THE EARLY YEARS
I was born Tracy Lynn Partridge on January 24th, 1962, in Salem, Oregon. My dad was an aeronautical engineer, and Mom was a church organist. They already had three other children before I joined the family. There was a fourth; their second child was a daughter who unfortunately only lived six-weeks before she died of pneumonia. So, technically, I am the fifth child. I also have a younger sister and brother.
(See some other fun childhood photos HERE.)
Due to the nature of dad’s work, we traveled the states by car quite a bit when I was young. For much of his professional career, he worked on government contracts, designing aircraft for the military. So, we moved wherever his job took him; Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, and Utah, where we settled down because our family was Mormon (Latter-day Saint/LDS). Mom wanted to stay put in one location so that we could put down roots.
We stayed in Utah for the rest of my childhood, except for a short time in Long Island, NY, during my junior year of high school.
Shortly after we returned to Utah, I met and married my first husband, who joined the U. S. Army a few short months later. That lifestyle took us to several different locations; Washington state, four years in Germany, Kansas, and finally back to Utah. Along the way, I gave birth to my three children and did many different things to earn an income and gain an education.
In 1997 my first husband and I split up, and I moved back to Oregon. There I met my sweetheart and life partner, Jeff, and we built a life together, along with our children. I helped him run his software development business, and he helped me launch and run my gourmet coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and biscotti business: Brown Paper Coffee Company (BPCC), which consumed much of my time for nearly four years.
Jeff and I purchased 20 acres of bare land on Central Oregon’s High Desert. We lived an off-grid lifestyle together with our combined six kids, ages 6 – 16, for a year and a half.
During that time, I taught myself how to make handcrafted jewelry and ultimately turned that craft into a small business.
While in the desert, I also taught myself the art of pyrography (burning art and lettering onto wood or leather.) I also turned that skill into a small business.
RAW FOODS TO TAROT READINGS
That ended when Jeff reconnected with an old high school buddy who owns a software development company in Central Oregon. This friend recruited Jeff to help him manage his backlog of clients, so off we went back to that part of the state. It was during this time that my younger cousin was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was motivated to research dietary approaches that might help heal him of this disease. I learned about the benefits of a raw-food diet and tried eating this way myself. You can read about My Experience Going 100% Raw here. I made some adjustments to my eating plan and formulated the idea for what became my online magazine – Eighty Percent Raw. I created the website and recruited more than 25 raw food chefs and healthcare professionals who contributed recipes, articles, and reviews every month for several years. You can read more about why I stopped doing that HERE.
PROFESSIONAL SPIRITUAL COACHING
The magazine never did generate much income, so I had to do other things to make money. I hadn’t considered pursuing jewelry-making or pyrography as real businesses yet, so I had to do something else for income. Back in 2003, I thought it might be fun and interesting to learn how to conduct tarot card readings. I always had a gift for insight, and others frequently came to me for personal advice. So, after learning the cards, I began practicing with family and friends. It turns out I had a knack for readings. I continued to improve my skill over the years, and in 2008 I got my first job working for an online spiritual coaching (or psychic reading) website. From 2012 – 2015 I earned a pretty respectable income performing readings for people all over the world. You can read some of my Tarot Reading Client Testimonials here.
WORDPRESS WEBSITE DESIGN
Performing tarot readings for clients was fulfilling…for a while. But eventually, I became really emotionally drained from people who were dependent on my services…asking the same question in as many different ways as they could think of…but expecting a different result. Yup! The definition of insanity, lol! So, I pulled away from doing readings for people and once again found myself looking for another source of income. This came when my son introduced me to WordPress website design. I had been creating websites for my own businesses since 1997. But I wasn’t a fan of writing HTML and didn’t really want to learn to write CSS. So, when my son showed me how to create a site using WordPress, it was a total revelation! I’ve been creating my own websites with it ever since. And I even found a handful of paying clients who were willing to pay me to create websites for them, too!
In conjunction with website design, I’ve learned about affiliate marketing and have had the benefit of promoting some really fantastic products and receiving ongoing commissions from recommending certain products to my followers, friends, and family.
Simultaneously, I continued administration work for Jeff’s software business while also continuing to improve my handcrafted jewelry and pyrography skills. I started a Facebook page for my jewelry and ended up selling quite a few of my designs to friends and followers there. You can view some of my creations HERE. But what really stuck for me was the pyrography. Here’s the reason I decided to focus on wood burning instead of jewelry: everybody and their dog makes jewelry. But pyrography is a very unusual hobby that most people have never heard of. I created a website called Portland Pyrography. And that hobby turned into a small business that I have spent many years cultivating. I still don’t do it full-time. But I’ve managed to generate quite a few clients over the years. When we moved to Texas in early 2022, I had to shift the name to be less location-based. You can now view examples of my artwork at Pyro Portraits.
More recently, I’ve become a published author. I published three middle-grade fiction novels and am currently working on the fourth.
Even my adult kids have mentioned that they “didn’t know I had it in me” to write fiction. But apparently, I do, lol!
- In December 2019, I published The Golden Telescope, the first in my MG (Middle Grade) fantasy fiction series called Jack and the Magic Hat Maker.
- In November 2020, I published Book Two: The Kidnapping King.
- I published Book Three: The Magical Legacy, on December 7th, 2021.
- Book Four: The Risky Reunion is available for pre-order and scheduled for release on May 28th, 2023.
- There are six more books outlined for that series, and if all goes well, I will publish all of them over the next three years.
- Series 2: Jack and the Immortals will follow.
- Partridge is my maiden name and no longer my legal name. I decided to start using the hyphenated version after joining Facebook and thought adding the name my school pals knew me by “back in the day” would make it easier for people to find me and reconnect. My mother liked that I adopted my birth name as part of my public image, so it stuck. I decided to use it as my official pen name.
- I also spend some time working as a professional literary editor –
OTHER PASSIONS –
International travel and culture are a huge passion for me, and I feel very fortunate to have lived in one foreign country (Germany) and traveled to 7 others; Canada, Mexico, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Italy, and Greece.