My name is Claire Bidwell Smith. I am 30 years old and I live in Chicago.
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia the only child of two much older parents. They both got cancer when I was fourteen. My mother died when I was eighteen and my father died when I was twenty-five. For better or for worse, these events have shaped everything about who I am today.
I moved to Chicago almost a year ago from Los Angeles where I lived for five years. Just as I never really imagined living in Los Angeles, I never imagined living in Chicago. But I fell in love with a writer named Greg Boose and that was that. We got married on July 19th, 2008. Read the modern-day story of how we met and fell in love in this post.
Much of what I write about here has to do with me being a 30 year old woman living in a big city. I often write about the lows, the contemplative afternoons, the twisting, manic screaming that wells up inside of me, the strange encounters, the nightmares and lucid dreamscapes, the falls, the pushes, the soft sounds.
But those aren't everything that I am. I have a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and a Master's degree in clinical psychology. I've worked as a psychotherapist in community clinics and I'm currently working as a grief counselor for hospice. My house is filled to the brim with books, my calendar with dinner dates. I’ve been to over 20 countries and I’m obsessed with both maps and menus. I have three cats and a lot of houseplants.
And I'm a writer. I've always been a writer.
In March of 2007 I quit my full-time job on a lark to write a book. I got up every morning and wrote from 9am to 2pm before running to the clinic or to school. I completed the entire book in 10 weeks. I chronicled my book writing process here on the blog. You can read about it beginning here. And you can read an interview with me on Media Bistro about my book writing process here.
The manuscript has yet to find a publisher. I’m currently working on revisions of the first draft. You can listen to me read from passages of the book at the bottom of this page.
I started my first blog, Life in LA, in June of 2003. I was living alone with my father in his condo in Orange County. I was twenty-five years old and he was eighty-two. He died on August 5th, 2003. I was holding his hand.
In October of 2003 the Sydney Morning Herald named mine one of the best blogs in the world. I quit writing Life in LA shortly after that. I started it up again again in August of 2006. If you'd like to read the original Life in LA you can do so here. If you'd like to read the more recent one, you can do so here.
The blog I write in almost every day is called Life in Chicago.
I also write a blog with my husband Greg called She Wrote, He Wrote.
Please visit www.clairebidwellsmith.com to check out travel and food writing clips and find links to more writing.
Thank you for visiting!