I am a writer living on the central coast of California. After spending many years living on a small boat and sailing around the world, I came to appreciate how tiny and insignificant we humans seem in the natural world that surrounds and supports us. We appear to be living on the edge of the wild, the largely untamed and unknown world into which we are embedded, exploring the borderlands that lay between the human and the more-than-human worlds, and the ways they overlap and mirror each other.
Now that I am again living on the edge of the wild in a home bordering a nature preserve, I find myself re-exploring those borderlands, not only through my encounters with the wildlife and natural habitat that now surrounds me, but also through reflecting on those years living on the sea, and through my writing, my artwork, and the books I’m reading. The artwork in the heading is from one of my paintings (water color and oil pastel).
My novel From the Far Ends of the Earth is being represented by Robin Rue, a senior agent at Writers House.
One day Fran heads toward the grocery store and keeps on going till she reaches the tip of South America. Meanwhile she leaves behind an empty hole in the lives of her family, an insecure daughter trying to cope with the rigors of graduate school and lackluster love life, a son strung out on heroin, filled with self-pity and rage, and a husband who plots her course across the continent with push pins on a map as he pays her credit card bills. How they cope with her mysterious disappearance and the cryptic phone messages and photographs she sends them, as well as rediscover each other and forge new relationships in her absence, creates the heart of this novel.
More about the novel and an excerpt published online can be read at the link above.
I’m currently working on a new novel with the working title This Sea Within which takes a young woman down into Central America in the 1960s where she meets the leader of a rebel force fighting to overthrow a corrupt government. More about the story and the writing process can be found at the link above.
I am also working on a series of books for middle graders about a family that goes sailing around the world, based loosely on our own journey.
Questions & Answers
I was honored to be nominated for an award which came with these questions. The answers tell a little more about me, so I thought I’d include them here.
1. What is the most difficult piece of writing you’ve ever written?
All writing is difficult for me, but most recently, the blog post The Deer’s Scream, My Mother’s Eyes, and the Ripe Strawberry was especially difficult.
2. Do you do your best writing in the morning or at night?
Morning, especially when I first awake, in bed, on a yellow pad in pen.
3. What is your favorite quote?
I have so many, it’s hard to choose. Here’s is something from the German poet Novalis that I recently came across and love: “The seat of the soul is where the inner world and outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap.”
4. Where is the most interesting place you have ever lived?
Ah, so many places to choose from our travels. It may be safest to say living on our sailboat La Gitana was by far the most interesting place I’ve lived.
6. What is your favorite month and why?
I’m not sure I have a favorite. Maybe July–deep summer, long hot days, balmy nights, everything blooming and bright.
7. Are you superstitious about anything?
I’m not superstitious, really, although I’ve lived in haunted houses, and had a “demon” leaning on my chest, which I’ve written about on this blog. But I still don’t quite believe in them–odd, huh? Maybe not. I believe in lots of things I’ve never seen (quarks, black holes, God, world peace, my heart, Buddha, the Tao, infinity, intuition). So maybe it’s not so strange I don’t quite “believe” in things I’ve actually seen.