Dr. Fran Simone is a native New Yorker, Fran now resides in Charleston, West Virginia. She’s a professor emeritus at Marshall University South Charleston Campus where she directed the West Virginia Writing Project, a statewide affiliate of the National Writing Project (University of California at Berkeley). Fran taught courses in both the education and humanities program and has conducted many workshops. Her memoir, Dark Wine Waters: My Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows was published by Central Recovery Press in 2014. Since that time she continues to write for enjoyment and publication. She blogs for Psychology Today (see “A Family Affair” under Addiction). Fran enjoys reading, nature, travel, and her weekly Zumba workouts. She recently participated in two cooking classes making biscotti and break. Although not an accomplished cook she makes a mean lasagna. Her motto is “One Day at a Time” and her goal is not to take herself too seriously.
What do I do best?
I think that I’m a thoughtful listener and can empathize with others who are going through a tough time, particularly family members like me whose loved ones struggle with substance abuse problems.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I try to practice gratitude and not take myself too seriously.
What are my aspirations?
After I retired I aspired to complete and publish the memoir that I’d worked on for many years. I’m pleased to report that I was successful. I continue to write. I hope to continue to maintain my good health, continue to travel, meet new people, experience new things, and learn something new every day.
My Biggest Success?
Raising my son and daughter who are compassionate and caring individuals.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Probably deciding to leave Durham, North Carolina, after my divorce and moving to West Virginia where I took a teaching job at a university. My children were 5 and 8 years old. My husband was a devoted father and the children adored him. He visited regularly and they lived with him summers. Still it wasn’t the same amount of contact had we all remained in the same town. I sometimes wonder “what if….” I had stayed put.
One day at a time.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
The Dalai Lama (spiritual leader), Mary Oliver (poet), Elizabeth Warren (politician), David Brooks (NYTimes op ed writer), Tom Hanks (actor) and Katherine Hepburn (actress). My friend, Betsy, who leads mission trips to Haiti twice a year. My eye doctor, Jim, who leads mission trips to Central and South America once a year. And just about anyone who volunteers in refugee camps, soup kitchens, hospitals, and health care clinics. And family and friends who provide support and care for their infirm and aging loved ones.
My Favorite Places/Destintions?
The ocean. I grew up near Long Island, NY, so the sea is in my soul.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Mini-I Pad and I Phone 7; Inis Body Lotion, L’Occitane Cream and Lotion.A bracelet from my others. Photos from travel in Italy, poster from Rolling Stones Concert in Cuba, photos of my children, family members and beloved dogs, Lucky and Woody (both deceased). Snorkel gear, swim suits and sun hat in the summer; Irish wool sweater, fleece lined coat and boots, flannel sheets and mattress warmer in winter. Suitcases and assorted tote bags. I love to travel.
My Current Passions?
I love to read and belong to two book clubs and one writing group. I recently completed a course in learning to draw because I wanted to develop some visual skills. I’ve danced around meditation for many years and have decided to make a commitment to make it a regular practice in my life. Recently complete two baking classes: biscotti and bread making. I like to garden but live in the woods where deer are frequent guests and eat just about everything. I like to write and travel (just returned from the Pacific Northwest and Manhattan).