Welcome to my web site and what I refer to as “my fourth life.”
In my fourth life days usually begin with morning coffee in the summer, sitting on a small porch at our home, looking over the rolling hills in upstate New York. In the winter, coffee cup in hand, I watch the flowing waters of the Caloosehatche River near Ft. Myers Florida, and occasionally am rewarded with seeing manatees heading down river, or looking at the surf on Amelia Island. Much of my time is spent writing, traveling with my husband, George, or, when I’m in New York, working in jail ministry. Not a bad life, this fourth life. In fact, it’s a great one.
Lona grew up in Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, and worked in the field of Microbiology at The University of Oklahoma Medical School, National Jewish Hospital in Denver, and in the Molecular Biology Department at UCLA in Los Angeles. While working at UCLA Lona took creative courses under Robert Kirsch, book review editor for the Los Angeles times and her love of writing was born.
In 1973, when George’s father became ill, she and her husband moved to upstate New York to take over the family dairy farms. Working with animals was familiar to Lona who grew up on a farm; the every-twelve-hour routine of milking, tending to the herd, and cleaning, wasn’t. One did it because it had to be done.
Eleven years later, a beautiful Victorian house for sale in a nearby village, beaconed. In 1984 the Smith’s bought it, and Lona opened a bed and breakfast and began a catering business, Summerwood, which she operated for sixteen years. The world came to their door—for opera—for baseball—for special family occasions. It was a special time and will be shared in a future book of Summerwood Stories and Recipes.
When Summerwood was sold in 2000 Lona returned to writing. Thus begins the fourth life. Morning Walk, a self-published novel; Winepress, 2006 was inspired by her morning walks in the Olga community that retains the “old Florida” feeling, and a cypress house in an unkempt orange grove. Lona was energized to keep writing by attending Florida Writer’s Conferences, and Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and meeting and networking with other writers.
Her second book, Dynamite Mike, an inspirational biography about her cousin was released by Double Edge Press in April 2011.