Hi! You can find my official bio on the media page; here’s the good stuff: I grew up in a small town (pop. 4,151) in rural Iowa, in a strange family. Dad was a banker and a UFO investigator. Mom was a transplanted city girl who fed us global cuisine, decoupaged our furniture with National Geographic photos, and taught Laotian refugees to speak English.

They traveled a lot and had wide-ranging interests, which rubbed off on me, which is why my stories come from around the globe and my subjects are as varied as 20-foot-long earthworms, the world’s finest coffee, and a SETI scientist’s astonishing theories about the secret of alien spaceship propulsion.

The threads of these stories are curiosity about other cultures, a deep love of the natural world, and my unquenchable desire to pay homage to the strange, the ephemeral, and the wonderful all around us. I hope you’ll find something — maybe many things — here to fall in love with!

Award-winning content

Lowell Thomas Award

Silk from Ashes, about the impact one woman, her bra, and 11,640 insect eggs made on war-torn Croatia, won the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for Cultural Tourism. (The Lowell Thomas award is widely recognized as being the preeminent travel writing award in the U.S.)

Smithsonian Magazine’s International Photo Contest

My photo of a tiny frog nestled — nearly hidden — in the leaves of a colorful kalancho won first place in the Natural World category of Smithsonian magazine’s international photo contest (there were 60,000 entries).

Lowell Thomas Award-Winning Travel Show

Associate Producer for the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, an NPR-affiliate podcast.

5-Star iTunes Rating

Mobile app about the San Francisco Waterfront (co-written and produced with Suzie Rodriguez) earned a five-star rating on iTunes.

The Ouroboros

In Ancient Greek, ouroboros means tail-devouring. I’m captivated by the image — a serpent swallowing its own tail, being created through its own destruction. The symbols meaning is nearly as varied as the many cultures that have embraced it over millennia, but theres a beautiful unity in what it represents: regeneration, reincarnation, immortality, the cycle of life and death, the harmony of opposites, the eternal unity of all things, perpetuity and infinity.

That tail-devouring, destruction-and-rebirth theme undergirds many of my stories, though often subtly. That’s why I love including it as an emblem for the Curious Traveler series.

The image used here is after a woodcut in a 1760 book titled Uraltes Chymisches Werck von Abraham Eleazar, or the Age Old Chemical Work of Abraham Eleazar.