About Suellen Zima

Suellen Zima’s first book, “Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird,” published in 2006 and winner of the 2008 First Place in Non-fiction by the National League of American Pen Women, describes her middle-aged years as a world-wide wanderer.  Like a hummingbird with her feet planted firmly in mid-air, she drank deeply within each new culture, and then flitted away to return another day.  She started her nomadic life in Israel, where she discovered a love of teaching English to non-native English speakers.  After her first visit in 1988, China magnetized her and drew her back many times.  Macau, Bali, and Korea also became home, while several other countries beckoned briefly.

Her second book, “Out of Step:  A Diary To My Dead Son,” describes a very different kind of journey.  Married to her high school sweetheart and working as a social worker, interracial adoption was her choice for motherhood.  But her very deep and powerful yearning to live in other countries brought the family to divorce when her son was 12.  His decision was to stay with his father.  He never quite forgave her for breaking up their family, but he re-connected to her when he knew he was dying of AIDS.  He died in 2003.

In 2011, she felt the need to make him come more alive to her.  Was there any way to repair their damaged relationship?  She began a diary to her dead son.  In it, she tries to fill in the gaps, initiate conversations that never happened, and continue conversations that were unfinished.  She talks to him as she might if he were still alive, telling him what’s happening in the world, and attempting to understand him as a child, and the adult she never really knewShe tries to tell him who she has become.  Slowly and subtly, their emotions shift.

Now blogging as The Senior Hummingbird, Suellen Zima resides in southern California and is still periodically wandering, always wondering, and often writing.

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