About Me

28 July 2013

I finally decided an update was in order. The two novels I originally talked about have been shelved, at least for the foreseeable future. They just aren’t good enough for publication, no matter how much I love them as-is. Now, a new character has sneaked up on me and has pulled my writing in another direction. And she’s challenging me to write a real novel that grabs readers beyond this audience of one. Can I do it? That remains to be seen. But the journey continues.

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I was born and raised in northern Illinois, not far from Chicago, but just beyond the suburbs and thus far enough away to be considered “downstate” (or “corn country”) by people in that city. I led a fairly typical Midwestern life until a job opportunity for my husband brought us to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, in 2005.

Wow, what a change that was! I never dreamed I’d love the city so much. And I never would’ve imagined the creative spark that followed. But here I am, working on two novels and their sequels.

By part-time day, I’m an archaeologist and planner with an engineering and environmental firm. By evening (and part-time day), my behind is in a chair and I’m working on those novels. Someday (sooner rather than later), I hope to update this page to reflect their publication.

31 October 2011

138 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I grew up in the DC area. Loved it! The history, people and events, all spark something in me. Keep up the great work.

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  2. Thank you so much, Leila! I’ve just had some of those magically appearing deadlines at work, so I need to catch my breath and find some time to focus on blogs – not just mine, but the great ones I follow like yours!

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  3. Hi JM, I just wanted to stop by and say how much I love your blog—especially your posts on adverbs. Keep working hard on your novels. One day you’ll get there!

    Kate aka 4amWriter aka LimebirdKate :)

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    • Thanks, Kate, that is so nice to hear! Silly me, I didn’t make the connection between your two personae! I’ve just added your 4amWriter blog to the ones I follow.

      It is so nice to connect with fellow writers who are so supportive and understand what the journey is like!

      Day job is calling, but I’ll be spending some time on your blog soon. And keep up the great work with Limebird — it’s amazing to see how quickly you’ve all struck such a chord with the bloggers on WordPress!

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  4. i’d enjoy hearing you play Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude…(read on Sally Panayiotou’s space)…

    David in Maine USA

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  5. Re-reading your ‘about me’ – so what do you think of the middle atlantic states now? do you take short road trips now and then? interesting cities and towns, chesapeake bay, blue ridge mountains – even zip over to ocean city and play in the atlantic. there must be certain foods you’ve never seen in the northern mid-west too.

    I love the Northeast (New England), and the Southeast, but will never forget – Maryland, My Maryland! Those surrounding states are interesting too.

    Oh, where is the location of your novel take place? Or is it a special place, one found deep within your mind?

    it has been a while since i’ve kicked around there, but see it all again, as i write.

    I always stayed in Vandalia, while going to and from New England and Oklahoma.

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    • i just read Northern Virginia – beautiful location for a novel, but you may be various states, national, or international locations too… I’ll just have to wait until you publish!

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      • “Death Out of Time” is set mainly in the fictional suburb of “Langley Heights.” And Madeleine teaches at a fictional university in Arlington. Her adventure begins in a cemetery in “once-rural northern Virginia,” more specifically in Loudoun County. I bet you can get a good idea of its “real world” setting from that description!

        “Summer at the Crossroads” takes place mainly in DC, although we see Katharine at work in Guatemala and have important characters from Russia and Yugoslavia (still intact in that particular universe).

        Working away at the rewrites and will hopefully get the traditional print deal. If not, I’ll epublish : )

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    • We still love the area. It’s so different from Illinois and Wisconsin. My husband grew up on Lake Michigan, so he’s used to large bodies of water nearby. But as noted above, I grew up in corn country. We don’t see any farm fields on the normal commute out here.

      We’re in Montgomery County, so there’s a little rolling topography; we’re at the very first steps of the foothills to the Appalachians. Even that is so different from the flat prairies of Illinois.

      Lots of trips to DC, but also to historic sites in Virginia and Pennsylvania (Revolutionary and Civil War) and wineries, too. We’re not far from the C&O Canal, so we can take nice hikes along it whenever we feel like it.

      It’s nice to visit family and friends back in the Midwest, but this area has really taken hold of me.

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      • i lived in the northern part of the state, so close to Pennsylvania, my brother was born in Gettysburg. if you want to see truck farms, cross the bay – you’ll see vegetables growing as far as you can see!

        i can see why you enjoy the area!

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    • One book is science fiction and the other is mainstream/general fiction. There are a lot of really supportive writers here at WordPress. If you look at the links on the left side of my blog, you’ll find a number of them. Hope your writing is going well!

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  6. Hi, We have similar interests; writing and archaeology. Visit my blog if you like. I post every other day. http://waldotomosky.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/introduction-to-a-private-archaeology-on-a-public-blog/
    I would post every day but I have three other blogs going at the same time, some of which I post every day.
    http://whoopiebrain.wordpress.com/ (Odds and ends; my junk drawer)
    http://adirondackimages.wordpress.com/ (150 yr. old images and tales from Adirondacks)
    http://adirondackmountains.wordpress.com/ (My short stories that I am just starting to pull from Amazon and post here for free).
    Thanks for sharing your blog

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    • Hi, Wally, nice to meet you. I do plan to do some posts that are more archaeologically oriented from time to time, so I hope you’ll stick around for those. My main focus in the blog is the novels, which I never realized were in me. But they feature archaeologists as protagonists, which I hope people will find entertaining!

      I’m looking forward to visiting your sites, too. Much of what I see in the day job these days is historical archaeology. That’s fine, since I really find it interesting to compare the archaeology with the written record.

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      • Thanks for the nice reply. I will stick with you. I admire your ability to write novels. I cannot bet beyond the short story. Maybe it is because Jorge Luis Borges is my inspiration. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

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  7. Hi! I haven’t done my awards ceremony yet, but I too was nominated by Ms. Katykins for the ABC Award and was happy to see that she nominated you as well. Love your blog!

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    • Thanks, Robin! I’m glad I’ve found yours, too! I think we’ve got a great corner of the blogosphere over here. The support and encouragement I see everyday is amazing. Wish I could see that everywhere in the world. Maybe someday.

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  8. Hello my friend,
    I like your writing up here. I think if you keep doing what you’re doing now, you will have good future. So keep it up my friend! :-)
    I have a joyful ride in your blog, and now I’d like to invite you to visit mine. Thank you and have a wonderful day, my friend! :-)
    Subhan Zein

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