After a successful career in aerospace engineering for over twenty years—both in technical and leadership roles—my primary focus is now on writing.
My personal story—which includes surviving poverty and being a teen mom—provides the inspiration for my work as a writer.
I am number eight of nine kids and from a holler in West Virginia. Going hungry is one aspect of growing up in poverty and something that taught my brothers and sisters and me how to overcome adversity and develop resilience. One thing I’ve learned, though, is that resilience isn’t necessarily about “toughing it out” so much as it is about tapping into your spirit. Spiritual energy runs through our veins; it’s the life force that sustains us during hardship and lights us up on the other side of it. It’s when I have forgotten or ignored my spirit, my resilience, that I’ve suffered longer and harder than I needed to. My aim is to help others remember, and draw on, their own resilience—their own spiritual energy—through my work as an author, teacher and speaker.
I am an award-winning author with three books and one anthology:
- Glowing Houses: A Memoir, was awarded 2nd place in the 2015 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest in the nonfiction/memoir category. My manuscript is complete (~86,000 words). I have a full proposal that includes the following: table of contents; chapter-by-chapter outline; synopsis; competitive titles; marketing plan; full bio; and three sample chapters. My blog post, What’s Your Memoir About, provides a piece of the synopsis.
- My essay, By the Grace of God, I Write Memoir, is included in The Magic of Memoir anthology (She Writes Press, November, 2106). The Magic of Memoir is a memoirist’s companion for when the going gets tough. I am one of 38 writers who share hard-won wisdom, stories, and writing tips. Editors Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner have taught and coached hundreds of memoirists to the completion of their memoirs, and they know that the journey is fraught with belittling messages from both the inner critic and naysayers, voices that make it hard to stay on course with the writing and completion of a book. Included are Myers’s and Warner’s interviews with best-selling and widely renown memoirists Mary Karr, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Azar Nafisi, Dani Shapiro, Margo Jefferson, Raquel Cepeda, Jessica Valenti, Daisy Hernández, Mark Matousek, and Sue William Silverman. This collection has something for anyone who’s on the journey or about to embark on it. If you’re looking for inspiration, The Magic of Memoir will be a valuable companion.
- The Eight Aspects of God: A Pathway to Bliss, is a treatise on spiritual living encapsulated into a short and easy-to-read volume. Each sentence is full of wisdom and practical information you can apply to your life today, right this second. It was named a Finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
- Trinity of Truth: How to Build Resilience by Integrating Mind, Body and Spirit, is a work in progress and is an expansion of the above (The Eight Aspects of God) book. The book is a hybrid; blending memoir and self-help. My manuscript is 60 percent complete.
I am a writer for the online magazine Contemplative Journal. These monthly articles provide information on the benefits of meditation and contemplation as related to The Eight Aspects of God and the body’s seven major energy centers.
As a columnist for New Spirit Journal (November 2011 through July 2013), I wrote a monthly column titled “Chakra Talk” where I offered readers self-healing strategies based on the principles of yoga, meditation, and energy medicine.
In addition to writing, I teach yoga, meditation and breathing exercises specifically designed to help reduce stress and inflammation in the body. In 1996, I learned about adaptive sports and started my work as a volunteer ski instructor with Outdoors for All where I get to help people with disabilities learn how to ski and enjoy the rewards of being outside.
I feel fortunate to live near my daughter—the greatest blessing in my life. And I love hanging out with my grandsons, Henry and Oliver, as much as possible—teaching them how to ski, ride a bicycle, throw a Frisbee, grow tomatoes (and eat them fresh off the vine) and sometimes a little yoga. I feel blessed beyond measure for the joy these boys bring to my husband and me.
When not writing or teaching I enjoy inventing stuff. I am the founder of HenOli Products, LLC with several (patent pending) products.In addition to being a published author, I am a certified meditation teacher and registered yoga instructor (RYT®) with the Yoga Alliance®, certified ski instructor with PSIA (including mono-ski and bi-ski Adaptive Cert) and hold CPR/First Aid/AED and Wilderness First Aid certifications.