Some of my nonfiction writing and book reviews:
I write Young Adult (YA), Historical, and Speculative fiction. A YA imprint is currently considering two of my novels for publication (fingers crossed!). All of my stories tend to incorporate my love of history, travel, classic literature, and big theological/philosophical questions.
In addition to fiction, I write the occasional blog post or essay. My work has been featured in The Imaginative Conservative and The University Bookman. Recently, I launched a blog for parents and teachers of “third culture kids” (military brats, missionary kids, etc.) called Third Culture Caravan.
The name of my personal blog—The Wandering Writer—pretty much sums it up! My life has long consisted of journeys: both physical and imaginative. An Army “brat” upbringing meant that I moved eight states/countries by the time I was eighteen, and I haven’t really stopped since. In between the new schools and the tearful goodbyes, stories were my constant companions. Interestingly, stories about other uprooted wanderers—e.g. Little House on the Prairie and The Lord of the Rings—were the tales that transformed me most.
I first gave novel writing a try during the year my husband and I lived and worked at a ski resort in the German Alps. After that I was hooked. We recently returned to Colorado Springs after spending a year in St. Andrews, Scotland, where I pursed a graduate degree in Medieval History (it helps for writing fiction, just ask Lewis and Tolkien! )
If I’m not writing or traveling, I’m probably teaching. I teach Writing and Literature at an online classical high school, and I’m also an adjunct instructor of Philosophy for Pikes Peak Community College. Other “day jobs” have included grant writing for nonprofits, serving at a Spanish wine bar, guiding summer campers through the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and building community gardens with teens in Pueblo (all of which have provided me with excellent writing material!). My husband, Jordan, and I also enjoy hiking, cycling, disc golf, and Colorado craft breweries.
About my Faith
I was raised a Roman Catholic, and true to my wandering ways, I left this church home as a young adult and explored just about every Christian denomination under the sun, going so far as to pursue a Theology degree at Duke Divinity School (a Methodist seminary). Yet there was a part of me that could never stop being Catholic, and a few years ago I began to experience a deep hunger for beauty, for liturgy, for the Eucharist, for a historic and global tradition that has endured many storms and stretches beyond what I can comprehend with my own limited view. So like Bilbo and many a pilgrim who sets out on a long and winding road, I eventually returned home.
I try to see Christ in the everyday and in the extraordinary, in the beauty of creation and in the suffering of the cross, in the cultural riches of Christian history and in the faces of the poor He is closest to. The key word here is try, as I fail to both see and trust more often than not. Writing is one of the ways I feel closest to God, and in times of spiritual dryness or doubt, I’m encouraged by this inexplicable urge we humans have to breathe life into words, fulfilling our roles as “sub-creators” who cannot NOT tell stories. Maybe that’s because a Story is exactly what we’re part of.
The biggest problem facing Christian artists today?
I think one of the biggest problems with the Christian art scene is it tends to focus on "Christian art," rather than art made by Christians (whether explicitly Christian or not). As a writer who has been pursuing this publishing thing for a while, it’s easy to feel stuck in an undefined “no man’s land”—my stories are probably too spiritual and the values too traditional for many mainstream publishers, but they’re also not explicitly Christian enough for most religious publishers. Christian artists also need other artists—times of silence and introspection are necessary, but the “solitary genius” is mostly a myth and great works often come out of community. Finally, I’d like to see more ecumenism among Christian artists; art is a wonderful space for us to transcend our differences and show the world the Beauty that will save it.