I am a naturalist and writer rooted in Boulder, Colorado. I currently write creative nonfiction, connect people with nature, serve on the board of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, and manage the Nancy Wood Literary Trust.
Born in 1966, I grew up in Colorado Springs with my mother Nancy Wood and her several husbands. When asked to state my mother’s occupation in preschool, I called her a “typewriter”; she was actually a noted poet, book author, and photographer. My father Myron Wood was a camera who focused his prolific lens on Colorado and New Mexico. My parents were supportive but distracted, so I was actually raised by a dinosaur named Alice, the subject of my memoir, The Dinosaur’s Daughter.
In 1984 I left behind Alice, my quarter horse, and my rock collection and boarded People Express airlines to Boston. I earned a BA in English literature at Dartmouth College while beating boys at billiards in Meister Brau-scented frat basements. After college I marketed and sold books and academic tests for Houghton Mifflin in Africa and the Caribbean. Frustrated with men discounting my business wiles, I hunted up an MBA from MIT. I then managed marketing and product development for digital publishers NewsEdge, FamilyEducation Network, and Sky and Telescope.
Boston was leafy and Brahmin, but I cried every time the plane took off from Colorado after each of my annual visits. In 2002 my husband, two kids, and I moved to Boulder. The kids and I camped in more than 50 different places, unknown hideouts like Tarryall Creek, Purgatory Canyon, and Mt. Sherman. I founded Hart Business Research in the basement. The firm researched and wrote national studies of the fine art and craft materials industry, helping many family and women-owned businesses compete against big corporations. I gave keynote addresses and presented business awards at trade shows.
Then my camping buddy kids went off to college and Mom died in 2013. While Mom was alive I couldn’t write anything too creative, fearing she might look over my shoulder and say something snarky. Writing was her department. With her gone, I began to write my memoir about finding a dinosaur, a book that had been on my mind for decades. I wrote to figure out who I had been and am; I’d lost track of who I was somewhere along there in business school, raising kids, running a business, and trying to be the right wife. When I was a teenager I had excavated myself while digging up a dinosaur; as a 50-year-old while writing The Dinosaur’s Daughter I rediscovered my inner allosaurus: a passionate, whimsical, self-propelled, and capable woman.
- English Literature B.A., Dartmouth College, 1988
- Completed five Denver Lighthouse Writers creative writing workshops, 2014–2018.
- At-large member of The Author’s Guild
- Trustee of the Nancy Wood Literary Trust. Manage licensing and foreign rights for my mother’s 28 books. Edited The Selected Poetry of Nancy Wood (not yet published). Produce Poem of the Month e-newsletter.
- Write the Denver Allosaurus page on Facebook, attracting thousands of likes.
- Writing coach is Laura Pritchett, recipient of the PEN USA Award for Fiction.
- Authored 15 national industry studies published by trade associations and media companies, 2002–2016.
- MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA, 1996
- Digital product manager at Sky and Telescope magazine, 2000–2002
- International sales and marketing, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989–1993
I am currently seeking an agent for my complete 92,000-word coming-of-age memoir. The book begins in 1982 when I am 15, a beer-swilling bullheaded teenager abandoned by my parents but living with the bones of a giant meat-eating dinosaur under my bed. Improbably, I had found the allosaurus when I was 12 years old on a friend’s Colorado ranch, dug up her bones on multiple visits, and stashed them in my bedroom. When my mother insists I get rid of the bones so she can rent out our house, I must find a new home for me and this beast who anchors my life amid family chaos. Now, hired by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to help dig her up alongside their inept drunk of a paleontologist and his hot teenage son, I must find a way to excavate my dinosaur and get her on display while saving myself from loneliness, adolescent horniness, booze, my supportive but suicidal mother, and the inept person I thought I was. In the end, my allosaurus goes on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and I, after years in business cubicles, rediscovered my inner allosaurus: a passionate, whimsical, self-propelled, and capable woman.
The Selected Poetry of Nancy Wood
As Nancy Wood’s literary trustee I have selected the poems and written an introduction to this volume of the best of Nancy’s poems from her eight published poetry books and two unpublished manuscripts. Nancy’s poetry books, most of them published by Doubleday, sold more than 100,000 copies in the USA and nearly that in Japan. I am currently seeking a publisher for this book.
Websites and social media
I have developed six websites using WordPress and write the Facebook page for the allosaurus, attracting a few thousand likes.
I produced 15 national industry studies published by media companies and trade associations from 2003 to 2016 as the president of Hart Business Research. I managed all market research, subcontracted editors and graphic designers, collaborated with client staff, wrote reports, gave presentations, and developed publication launch plans that included events, social media, web pages, e-newsletters, and print mail.
- The State of Specialty NeedleArts 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016; The National NeedleArts Association
- NAMTA Artists & Art Materials Study 2009, 2012, 2015; International Art Materials Trade Association
- Sewing in America 2006, 2016; F+W Media
- Scrubs Market Study 2014, Uniform Retailers Association
- Interweave Creative Markets 2011, Interweave Press
- Craft Artists, Income, and the U.S. Economy 2011, Craft Artist Development Association
- The Stamp Collector Survey 2007, American Philatelic Society
- The State of Beading in the USA 2004, Interweave Press
- Articles in Yarn Market News magazine
- Dinosaur Ridge summer nature camp instructor, 2018
- NPR affiliate podcast The Girl Who Dug up Dinosaurs, 2016
- Classroom presenter about how to dig up dinosaurs if you’re a kid, to grades K–5, 1984–ongoing
- Keynote speaker and awards presenter at national trade shows
- International Art Materials Association, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
- The National NeedleArts Association 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
- Uniform Retailers Association, 2014
- Past member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) field research volunteer on paleontology expedition to New Mexico Cretaceous badlands, 2018
- Dinosaur Ridge children’s summer camp instructor focused on dinosaurs, fossils, geology, and nature, 2018
- Researched and wrote scientific paper, “The Paleontology of a Late Jurassic Microfossil Site”, Dartmouth College, 1986. Discovered rare Upper Jurassic fossils which are now at the DMNS and Harvard.
- Wildlands Restoration Volunteers volunteer 2015–ongoing, board member 2016–ongoing, executive committee 2018, chair of investment committee 2018–ongoing
- Boulder Valley School District classroom and school volunteer 2003–2017
- Boulder Valley Rotary Club member 2003–2013, board member 2004–2006, chair of community service 2006–2009, chair of international service 2004–2006
- Association for Community Living board member, volunteer with adults with developmental disabilities 2003–2006
- Intercambio Uniting Communities, English tutor for immigrants, 2004