This is a small excerpt from the forthcoming (in a year) Desert Chrome, because twenty-eight years ago now, as in today and tonight and tomorrow, this happened: Sonoran Desert 1992. Scott’s driving me south through the desert, to Tucson, to treatment. I try to write, journal in my lap, pen in my grip; I try to … Continue reading


A brief exchange with Amy M. (Auker) Hale, who has authored several books set in the West and wrote this beautiful essay, “Feet to the Fire” (link), got me to thinking. When I told her that I ranch, too, Amy offered that she is not a rancher, she cowboys for a living. “That’s better than cowboying … Continue reading

The Weight of It

CONTRA VIENTO is a new online journal “for art and literature that seeks to understand rangelands in all their varied forms.” The “Open Range” column offers “more frequent postings of art and writing from rangelands and the American West.” Here you will find my words and TJ Holmes’s photo of Pretty’s calf, the lovely little … Continue reading

Feeding the Lions

1. Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo; how about you, you, you; you can come too, too, too . . .  Even as a child I didn’t like zoos—all those captured and caged animals—but I’m doing what a mother does and taking my kids to the zoo, zoo, zoo with my sisters and brother-in-law and their … Continue reading

Teardrops and Rainbows

For my aunt Nat: They say that pictures are worth a thousand words. Here you get both: Tyler Lausten’s photos illustrating (almost) a thousand words.  In the mountains of southwestern Colorado, a “lake” mirrors Lake Tahoe as my grandkids cast bobbers and lures and spinners and worms into reservoir waters, over and over again, getting … Continue reading