Avid readers make the best writers.

I started writing stories in grade school, newsletters and narratives for nutritional posters for grade school children, I helped students write their term paper for a bottle of chocolate milk. I also wrote poetry when my kids were small.

After awhile, I finally got brave enough to actually show people what I had written.

Because of my love of reading, I practiced writing my own short stories in a monthly newsletter. Teachers gave me positive encouragement about my writing to keep me going when I would hit a block.

Wrote nutrition posters & flyers for the government.

I am a retired community college instructor who taught on an open campus for several years before transferring to teach inside Washington state prisons. During my 18-year career teaching inside, I developed parenting, family relationships and social responsibility curriculum specific to the needs of incarcerated students. One of my published works, Parenting From a Distance: Your Rights and Responsibilities, is about to go into its fourth edition.

I believe good writers are avid readers. You learn a lot about the kind of writing you'd like to do by analyzing the books you like to read!

More About Me:

~ Author of 12 published books, 10 still in print.

~ Author of several articles and short stories published in professional journals and literary magazines.

~ Publisher and Editor at Plicata Press LLC.

~ Teacher, community colleges and inside prisons, 25 years.

~ Speaker at numerous professional conferences, both correctional education and writers’ forums.

~ Director and Co-Director of writers’ workshops

~ Recipient of Washington Reads award from the state librarian for two works – Dancing to the Concertina’s Tune: A Prison Teacher’s Memoir, and YA novel An Inmate’s Daughter.

~ Recipient of Pierce College Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service for Correctional Education, Tacoma Community College Award of Appreciation for Dedicated Compassion for Students, and Washington State Correctional Education Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Correctional Education.

I am a strong proponent of the lecture/discussion method of teaching. It was an important part of my success with helping incarcerated students reach out to their families and prepare for their release and reintegration into their communities.

I believe we all learn more when we interact with others, listen to feedback and pay attention to personal critique.

About my stories:

Characters and me ~ always near the sea…

There’s something about salt water, changing tides and the people who survive and thrive in these settings that speaks to my soul. I grew up on Puget Sound and learned to swim in its chilly water. Low tide meant taking careful steps over broken shells, barnacles and slippery seaweed to ease into a swim. It also meant raking little neck clams and digging geoducks. High tide, especially when it coincided with a full moon, could mean storms, battered docks and shore erosion.

All my novels are set near salt water. All my characters are influenced by the sea. My major nonfiction work, written as a paean to prison education and memoir of an unusual career, takes readers inside an island prison. Every offender housed there looked across the sea to the mainland and dreamed of the boat ride that would set him free. Every correctional employee’s commute included a ferry crossing, docks and floats, ramps and ropes.

Imagine what life will be like when someone says,"loved your story!"


What i Do...


teach writing

I’ve made writing part of every course I taught. Assignments in the parenting book I wrote and other curriculum included personal activities as “Writing to Clarify Thinking.” All included prompts to Write From Life.


edit other's work

I own a publishing business, Plicata Press, and have 16 authors whose works I have edited and helped publish.


Coach you for publication

If you’re interested in publishing your work, I can share years of experience and guide you to sources that will help you search for markets. There are many print and online magazines and journals looking for stories. That’s a good place to start.


Grab The "Intro to Writing From Life" & Checklist to get started writing YOUR story!


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