As an adult, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I – finally, at the age of twenty-seven – graduated from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in Political Science with a minor in English. I taught ninth-grade English for one year but decided teaching was not my passion. I really did stumble into what turned out to be my passion – criminal justice. I was an Adult Probation Officer for about eight years, then was sworn in as a United States Probation Officer in January 1992. When I retired in April 2014, I had served in several capacities with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services in both the Northern District of Texas and the District of Montana, including my final role as Chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer, TXN. Along the way, I also earned a Master’s Degree in Humanities.
A wise colleague once asked me to consider who I would be when I was no longer “Chief.” In retirement, I set about discovering just who I was, outside of my career. So, who am I? As with most people, who I am starts with my family. In addition to being the proud mother of an amazing young woman who serves children as an R.N., I’m also fortunate enough to have been married since 1981 to my favorite guy, Randy Whitten. He and I have always enjoyed the outdoors and he has been a bass angler since he was a boy, sneaking in to fish Foard County tanks with his brother. So, in retirement, we knew we needed to move from Arlington, Texas to a smaller, quieter community near a lake, so that’s what we did.
I’ve enjoyed making new friends while also having more time to spend with long-time friends, spending time with family, reading and participating in three different book clubs, doing a little painting, some volunteer work and community/political activities, and – most of all – writing. I began writing A Thousand Fibers soon after my retirement. It’s hard to explain, but I just had this story whirling around my head, and felt these characters had something to say. I had experienced the power of connections with others and wanted to reach out and connect on a grander scale. The characters in my books do that for me. I sincerely hope my characters connect with you, and that you enjoy spending time with them. And in answer to that colleague, I can now say that who I am includes “author,” which I find very exciting!