About


I’ve spent my whole life chasing…and living…my dreams. There’s certainly no stopping me, now!

1Mama Always Said_17 February 2013Pearl Kirkby’s family moved around a lot while she was growing up, enough, in fact, that people sometimes assumed she and her sister were ‘Army brats’. To the contrary, her father was an architect and his job required that he travel.

Because of this, Pearl was exposed to different cultures, not only within the United States, but also through ‘touristy’ trips through many of the countries in South America. As an adult, she discovered that somewhere along the road of life, a bit of wanderlust had taken root and short, spur-of-the-moment trips became the norm.

Her mother taught her children the love of books by reading to them from the likes of Dr. Seuss and Grimm’s Fairy Tales to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe and Little Women. Pearl herself learned to read and write about the age of four, penning “…little folded, paper books, complete with illustrations, to present to family and little friends!”

Pearl’s writing is not so much a study in demographic cultures as it is an expanded recitation of memories of her experiences with people and life. All of her stories are, as she says, “…based on real life, with a lot of poetic license taken!”

And life handed her an immense amount of subject matter on which to write. An early life of travel here and there, to chasing her dreams into adulthood, Pearl has been everything from Candy Striper (age 16), cashier, telemarketer, medical transcriptionist and lead singer for two bands, to car rental agent, US Postal worker and Ordained minister. And a writer.

An uncomfortable bout as a welfare recipient, during which time she received an infinite amount of help to escape, gave Pearl a heart for ‘giving back’. Unable to actually repay the kindnesses of those friends, she vowed to “Pay It Forward” in any way possible. She did so by helping others as she was helped, wherever she saw the need. Early on, her volunteer efforts were personal and private, but as time went on she discovered the many service organizations that could give her the opportunity to do more. The Boy Scouts of America, Hospice and supporting military veterans and enlisted and their families through the VA and Blue Star Mothers of America have been three of her favourite undertakings.

But underneath, around and through all of these hats she has worn, “Writer/Artist” has filled the empty spots.

As to writing, she began doing so for other than her family around 1996, when she designed her very first website, from scratch, at a time when one must have knowledge of how to code with html. Excited about the new experience (and even more so, once website templates became available), she has since created, maintained and administrated over a dozen. She currently maintains five, plus a number of social media pages.

Pearl gives credit for “going public” to her former (and final) employer, who gave her the opportunity to write for his company, and to his social media manager, who taught and mentored her. Their encouragement solidified the lifelong dream of becoming a published writer upon retirement which, happily for Pearl, came early when the company was sold. It was during this time of employment that “Mama Always Said…” was drafted. It has since grown to become a collection, which will, some day, include three to four short volumes.

When retirement commenced, along with a renewed effort to edit her book for publication, Pearl’s children suggested that she write a children’s book. They were very insistent, as grown children can be, and it was not too long before “Mama Always Said…”I Love You More” was born. This was supposed to become the first of her books to be published. Unfortunately, illustration has been at a standstill for some time, now, and that book sits, waiting patiently!

Fortunately, however, Ms. Kirkby decided to enroll in college at the tender age of 52! Although her major was in Accounting, her favourite class was…you guessed it…English Literature. It was during one of these classes that she penned, “Folded Dreams”, a class competition assignment. Her story won the prize with not only the entire class voting it so, but also because of the professor’s vote, who was her highest contender! A little more than a decade later, this little two page story became a book, and was published in 2015, under the title, “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, and is the precursor to a follow-up novel, due to be published around December, 2016.

Pearl Kirkby lives with her husband, Guy (“…who has politely listened, distractedly acted like he was listening and actually listened with rapt attention, to drafts, edits, rants, edits, frustrated groans and sighs and…edits, edits, edits!”) and their thirteen year old cat, Rain, in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.ย She is the mother of twelve (“Blood or step, they’re ALL mine.”), some of whom live in New England, a few who live near to her, grandmother of 50 (“…at last count!”) and great-grandmother of 8 (“…give or take a few!”). She is 62 years old.

To date, Pearl has ‘discovered’ that there are at least eight books residing inside her, including a book of “Proetry, P’ose and Assorted Other Stuff”, the follow-up novel to “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, another novel, “Waking Up Dead”, a (3-book) series, “Mama Always Said…” and, possibly, a collection of short stories.

“I do not anticipate losing my faculties until my life is finished and my last breath exhaled…I will write until I can no longer hold pen to paper…or type with one finger!”

You can read more about Pearl on her About Me page, and on Goodreads and Amazon. You can also connect with Pearl on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitterย (@PLKirkby).

24 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: The Liebster Award 2.0 | Inked Brownies

    • I call it ’10+2 kids’…5 blood, 5 step and two who were my ex-husband’s step kids, but whom I enjoyed helping to raise for a few years! Best bunch of kids in the world, even now that they’re all grown!

      What am I most proud of? It’s so hard to say! Because I look at everything I’ve done as an accomplishment, it’s just impossible to choose! Probably the fact that I have survived to age 62 without giving up, and that I still have enough in me to be strong for my children as they face the trials of life that I’ve already experienced…

      Gee…see what I mean??!!!

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      • Pick something that only you could have done, AND that you’re proud of yourself for having done.

        It really helps if you’re already ‘odd,’ as I am (this is Sarah A. Hoyt’s word, not mine).

        If you’re going to be a nice normal person, it’s harder.

        Sometimes it’s what drove you to write; in my case it was knowing I had a possibility that others didn’t have – and I was going to have to stay fairly focused and do a lot of things first if I wanted to keep the opportunity alive.

