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 nonfiction too).
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).