Except for a few weeks in 1994 when I thought it would be really cool to star in karate movies, I’ve never wanted to be anything but a writer.

I like writing all the words. I don’t have any favorite ones. Bigly words. Little words. I know almost all of them. I really do have the best words.

In the sixth grade my teacher let me read my novel aloud to the class. It took days. Looking back, I think he probably just wanted a break from teaching. I stood at the front of the class, my hands gripping a Trapper Keeper filled with hundreds of pages of loose leaf notebook paper. I’d written the story in number 2 pencil in my 11-year-old’s curly, swirly cursive with the heart-dotted i’s. I don’t even remember what it was about, but I was hooked.

I sold my first poem when I was 10, won a songwriting contest when I was 13 and scored a paying gig reviewing CDs at 15. Before I was even old enough to legally drink in bars, I had a job reviewing them for a newspaper. Over the years I’ve won awards for deep digging investigative journalism and for flowery prose. I climbed a billboard with graffiti artists, spent weeks shadowing the world’s oldest male stripper, read though piles of files for an expose on children in foster care and poured my heart out for the masses, over and over again, chronicling my life as a military wife and mother during this, our nation’s longest war.

My words have led to interviews on National Public Radio, MSNBC, CNN and NBC Nightly News, which featured me in a segment called “Making a Difference.”

Freelance opportunities led to my work being published in a host of regional and national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Military.com, Self magazine, Maxim magazine, Kiwi magazine and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program, and an essay I wrote was included in a book published by The New York Times.

I’ve been a magazine editor, a book editor and I’m currently a contributing editor for Military.com. These days my words are a mix of fiction (novels and screenplays), non-fiction (journalism and essays) and promotional (marketing and public relations).