[Miriam]“My life has often surprised me – led me  to paths I never imagined.”

Among my earliest memories lives the image of the Sumner Branch Library in Minneapolis.  We had only one old car which my father drove daily to the little grocery store he owned in Northeast Minneapolis. So every week, my mother, older brother, Paul, and I walked for what seemed a long time to the library.   From the noisy street we entered through massive wooden doors into a castle like building, which now I know was part of the Carnegie library system. Light streamed through the huge paned windows and reflected off the shiny oak floors. We tiptoed to the children’s wing where my mother let us pick as many books as we could carry home with us.

Many of my most cherished childhood memories are of books and reading. When bookmobiles came to our neighborhood, I could walk by myself and fill my arms with books week after week.  My parents turned off the lights way before I was ready to stop reading. Paul and I each kept a flashlight hidden under our blankets to enable us to read until we fell asleep  – and I dreamed of travel and adventure.

I remember reading The Sun Also Rises in high school, sitting on a plastic sofa on a screened-in porch.  Jake Barnes and his friends drank Pernods, but we only had Manichevitz sacramental wine, which I snuck and poured into an etched glass sherbet goblet – the most elegant wine glass I could find.

The world called to me and I’ve been fortunate to travel often and to many places. My teaching degree in English from the University of Minnesota became a ticket to work in a variety of settings including the American International School in Israel and Los Angeles’s inner city.  I earned a Master’s in Educational Psychology and then acquired a Marriage and Family Therapy License. Those degrees morphed into a career in the Northwest as a lecturer in education, substance abuse and mental health. I loved teaching – both high school students and later adults.

But wherever I traveled, I remained fascinated by the written word – as a reader, story teller and writer. For years I’ve written short stories and filed them away. I thought I would eventually pull them together into a book of short stories, but instead a new story emerged, that became the novel, Turtle Season.  Through Anna Simon I explored a constant preoccupation in my life – how do we as humans manage the inevitable and often very surprising events that change our lives? How do we rediscover or maybe recreate ourselves?  What keeps us resilient through the often treacherous journey?

I live with my partner in Tucson, Arizona in the winter season and in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the summers. Turtle Season takes place in Seattle where I lived for many years.