I am a Midwest Girl. It all began there — the place where I was born (Illinois), where I was raised (Detroit), where I grew into a grown-up (Chicago, Madison, WI). I may live in Seattle — 10 years now — but my heart is in the Heartland. My native Detroit is hardly salt of the earth – steel of the earth is more like it — but that’s where I was honed and tempered, in the cauldron of jazz and assembly lines and people who talk straight because that’s the only way they know how to talk. When I was in college at the University of Michigan, I dreamt of moving to New York City to become a rock journalism star. But my star guided me to Chicago instead. You could call Chicago the New York of the Midwest, but you’d be mistaken. Chicago isn’t trying to be anybody else and neither am I. I am a Midwest Girl. The oak trees steady me, the thunderstorms howl my anger, the snow brightens my dark days and invites me to play in its icy softness. The moraines and eskers left by the Ice Age wind sensuously across the prairies and plains. Life may call me to Boston or Bombay, but the Midwest is the center of my unirverse. It’s my soft place to fall. I will always be her daughter.