Judith A. McKee was born in Kansas, USA. As a child she moved frequently with her family following her father's job. She attended many schools until her father established his welding and blacksmith business prior to Judith entering high school. She graduated high school with the desire to attend college. She love the sciences and hoped to become and veterinarian. Her hope was dashed when she learned that women were not admitted to veterinarian schools without being recommended by a state representative or senator. Her family did not have those ties. She eventually married the cousin of her best friend. Five years and two children later he abandoned her and the children leaving them behind along with a huge amount of debt.
Judith struggled to support the children and pay the debt left behind by working two jobs. Years later she met her second husband and children were born of that marriage. Judith helped her husband establish a business and entered college to fulfill the dream of higher education. She graduated with a BS in Horticulture after changing majors. A divorce followed. She entered graduate school and received an MS in Horticulture. After working in the landscape nursery business for several years, Judith accepted a job as Director of Public Grounds for a community in north central Kansas. During those years, Judith met Nadine Laman and became "over the fence gardening buddies". Judith is now semi-retired, living in Southwest Missouri, working on her Masters certificate in Herbalism, gardening at her new home, doing Native American-like bead work and enjoying being active in her church.
Judith is one of my first beta readers. It is a bit funny that all the years we lived next door, I never mentioned my writing. I was truly a closet writer, and to me, it is like having blue eyes, writing is just part of me. With her scientific mind as well as her artistic nature, Judith is a fantastic beta reader. She is very exacting and keen on the emotional and artistic component of my writing style.
Glyn Pope writes full time in the solitude of his home in rural France. His writing style is varied and robust giving readers a choice of competition and award winning short stories and poetry, novels as well as children’s fiction. Glyn’s historical novel To The End Of Love was published by Turner Maxwell 2008. He has completed his second novel, The Plutocrat, The Mendacious Minister, and The Doctor which will soon be published. Glyn is now writing the follow up with the working title of The Dead Plutocrat, The Doctor, and His Dog. He is also writing a novel Accused. Glyn’s blog can be found at http://glynpope.blogspot.com/
I met Glyn last summer just prior to the Blog Party. When the time came for the party I hadn't realized that it was essentially set up to run 24 hrs a day - yes, for a month! Glyn jumped in like a life-time friend and helped moderate the party when I slept. From there we chatted about writing and I gave him a few writing tips geared to publication particulars. From there, we have reached a point where Glyn will be the debut author for Cactus Rain later this year with his historical fiction about post WW II England. Watch for when it is available for purchase!
Jan Zitek. Jan didn't have time to send me a bio, so when she does I'll update this post. Jan is my sister-in-law. She beta reads for me. She travels a lot and has lived all over the world, but beta reads via email wherever she is. Jan did the contest judging just before leaving for Bolivia to deliver wheelchairs. She is an awesome person and I'm so lucky to have her help with my books. She lives in California and has a beach house as their second home. She helped with research for Kathryn's Beach. She is a priceless addition to my team. She is a 49ers fan and a graduate of Kansas State University.
Jan Laman Zitek. As Nadine mentioned in her blog I have known Nadine for a long time as she fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the day, married my only brother, Charley and joined my 2 sisters as my third sister!! I have lived, thanks to the US Army, in many places and still have that wanderlust which I inherited from my father. I was born in southern California and was raised in my parents' hometown of Concordia, Kansas and always planned to leave. I attended Kansas State University where I met my husband, Lyle, a veterinarian. Since Viet Nam was in full swing, we joined the Army after a year in South Dakota and yet another school. I have 2 children, Dawn & Kyle, and 2 grandcats which visit often.
I love to read anything and everything which led me to be an English major. I am retired and enjoying the freedom to travel whenever the spirit and the money permit. As Nadine mentioned I just returned from Bolivia where we delivered 280 wheelchairs which our local Rotary district raised $42,000 to purchase. Bolivia was not on my "Bucket List" but was a special place as we sat in the jungle in a semi-restored Jesuit mission and listened to Baroque music being played by a string orchestra composed entirely of 8-14 year olds with no formal music training, or seeing the tears in the eyes of the parent of a 10 year old as we sat her in a wheelchair so that after 10 years of being carried everywhere by her mother suddenly had mobility, or the smile on the face of an old gentleman as we gave him back his dignity and his independence. Our next trip is to the Dominic Republic and Cancun, Mexico, entirely for fun--a beach, a book, and a marguerita are all I have planned unless Nadine has something new for me to read!!!
NOTES: The certificates and checks have gone out to our three winners. Please watch your mail, Jo, Peggy, and Don. Coming on Wednesday will be Don's winning story. Again, I want to thank the judges and all those who took the time to enter the Short Story Contest.