Why I Write

Tarryall creek, 2017I write because it is as essential to me as love, mountains, the wind on wild grass, and hiking.

For the first 27 years of my work life I wrote factual publications that did not require a glance at myself or my past. I wrote marketing plans, website specifications, three editions of Artists and Art Materials USA and Canada, and five editions of The State of Specialty NeedleArts. I supported our family financially and helped many independent businesses succeed. My antidotes to all this rationality and numbers were to build sculptures and forts with my kids and go camping.

But then Mom died when I was 46. She was the author of 28 books who suffered from bipolar and personality disorders. Her lack of empathy and glass-sharp tongue made me afraid to be like her. But she was also creative, funny, passionate, and one of the world’s finest poets, right up there with Rilke and Dickinson. Her death opened a space for me to become comfortable with who I am as a creative human. 

A few months after Mom died I began to write my memoir, The Dinosaur’s Daughter. I promised Mom I would. The more I wrote, the more I realized how much I loved creative writing. It was like pulling a plastic sheath off a rose ready to bloom.