I’m a reader and writer from Chardon, Ohio, heart of the snow belt on Cleveland’s far (far) East Side. Full disclosure: I now live in Maryland, and have lived south of the Mason Dixon Line since I left Ohio at 19 to pursue a ballet career. Injured while a trainee at the Richmond Ballet, in Virginia, I decided (eventually) to go to college. I received my B.A. and MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. My short fiction has appeared in Sou’wester, Carve magazine, and DASH Literary Journal. I plan to sample bits and pieces of my published pieces here on this blog–and I invite other writers to do the same!

I’m a Rust Belt girl at heart. I freely admit that I do say “ya’ll,” although I refuse to say “all ya’ll.” And I no longer order “pop” at a restaurant, because waitresses here will look at me funny. But despite losing a little of my native tongue, a good-sized chunk of my heart is still in Ohio.

I have lived half my life away from home, but going back a ways, I’ve got a decent Rust Belt pedigree. My mom was from the Buffalo, New York, area and my dad is from Port Clinton, Ohio, a town made famous (or infamous) by native son Robert D. Putnam. Much of my family from these places remains there today. Just thinking of my aunts and uncles and many cousins brings me instantly “home.” Since I can’t make it home to the Rust Belt near enough, I hope some of them will join me here on this blog.

Where is the Rust Belt? There’s always some debate: some say the belt consists of the easternmost plains states. Others would extend it into western New England. Most agree Ohio is smack dab in the middle of it. Basically, the Rust Belt is the post-industrial Upper Midwest. Anywhere that was powered by steel, rubber, or auto production–that’s certainly a Rust Belt place.

Why do we writers write? To question, understand, and connect. Since I can’t easily invite you over for a perch dinner, pierogies, or pop, let’s connect here.