Writer, artist, mom, in no particular order. All the rest is icing and sprinkles on my metaphorical cake. I live in Australia with my husband Rhys; our children; The Housemate David/Aff/Seda/A.C. Extarian; and our pet Monk Parakeet Riley, after migrating here for good from the Philippines. This is my family, whom I love and cherish as the people most precious to me.

If someone asked me to describe my life, it seems to me that someone said, before I was born, “May you live in interesting times,” and meant it both as a blessing and a curse, because I definitely do that. Despite everything that has happened, in truth there is very little of it I would change.

I’ve always been reading. The story I’m told is, I started reading at 9 months of age and never stopped. I don’t remember ever learning to read, so maybe that’s true. My family always loved to read and a house without lots of bookshelves seems very incomplete to me. Rhys made an especial point of shipping my library over to Australia, since he too is a reader, which is one of the myriad things I love about him.

I was born in the Philippines, but my father became a diplomat in the mid-80s and as a result I grew up mostly in Europe. His first assignment was East Berlin, and after two years we were moved to West Germany, shortly before the Berlin Wall fell. We lived for a short time in the US with relatives as my father finished his tour and was recalled to the Philippines, before we followed him back to the Pearl of the Orient Seas. His next assignment some years after that was Paris, France, when I was a teenager. Perhaps because of this none of my siblings and I really felt at home in the Philippines, and have had a bit of an itch to travel ever since. When I first visited Rhys in Australia, it felt the way no other place did – like ‘home’ – which, until then, had been ‘books.’

I’m not very tall; only 4’7″ or 143cm. My hobbies include digital drawing, cooking, somewhat abortive attempts at gardening, collecting Anime figures and MMO gaming. I occasionally like to shoot with either a rifle or a handgun at the range, and maybe someday we’ll find a rifle stock that is short enough to let me shoot comfortably, but I don’t do it often enough to call it a hobby.

Writing – rather, storytelling – isn’t a hobby for me. It’s like reading, something I’ve always been doing and I don’t remember when I started. I’ve always had a knack for listening to people talk, and before I know it, I get their stories told to me. I’ve always held the philosophy that there are stories everywhere if you know where to look – big stories and small stories, grand epics and anecdotes alike. There are times for the Grand Quests, and times for quieter tales, a moment for the memorable adventure, and heart-rending tragedies. All these stories have their place and time to be told, enjoyed and shared.

All you need is a sharp ear and the ability to write the tale down as it comes to you.


I guess that’s it.


Oh yeah.

Buy books I’ve written at www.affsdiary.com

I also have an author page at Amazon.

My deviantart is cutelildrow.deviantart.com – That’s where I’ve got my art, mostly.

My LJ is at cutelildrow.livejournal.com – You probably won’t see much there since it’s locked.


I also go by the handles Shadowdancer, Shadow and Cutelildrow, so much so that people call me this as much as they call me Rory – often interchangeably.


5 thoughts on “About

  1. Hyperion

    You have had an interesting life. I had similar experiences in that my father was a wanderer and took us along for the ride. I also joined the military and let them send me on endless journeys which broaden my horizons quite a bit. Very nice to meet you. My friend, Jessica Triepel told me I must read you and I’m certainly glad I did.

    1. R.K. Modena Post author

      Thank you! It is very lovely to meet you as well. There’s apparently a name for folks like us – Third Culture Kids – that a friend told me about some years back. We’re the children of diplomats, expats and military who end up growing up pretty much rootless, but better for it.

      I’m working on posts and stories whenever I can, but I’m afraid they’re a bit sporadic. Jessica has suggested yet another little addition to my site, which is… well, about the weirder, but very detailed and amusing dreams I get. I dream in cinema, heh! She thinks that a peek into the strange unfiltered part of my brain would be fun. I’m just hoping that I can convey the incredible amounts of weird and ‘why do you do this to me, brain?’

      1. Hyperion

        You are definitely a kindred soul. My maternal grandfather, who is alive and 103 years old, was in the Navy and fought in the Philippines upon the allies return. All of my life, I listened to his stories of all the people he met in the island campaigns. He loved the Philippine people most because they suffered so much and yet were such fierce and relentless warriors. My Dad was in the Korean War and so for an entire lifetime I heard stories of Asia and then it was my turn and I was lucky to meet my wife through another Korean lady that was her friend. Matchmaking is still a huge part of their culture.
        I also dream in color, with sound, depth and such realism, I often believe I’m either in another world or reliving the past lives. I even had a dream wife from a past life that stayed in my dreams regularly for over 30 years. One night she came to me in very bad shape and only had the strength to tell me she had to go and then I never dreamed of her again. I used this as the basis for the online story I’m writing now on WordPress. I always embraced those dreams and threw myself into it like a hound dog on a ham bone but I also know it scares a lot of people. I just seem to be able to keep my dream world and my waking world completely separated so they don’t get mixed up. 🙂

        1. R.K. Modena Post author

          I had a similar sort of dream when I was in high school. What made it very interesting was I wasn’t ‘me’ in the dream, but a completely different woman. I would wake up in the ‘dream world’ when I went to sleep. It went on, every night, for three months, until the conclusion. I lived a whole lifeime in those three months – in the dream world, I had children, raised them to adulthood… while in the real world, I was doing the usual stuff like school and homework. But once I left that dream world, I never had those dreams again.

          1. Hyperion

            I’ve had a cousin who is very well tuned to the psychology world and Jungian approach and she told me it was my anima and when its very prevalent it means you have a healthy well balanced psyche. I personally believe it’s a DNA connection from all the past relatives I carry with me. I enjoy trying to interpret dreams but in the case of the vivid lifelike dreams, I tend to believe I’ve taken a deeper dive in my inner universe. It makes it a lot more interesting to consider.

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