In earlier years, I worked at menial jobs: maid, barmaid, file clerk, exotic dancer--the sort of jobs that were available to women in the 1950s and 60s who couldn't take shorthand and hadn't sat through college classes with boys sneering at them.

After my children were grown, I acquired a BA degree in journalism "with high distinction"--as it is written on my diploma. As you can imagine, I'm proud of that! I'm even prouder that I was awarded membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. I would never again have to wear my knees out on cold floors or inhale yellow nicotene floating near the ceiling of some bar. Indeed, I was looking forward to interviewing world-renowned experts and investigating presidential mishaps at, say, the Washington Post.

I soon discovered, however, that I would be lucky to land any job at all in my field. This was during the Watergate years. There were so many journalism graduates in 1981, the year I graduated, that only a very few lucky stiffs with good connections could find jobs in their field.

So, for the next 30 years, I worked as a technical writer and occasionally as a freelance reporter and graphic designer for local newspapers and magazines. I retired in 2018,--finally!--moved to the backwoods of Oregon, and for a few years worked as the website administrator and editor of a literary magazine publishing short stories and poetry.

These days, I write creative nonfiction and political commentary. I also manage the Medium Publication Owners Hub and edit articles for the Medium publication Politically Speaking. (Medium recently notifed me that I'm a top writer in politics!)

Some of my creative nonfiction is published here on Medium and in various literary magazines and anthologies: Syndicated, Fifty Word Stories, Entropy, The Daily Abuse: Women’s Accounts of Sexual Violation, Groundwaters, Mothers Always Write, BONED: A collection of skeletal writings, Catapult, Sincerely Magazine, Oregon Humanities Magazine, Work Literary Magazine, Setting Forth—on a Literary Itinerary, TALES OF OUR LIVES — Fork in the Road, bioStories, Our Memoir Collection: Everybody Has a Story, and Cat Fancy Magazine. There may be more; I don't keep this list updated even though, every time I add to it, I remember cold floors and yellow nicotine.

I write because I must; I edit for the same reason. But one thing I do for pure pleasure: Almost every day that it isn't raining or snowing here in my little Oregon retreat, I walk. I walk for miles with my beloved companion, my Silly Lilly.

Silly Lilly chases squirrels. In my old age now, I'm rather more sedate.

Medium member since September 2020
·
Katharine Valentino

Still trying for the words to help us do and feel good things. PubHub owner. Politically Speaking editor. Top writer in politics & racism.