About Me

Marilyn beach photo 1My desire to capture the drama associated with the lives of the familial and the changing culture of the American West in the mid-20th century have been driving forces for my writing.

I grew up on my grandparents’ pioneer ranch in eastern Oregon, serious cattle country and home to Basque sheepherders, until spring 1954 when my parents moved our young family to an even larger cattle ranch in northwest Wyoming–the setting for my debut novel, Hardpan, published by Westerly Directions Press in 2015.

A short film, “The Fence,” based on a chapter from Hardpan was selected for the Director’s Award and the Cinematography Award at the UCLA Film Festival.

Based on reader feedback for Hardpan, I’m working on my second novel,  Jordan Valley, a prequel to Hardpan featuring two of the main characters from the first novel, Jo & Kurt Glover. This work-in-progress is set in eastern Oregon in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with anticipated publication in 2022.

Recent publications include a personal essay published in the Stories on Stage Sacramento Anthology, Twenty Twenty, in June 2021; a personal essay, “Second Chance,” in the April 2019 Round Table Literary Journal; and a small collection of haiku poems entitled “Nordic Impressions” in the 2019 Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology.

A short story, “Meeting at Midnight,” was published in the 2018 Redwood Writers Anthology, Redemption–Stories from the Edge. Previous short stories, “The Drop-off” and “The Invisible Delivery Man,” appeared in the 2016 Redwood Writers Anthology, Untold Stories.

In July 2019 my short story, “Crazed Cat,” won second place for nonfiction in the Mendocino Coast Writing Contest from among 74 entries. Before that, I was honored to be invited by the NVWC to participate as a First Books Panelist at their annual writer’s conference in July 2017.

A literary travel article, “Sentimental Journey,” based on my Wyoming book tour in Summer 2016 was published online by Medium.

Along with an MA in English from California State University-East Bay, I have taken creative writing courses through UCLA’s Extension Program, and I have participated in Fishtrap, A Writers Gathering; the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference (NVWC); and the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference (MCWC) to learn more about the craft of writing fiction and nonfiction.

After finishing my career in university administration in 2014, I moved from San Francisco to Sonoma County with my husband Bob and soon joined  Redwood Writers, the largest of 22 branches of the California Writers Club.  I’m currently Vice President of Redwood Writers and I co-chaired the biennial Pen to Published Writer’s Conference in April 2018. I’m also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI); and have benefited from membership in the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) and the Left Coast Writers, hosted by Book Passage in Corte Madera.

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