I am not your typical grandmother… first, I don’t like to be called Grandma, I prefer Nana and second, I don’t believe anyone should act their age. So let’s start with my four grandchildren, one girl and three boys, ages 4-10 years. My daughters don’t like that babysitting is not my forte. I love to be with them don’t misunderstand, but I prefer to have them on my own terms. We spend a lot of time doing family activities and I love that we all live within two miles of each other.
I never thought I would be a writer when I was young, in fact I didn’t like to read. I was an outside girl, riding my bike, swimming, climbing trees, and making up my own stories as I played.
We lived in the San Joaquin Valley where it was hot in the summer and foggy in the winter. My brother and I were close and spent most of our free time together. My dad owned a nursery and we were required to work watering the plants and pulling weeds. (Fun stuff).
I remember a particular family vacation: We had a used, blue Cadillac and a fourteen foot, travel trailer. My parents decided we should see the United States, so we started out in California, hitting all the historical spots from there to Washington D.C. and back. Dad was cruising along on a freeway, pointing out the pentagon, when he was forced into the wrong lane and we ended up under the Pentagon with rifles pointed at us. What a sight! I’m sure we all looked like deer in the headlights.
But for the most part I had a normal childhood and teenage life. High school consisted of cheer-leading, competing on the swim team, and making grades, so that I’d be accepted to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
I met and married the love of my life while working as an EMT. When the girls came along I stayed home and raised them. My husband found his passion in I.T. (thank goodness)
Today, I am a high school swim coach for one of the largest schools in our community. My biggest success has been being the age group coach to a future Olympian. He won medals in the 1500 (2nd) and 400 (3rd) freestyles.
My writing career began when I broke my leg and was not allowed to walk. I had to do something to purge my wild imagination and energy. I discovered the computer, (okay a little late, but it could spell). I spent the next six weeks reading every book I could find on how to write. I read and wrote every day until I could tell a story. When I felt I was ready I began researching and writing my own novel. I doubted myself almost every day, but here I am, five years later with a completed novel. (Thank you to all the people who helped and encouraged me along the way).
I teach my swimmers to work hard and never give up on their dreams. I think the same advice applies to me. The word can’t is not in my vocabulary. My motto: Dream big, work hard, and never give up has worked well for me throughout my life.