Hello! Thank you for stopping by Mind the Dog Writing Blog, a W.O.W. Network blog. My dogs and I are so happy you’re here.
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I’m a graduate of Michigan State University, where I earned my undergraduate degree in German, with a minor in English, and have been a high school English teacher since 2006. During my time in this role, I have advised the high school yearbook (2008-2013) and resurrected the high school’s literary magazine with my fellow W.O.W blogger, Thomas Brandon, as well as advised the German Club. I am also the department head/lead teacher of the English Department.
In 2013, I completed a Master’s of Liberal Studies in Arts and Culture with a concentration in Creative Writing at University of Denver, allowing me to expand my teaching role to a college-level dual enrollment course called College Composition.
My work has appeared on Lifein10minutes.com, SweatPantsandCoffe.com, Richmond.com, extramile.thehartford.com, blog.league.com, ScoutKnows.com, and MyTrendingStories.com, as well as in Mother Earth Living, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Christian Science Monitor, Cicada, and Nine Lives: A Life in Ten Minutes Anthology, among other publications. Currently, I am working on the revisions of my first novel, tentatively titled Goodbye for Now, in addition to various freelance projects. I am also taking a year-long novel-writing class at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, hoping to get a solid start on my second novel, The Experiment.
I am a member of James River Writers , Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA), and The Poetry Society or Virginia, as well as a regular participant in Life in 10 Minutes workshops. In March of 2018, I was honored when my poem, “Salem’s Indifferent Ox,” was awarded second place in the Nancy Byrd category of the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Annual Contest. The same month, VOWA awarded my story, “Rescued bird teaches lesson on where to find home” with an Excellence in Craft award: Second Place Column.
The past two years, I have worked as a juror for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I am also the new chairperson of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Collegiate Undergraduate Writing and Photo Contest, as well as a board member.
The dogs who give this blog its name have been with me through all seven (and counting, no doubt) drafts of my first novel–curling up by my side as I type away hour after hour, creating characters who sometimes seem as real to me as my own friends and family, and places inspired by my current hometown in Virginia. You will get to know my canine companions quite well if you stick with me throughout my blogging, freelance writing, and novel-writing journey; they will be featured regularly as they continue to support my writing endeavors–and remind me when it’s time for a walk, a treat, or some backyard playtime. You can get even more of their canine cuteness on my Instagram account.