Words have long been my lifeblood, and I have 25 years of experience in all aspects of the publishing world, from research to writing, editing to production. Today I counsel writers of all skill and confidence levels on the issues of craft, creativity, and publication. I believe it is the sharing of our stories that saves us: as individuals, as families, as fellow pilgrims, as corporate entities. Toward that end, I write my own story–grief over the death of my father, the first love of my life; marriage at age 40, to the second love of my life; caring for my widowed, elderly mother; battling a lousy self-image; searching for the Divine in the everyday–and lead writing workshops under the principles of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA), in which all voices are welcomed and respected. I have been a certified AWA workshop facilitator since 2005.
I received my bachelor’s degree in English from Millsaps College and my master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi. In May 2007, I realized a dream–to study theology–and was graduated from Vanderbilt University Divinity School with a master’s degree in theological studies.
In 2013, I worked as an adjunct writing professor and writer-in-residence at the Earlham School of Religion, where I had been the writing fellow some ten years earlier. I’m the co-author of Y’All Come Over, You Be Sweet, Bless Your Heart: Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time (Thomas Nelson), as well as the bestselling Cooking with Friends (Rutledge Hill Press), and I compiled and wrote the introductions for Compassion: Thoughts on Cultivating a Good Heart, Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past, Hope: It’s More Than Wishful Thinking, and Anger: Minding Your Passion, published by Fresh Air Books. I have written the “Her Spirit” column and blog for Her Nashville magazine.
My essay “The Guts to Keep Going” aired on NPR’s “This I Believe” and is included in This I Believe II : Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (Henry Holt, 2008). You can find the essay here.