She has an MD, but also worked as a a television health reporter. Being able to translate medical jargon into plain English speaks to her communication skills. She is also a self-admitted bookaholic, with no intention of changing. “I read & write like most people breathe: all day, every day.”
She’s also worked for a Washington insider and spent time not only in the Oval Office, but in the Family Quarters as well. So when she combines all these things into a novel, you know that only she could have written it.
A native Texan, she attended the University of Texas, then received her degree from Boston University. While in Boston, she put her husband through two graduate degrees at Harvard and had a baby. She enjoyed being a mom, but housekeeping undid her. “I’d put ten socks in the wash and nine would come out. I knew that was thermodynamically impossible.” She went back to college, took fifteen months of pre-med courses and went to medical school with a toddler in tow.
The marriage ultimately dissolved, but overall, life was good. She had a practice that welcomed children with complex medical problems. “Usually they delighted me, sometimes they scared me witless, and occasionally, they broke my heart.” As if medicine and television weren’t enough, Dixie traveled the world with her daughter and took demanding creative writing classes at Rice University. Then the wheels came off the bus.
Actually the onboard computer failed. At forty-five, she felt ninety-five. She got weird infections. Her right eyeball hurt when she drove over the railroad tracks. Her doctor quickly diagnosed her with Systemic Lupus, the ugly stepsister of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lupus doesn’t gnarl up joints, it simply inflames whatever it pleases. Her doctor pulled the plug on her two careers and Dixie entered the half-lit world of the chronically ill. Always a big reader, she turned to writing as a way to get her mind off things. Luckily by this time, her daughter was gone to college and did not have to see her once-vibrant mother ill.
At the tender young age of fifty-four, she met and married the love of her life. “I couldn’t figure out what he’d want with a wife who slept fourteen hours a day. Now I know: he has more time for golf.” With excellent medical care, as well as a loving husband, Dixie is not in remission, but she has learned to share her body with lupus. But it will never get her spirit.