Author Gloria Teaque with Beyond The Surgeons Touch

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The Odd Mind

The Odd Mind

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was born in Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains, a region abounding with natural beauty, the birthplace of country music and Jack Daniels whiskey. Even though I currently live in another state, Tennessee is, and always will be, my home. Now I'm called an Okie and I'm not quite sure I like that term but the natives don't seem to mind. Hey, even Merle Haggard sang about being proud to be an Okie from Muskogee! I live in a very small town on Lake Keystone, about 25 miles from Tulsa. I'm married (the reason I moved to Oklahoma) and I have two grown daughters and a very spoiled Boston terrier named Tiger. I won an essay contest when I was twelve. At the time I lived in France, thanks to being an Air Force brat. My mother heard about a European-wide essay contest about Law Day--May 1st. Looking back I realize this must have been a military "holiday" because no one else I know has ever heard of it. Being terribly patriotic I thought I'd give it a try. There were only ten winners across Europe and I was one of those ten. The winners got to go to a courtroom in their country and watch a day of trials with lunch at an outdoor cafe. Even though I hadn't learned a great deal of French yet, I thought it was wonderful! That night as I lay in bed, totally exhausted, I had an epiphany. "I think of something, put it on paper, and someone rewards me for it? Yeah, that's what I want to do when I grow up--BE A WRITER!" I played with writing for the next several years. I never dreamed of submitting anything (no one told me about S.E. Hinton writing that killer book, The Outsiders, at the age of 16!) but I never stopped writing. I'd write scary stories and tell them to my cousins, hoping one of them would cry or run away screaming. When I hit high school I wrote stories with my friends in the leading roles. They loved it. Then I allowed life to drag me away from writing. I came to my senses and went back to writing in 19

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