“Japanese Carp”: This award winning memoir came out of a failed capstone project in college. I read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir Wait Till Next Year for a sports history class spurring me to talk my advisor into allowing me to write a historical memoir instead of a traditional research paper for my capstone. At the time it didn’t come together well. It stayed somewhere in the back of my head, though. When I was mature enough to try again, I recreated it, submitted it then won an Honorable Mention for it in the Writer’s Digest annual writing competition. I’ll be forever grateful to that professor for letting me try so I could succeed later.
“Double Facebook Profile: Egyptian Women Online”: I took a feature writing workshop at the Bethesda, MD Writing Center. The workshop leader encouraged me to do this piece and helped me stretch my writing beyond what I had done before. The interesting part of the story is about the woman I interviewed. We had been friends for several years. Not only did it get published but other websites stole it and published it on their own sites across the globe.
“From Siamese Prison to Mormon Memory”: A woman I met at the Mormon History Association conference recommended me to The Juvenile Instructor to write this piece. I was very grateful to her and honored to write about their theme, International Mormonism. I had been researching the topic of Elam Luddington and his mission to Siam for quite some time but this piece really helped me to solidify my ideas by forcing me to convince people why they should read about him.
“The Broken History”: Jared Allebest asked me to write a piece for his blog. I wanted to work within the themes that he was writing about so I decided to focus on disability. I also work in the disability field when I am not writing. The article challenged me to look at the research on Elam Luddington through the lens of disability. Luddington’s broken arm propels the argument which is where the title is derived. I believe we are all broken in some way.
“Mormon Man Creates Controversy”: By Common Consent approached me to write an article for their website. I had a lot of fun putting this together. It’s all completely true. I actually heard from most of the people I write about after it was published.