Jo Virden


Let me tell you a little bit about who I am and how I began this circuitous journey into writing.

In 1998, I met a most incredible woman, Ruth Marie Colville. She was 96 years old at the time. I was almost 50 and in the midst of my thirty-seven year career in nursing. I ended up writing her biography simply because it needed to be written. Along the way, she inspired me to explore my life choices and to understand that life is made up of multiple lives, each one leading to new adventures and new opportunities.

My relationship with Ruth Marie gave me the courage, fifteen years later, to entertain the idea of writing stories based on authentic love letters. Those stories eventually melded into a novel, My Darling Dorothy.

My life has taken me on many adventures in the time that passed between these two books. I have traveled all over the United States and Europe and have observed first-hand the beautiful diversity that Ruth Marie so cherished. I finished my career in nursing managing a Wound Healing Clinic for fifteen years. That experience taught me the importance of providing a holistic approach for our patients as part of their healing process. That same holistic approach has served me well in the way I live my life.  After retirement, my husband and I moved to Denver where I spent four amazing years as my grandson’s nanny. It was during that period that I became interested in childhood literacy. I saw firsthand the impact of reading on a child’s ability to comprehend and succeed in the world. When Cyrus started school, I volunteered in his classroom for six years. That is where my interest in literacy solidified. I then began working with the Denver Public Library Read Aloud program. I also volunteer for the Reading Club at a local elementary school. What a delightful experience it is to see little peoples’ faces light up as I read to them.I have no idea what the future holds, but I am sure, a new “life” will reveal itself just as it did, over and over for Ruth Marie, and as she was fond of saying, “Que los angelos le bondegan.” May the angels bless you.

These photos are examples of some of the Bright Shiny Objects that occassionally pull me away from writing.