Writing

My Book
Ever since I first moved to central Maine in 1997, I’ve spent time at the Arboretum, working on trails, hiking with friends, cross-country skiing, introducing my children to its trees and ponds, escaping my office for a lunchtime walk. The Arboretum has something for everyone—miles of trails through shady woods and sunny fields, wildflowers and community gardens, demonstration forestry projects and tree collections, ponds and wetlands—and is an oasis of nature and peace in the heart of Maine’s capital. The vignettes in this collection draw on experiences I’ve recorded in journals since 1999. The field guide pages include some of the trees, birds, flowers, and wildlife a visitor might see during each month or season. I hope this book encourages visitors to slow down, look and listen more closely, and learn about the wild plants and animals that make Viles Arboretum their home. 
Deer Tracks and Dragonflies: A Year at Viles Arboretum, June 2016
Contact Viles Arboretum to order a copy.

Fiction
This story begins with a Pop-Tart. No, not a Pop-Tart, but, as you explained to the teacher, the principal, the deputy sheriff, the sheriff, and two muzzle-faced State Troopers, an organic toaster pastry with whole-grain crust and all-natural, no-sugar-added, real-fruit filling.
Boy Trouble
Brain, Child, February 2016

It had been Rose’s idea to spread Zane’s ashes on a mountain in the Camden Hills that the three of them had hiked the previous summer, just weeks before the accident. Rose had thought the mountain was named after her stuffed bat, and Sarah couldn’t think of a better plan.
Stars Come Down
Saltfront, Issue #4, Fall 2015

We installed the weather station the day I found out I was pregnant. Of course I already knew I was pregnant, but on that day the little white stick took away any hope of early menopause. 
Literary Mama, October 2008

Essays
With no Central Perk to hang out in, I couldn’t figure out where the other twenty-somethings were, and I concluded that they had all either moved to Portland or Boston or were home taking care of babies.
I'll Be There For You
Grown and Flown, January 2017

In late summer, my children and I search for caterpillars. The milkweed is thigh-high at this time, its fragrant mauve flower clusters swelling into seed pods. When we see leaves that are missing great chunks of green flesh, we peer underneath of them, hoping to find a fat yellow-, black-, and white-striped caterpillar hiding there. 
“Monarch Summers” 
Snowy Egret, Volume 78, Numbers 1&2, Spring-Autumn 2016

I hated those Perfectly Perfect women, yet I could not stop reading their blogs. I started my own blog, borrowing the computer and camera from my husband’s business, intending to document my own messy, imperfect life.
How I Went from Domestic to Wild
Role Reboot, September 23, 2016

I’ve never witnessed the salamander migration—every year I’m too busy or too tired or I forget. But last spring I resolved to not miss the Big Night and so, on a drizzly Saturday evening soon after the snow melted, I amassed our collection of headlamps and herded my family out the door.
“The Big Night”
Coffee + Crumbs, September 9, 2016

I watch his long, brown legs, thin in the bone, knobbed at the knee, like a colt’s, and I think, for a moment, that nine is my favorite age. 
Love Bugs
Mothers Always Write, May 16, 2016

My parents called to say that my sister was born at 11:09 the previous night, fifty-one minutes before my birthday. In that moment, the baby I had anticipated with such excitement turned into a horror who stole my special day. 
One Cake or Three?
Brain, Mother Blog, March 18, 2016

When the chicks sleep, they lie face down in the wood chips, looking dead, so you poke them and they wake up cheeping, which makes you feel bad and reminds you of how you used to wake up your own newborn children from naps because you were worried they’d stopped breathing.
The Chickens
Mutha Magazine, March 16, 2016

As a teenager, my musical tastes tended toward the Duran Duran end of the spectrum, so when my son went through a hard rock phase a couple of years ago, I was surprised I knew the lyrics to so many songs I had never intentionally listened to. I was also surprised to find, buried among the scratchy singing voices and really long guitar riffs, useful advice for writers.
Advice to Writers from 80s Hair Bands
Beyond Your Blog, March 15, 2016

After the holidays pass and Arctic air settles over the land, it’s tempting to want to curl up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and hibernate until spring. But if you did that, not only would your kids start pole-vaulting the furniture, you would also miss out on the many natural wonders of winter.
The Family Guide to Getting Outside in Winter
Whitefield News, January 2016

