1. How did you first get into journalism and writing?
I have always loved the written word. When I was a child, I carried books around like they were teddy bears. Our local library was my home away from home. I began writing short stories and poems in junior high school. I took a creative writing class in high school. I never pursued a degree in journalism, but instead, psychology and social work. My primary line of work is as a psychotherapist. I often wonder what my career path would have been if I had made a different decision about my education. I learned journalism by the seat of my pants. In 1988, my husband Michael and I founded Visions Magazine which focused on holistic health, metaphysics, environmental concerns, as well as peace and social justice. We had a 1o year run which ended the year that Michael died (1998). It was where I cut my teeth on professional writing. I conducted interviews with most of the movers and shakers in the New Age/ Self help fields such as Marianne Williamson, Ram Das, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Canfield, Ben & Jerry (the ice cream guys), don Miguel Ruiz, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer. After we sold the magazine, I became a freelancer and began writing for other publications and websites. In addition to The Beacon, I have written for the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Psych Central, Elements Behavioral Health, The Good Men Project, Beliefnet, The Cardinal, The Wisdom Daily, and the Intelligencer which published my interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2008. For a while I wrote home profiles for the Intel. I like to say that “I can’t not write.” It is my passion and one of the things I was born to do.
2. What is your approach to journalism? Why do you write and what do you hope to accomplish with your articles?
I am a storyteller and much of what I write about comes from life experience and observations. I believe in taking the reader along for the ride with me, painting word pictures. When I conduct interviews, the inquiries are not your typical Q & A. I want the reader to get to know the person and what makes them unique. I admit that I am not an objective journalist. I have strong opinions and pro-social progressive values, which is one of the reasons I like writing for The Beacon. I see my articles as informative, inspiring, thought provoking and entertaining. Sometimes, I write to influence and persuade. Sometimes I write to vent, sometimes to heal my own wounds. In these challenging times, I write to bring people together.
3. What do you think are the most important issues that we face today, and why?
Survival as a species. Climate crisis is real and it impacts all life on the planet. I have grandchildren who (as my son predicted before they were born) are the center of my universe. I want a peaceful, sustainable planet for them and all of the children. We all breathe air and drink water. Mother Nature doesn’t care who you voted for and what your politics are.
The right of every human being to love whoever they choose, and present however they choose.
The right of every person to live without fear for their safety from those who would use violence to cause them harm.
Reproductive rights are crucial. No human being has the right to compel another person to carry a pregnancy to term.
Truth telling in education without sugar coating history to fit a particular narrative and keep certain populations oppressed.
Voting rights are what stands between our country being a democracy and an autocracy.
None of these issues should be considered Liberal. They should be the norm.
4. Which publications and journalists do you follow?
Of course, I read the work of the journalists who write for the same publications I do. I also feel encouraged by reading the perspectives of Robert Reich, Heather Cox Richardson, and watching television journalist Rachel Maddow. I read articles in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and New York Times. I listen to NPR in my car and stream it on my laptop. Fresh Air, 1A, All Things Considered, The Pulse, Code Switch, and Hidden Brain are among my favorite podcasts.
5. Why is it important for people to support independent media outlets like the Bucks County Beacon?
We bring information that is uncensored by commercial constraints and our writers are unabashedly progressive and dedicated to the wellbeing of the country and by extension, the planet. It sometimes seems that independent media outlets are a loud and determined voice in the wilderness.