Quick Fall of Light, the story of a bird flu pandemic, was written over a three-year stretch and published in 2010 by Gray Dog Press. It won Foreword Reviews Silver Award for Science Fiction that same year, also coming in as finalist in two categories in the 2012 International Book Awards.

Writing about the Passenger Pigeon included an article written in 2014 for
Bird Watchers Digest titled, "The Woman and the Passenger Pigeon," about writer Gene Stratton-Porter's possible sighting of one of the last passenger pigeons in the wild. The beautiful bird blogging site, 10000 Birds, also published my compositions about the Passenger Pigeon and California Condor, both extinction-bound birds, only one continuing to survive (condor).

In 2020, a decade after
Quick Fall of Light publication, I was interviewed by The Authors Show and Center Stage with Mark Gordon. Both interviews give reasons why I wrote the novel, how I came to focus on a bird flu pandemic, and the role of the Passenger Pigeon in the story.

In 2021, I also wrote a number of articles for
Medium, including some pandemic-related:

"How Life Would Flourish Without Us"

"An Owl, A Pigeon, and a Pandemic"

"Famous Survivors Guided the World After the 1918 Flu-And It Will Happen Again"

"In the Woods of a Pandemic"

"Why Does Frankenstein Matter?"

Sky Island Journal recently accepted an excerpt from Scud Runner: Flying the Lessons of
(hybrid memoir completed this summer, 2023). The excerpt titled "Scud Runner" has
been published in their fall issue (#26).

Eunoia Review published a piece of flash fiction titled "Amputee" in October 2023.

Quick Fall Of Light
About interview with Mariana van Zeller of National Geographic's series "Trafficked" (Season 4, Episode 3).

National Geographic's "Trafficked" is a series based on elements of crime, of mystery, of superb storytelling. Oddly enough, I most likely would have never discovered it without considering donating my body to forensic science, which includes the training of cadaver dogs after my death. The story goes a bit like this:

After ruling out traditional burial (including cremation), I decided to look into body donation to a reputable source. Still undecided, I did some googling and found Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina), perhaps the best body donation site in the U.S., especially in regard to their forensics program for students of the biology of decomposition, and contacted them shortly thereafter. The program, valued for its implementation of good ethics and sound educational practices, attracted me most because of a cadaver dog training program included in its protocol. Dr. Lisa Briggs, well-respected criminologist, brought her expertise to this effort, mostly in working with her Golden Retriever, Layla, an example of her ongoing success below.

"Two separate teams of specialized human remains detection (HRD) dog teams have been used during this investigation. The use of these trained dogs allows searchers to cover more ground efficiently. One of these teams were used for land and another for water. The NC State Bureau of Investigation's HRD dog teams helped search multiple land area locations on multiple dates. The Boone Police Department has also utilized Dr. Lisa Briggs' HRD dog team. Dr. Briggs is a Criminologist with Western Carolina University and she owns a highly successful HRD dog named "Layla." Layla is specially trained to search for human remains contained within bodies of water." (WataugaOnline.com-April 2023)

Briggs' devotion to this program convinced me that a shortage of body donors to train these dogs in all kinds of working conditions would only detain further understanding of a dog's natural predisposition to locate human death by their strong, but mostly uneducated sense of smell. WCU was changing all that, bringing together handlers, their dogs, the search for new techniques to train cadaver dogs and an expert, like Dr. Briggs, at the helm. I knew WCU would be my home after death and my body a tool to teach. After almost another year of thinking about it, I haven't changed my mind. This is where National Geographic's "Trafficked" comes onto the scene.

Journalist and interviewer, Mariana van Zeller of "Trafficked," is both a powerful advocate for those who can't speak easily for themselves and a highly effective, courageous defender of "those who fall between the cracks of the legitimate and the disparaging." She had begun investigating another controversial topic, body and organ donation and how it's been horrifically portrayed, much of it with serious consequences, which include families who never really know what happened to their loved one. She contacted WCU and Dr. Briggs, who happened to mention my status as writer and future donor. There was a direct connect between the three of us, dogs, forensics, and training goals, and by early February 2023 a
National Geographic film crew and van Zeller came to our home in Eastern Washington and interviewed me.

The body/organ exploitation episode has now aired (Season 4, Episode 3—January 2024) and will probably be carried by NatGeo and Hulu for some time. Watching it has made me even more aware of the step I'm taking and my confidence in doing so. This decision, though made privately, has now become public knowledge, and that has made all the difference in my commitment. I am still a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor with most of my time spent writing. I don't think about my disposition regularly, but now I think about it with even more commitment, realizing we must all make these decisions in the best faith we can. There are no guarantees.

I am very honored to be a part of the revealing nature of this series, to expose bitter truth often cloaked in secrecy and myth. In turn, ongoing forensics will be updated and revised and fundamental detection and follow-through increased. Dogs will become even more engaged in determining what the human body can only tell us through decomposition. And I feel that I've been accepted into a place of quiet peace and contribution. I am fortunate indeed.
In response to a beautiful thematic request from Author Magazine’s William Kenower,
Editor-in-Chief, I recently wrote a short piece titled “The Wind Down.” It came from a place of recognition that what we produce, sometimes very quickly, captures the essence of what we feel most. I wrote this in about fifteen minutes. It startled me. . . the meaning well beyond what I could ever express verbally. Writing roots are in this one.


If you look at the writing in the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs, you realize how lucky you are to be there. It is well treated, meaningful and fragile all at the same time. Completing the mystery of how "Amelia and I" got there will take the rest of my life to figure out, so I won't even try, except to say I'm very glad this is where this essay gained acceptance. Amelia would approve. She has been approving all the way along, but this particular piece informs the reader of "that something special she would never reveal. . . until now."


Dedicated to Western Carolina University's Dr. Lisa Briggs, and National Geographic's Mariana van Peller, "Trafficked," specifically Season 4, Episode 3.


Two dogs run toward me. What imaginings have led me this far? But here they come. I know something sacred. They’re searching for my essence. Things that make me real, unreal. Trailings of a cancerous end. When I was alive, dogs longed for my touch, my voice, even that soft kiss expressed in one fleeting look. Now I am only scent obscured by terrain blistered in late summer sun. I’ve turned to earth, then into earth, skin becoming dew, now slivers of crimson, hard-edged. Waiting for a nose.

In their anticipation, they separate, one with the distinct impression I’m elsewhere. Or maybe that I don’t exist. I know this because dogs lead with hope. It was a strange obsession when I was young to watch them find me in a field strewn with Hungarian partridge. Leaving the hunt to pack in with me. One is doing it again. Leaving the known to locate human bone. Mine.

Whatever happens, I will continue in this place. The dog may find fulfillment. The trainer may find a day’s reckoning. Nothing happens for free. In the background I hear voices. It is possible one of them is mine saying, “Over here.” The dog squares off and sits beside me. For this moment she is sure. And so am I. Our pack follows through woods, still unaware that dog and I have only a few seconds in an exchange. I know her breath. She knows my death. Nothing’s forsaken, especially the lesson, both simple and everlasting. Earth makes room.