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I was born in a backwater town in Oregon—Portland—where it rained steadily throughout my entire childhood. Because I couldn’t go outside to play, I read everything within reach. The next time I looked up, 18 years of my life had passed, so I went to college in Boston and got a degree in journalism, figuring it would be a long, enduring career because—of course—people will ALWAYS read newspapers.
I worked at the Los Angeles Times as an editor, writer, and travel columnist for 15 years. In between, I published essays in the books Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit and Chocolate for a Mother’s Heart. And—this is a little bit embarrassing—I won a Harlequin Books romance essay contest.
I have also written for numerous publications, including Asia Life magazine; Chicago Tribune; Baltimore Sun; Christian Science Monitor; Augusta Chronicle; Los Angeles Daily News; Orlando Sentinel; The Standard—China’s Business Newspaper; and earlier in my career, a bunch of tiny newspapers across the country that I’m pretty sure still owe me money.