Pre-TV, pre-telephone, pre-school, I met more horses, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and dogs than I did other people on any given day. Books were few and precious on our ranch. Sometimes I had paper to draw on. Now, several continents and countless words and pictures later, I have my own art studio, I live walking distance from a wonderful library, and I write my own books––a childhood dream come true.
I’ve disappointed and bewildered friends, family, and colleagues with shifts in career direction more than once, curious and in love with the adrenaline rush of risk and change. I’ve fallen in love with places, too––Australian bush ringing with dawn birdsong, glacial peaks, Roman streets. Every shift made perfect sense to me. What does this have to do with my writing novels? Odd travel suggestions, apparent errors, and seemingly pointless detours lead to astonishing views, and every stumbling step offers a story. There are no dead-ends until you’re, well, dead, and even that’s only a rumor.
Kristina Bak grew up in the Pacific Northwest, dropped out of Reed College in 1969, and spent enough years hiking in the North Cascades to graduate from Western Washington University in Bellingham. She explored utopias via Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti and the University of New Mexico. A graduate degree in architecture at the University of Washington earned her a Fulbright year in Rome before she moved to Australia with her husband and six-month-old daughter for three years. Back in the US, the family lived on Bainbridge Island until Kristina graduated from Antioch, Seattle, with an MA in psychology. They moved to Bend, Oregon, in 1993. Since that time, Kristina has worked as a mental health therapist, taught qigong, and sojourned in Sydney again as a ghostwriter, among other things. She took her first Argentine Social Tango class in 2010, and like countless others, is addicted to the dance.