“There is no agony like bearing the untold story inside of you.”

— Maya Angelou


Everyone has a story to tell.

Mine was shaped in an ethnic neighborhood that was Pittsburgh’s version of Northern Ireland.

My mother, who was unable to afford college, dreamed of becoming an English teacher.

During her short life, she instilled a deep love of literature in her three children, along with a rock-solid work ethic and a legacy of service.

My two brothers and I were also raised, in part, by a quirky grandmother who shared interpretive readings of strangers’ obituaries in place of bedtime stories.

I tried to make sense of my story by becoming a therapist.

But writing, more than my early career choice, helped find meaning in my own narrative.

Writing is not therapy, but writing heals.

What’s your story?

Joanne Turnbull