I was born near Chicago, specifically Joliet, Illinois, the fourth of eleven children
The sound of many voices, always talking, gave me a natural flair for dialogue, not to mention a fascination with the dynamics between people. From Illinois to New York City, to southern California, then Sonoma County at the height of the explosive late 60's. I began working as a journalist shortly after I emigrated to Canada in 1970.
In addition to my newspaper job, I wrote features for newspaper syndicates and acted as a stringer for TIME magazine on the Berger Inquiry. I also began writing fiction, the stories that were collected in my first book, Suburbs of the Arctic Circle.
To Galiano Island, then Vancouver. Out of journalism into free-lancing. The desperation point ... forty bucks to write flyer copy for a carpet cleaner. But I had a daughter (Elisabeth) to support. The intensity of documentary filmmaking, mostly for the National Film Board of Canada.
Then I slipped into report writing for various environmental consultants. (Standing on the top of Elephant Ridge, beyond shouting distance from the helicopter pilot and two wildlife biologists. Three caribou hoofing through the pristine snow directly towards me on their way across the ridge.)
Despite one major and two smaller Canada Council grants and two B.C. Arts awards, the birth of my second daughter (Annie) impelled me to create more financial stability in my life and I turned to teaching. Short fiction classes through Simon Fraser University's Writing and Publishing program, random workshops, including one on documentary film research and writing at the Northwest Film and Video Center in Portland, Oregon; short fiction at the Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt, B.C.
Then a long stint as Chair of Creative Writing at Douglas College where I taught fiction, playwriting and personal narrative classes until 2008.
Now in Grantham’s Landing, near Gibsons, B.C. for part of the year, and part in Quebec City, I continue to write novels and plays. I am a member of PEN Canada, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada, also the Playwright's Theatre Centre, Vancouver.