About Me

Hello! Thank you for stopping by Mind the Dog Writing Blog. My dogs and I are so happy you’re here.

What I Do

  • Write the ExploreMore column as the Outdoor Writer for Cooperative Living Magazine
  • Write community pieces as a freelance writer for The Village News
  • Create content for…
    • personal or professional blogs
    • websites
    • newsletters
    • any other publication
  • Provide editing and/or proofreading services for a variety of publication types
  • Tailor and conduct writing instruction for…
    • groups
    • businesses
    • non-profits
    • private individuals
    • professionals
  • Provide writing instruction in the following areas:
    • creative writing
    • basic e-mails and business writing
    • MLA-style research papers/academic papers
    • journalistic articles
    • nonfiction writing
    • content creation
    • blogging.

Who I Am

I’m an award-winning and widely published freelance writer, eager to hear about and help you with your project. I invite you to view my portfolio on Contently, or right here! Please contact me at MindtheDogWritingBlog@gmail.com to discuss your project and my rates. I would love to hear from and work with you!

My two sweet dogs, Sadie (left) and Jack (right), who give this blog its name, passed away in the spring of 2019 (Photo Credit: Radiant Snapshots).

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.

In 2013, I completed a Master’s of Liberal Studies in Arts and Culture with a concentration in Creative Writing at University of Denver.

My work has appeared on Lifein10minutes.com, SweatPantsandCoffee.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 revising and seeking publication of my second novel, An Expected End, in addition to various freelance projects.

My current pack, pictured here in November 2019, consists of my husband and the Littles, Nacho (left) and Soda (right) (Photo CreditRadiant Snapshots).

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 May 2019, my poem “Running Eulogy” was awarded second place in the Miriam Rachimi category of the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Annual Contest. A year before, I was honored when my poem, “Salem’s Indifferent Ox,” was awarded second place in the Nancy Byrd category of the same contest.  In March 2018, VOWA awarded my story, “Rescued bird teaches lesson on where to find home,” with an Excellence in Craft award: Second Place Column. In March 2019, my story “In the Alaskan Bush” was awarded first-place column in the VOWA Excellence in Craft Contest. In December 2019, an essay I wrote and submitted to the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Grant Campaign earned $5,000 for the Richmond SPCA. Last spring, my essay, “My Return to Mountain Biking,” earned first place in the 18+ category of the Sports Backers Bike Walk RVA Bike Month Creative Writing Contest. Most recently, mt poem, “April,” was recognized with an honorable mention in the Ada Sanderson Memorial category of the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Annual Poetry Contest.

The past three years, I have worked as a juror for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I am also the former chairperson of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Collegiate Undergraduate Writing and Photo Contest, as well as a current board member.

My pack, as it was in June 2018 (Photo Credit: Radiant Snapshots)

The dogs who give this blog its name stuck with me through all dozen drafts of my first novel–curling up by my side as I typed 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.

15 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I read your”My Life” column in the paper today.
    Wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it.
    I always try to thank veterans for their service when I come in contact with them.
    I was in the National Guard back in the 70’s and I remember how all service people were treated very badly.
    Jim Briinkley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr. Brinkley,
      I so appreciate your service, and your kind comment here regarding my column in today’s paper. You really cannot imagine what both mean to me. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my piece, but also to find me here and comment. I know a little of how service people were treated in that time period from various pieces I have read (one of my favorite being Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried), as well as from stories I have heard about my great uncle, who was drafted during Vietnam.


  2. I have read your column 3 times over the course of the day. It truly touched me, and got me to realize how many times these opportunities to show gratitude to veterans, and others who have needs, simply pass me by without stopping and acting. Thank you for your honest and fresh writing, and your actions, that has stirred my soul this day.
    Rob McClintock

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr. McClintock,
      I cannot tell you how much your sweet comment has touched me. Truly, it reinforces my reason to write–to reach and to touch others. I feel humbled and honored and thrilled to know that I have achieved this with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my piece, as well as to reach out to me here.


      1. Last year, during the late summer, NPR did a piece about the “sounds where you live.” It was something like, “Daybreak Where you Are…” Something like that. Listeners sent in soundbites. It was pretty cool!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. A week or two ago I was walking my dogs and a young boy told me he liked them. I said, “Thank you. So do I!” and he started cracking up. Your response, “I agree!”, reminds me of that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Read your article in the Richmond Times Dispatch Sunday ! Loved it , I felt just reading it calmed me down . Thinking about getting me a hammock . You have it all together with what counts . GOD bless you . Peg Narron Hardin


    1. Hi, Peg. Thank you so much for your comment here. You have no idea how much kind words from readers like you mean to me. I hope you’ll get yourself that hammock!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s