Sue with Coco
Nel and Sue
Born: Buckeye, AZ
Siblings: Twin brother and two older bros
Parents: Mom was a prospector, Dad was a
High School: Buckeye Union
College: Arizona State U
Degrees: BA in English, Masters in Communication
Met Nel: 1969
Moved: To Oregon from the SW in 1992
Jobs: High school teacher, media specialist,
bookstore owner, B&B owner, house flipper, photographer,
curriculum writer, novelist, reviewer, and editor
Organizations: NOW, PFLAG, Rainbow Round
Table, Golden Crown Literary Society, Lambda Literary
Hobbies: Beachcombing, saving sea stars,
photography, reading, cooking, technology, rehabbing houses
Favorite color: All of them!
Because I was born in southern Arizona, desert dwelling was
my childhood way of life. My mother had followed her father
into prospecting, and I followed them from one claim to the
next while my father reluctantly blasted for minerals for
her when he wasn't farming and ranching. She loved the desert
plants, especially the flowers, and taught me about their
uses. Medicinal plants were especially handy when I got wounded
from the hard lessons the desert was famous for. I also loved
to trail my father from one water-hole to the next as we worked
My favorite sound is the windmill
squawking in the distance, each turn bringing water to the
surface. My beloved horse, a wise, white desert-sure broom-tail
always managed to get me home. Summers sometimes took me north
where I guided horseback riders through the northern Arizona
mountains. Everything there from the green of the valleys
and forests to the beautiful refreshing streams was wonderful
except for the fierce afternoon lightening storms which scared
the crap out of both the horse and me.
I lost this life when I was sent
off for book learning and made a new life as a school teacher.
I met Nel, the love of my life, at Arizona State University.
During our first years together we wrote curriculum, including
a media textbook that sold around the world, and we eventually
directed school media centers until we retired.
Once we retired, the desert heat
lost its appeal, so we moved to a Pacific Northwest coastal
town as close to water as we could get. Once again, we found
a whole new way of living. Over the years we opened a bookstore
and two bed and breakfasts, worked on renovating and building
houses, started a publishing company, and edited The Butch
Cook Book. I also wrote four novels, three about Loni Wagner,
and another about three teens stranded in the desert. I got
very involved in photography.
The future? Maybe I'll write
another Loni Wagner novel. Or take more photos. What I do
know is that I'm looking forward to whatever's behind the
next door I open.
The View from my Window