For me, 2020 was a year of making up stories about people trying to survive in the time of climate change and COVID, mostly working class, including gay couples, teens that wear black, food coop do-gooders who turn out to be do-baders, romance in a vacuum cleaner repair store. They share settings and some characters, and most have color names like. “Beige but Cute” “Black Jammies” “Shiny Green” “Green Madonna” and “Flashing Lavender.” I had a lot of fun with these, and am beginning to submit them. Along with a few essays, one about fears we don’t need, another about video chats, and how they devolve into superficial talk so often. Apropos in the time of Zoom.
My novel, No one Runs in the Country needs a home. It’s about a young woman who’s trying to get it together in her new job as greenhouse manager at a farm that grows veggies for the local market. She falls for Zach, the cattle farmer next door, but she is also attracted to Vlado the Russian field manager who makes fun of everything except his ability to talk to trees. When she tries to find her long lost Dad, her mom is no help. She’s been hiding postcards from him for years.
Until some of the above comes out, here are some recent published stories and essays.
“A Good Session” in Persimmon Tree is about what happens when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door of an evolutionist. Wait, one of the visitors is tall and dark and has a sculpted jaw.
“Quessasomethings” came out last in the winter 2015 issue of r.kv.r.y. Quarterly. If you’ve ever been to a snobby party and felt out of it, this one’s for you.
My essay, “Freedom to Wander” was published in Toasted Cheese. I tell the tale of a risky ski trip across snowy fields in history making cold, and also how a canoe trip went really badly, but both have to do with wandering the land freely. I think that ought to be allowed a lot more than we let people do it in this country.
“Best Stuff on Earth” is in Spadina Literary Review out of Toronto. A surgeon suffers self-doubt along with a huge headache on the train home after losing a patient, but awakens to a past joy that he stirs up in a muddy puddle on his walk from the station.
“Big Air” was published in The Woven Tale Press. This is a gorgeous journal, full of visual art as well as poems and stories. In “Big Air”, after a huge argument with her husband Gabe, Elena hikes through the snow along a favorite trail that ends high on a cliff, and she considers the peace she’d have if she slipped off into the air in front of her.
I started writing my essay, “Sudden Caregiver” when I realized I was one, after my Mom’s fall. It appears in Superstition Review.
What Happened to Our Sense of Wonder? This piece explores what it is that makes us care about our world. As an ecologist, and grown up kid, I’m deeply concerned about the planet, coral reefs, rivers, air, trees, and wish we humans could stop messing things up. It appears in the 2019 issue of RiverSedge, from the University of Texas at Rio Grande.
I’d love to here from you, either here or on my blog Wildstory