The Short of It
I’m married to a wonderfully patient man who is convinced I have ADD. My short attention span is great for raising four active boys, not so much for doing grown-up things, which also means writing is a challenging process. But I love to write so I force myself to sit longer than five minutes without getting sucked into the internet rabbit hole or impromptu football games. I’m currently working on my first manuscript, and second, and third (see, short attention span).
Thank you to my husband, for loving all versions of me. And to my parents, for giving me the world, by insisting I read.
The (Not-So) Long of It
I was going to be a lawyer, just like my father and my uncle—at least that’s what I thought. But while applying for college, my very wise father told me there are easier ways to make a living, other than being a lawyer. Of course, being 17 and stubborn, one sure way to have a teenager do something is to tell her not to do it. So off I went to college and enrolled in English Studies (I know it wasn’t much of a pre-law major but this was just another manifestation of my non-linear thinking). Very soon, however, I learned studying wasn’t so much fun. So rushing to finish college in three years, off I graduated hoping to fulfill every new college graduate’s dream: travel the world and get a car that doesn’t break down at every stop sign.
By this time, I figured I probably shouldn’t go to law school just to prove my father wrong so I decided to try to get a job. But here again was my realistic father who told me I couldn’t get ahead in the world with just a (English) college degree, that I needed a master’s degree (at least). Perturbed at my party pooper of a father, but grateful for his wise words, off I took the LSAT, gained a scholarship in law school, and did my best (I really did) to like law school. But I hated it. Not to mention that my life flashes back before me every time I hear the words “Socratic” method. The only good thing to come out of law school was I met my future husband (thanks Dad!).
Relieved to be leaving law school behind, I went to work for a blue chip international law firm because what else would an English major and a law school refugee do? I lasted a year before I decided graduate school might be kinda cool (as you can tell by now, I do not learn lessons easily, see college and law school experience). Please don’t ask me to explain the rationale from English degree to law school to international relations. Two years later, I received a Master’s Degree in International Relations, which turned out to be a really cool experience because I met so many interesting people and formed life long friendships.
Post-grad school, I applied to the usual government agencies but when I found out I had to actually move cross country and live in Washington DC, the real possibility of shoveling snow was enough to scare this West Coast gal to stay put. So I sat down, and reassessed my life. By now, I was married to a young struggling lawyer and thought maybe it was time to start a family before we become too old to raise our child(ren). Two years later, our son was born who gave me the perfect excuse to quit my job and stay home.
Two of my boys. Daddy and son.
Off and on through the years, I would sit down to write stuff—this and that. Things of little consequence to people but were very personal to me. I always loved writing, which I think always goes hand in hand with the love for reading. I love to read and spend any spare time (which isn’t a lot) I can find reading. Four children later, I finally decided it was time to see if I was readable, even publishable. So here I am, hoping you enjoy my work.
Aside from raising my family, I’m also an adjunct faculty pretending to teach government classes (ssshh, none of my students know about my secret life as a writer). For someone who wasn’t so keen on the whole college experience, I love teaching. I love the energy and creativity of eager minds who share their thoughts and experiences, plus I can pretend to know what I’m talking about.
I live in the West Coast with my husband, our four sons, and a boy golden retriever. It is my hope that someday I can add something female to my household to balance the testosterone whether it’s a female fish or a female bird I haven’t decided. Any suggestions are welcome.
*Copyright Phil Dokas