In My Beginning
I claim Cleveland, Ohio as my hometown though I haven’t lived there since going away to college. Much of my youth was spent in, by, or on Lake Erie, which explains why water is a prominent feature in three of my books.
Since my mother was a reference librarian, I spent hours roaming the stacks while she worked. This explains my deep love of books and curiosity about many diverse topics. A library plays a role in my novel Asunder.
When I Grew Up
I intended to be a writer and earned a degree in journalism with that in mind. I did not intend to be a pastor, but life has a crazy way of taking you places you didn’t intend to go. For many years my writing passion was channeled into sermons, leading workshops and writing curriculum. Since retiring in 2014 I’m again focused on reading, researching, and writing.
My Pastoral World
- I’ve served four ELCA Lutheran congregations - three in Texas; one in Ohio.
- For 8 years I was a camp director at Lutherhill Ministries in LaGrange, TX.
- For 3 years I was the Executive Director of the ELCA Capital Campaign Services Program. I still lead an occasional campaign.
My Writing World
- I write books about what I know about: moving, cleaning up after natural disasters, moving on after a mid-life divorce, and various devotional disciplines.
- I’ve helped finance several family summer vacations with the money I earned cranking out magazine and newspaper articles for a variety of national and faith-based publications.
- I’ve been hired on multiple occasions to write curriculum for summer camp and various Christian Education programs.
- I taught a couple of sessions of creative writing through an adult continuing education program. The second group formed a writer’s group that is still meeting many years later.
My Personal World
If I’m not writing, leading a campaign or doing volunteer church work I might be:
- Enjoying retirement activities with my husband, Tom Brandino.
- Reading books by Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, James Michener, Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, or some history, theology, or travel article.
- Traveling. I go as often and as far as I can. See photos about that on my photo page.
- Bragging about my grandchildren or having lunch with one of my daughters.
- Hanging out at the dog park with our miniature poodle, Brandi.
- Picking something from the garden to serve for dinner.
- Driving around Houston while listening to NPR, an audio book, or CD’s of John Denver, Broadway musicals, Johnny Cash, Andrew Lloyd Webber or Handel’s Messiah.