The Myth Makers

About the Author


Visual artist, teacher, writer, and speaker.


I was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma the capital of the Cherokee nation. And I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. I lived a glamorous life in a big house in Pebble Beach, California on the 17 Mile Drive. I lived the bohemian life of an artist in Greenwich village studying at the Art Students League for four years. I studied art in Florence, in Provence, in Santa Fe, and I was a street painter in Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Now, I have returned to my roots and still keep a toe hold in the New York art world. (Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? It was, but there were devastating, painful losses along the way that will be covered in a memoir.)

“She’s lost.” they said.  

“Not all who wander are lost.” Tolkien said. 


I have done massive research and have extensive documentation of my Cherokee heritage. And my writing thus far pretty much focuses on that ancestry, but I am not limited to this proud lineage. Not much of a joiner, I dropped out of the Brownie Scouts and have shied away from group identity of any kind most of the time.


An insecure child approaching adolescence, I was set afire by a book called East of Eden. I wasn’t the only freak on this earth! There was Cathy Trask. In Steinbeck's family saga I found a new world...the world of books. I love the poetry of Poe and Frost, T. S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats. Two of my favorite fiction writers are southern ones: William Faulkner and Eudora Welty. 


In colloquial language, I guess I came by writing honestly. I wrote my first story in the seventh grade, worked on a novel (a romance, of course) in high school.  These loose leaf notebook pages passed through many hands of my peers and disappeared but I relished the acknowledgement. “Would you write a skit to be performed in the auditorium at the pep rally on Friday?” the seniors asked the lowly sophomore. 


So, I was writing little “laugh ins” and starring in th performances before the student body every week. Much to my English teacher’s dismay, I headed off to college with a scholarship in theater. She had other ideas about the focus of my creative energy. God, I wish she were here today to see The Myth Makers  in print! (Miss Jacqueline Bresee, women like you are the salt of the earth and you will never be forgotten.)

My approach to writing is the same as my approach to my visual art. The idea of process art, an outline is suffocating. Maybe I am undisiplined. Anyway, I cannot be put into a harness. My taste in music is the same...with jazz as my favorite.

I must be totally immersed in the creative journey and do not take any short cuts. This solitude (now, they tell me that is discipline) is for the most part a long but sweet journey. Maybe I am still finding my voice, my style. I like to break rules. Although I am an English teacher I have little respect for commas and tenses. I believe in author intrusion and asides. And while it is the current trend to do a close up and weave one single thread into your “page turner” I am enamored with the wide shot, lots of characters and years, visual imagery, and layers of meaning and symbolism. I want to write real prose. No one talks much about that anymore.


*Lady Ga Ga, more over. I think I am getting a handle on this self promotion thing (being a teacher in front of a group has been good practice) but I am sure that if Faulkner were here today he would be appalled by all this blogging, bowing, scraping, shaking hands, kissing babies, and signings at “Events”. He would probably say to hell with writing, and do nothing but sit out on his porch at night, drink his scotch, and watch “Dat Evening Sun Go Down” ( yes, it should be capitalized as it is the title of one of his short stories). 


Now, if The Myth Makers is successful I would like to finish the sequel I have begun that takes th same characters into the Civil War and up to Oklahoma statehood. Then, there is this children’s book Stardust that I will illustrate with my art...more about Cherokee mythology. Before it is all said and done, this lost soul, this maverick would like to pretty much cover it all in a memoir I have already titled Who I Used to Be.  

* I will accept speaking engagements and will travel for both book signings and lectures.