Meet Brenda

Born in Rhode Island, I spent the first eight years of my life in New England. I can still remember the delight of summer thunderstorms and the fragrance of fall in the air as leaves crunched underfoot. My parents moved to San Francisco and eventually settled in the North Bay Area. I’ve made this my home as well.

In 1992, a friend asked me to sign up for a writing class with her. I agreed, never anticipating that class would open a new door for me. At that time, my husband and I were raising four boys and I was working as a courtroom clerk. Writing provided a creative outlet I didn’t know I needed.

As an emerging writer, I began to explore opportunities to submit my work and had enough success to encourage me to continue. Of course, I’ve had rejections as well. My favorite was from a medical journal to which I’d submitted a poem related to breast cancer. I received three rejections over the course of two years for this same poem which was only submitted once! Compelled to finally respond, I wrote that although some writers might have trouble with rejection, I was flattered that my poem was apparently still on the mind of the poetry editor.

For the month of November 2009, I cleared my calendar of all commitments other than work and Thanksgiving Day to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – a challenge to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Fueled by good coffee and dark chocolate covered espresso beans, I zipped past the goal and completed the first (extremely rough) draft of what would eventually become my debut novel, Taking Root.

I belong to two writing groups which have met monthly for over thirteen years. Close friendships have formed as we’ve gathered around kitchen tables to write to prompts and share what we’ve written. I’ve been honored with first place awards for non-fiction and flash fiction at the Mendocino Coast and Central Coast Writers Conferences, respectively. My work has appeared in Small Farmer’s Journal, Mom Egg Review, Persimmon Tree, THEMA, the California Writers Club Literary Review, and in various anthologies.