I live in southern Utah. At heart I’ve always been a wild girl: I squished my toes in the squishy mud when I was little, explored the 30 acres of beautifully overgrown undeveloped land behind our house, climbed the rough bark of pine trees, drank in the stupendous wonder of Yosemite every single year when I visited it with my grandparents, felt drawn to the mountains and desert and wilderness over and over. All this, and I grew up in crowded Southern California. Go figure.
Eventually I moved to one of the remotest, wildest, farthest out places I could find. Not on purpose, at least not consciously, and I never knew I’d still be living here so many years later. But southern Utah is my home now, and it’s plenty wild still, and there’s plenty of room for a wild girl to roam, climb, slip along twisty canyons, scramble to craggy vistas that can honestly take my breath away, the view is so unbelievably sublime.
Oh, and I write. But of course. I write about wilderness, wild things, back of beyond. Wild words, a wild voice. Giving voice to the wild. It just seemed like an appropriate name. I do not want to forget the wildness inside me, nor do I want to lose sight of the wildness of the world that we so often, in our “civilized” societies, push back in a sort of terror. Wild. Girl. Writing.
My writing has been published in Outdoor Utah Adventure Guide, Salt Lake City Weekly, National Parks Traveler, NileGuide, 10Best, Alive! Utah, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and more. I once got to interview Jim Belushi for a piece and he was hilarious. My guest blog posts have appeared on a number of outdoor adventure websites and often still do. I’ve published over 20 short fiction stories in preparation for the novel that will someday be wrung kicking and screaming from my brain. Currently working on 100 Classic Hikes in Utah for The Mountaineers Books, out spring 2016. Years of being an editor helped me be merciless with my own words, much to their chagrin.
Outdoor fun-for-pay since 1989 has included these amazing jobs: outfitter, wilderness guide (hiking, backpacking, horsepacking), wilderness camp management, trail guide, wilderness therapy senior guide, therapeutic program consultant, outdoor science school instructor, assistant camp director, camp program director, camp equine director, camp counselor. Sometimes tears were/are involved, but mostly I have a hell of a fabulous time working in the outdoor industry.
I am a certified Wilderness First Responder and can make a fire with an ancient-style bowdrill set, which was very useful during my wilderness therapy days and should come in handy in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I’ve been trained by the Certified Horsemanship Association and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, among other cool things. Um, I also like cupcakes.
May your trails be crooked,
dangerous, leading to the most amazing
May your rivers flow without end,
meandering through pastoral valleys
tinkling with bells,
past temples and castles and poets’ towers
into a dark primeval forest where tigers
belch and monkeys howl,
through miasmal and mysterious swamps
and down into a desert of red rock,
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and
grottos of endless stone,
and down again into a deep vast ancient
where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled
where deer walk across the white sand
where storms come and go
as lightning clangs upon the high crags,
where something strange and more beautiful
and more full of wonder than your deepest
waits for you—
beyond the next turning of the canyon walls.