I started my freelance writing and editing business after earning an MA in Writing/Publishing in 2004.
One of the things I love most about my business is that it enables me to help my clients by drawing on the skills and knowledge I’ve developed through a lifetime–from a passion for language, writing and mentoring to the skills in web design, search engine optimization and self-publishing I’ve acquired over the last eight years.
Another thing I love about my business is that my clients are change agents.
This means they’ve developed skills, knowledge, products and services that truly make a difference in the lives of others. Helping them tell their stories and connect with the people who need what they have to offer makes me feel like I’m part of something much larger than myself.
I started out in university as a language major (German, French and Spanish) with a thirst for living in other countries. This led me from the cattle and horse ranch outside of Three Forks, Montana, where I grew up to a summer studying French at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a year as a fully-matriculated student at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.
It then led to an MA in Linguistics, a summer teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Mexico City, and the Peace Corps, where I was assigned to teach ESL at a teacher’s college in Kabul, Afghanistan. I met and married my husband, Hans (a Dutch citizen), in Kabul. When the country began to implode, we moved to the States, where we raised two beautiful daughters–mostly in Portland, Oregon.
I taught ESL at language schools and community colleges for eight years, then decided to try something new. For the next eight years, I worked first as an Executive Assistant to the CEOs of three high tech corporations and then as a proposal writer for a software company in the telecom industry.
In 2002, I returned to school to earn an MA in Writing with an emphasis on Publishing. During this time, I also taught Writing Composition courses to undergraduate students. I started Story Mentor after graduating in 2004.
How would I describe myself?
First, I am a communicator. I love languages of all kinds–both their poetic and their technical aspects. I love the music of the written word and its almost magical ability to stimulate learning, healing and creativity. I even love English grammar!
Second, I am an extroverted introvert. I love travelling to foreign countries, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures. But I’m not interested in being the life of the party or performing in front of a crowd. I much prefer to ask questions, listen carefully, think deeply and come up with practical solutions that work.
Above all, I am a lifelong learner. In fact, self-empowerment through learning is the WHY behind everything I do–whether this means formal academic education, participating in an online webinar, or just picking up a how to book and doing it. Although my propensity to collect information, tools and techniques can sometimes be overwhelming (!), I love knowing there is always more to learn, accomplish and become.