My fascinating story …
I am descended from generations of Philadelphians — bankers and teachers, mostly. My paternal great-grandfather was head of the Philadelphia school board. That’s all I know about him. On that side of the family, it’s rumored that someone got chased out of England — the hired hand who fell in love with the lord-of-the-manner’s daughter. I tend to believe this story, since I seem to have inherited that characteristic of getting chased out of places.
One set of maternal great-grandparents came over from Lancashire, England. That great-grandfather was in textiles. One of his daughters, my maternal grandmother, was an impeccable seamstress. I find even sewing on a button a task equivalent to swimming the Atlantic from Liverpool to Plymouth Rock.
My other maternal great-grandmother came over from Switzerland. We all inherited her Swiss-German nose — the male version being larger than that of the female. Some paternal ancestors came from Germany. According to my family, I am a reincarnation of one of their descendants, my great-grandmother, the wife of the head of the school board.
My maternal grandfather persistently declared that his paternal ancestors came to North America on the boat after the Mayflower. We never knew whether to believe him.
Both my parents played the piano. Music is my first love. Both parents wrote well. My father, an excellent writer who also composed music, wrote a novel before I was born and submitted it to a publisher who rejected it. My sister, novelist Kathleen Long, and I know from whom we inherited our writing abilities, since we share the same father but have different mothers.
I grew up with my little brother, three years younger, in Drexel Hill, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. In Drexel Hill, I had a dog, Butch, a shepherd/collie mix, who often got loose and ran to see my aunt, two miles away. Once, he ran all day and by the time he got to my aunt’s house, his feet were so sore he walked on tiptoe in a kind of four-legged gavotte, and once inside the house quickly stretched out on the floor and took a very long nap.
In my early adulthood, I worked for a United States congressman on Capitol Hill, analyzing legislation and writing letters to constituents. During the Viet Nam conflict, the U.S. Navy took my husband, me and our newborn daughter to Southern California. I lived for 30 years in Redondo Beach, California, where I began writing, and I raised my daughter, Kellie. Kellie and I took ballet lessons together six days a week for many years. At the ballet studio, Lauridsen Ballet Centre in Torrance, Calif., we had a pianist who would practice rhapsodic arpeggios before class while we were in the dressing room changing into our leotards and tights. He had dark, curly hair, about collar length, and wore spectacles. We called him Schubert.
I drove a Mercedes for 25 years, raised it from a baby and ultimately sold it to an Egyptian, of course. I was secretary to a man in “Hot Wheels” marketing at Mattel who called it my Nazi staff car. He said all I needed to do was put a flag on each front fender. In California I had a dog, Kolia, husky/wolf/German shepherd, black with blue eyes, who regularly and humiliatingly outwitted me; and I had cats. Muffet, the sweet short-haired gray, left home when we moved, and although we searched, we didn’t find her until two years later, living two doors down from our former home. She was with us for many years after we got her back.
I left Redondo and went to Naples, Fla., for a working vacation one winter, living with my mother, and stayed seven years. Then, my mother returned to Delaware and the following year I returned to Delaware to care for my mother who began exhibiting signs of dementia. I have lived in Delaware since October 2001.
My daughter and two beautiful granddaughters — “The Three Kellies” — live in North Carolina.
I am a newspaper and magazine feature stories and profiles writer, essayist, editor, greeting card verse composer, writer of marketing promotional materials, writing tutor, award-winning poet and landscape photographer. I began my writing career in 1980. (Also, I operated my own catering business; before that, was a hair designer; and in an even earlier lifetime, a secretary.)
In May 2012, I published a book based on my blog, “Begins the Night Music: A Dementia Caregiver’s Journal, Volume I.” You can buy my book on Amazon by clicking the icon links here on my blog or you can purchase it on Smashwords.com or at Barnes & Noble.
I will publish “To What Green Altar? — A Dementia Caregiver’s Journal, Volume II” in April 2013.
In March 2012 I founded an eminent caregiver’s support group, open to any caregiver who wants to tell her story, under “Women Writing for (a) Change” on Linkedin, comprised of members from around the world.
In March 2013, I began publishing a new Facebook page, called “The Scheherazade Chronicles,” with excerpts from various pieces I have written, from newspaper and magazine profiles and feature stories, to essays, to fiction, to my blog posts and excerpts from my book. I hope to gather the essays, fiction and newspaper and magazine pieces into at least two upcoming books.
I am available for book presentations, interviews and writers workshops.
During November and December 2012, I gave book presentations at The Atlantic Apothecary, Smyrna, Del., the M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center, Middletown, Del., and two at the Modern Maturity Center, Dover, Del., with more presentations upcoming. During the autumn of 2012, classically trained baritone Steve Curylo broadcast a public service announcement about Begins the Night Music on his radio show, “Monday Evening Classics” on Valley Free Radio online (non-profit, listener-supported radio, at 103.3 FM) out of Northampton, Mass., home of Smith, Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
In February 2013, our local newspaper published a profile of me, the local author.
I wish you many blessings.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org