"She surprised us," her father said. "She told us she had made arrangements to get into law school."
After law school, she became an associate at McKenna Long & Aldridge and worked there until her illness made it difficult to handle the workload. She then became a law clerk for bankruptcy Judge James E. Massey until she became disabled last year.
Mrs. Paulk had written poems since she was in fifth or sixth grade. Her writings, her father said, reflected "an old soul."
"It always had surprises for us in the things she was interested in, the maturity and independent thought," he said. "We always looked at her as a daughter and child, but her insights always seemed to be from another place and from another time."
In 2009, her book, "Tiny Bedtime Stories," was featured as a "quirky book of the week" in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The collection of adult-themed tales started out as tweets on Twitter.com.
One example: "Momentarily lucid, an insane king wonders if delusions of grandeur are as good as the real thing. They are actually better."
Mrs. Paulk was an accomplished violinist who played with her father in the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra. She liked to camp and hike and had a broad taste in music.
"She was able to write in any style -- fiction, poetry, cartoons and tweets," her husband said. "Her mind stayed healthy until the end."
Additional survivors include her mother, Carol Paulk of Atlanta, sisters, Elizabeth Paulk of Dallas, Texas and Julia Paulk of Chicago.