About the Author

My Improbable Beginning


I was born in a trailer in High Rolls, New Mexico, in 1958.

My parents, who were not very practical people, neglected to go to the hospital or inform anyone of my arrival, so some Official Document Confusion existed for a long time as to the exact year and date.

By my sixth birthday, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a writer. I was fascinated by the sound of words, the sweep of story. I wanted to make word magic and tuck it inside the covers of a book.   So I found a pencil and tried my hand at literature:

 

I feer a dere is neer heer.    k – age 6

 

It had drama. It had emotion.
In retrospect, it would have been more sensible to fear a bear or a mountain lion, but I was reaching for the stars. I wanted rhyme.

Sacrificing sense for sound failed to impress the critics. It was only the first of many, many literary lessons I have learned from rejection.

A writer needs a very tough skin. And she needs something to write about.

Fortunately, my impractical parents were also quite eccentric.  My childhood can only be described as ‘exciting.’

I tracked caribou and arctic wolves across my family’s homestead in Alaska, caught tiny tree frogs in the swamps and rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, and chased dust devils and rattlesnakes across the high desert of New Mexico.

Against all odds, I survived my many misadventures. I was not electrocuted or drowned. Most of the bullets missed, and the incidents with bears, snakes, wolves, and angry moose were not fatal.

Before I settled down to have children I worked as a ranch hand, a wood cutter, a lumberjack, a census taker, a wrangler for wilderness guides, and an archeological surveyor.

Nowadays, when I’m not writing my favorite pastime is hunting dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts through the Ojito Wilderness and surrounding areas. The bones of huge monsters lie hidden in the deserts and badlands of New Mexico. I’ve found fragments of dinosaur bone, ammonites, an incredible acanthoceras from the Cretaceous, 8,000 year old camel bones, and possibly a pile of rhino remains.

 

If you would like to know more about me, my books, and my writing process, read my interview at Cynsations.