A Different Treasure

From The Pen Woman, Fall 2021


By Maxine Carlson, Iowa City Branch

Sandy Gleaves, treasurer of the Iowa City Branch, brings unusual qualifications to her office. Threads of her varied experiences have influenced her writing.

Sandy with her dog by a pond
Sandy Gleaves—pilot, author, and multitalented Iowa City Pen Woman.
Photography by Maxine Carlson

During her teaching career, she wrote lesson plans to coordinate with a software simulation game coded by her husband to help students learn money management. This game was published and available for over a decade. When she earned her pilot’s license, Gleaves combined her teaching and flight knowledge as a flight instructor. An affection for dogs forms a constant background to all her endeavors.

She said writing, like flying, changes the view and “makes you see other perspectives.” Just as a flight plan is not always required, writing without an outline or theme in mind can transport you to unexpected places.

She sees many parallels between flying a plane and writing:

  • Both require consistent practice.
  • Success requires not allowing yourself to be stalled by obstacles.
  • Accepting feedback from others is necessary for improvement.

Gleaves began writing poetry in high school. She continued because she believes teachers should be willing to do any assignment given to the students. She made time for writing throughout her career and into retirement. Her book, “Ralph Unleashed, Mischief and Mayhem with a Man’s Best Friend,” contains a series of humorous adventures featuring a spirited canine. Gleaves’ imagination, enhanced by her diverse life experiences, artfully portrays Ralph as an extraordinary dog whose innocent, yet wise, advice guides the family.

The Iowa City Branch treasures Sandy Gleaves’ many contributions as a board member and a writer.