TRAVELING IS IN MY BLOOD.
As a first-generation American growing up in rural Ohio, I knew some words and phrases in Spanish before I knew them in English. I also had the privilege of traveling. A lot. We’d visit my mom’s family in Nicaragua, and my dad’s family in Jamaica. We’d fly to Mexico or the Bahamas, or visit family in Canada, New York and Florida. By the time I was ten, I’d been to five countries and nearly half of the United States. To me, this was normal.
And then everything changed.
I was paralyzed in an airplane crash just before my tenth birthday. After spending my entire childhood climbing trees, playing baseball, ice skating, skiing, learning gymnastics, and riding my bike, I found myself confined to a wheelchair with a T-12/L-1 incomplete spinal injury. It definitely changed my perspective on many things. But it didn’t stop me from seeing the world.
I went white water rafting on the American River in Sacramento, California three summers in a row during high school. During my senior year, I learned how to install roofing while on a volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic. I spent the summer I turned 20, negotiating cobblestone streets in Spain and Portugal. I learned to monoski in Big Bear, California when I was 24. And now that I’m mom staring down the middle ages, I still seek out new adventures in beautiful places, pushing the limits of what my body, and what my wheelchair, will allow me to do.
An avid reader since I memorized Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Dr. Seuss, I started writing stories as soon as I could hold a pencil in my chubby little fist. Some of my favorite books are from Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Nielsen, Maggie Stiefvater, John Green, Eoin Colfer and Anthony Horowitz. I’m also impressed with the writing of Andy Weir, Christina Lauren, Liane Moriarty, Julia Alvarez and Colleen Hoover.
In addition to writing about our travel adventures and penning a few middle grade novels, I moonlight as a graphic designer, substitute teacher, freelance writer, school newspaper advisor, yearbook advisor and mother of two young adults. I spend my free time reading, dancing at concerts, walking the dog, and baking cookies. Or eating them.
So now you know a little bit about me. Ready for an adventure? You can always count me in!