About the Author

In the island of Cuba, right after birth, Doctor Vila shared with my mother my expiration date.

“Two weeks at the most,” he said with a gloomy face.

My mother laughed. “What do you know?” She asked rolling her large brown eyes while holding me in her arms.

Born lipid intolerant, my body did not produce the enzymes needed to digest proteins and fats. Immune system deficiencies lead to two kidney infections and near death experiences during my early childhood. The miracles contained in these events nourished my awareness and ignited my path as an explorer.

Raised in Venezuela, I attended two progressive women-only schools. Colegio Maria Auxiliadora (elementary and middle school) followed the Salesian Missions’ curriculum developed by Juan Bosco based on love and community service. At Colegio Santo Angel de la Guarda, high school and college were combined. There, I earned a joint Bachelor in Sciences and Humanities with concentration in romance languages and literature, biology, physics, mathematics and art. In both places, I was taught how to think.

Exposure to Candomblé, Maria Lionza, and the Yoruba traditions and the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti offered new horizons. Journeys to Peru and Canaima, the Venezuelan wedge of the Amazon Rain Forest, during my teen years allowed me to explore different cosmologies and healing modalities. At the age of 25, I moved to the US and learned English as a second language. Spanish is my native tongue. I still remember the laughs after ordering “a beagle with cream cheese” at a bagel place.

Dance and music consistently feed my soul. Life is an energy dance after all. Art infuses me beauty, passion and hope. It forces me to question norms. Beading and Tai Chi are my chosen forms of meditation. The culinary arts allow me to pay homage to four generations of amazing cooks and create palatable foods. Coursework in art and architecture opened the door to manifesting thoughts and concepts into three-dimensional form. A degree in anthropology allowed me to identify healthy habits cross-culturally.

While a graduate student in urban planning and design, I studied energy systems and energy flow at the University of Florida Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands. Professor Odum insisted, “nature knows best!” From Dr. Mark T. Brown, a professor who once traveled with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, I learned about the laws of energy and the laws of ecology.

In 1992, I began to synthesize my life experiences. With the assistance of Paynes Prairie Preserve, I spent countless hours communing with nature, practicing Tai Chi and writing. The 7 Gifts, a book that transformed my life, emerged. Its sequel, The 14 Principles: Blissful Habits for Healthy Living, followed. These two volumes will be available soon.

Since then, I have been inking. Work in progress includes several novels: The Life and Mysteries of Clarissa Ruiz; The Poet and the Muse: A Contemporary Tale; Postcards; and The Empath and the Cardinal. Writing poetry, short stories and fiction brings me much pleasure. With several projects currently in draft and editing stages, The Story Weaver Project  seemed like the next creative step.

During the daylight, I work as a community planner and design sustainable communities. When the sun sets, I follow the inner Muse and let my fingers gallop over the keyboard.

In a nutshell, writing is my life. At The Planning Center in Tucson, Arizona, I write policy, standards, guidelines, codes, articles, and reports, analyze data pertaining to a wide diversity of sustainable projects, and coordinate complex public involvement programs. After work, I drive to my home in Oro Valley, go for long hikes in the blissful Sonoran Desert, reflect, contemplate, and write fiction, poetry and non-fiction.

Welcome to my words!

Mariel Masque