- B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in English, Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, 1979.
- M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota, 1996.
A Selection of Shorter Published Work
- An essay, “The Wishing Boys,” Minnesota River Review, 1995
- A story, “Prodigal Mother,” Minnesota River Review, 1996
- An essay, “Teachers are from Mars, Parents are from Venus,” The Lutheran Educator, 1998
- An essay, “I Read a Book Once: A Student’s Perspective,” The Lutheran Educator, 1998
- An essay, “The Story of a Reader,” The Lutheran Educator, 1999
- An essay, “When Harry Met Dick, Jane, and Sally,” The Lutheran Educator, 1999
- An essay, “Shekinah Words: The Ministry of Creative Discipleship,” The Lutheran Educator, 2001
- Gave numerous district and state teacher conference talks and workshops on the teaching of creative writing, poetry, and spiritual journaling, 1979-Present.
- Published a book-length work, The Tablet of My Heart: journaling for spiritual growth, published by Northwestern Publishing House, 1991.
- Published 50+ articles, essays, poems, etc. in various journals and magazines, 1974-2005.
- Presented workshops at the Young Writers Conference, Teacher’s Collaborative, and giving talks on Ireland’s bardic tradition to various groups, 1997-Present.
- Completed my thesis for the M.F.A. program, writing a collection of personal essays on spirituality, creativity, and motherhood—Shekinah Woman: Reflections of a Visible Soul, 1996.
Additional Campus Responsibilities
- Advisor of Inkwell, the college’s literary magazine
- Writing Director for the college
I have taken two research trips to Ireland to better understand the bardic tradition that is so much a part of their history and heritage, and to take harp lessons from experts there. Because of this consuming passion and all I’ve learned read and studied since, I am writing a series of performance pieces and a novel based on the era when the druidic and bardic schools flourished together.
I have five children, ages 20 to 32, seven grandchildren, and a husband who is a professor of English at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.
Firmly Held Beliefs about Writing and the Teaching of It
I believe that all students can learn to write works that matter to others and may move hearts and effect change.
I believe that those who learn to think and write well almost invariably become the true leaders in almost every organization, institution, community, and church—and that they are also the ones most likely to affect significant change, especially beyond their own spheres of immediate influence.
I believe writing well can be as hard and frustrating as any time-consuming worthwhile endeavor (such as becoming an Olympic athlete or an opera star) but also as delightful and satisfying as any everyday, easy-going hobby (such as playing chess or driveway basketball), and I believe that only by writing a lot and challenging yourself more and more will you finally get to experience the same kind of deep satisfaction dedicated athletes and musicians experience when they go beyond “just doing the assignment."
I believe that when God used humble men to write down His words through inspiration in the Bible and called Jesus our Savior the Word Incarnate, in part he wanted us to realize how powerful words can be in our humble hands. Useful both for good and evil purposes, unfortunately. Written language is an amazing gift from our Creative God who has created us creative in his own image. As sanctified sons and daughters of the King with the King living in us, we can use words for his glory and directly benefit the kingdom of God on earth or simply hearten, inspire, embolden, and move others by using our unique and “peculiar” voices which can’t help but be the voice of blood-bought children of God. What a humbling opportunity…what a divine responsibility!
Finally, I believe if you really want to become effective writers and thinkers, I can help you make great strides this semester, but only if you agree to be self-disciplined and coachable. To be a maturing student of life and writing, the two greatest qualities you need in abundance are, in my opinion, humility and persistence. Keep assuming you know only in part and see through a glass darkly. Ask questions, and rewrite over and over, assuming you need help and can gain valuable insights from all sorts of experts and simple people everywhere, even children, and always turning in assignments on time and trying to hold yourself to high standards of excellence in content and style. Do that and I promise you’ll be succeeding in my course when others, perhaps even those smarter and more experienced than you at writing but not as humble and persistent, will be floundering.
“Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him.”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest