About Laurel

I have loved reading and writing ever since my older sister came home from first grade to teach me what she had learned that day. My first publications were in the Oakland Tribune in a weekly section for children called “Aunt Elsie’s Page,” and a newspaper I put out for my family which featured reviews of what I was reading and news about what was happening in the lives of my dolls.

I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged me from the beginning, and who showed their support by giving up much of what they must have wanted for themselves so my sister and I could get the best possible education. As a result, by the time I graduated from The Bishop’s School in 1967 and enrolled as an English major at the University of California at Davis, I had come to appreciate that good writing is extraordinarily difficult but well worth the effort. I couldn’t believe I could get a degree by devouring novels and poetry in bed in my pajamas, and writing papers on ideas that burned in me as I read, but it turned out to be largely true. Graduate school at the University of Chicago (MA 1972) and again at Davis (Ph.D, 1982) followed.

Professionally, early in my career I was both an instructor and an administrator of academic support programs at San Diego State University and the University of California at San Diego. I came to San Diego City College in 1990, first as a dean and then as a full-time professor of English and Humanities. I also freelanced in the 1990s, writing 17 Young Adult titles for Lucent Books.

i started writing fiction in my fifties, publishing four novels and one work of non-fiction between 2008 and 2014, a spurt of creativity that astonishes me in retrospect.  Since then I have concentrated on other aspects of my life, continuing my love of writing in the diary that is part of this website, which has over 300 entries over the last 12 years.

I am fortunate, since my retirement in 2014, to continue my love of teaching as a lecturer for several cruise lines. I travel the world, speaking about the history, art, culture and interesting people of places as far flung as Patagonia and Iceland, Ireland and Myanmar. Have passport, will travel—any place, any time!

And just in case it sounds as if I write and travel all the time, I also find time at home for tennis and good friends.

Covid has brought about great changes in my life, but my love of travel is unabated. As a dual citizen, I was able recently to relocate to Vancouver Island, where I am settling in to a new Canadian identity.