After years of writing technical publications on wildlife research, I am delighted to have the opportunity to let my literary side flourish. Here are my recent essays.


The Tree and I

An essay about the power of the Brazil nut tree to influence human behavior, especially my own.

Published in Hawk and Handsaw, Journal of Creative Sustainability, Spring 2019

“After this revelation, the Brazil nut tree grew even more lofty in my eyes. As humans, we have managed to tame, subdue, modify, and force into slavery nearly every plant and animal that feeds us. Yet here before me was a tree that could not be tamed and a spirit that could not be broken.”



Do You Know Where You’re Going?

An essay about my adventurous mother and our contrasting views of life and death.

Published in Belle Ombre, September 2019

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

“The days of spiritual sparring with my mother were over. Faith had granted her a vaulting pole to leap over the hurdle of death into the afterlife, and I would not wrest that from her. As much as she loved the beauty of the Earth, she envisioned Heaven as even more glorious.” 


Falling into Life

An essay about my adult daughter’s struggle with gastroparesis, a stomach-paralyzing illness, and her decision to conquer it through skydiving. Written jointly by myself and my daughter, Laurel Hargis, the essay presents our perspectives as mother and daughter about her condition. 5,000 words. Unpublished.

“I’m beset with the frustrating knowledge that I don’t know how to help her. I love her, and I want to care for her as I did when she and her sister were young, by nurturing her with healthy food. Back then, I was the mom in the neighborhood who prepared every meal with fresh, raw ingredients. We never left the house without a contingency of carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes.  That approach isn’t working anymore. I can’t fix my daughter’s problem with healthy meals. All I can do is sit by her side and watch her suffer. I feel like a one-trick pony.”


A Taste of Change

A culinary view of climate change and how it affects each of the ingredients I use in my breakfast crepes. In review; 2,800 words.

“Blueberries and peaches have similar vulnerabilities to the Gas Gang, so I will stir their stories together in a crepe of the pen.”



Innocence on the Rocks, with a Twist

 A personal account of sexual harassment that caused me to lose my job. 3,500 words. Unpublished.

“That was the winter I lost my innocence. Not in the way that we often use that term, our first sexual experience. I’m speaking of another kind of innocence, the naiveté of young women who encounter for the first time, sex in the workplace. The innocence of not knowing that the unseen print of the job description includes willingness to provide sexual favors.”