A Bit About Me
My name is Ronda Downey, and I am honored to be a member of the Arizona Author’s Association. In the third act of my life, I am endeavoring to be a writer and I am excited to be associated with such a talented group of authors. During the first two acts of my life, I was often complimented on my ability to write a rousing business letter and an occasional speech, and I was my daughters’ editor-in-chief throughout their education, but I did not consider myself a writer.
I first learned of AAA when my mother and stepfather were members writing their memoirs. Unfortunately, my mother was diagnosed with cancer before she could complete hers. On her deathbed she told me to scrap her project if it wasn’t finished. After she passed away, I knew as her only child I was the only person qualified to complete it and that’s what I did. I rewrote it as an autobiography entitled A Woman of Substance, A Girl from Shakerag. It was incredible moving and emotionally gratifying to fulfill her dying wish, and afterward I thought I was finished with writing, but at the beginning of the pandemic while my stepfather and I were getting our hair cut on the back patio of his house, I began telling the hairdresser about my mother and stepfather’s love story. They were both born in Missouri, not far from each other, but eons apart socially and economically. Their lives intersected many times, over four decades and two states, and when fate threatened to end the possibility of them ever meeting, destiny stepped in and arranged for them to pursue the same profession, improving the odds that they would meet. When they did finally meet, a whirlwind romance ensued, and I was privileged to witness a rare love. I realized that day on the back patio that if I did not write their story, the love they shared would be forgotten. I believe love should be cherished, not forgotten, so I am currently writing a novel about their life’s journey toward love and healing.
It was a wonderful to surprise to find that I fell in love with the craft of writing while working on my mother and stepfather’s love story, and in the process of telling their story, I found that I am also rewriting a happy ending to my own third act.