December 2018

“Downwind”, just published in Camas Magazine: The Nature of the West, Winter 2018 themed issue- Fragility. The University of Montana’s Environmental Studies Program’s literary magazine celebrates the landscapes and traditions of art and literature in the American West.

This creative nonfiction contemplates the fragility of health in light of environmental and geological threats and the cultural resilience needed to live with uncertainty.

Fall 2017

Eclipse total.JPG

September 2017

Family reunion and total eclipse watch in Madras, OR. Stunned by the universe!

Upon coming back, a return to school, and as the garden offers its last gifts, I am starting anew in my teaching. Heading inward as the nights cool down, the hours of sunlight wane, and I grapple with questions around how we best learn. 

Snapdragon: A Journal of At and Healing just published a version of my essay, Forgetting, in the Fall 2017 Issue 3.3 of the online journal entitled 'Remember'. I am flooded with memories of my dear aunt as I write to honor her. Go the the Snapdragon website to check it out.

June 2017

 June sunset over the Strait of Juan de Fuca

June sunset over the Strait of Juan de Fuca

In these long days of summer (16 hours of daylight here at latitude 48) my energy expands. The grasses and flowers are exuberant, fed by record spring rains, the fruit growing madly, now that the earth has warmed. I find myself at this time of year migrating to the water...

Looking forward to the Port Townsend Writer's Conference in July, and to writing in the brisk breezes of Admiralty Inlet and the even brisker environment of fellow wordsmiths honing craft.

Honored to be a finalist for the Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Prize sponsored by Bellingham Review. Continue to ruminate on flotsam and jetsam and that which has been lost. I am overwhelmed at news of the worldwide surge of refugees, and all they have suffered as they have been forced to flee. Sending my prayers across the sea...

Winter 2016

What a conclusion to the year we have had! I believe we are entering 2017 from a new place. I took a break from writing in October to go to rural Lorain County, Ohio to campaign door-to-door - talking to my fellow Americans, listening to different visions for America and pondering how we might find common ground.

I sent out a draft of my novel this year (based on my grandmother, Josie's life), with some positive feedback. It was a semi-finalist in the Elixir Press fiction contest and a finalist for the Chanticleer Laramie Western fiction award and the Goethe prize for historical fiction. After some further revisions, I hope to take it to a larger audience.

As the year wanes and I percolate many cultural and social firsts, I am drawn to the page. Writing helps me to sort and find meaning, to shore up the soul and move forward from a better place.

 Squirrel on my backyard crab apple tree shoring up for the coming year.

Squirrel on my backyard crab apple tree shoring up for the coming year.

Fall 2016

Enjoyed summer journeys to Quebec and the shores of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton. Intrigued by the stories and music of the Acadians, and Breton miners. Inspired by their resilience. As the summer mellows into autumn, looking forward to finishing up several writing projects launched this summer at the Exeter Workshop.

Spring 2016

After record winter rains, our pond has swelled to a veritable lake. Ideal for an afternoon drift in the canoe, and a magnet for birds. Migrating geese, a blue heron that has nested in the tree above, noisy ducks coupling off for nesting, gold finches flitting through the trees, and benevolent swallows swooping above the water, gulping down scads of mosquitoes. At twilight, the frogs begin their song that crescendos to a croaking uproar, my lullaby at night. The first batches of ducklings have hatched, but the hawks and eagles hover nearby. Life on the pond... and I am inspired to write. 

Summer and Fall 2015

Travels to Cuba, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, New England, Amish regions and the wilds of Washington State. Canoeing through bird-rich Eastern Washington wetlands, shopping Amish yard sales, watching baseball with tobacco-growing camposinos, climbing calcium deposits worn smooth by time, walking beaches across from the island of Lesbos, and marveling at mosques in Sarajevo were some of many rich experiences that will feed my writing in the coming months. Looking forward to a new school year and time for reflection on recent journeys.

Winter 2015

This June I will be participating in the Writers Workshop at the Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire. I am grateful for this opportunity for professional development funded by a grant from the Stranahan Foundation. I will be focusing on the personal narrative across genres. I am looking forward to writing and editing work with fellow teachers and writers and the Exeter faculty.

Fall 2014

Presentation: Nov. 8, 2014Women of Grace, Third Annual Community Retreat

                      "Life as a Pilgrimage"

I will be discussing the theme of pilgrimage, not only as intentional travel, but as a metaphor for
our journey through life. We will explore pilgrimage and its symbols through the ages, and map the pilgrimages of our own lives.

Update: The read address is now available online. Click here to read it.

Summer 2014

Reading- July 10, North Winds Arts Center, 701 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA

This summer, as a fellow at the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony at the University of Utah under the mentorship of Kevin Oderman and a cohort of inspiring nonfiction writers, I worked on my memoir. I also survived a bat bite, eleven shots as part of my rabies vaccine, and a harrowing inner tube adventure down the Weber River!

In July I was awarded the Non-fiction prize in the Pacific Northwest Writers 2014 Literary Contest for a section of my memoir in progress entitled, 'To the Middle of the Earth.'