I’m a bit of a nerd, if it’s possible to be only a bit of one. At any rate, in my writing you’ll find some nerd candy. Also some sarcasm dished out drily but not too often. Most of the time you’ll see me striving for compassion. And honesty.
That last—honesty—is part of my cultural heritage. In the strong Dutch American immigrant culture of my upbringing, expression is all about pointedness. Or bluntness—take your pick. Layer on top of that my missionary parents who insisted on honesty to a fault. A former supervisor told me once that I was the most honest person she knew.
Then there’s another layer–being a stranger in a strange land—a white girl growing up from age three in the Navajo Nation. That taught me to observe before I engage when I find myself in a new situation. I am definitely a mixed bag.
People who grow up in a culture that’s different from the home culture are sometimes known as Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs). Restlessness is one of our qualities. So by the time I was 57, I had moved house 64 times, lived on three continents, in four countries, and 17 cities or communities. A few of the more interesting places I’ve settled into temporarily (always temporarily) are Copenhagen, Denmark; Kaitaia, New Zealand; Teec Nos Pos, Arizona; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Gallup, Cuba, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. I indulged my restlessness once again when I took my book To Drink from the Silver Cup on the road in a van I christened "Anna's Bookmobile." And I'm currently outfitting a Toyota RAV4 as my tiny home with plans to explore–particularly out-of-the-way places in my home state of New Mexico.
As for work, I’ve been a teacher, a professor, a counselor, an operating room technician, a housecleaner, a researcher, a supermarket cashier, and a hospice worker. I’ve been practicing my true love, being a full-time writer, since 2010. I knew from the time I was eight years old that I was a writer, and it seems as if I've always been writing and learning about writing and sometimes teaching others to write. I'm especially good at helping other writers who have difficulty with motivation and the discipline required for writing and getting published. I've had several essays published in literary journals (see"Works") and Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living–a biography of the Holocaust survivor and author of Man's Search for Meaning. Signed copies of my spiritual journey memoir, To Drink from the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond (Terra Nova Books, 2016), are available directly from me by clicking on the link below. Otherwise, I encourage you to order the book from your local, independent bookstore. It is also available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My day jobs have also involved writing–innovative curriculum, grant proposals, and articles about education, and teaching writing at college, high school and post-college levels.
One of the best parts of my life is a person—my daughter Cheyenne. She’s a librarian, a career I enjoy vicariously, and works as the Archival Manager at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa.