For the past few years, I’ve taught writing and literature at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and at St. Cloud State University, as well as at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Guiding high school students with their college entrance essays keeps me on my toes every summer and fall. I lead memoir writing boot camps and retreats, sometimes with fellow memoirist and radio personality Katherine Lanpher, through the Madeline Island School of the Arts on Madeline Island, in Santa Fe, and in Tucson. I became a mother in 1998, received my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota in 2004, and played guitar and sang in the indie rock band Zuzu’s Petals until 1995. Madison, Wisconsin is where I grew up, oh lucky me!

Published Essays

Johnny Goes to College

I am about to travel cross-country in a fully loaded station wagon with my ex-husband. We are taking our only child to college in Colorado, where he will be starting his first year, and we are doing this as a family.

 Confessions of a
Former Slur Girl​

Almost twenty years after the fact, I have to ask myself: Did I create a band and forge a career in music because it was a job at which one is pretty much expected to drink?​

color illustration of blonde woman in blue shirt and red pants climbing a hill

My Third Act

It’s one of those incomparable warm September evenings in Minneapolis. I’m about to turn 60. To celebrate, I rented the outside venue at the Hook and Ladder night club and hired my favorite local superstar-studded cover band, Zeppo

  • “Farewell to Nye’s,” 10,000 Takes, Minneapolis Star Tribune, November, 3, 2015
  • “The Memoir Quilt,” The Broken Plate Literary Magazine, 2009, Ball State University
  • “Rock this Way,” Fictionary, October 2009, Literary Magazine, Columbia College
  • “Uncool, Not Cute,” July 24, 2009, www.drinkingdiaries.com
  • Occasional Column, PUSHING PETALS, www.themorningnews.org
  • “Drivin’ and Cryin’, December 5, 2007
  • “I’m Sick Y’all,” September 5, 2007
  • “All-Time Lows,” August 1, 2007
  • “It’s Not Phair,” March 1, 2004