Reliability. Curiosity. Enthusiasm.

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I tell stories.

 

I tell stories about how your business or non-profit helps customers solve problems.

 

I tell stories about social and environmental issues, and about the people who create innovative solutions.

 

I tell stories about what makes us tick, individually and socially, physiologically, psychologically and neurologically, whether we’re two-legged, four-legged or hundred-legged.

 

I tell stories about where I’ve been, geographically and otherwise, and where your readers might like to venture.

 

Education

 

I majored in Criminal Justice and Social Science as an undergrad, the latter with a Political Science focus, earning a B. A. I developed interests in Native American history and issues, immigration and ethnic conflict in the U.S., and causes of violence on battlefields, city streets, and within families.

 

As a graduate student (I earned an M.A. in Criminal Justice), I continued coursework and research into those issues, as well as youth violence in historical perspective. I worked as an associate instructor while in grad school, but ultimately decided that I didn’t want to teach, so stopped short of earning a doctorate.

 
Some Professional Experiences

 

I began my career coordinating a child abuse prevention program. Later, I served as the Volunteer/Community Outreach Coordinator for a homeless shelter. My accomplishments included writing narrative portions of a successful, 100-page Neighborhood Assistance Program grant proposal, and designing the agency’s PR strategy.

 

I managed a literacy program next. As part of that job, I wrote a successful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day grant proposal. Still later, as manager for programs designed to help people move out of poverty, I handled most of the PR. I wrote articles for a social service newspaper, pitched other stories to local reporters, wrote a guest column and radio spots, and wrote and edited brochures, newsletters, and training manual copy.

 

I also wrote quarterly plans, annual report narratives, program protocols, award nominations, grant proposals, speeches and Powerpoint presentations. Any time that a writing need arose, I figured out the format and wrote it.

 

And then I burned out on social service work. But I’d realized somewhere along the way that the research, writing, and PR functions of my various jobs were what made me come alive.

 

Please contact me about what I can write for you. I’m reliable, curious, enthusiastic, a quick study…and a storytelling pro.

 

E-mail: bonnie@warmspringsridgewriter.com   Phone: 828-348-4477

 

 
[Want the life story version? Keep reading.]

 

 
Storytelling is in my blood. I grew up near Chicago, in a large, extended family of storytellers who still sit around the dessert table every Saturday night, reminiscing about their early lives in the coal camps of southern Appalachia. I idolized my Uncle Jack, who was a columnist for the Miami Herald and later city desk editor for the Tampa Tribune.

 

And I read voraciously. I was the kid with eyes always glued to a book, sometimes hidden away in my favorite tree with a biography of Annie Oakley, or with notebook and pen playing Harriet the Spy. I was the kid reading the newspaper over my Dad’s shoulder, the one writing stories and essays for fun, and annoying my family with the latest “interesting fact” I’d picked up from a book.

 

At some point, I realized that people were actually paid to write the books I was reading, and that I could do this, too. How cool was THAT?! I resolved to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by publishing my first book before the age of thirteen.

 

That didn’t happen. But I did win school writing contests and spelling bees, and published a poem in the local paper. A few years later, I spent three happy years in a high school program for gifted writers.

 

By the end of high school, I feared that I might do the clichéd trick of freezing to death in the proverbial garret if I tried to make a living writing fiction and poetry. (Despite Uncle Jack’s influence, I didn’t think I’d like newspaper journalism, and the idea of writing magazine non-fiction or copy for businesses never occurred to me.)

 

So I earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Social Science and Criminal Justice, trying to understand why humans behave as we do. Layered between grad school, teaching, and parenting, I fell into a social service career. You’ve read about that. During rest periods, when I was “just” parenting, I wrote pet food articles in exchange for discounted groceries, staff profiles for an alternative school newsletter, and poems, two of which were published in Cicada for Teens.

 

IMG_9434And now, here I am, freelancing full-time, and at your service. Bearded Dragon Sophia is on my shoulder (or at the keyboard), cat Charlemagne on my lap, canines Chilie and Molly warming my feet and tripping me every time I get up for another cup of coffee (a reasonable trade-off for the foot-warming). I’m ready to tell the stories that you want told.

 

When I’m not writing or reading, I hike, kayak, shoot photos, play with gourd art, boast about my extremely talented artist-daughters, and am slowly learning to pluck out “Old Dan Tucker” on the banjo. I live near Bloomington, Indiana with my four-legged muses and respiratory therapist/musician husband, Larry, who immediately masters any musical instrument he picks up. And I spend as much time as possible in our mountaintop retreat near Asheville, NC.

 
Contact me:
E-mail: bonnie@warmspringsridgewriter.com
Phone: 828-348-4477