So glad you found me.
I’ve been writing since the age of nine. When I was a fourth grader my parents were called to school because I filled my hours writing stories instead of listening in class. I believed I kept my work well hidden by crouching low over my desktop and hiding my paper behind a textbook.
I’m a Wisconsin native. I grew up in an area known as Pheasant Branch–a wonderland of willow trees, chokecherry, sandhill cranes and open waters. I spent many nights huddled beneath my covers in a dark bedroom, my bed against an open window, listening to the evening chorus of crickets and killdeer. I refused to sleep–forcing my eyes to remain open–until I heard the 10 o’clock whistle of the Milwaukee Road rumbling through the other end of town.
I grew up with 4 siblings. When very little we slept 3 to a bed, until I turned 10 and we became 2 to a bed. I shared a bed with a family member–usually my grandmother–until I reached 21 and left home to marry. My brother and I were very close. I trusted him completely. We were raised as twins, only to learn at the age of 10 that we weren’t twins–we weren’t even brother and sister.
I was taught at an early age to lie about who I was and who my parents were. As a result I had various last names while growing up–Cornelius, Guzinsky, Mathewson–until eventually at the ripe old age of 32, I learned my correct surname, Woodford.
My love of reading began at the age of 11 when wanting to escape disapproving relatives–all of whom I’d learned earlier, of course, weren’t actually relatives–I walked out of a wedding reception, crossed an unpaved road and entered the town library. Inside it was quiet. Much cooler than the August heat on the opposite side of the street. I was overwhelmed at the surrounding books and spent the afternoon flipping through pages, stumbling over words I couldn’t pronounce and hadn’t a clue as to what they meant. I’d never been inside a public library before and I realized I’d never stay away again. I had found a true treasure–survival in another world.
And I’m happy to admit that growing up shrouded by secrets made for great writing material! I was taking a third year creative writing class at the University of Wisconsin in Madison when my professor seriously suggested I drop out of school and do nothing but write. Following her advice, I took a job as press editor in the Communication’s department at the University and when I wasn’t working, I was writing.
I won both first and second place in the creative writing category at the University of Wisconsin Writer’s Institute. My short stories, poetry and essays have appeared in various local and national publications—Finding Voices, Free Verse, the Medical Encounter and newsletters. I’ve also been invited to read my fiction on WORT, a local radio station in Madison and in both local and national bookstores.
I have a completed manuscript (adult/women’s fiction) titled A Sparrow’s Song. Please read about it on the following page.
I’m currently working on the first draft of another novel I’ve titled Riffraff. An adolescent girl and her brother believe they are twins until one of them stumbles upon a dead body while struggling to find their way across a dark prairie in North Dakota.