Desert Chrome, May-June events

I have tried and failed to make an event page. Will continue the effort but for now, here’s this: Virtual launch! May 20, 6:30 p.m. MDT: Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, Colorado, BOOK LAUNCH! May 22, 6 p.m. MDT: Kat Wilder, author of Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West plus special guest TJ Holmes, both of … Continue reading

The Road Traveled

February 22, 1992, as portrayed in Desert Chrome:  Sonoran Desert, 1992. Smith drives me south through the desert, to Tucson, to treatment. I write as he drives, journal in my lap, pen in my grip. I try to keep my eyes open, to see those giant saguaro cacti, their angular arms rising to snag the sky; … Continue reading

After Birth

I was going to write about the different worlds I inhabit–something about being a ranch woman pulling a calf with her son then running quickly into the house to brush her teeth, brush any afterbirth from her hair, trade her insulated pants for jeans, and change her shirt before heading to town to the dentist. … Continue reading


I look for those men in the mirror of my face Eyes the blue of faded  winter sky Skin of winter earth in Rocky Mountain highs Hair once golden sunshine  on California’s summer hills Now the noncolor of drought  in the high desert Lines the tributaries of years flowing to or from the heart Skin … Continue reading

New Year

This will be a different year because I’m short a person who has been in my life all my life. May peace be waiting at the other end of her journey. It seems we’ve all lost something in 2020–jobs, people, homes, green growth–may we also have found something. Fortitude, resilience, stubbornness, compassion, faith, love? I … Continue reading

Pandemic Pleasures

Please follow this link . . . . . . to read this small piece about my granddaughter, Lacey Park Lausten, and her brother Lucas. And consider making a donation to Torrey House Press during this season of giving, to help them stay afloat so that they can keep publishing books by writers of … Continue reading

High Desert Journal

Despite everything, there is much to be thankful for these days, not the least of which was eating a smoked turkey with my son (who smoked the turkey), daughter-in-law (who made everything else), and grandkids (who, like me, just ate). I wish I had a pic of seven-year-old Lacey with a huge drumstick in her … Continue reading

Lunar Red

Tonight Issue 31 of High Desert Journal is officially live! My gratitude goes out to CMarie Fuhrman, Laura Pritchett, Corey Oglesby, Brooke Williams, and Charles Finn for their vision and passion, and for including “Lunar Red” in the lineup. “Lunar Red” comes from Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West, forthcoming … Continue reading

Forty-seven Years

In the dream I’m looking at a photograph. It’s black and white, therefore mostly gray tones, with a white border like the Kodak photos of the 60s and 70s.  Two forearms rest parallel to each other on a rumpled sheet. Looking closely I see that they are young arms and hands, and though the hands … Continue reading


July 24 and I’m drinking hot chocolate, sitting on the porch of this cabin in the desert in jeans and my son Tyler’s overlarge flannel shirt, deciding to change Chaco river sandals for wool-lined slippers. The wind-downed thermometer reads seventy degrees straight up, and I’m cold.              Clouds cover the entire sky, though the mist has … Continue reading