Fiction: SciFi / Fantasy and other writing
To develop a lifelong passion for writing magical stories, I attended Clarion West, an intensive 6-week 'boot camp' for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy. Working closely with sci-fi luminaries Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, Greg Bear, and others, I drafted six original short stories. Classmates include Afrofuturist Sheree Renée Thomas (Black Panther PANTHER'S RAGE, co-writer with Janelle Monae, THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN) and Margo Lanagan (World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, TENDER MORSELS).
Climate Fiction (CliFi): Short Story
In 2022 I drafted a near-future short story, "Stepping Down," for a climate fiction competition. I edited this story into an original pilot script. Synopsis: After an oil baron’s daughter dies shutting down his refinery, he launches a secret, radical solution to the climate crisis. But it demands the ultimate sacrifice: his life.
YA Fantasy Novel: Twins of Tessar
In 2009, I published TWINS of TESSAR, the first in a series of fantasy novels for young adults. Available on Amazon (edited by Chicken Soup for the Soul book series editor Barbara Nichols)
SYNOPSIS: Thirteen-year-old Yolanda lives alone in her ramshackle house in the backwoods. When she looks in her mirror and sees a boy staring back at her, she panics. Could he be her twin brother? Is he the secret her mama refused to tell before she died?
That night he reappears, reflected in a hidden lake under a full moon. Yolanda dives in after him, determined to find some answers. She steps out into another world, in another time. He disappears. Again.
The East, home to spirits and gods of ancient Asia, is under siege. Yolanda is captured but befriends Ming, a young warrior princess. Chased by guards and bandits, they trek across the East to a distant mountaintop where all the answers lie. Yolanda finds power in her vision. But can she trust it enough to see the real boy, the one behind the reflection?
Other novels and writing projects
In addition to essays, screenplays, travel features, and a few songs, I've completed drafts of several full-length novels, non-fiction, and graphic novels. May they find their way into the world!
"SEA MONKEYS" is told by the dissociated soul of a sexually abused teenager who is unknowingly haunted by generational trauma.
In "GIFT of the GODS," the second fantasy novel in the Twins of Tessar series, Yolanda slips into another ancient world to find her father, the demi-god who abandoned her earthly mother after impregnating her.
"LOVE MELTS FEAR: From the Crossroads of Big Change to Courage, Creativity and Connection" is a guide for women navigating the perils of midlife, based on mythology, ancient wisdom traditions, and neuroscience.
"BEING SHELLFISH: The Courageous Art of Following your Heart in Times of Big Change" is a photographic essay on leaving your comfort zone, as told by a Pacific spiny lobster.