Born in South Carolina, raised in Atlanta, m.a. wood relocated to Annandale-on-Hudson New York as a teen. There she attended Bard College. She worked as a recreation therapist for ten years and then moved into the business world, specifically working with healthful food, party and retreat planning, and hotel management. She did a short stint as the 3rd mate on the Clearwater and then decided to go into teaching. She is an English Language Arts teacher.