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From Michigan to New Mexico. How a sixth month experiment lasted decades.

 

Patrice Locke studied journalism and communication at Michigan State University. Writing was always part of her life plan. When she graduated, an unexpected job offer in Gallup, New Mexico drew her westward. And though she had planned to stay six months, the Southwest turned out to be home.

She worked for New Mexico and Arizona newspapers and radio stations, writing features and straight news stories. Then she had a chance to delve deeper as managing editor of a small weekly. In one explosive scandal involving county law enforcement, an official told her she'd be sorry if she wrote the story.  That prompted a local FBI agent to ask if she felt safe. She did--as soon as the story went public. Patrice was young and invincible then. Today, she's...not so much.

Her only on-the-job celebrity encounters: One with Bonnie Raitt for a story about an anti-nuke rally. Then, she sat next to Mother Teresa for an interview in a bishop's backyard when a Little Sisters of the Poor facility opened in NM.

Now Patrice writes fiction, satisfying because it puts her in charge of all the lives she creates. And who doesn't love making decisions for other people? She writes about human relationships, always with a tinge of humor, partly because she's good at it. And partly because she can't help it.

Jane Austen is her all-time favorite writer.

In music, she favors South African Johnny Clegg. She'll see Elton John for the fourth time next January (2019). Maybe this time, he'll look out into the "22nd row and see something more than" just Patrice, who is definitely  not Marilyn Monroe. (If you're an EJ fan, this will make sense to you -- and you can also sing it if you know the tune).

Patrice lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not far from her daughter Kaitlin, eight hours from her son Trevor, and way too many miles from amazing grandsons Alexander, Zackary, and Ryker.

Patrice won a prestigious contest run by a Detroit radio station when she was 13. She made a turkey drumstick bone into Batman. This extraordinary feat led to great adulation and a Longines gold and diamond watch. The school newspaper wrote a full paragraph about her. Alas, that was her only recognition as an artist so far.

Her major accomplishments include teaching hundreds of community college freshmen to write essays and valiantly attempting to teach even more seventh graders about New Mexico history, language arts, and literature. (Please note the Oxford comma). She has an M.A. in secondary education from the University of New Mexico.

She was recently awarded the World’s Best Granny coffee mug in Boise, Idaho. She SAYS she hates to brag about that because other grandmothers will be jealous. But, the truth is the truth. She HAS the mug.

Patrice Locke, writer, teacher,

award-winning turkey drumstick designer