I grew up in Albany, New York, where I lived for the first forty-three years of my life. I’m the oldest of five kids spaced over a fourteen-year period, which means I was in ninth grade when my little sister was born. My mother and the girl who sat next to me in French class were pregnant at the same time. That made me one of the cool kids.
|Crappy hair since 1957|
My father was a bus driver and my mother… you could say she was a stay at home mom. Literally. She had agoraphobia. People with agoraphobia never leave the house, which was awesome for us because back then you could still hit your kids. She’d come after us with the belt, and we weren’t stupid... we’d run outside. Fresh air was like kryptonite to her. She’d be at the door yelling, “Get back in this goddamn house!” and we’d be like, “Hey, come out and get us. We’re right here on the sidewalk.”
|Our house on Lincoln Ave.|
After high school I attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where I majored in sociology with a minor in (I can hardly say this with a straight face) criminal justice . Don't ask me what I was thinking--I'm way too Private Benjamin to work with criminals. In 1977 I married my first husband, Chris, a cool-looking, laid-back musician type. After a miraculous three-month pregnancy we had our first child, Christopher Jackson, named after singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. I remember calling my parents to say I’d started labor and was heading to the hospital. My father offered a tender bit of advice, words that remain with me to this day: “Good luck,” he said, “and don’t go home empty-handed.” Twelve and a half months later Chris and I had a daughter, Courtney Lynne (named after nobody). I was twenty-one.
Somehow I managed to finish my degree by the time I was 23, and then a decade later went for my master's at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. That degree was in technical communication--which made a lot more sense--and for the past 20+ years I've been working as a tech writer/corporate trainer.
But back to more interesting stuff. After eighteen years together—half my life—Chris and I
split up. Seeking to understand my role in the failure of our
marriage, I immersed myself in books by New Age thinkers such as Louise Hay and
Deepak Chopra. My readings helped me
gain perspective (though sometimes now I wonder if they're full of crap) and throughout the years, Chris and I have remained on
friendly terms. Our kids are both singer-song writers, and Chris plays steel guitar in their band. He's awesome.
|This sums it up|
In 2000, I met and married the infamous B.H., namesake of my memoir, Bastard Husband: A Love Story. We moved out West and had an amazing life together doing yoga, hiking and traveling all over the place.
|That's me down there at Arches National Park|
I won't say any more about him--you'll have to read my book. But I will say there's no hard feelings between us; on the contrary. I will always be grateful for all the gifts B.H. brought to my life, and I can say that without a doubt that if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be who I am today.
I came to Las Vegas in 2003 after we divorced. I didn't know a soul, and during that time alone I started writing creatively and doing stand-up comedy. Click the How the book came to be tab to see how all that evolved. A few years ago I met my husband, Mike, at a meeting of the Henderson Writers' Group; we got married in a surprise wedding Thanksgiving weekend of 2011. He's adorable and we have a ball together.
|My handsome husband at Red Rock Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas|
My father died in 1999 and Mom now lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, Jim. The agoraphobia has been behind her for almost 35 years now, and she travels so much these days we hardly know where to find her.
|Busted for driving after dark|
I go back to Albany to see my kids, siblings, and my two precious grandchildren every few months, and I hope to get back more often.
|Hazel and Connor|
I'm 55 years old now and I have big plans for the future, which include writing another book, recording a Bastard Husband audio book, securing more speaking engagements, and continuing to perform stand-up comedy. My mission is to help others identify, acknowledge and accept their God-given talents and to share them with the world. I hope that the stories from my life will inspire you to do just that.
|This is as good as I get|