Shalynn Ford Womack

Irish.  Catholic.  Yankee.  Female.  Writer.  The sum of Shalynn Womack.

1476210_543240499110334_1062657364411851155_nBorn and raised in the small provincial river town of Moline, Illinois, Shalynn attended Catholic grade school, high school, and college where she learned several core truths, the most important of which was that we are indeed our brother’s keeper.  That we have a fundamental duty to engage in the world around us, leaving it a better place before we arrived in it.

After graduating from St. Ambrose College (now University) with a degree in Psychology, Shalynn had a series of counseling and social work jobs.  After a few years of working in crisis intervention,  she decided to enroll in graduate school.

In 1990, Shalynn graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. She was also six weeks pregnant with daughter, Nova.

One year after her daughter’s birth, Shalynn returned to MTSU on adjunct faculty and taught Clinical and Developmental Psychology courses.  In January, 1993, she was invited to be a visiting lecturer at the former Teikyo Marycrest University in Davenport, Iowa.

From 1993-1997, she designed and taught several new Psychology courses at Marycrest, regularly attended teaching conferences and collaborated with colleagues on several papers that were eventually published in peer-reviewed journals.  Shalynn also designed a learning project for her Introductory Psychology class that proved so popular it was later included in a textbook on innovative teaching methods.

In the fall of 1994, Shalynn began homeschooling her daughter, and continued to do so until 2008 when her daughter graduated from a regional home school program.

During the homeschool years, Shalynn worked as a freelance writer for a variety of newspaper and magazine clients, and occasionally taught a psychology class as an adjunct.

In 2012, Shalynn Ford Womack (remarried) published her first book, Ice On The Wing: Essays On Life And Other Difficult Situations.  One year later, she published, Attachment: Four Stories of Love and Loss.

Shalynn then turned her attention to a deeply personal issue: after her mother’s tragic death at the hands of her caregivers, Shalynn became an outspoken and tireless advocate for hospice reform, working diligently to increase public awareness about the dangers associated with chemical restraint as well as the overuse of dangerous psychotropic medication in treating geriatric patients.

Currently, Shalynn, along with her friend and colleague Dr. David Devonis, are collaborating on a writing project that examines the psychology of secrets in the context of an often overlooked utilitarian structure—the garage.   Everything from hoarding and hiding out to murder and suicide are part of the garage milieu.

Additionally, she continues to work on The House of Death, a memoir of her final years with her mother.

Fun Facts about Shalynn Womack:
  • Favorite Books: Non-Fiction—Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin; Fiction—War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy.  Both are huge tomes, but very thought-provoking, so the pages fly by.
  • Favorite Hobbies: Reading, traveling, taking foreign language courses (total Francophile), bird watching and feeding goats (very relaxing).”
  • Best Trait: Loyalty.  Next would be reliability.”
  • Worst Trait: Holding a grudge.  I got the Gillespie Grudge Gene.
Things People Might Not Know About Me:
  • I have a special place in my heart for the homeless and for elderly people.
  • I love animals.
  • I’m a total Humanities nerd, e.g., I study church architecture in my spare time and can identify most major styles.
  • I can read and speak French well enough to get by.
  • I homeschooled my daughter K-12.
  • I have an Associates Degree in Law Enforcement; my original career goal was to become a police officer.
  • -I’m actually an introvert.
  • -I know I’ve been married too many times!
Favorite Literary Quote:

None of us can help the things life has done to us.  They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.

—Eugene O’Neill
Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Favorite Quote About Books:

“In a life of action, however prosperous, there will be seasons of adversity and days of trial but at no hour of your life will the love of letters ever oppress you as a burden or fail you as a resource…”

John Quincy Adams describing how books are one’s greatest refuge from the vicissitudes of life in his last lecture at Harvard University, June 28, 1808.

Summary of Shalynn Ford Womack (as a writer):
  • Fifty-something former college instructor ISO enlightened editor.  Aversion to mind-numbing recycled ideas precludes writing for scholarly publications.  All other venues considered.
  • Writing style reflects personality—humorously irreverent, intellectual and intense—sometimes within the same paragraph.
  • Strengths include: ability to write competently about a variety of topics in 750 or less words; meeting deadlines; pandering to neurotic editors (references available); plenty of ink, ideas and initiative.
  • Areas of interest: women’s issues, parenting, travel/entertainment, general op-ed.
  • Normative life experiences include: giving birth (one daughter, l990), a day job in higher education (off and on for nine years), and a brush with sanity.
  • Goal: maintain a long-term relationship with my keyboard.

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