Electronics and Instrumentation. I spent the next three years in Colorado repairing ground and airborne telemetry training stations. As the first female member of what had been an all-male shop for over twenty years—and having grown up with five sisters and no brothers—I found myself in an unfamiliar environment, one which consisted solely of MEN. I quickly adapted, however, learning to swear, smoke cigars and play poker as well as any swearing, cigar-smoking, poker-playing man. I also learned how to pull a car’s distributor, adjust the float in the carburetor, and replace the brake shoes, engine seal, points, plugs and various other items in order to keep my old car running.
I’ve attended six colleges and universities, majoring in Chemistry, English and Psychology, while working full time at various jobs—some of which I’m quite certain I do not want to repeat. Among those are short-order fry cook, waitress in a topless bar, model, aluminum porch & screen installer, convenience food store manager, and bikini-clad gas pump attendant.
These days I work as Senior Administrator and Database Administrator for a software systems and services company. I also take care of my house (as little as possible), my yard (not much at all–that’s what those lawn maintenance companies are for), and my four cats (constantly, because they demand it).
Oh, and yeah, I write.