Writing is like breathing for me.

That wasn’t always the case.

When I was five, the landlord of our tiny apartment asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without blinking, I said, “An actor.” There was nothing glamorous about that choice. It was just what I had to do.

Since my parents disapproved for practical reasons, I threatened to become a lawyer or an economist. Such pronouncements proved to be short lived. Always a diligent student, by the time College rolled around, my family resigned themselves to my acting bug, as long as I still scored “A”s on my mountainous pile of term papers.

I later realized that my love of writing was as fierce as my love of acting. How could I have forgotten authoring a play at age eleven that was performed before our entire school assembly? It was called “Invitation To Death.” A real potboiler!

25 Years Later

Almost twenty-five years later, my teacher and mentor, Julie Ariola, insisted I write a one-person show. I wound up writing several that I performed over a period of years in Los Angeles theatres. Via our long and fruitful association, Julie never failed to remind me of my second love, always encouraging me to speak my truth, be in my excellence and as she put it, “Dare you the courage to be all of who you are.”

My book, Dirty Words on Clean Skin, got its start in one of her workshops.

Moved to action by the biased media coverage of the 2008 election and the disgusting verbiage aimed at women in general and Hillary Clinton in particular, the bile rose in my throat from such a deep place, I could no longer keep silent. After a life spent wearing masks while speaking someone else’s words, I needed to stand up for my own.

Despite my hunger to be heard, I feared this metamorphosis. After several years of research and no small amount of foot dragging, the loving (cattle) prods of my dear husband David and best friend Elisa provided the final push I needed to get Dirty Words on Clean Skin published. It is the accomplishment I am most proud of and has become the adventure of my life. The book can best be described as creative non-fiction, the memoir of an embedded citizen journalist. I never expected to grow such an empowered voice, or to be so forthright not only as an author, but as a blogger and speaker.

See what Julie started? She dared me, all right. She taught me to dare myself.

I’ve just completed work on my second book, a memoir navigating the indignities of elder care as a mother and daughter work to resolve their volatile relationship. Please be on the lookout for it!

You Ruined My Life and You Stole My Bra - A Mother/Daughter Love Story

Look’a me! I’m writing and I can’t shut up!

Wrapping It Up

I began this essay to tell you a little bit about why I write and it turned out to be a testimonial to my favorite teacher. That is the ultimate beauty of the written word. You start the process, knowing the road you set out on may not be where you wind up.

I’m grateful to you for joining me on this journey. I’m thrilled with my new website and hope that as I grow into it and share more content with each of you, you will share your thoughts and grow with me. Thanks for your interest in my writing and for joining the conversation.

And thank you, Julie, always, for daring me…