Once known to be an outgoing poet on the streets of Peoria, IL. Currently residing in the hermitage of domestic bliss. Loner. Borderline misanthrope. Hard-ass worker. Supermom in training. Feminist, equal rights advocate, survivor, believer in the creed “Knowledge is power.” Things I am working on: My manuscript– running title “To Understand the Joy of Leaving.” Also, impulse control (ignorant, derogatory, and snarky comments are difficult for me to ignore) and, as an ex-professional driver, who was once on the road at the frequency rate equivocal to your time spent in bed… road rage.
In May of 2014, I graduated with honors from Illinois Central College, sporting an Associate’s at the age of 30 and a Phi Theta Kappa lifetime membership. My mother fell off of a stepladder exactly two weeks after I graduated, shattering her ankle and her wrist, and then died exactly two weeks after she fell of a blood clot that stopped her heart because there was negligence everywhere from the hospital to the nursing home to the physical therapists who never showed up to get her out of bed.
I started working for a huge locally owned bookstore in January of 2013. In less than a year, I managed to work my way up to management, and naively spent another year and a half after that slaving through a six day a week, nine to ten hour a day schedule, believing the lie that I was in the process of buying the business from the owner title for deed with my hard work. Since the owner is a fraud, a liar, and a cheat, I got screwed out of everything I had worked toward in May of 2015 when I decided I couldn’t take his abuse any longer. It’s a really long story, so…
Enter Lit. on Fire Used Books, a dream that I built from the ashes of my failed attempt to purchase a bookstore. I was bound and determined to work only for myself after such a horrid experience, so I took my fate into my own hands mere days after walking away from the failed deal. Picture this: the moment I bought my first book with the intention to sell it, everything else just simply fell into place. I easily acquired opening stock, I raised over a thousand dollars on GoFundMe to help with equipment purchases, I poured my entire savings into securing every little detail of opening a storefront, I was approached with a location for my shop that was a perfect starter, and had my opening day less than two months after I left my last gig.
This store has payed for itself since day one, and I have all of the freedom in the world to pursue creative endeavors that will benefit the community around me. I host a well-received monthly event featuring a local author for a book signing and open mic poetry and acoustic music. I let anyone drop in and write poetry, draw, doodle, and quote to their heart’s content on the bookcases to add to the already artistic environment in which the shop exists. I will be publishing a quarterly old-school zine showcasing the local talent and the great minds of my peers. But best of all, I am happy, I finally have the time and energy to get healthy, and I don’t have anymore abusive relationships in my life!