Self-help, Spirituality, Biography, Human interest, Interpersonal relationships, Interpersonal communication
Marilyn's major interests are art, music, and photography. She worked professionally as a self-taught artist for five years, completing 80 commissioned works and teaching both drawing and painting. She was a music teacher for one year at a private high school and taught music appreciation for two semesters for the University of Alaska Rural Education Program. Although not currently earning money through any of these mediums, Marilyn continues to seek outlets for her artistic energy.
Marilyn began her education right after high school, but after her second year of class work, she spent two years in South America. Returning home, she married and began a family. While living in rural Alaska, she determined to complete her degree through community education, classes at the University of Alaska, and correspondence courses. Originally majoring in music, Marilyn completed her liberal arts degree through an external degree program in 1992.
Before Marilyn moved to another department within the facility where she worked to take a promotion, she wrote a manual describing in detail her various duties. Her successor had not yet been hired, and she wanted to leave written instructions to help her replacement learn the job well and quickly. Having written instructions for a position was a new concept, meaning every new employee had to spend valuable time being taught while someone else had to spend time teaching. After Marilyn left, her previous supervisor shared the manual with other employees in the section. Marilyn started receiving positive feedback for her work, telling her how clear, detailed, and useful it was.
Marilyn has always looked inward with the aim of making herself a happier, healthier person. After reading many self-help books, she spent several years in therapy getting in touch with her own childhood trauma and doing some significant healing in the process. She has been working on a book that gives helpful suggestions to those currently in therapy who struggle with the painful exploration of childhood issues.
Over the course of many years, Marilyn has written articles, talks, and presentations on a variety of spiritual topics. Since childhood she has had an interest in spiritual matters and continually seeks to learn more and explore new concepts. Marilyn spent two years in Peru as a missionary and currently teaches a class of four-year-olds each Sunday.
Marilyn wrote this and other articles as a staff writer for a state agency. The content of the article was based on a visit to the school and an interview with Robert James, who started the school for troubled boys. Other articles were also based on personal interviews.
As a writer for a large state agency, one of Marilyn's duties was to interview the executive director once a month and write a column putting forth the message she wanted presented to her staff in the monthly statewide newsletter. Based on the recorded interviews, Marilyn simulated the director's manner of speaking as she wrote the column. When the finished column was submitted to the director for her approval, it consistently came back with no or minor suggested changes.
Marilyn has recently published an ebook recounting her adventures and describing her lifestyle in the Alaskan wilderness, where she lived with her husband and three children for ten years. The book is based on her memories of the challenges the family faced and of the satisfaction they experienced working hard and living independently. She also quotes from journals she kept at the time, which cover encounters with bears, spring floods, and a husband's broken leg, which she set while looking at a first-aid book. She is now working on two more ebooks.