My reinvention story

How I reinvented myself from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer – and at my age I fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. I studied journalism in high school and college and wrote for the high school newspaper. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and had no idea what I would do professionally with it. I had wanted to work as a journalist and actually completed all the course work for a degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin. But family illness caused me to transfer to UCLA for my senior year, and UCLA didn’t offer a BA degree in journalism. So I was stuck in a city I didn’t know and where I hardly knew anyone, trying valiantly and unsuccessfully early on to get a writing job. Then I gave up. It was 1962. There were not a lot of jobs for women writers in those days, especially in Los Angeles. Then someone suggested I try the growing aerospace business in southern California. With that, I called Douglas Aircr … [Read more...]

Where were you 50 years ago today?

If you are as old as I am you probably remember exactly where you were fifty years ago when you heard the news that President John Kennedy was shot.  I'll never forget it. I was working at my first real job as a technical editor for a company called Space Technology Laboratories that became TRW and many years later bought out by Northrop Grumman. I started work there in July 1963 when I was twenty-three years old. At that time, I was still married to my first husband, and we both took the news of President Kennedy's death very hard. We were glued to the television all weekend. We couldn't get enough of the story. Some years later I wrote the following poem, when asked to write in the style of a favorite poet. I chose Frank O'Hara and his poem, The Day Lady Died, about the death of the jazz singer, Billie Holiday. I've posted this poem here before. But, on this fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's death I think it's appropriate to post it again. He's been forever in my … [Read more...]