My name is Anastasia Stanmeyer. I’m a writer by trade, by default, by purpose. I’m also a lot of other things: journalist, gallery owner, wife, mother of three, dog owner (two times over), chicken owner (30 or so hens with one very protective, chest-butting cock), organic vegetable grower, all-around farmhand, PTO (not PTA, although the same idea) director, cultural council member and the list goes on. I also spend my time driving around quite a bit, with one son passionate about trumpet (private lessons), another son just starting piano (more private lessons), art programs squeezed in for both boys, and our littlest one finally going to preschool. So where does that leave me? Right here. Writing. Back (finally) to exploring my world, both inner and beyond. And realizing, once again, my fodder is endless.

I find that the similarities and the challenges are many between myself and my contemporaries. We’re faced with the daily grind, the triumphs, the valleys, and all the while don’t want to lose our voice and our individuality as we divide ourselves into the many pieces that get distributed by our obligations.

My life has changed dramatically. For twelve years, I lived in Asia (Hong Kong and Bali) and traveled throughout the region, writing stories of human trafficking and the AIDS epidemic, meeting with Mother Teresa in her Home for the Dying and the Dalai Lama at his Government in Exile, accompanying a Vietnamese family forcibly repatriated to Vietnam, and interviewing sex workers from northern Thailand, Burma, China, the Philippines, Bangladesh and elsewhere. And the stories go on and on. I find my attention now focused primarily on raising our family in the western Berkshires, a dramatic shift in life, yet one that I have embraced wholeheartedly. I’m pulling back the reigns a bit, though, taking a few steps back and looking at myself and what’s going on around me as an observer. And writing about it, because that’s what I do. And that’s what I need to do, for my own peace of mind. And sanity.