A Glance at My Bio
I was born an American citizen in Munich, to a German mom and Army dad who could not speak the other’s language so well. Because of their language challenge between them, I learned early how to intuit a situation from the immediate surroundings maybe in some fashion like a bird or a fox. To this day, I could not write anything without nature being behind everything. I’ve had story publications in Road Rider Motorcycle Consumer News Magazine, Duke University Voices, The Paper Journey Press, earning UNC-CH Creative Writing Honors, and winning two Robert Ruark Creative Writing Awards, and a Durham Art Council Emerging Artist Award. Most fun I ever had was to try to tame words into a cohesive sentence after swimming in the moonlight. Oh, did I mention that I used to be a firefighter?
A Look at My Appalachian Trail Story
I have hiked since I can remember. I used to cut through the woods on little paths made by animals that were barely visible from outside of the minutia of rut carved by scurrying claw, paw or hoof. Hopefully one day I will hike the whole Appalachian Trail or any of the many long distance trails; the Eastern Continental Trail, Continental Divide Trail, High Sierra Trail or the Mountains to Sea Trail in North Carolina.
Right now, I am a quiet wanderer through my own imagination. Should I hike or should I write? Sensible hikers pack light and stash one luxury item. Sensible writers write light and edit. But I am not a sensible writer or hiker. I pour everything on the page and start picking up the spilled equipment as it falls unwieldy from my backpack onto the path. An excessive pronoun here, a non-sequitur there, battling spell check for my version of the word. Are these my excessive luxury items not fitting themselves into my turtle shell backpack? But I realize that my luxury items are my house, job and animal companions. I feel that I must write more than I feel that I must hike.
But of these physical comforts and securities, none can compare with being in the woods surrounded by trees that smell of rain, honey, fermenting melons and wild raccoons. Either choice will have brought valuable insights.
One day, will I abandon my laptop-window-post to wear boots and to forget the past (by living in the moment) to walk on the very ground that promises that dust will take us back to dust from whence we came? Wait-where did that promise come from?
Great respect goes to hikers who have sojourned the footpath of the Appalachian Trail and all the fabulous trails, whatever length, time, hardship or sacrifice endured. My trails growing up were out my back door. As an adult, my trails still live close to me, in my hopes and dreams for tomorrow (not living in the moment).
If I ever had a goal with this “writing” and “hiking” thing, it was to fill the novel up to overflowing, not to record with a non-fiction accuracy but embellish joyfully. To honor nature, who is ourselves, seems to make the most sense to me in my search of my one luxury item. Not a transistor radio or “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson, or deodorant to stick into my backpack, but to sit at the window and remember nature like the squirrels remember to dig their acorns into the soil. Many rows of acorns dug into the ground just two inches from all the others. When I witnessed this collection of small acorn burrows in the soil like the marble inset board game I remember called Aggravation, I consider nature to be like that-life’s systematic seeds waiting together to be given away.
Promising the aggravation of writing and “some” hiking, but with the end-goal in my mind of helping us. Helping nature survive us. Helping us survive us. What an beautiful travesty we are; I fear that our culture has totally lost its way, though the trailhead is right here in front of us. Walk out the door!