This Joyous Quest

Sun and snow on hoodoos


I learned to love writing through reading.  From an early age, I enjoyed where reading could take me and I tried to recreate what I read in my own words.  I continue writing today because the thrill of creation gives my brain enough of a buzz to keep going back for more.  Though I may display misanthropic tendencies, I do, in fact, like people.  I like observing the quirks of our species, I like listening not only to what people say but how they say it (it’s not just kids that say the darndest things!), and I like seeing how people interact with one another.  True to The Doors’ classic, people are strange.  Besides people, settings in my writings are important.  Whether prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction, the landscapes of Southern Utah keep popping up in some form or another.  My family has a long heritage of living in the valleys below Bryce Canyon and while I grew up in Orem, Utah, I spent a lot of time not only in Bryce Canyon, but throughout Southern Utah.  I currently live in Bryce Canyon National Park where I volunteer for the Interpretive Division.  Working and living at the park for the last six months has given me time to ponder this place—walking the trails, bumping over dirt roads, or simply sitting, observing, and thinking about my surroundings.The Bryce Canyon area, indeed, the wider region of Southern Utah, is instilled so deeply within me that it has cropped up in many of the stories I have started and written since a teenager.  Today, I find it both inspiring and mysterious.  I keep returning to it because it is part of me deeper than I understand, because I long for it when I am away, because I love it, because I need it.  I know I can never fully recreate this land as it was before white settlements or even represent it properly in my writings.  The land speaks for itself.  But when people don’t pay attention, when they harm it, exploit it, and even destroy it, that’s when I hope my voice can speak for the land.  That is why I write about the deserts of southern Utah – the beauty, the mystery, the peace.  Someday I hope to get it, but in the meantime, it’s a joyous quest.

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