        In grad school I had the mantra: this is hard; I want to quit; but I know I’m too stressed to make a good decision about quitting; I won’t be unstressed until I finish the darned thing.

        It worked – I finished. I suspect many other people have similar problems with advanced degrees – and I didn’t get to be one of the focused ones who sail right through (I knew a couple of those).

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do know the feeling, but my bugaboo was work. I loved my job, hated the way my managers were. Every day, I would swear I wasn’t going to go in to work and then that I was going to leave early, right up until quitting time!! I just couldn’t bring myself to let me down by quitting…not for a day, not for good.

        I didn’t enter college ’til I was over a half century old. I did love it, but life interfered when my husband became disabled. I had only 2 months to go before getting my degree, but had to withdraw to care for him. By the time he finally recovered enough to take care of his own needs, my own health precluded my going back to finish my degree…but I still study! Even though I know I will never again be able to work toward that tangible, degree-in-hand goal, I’m still determined to keep learning, keep writing, keep striving, to achieve something great for my progeny to be proud of!

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      • Okay. You’re a ‘lifetime learner.’ And my guess is that your progeny is already very proud of you. (Unless you keep telling them you didn’t finish!)

        You’re not a quitter – I understand that one! None of us writers can quit writing – it’s an addiction.

        You proved it possible to go back to school at any age – and would keep doing it now if you could! Just as a side thought, I’d contact the college and find out if there’s some way to finish from home even now – they love to move a student from the ‘did not finish’ column to the ‘graduate’ column – it improves their statistics. And they love stories of people coming back – worth a phone call to a guidance counselor. There’s always some older person going through graduation with the kids. It’s up to you whether it’s worth the cost and the energy, but you’re not giving them a chance if you don’t ask.

        And I think your work ethic is pretty impressive – they have to mow you down to stop you. Your husband was a lucky man to have someone like you there for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest, even though I love the follow-up novel I’m writing, I’m afraid that readers may not understand what the story is about…some didn’t quite ‘get’ the punchline, as it were, of the prequel! Meh :/ Time will tell, I suppose. All I know is, if the Folded Dreams novel turns out well, THAT will be that “something only you could have done…” that I’m proud of!

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      • If some people don’t get your novel, they are not your intended audience. There are plenty of people who are not mine!

        You’re writing for the OTHER group, the people who are like you in attitude and values – but don’t write (can’t or won’t, doesn’t matter).

        I haven’t read Folded Dreams – but something that drove you to write it that strongly will pull your proper audience in.

        And, as I tell myself, if no one else likes my writing, I will STILL have the finished volumes sitting there in my room in the nursing home – instead of regret that I didn’t write them.

        And I have had a bunch of lovely people tell me they did like PC, so there will be copies out there – which tickles me no end.

        I sometimes think it can take longer to find your audience than to write the book!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right, of course (and now I realize where my 2nd daughter got her propensity of feeling the need to please everyone…ha! Whodathunkit!), and even hubby has said as much.

        I’m not sure if my credits are still applicable, as it’s been over 10 yrs. But again, you’re right…if I don’t try I may as well have actually quit, rather than withdrawing for a good cause. I’ll look into it!

        One thing is certain: even if only my family and friends ever got my book, that’s a good 200 copies, easy…and 75 of those are just the kids!!

        You’ve made me smile today, Alicia! Thanks so much for making this day sparkle๐Ÿ˜Š

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  2. Hi Pearl. We just met but it seems that we have many things in common and that I know you already. My wife and I have eight children between us (none together) that include three natural born to each and two adopted. So we have blood, step and adopted. We also have 9 grandchildren and another on the way with two more marriages later this year. It makes for a full and interesting life. I also started writing after retiring just two years ago. My first novel was published last October and I am working on my second now. As you say, there are many new things you must learn with each new endeavor. I look forward to following your blog. I hope you enjoy mine. Best of Luck.
    Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charles!

      If it wasn’t for the fact that I know I have but one sibling, I might claim you as a long lost brother, so similar are our lives!

      I always looked forward to growing up, getting married and having a boat load of kids & grands, but I also had so very many other dreams.

      I have not been disappointed with my life, even after all these years (though I must admit to a plethora of glaringly poor choices since birth!). In fact, as much fun as I had with my children when they were small, they give me even more joy and pride now that they are grown!

      And retirement, though a few yrs early, has been no less of an adventure…although having so many children, there is no such thing as “early retirement”; you’re ready to rest, no matter what your age!!

      I will be busy from noon onward today ( yours being the last blog I read this morning and therefore the last inspiration I’ve gotten!) but have bookmarked your site to enjoy before sleep knuckle-knocks me out tonight!

      I do hope you find something to smile about on my blog…I’m most irreverent when writing about my shortcomings and insomnia! By the way, I have another blog site…BalanceTheCircle…if you’d like a few chuckles before bed! It’s older, but I still “press” now and then!

      Again, thanks so much for following, commenting and having your own awesome site that I can enjoy!

      Pearl

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    • Thanks, Marje!

      It’s time to update my About page! I actually published my first book, “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, I’m currently working in the follow-up novel and another novel, “Waking Up Dead”, which isn’t as dark as it sounds!

      “Mama Always Said…I Love You More!” will need professional work, as it’s an illustrated childrens book, so it will be awhile before publish.

      Going into this at such an age…having to learn all this new stuff…yep! It’s definitely quite an adventure!!

      Thanks again for visiting and commenting!

      Best Regards

      Pearl ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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