I remember being about ten years old and becoming obsessed with the idea that if I was thinking with my brain, I ought to be able to think how it works! I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around reality (and our experiencing of it) ever since. I made a career out of anthropology—that utterly boundless science of humankind and how we got here—and then sidestepped into Buddhist philosophy and then art and photography and writing stories that tend to fall somewhere in the neighborhood of speculative and/or science fiction. I’m a big fan of Ursula Le Guin.
In my current series (EarthCycles), I’ve imagined a far future world in which survivors of a global apocalypse evolve new ways of being human. Not altogether new, of course. More like rearrangements of different aspects of our inherent human potential. The first volume of EarthCycles, Song of All Songs, was awarded the 2020 silver medal by Self Publishing Review. The book introduces a mixed race main character making her unique way through a deeply conflicted world. The second book in the series, Book of All Time, is set for release somewhere around mid-2021.
My first series (Recall Chronicles) is set in a hauntingly familiar 22nd-century world in which nobody grows old, an achievement that turns out to be not nearly so utopian as you might expect. Each volume tells the story of a different character’s experience of the same world, but with some of the same characters turning up in all the books.
There’s also a stand-alone contemporary fiction book, Not Knowing, that explores intergenerational PTSD in the life of an archaeologist working in Belize. Yes, I worked (as an ethnologist) in Belize for many years, so there’s a lot of my heart in this one.
I used to get out and about in Austin, participating in writing events and art events, and I hope to be able to do that again, as soon as we get this whole pandemic thing sorted out. (Wear your damn mask and get your damn vaccine!)
Before anthropology, I was a newspaper reporter, and beyond anthropology I studied Buddhist philosophy (and practice) and then became an artist and photographer. As an artist, I’m largely self-taught and my work has been primarily in acrylics on handmade Nepali lokta paper. I maintained an art studio in East Austin for a number of years, participating in EAST Austin Studio Tours from 2011 through 2014. My primary photographic interest is in Miksang contemplative photography.
My paintings and photographs have been displayed at ASmith photographic gallery in Johnson City, Austin Bergstrom International Airport (February 15 – May 20, 2014), Glovinsky Gallery in Denver, CO, Dragonfly Gallery (Austin), Gallery Black Lagoon (Austin), The Art Studio Inc. (Beaumont), and Frederick Gallery (Fredericksburg, VA). My work was included in St. Louis Women’s Caucus for Art catalog of “Contemporary Women Artists XVI: Longevity.”
I earned my Ph.D. in anthropology from Southern Methodist University and previously taught at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.