Kate Pennington, Glitter Queen

I am a writer, ritualist, and ceramic artist based in Oakland, CA. I’ve been writing most of my life, though its only been in the last decade or so that it occurred to me that perhaps I might want to be a writer when I grow up. Lately I’ve been luring stories out to play. We seem to be getting along reasonably alright so far.

I grew up with the bright lights and grease paint of off-off Broadway theater in New York. My parents had been bitten by the theater bug early on, so it was natural that they drag me with them (the hubby and I did the same to our kids, cause why not?). I started on stage at the age of three when a director decided to fill a whole on the stage with me. I became one of Mother Nature’s children, there were five or six of us, in an production of the Angles of Light. That actually explains a lot about me: glitter, ritual, theater, magic, and the Goddess, add in Star Trek, Rocky Horror, and most of the musicals of the 80’s and poof! you have a good idea of my foundations.

After college I moved to California to try my hand in films and ended up getting a master’s degree in Philosophy and Religion, and ‘coming out’ as a witch, (no one was surprised) go figure.

In 1995 I co-founded an alternative performance company called Magical Acts Ritual Theater. I served as the company’s Artistic Director for eight years, until sanity got the better of me and I choose to take a sabbatical to catch up on sleep. I ended up writing a screenplay called “Persephone Rising” which made it to the semi finals of a screenplay competition, started work on a book about how I do ritual theater, and then I got really sick.

In February of 2007, after having the flue for about two and a half years, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitive which means I am allergic and reactive to about half the planet. In the spring of 2011, just as I was getting used to life with MCS, I ended up in the hospital with an extremely bad case of pneumonia. A few months later I began having odd pain issues. Two years later I was finally diagnosed with Central Pain Syndrome, which is pretty much what it sounds like: full body, chronic pain.

Life with chronic illness has been a challenge and a journey. There are bad days and really bad days but there are also good days and really amazing days. I’m learning that you have to live life in the moment and find the things that put a smile on my face and help me breathe through the hard times. For a long time I thought my life was over. No more dreams, no more adventures, just stagnation and holding on. And then I started to notice improvements in my health. I didn’t happen over night or all at once, and I’m not ‘cured’. I still react to all sorts of chemicals and I still live with pain every day but its different. Manageable. Breathable. And with the changes I started to test my wings. And funny thing, I learned I could still fly. I’m a little wobbly and trips take a lot more planning than they used to – but I have started to travel and go to concerts – neither of which I ever thought I’d do again. So yeah, I’ve been blogging the heck out of those stories. And taking a million pictures, and all of it is awesome. 🙂

Even cooler? I’ve started writing again. The first draft of my first novel is done and ready to be edited, I’ve got a set of short stories in the works, and a whole bunch of universes to bring to life. I’ll start sharing those here soon too! With a dash of glitter of course (biodegradable only though!)

About Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

About Central Pain Syndrome

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