Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, I began a 16-year journey as a member of a military family. My parents, sisters and I were a roving tribe, moving to and from U.S. Air Force bases coast to coast and in Honolulu. That formative experience served as an inspiration for my writing. Specifically, it fostered a meditation on people and the places we inhabit.
I studied English and American Literature for my undergraduate degree at East Tennessee State University, and earned a master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Tennessee. I specialized in assisting deaf and hard of hearing students and adults with education and vocational training. Over 30 years, I taught in public schools, community colleges, and in informal science education institutions (museums, zoos, and nature centers). A teaching career has endless articulations and mine followed my changing interests over three decades of teaching in a variety of settings.
After I turned 63, I semiretired and started a part time business in grant writing for nonprofits and devoted myself to writing. From 2004 to 2009, I wrote a column for Tucson Green Magazine, which featured essays about living in the American Southwest. Later I self-published Paean to the Earth (2008), a collection of essays, poetry, and short stories inspired by my experiences in the desert cities of Arizona.
In 2006 the Frank Waters Foundation awarded me a Writer’s Residency at their Artist’s cabin near Taos, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, during which I began drafting a novel about climate change in the Southwest. Threshold was published in 2016 by Fireship Press in Tucson. The work there was inspired. I am still mining it for novellas and short stories.
I have continued to develop essays about humans and nature. In 2011, my essay, “A Way Forward in an Uncertain Future”, was published in an anthology, edited by Martin Keogh: Hope Beneath Our Feet – Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (North Atlantic Press).
Other essays have been published in Songs of Ourselves: America’s Interior Landscape (Blue Heron Book Works, 2015), Panoplyzine, SEJ Journal (Journal of the Society of Environmental Journalists), Pensacola Magazine, and in academic publications. My blog, WalkEarth.org, is a place where I share new works with followers and review books by outstanding writers. WalkEarth also publishes links and information about climate change planning for communities.