As a child I wondered our 220 acre forest in Southern Oregon with a selection of Golden Nature Guides tucked under my arm and a sketch book under the other. Flowers; trees; amphibians and reptiles; rocks and minerals; these books were my teachers, the wild my classroom. I might forage my lunch from a lush growth of miners lettuce and the tart berries of the Oregon grape (not a grape, by the way) and make tea from the fragrant, trailing herb named by the name the Spanish colonizers herba bueana.
I started a “newspaper” when I was in grade school: The Springbrook Spectator, named after our farm. Of course, I dorkily wrote all of the articles, the puzzle, the riddle of the week, and did the illustrations. I hand copied a few editions, then passed them out to the people that worked on our farm, who, for the most part, kindly indulged my dorkiness.
My first name is a Greek surname. My paternal grandfather emigrated in 1913. It was my parents last name until the 1950’s when they changed it to Stevenson (for nefarious reasons that I’ll be diving into for a future novel). I changed it to my first name in the late 1980’s. How to say it? I suggest gee-on-a-klees. Call me she/her/ or Mx Caldwell if you must, but Gianaclis is preferred; it’s enough, don’t you think?
I started my first novel in my 20s (a stack of papers that will hopefully remain in my files forever) and several short stories over the years I was focused on fine art 1980’s to 2004. In 2008 I decided to write an instructive book on starting small creameries, as we were so overwhelmed by the process and then inundated with “help” requests afterwards. That book was published in 2010 and my last non-fiction in 2020.
Now, pursuing fiction is at last a reality- with the closing of our dairy and a shift to caring for our elderly parents. Oh, and I’m still wandering 24 acres (of that 220) forest where we now live in a little log cabin off the power grid. And I’m still a student.
Year by Year
- Born 1961 Grants Pass, Oregon and raised on 220 acres outside of Rogue River, Oregon
- Raised milking cows, 4-H leader as a teen, first horse at 18
- Graduated Rogue River High School 1980
- AA degree and Licensed Practical Nursing certificate Rogue Community College 1982
- LPN Providence Hospital Medford, OR 1982-1984
- 1984 Moved to Annapolis Maryland, LPN Doctors Hospital, Lanham Maryland
- 1986 Married. Moved to Quantico Virginia
- 1986 Moved to El Toro, California, LVN home nursing for two years
- 1988 began printmaking, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, Ca
- 1989 Changed first name to family name of Gianaclis
- 1989- Began selling artwork and exhibiting
- 1990- Went to farrier school so I could shoe our own horses.
- 1992- Moved to Monterey Bay, California. Still doing art and shoeing horses
- 1993-Daughter Amelia born
- 1994-1996 Moved back to Oregon while Vern was sent overseas
- 1994-1996 Visited Okinawa, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand
- 1996- Moved to Falls Church, Virginia. Member Washington Printmakers. Taught ballet at Falls Church Community Center
- 1999- Moved to Fallbrook, California. Got one horse back. Member San Diego County Printmakers.
- 2000- Foster parent to daughter we would adopt a few years later.
- 2003-Bought first Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. Began learning to make cheese. Still riding, showing, training horses and doing art.
- 2005- Vern retires from USMC, we move back to family land in Southern Oregon. We start building Pholia Farm Creamery
- 2006- Pholia Farm Creamery licensed to make raw goat’s milk cheese
- 2009-I began writing Farmstead Creamery Advisor (Small-scale Cheese Business)
- 2010-First book deal
- 2010-2019 Travel for speaking, research, and writing assignments for Culture magazine: Argentina, Costa Rica, Lithuania, England. Domestic: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Vermont, Maine, Arizona, more.
- 2016-Stopped making goat cheese, began focusing on Gia’s Cheesorizo.
- 2018-Began working again on novel.
- 2018- present: volunteer teaching ballet and fitness for over 50’s.
- 2019-closed Cheesorizo. Still milking and teaching.
- 2020-Last of six non-fiction books published in May, Homemade Yogurt and Kefir
Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.Mark Twain
You cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.Navajo proverb
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss
A Few All Time Favorite Books
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’ Engle. Read aloud by Mrs. Shaw, my second grade teachers aid.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Kindred by Octavia Butler
City and the City by China Mieville
The Institute by Stephen King (now tied with Fairy Tale, though).
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Member Authors Guild Since 2013
Member Willamette Writers
Member Pacific Northwest Writers Association