At age four, when a curious friend of my mother asked what I would be when I grew up, I replied I would be a Writer. Two years short of half a century later, I am revisiting this dream and reflecting back on the passage that has refined my writing abilities and present goal: To not just write, but to make a living from what I write.
In adolescence, I edited the school magazine, The Westringer. My editorials were focused on school-related issues with broad social implications. For example, if we did not learn to clean up our mess in the playground, we might just end up living in a globarl rubbish dump in the not too distant future. I still have the diaries that record my torturous passage through adolescence, and I was published as a "Guests Last Word" in Fair Lady, a national magazine with a substantial readership under a pseudonym. Besides writing prolifically during adolescence, I read. My mother offered a wonderful gift when I turned 12. Having read everything available in the local Children's Library, she gave me her non-fiction cards.
Based on my broad interest in things social, psychological, and spiritual, I arrived at Rhodes to study Journalism. My struggle to find a gender identity with which I was comfortable, or more precisely, with which others are comfortable, led me to psychology. Arrogantly, I dismissed English Literature; I excelled in the subject at school, and I wanted to study fields that I had not had the opportunity to study formally. I graduated with Honors in Psychology after writing a phenomenological explication of the experience of boredom and creativity. Between 1983 and 1989, I conducted socially relevant survey research for a major corporation, the Chamber of Mines, Human Resources Laboratory. I wrote too many research reports to remember about the underlying issues for violent confrontations between groups of workers. [List of Publications for Human Resources, Chamber of Mines Research Organisation] I came to understand the enormous social, political, and economic challenges that faced South Africa and gained insight into the potential tragedies and ironies that could unfold. While the South African context still has its challenges, what occurred in 1994 was a miracle based on what I know about how it could have unfolded. The nation dodged a bullet.
In the course of my sojourn at the Chamber, I also learned a great deal about the pragmatic aspects of research and developed strategies for synthesizing information. I read Philosophy and Science of Religion part time through a distance university (UNISA) and wrote up a research master's applying qualitative methods to explore the experience of stress. I returned to her alma mater to teach methodology and critical social psychology, was awarded a Research Master's in Psychology, and further refined my sensitivity to how consciousness is constructed by reading, registering, and practicing as a Clinical Psychologist. Two papers were submitted for and published without fuss [Crisis as Challenge]. A doctoral degree, awarded in 2001, questioned how we know what we know consciously and explored the manner in which dreaming informs and is informed by socially constructed ideas [Sapphic Experience: Lesbian Gender Identity Development and Diversity, Rhodes University, January 2001]. My lens was the gender constructions of lesbians in particular and my point of entry a dream series.
The passage proved life transforming. My focus turned, or perhaps returned, to metaphysics. My interests generated a free, paper-based New Age-related monthly paper-based magazinecalled Talking Total Health [Talking Total Health]. In addition, Ifacilitated others in their abilities to express themselves more eloquently as a teacher of language, editor of an NGO-based Newsletter, [Walmer-Gqebera Network Newsletter] and academic editor and reviewer for Language Online and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's Writing Centre, who contracted my services. In the meantime, I regretted my arrogance with respect to English while an undergraduate and self-corrected by reading two years of English Literature with a distance university, again UNISA.
I terminated Talking Total Health and handed over the Walmer-Gqebera Network Newsletter when I relocated from the area in which the magazines were distributed and have since earned my keep almost exclusively as a contracted tutor, reviewer, and editor via the Internet. Between facilitating others's more eloquent expression, I developed two websites, dreamsprit.co.za,[Dream Spirit Collection] and disswhizz.com. This site-in-progress, disswhizz.com [Dissertation Snippets], reflects a return to my initial idea about how I would earn my keep in this world.
Portfolio Besides the links provided in the biography below, please feel free to visit the various blog collections