I live in Duluth, Minnesota, near the big lake. Cresting the hill on Piedmont Avenue on the way down to St. Louis Bay, 800 feet below, I am never disappointed. F16’s thunder skyward from the airbase like clockwork in the morning and sunsets cap the day with critters roaming through the side yard.
I have walked a varied path, born and raised a Roman Catholic, a Christian Brother for four and half years at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, a teacher/counselor and Licensed Psychologist.
As a psychologist, I started and managed a sexual abuse treatment program. I assessed and treated perpetrators and young victims of both sexual and physical abuse. I was an English teacher at the high school level and a guidance counselor for many years in a traditional and alternative secondary school setting. My life work has been devoted to working with kids. They fascinate.
I have always loved reading, but creative writing was not part of my formal education. I have been a freelance columnist for both the Duluth News Tribune, with bi-monthly columns and with an occasional presence in the Bemidji Pioneer. In the early 90’s, I was a commentator for KCRB, Minnesota Public Radio in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Deemed “serious” at an early age, I was identified as “sensitive.” That’s not bad, but like most things, can be a two-edged sword. There are times when the blade swings one way and carves out places where experience, intuition and self-discipline converge and create something unique that touches another. But the arc of that steel can also sweep in the opposite direction. If it strikes the arms bearer, it wounds. If it gets stuck halfway through a stroke, it infects and sends the swordsman toward dark places. Murky locales have value, but staying, rubbing the sore spot or worrying the laceration’s edge becomes a preoccupation. The behavior leads nowhere.
Writers are conduits and the best thing they can do is open a gate and get out of the way of what flows through. I am responsible for delivering the message that comes down the pipeline.
Writing material is not hard to find. Just being alive, reading and seeking to be well-informed, provides nourishment for an active imagination. I am amazed and fascinated and have a lot of stories to tell. I write because I need to. I have a lot of interests outside of writing, but I find when I park myself in front of a keyboard and start the process, it cleanses elements of my personality that tend toward self-destructive obsessiveness; thinking about worthless stuff. Writing is a part of a recipe for a balanced life.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.