That’s me wrapped up in a less-than-neat-yet-ever-changing package. I live in Las Vegas with my husband and our crazy Welsh Terrier, but I can’t sit still very long. I’m always ready for my next
I (Chris) have a BA in Spanish and English and taught them and drama, and journalism before eventually realizing what I really wanted to do was write. An editor at CNN told me I was a good writer but that he couldn’t hire me because I had no experience. I decided to get some. After we moved to Las Vegas, I wrote, edited, and did public relations for clients that included Nevada Power, US Home and the Clark County (NV) School District. My husband got a job in Nashville, so I folded up the PR business and opened Paper Moon, an award-winning store that specialized in paper arts.
The writing bug never left me, though, so after closing the Moon, I decided I needed another degree and earned an MFA in creative writing from Murray State University (KY). When Mike retired, we headed back to Las Vegas, and I founded The Las Vegas Memoir Project. Today, I’m a travel writer, magazine editor, blogger, teacher, photographer, and guide of all things Italy.
It was while I was working on my MFA dissertation that I started to memorialize my maternal grandmother’s stories and decided I had to find the Italian village where she started her life. In 2010, I found Pettorano sul Gizio—and a lot more. I have since learned to speak Italian, have traveled to the country many times, and have recently become an Italian citizen.
My journey has also made me realize that everyone has a story to tell, so I founded the Las Vegas Memoir Project.. I teach memoir (LVMP) and grammar (UNLV), am managing editor of BLVDS Magazine (now on hiatus), keep my husband and dog in line, and travel—especially to Italy—as often as I can.
Mike spent 35 years as a broadcast journalist working at local stations, CNN Headline News, and CNN. A graduate of Xavier University (Cincinnati), he received numerous awards for his work as a producer and television news director. Since retiring in 2008, he’s kept busy teaching for OLLI at UNLV and serving on the board of directors for OLLI and an HOA. When he can, he joins me on my adventures.
Ohio natives, Mike and I met when two of our college friends (who were dating) introduced us. They eventually broke up. We didn’t. In the 40-some years since we married, we’ve lived all over the United States as Mike worked in the ever-changing television news business. He was lucky enough to retire early in 2008, and a year later, we packed up a honking big Penske truck and moved ourselves back to Las Vegas.
Mike insists he wouldn’t travel as much if he hadn’t married me. I tell him he’s lucky he’s not missing out on all of the fun.