Young adult book about Casey at a Renaissance Fair

I Paused For a Commercial Called Life

July 29, 2011 By: Casey Category: MY WRITING

The dream of becoming a writer was always deep inside me, but life sometimes got in the way. I married too young at age twenty but still finished school with a BA in Literature and a Masters in Library science. My first job as a high school librarian connected me with teens. I formed a Fine Arts Club. Almost every weekend for two years, I raised money and took about thirty kids to plays, concerts, lectures, museums, and into my home to discuss literature. Then I got pregnant and spent the next few years raising our son. Later, I worked in a public library in charge of young adult services. Once again, I bonded with teens. They are the greatest ever.

The travel bug bit me hard. My husband and I started touring the world, taking my son with us. I visited thirty-seven countries–the more exotic, the better. I’ve camped in the bush in Africa and the outback of Australia, canoed down the Zambezi River with crocs and hippos alongside, gone deep into Borneo to play with orangutans, crossed the border into North Korea (only a few feet inside), climbed a tepui in Venezuela (the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World). Divorced now, I helped Sherpas create the first hut-to-hut system in Nepal, formed a trekking company, and took clients to the Everest Base Camp.

Present during the worst storm in Nepal’s history, I was appalled at world press coverage of the foreigners who died with little regard for the Sherpas who also perished. I returned home to write their story and did so in fiction to gain a larger audience. Beyond the Summit was published in 2006.

Finally, I was doing what I’d always wanted until life interrupted again with some medical issues. All that is past now. I’m writing six to eight hours day and loving every minute.

The young adult novel about  Casey and the Renaissance Fair is with a great agent in NY who will submit to publishing houses soon. I am currently working on another YA book about the first all-teen expedition to climb Everest.

My first novel

July 26, 2011 By: Casey Category: MY WRITING

At the beginning of ninth grade our English teacher gave two alternatives: do all the short assigned writing exercises or write a novel. I chose the later and wrote it in long hand during my math, history, science, and English classes that entire year. He gave me an A+++ which obviously thrilled me. I ran into him twenty years later at a meeting and introduced myself, thinking he’d never remember me after all the students who had passed through his classes. But he did! Seems I was the only one in all those years who chose to write a novel. No wonder I got the grade. No competition.

But he inspired me to write. In high school, I was so lucky to have a creative writing teacher who won an award as one of the most outstanding in the county. Mr. Keables was always covered with chalk dust, wore plastic bands to keep his sleeves up and baggy trousers. But he was fantastic. We had to write short stories every week. And he graded them all but had a system. Every possible error had a numerical code. So if you saw a 15 j next to a word, it meant word repetition. To this day, that is my fixation. I go to great lengths not to use the same words too close to each other. I’m in a writer’s critique group and circle, circle, circle repeated words when my fellow writers commit the 15 j sin. I think they dread handing their pages to me.