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.