My roots are showing

What turns a Minnesota farm girl into a western Canadian writer with a passion for justice and stewardship? Voracious reading, for a start.

The family couch grew threadbare in spots as I spent hours and days stretched across it, engrossed in good (and bad) books. Like my mother before me, I discovered that words can transport to experiences far removed from fetching eggs and weeding soybeans—or portray the everyday from new angles.

My memories of high school centre on a narrow, windowless closet where a handful of us pumped out the Southwest Reflector, which expanded under our watch to include a bulletin board of breaking news. Campus journalism figured similarly large in my post-secondary experience, first during two years at Dordt College in Iowa and then at Indiana University, where I earned an MA in journalism.

An internship at the Wall Street Journal and a two-year stint at the award-winning Northfield News honed my craft. Juggling city hall and sports reporting with the weekly paste-up marathon that predated electronic page design, I learned the joys and anxieties of writing for an audience that cares deeply about what is said.

Moving to Alberta in the early ‘80s, I edited the City of Edmonton’s staff newsletter and then became speech writer for the capital city’s first and only woman mayor. After leading a range of projects while dabbling in teaching and parenting on the side, I quit the city in 1996 and launched Words that Sing, intent on tackling new challenges and diversifying my repertoire.

That’s exactly what has happened. Books. Periodicals. Public relations. Leadership in the writing community. Running a neighbourhood newsletter. And more besides.