your host:  Erbie
    HI!  I'M ERBIE! Actually, my net name is "erbivrus" (a very rough phoneticization of "herbivorous", created in desperation when I was trying to come up with a unique, 8-letter-or-less, vegetarian-related message to put on my personalized license plate).  In real life I answer to the name Audrey, though I've been known sign checks with "Erbie" in an early morning caffeine-deprived haze (the bank was NOT amused).

    I was born in Central California and raised in Eastern Washington state.  Currently, I live in North Carolina with my husband (who goes by the net name "Werepoodle"), our four-year-old daughter Johanna, and a miniature poodle named Cedar.

    I was a pre-vet major in college for about two years when I succumbed to fate (i.e., an allergy to algebra and an addiction to alliteration)  and changed my major to literature.  I graduated from Whitworth College, Spokane, WA, in 1983 with a degree in English (which, contrary to popular belief, is NOT a useless's amazing how the bigwigs who schlepped through freshman writing requirements come running to the English majors when they need a touch of verbal sophistication!).

    I have worked as an editor for financial newsletters and databooks and as a copy writer for multimedia advertising campaigns.  I've also done a little freelance manuscript editing and computer documentation. Once in a great while, I write poetry.  Currently I'm on the mommy track, but I keep my hand in by serving as media coordinator for my local vegetarian society, doing the odd freelance job and, most recently, helping to design and maintain a web site for St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

    I am a compulsive over-reader.  Normally, I have a book going in every room of the house...a novel in the bathroom, some chewy bit of non-fiction in the kitchen, a kid's book next to the computer for those lo-o-ong loads, a magazine by my daughter's wading pool....  I'm on the overdue "wanted list" of libraries in three states, and I've lost track of how many books I actually own (let's just say that my husband periodically hints at adding on to the house so my library can have its own apartment!).  My daughter bids fair to follow in my four-and-a-half she can already read on her own and has started her own collection (two bookcases worth!).  She wants her own library card, but we've told her she has to wait, as we can barely afford MY fines at the moment.

    My interests include comparative religions/theology, vegetarianism and animal rights, dogs and dog training, horses, the martial arts, music (all kinds, but especially Irish and American folk music) and cooking (homemade soup a specialty!).  I enjoy reading all sorts of things, but my favorite genre to relax with is science fiction/fantasy...especially anything by Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffrey, Katherine Kurtz or Marion Zimmer Bradley.  When I'm not reading, writing, cooking, child-chasing or surfing the net, I keep busy playing the penney whistle, singing in the church choir and working for my church's AIDS Outreach Ministry.

    I hope you enjoy this site, and come back often.  I plan to update it on a regular basis, with some things (such as the book reviews and "smoking lounge" commentary essays) changing weekly, and others changing as new material presents itself.  I also hope you will contribute to it!  If you have an original poem or vegetarian recipe you'd like to put on the net, a book you'd like to review or see reviewed, an opinion you'd like to air or a link you think I should add to the Reference Section,  DROP ME A LINE  and we'll talk!  Please read the "rules for submission" on the relevant page before sending any material.

    Thanks for dropping by!  Come again soon!