I DRAW INSPIRATION FROM:
Words, Family, Regret, Girlfriends,The Pacific Ocean, Trees, Edible Plants,
Great Writing, Swimming, Bike Riding, Long Walks, Whales,
Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts,
Ubiquitous Energetic Particles Combining in Random Glory,
Art that Reflects and Reframes that Glory.
I write in diverse genres -- literary fiction, creative nonfiction, social history, mysteries, and "upmarket" women's fiction. Recurring themes include food, female friendship, and the character-shaping power of place.
My fiction explores our deep connection with nature, especially those surprising moments when our animal spirit grabs the wheel and floors it towards actions -- and consequences -- we never intended.
My protagonists inhabit worlds limned by their own quirky takes. They recognize the strong draw of chaos and want to hold onto order and clarity. They take pains to make things good for the people they love, and they bear the scars of their (usually) ineffectual efforts. They struggle heroically (yes, they are plenty flawed) to decide whether to circle back and help yet again, or move on. Such striving yields irony -- we find that circling back each time is different, and that we have somehow moved forward with hope.
My nonfiction also explores our deep connection with nature, or the ways in which we damage or ignore that connection. All my writing flows from close observation of humans in the world, illuminated by narrative structure.
WORDS ON THE PAGE
Photo Credit: Teddy Miller
The cold depths of north-country lakes water-marked me as a child. The planet-scale power of the Pacific surged into my life when I was six years old. As a girl, I rode my bike and traipsed through the rusty, ripe, ocean-worn alleys of a down-at-the-heels California beach town. I clambered over miles of tan clay cliffs, gulped more sea breeze than food, slunk through salt-thick fog, flew out of cresting swells toward sun-whitened sky, and tossed among green bubbles in the pure force of broken waves.
A swimmer, a fisher, a body-surfer, a seaweed eater, I fell in love with a hodad from the high, dry mesas of New Mexico. We raised two beautiful, blooming hybrids. When motherhood repressed too severely, I binged on episodes of dictionary reading — like eating black licorice in private: slightly shameful, but strong, sweet, and salty. Shameful secrets led to fiction writing.