Twenty-four years ago, when I graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, I figured I’d end up back in Chicago where I grew up. Instead, I am living on an island in the mid-Pacific. When my husband and I moved to Kauai, we told our family it was for one year. We sold a four-bedroom house and all its contents. I sold a successful advertising and public relations firm and shipped my computer, camping gear, two dogs and little else besides my address book of New York editor contacts.
I landed my first freelance magazine assignment with Fitness magazine, mostly because the editor was an alumna of my alma mater. More assignments came: Weight Watchers, Healthy Living, Backpacker, Sports Afield, Golf for Women, Running Times, Islands, Canoe & Kayak. (Read clips at my website: www.kimsrogers.com.)
My writing has taken a turn for travel, primarily the people, places and culture of Hawaii. I am a contributing editor for Hawaii magazine, and I write a regular department for Hawaiian Airlines’ Hana Hou. And, now, I’m writing a book about Mark Twain’s visit to Hawaii back in 1866 and another about building a home and living in Hawaii. I also edit and publish the local online literary blog KauaiBackstory and the travel website OutriggerHawaii.
Nine years have passed since we moved to Hawaii, supposedly for one year.
For me, writing is like the front door of my new house: Layered. It starts with sanding, second, pre-stain conditioner, third, stain, fourth, polyurethane, fifth, more sanding, and, finally, the top coat. All these layers create a finish grown beautiful with age and use. Writing requires the same attention to craft: Layers of workshops, conferences and classes. In December 2007, I topped my Bachelor of Journalism degree with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Antioch University-Los Angeles. Doors. Writing. The goal is always the same: A rich patina.