Who can resist chronicling
their life in one form or another? I don't do daily journaling or blogging, and until
I started a memoir recently, I didn't write many conventional memoir pieces. Yet, at times an incident or phase
of life is so troubling or exhilarating that I must write to discover its deeper meaning. I've often carried
the trials and tribulations of my life into fiction, and I've been far more interested in using dream journals
to track my inner life rather than sharing realist drama. As dreams mirror our inner conflicts and triumphs, so can these
absurd bits of wisdom be translated into compelling fiction (and can no doubt could be used in poetry, memoir, and creative
While visiting Nairobi and Lamu Island, Kenya
during the 2010 SLS Kenya and Kwani Litfest extravaganza, I opened a blog, Jellyfish Day, about "jellyfish, sundogs and sundry digressions on
the writing life." I share my thoughts about the writing life, invite guest bloggers to write about their work, and occasionally
interview authors and review their books.
Before I embraced blogging, most
of my creative nonfiction has revolved around describing the "real world" - my expression for the natural world - and my close encounters
with wildlife during my thirty-six-year sojourn in Arizona. Between editing and fiction
projects, I nurture this collection of nature essays
titled Natural Soul: Meditations. I recently had the pleasure of crafting one essay and beginning another at
the Silence. Awareness. Existence Residency in Haukijärvi, Finland (November 2016).
Some eureka moments have illuminated my life
in recent months, and I started to write a memoir,
something I never dreamed of writing. I've tackled a rough chapter outline, an intro, and a first chapter. I'm taking the rest
slowly, with no plans to rush through the project and complete it any time soon. Writing a fine-tuned recipe that
needs some slow simmering to bring out the best.
I've devoted much of the past decade-and-a-half studying and practicing the craft of fiction, my body of published nonfiction
is modest and includes two middle-grade history books : The National Mall and Lewis and Clark: Exploring
the American West (Enslow, Inc., 2005 & 2010).