I chose O’Neill in honor of my maternal grandmother, Gertrude O’Neill Tuttle, who named me Susan when I was adopted. Nana was such a special lady, so warm and welcoming to everyone. I lost her when I was only 15; it’s been a long time without her. I wanted to honor her memory, and the love she gave me, and so I chose her name when I ventured into a new genre.
Susan Grace O’Neill writes Spiritual Meditations and Bible studies. I don’t profess to have a scholar’s enlightenment. I haven’t studied religion extensively, other than what I learned in Catholic school and in church services. But I feel that sometimes God speaks to me through my writing. Often, when writing my “layman’s look” at Bible passages and Christ’s teachings, it feels more like I’m taking dictation than drawing from my own experience. The Holy Spirit speaking to me, giving me the words that God needs others to hear. I am merely His conduit.
I pray extensively before I begin to write my spiritual pieces. My main aim is to make Gospel and Bible passages as clear and meaningful to ordinary people as they can be. I do not espouse any religion in my writings, even though I am Catholic and am very active in my local church. Whether you consider Jesus Christ the son of God, or merely a brilliant teacher, what I write will hopefully touch your heart and bring you clear understanding of what His words mean in your life.
A little about me: I’m way older than I want to be, but life has a way of sneaking up on one and doing its own thing… like passing quickly. I can only hope that I have many years left in which to continue my writing. I work part-time at my local Catholic church as the bookkeeper (I have just enough Virgo in my Leo makeup to allow me to tolerate numbers and figures). I am also the head of the music ministry, and sit on the Pastoral Council, the Finance Committee and the Liturgy Committee. Along with my spiritual writing, I also write spiritual songs, even though I don’t really read music that well, or have any idea how to get it down on music paper. I mean, how does one tell if it’s an F sharp or a G flat??? I am working, though, to record what I’ve written; there are just enough to fill an album, about 12 in all so far. Though I just found the lyrics to one I’d forgotten, and now have to figure out the melody…
Under the name Susan Tuttle I write mysteries and suspense. So, because I “kill” people (only on paper, I promise!) fairly gruesomely under the Tuttle name, I chose to separate my spiritual writings, and put them under the name O’Neill. I’m active in my local writing community. I’m a past president, past treasurer and past newsletter editor for San Luis Obispo (SLO) NightWriters, past president and current treasurer and newsletter editor for the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC). I’m also a member of SinC National and the Public Service Writers Association (PSWA).
I live on the Central Coast of California in a small little town that is a tiny piece of paradise. I have an invisible cat who keeps me company in a house filled with (mostly finished) hand-knitted scarves and (mostly unfinished) hand-made quilts. I read voraciously, sing a lot, do jigsaw puzzles on in iPad, and have a hamburger named after me at the local Liquor store deli (well, not really named for me, they just know how I like it because I’m there so often, so they call it a Susan burger…LOL). I’m learning about social media and how to manipulate it to best advantage, but I’m not good at it, so don’t expect too much. My goal is to earn enough with my writing so I can pay someone younger, who understands this stuff, to help me with mine. Or maybe win a lottery — without buying a ticket!
I love to hear from my readers, so please contact me if you want to. I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly. I pray God keeps you in His loving care every day.