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Shari Held 3086 Final

Before becoming a freelance writer, I created business communications for the corporate, computer technology and academic arenas.

I’ve also been an associate professor, IUPUI’s first Webmaster, a salesperson, technical editor and purchasing agent—in both the metals and chemicals industries.

All those diverse career paths reinforced what I instinctually knew: Working with words, to effectively communicate with others, is what gave me the utmost satisfaction.

That innate ability, plus strong project management skills, a willingness to work outside my comfort zone and a gift for simultaneously wearing multiple hats, came in handy when I became a full-time freelance writer more than a decade ago.

But, life’s not all about the work, important as that may be! I’ve also accomplished a lot while away from my computer.

For one thing, I lived in northern Italy for a year-and-a-half during the ‘70s. I was a “full-time” substitute teaching at the American School in Vicenza. During that time I enjoyed my first fondue in Switzerland, tasted my first beer at Munich’s Octoberfest, purchased woolen goods at Miss Marple’s Army Navy Stores in London and fell in love with Notre Dame and Paris. I also traveled to the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria.

Closer to home, I’ve hugged the curves of the Indy 500 track while driving my own car. And I made homemade pastas of all sorts long before that became mainstream. Today I enjoy cooking and baking on my AGA, and often offer baked treats to friends and neighbors.

I was raised on a farm in Indiana, so it’s no surprise that I’m a huge animal advocate. Since 2006 I’ve provided care, nourishment and shelter for a feral cat colony that now lives in my backyard—all have been trapped, neutered or spayed and returned to me. I also care for other creatures that meander through or put down roots. In my spare time, I write about my animal care-taking experiences.

I can never turn the writer in me off. And I don’t want to!

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