Once upon a time there was a girl, about four years old, playing alone in her grandmother’s New England yard. She was bored by the irises and the bleeding-heart bush, tired even of the four massive sugar maples, one of which bore her rope swing. She peddled her tricycle down the dirt driveway but got no farther than the last of the maples when crows scolded her, and she went to sit under the honeysuckle bush to play with the word “cupboard.” There was a cup and a board, two things in one word. And there was a cupboard in the kitchen, which was neither. That amazed her, still does.
Yes, of course, I was that child, already in thrall to language. And my vocabulary has included the jargon of psychiatric nursing, the lingo of a newspaper column, and a USAF officer’s vocabulary. It certainly mattered in raising two bright and healthy children. It stuck by me when I rode horses, judged sulky races, and lived in more states than I will bother you with here. My love of words has endured and enriched my experiences–through writing poetry, memoir, short stories, novels, and teaching writing and literature at Georgia Southern College, Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and Front Range Community College in Colorado. Through it all I’ve considered writing as a gift to share with readers known and unknown. Welcome to my world of words.
Karen has a BS from Chapman College, an MA, Phi Kappa Phi, from Georgia Southern College, and an MFA from Vermont College. She now lives in Colorado with her daughter, son-in-law, three dogs and a black cat named Haiku. Her books are available online, and her other publications are listed elsewhere here.