I have been a writer since I was in the second grade when my beloved teacher, Sr. Bosco, asked us to write a one-page story about a family tradition. The other children finished in an hour; I sweated over the assignment for three days. I remember the experience clearly: the lined paper that ripped with every erasure, the smell of the heavy lead, the meticulous two-finger space between each word. My composition went something like this: "Every week when we watch Star Trek together as a family, Captain Kirk says, 'To boldly go where no man has gone before.' And my father always shouts at the TV, 'Into the ladies' bathroom!' Now my brothers and I shout this at the TV too when Captain Kirk says 'where no man has gone before.' We all laugh and shout 'Into the ladies bathroom!' It is our family tradition."
The nuns shared my story among themselves and blushed and giggled. I didn't understand what was so funny. This was my first story. Each day since then has contained my subsequent stories.
I earned my B.A. in English and M.Ed. in Secondary Education, both from UCLA. I have been a high school English teacher for 15 years, the first six years in public education and the last nine years in Catholic education. Every year, I get to teach A Tale of Two Cities, Night, The Iliad, Frankenstein, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Inferno, To Kill a Mockingbird -- love stories, all of them. Teenagers rock.
These last 19 years, I have lived in San Juan Capistrano, CA with my husband and master woodworker, Gabriel, who hails from Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and our three children: Brian (18) whose gift is an Adventurous Spirit, Therese (16) whose gift is Empathy, and Ronan (13) whose gift is Wonder.
You can see my husband's artistic masterpieces at www.gabrielmckeagney.com.