This is an eclectic site which features a changing home page which will feature new books and offers an opportunity to sign up for the newsletters. The blog is likely to cover any of the topics in the dashboard, including fantasy fiction, dreams, the natural world and schools. I may touch on aspects of community and culture as inspired. These themes are woven into my fiction (for example, community gardens).
I am an amalgam, as are we all. I have a great deal of graduate education. I do love to learn. I actually didn’t know if I’d ever go on to get a Masters, much less to nearly complete a Ph.D.
Each degree has been its own journey and I would not dispense with any.
I put myself through my first undergraduate degree from UCLA in Linguistics. As you’ll know from my fiction series, Braided Dimensions, I’m passionate about language. There is a certain magic to creating a bridge to someone merely by sharing language. Writing systems have fascinated me since childhood, as do symbols in general.
San Francisco State’s Ed Tech MA program was opening into a different kind of magical power: designing multimedia. The degree led to probably the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, in Berkeley schools. I loved conceiving of projects, helping segue teachers into new empowerment, at times enlivening and expanding their horizons. I hope to convert some of their projects to show at this site someday.
When the grant ended, I went on to a Ph.D. program in Communication Studies. The endeavor had many unexpected consequences. As I strove to write coherently about a study I was hired to conduct by School-to-Career in San Diego schools, I found myself reaching deeply for the genius to write an amazing dissertation that would bring change to modern schools. I realized that there was a large body of work on the psychology of writing and writing blocks. This brought me back to my interest in depth psychology, Jungian dream study, etc…
There is nothing like stress to push growth, especially when one is being reflection, searching deeply. I grew in intense ways during those nearly eight years of research and writing, partly because of the terrors raised by trying to accomplish what my committee asked for while fighting to make a more progressive message. Caught between a sense of inadequacy and a real discordance with those in charge of my progress, I read extensively, joined numerous online discussion groups, and took part in some spiritual activities with Circle of Aradia in Los Angeles. The first years of the Ph.D. program had stretched my mind toward philosophy and political economy; I felt a need to establish balance.
In the last months before I left the Ph.D. program without the letters behind my name, I had a beautiful dream I call “Renaissance Woods” (see collage/painting below) in which an Englishman, my close and loving companion, begs me to do what he wants and points to a table in the forest full of writing and art materials.
Directly after that dream, I wrote the short story of Braided Dimensions which won an international writing contest based in Belgium, which became a fantasy fiction series.
When I left the Ph.D. program, feeling defeated and incomplete, I took a job on Mendocino Coast that was unrelated to education. It was soothing to live in forest near wild northern beaches. As I worked at an elegant inn, then a raw food chef school, and finally, as a home visitor to mostly Latino families with infants. I began turning my short story into a novel.
The stressful previous years must have become rich compost for the fiction writing felt like a font that must rise and pour out of me. I based the present tense of the story in the town where I lived and as I went through my work days, I stepped between worlds, just as my main character does in the novel. I based her conflicts with the university on my own and in that way, converted the energy, healing. I took long walks on the beach, stepping into my story as I gamboled along in nature, coming back home to write in my studio.
The healing of the rural environment and my fiction writing did not suffice. As many Jungian writers point out, we reach a point in life when we keep needing to find meaning. For me, my study of depth psychology had just begun. I started searching for graduate programs in depth psychology and found one, a rare breed, unique and special. The program of Depth Psychology at Sonoma State University is in its last year.
Through the beautiful experiences of the program and in the process of my culminating project, Female Alchemist, I gained many tools that serve my current work and life.
Current Work and Life
Life has its ways of circling around. I still work in education, teaching in public schools, in Special Education. I love being involved, being in service as it were, and balancing that with creative endeavors such as fiction writing and dream collaging.
Dream collage, created Oct 8, 2019: I coax a woman from a burning bed and show her a hiding place under a closet, at my work. The next morning, women there happily suggest we find the “rux” – translated in the dream as “a wild creature or place in nature.”