Joy Houck Bauer
When I was nine years old, I decided that my favorite word was "mediocre". I didn’t know what it meant (I thought it was synonymous with "medium" and around that time I famously ordered a "mediocre soda" at a restaurant), but I considered it beautiful sounding and interestingly spelled, so I was smitten. From a young age, I have found magic in words: their etymologies and spellings, their sounds and rhythms. Language is my favorite form of play, and I love to help nurture joy and confidence in a person's own writing voice.
I moved to South Korea my first year out of college to teach English immersion classes to elementary students and later I worked with adult ESL learners in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2014 our family relocated to a 1500-acre land conservancy in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains where we homeschool as well as offer workshops around ecology and the arts for people of all ages. I also serve as a quarterly contributor—and the content/layout editor—for a monthly, contemplative newsletter.
My very favorite place to explore writing, of course, is at home with our two kids (when we are not distracted by our beloved rescue pets, Gary and Minnie Maple). Since the beginning of our homeschool journey, the Brave Writer lifestyle has been the cornerstone of our learning philosophy. It is an honor to participate in this community's invaluable work, fostering a safe place to play with language and to practice the art of communicating through words.