Welcome to my website!
For the blog I post each Monday, a short list of my publications, and more information about a few currently featured publications, please click on the lines to the right on this page.
Since childhood, writing has been a center of my life. I’m the author of thirteen books and counting and dozens of magazine articles in national magazines (Gourmet, Mademoiselle, Walking), regional magazines (Journal of the West), little/literary magazines, and academic journals. I taught advanced writing classes (along with classes in narrative theory, history of the novel, and Western American literature) at Idaho State University for forty years; many of my students have gone on to careers as writers and/or teachers of writing.
My earliest published work (see “Short List of Publications”) included both personal essays and academic studies of how people construct and consume stories. During the past two decades, creative nonfiction writing with a spiritual dimension has become my predominant (but not only) interest, sparking seven more-recent books and shorter articles in a variety of publications, including the major Catholic family magazine St. Anthony Messenger. Each of these works considers the rich implications of a particular aspect of everyday life: teaching, aging and caring for the aging, craft (in the form of knitting and writing), celebrating holidays, retiring into a fruitful new way of life, etc.
Though I write for Catholic presses, I’m always careful to craft this work as broadly applicable to readers of varied spiritual/religious perspectives, believing that those of us who bring a reverent attitude toward the created world, a cooperative orientation toward human relationships, and an open, curious perspective to mysteries beyond rational ken share more than our differences might suggest.
As a writer I’m concerned with connecting the ordinary and esoteric, the everyday and the sacred; as physical beings, I believe, we’ll necessarily find the physical world a profound teacher of wisdom otherwise only abstract, distant. Thus the earth’s natural landscapes and its resonant details figure prominently in my work as they do in my life (I’m an avid outdoorswoman living in southeastern Idaho; several peaks over 6,000’ are visible from the home study where I write). My work strives to connect the “high” and “low” through a mixed tone style which blends seriousness and humor, conversational style and lyrical or analytical tone. There are many lenses through which we can consider experience, I believe, and each has something important to offer.
So, again, welcome! I’d love to hear from you and/or answer questions about my books, and the about the vocations/avocations that inspire them.
If you’re an aspiring writer, please take a look at my blog, which offers both concrete hints and inspiration to help you grow your own writing practice.
Thanks so much for visiting!