I grew up in the South. In the warm glow of my grandmother’s kitchen I learned about stories.The ones she told, the ones I’ve always known, the ones I would later try to tell. I also learned about books there and for as long as I can remember I scribbled in a notebook and called myself a writer. When I went to college at the University of South Carolina I majored in journalism because I wanted to get paid to write. I worked at newspapers for a while back when pagination was a new thing and the Internet was a distant dream. I went to graduate school to focus on writing and came out with a master’s degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon. In 2001 I moved to Montana for a one-year job doing journalism research. More than 10 years later I’m still in Montana, no longer doing research, but still helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories well through writing marketing copy, communications pieces and development proposals. In Missoula I’m pretty far away from my grandmother’s warm kitchen but I still hold her stories close and, with two tiny daughters at my feet, they inform the stories -- mine and yours -- that I tell now.