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My life and research

I think I was born researching and I know I have always been a storyteller. I would follow my mother around talking about what I'd found or thought until she suggested I find somewhere else to be. A favorite place when I was little was our front porch swing, and I would sit for what seemed hours "fishing" with a large bamboo pole and S hook in the lilac bushes. When I was 4, I copied across the top of one of my pictures the word "Profoundly!" By the time I was seven, I had tested my younger sister's ability to survive, beginning with leaving her outside in the Iowan late winter and going through being the reason she cut her chin and nearly bit through her lower lip.

By the sixth grade I was a research nerd. I loved it when our sixth grade science teacher had us write a research paper. I wrote mine on the golden plover and its migration habits (in case you are interested, they annually fly from northern North America to South America and back). Then, just because I loved that so much, I wrote a second one about the black plague. (Did you know that the most popular book at the end of the 13th century was "How to die"?) I absolutely devoured my family's 1962 Encyclopedia Americana. My summers included week-long projects with art and reading and writing - some my mom created, some I designed myself. When we would go on family trips, we kids would present information about where we would travel and find places where we should go. I would find the haunted houses and the art and history museums.

It doesn't seem a surprise that I would stay in academia and get three post-graduate degrees. Few things support a yearning to do research or storytelling like an academic career. But I found myself wishing to apply my writing and my research to something that would benefit those outside the ivory towers. And that is the story of my journey to creating this business that allows me to indulge my deep love of exploring a story's background.

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