When I was a teenager, my family's car broke down in Ouray, Colorado, a barely-there village (pop. 1,013) sitting at an altitude of 7,800 feet in the middle of the San Juan Mountains. I couldn't believe my misfortune: there was no swimming pool or television at the hotel where we stayed. There was no McDonald's; the nearest movie theater was forty-five miles away. My parents said we'd be staying until the car was fixed.
More than fifteen years later, in 2001, when l needed a remote location to get some writing done, I began an affair with that same little village, those same mountains. I shadowed some horse trainers at Eagle Hill Ranch and wrote about them in my hybrid memoir, Splitting. The story of a marriage and an equine program for women in trouble, Splitting is told from three perspectives (a wife who stayed, a wife who ran, the wife who survived). Chapters have been published in Prime Number Magazine, Quarterly West, Barrelhouse, Fourth Genre, Grist, So To Speak, The Fourth River, Baltimore Review, Able Muse, under the gum tree, Image: Art, Faith, Mystery, and other journals.
Meanwhile, my story-collection-in-progress, Trouble Is a Friend of Mine, spins into fiction local newspaper accounts about the environmental and wilderness disasters along U.S. 550 (known as the Million Dollar Highway), from Durango, to Silverton, through Ouray, and ending at Montrose. Stories from this collection have appeared in Colorado Review, The New Guard, Literature: A Pocket Anthology, and other journals. In 2012, this collection won the Everett Southwest Literary Award, judged by Lee K. Abbott.