The Rest of the Story

Ok, a little truth in advertising here. This is a D chord. So far, it’s the only one I know. My husband, Tom, and our sons are the guitarists in the family. (Tom can play the guitar riff at the beginning of Johnny B. Goode behind his head. Check out the "Family Pictures" and you'll see.) 

You know how I said my former publishing company called me their “Flagship Cinematic Storyteller.” What I didn't say was that I always wondered—so that makes me ... what? A frigate? Just between you and me, here's the Rest of the Story.

I was born in Socorro, New Mexico, sometime shortly after the earth cooled off. I grew up in Texas, graduated from Muleshoe High School--kick 'em Mules!--and got a BA in English and theatre from Texas Tech University. (With a major like that, it’s clear it didn’t occur to me at the time that I'd actually have to get a job someday.)

The husband-six-children-twelve-grandchildren part of the Bay Forest Books biography is really me, except it doesn't tell you how crazy I am about my husband, or how smart and talented my children are, or that I have the most beautiful grandchildren on the planet. I'm just sayin'...

Oh, and I did eventually get a job, and hung in there for a 25-year career as a journalist. I wouldn't have missed it for the world, but as soon as I figured out that making up the facts was a whole lot more fun that reporting them, I never looked back.

And I promised to explain about the 9 and the E here, too. As family history goes, (I didn't make this story up, but I suspect it's a safe bet my Aunt Inez did) when I was born, my mother's hospital room number was 9E. So that's what was written on the end my bassinet in the hospital nursery. I'm told that when my older sister saw me for the first time, she asked Aunt Inez, "Is that how you spell Ninie?" Of course, a much simpler and more reasonable explanation is that Ninie just sounds like 9E. But that's not nearly as colorful a story and my family is all about colorful.

So there you have it, my life story and I'm sticking to it. Doesn't tell you a whole lot, though. It's been my experience that the most important things to know about somebody are random bits of information you glean through long association. So here are 15 random things you would know about me if you knew me well.

1. In my head, I am 16 years old. I have the energy level of The Energizer Bunny on crack. Several years ago, I decided to get a year younger on each birthday, so theoretically, I could cease to exist before I die.

2. I grew up on the flat, west Texas prairie, wore jeans long before they were a fashion statement and spent the first 18 years of my life trying not to smile during sandstorms so I wouldn't get grit in my teeth.

3. I want to set all speculation permanently to rest: yes, my hair is really red! It says so right there on the box.

4. I run 10-15 miles a week; I hate every step of it.

5. I lived in England, in various villages near London for six years but I am the world's lousiest tourist. I've only seen Stonehenge because we happened to drive past it one day. My husband slowed down and told me to take a picture of it with my phone out the car window, and to "scratch that off your things-to-see-in-England list."

6. I love England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway and Sweden where we have Young Life work. It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve there. I also love America more for having lived overseas.

7. I get up in the morning while the sun's still out there somewhere over the Atlantic and have a full day's writing done before lunchtime. If God made me choose between telling stories and eating I'd starve to death. Don't look for this red-headed woman with gray roots on some beach in Florida. I will never retire. I will work at something until they shovel in the dirt.

8. I have an intense nesting instinct. If I stay in a motel room for more than two days, I'm ready to rearrange the furniture, hang new curtains, paint the walls and put up a wallpaper chair rail.

9. You could follow me through my life along the trail of my lost belongings: earrings, gloves, scarves, glasses, purses, jackets, boarding passes, keys, my car in parking lots ...

10. Things I don't care about: fashion, wine, celebrities, cooking (I'm all over eating, though!), anything expensive, magazines, reality shows, politics, talking-heads, video games and other people's pets.

11. Things I've never done: had a manicure; watched Oprah, Survivor, American Idol, Seinfeld or the Academy Awards; been to a prom; eaten Mexican food without throwing up; listened to a rap song all the way through, or kept up with a pair of sunglasses for more than three days.

12. Things I wish I'd done: learned to play the piano, taken the kids to the zoo that time I promised and it rained, invested in people's lives the way my husband has for 40 years, kept the boys' Star Wars toys, listened to what my mother told me about life and bought stock in Microsoft.

13. Things I believe: that God is actively involved in my life, that love trumps everything, that I'll eat Krispie Kreme doughnuts and British yogurt in Heaven, that self-absorption is a one-way ticket to misery, and that driving on the left side of the road is just wrong.

14. This is what I want on my tombstone: Next time I tell you I'm sick, you'll believe me.

15. Actually, all you really need to know about me is that I am a humble follower of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, everything else in my life is just window dressing.



"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.