author & setting
...tired of labels, because they always seem to come in groups, groups that I often contradict. I am blonde, but I am not dumb. I am a writer, but I don't drink. I am pro-life, but I am also pro-choice. I am an activist, but I shy away from protests. I'm straight, but I am not narrow. I am an ardent environmentalist, but I am not an eco-terrorist. I am a Seeker, but also a heretic, and a panentheist, with leanings toward Quakerism, Paganism, Buddhism, and Jainism. I am liberal in many ways, but conservative in others.
I am human, though, so I think we have something in common.
So, with that said, here are a few more labels for you to use with caution. Amateur naturalist. Extreme pacifist. Mostly vegan (on rare occasions, I eat eggs or dairy from an organic, cruelty-free farm). College graduate with an English / Creative Writing major, Religion minor. Non-smoker, non-drinker, (drug free), non-violent, non-competitive, consumer (aren't we all?) but non-consumerist. Recycler. Introvert. Avid reader. Listener, watcher, observer. Lover, wife, friend, daughter, woman. Newly, finally, pregnant (after worries of infertility). Perfectionist, often to a fault. Artist? Photographer. Reiki practitioner. I dabble in herbal medicine and outdoor survival skills. I don't shave, I don't wear make-up, and I don't care what you think of that. I often hold myself to impossible standards. I love being in the woods, and I hike after work almost every day. I am very honest. I'm sensitive. Sometimes (often) too sensitive. I believe in the Infinite, Source/God/Creator. I do not watch television, ever (I do not have a television). I have a tendency to be dramatic and strong-voiced in my writing, but I am very quiet and calm in person. Oh yeah, my name is Melissa Ray Davis.
I love life. I am happy. Sure, things go wrong, but I love my life.
Occupation? I am always a writer. I work a three-quarter-time job in a Masters program for creative writing. It gives me enough free time to write when I'm not working and enough literary atmosphere while I'm working to inspire my writing. I do occasional freelance writing, editing, web design, and photography jobs. On Sundays, and frequently on other days throughout the week, I work with wolves and wolf dogs at a non-profit rescue, where I serve as Vice President. In the earlier entries, you will find me working as an editor and webmaster for an online magazine, a tech in a college computer lab, a garbage woman, a student housing assistant, a cafeteria cashier, and a chapel cleaner. And that's not counting the volunteer work. The most interesting job from the past, before the journal: Clerk and Customer Service Representative at a GI surplus store on the bad side of town.
If you'd like to see what an average day in my life is like, visit this series of entries, where I carried a camera with me for a day and took a picture of everything that I did. And this series follows a typical weekend in my life.
the past: I once was a goth ... was chronically depressed ... was a cutter ... I once went to a big University, got excellent grades and was offered a full-ride scholarship, but I turned it down, followed my dreams, and I've been poor ever since, but I wouldn't change it for the world ... I know what it feels like to be badly hurt ... I know what it feels like to have something taken from me which cannot be replaced ... I had insomnia ... I was once engaged to the wrong man ... I used to be a Trekkie ... I once attempted suicide ... that embarrasses me ... I used to be agnostic ... I used to eat meat ... I didn't know how to say "I love you."
the present: My husband and I just moved into a little house in the woods next to the college campus where we both work. We adopted two dogs as soon as we moved in. After a long time trying, we are finally pregnant.
the future: Someday I would like to tend my own garden. I want to have children. I want to travel. I want to publish novels. I want to touch the world.
... in the Swannanoa Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Western North Carolina. I'm from Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest, land of gigantic snow-peaked mountains and fir forests. I lived there for the first eighteen years of my life, and I still consider myself a Northwesterner. But, as much as I hate the humidity here, I've grown to love these ancient, softly rolling mountains with their deciduous forests.
who the heck are all those other people?
Morgan is my husband, my best friend, and the love of my life. We met online in early 1997, and I left my home, got rid of all my stuff, and traveled 3,000 miles to be with him in late 1998. Here is our story. We got married on December 16, 2000. Here is a transcript of our wedding.
Monty (short for Montague) and Rose are the two wonderful companions whom we adopted from the rescue where we volunteer. Other various friends and family are mentioned here and there, but context usually places them pretty well.
Any questions? Don't be afraid to ask me.