I am a writer, teacher, and bookseller in Pittsburgh, PA. I am queer (though straight-passing since I am married to a dude) and chronically ill/sometimes disabled by debilitating migraines. My pronouns are she and her.
My fiction tends toward the strange, the macabre, the dark night of the soul. I write book reviews and dabble in criticism now and then. Once I wrote a poem, but it wasn’t very good. I’ve been running this blog in some form or another since 2011, and have written other blogs on metafiction and living with migraine (bits of which you’ll find here).
I graduated from Chatham University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in 2013 with concentrations in fiction and travel writing. My creative work has appeared in a number of journals including Permafrost, Sou’Wester, Pacifica Literary Review, Flash Fiction Online, and others. I’m in the process of shopping my short story collection based on Warren Zevon songs to literary agents and independent presses while I work on a novel about a reluctant funeral director who can speak to the dead.
I will obsess over anything nerdy if given half a chance, but Star Wars is my first and truest obsession. I can make anything relate back to Star Wars (seriously, anything—try me!). Some other obsessions include comics, books in general, library books in particular (they’re FREE), libraries period, science fiction, things exploding in space, the TV show Bones, blogging, Warren Zevon, sewing, Twitter, metafiction, punctuation, and audiobooks (do you see the trend here? I really like books).
I don’t believe in the Bible as anything other than myth, but my own personal bible is Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home, a fictional anthropological study disguised as a utopia. “Initiation Song from the Finder’s Lodge” is a good microcosm of the ideas Le Guin presents in the novel at large:
Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.
This poem perfectly encapsulates how I want to experience the world—a series of adventures that result in growth and living in tandem with my environment.
Every day I go out into the world, and every day I come home with something new. At least I do if I’m paying attention.
I am always thinking about how I can become a better person, how I can become a better writer, how I can become more efficient, how I can become a better partner, how I can get better organized, how I can exercise more often, how, why, what, when, where.
I am always asking questions and thinking about possible answers. This is probably why I write fiction—because there’s never just one answer, is there?
If I am pondering these things, you might think about them, too. Maybe you’ll read the words I’ve released into the wild, and maybe something I write will strike a nerve, and maybe, for a small moment, we’ll make a connection.
That’s what this space is: a place for me to bring you strange and new things, a space where we can process the world together, a conduit for connecting through the power of words.
I’m glad you came in. I hope you’ve come bearing some strange, new things of your own.