I have been writing professionally for the past 15 years. I’ve contributed to numerous books and received awards for nonfiction prose, newspaper writing, poetry and blogging. And sometimes, I just ramble.

I guess I can’t say I’m not an artist

If I say I’m not an artist, I don’t have to worry if I’m not accepted to this show. I can “Not For Sale” that piece I really don’t want to part with. I can turn down chances to stretch my skills by creating publicly, because that’s “for real artists.” But maybe it’s time for a change.

Lassa fever story and Mania: Free Radicals honored

Two of my 2015 pieces of writing were honored this week with statewide awards.

The Great Music Categorization Initiative

As someone who is at least as interested in the lyrics as the music itself, I wish someone would invent a topical categorization option for music based on lyrics.

On Lassa Fever, the YWCA and the power of community connections

Thanks to the value of the internet, and of connecting people with other people, I got to write some cool journalism.

Poetry in the 2014 Writer’s Eye

In a sweeping roundup of art-and-words news, I share updates on art and literary works performed or displayed in late 2014 and early 2015.

The common raven

As part of the 2014 YorkArts Writer’s Eye competition, I wrote a piece based on a painting titled Light Pouring Down by artist Linda Sommer. Later, local artist Missi McLaren Ritter painted a work based on this poem for a HIVE Artspace exhibit. It’s like playing telephone with art and words.

Prose and art in YorkFest 2014

Both a piece of my nonfiction prose and one of my acrylic-ink-on-Yupo pieces of art were chosen to be part of the 2014 YorkFest art and literary festival.

I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start

Not really resolutions, but thoughts to consider as 2014 begins.

Mania: Free radicals

Bipolar mania, from the perspective of someone who loves chemistry and wants desperately to feel connected.

On friendship and escapism

What do you do when you need to get out of your own head, and all your friends know you just a little TOO well?

Code poetry

Code poetry. About purple shoes, friendship and thinking differently.

The smell of cigarettes and beer

Why do I love the smell of cigarettes – Marlboro Reds, especially – and beer, even though I don’t smoke or drink? It’s weird. But now, maybe a little less weird.

High school poetry revisited

Revisiting high-school poetry. A little nostalgic, a lot cringe-inducing, slightly painful. But in a good way.

Fresh starts, external validation and progress

What is it about the fresh start of a new school year that I find so overwhelmingly attractive?

Ballad of the fireflies

“Ballad of the Fireflies” was written in June 2008 for a Worth1000 poetry contest.

Cube contagion

Cube contagion: A short story, not nearly fictional enough, about office life, illness and nose-wrinkling amounts of irony.

Taking a bite out of crime

This 2003 article for the York Daily Record was one of my favorites to report – because I got to put on the bite suit and be “attacked” by Quita, a new police dog.

Death and the internet

One of my first writing jobs was the obituary-story beat at the York Daily Record. I loved writing stories about people who had passed away, but I also became fascinated with the art of writing about death – and so I wrote about writing about death.

Lifelong hairdresser passed on zest for life

One of the best things I learned as a reporter was that everyone – EVERYONE – has a story. And sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best thing to do as a journalist is to sit and wait. That’s how I connected with Denise Keller, who talked with me about her aunt Viola through some of the best phrases I’ve ever heard.