“There’s a place and a time for everything,” my mother used to tell me, usually in admonition, before going on to explain why something I had done was not appropriate to either one. But now these words have become a motto—as a writer, I work at the intersection of place and time.

I’ve always been inspired by the environment in which I grew up—the mill towns, ponds, and coastlines of Maine and New Hampshire. Later I fell in love with the cities where I studied and worked. My recent travels have introduced me to still more intriguing landscapes. And I’ve always been drawn to past time, from childhood daydreams to graduate study in history. I believe, as L.P. Hartley wrote, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

Always a writer

As a young girl, I wrote poems and stories and kept journals. I had a bylined newspaper column when I was in high school. For 35 years, I earned my living as a marketing communications writer. During most of those years I owned my own business, Written Work, collaborating with a wide range of colleges and universities and research organizations to advance their missions.

 

Now that I've earned my MFA in creative writing, I'm on the path I want to follow from here on out—a teller of compelling stories rooted in place and time.

 

Career highlights

  • Independent writer and editor, 2017-present

  • MFA in creative writing, University of New Hampshire, 2019

  • Owner and principal, Written Work, 1990–2016

  • PhD in American studies, Boston University

  • AB with distinction in English & American literature, Brown University

Projects

The stories I write are true (nonfiction) or true enough (fiction, drawn from life). Typically, they involve lots of research--sleuthing through archives, driving back roads to talk with people about their memories, following the streets a child walked from home to school. An ongoing project concerns orphans and poor children in Maine in the early 20th century. My work has recently appeared in Down East magazine.