“Often wounded deer moving over or through brush will leave blood sign well off the ground, tipping you off to where they were hit.” — from The Sportsman’s Way by William Curtis — Field and Stream, Mar. 1979
Upper-Midwesterner. Writer. Formerly of Colorado and Montana. Grew up in Minneapolis, went to college at the University of Colorado, Boulder — where I graduated in 1994 with an English Literature major and a Women’s Studies minor. I waitressed until I fell apart and was dragged home by my mother and spent a dismal year back in Minneapolis working as a receiver at Barnes and Noble bookstore. I had written two short stories in my life — both the product of my heartbreak that I’d left behind in Boulder. I sent those two stories into the fiction department at the University of Montana in Missoula where I hoped to work with Bill Kittredge. To my amazement I got in (at the time it was one of the top programs in the country) and I graduated with an MFA in fiction in 1998. I have had the esteemed privilege to work as a writer-in-residence/poet in the Missoula schools, also as an instructor — at the University of Montana, then at Salish Kootenai College, and, once I moved home in 2000 after my mother’ cancer diagnosis, at the University of Minnesota. I did find a permanent teaching home and a tenure track with NHCC where I worked for seven years before I took my leave of absence precipitated by my struggle with infertility. I began Blood Signs 1.0 in 2007 and wrote more about my struggles with stepmotherhood, infertililty and writing. I moved to Blood Signs 2.0 after Zoe was born, and Blood Signs 3.0 was born out of my anonymity being a moot point after its discovery by a family member. I had always intended to use a blog as a platform for a re-entry into the world of literary fiction — and so, here it is. I don’t know quite what it will be yet, but I’m happy you’re following me.
My former bio from Blood Signs 2.0:
I once thought I might write the Great American Novel but instead found myself and my MFA teaching Composition buried for nearly seven years under 1500 pages of student work.
I found writing again when, after trying for a number of years, my partner and I discovered that our inability to conceive wasn’t about shoddy timing but rather a full-fledged medical condition. I took a sabbatical. I didn’t write my novel but I wrote about step-parenting, about feminism, about literature, about how it is that would try acupuncture, homeopathy, a surfer-shaman shacked up in a brownstone outside of Boston recommended to me by my brother — but was terrified to try IVF.
I left my teaching job in order to be at home with our stepson who had just entered the second grade. I wrote about step-motherhood.
I wrote about my father’s death and how it shadowed my early life. I wrote about food, my lapsed catholicism and yearning towards Eastern philosophy. I wrote about my mother’s depression and ducking her rages in childhood. I wrote about class. I wrote about my husband and how meeting him unfolded so much waiting good in my life. I wrote about missing the West and the proximity to wild empty places. For two years I wrote my way to motherhood and in March 2009 I conceived Z through IVF. She was born on Bodhi Day, 2009.
In November of 2012 my anonymous blog was discovered by a family member and precipitated the creation of the one you are currently reading.
I won’t be writing as much about step-parenting, nor will I be writing about my step-son — out of deference to other members of my family; in no way should the absence of that portion of the narrative be taken as a litmus test of its importance in my life, rather the reverse. That said, I will be writing about motherhood — taking into account Z’s privacy as best I can. This is tricky business — I am left with the reminder of the importance we have to the peripheral characters in our narratives — to all of our characters — not just to ourselves.