I've been writing since I could read. Half a minute past first grade, I started writing storiesóbut also looking for answers. That led me, past college, into newspaper journalism. So I left my home state of Colorado to earn a degree in journalism from Ohio State University.
Soon after graduating, however, I returned to Colorado where I landed my first professional newspaper job--a reporting position at The Denver Post, covering fires and crimes and such on the city desk.
But in short time, I made my way to the paperís features department, writing ďhuman-interestĒ stories about people trying to live life, get over obstacles, create beauty, find healing and make sense of work, family and love.
Then along came awards. With feature writing as my specialty, I earned many writing honors for my articles--including the Sweepstakes Award from the Associated Press of Colorado, the first-place Helen Carringer Journalism Award from the National Mental Health Association, the first-place General Reporting Award from the Society of Professional Journalists' Colorado chapter and several awards for feature writing and reporting from National Press Women, Colorado Press Women, and Colorado Association of Black Journalists, among others.
Along the way, I earned a masterís degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Then after working in features at Denver's beloved Rocky Mountain News, then returning to The Post as Sunday magazine editor, I joined the journalism faculty at CU-Boulder where I taught magazine writing and other print journalism skills to many wonderful graduate and undergraduate students.
GETTING PERSONAL: MY ESSAYS
Over the years, I started writing personal essays on faith, family and racial healingógetting published in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, USA Weekend, Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, the Charles Stanley Ministries In Touch Magazine and aired on National Public Radioís Weekend Edition.
NEXT UP: BOOKS
Then I started writing books. My first title, My First White Friend, a personal story on racial healing, won a Christopher Award for "artistic excellence affirming the highest values of the human spirit."
My next book, I Told the Mountain to Move, about my journey as a Christian woman to learn how to pray, was a finalist in Christianity Today Magazine's 2006 Book of the Year contest in the "Spirituality" category.
My latest books include a One Year devotional, Godís Great Blessings, covering 52 virtues that God blesses, and Bound for Glory, a collaboration honoring African American spirituals and featuring the art of renowned calligrapher Timothy Botts, with my reflections on his art.
WRITING TO TEACH
My essay writing still sells, as well. My work has been reprinted in more than 20 college textbooks including The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, Guide to Writing Magazine Nonfiction, Models for Writers, The Writer's Selections, The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition, The Writing Process, Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, The Compact Reader: Short Essays by Theme and Form, among others.
SPEAKING AND TEACHING
As a lifelong Christian with much writing on healing under my belt, Iíve been blessed to present keynotes and motivational workshops to such wonderful groups as the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors, the Academy of Christian Editors, Women in Medicine and Dentistry, Texas Association of Family and Marriage Therapy, Teaching for a Change Conference, Women of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Native American Journalists, MOPS, National Diversity Conference on Youth, The January Series of Calvin College, among others.
Iíve also appeared on NBCís Today Show, PBSí Tavis Smiley Show, NPRís Talk of the Nation, NPRís Weekend Edition, Pacifica Radio, the Moody Network, ABC Radio Network, American Urban Radio Network, DayStar Television and scores of other radio and television broadcasts to discuss matters of faith, race, family and writing.
Closer to home (near Denver), Iím a wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and active member of the historic Shorter Community A.M.E. Church where I founded and serve on the Writing Ministry.
Married 37 amazing years to my husband Dan, I have two beautiful grown daughters, one awesome son-in-law and five wondrous grandchildren.
In all of this, I seek to live in the spirit of one of my favorite Bible verses, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." (Romans 1:16, KJV)
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