About Me

My grandmother and I (1997)

I grew up in North Carolina, in close proximity to my father’s family. When money allowed, we made the long trek to Finland, where my mother’s family lived. I have had a circuitous path to where I am now and what I do. Along the way, I have taught English in an International Folk School in rural Finland and later in Estonia (right before the Soviet Union dissolved). One winter, after graduate school, I worked as a community health worker in rural Costa Rica while polishing my Spanish. I spent a few years writing training materials for women’s health education for USAID. Back during the early Wild West days of the Internet, I helped start and run a design & development company in San Francisco. I’ve also lived in Japan, where my husband taught medicine. For nearly a decade, I taught documentary storytelling at Duke University (School of Public Policy, the Medical School and the Center for Documentary Studies).

All along the way, I’ve been a writer, trying to make sense of whatever world I am inhabiting at the moment. My work has been published in the New York Times, WRAL, Academic Medicine, Psychology Today, Huffington Post and many other places.

Most importantly, I’m a mother of three young adults on their own journeys, writing their own stories.