Allow me to explain: In December of 1984, when I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation--an abnormal, snarled tangle of blood vessels that cause multiple irregular connections between arteries and veins. I had my first 10-hour craniotomy on Christmas Eve. My story was unique, and Borgess Medical Center featured a story about me in its newsletter, simply titled, “Tara.”
And in that moment, I discovered the power of language. I had always been an avid reader, but I hadn’t ever explored words from the writer’s perspective or considered how they could inspire and empower people.
I’ve been writer ever since. I remember writing a descriptive essay about a family trip to Kellogg Forest that same year, describing the sights and sounds in great detail. I was asked to read it to my fifth-grade class, which was memorable because I didn’t like my teacher, and she only liked the super-smart kids. My first "publication" won the Young Author's Book Club. I called it The Year I Slept Through Christmas.
I played piano for years and would have liked to have been a concert pianist, but being paralyzed on the left side from my third craniotomy foiled those plans. I survived middle school and high school and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in English (community journalism) from Western Michigan University in 1996. I followed that up with a two-year master’s program in organizational communication from 1999 to 2001 to work on my self-proclaimed communication apprehension. Most people are surprised to learn that I’m an introvert—especially those who attended my spinning classes.
I started teaching spinning in 2006. I lost that job in 2020 due to COVID and purchased a Peloton bike. When I’m not on an indoor “bike ride to nowhere,” I enjoy playing word games like Dabble and reading. I am on a mission to read MLA's 100 Best Novels (the board’s list). In addition to the classics, I enjoy contemporary fiction, crime/thrillers, historical fiction, memoirs and some chick lit—a little bit of that goes a long way. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I also enjoy paper crafting (card making and scrap booking) and listening to music, especially Coldplay and the Fiery Furnaces. My brother used to own the very hip Neptune Records in Royal Oak and influenced my eclectic taste in music. Now he writes a "mix-tape" blog: Oystered.