I grew up in Palatine, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, the second of four daughters to loving parents, Trudi and Bill, who provided me with an idyllic childhood. While attending Southern Illinois University as an English Lit major, I was also a member of the Famous Writer’s School of Westport, Connecticut, a correspondence school whose faculty included Rod Serling, Bennett Cerf, Max Shulman, and Faith Baldwin. After my junior year and two months abroad, I married my college sweetheart and started working for IBM in the Chicago area.
At the age of 39, I found myself divorced and single parenting. Eventually, with my children grown, I sold my share of the exhibit business and spent my time traveling and writing, just like I’d imagined so many years before. After a devastating 2004 tsunami hit Thailand, I wanted to go there to help. I checked with several organizations and they said what they really needed was money not more people. It was then I decided to merge my desire to follow Shirley’s Peruvian journey of self-discovery with my need to volunteer. I found a New York City based group called Cross Cultural Solutions to facilitate my adventure. In the spring of 2005, I made it happen.
When I returned, I began writing Unliving the Dream. I still live in Portland, still love to travel and spend time with my family, and look forward to life’s next divine lesson.
Things are darn near perfect for Alex Fischer: she runs a successful business with the love of her life, her husband and the father of her two great kids. She’s managed to sail through nearly forty years without so much as a hiccup. That is, until the night her husband announces he would like to make a change—a change that has apparently been going on for months without Alex’s knowledge. Yes, he has been having an affair with Alex's assistant. Suddenly Alex is bouncing through divorce, through her daughter’s subsequent rebellion, and through the big questions of who she really is and what she wants in life. No longer living the dream, Alex uses her calm logic, internal dialogue, and sizzling wit—not to mention her friends—to turn the shock of a lifetime into an adventure of self-discovery that takes her from the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea to the Utah wilderness and along the impoverished streets of Peru. In this universal tale, told through Vischer's unique voice, Alex finds that no one escapes unscathed—but we can all have a good laugh and some major personal growth along the way. A humorous, compassionate, and honest look at how the worst time in one’s life ultimately leads to unexpected fulfillment and authenticity.