M is for Me. I thought this might be a good time to really introduce myself to everyone.
This is the blurb I hide behind: Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.
It’s pretty true but I am, naturally so much more. I’m my parents’ only daughter. I grew up in the country outside of Pittsburgh and I remain a country girl to this day. Cities make me itchy. I love popping in to enjoy all the things a city has to offer and fleeing back to where I can see stars and listen to the wind in the trees.
I was the wrong girl in high school, too smart, too weird, too much a loner to fit in. Hell, I AM Lisa Simpson right down to the saxophone. I only fit in with the other Dungeons & Dragons playing SF/comic book geeks. (I’m house hunting now and seriously considering living an hour from work just to be closer to my D&D playing friends). I hate high school and almost everyone in it (even now there are some I won’t friend on FB because of how horrible they were to me in h.s.).
I blossomed in college, working on three degrees at once (chemistry, biology and English. I didn’t quite finish that last one). I was in three bands, in three plays a year, worked three jobs, was an officer in my sorority for all four years and did a massive amount of ghost hunting back in the days before everyoen was running around with gauss meters. I went to podiatric medical school from there. I’ve been a doctor in Harlem and on Pine Ridge reservation. My specialty was diabetic wound kill.
The first time my life went sideways was 1992 at the end of the year. Between October and April of 93 I gained over 150 pounds. No one knew why. I was at the gym every week. I was barely eating because who has time in med school? They blamed the stress of getting a residency. It would be more than a decade before we realized I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have yet to lose any weight in spite of medically guided weight loss programs. Much of my hair fell out and I’m severely diabetic as a result.
The second time my life was ripped apart was 2000. A patient kicked me (he was demented, I can’t blame him) and ruptured the nerve in my right hand. My surgical career was over. I fought for six months but I didn’t repair. (Watching Doctor Strange last year made me cry for the first 20 minutes or so. I’ve been THROUGH those horrible PT sessions). Eventually me and my half dead hand went back to school in Florida. I lived with a friend in Cassadaga, the psychic community. That was cool. I do have some feeling back in my hand but it’s often painful, stiff and weak.
From there I moved into being a professor in Appalachia (near the Hocking Hills in OH and Point Pleasant and the Mothman in West Virginia). It’s a challenge. It’s not my dream. That died with one well aimed kick. But I am good at it.
And through it all, I’ve written. It started with Star Wars fan fiction after seeing the original movie when I was 10. I’ve written fan fiction for forty years now (oh, good god). I remain a fan of SF, urban fantasy, fantasy and mystery and that is what I write.
What else can I tell you about me? I love to swim and hike. I love music and books beyond all reason. I love to cook. I’m still a ghost hunter. I travel and I love historical travel and museums. I love to talk and talk and talk and I am LOUD. I make my own jewelry and desperately wish I could draw my own characters (but I can’t).
That is the story of Me. Chapter One at any rate.