My Story

I am a storyteller. I am a builder of hard things. I am a solver of big, hairy, audacious problems: I stretch, I fight the good fights, and I try to leave people better off than when I found them.

My maternal grandmother Esther and grandfather Jerome. The Qualleys. The farmsteaders, the survivors. The strength that filled my sails all the days of my life.
My maternal grandmother Esther and grandfather Jerome. The Qualleys. The farmsteaders, the survivors. The strength that filled my sails all the days of my life.

There is, of course, the CV. And you can find that here at LinkedIn. And there is a backstory, because we all have many that make up the fabric of who we are. Mine can be found between the lines.

But when you really break it down for any of us, I like to think the story of us begins and ends with what our blueprint says, why we are here, the tools we were gifted with to use to good ends, and how well we serve each other. In the end, it is over, and that is all there is to say about that.

For those who like the timeline, here’s a quick snapshot below, down to the essence of not what I did, but who I was, and who I am becoming, while en route. Mine is a story that changes every second of every day. I’m only just getting started.

1966 – Made in Fargo, at St. Luke’s Hospital. Born upside down and backward, in the worst storm in North Dakota History. Survivor.

Our family farm in North Dakota that is now long gone. The stain of it lives on in my whole family.
Our family farm in North Dakota that is now long gone. The stain of it lives on in my whole family.

1971 – Assessed as intellectually gifted, in Citrus Heights, CA. Learned to run from bullies and accept Dads who leave.  Chameleon.

1976 – Wrote my first six page non-fiction essay about eunuchs. Suspended from school by a Mormom educator with a predisposition to protect his genitalia. Anarchist.

1980 – Discovered my inner-athlete, boyfriends beyond high school, and dramatic arts. Praised for my writing, my right-handed lay up, and geekish fascination with adult, intellectual subjects such as diplomatic relations with China and computer technology. Over-achiever.

1984 – Ran away from myself to college, with un-quenchable appetite to hurtle myself into environments that scared the stuffing out of me with wild abandon that can only be looked back upon as the period of my life when God and the Universe chose not to allow me to kill myself from the sheer force of my bad decisions. I was over-achieving and wrapping myself up in a protective coating of okayness. Broken arrow.

My hometown of Sacramento today.
My hometown of Sacramento today.

1985 – 1995: The decade of bachelor degrees, bonds that can’t be broke, babies, blunders, bold moves, and politics. Wanderer.

1995 – 2000: All grown up and kicking fanny in the fast-paced fury of finding myself. Mother.

2000 – 2005: Crisis’, intellectual expansion, risks, rewards, Achilles heal decisions, and unbinding me. Warrior.

2005 – 2010: The healing years, the sharing years, the giving years, doors opening, the hardest lessons finally accepted. Fixer.

In 2012, I published America's Next Top Model Naima Mora's book, helped her build her speaking world, and got her on TedX so she could change the world. Watch her talk.
In 2012, I published America’s Next Top Model Naima Mora’s book. Watch her TEDx Sacramento talk.

2010 – Present. Widgetry under full sail. Lots of concrete, but longer list of successes, most of which have to do with serving others. Thicker skin, harder spine, clearer mind, open heart. Found my sword and learning how to use it to the ultimate end. Venture grower. Publisher. Writer. Healer. Human Widget on her way to living up to her potential.

The world, it seems is small. Our lives, we discover, are minute glimpses in the rear view of human experience, and if we’re not careful, we could miss it.

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