mother, a high school English teacher, greatly influenced my love
of language. I've been writing for myself and others most of my
life. Decades ago, I won a writing prize for a high school
essay about colors. Hoping to impress the judges, I titled my work
The Quintessence of Colors.
I no longer have that essay but, fortunately, I've learned quite a
few things about communication since then. One of the most
important lessons: don't use words like quintessence
I studied journalism and communications in college and have spent
my career creating the right words to tell other people's stories.
I understand that communication hits its target by connecting with
the audience, choosing words carefully and combining good
information with meaningful examples. The right words resonate,
sounding right and feeling right.
My career has offered me some wonderful
writing experiences. After 14 years in radio and community
journalism — a period that taught me the value of clear messages
and compelling stories — I worked with the construction industry,
helping restoration professionals explain their services.
Later, I wrote to help those at Woodberry Forest School in
Virginia and The Citadel in South Carolina tell stories about
their treasured traditions and visionary leaders.
More recently, I've shared my thoughts on effective communications
with students taking my communications classes at The
I'm a native Tar Heel, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and now live
in Charleston, South Carolina with my husband and dogs. Our
parents and all family members from their generation are gone and
I regret that I did not ask more questions while they were still
alive. That is why I want to help others put their stories in
writing so that your family or business can share your values,
experiences and challenges with future generations.
If you would like to talk about a writing project, please email