Bushbaby: one of Africa’s smallest nocturnal primates, about the size of a squirrel, with bug eyes, long bushy tail, extremely vocal, loves to cuddle, but has also been known to bite off a finger. That’s me, well, except for the bug eyes and the tail. And I don’t bite. Oh, and I’m not a night person . . . unless it comes to dancing. That could go on all night long.
However, I did live in the Zambian bush where my dad worked on Nkana’s copper mines after moving us from South Africa where I was born and where the family has been for a century. I loved the bush, the heart-stopping beauty and wildness of it all; it certainly forged my nature. But truth is, I wanted out as soon as the American nuns came to town to school us heathens when I was ten, bringing with them a slice of America, land of imagination and that ‘something else’ I was missing.
I finally made it to America along with a husband and baby son.The marriage didn’t last. And then I met my ideal man, my perfect fit, someone I thought was my happily-ever-after. Together, we bought a 1920s cottage—“Hobbit house,” his mother called it—in artsy Laguna Beach. We made and sold pottery together, and I wrote Monkey’s Wedding and Mine Dances, two YA novels based on my childhood in Africa. Twenty-five years later, I found myself abandoned. I wrote about it. I had to understand. The bonus of all this was a greater realization of who I was and who I could now become.
I still live in the Hobbit house along with my two Staffordshire bull terriers, Fergie and Jake, where I write about them, my life in Laguna Beach, and my African past.
You can read the first chapter of my memoir, Loveyoubye: Holding Fast, Letting Go, and Then There’s the Dog on Jukepop Serials.