"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? . . . . A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us."
"Again and again something in one's own life, or in the life around one, will seem so important that one cannot bear to let it pass into oblivion. There must never come a time, the writer feels, when people do not know about this."
Shikibu Murasaki, The Tale of Genji
"I think the mission of poetry is to create among people the possibility of wonder, admiration, enthusiasm, mystery, the sense that life is marvelous."
A sampling of my writing can be found here, as well as links to published works.
I live along the central coast of California at the edge of a nature preserve where wild turkeys fly down from the oak trees in the morning and the coyotes howl at night. The earth nurtures me and my writing--as does the ocean, where our family spent seven years sailing around the world.
I write about all this on my blog "Living on the Edge of the Wild." Please visit and leave a comment.
You can also reach me at Facebook and Twitter, or by Email. I'd love to hear from you.
My poem "Night Crossing, Sea of Cortez" has been set to music by composer Troy Armstrong. He created a hauntingly beautiful choral piece he calls "Swimming Among the Stars." Click HERE to listen.
Why do I write what I do?
I like exploring the edges of things, the borderlands between states of consciousness and states of reality—the social and psychological, the human and more-than-human, the physical and spiritual, the known and unknown. The world we know outside ourselves and within–how they overlap and re-create each other. I see the creative arts as existing on that fringe, the thing that helps us negotiate the borderlands and translate one to the other. Writing is my point of entry.
All this is true for my novel and short stories and blog. But for the sailing adventure, I write to preserve what it was like to live at sea, and to share that adventure and my love of the wild with others, especially children.
More about how and why I write can be found at these blog posst: Writing, A Leap of Faith; Wabi Sabi Writing.
How does my writing process work?
A lot of my writing springs from my reading. Stories and poems and other blog posts trigger a new line of thought, and I go off in that direction, allowing it to take me where it will. I think of it as “riffing” on other’s works, as jazz musicians will do when they jam together. The same happens when I engage with nature, go for walks or hikes, or merely sit on the patio taking in all the sights and sounds around me. Thoughts and images will spring to mind, and I’ll grab a notebook and start writing.
I usually start writing in the morning, sometimes in long hand while sitting in bed with my coffee. Then I’ll go to my office and type what I’ve been writing into a word document, revising as I go. Most of my revising is done on the computer. But I’ve printed out my novel to revise as I read it, as well. I keep a writing log, setting weekly goals, and tracking my hours. This has helped a lot, because I can get pretty scattered and off-track otherwise.