Woo Hoo, January 2009!

Here I still am--who'd have thunk it! Actually, looking back through the years, I had no idea what I'd be doing now. One thing about life, it seldom takes you where you expected to go.

When I was in high school planned to be an artist, remain single and live a great life. Of course I got married right out of high school, had five kids, now have 18 grandkids and come February will have 11 great-grandkids.

Though I did paint in acrylics for awhile, I soon realized I had to decide whether I wanted to write or paint, and writing won out. Of course, both these ventures were merely hobbies for a long while as I was too busy raising kids, running a household, serving on PTA in many capacities including president for four years at the grammar school and middle school where my kids attended, leading a Camp Fire Girls group from 2nd grade until they graduated from high school. I also worked for ten years as a teacher in a pre-school for children with developmental disabilities, and several years in day care and a pre-school in ghetto areas. (Loved all those experiences, by the way.)

Hubby and I moved from the home I loved in Oxnard (we'd remodeled to exactly what we needed) to the foothills of the Sierra where we live now. Oh, my goodness, the culture shock was difficult for a long while. I'd always been a big city girl (grew up in L.A.), and you won't find a smaller town than Springville. One main street, one school, 2 gas stations with rip-off grocery stores, a post office, classy Inn, and different restaurants that come and go--at the moment we have a Mexican Restaurant, a steak house, pizza place, diner, hamburger stand, and a wonderful coffee house that serves breakfast and sandwiches, a building supply, antique store that 's going out of business, a 2nd hand store run by a local organization, a visitors center, 2 beauty shops, 1 dress shop and a fire station.

We've been here since 1981 and I've come to love the place and of course it's the setting for my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series though I've changed things around a bit.

We took over a residential care home (was also our place of residence) when we moved here, taking care of six women with developmental disabilities for twenty-three years. Also did many other things for the residential care profession, from reorganizing their association, creating their training program and serving as the chairperson and instructor for 15 years. Though I still do their newsletter, I've retired from everything else.

Now, I mainly concentrate on my writing and promotion of my books. When introduced, people call me the local author--and that's great. I already have lots of plans for promotion trips, conventions and conferences for the coming year. However, I've lived long enough to know that things don't always go the way you planned.

A friend of mine and I have decided to go to San Francisco when Bouchercon is there in 2010, both of us signed up and I told her we were certainly optimistic. But isn't that how we ought to live our lives, optimistically looking forward?

Once again, I wish you all a happy New Year!



What a great post, Marilyn! I so enjoy reading about people's lives. Sounds like you've really had a great trip and I know 2009 can only bring great things to you...Happy New Year!
Morgan Mandel said…
I wanted to be an artist also, but discovered I had no talent in that direction. I can't even cut a straight line, or draw one for that matter.

It is fun being the local author. Last night at a New Year's Eve party, the hostess mentioned I was an author and everyone wanted to know about my books. I'd bought 250pocket calendars with my business card on the other side, so I had plenty of those to pass around.
That's one of the fun things about being an author!

Morgan Mandel
Kevin R. Tipple said…
I'm just so glad 2008 is over.

agnes dee said…
Thanks for writing about your background. It amazes me how many writers have been artists, and it took me a long time to decide I liked writing better.

Happy New Year!
Marta Stephens said…
Absolutely optimistically looking forward. Funny, my first love was art too!

All the best in 2009!!
Marta Stephens said…
Absolutely optimistically looking forward. Funny, my first love was art too.

All the best in 2009!!
BillieJohn said…
Happy New Year, Marilyn! Like you, I am grateful for my years, my many NY Eves, regardless of how I celebrated. I love the sense of renewal, of starting afresh each Jan 1.

Also, sometimes I think one of the main reasons I love being a publisher is that I get to combine art and writing, plus graphics art and other business-y stuff.

However, when I was a little girl I used to play "Office." I'd set up an office in our back yard, with my executive suite and a reception area. Then I would make my brothers sit there for hours, waiting for their moment with the big cheese. I always wonder what prompted me to do that...there in my small town in the days before my family owned a TV!

Once a nut, always a nut, I guess. Anyway, I am looking forward to our year, Marilyn!
Marilyn said…
Oh, Billie, you have so much in common with me. I used to play office too and had a great imagination about what I was doing at the time.

Yes, we're going to have a great year!
Kim Smith said…
Hey Marilyn, I used to dabble in art too, but like you, had to make a choice between drawing or writing, and chose the latter.
Becky said…
Marilyn, I loved your post. I enjoy reading about people and what they have done with their lives. I hope that your will have a safe and wonderful New Year.

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