I was the sixth born in a family of 14 children and grew up on a large farm in Minnesota.
I decided to become a writer when I was nine years old. At large family gatherings, my grandmother got everyone’s attention and read humorous parts of my letters aloud. Everyone laughed and applauded, so I continued writing. When I wrote to a Japanese pen pal, I unwittingly developed stronger writing skills. Knowing my pen pal had to interpret my letters into a foreign language forced me to pay attention to correct spelling and better sentence structure. After graduating from high school, I worked as a secretary in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a few years before moving to Tacoma, Washington, to escape cold weather.
There I met my first husband, the late Franklin Harvey, who was a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy. After living in several naval ports throughout the United States, I earned a bachelor’s degree in English-writing (journalism) in May 1982 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where I now reside.
I retired in May 2009 from the Department of Defense, where I worked for an Army newspaper, the Northwest Guardian, as a reporter, editor, and photojournalist in the public affairs office. While there, I wrote more than 4,000 stories and won 32 individual and staff journalism awards, including the coveted Thomas Jefferson Award twice, for best newspaper out of more than 6,000 in all four branches of the military.
I am a 30-year member of Toastmasters International and have won many humorous speech contests. After retirement, I did some stand-up comedy at open mics and produced two CDs of original true stories, True Confessions and Back on the Farm. I am also a special guest on the CD Panic to Power, with three world champion speakers from Toastmasters. Get Tough or Die is my first book.
I have two adult sons, Shawn and Ryan, and one granddaughter, Crystal.