Day 84: (Tell Us About Yourself) Allow Me To Introduce Myself

My name is Kiki Stamatiou.  I was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Although I’ve lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan all of my life, from July 31, 1981 until sometime in October of 1991, I lived in the Mattawan school district.  I graduated from Mattawan High School in June 1988.  During my middle school years through my freshman year of high school I was a member of the school choir.  After my freshman year of high school, I elected to discontinue my participation in the choir, because I needed to make room on my course schedule to enable myself to take required courses of the curriculum.  Choir was considered an elective.  During my junior and senior year of high school, I took art a couple of art courses in school, where I excelled.  It was during the second semester of my junior that I had an offer on the table by one of the other students in the school to buy one of my pieces of pottery my teacher put into the display case outside of the art room.

Although I was elated by her interest to purchase my piece of pottery, I turned the offer down, because it was one of my prized possession.  Of all my pieces of artwork, it was the one piece I was the most proud of.

During my senior year of high school, I took college English in school, where I studied all types of classic literature, but primarily focused on the works of Homer, and William Shakespeare.

I furthered my education upon graduation from high school, when I attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  It was during my freshman year of college my brother John was killed in an automobile accident November 1988 at the age of 17.  It was a devastating blow to me.  Throughout my years of college I focused on my studies and my pursuits to become a writer.

From June of 1988 to Aug 1991, I worked at McDonald’s Restaurant where I earned money to support my parents and my surviving sibling, in addition to supporting myself.

Monday thru Thursday I was a full time college student.  Fridays thru Sundays I worked full time at McDonald’s Restaurant.  Although I only worked three days a week, I often put in 16 hour work days for every day that I worked.  When I wasn’t at school or at work, I had a full time job doing housework.  During the fall, spring and summer, I had a fulltime job picking, cleaning and packaging vegetables from my family’s garden, and storing them in our freezer for the winter time, in addition to all of my other responsibilities.  Consequently, there wasn’t room in my life for socializing or for fun.

Upon graduating from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in August 1990, I attended Western Michigan University from September of 1990 to August 1992 where I earned a BA degree in creative writing with a major in English and a minor in history.

Following graduation from Western Michigan University I continued my writing pursuits where I competed in many literary competitions.  Throughout the years I’ve won honors and awards in the area of poetry.

My first book, Dominica’s Inferno, was published in April 2006 under my pseudonym Joanna Maharis.  Since then I’ve had other works published.  All of my works are available thru http://www.amazon.com/Joanna-Maharis/e/B00IUM49Q6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1429022418&sr=1-2-ent.

I’ve been a blogger since August 2008.  In doing so, I’ve become acquainted with so many wonderful people who have become such great friends.  It has been a pleasure getting to know my fellow writers online throughout my journey.  There is so much wonderful talent out there.

For anyone wishing to check out my works other than what I’ve published on Facebook, here is the link to my blog http://en.gravatar.com/kyriakh123

I’d like to thank everyone for their encouragement and support throughout my journey of pursuing my writing endeavors.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015

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