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My first writing award was for a Flag Day essay written in Mrs. Johnson’s 2nd grade class in Carson City, NV. I was living with my father at the time and I was sharing rooms between my brother and step-sister. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of tacking the certificate to my step-sister’s wall. My step-mother ripped it down and in half while “cleaning.” She also spent the $10 award. Shortly after, I moved back with my mother on Whidbey Island.

I joined the school newspaper staff in 8th grade, became editor in 9th and stayed on staffs throughout college. During high school I won a Nevada Press Women’s editorial award, as well as several other writing awards.

Journalism is my craft. Creative writing and storytelling are my calling.

So why all the documentation? Given my past, this story may sound completely far-fetched (what some would call “crazy”). I have also had others try to impersonate me and take credit for what I have done. Part of the purpose behind this website is to be completely authentic. As such, the images are to show that, from the memories and documentation I still have, I am willing to back-up everything I am saying.

What is the Rupno about? That is my step-father’s last name and my mom registered me under it for several years while I was in school. There are even some awards where the teachers accidentally wrote, “Rupino.”

I chose to revert back to using Anstedt in high school.