About Joan

Having spent a goodly amount of my life trying to find my way through a maze of constant life changes, I’m finally figuring out where I’ve been, how I got there, and who and where I am today. Mine is a story of an ordinary life that led to a diagnosis of PTSD; where constant fear and anxiety hid in the shadows and attacked without warning whenever I appeared too vulnerable.

As a child I lived like a gypsy, moving from house to house, as quickly as my father could build and then sell them. My father was a tyrant; my mother was an alcoholic with a narcissistic personality. Until recently I believed that I was broken and a failure. I was filled with shame, and the need to keep myself hidden from the rest of the world.

In working through my stories I’ve found healing, acceptance, and forgiveness for myself and the others who have left a mark on my life.

My upcoming memoir is about my relationship with my mother, during the last seven years of her life when I became her caretaker and she lived with me in my home. I recall both my love and hatred for her, explore my recovery from loss and abuse, and find the imperfect, but sensitive and compassionate human being that I am.

It’s an honest and sometimes humorous exploration of the mother/daughter relationship and the well-meaning mistakes both of us made without knowing why. It’s about my mother, a beautiful and loving woman, who was abused by her mother and then by her husband. And it’s about how I made my way from being lost in the mire of life with no one to rescue me but myself. Set in my sixtieth decade, it’s a coming of age story, sure to be of interest to others, especially woman, who have lost their way and need to recover their lives.

Besides writing poetry and nonfiction, I am an artist, passionate about painting with oils and wax, collage, mixed media, photography, and sculpting French beaded flowers.  My work in photography has been exhibited throughout the nation and has found homes in numerous collections. Though retired from actively showing my work, I still take great joy in creating large, colorful works on canvas and paper and smaller encaustic paintings on wood.

In 1980 I wrote and published the now out-of-print instruction book, AUSTRALIAN LOCKER HOOKING, A New Approach to a Traditional Craft. My poetry has been published in numerous journals and is included in the anthology, Some Say Tomato, by Mariflo Stephens.