A Lifelong Love of Storytelling
Like just about every author you’ve probably met, I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil. The earliest surviving work in my portfolio is a self-illustrated single-digit page turner called The Happy Tree. I am so proud that my 1976 self was conscious of copyright law and print runs.
In middle school I was the awkward kid that could always be found with a loose-leaf, double-ruled paper manuscript and a leaky pen. High school found me writing bad articles for the school newspaper and serving on the yearbook staff.
It was a Christmas essay contest sponsored by my local paper that took me down the path toward becoming a serious writer. My second-place win in the contest earned my piece real estate in the Christmas morning edition of the newspaper. I ran to the yard on Christmas morning to retrieve the paper, flush with a giddy surge of anticipation of seeing my byline. Even better? I got a check in the mail. Cash money for my words! I was hooked. From that point on, I dove into life as a freelance writer.
Turning a Passion into a Career
Shortly after winning the contest, I pitched myself as a reporter to that same newspaper. Within weeks I was contributing regular human interest stories and religion columns. I sold a play. I interviewed my favorite band, Relient K, when they were a fledgling group of barely 20-somethings for a now-defunct teen magazine. From there I merged my role as a youth minister with my love of writing and published a pair of young adult novels, The Chrysalis and Drink the Rain. Both of these books are slated for an early fall 2022 re-release. Stay tuned!
In 2013 I enrolled in an MFA program. I applied to both the fiction and nonfiction tracks to increase my odds of acceptance. The nonfiction program greenlighted my application and I dove into the world of narrative nonfiction headfirst. Intersexion is an expansion of the work I started in that program. Amplifying personal, human stories feels like my sweet spot and I am going to sit here for awhile!
Where My Stories Have Been Featured
Some Selected Writings
Getting Through Mid-story to OK
“It will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
The first time I saw these words, they were handwritten on a 3-by-5-inch card attached to an IV pole with a bag of chemotherapy medicine dangling from the hook…
Blazing a Trail at Home and Abroad
Third-graders line up at the classroom door at Calvary Covenant School ready to receive their crayons and colored pencils.
For the students, it’s a fun time, smack between Latin and lunch.
There’s coloring, cutting, pasting and mounting…
Hike Can be a Personal Religious Journey
For the past three Augusts, my husky, Audrey, and I have joined my friend, Lisa, to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail. Known by hikers simply as the AT, the trail starts in Georgia and ends in Maine, covering more than 2,100 miles of pristine forest.
The path is marked by tree trunks sporting 2-inch by 6-inch painted rectangles known as “white blazes.” It winds through swaths of thick forest and up rocky mountains…
Technology Takes Photos to Another Level
Stacy Whiting, who specializes in digitally manipulated images, is “the voice” of a weekly Peninsula arts event.
As a photographer, Stacy Whiting finds himself constantly returning to the themes of glass, color, light and symmetry for inspiration…
Church Builds 'A Miracle' in Mexico
A local group organized a foreign mission trip to construct a house for a woman and her sons.
On a late summer Monday morning, a cement slab and a pile of building materials sat in front of a hastily constructed shack. By Thursday afternoon, a mother and her three young sons stood in front of a tiny home, complete with furnishings and a cobblestone walkway…
A Hampton Treasure: Barbershop Makes Memories
Wayne “Red” Sesco is the owner of the ‘slice of Americana’ located in the Tide Mill Shopping Center near the west Langley gate.
Gone are the days when doctors carried little black bags on house calls, or Dalmatians actually resided in the local firehouse. Modern times have reframed images from days of old.
But at least one beloved institution stands virtually untouched…
What Christina Brannigan wanted was a size five prom gown and a date… what she got was 15 pounds heavier working on the Donut Project.
What she wanted was a leading role in the school play… what she got was a nosebleed during the drama club audition.
Christina accepted Aunt Meg’s invitation to spend the summer teaching arts and crafts to disadvantaged kids at summer camp so she could become everything that she was not. She never expected to meet someone who appreciated the person she already was. The gift that Mark Chadwick gives Christina is the confidence to make a decision that will alter both of their lives forever. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore…
Drink the Rain
Fans of Sarah Dessen will love this story of travel, adventure, and drama, Cynthia Davis’s follow up to her debut novel, The Chrysalis.
Two starry nights–one in New York, the other on a desolate African plain…
Under the falling stars of a cold November sky, Christina Brannigan’s life seems deceptively clear.
Until the dark clouds of an approaching storm bring trouble that doesn’t dissolve with the snow.
A sting operation, a lost letter, and a roadside breakdown bring her toward a cross roads under the winding path of the Milky Way.
What happens next depends on the answer to a question asked in a tin shack church by a barefoot guy with an easy smile…