Introduced at an early age to masters like Oscar Wilde, Richard Adams, and C. S. Lewis, Barbara was happiest when falling down the rabbit holes of a thousand different stories. Before long, wanting to write seemed as natural as wanting to read. She was encouraged to do so in elementary school and has been working on her craft ever since.
As a result, she has had a wide array of work appear in a variety of publications including The Palo Alto Review, Sport Literate, Reader’s Break, Underground Voices, Midnight Times, On the Line Magazine, descant, SHINE Brightly, Georgia Family, The Lamp Post, The Monsters Next Door, Pilgrimage, Characters, Beyond Centauri, all things girl, The Amethyst Review (Canada), Mums in Control (UK), Tincture (Australia) and many more.
With high hopes of impressing upon young readers why fiction is important, she traveled from 2001-2004 to elementary schools across the United States to present her books The Monster Boring and The Book Garden. The first was about the joys of reading. The second was about the joys of writing. She subsequently sold thousands of copies of each title.
Her play I Left the Dead Man in a Bathtub in England was the lead production at the May 2003 FMPAT New Plays Festival near Dallas, Texas.
She won a Reader’s Choice award for best short story in Delivered (England) in 2008. She was a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in 2009 and 2010. She has also contributed to BBC radio, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Marietta Daily Journal.
Tangentially related, Barbara has a BA in English from Georgia Southern University, an MAT in English and an MA in History from Georgia State University. She has taught both English and US History in public high schools. She currently teaches US History at a community college in Texas.
Worthy of Note: Whilst traveling the world and getting inspired, she and her husband managed the most important job of all, raising a son. She knows they did a good job, too, because not only is he nice, smart, and funny, he grew up to love books as much as she does.
Barbara thinks loving to write is like kissing a goat. It’s hard to explain what compels anyone to want to do it.
After all, as some cynics say, people today don’t have the patience for a good story to unfold. If a sentence is longer than a Tweet, an editor raised on Twitter will be overwhelmed with the mad desire to butcher language with the sharp point of a pen, to slash out poetry, and leave once robust prose gurgling limp in red ink. And that’s only if he gets around to reading it.
In this modern world of hapless texting, closing bookstores, and drastic changes in the publishing industry that have made it even harder to make any form of living with words, the list of reasons one shouldn’t bother writing seems longer than the Andes. There are certainly easier paths to take when settling on a profession.
And yet… writers still write.
It’s like kissing a goat. Sometimes, you just feel compelled to do it.
If you’re ever really smitten with the power and beauty of the written word, you won’t feel as if you have any choice in the matter either. You’ll know writing is what you were meant to do, so you’ll write, write, read, and then write some more.
It’s just that simple.
Photo Note: Barbara met the animal above on Carl Sandburg’s farm near Asheville, NC. Whilst Sandburg produced poetry and prose–and collected thousands of books throughout his home, his wife raised this handsome fellow’s award-winning forebears. It’s worth saying that all people have a calling, and Mrs. Sandburg’s seems to have been to raise goats. (It’s unclear if she ever kissed one of them.)
Barbara’s portfolio is very diverse. She has written everything from children’s stories to plays to editorials, to travel essays, and various other works of non-fiction.
Here are some electronically published pieces that are easy to access if you simply use your browser to search for the title along with Barbara's byline:
Science Fiction: "Color Coded Babies"
Literary Fiction: "The Ghost" or "Joanna Wiley Naked"
Creative Non-Fiction: "Old Man Runner" or "Rugby Chatter"
Editorial: "Too Bad There Aren't More Men Like Seuss: Principle First, Party Second"
Barbara’s children’s books are no longer in print, but you can always find a copy of either title floating around on the web as thousands were sold to children in schools across the country.
The Monster Boring
The Book Garden
Books are better company than Facebook.