When I complained to my teacher that I didn’t have time to write with two babies and a preschooler, she had no sympathy. “Find the time,” she instructed. “Make the time. Write in your car.” 
Write in Your Car
Literary Mama, August 3, 2015

With these two boys, there is a fine line between playing and fighting, the main difference being how long it takes for one of them to start crying.
The Twins and The Pendulum
Brain, Child Magazine's Brain, Mother Blog, February 2015

I had gone to the conference to figure out whether it would be possible for me to complete an MFA while working full time and caring for three children. When I returned home, I still didn't know the answer to that question, but I knew I had to try.
Two Takes on AWP
Literary Mama Blog, February 2015

Since that day, we have called that big pine Owl Tree, even though we've never again seen an owl in its branches. Milo is nearing his thirteenth birthday and the top of his head reaches my eyebrows when we stand toe-to-toe. I just noticed this winter that Owl Tree, too, has grown in our 11 years on this land. 
Northern Woodlands, Winter 2014

My last backpacking trip, thirteen years ago, involved a three-mile hike to nearby Chimney Pond, carrying my oldest son in a front pack, while my last major trip was a seventy-mile honeymoon hike in Colorado two years earlier. The only times I’ve lugged a backpack this heavy since then, it held a toddler. I decide to be grateful that the contents of my pack are not pulling my hair or throwing sippy cups onto the trail.    
TrailGroove, November 2014

It is the sweet sorrow of parenting that we put all our love and attention into these little beings, and our success is defined by their leaving us. If we do our job right, our children will thank us from their life’s stage, but their love songs they will sing to someone else.
“Here Be Dragons” 
Motherlode: Essays on Parenthood, KY Story, October 2014

[F]orget about goals and destinations and get down on the kid’s level, slow down, and take in the world one pebble and caterpillar at a time. So it takes all afternoon to travel a hundred yards of trail, so what? The important thing is that you and your child are enjoying the world together and, while you’re at it, you are learning (or relearning) a whole new way of seeing the world.
TrailGroove, October 2014

The dentist name for [teeth] is “deciduous,” like trees that lose their leaves every fall and grow them anew in spring. The name suggests renewal and rebirth. But, unlike trees, children only shed and regrow their teeth once, a reminder of the fleeting nature of childhood and the impermanence of life itself, and that second chances are doled out rarely. 
Memento Mori” 
Mutha Magazine, May 2014

Can a literature of motherhood, a voice and vision of motherhood articulated by mothers, rather than the projections of those who view motherhood from the outside, change not only literature, but the world? 
Literary Mama, May 2014

The boys sat in the middle of the boat, slapping each other with slippery red lily pads, I swooped a little insect net through the air, trying to catch one of the bright yellow damselflies that skimmed over the water’s surface, and Curry cast Milo’s line off the stern of the boat. When he reeled in a bass, the boys begged him to bring it back to camp and cook it. 
Catch 22” 
About Place Journal, November 2013

Here in central Maine, wild nature and human nature intertwine like the strands of barbed wire we find grown into the trunks of ragged white pine trees. 
Orion, August 2013 (January/February 2014)

A wild strawberry is smaller than a pinkie nail, a tiny red jewel so tender it melts on your tongue.
Kindred, Fall 2013

No matter how short or long my journaling session, I always come away feeling calmed. The steady buzz of anxiety that normally occupies my chest cavity subsides. I walk more slowly and notice more of the small details around mea bumblebee nosing into a tree’s green flower, the shape of hemlock cones in the snow, spring’s first trembling green blades of grass. 
Rhythm of the Home, Winter 2010

Before I had children, I thought my own gun policy would be simple to enforce: I would not buy gun toys. But here I had a child, barely more than a baby, who perhaps had seen another child build a Lego gun, or had seen a movie with a gun at daycare and decided to build his own or, for all I know, had the blueprint for weapon-making encoded in his DNA. 
Brain, Child, Spring 2010

Poetry
A Short Poem About Time” vox poetica, October 2011
Mix Tape” vox poetica, July 2011
Capture” vox poetica, January 2010
Abide” vox poetica, September 2009
First Practice” vox poetica, July 2009

Book Reviews/Literary Reflections
    Literary Mama, March 2014
    Literary Mama, June 22, 2013
    Literary Mama, September 26, 2011
    Literary Mama, April 24, 2011
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