I first was drawn to stories that happened aloud in my youth in Montana. Short stories from my grandmother. Excessively long stories from my teenage sister. The easy-to-find stories of my mother growing up bailing hay; the hard to find stories of my dad on the sheep ranch.
I loved the anecdotes of the clever things I said when I was four, the first time I said a bad word. Perhaps the story I have heard the most: the time I asked what was so great about my Great Uncle Chaps. I wanted to know by heart all of these stories that shaped who I came from, who I was and who I might be.
So I pursued them.
Reading in high school, however, was a complete burden. It was flat and meaningless. Then in college in Missoula, Montana, I learned to truly read the stories of others; their stories became as real in my mind as those of my youth. They became my next level and my new love.
I loved stories that helped me know people, imagine different times, or create new worlds. So then I started reading them, and then studying them, and then eventually teaching them, which bring us to date.
I teach 8th grade reading and writing, all advanced, all the time. So I basically get to work with around 100 people who are dedicated to studying and creating and knowing story.
It’s my 8th year in the game. Most of those years I have gotten to work with Daisy Rain Martin (bio), which brought me into this writing group, the Flying M-Inklings. Now I am writing stories. I am finally putting down the beasts I have been chasing for so long.