I write personal stories about experiences that matter to me.
I write about home-cooked food and simple pleasures. I write about growing up in a quirky small town, with larger-than-life parents. I write about my exile in New England, and my own parenting life. I write about my experience of faith and wonder, which is sometimes my experience of cynicism, doubt and weariness. I write about reading, and about the ways my life was transformed by my hometown library and a wild little church. Who can understand the compulsion to follow these strange slivers of memory?
For the most part, I write from my desk overlooking The Great Marsh, on the outskirts of Ipswich, Massachusetts, though I sometimes write in spiral-bound notebooks, on-the-go. I keep fat files of stories-in-progress ripening in a drawer, where I peek in on them now and again.
I completed an MFA in Creative Nonfiction through Seattle Pacific University’s low-residency program in 2009.
My story Smoke Rings, exploring sensitivity to smell and my complicated parents, won an Honorable Mention (3rd place) in Ruminate magazines’ VanderMey Creative Nonfiction Prize, Summer edition 2013. Follow-up blogpost on writing and backs in The Swing on Ruminate blog.
Christian Century blog published my tribute in “A Toast for Robert Farrar Capon.”
In 2010, I contributed a chapter to The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God, Leslie Leyland Fields, editor. Byron Borger reviewed my chapter of the book at Hearts & Minds Booknotes, here.
My awards include the 2011 culinary writing fellowship from The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, Eureka Springs AR (Duncan Eat/Write Fellowship).
From 2006 to 2009, I served as the “blog evangelist” for Ladies’ Home Journal (Meredith Corporation) and as the online moderator for More magazine’s message boards.
A number of my stories and essays can be found online:
May 2012, the High Calling: On the Assembly Line
July 2010, Comment Magazine: Home Cooking: Peas in Cream Sauce
June 2010, Seattle Pacific University MFA Blog: Each of My Callings Brings Joy
June 2010, Faith & Leadership Magazine: Unemployed, Underemployed and Overemployed
September 2009, Comment Magazine: Long Distance Friendships
November 2008, Comment Magazine: Author Q & A
Winter 2007-2008, Living Crafts premiere issue: It Takes a Village to Knit a Farm
Summer 2007, Spin-Off Magazine: A Yarn Party!
May 2007, Lost Magazine: Organic Fuji
September 2006, Catapult Magazine: Sewing Bat’s Ears
Catapult Magazine: List of articles
Selected Book Reviews:
I briefly review creative nonfiction titles for the Image Journal’s bi-weekly Update.
Englewood Review of Books published “Sometimes it Takes a Lifetime to Read a Book,” my reflection on The Collected Stories of Flannery O’Connor in its Advent 2012 print edition.
In 2013, ERB also posted my review of Marcus Leonard’s interviews about Madeleine L’Engle in “Starshot, Odd, and Beautiful,” plus my review of Rebecca Solnit’s “The Faraway Nearby” , and Laura Lapins Willis’ Finding God in a Bag of Groceries.
Good Things Come to Those Who Sit: A Review of L.L.Barkat’s God in the Yard, Englewood Review of Books
Sustaining the Creative Life by Using Small Beans: A Review of L.L. Barkat’s Rumors of Water, Englewood Review of Books
Poetry, Percussion and Politics: A Review of Gil Scott-Heron’s The Last Holiday, Englewood Review of Books
In addition, my published works include:
2007, Interweave Press Spin-Off: “How to Host Your Own Yarn Party” Download this out-of-print article here.
Eat Well: A Food Road Map, published by *cino/Catapult
I write. I teach. I make stuff. I write about teaching. I write about making stuff. I write about writing. I write about everything.