About Me, Take Two

The first draft of this bio page was bonkers.

I’d taken great pains to sit up straight and do it right, keeping Ms. Carter, my high school English teacher with a zeal for grammar, in mind.

I’d dutifully listed my writing creds: widely published freelance writer with 20+ years experience. 

My education: bachelor and master degrees in communication studies, creative writing certificate from UCLA. 

And the requisite contact info: barbara@barbaranealvarma.com. Twitter or Facebook, if you must.

Alas, it looked nothing like me.

Nowhere had I mentioned falling in love at the tender age of 15 with author James Herriot and his All Creatures Great and Small books. (He had me at “...even the cow was smiling.”)

Or how I came to be a writer, starting with journaling after an icky divorce and working my way up through writing contests then magazines and their kind. 

I hadn't even mentioned my personal published favorites. Like my story about inadvertently making William Shatner appalled: Anonymous Fame.

Or the one that won me a social media shout-out from Donny Osmond, my lifelong crush: Desperately Seeking Donny.

Or that time I found myself unsupervised, yet again, and Left Holding The Baby.

And so I hit the delete key and started over, as we often do in life. Thing is, if you really want to know me, read my stories. I leave nothing out except for others’ expectations of what they should look like.

Same goes for this photo. I was advised not use it by some of my well-meaning writer friends. Better to post something that showed off my finer, more professional manner; a fetching image taken on a good hair day that highlighted my smile and my ability, at times, to behave well.


I’m more that girl in the picture who poses, arms wide, in the gilded public ladies room in Hollywood’s Kodak Theater where they hold the Academy Awards. (I’m certain Meryl Streep does the same thing, definitely Lizzo.)

And, yes, I’m wearing a mask because I want to protect myself and others during a stubborn pandemic, pairing it with a sparkly scarf because life’s too short to be bland.

I believe this gets the best picture award because it tells a good story. If I'm lucky, folks will say the same About Me.