Raleigh freelance writerA full-time freelance writer since 1997, I live in the Raleigh area with my writer husband, ballet-dancing son, three rescue cats — one of whom has no teeth and no claws — and frequently an exchange student as well. We’ve hosted 15 exchange students from Germany, China, Serbia, Indonesia, Japan, Ukraine, and other countries, and we’re huge fans of opening up our home, and our lives, to students from other cultures.

In 1995, I earned a master’s degree in Slavic Linguistics from U.C. Berkeley. Foreign languages have always been a thing of mine; I range from middling to conversant in German, French, Russian, and Dutch, and have studied Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Italian as well. (However, those languages I can’t even claim middling proficiency in anymore.)

My other interests include yoga, badminton, meditation, manga, military sci-fi, Harry Potter fanfic, cat rescue, stupid movies (think: Zoolander, Blades of Glory), all things spa, and cooking with my Instant Pot. (Did you know you can cook the potatoes and eggs for potato salad all at once in just four minutes?)

Oh, and travel. Lots of travel. My husband’s job requires him to report on board game conventions and trade shows around the world — and our son’s Montessori considers travel to a good reason to miss school — so in the last couple of years my family has been able to visit France (twice!), Germany (also twice!), Japan (twice again!), Belgium, The Netherlands, and China…not to mention several U.S. states. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for the opportunities we’ve received.