My high school graduation photo

The mid and late teens were better for me. In high school I joined the yearbook staff and, by my senior year, was made the editor. It was a world that valued my particular skills, and I thrived. I began college—a community college in my home town in Illinois—with the intention of getting a degree in journalism. In my junior year I attended the University of Missouri, the oldest and most respected journalism school in the country, but quickly found that the kind of writing I wanted to do wasn't that. So I turned back to an education in the humanities and a degree in English literature. (Later, spending a summer typing travel claims in quadruplicate and realizing that was the kind of work my degree prepared me for, I switched to a program that would permit me to teach English.) I also married Ronald Bauer, who was preparing to become an Episcopal priest.

The rest can be told in summary. I taught high school English, briefly; had two children, Peter and Beth Alison; filled my home with foster children and exchange students as well (and lots of pets), and finally decided it was time to take the writing that I had been doing in the cracks of time—usually when I should have been cleaning the house—seriously. That was more than thirty years ago.

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