Dawn likes to keep busy and when she is not teaching and writing, she spends her time volunteering, doing creative projects, continuing her martial arts training, playing games, and reading.

Her ongoing volunteer work includes the American Red Cross, with which she has been working since 2005. In addition to local charitable efforts and community service work, she has been able to deploy to multiple national disasters, including spending a month in New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina as a disaster relief worker [picture]. She also volunteers with a local horse rescue ranch [link], which pairs rescued horses with at-risk youth to their mutual benefit and healing.

She is always involved in one creative project or another, and spent much of last summer building custom furniture [picture] in her garage studio space. She also enjoys drawing, painting, and bead work.

Dawn holds a black belt in traditional Okinawan-style karate and is currently studying American Tae Kwon Do. She has also studied Okinawan Kobudo [picture], Judo, and American military combatives. She served in the U.S. Army National Guard [picture] for four years.

When she's not doing one of these other things, she enjoys playing tabletop board and role playing games, video games, and reading just about anything. Currently, she is working her way through Amber Benson’s Calliope Reaper-Jones novel series while simultaneously reading Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart