I remember my sense of wonder at the age of five when I read a book by myself for the first time. My mother had taught me to read long before I started school. While standing at the dining room table after dinner, the words from A Present for the Princess leaped off the pages, through my blossoming mind, and out through my tender, grateful little voice. My mother listened and praised me after each sentence while she washed the dinner dishes nearby. At the end of each page, I ran to my father sitting on the porch. He lowered his newspaper, nodding proudly as I stood in front of him and read each word aloud once again.
At the age of nine, in a summer creative writing class at my elementary school, I learned about Stream of Consciousness from a fifth grade teacher. I treasured the way the words flowed from my imagination onto the page, seeming to come from somewhere far beyond my ordinary brain yet through my eager, open heart. I became inspired to write stories and poems as I discovered time and again that same sense of wonder I found reading books.
Through the years, my writing became focused on helping others. As a psychologist, my words have filled thousands of pages of reports and evaluations, advocating for the health and well-being of children and their families. Although some may say psychological evaluations are not creative writing, the challenge of conveying each unique individual’s special needs in words that caregivers as well as professionals can understand and use has been one of the most creative and rewarding processes I know. Through my work with the foster care system, writing on behalf of the most vulnerable and challenged of souls is an honor and privilege to which I continue to dedicate my time and skills, joyfully so.