Ever since I entered the world on a Saturday morning in August, I have dreamt of three things: art, travel and writing. I was writing and recording stories before I even knew how to form letters. I would make books out of poorly stapled together pages filled with semi-formed sort of letters and pictures.
When I was 4 years old I even packed my suitcase with all of my books and drawings. I was watching The Elephant Show and they were in some foreign country. I told my mom I was off to see the world. She half listened to me and then, I was at the end of the street before she came to get me. You can say I have always been spirited. After that, my grandma started to teach me how to garden and I found out how much I loved the beach, I was placated for awhile.Soon after, my mother taught me how to read using the book, What Time Is It?
Meanwhile, I stuck to my big sunflowers in my backyard and the writing at my little red table. However, I always did dream about a life bigger than the one that felt so tiny in New Jersey.
I eventually got to go abroad for the first time when I found myself in Italy at 19 and then again at 20 when I studied abroad for a semester in Paris. I was struggling between picking a major in art or in writing. In the end, that trip helped me to choose both. I went on to
graduate from Rutgers University with a BA in art history and journalism and media studies. I began to publish my work in more well-known places soon after.
My work appeared in USA Today Travel Tips, Livestrong, Ehow (with some being translated into other languages) and in an international art exhibition, Picture Earth. It would be my second exhibition, my first having been with the Zimmerli Art Museum for the Honore Daumier et la Maison Aubert exhibit. I began writing for Suite101 where I reviewed art books before moving into an editorship of my art books section as well as for art history. Now, I continue to review books on my own blog, As We Write It.
The economy turned hard for writers especially for art writers during the past decade. I wanted the means to better support myself and hopefully, eventually travel. I went back to school at Kean University where I completed my post-bac in secondary education and English literature in 2011. Since then, I’ve taught in all different kinds of school systems, from elementary to high school. I currently teach middle school language arts and college level reading. I was even briefly a French teacher for awhile– that was fun!
I went on to publish my first novella in 2013, about a teacher trapped with her students during the zombie apocalypse. Miss Burton’s Class: The First Year led to my love of horror writing. I went on to publish on Thought Catalog. Shortly after, I met the love of my life. Within 6 months, we were back packing through all of Western Europe for a summer. I fell so in love with Holland on that trip. I starting blogging about our trip and our love at A Hart Full of Love.
We came home and I graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with my MA in English literature and creative writing in December of 2014. I was so busy with life, that my publishing slowed after graduation. I did write articles on ASMR for Stackstreet. We bought our first house that summer and moved in with my three cats and soon our dog, Molly joined our family. The cats are slowly growing to accept her.
I also began my doctorate in educational leadership where I’m focusing on literacy and the visual arts. It’s already taken me to some new and exciting places like Atlanta and Chicago. In 2016, I published my dark romance novel, January Rain about a young artist from New Jersey who’s past catches up to her…supernaturally. My second novel was then published in March of 2016, An August Morning, which deals with a group of young creatives and the abusiveness that your almost true love can bring to you.
Currently, I’m just enjoying time with my guy, writing and taking photographs. I sell them on my etsy page along with signed copies of my books. I’m also teaching college reading and enjoying puppy-hood with our last fur baby that will be joining us. We named him, Professor Behr and he looks…just like a teddy bear!
2017 UPDATE: We’re still enjoying beach life with our tiny zoo. We lost Jack Nicholson last summer. I never want to have to put an animal to sleep again. We got engaged and our planning our fall wedding. I’ll be taking a trip to Dallas, TX this spring to present my doctoral research one last time. I’m working on two manuscripts and am enjoying my fur-
kids, including my new baby and resident cow cat, Barnabas along with my mountains of books. Life is good.
~ Katherine Kuzma-Beck
Point Pleasant, NJ 2016/2017