Published and forthcoming:
Growing Up Lachenbruch (essay)
Our Town, Official Newsletter of Los Altos Hills, California
“… And then there’s the moment after we’d staked a tube of wire fencing around a tiny oak seedling we’d just found. Dad grinned, a little sideways and conspiratorially, and said, “Now we thatch it.” We pulled up some dry grass and wove it into one side for shade. “Now it’s up to you, little buddy,” he said with the same love he gave me when he’d tell me about plate tectonics at night. In 2011 when Mom and Dad moved out, a dozen of our little buddies still grew. From miniscule to majestic. …”
Field Notes: Bi-Mart, 9:20 on a Workday Morning (essay)
Gold Man Review
V12, November 2022
“Bi-Mart: Eighty-five stores in the Northwest, bright open spaces, imperceptible music, friendly staff in red or blue smocks—and stuck in the past.
But I have to go there. Our Kmart closed, our Fred Meyer won’t have what I’m looking for, and I know the store is easy to navigate once I get past the red gate, the in-my-face greeter, and my attitude.
Because I’ve tiptoed in a few times—and there’s nothing exactly wrong with the place. It has a simple parking lot—no flattened plantings, no curbs. It has wide aisles and an unassuming layout: electronics to the right, housewares straight in front, with hardware behind. Food and pharmacy are on the left, with camping and sports behind all that. And they always have potting soil out front. Nothing will ever change. But I hear, “Bi-Mart, no. You don’t shop there. It’s for retirees. Good for plastic bins and sometimes hardware.”
Every Day is a Data Day (essay)
CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women
V33(2), November 2022
“I was already fatigued—exhausted. And then I got cold. When I got even colder, I took a swim.
I was a grad student, twenty-two, in a field camp in northern Alaska, and over-eager to fulfill my dream: to study how cold and ice affected establishment of tundra seedlings. The small number of plant types and the harsh, predictable environment made the arctic coastal plain ideal for my study. Ice would test the seedlings’ strength and physiology. The months-long light would show which ones could carry on without a rest.”
Voices Carry (short story)
Stories (Within): An Anthology of Stories Within Stories
Not a Pipe Publishing, 2022
“Gary insisted we stop for Thai food at a place we used to frequent back when we lived in Berkeley. “To power me through,” he said. Because insisting was what his people did.
And even though I replied, “The kids will hate it,” we went and had Thai all the same. Because going along quietly was what my people did. It didn’t matter how much I’d tell him. Gary would see and hear the consequences soon enough.”
The Physics of Connection and Solitude (essay)
High Country News
August 13, 2020
“If I held a hammer correctly, the way my father taught me, and then swung it down on a rock, the rock would break. I would have caused that to happen. I would have transferred kinetic energy from my arm to the hammer’s handle and then to the hammer’s head and then to the rock. The energy would cleave bonds in the rock, and release sound and heat. My father taught me all that, long ago.”