Although I now live on an old farm in New England, I'm originally from Honolulu, Hawaii…a gloriously beautiful archipelago smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (yes, I took the picture below! I grew up there!). I grew up watching a lot of anime, speaking Japanese, and not realizing that the rest of America doesn't do either of those things. My first trip to the U.S. mainland was when I flew out to Washington, D.C. for college. I think “culture shock” is an understatement for what I experienced there.
I'm a 1987 graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. I majored in international economics…what was I thinking?! I sampled the Wall Street analyst life for a bit afterwards but very quickly realized that…uh…it wasn't “me.”
I also went to grad school and studied my first love, early Japanese history. I got my master's degree in 1991 from Harvard. I loved my graduate work. I think I could have lived in the Yenching Library forever. But alas, life moves on, and I had to decide between academia and an income. I did some of each, jetting between the University of Chicago and the State Department. I lived in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Egypt, and later on in Ramallah and Jerusalem. I was lucky and got to learn Arabic along the way. The Middle East and its wonderful people will always have a special place in my heart.
My work tends to have cross-cultural and multicultural themes because of my background and travels. I love mash-ups and crossovers in everything–art, music, literature, food.
Right now, I'm the homeschooling mom to four great kids, ages 16 through 22, although only my younger two are still at home. I spend a lot of time cheering at swim meets and rowing regattas.