I play dominos with a Meetup group every Friday and trade laughs, smartass remarks and war stories over the tiles. I also love to visit Cajun bars and listen to the music with an icy Budweiser, or Irish pubs that play revolutionary tunes and “Finnegan’s Wake” with a well-drawn pint of Harp in hand.

My favorite meal is dinner, sitting around a table with others and talking about anything. Whether the food is great or mediocre, it’s a time to learn as well as enjoy. My favorite meal is smothered steak, rice and gravy with fresh, chipped banana peppers sprinkled on top, corn and green beans on the side, with a glass of sweet, strong iced tea. When I was growing up, we ate that meal five out of seven days a week. Never got tired of it.

My mother said I read when I was four. I don’t remember that, but I read everything in the house–True Story magazines, books, food labels, mail. When there was nothing new, I reread the old stuff. Don’t ask how many times I read Little Women. Then I discovered TV, and my imagination went off the chart. I didn’t only want to read stuff, I wanted to write stuff. Surrounded by rice fields and gravel roads, there wasn’t a whole lot else to do anyway, so I picked up a yellow No. 2 pencil and never looked back.

I wrote a novel about the Acadian exile, a subject close to my heart and much on my mind in these decades of war and refugees. My family is Cajun, many descended from Acadians (French Catholics) exiled from Nova Scotia in 1755. Others crossed the pond with early French and Spanish explorers (Bienville & Iberville, Cortez). The Riders were German settlers. I get a kick out of remembering the older members of my family who back in the day spoke Cajun French as a first language and didn’t bother to learn English. Unless they went to school. At school they were punished if they spoke French instead of English. The more the world changes . . .

Teaching was never my vocation, though I have a BA in education and an MA in English. Law wasn’t my vocation either, though I worked as a paralegal and sometimes regret not going to law school. I even thought I’d be a psychologist until two professors steered me into the Master of Fine Arts program at McNeese State University. (Thank you, John A. Wood and Ron Johnson!)

I’ve published short stories, collected in A Long Night’s Sing and other stories, plus poetry and nonfiction. I also edited and published the online literary journal, Swamp Lily Review (no longer open to submissions).

I’m a member of  Women’s Fiction Writers Association; She Writes; Sit Down, Shut Up and Write; and The Writer Also Rises. Journals where I’ve been published: Concho River Review, New Orleans Review, Denver Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, A Small, Good Magazine, Oasis Journal, and two Gulf Coast Writers’ Association anthologies.