The Short Version
I was born in Montana in 1973. My mother had a daughter from a previous marriage, so I had a big sister, and shortly after I was born, my mother and father split in a not so amicable way. I have had no contact with him since.
We moved around a lot. My mother remarried in 1978 and we moved to the Buffalo River in Northwest Arkansas, where my stepdad was a National Forest Ranger. That time on the river shaped me in ways I would only come to understand in recent years and has fueled my love for, and reverence of rivers in particular and wild life in general.
In 1981, my mother and step father divorced and so began a rough period of isolation and instability. I attended eleven different schools by the seventh grade. In third grade they flagged me as “talented and gifted”, by the sixth grade things had gotten so bad I flunked out. Soon after, my mother made a desperate call to some distant relatives asking if they could take me in until she could get back on her feet. It was that or the Texas State Child Welfare Department. Thankfully, the distant relatives agreed to take me in and soon I was an unaccompanied minor on a plane flying from Dallas to San Diego.
My distant relatives turned out to be guardian angels. Caring for me, loving me, and guiding me as if I was one of their own. Their home was an oasis for me, so much so that two weeks into my repeat of sixth grade, the school evaluated me and moved me back up to seventh grade where I belonged. I only lived full time in San Diego for about six months, however I would spend the rest of my summers throughout junior high and high school there, and I moved permanently to California two weeks after high school graduation.
For three years I worked various jobs. First as a receptionist for a bankruptcy and corporate law firm, then as a waitress at an Italian restaurant near the beach, and finally as a barista at The Mission Cafe in Mission Beach. I rented my first place, had my first boyfriend and broken heart, started community college and generally sowed some oats.
When I was twenty, I met the man who would one day become my husband and the father to our son at the 1994 MTV Spring Break. I was making extra money as a candy and cigarette girl, and his band, the Cadillac Tramps were playing Riki Rachtman's beer tent, and the rest was history!
Since that time I have learned to sing, to write songs, to record albums, to perform, to run a small business, to be a mother, a wife, a filmmaker and now a novelist.
The journey has been full of wonder and creation, ups and downs, success and failure, the most amazing friends, band mates and collaborators you can imagine, and lots of adventure and love.
I am sincerely looking forward to what the next twenty-five years of creativity has to offer and I hope you will come along with me for at least some of the journey!