Frenchman Street in New Orleans, en route to Preservation Hall. Raising ’em right.
Welcome to where I park my non-fiction!
In third grade I started carrying a notebook everywhere and writing stories, planning to be a writer when I grew up. None of those early collections survived my family’s frequent moves. The first story I recall writing was about a little girl moving and unpacking in her new home. She was excited about her new neighborhood and had a lot of futuristic, clear-plastic furniture that she could assemble by herself. The grownups were absent, so the Peanuts gang was clearly an early influence.
In the decades since then I worked as a babysitter, dishwasher in a music theater where I watched shows during breaks, nightclub janitor (kind of gross but there was loose cash and lost lipsticks to scoop up), cocktail waitress, food server, daily newspaper reporter and editor, silicon valley content producer, ad agency freelancer, newsletter writer, stay-at-home mother, aspiring novelist and newspaper columnist. The arc reveals that I needed some money and a college degree, and worked my way back to carrying notebooks around right after nailing those down.
I went to Fresno High School, Fresno City College and CSU Fresno. I’ve lived in California, Massachusetts and Singapore. And Spain, if you count six weeks in 1992 as ‘living’ (which I did, spending every day pretending to be en expat in Seville despite speaking only enough Spanish to confuse). Now I’m in a Boston suburb, with my family, dog, to-do lists, chores and notebooks. This is a notebook of sorts.
Thank you for your curiosity,
Michelle Martin Deininger