About Me

I am a journalist who focuses on the nature, history, and culture of California. Regionally I cover open space for the Bay Area Monitor, a news publication for the League of Women Voters, and Estuary News, a 25-year-old magazine of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. My work has also been published in Smithsonian, High Country News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times

I am the author of Ina Coolbrith: The Bittersweet Song of California's First Poet Laureate, which received a bronze medal for biography from the 2016 Independent Publishers Book Awards. My travel essays are in anthologies alongside the work of Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Tempest Williams, Edward Abbey, and Anne Lamott. I was a writer-in-residence at New York’s Blue Mountain Center, a participant in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in 2005 and 2010, and an inaugural recipient of the Alan Jutzi Fellowship for Non-Traditional Scholars at the Huntington Library in San Marino.

I got a late start as a writer even though I had my sights set on becoming one ever since I was at Disneyland at eight years old and a female version of the fortune teller in the movie Big spat out a card that said, “You are going to be a writer later in life.”

In my twenties all I wanted to do was dance. My first “professional” gig came when I was hired as a showgirl in Acapulco (pictured below), a job that ended when the President of Mexico’s wife fired me (yes, there's a story there!). 

Me posing with Killer, a live alligator, in Acapulco

At age 30, I returned to school, fell in love with physical and cultural geography, and graduated with honors from San Francisco State University. After graduating I dove into work as an environmental activist at International Rivers and Coral Reef Alliance.

Through it all I wrote on the side, and after five years of international environmental work I brought my passions back to my home state of California and to fulfill my fortunes as a writer. My mission is to apply my 
awe for the natural world, love of history, and training as a geographer to my work.