Jan. 31, 2012 — I’m pleased to have the opportunity to join the staff at Lassen County Times.
Writing is a passion for me, and I’m looking forward to serving the paper and our local community in this way.
I feel I have strong ties to Lassen County although I’ve moved in and out of the area for the past 20 years.
I first moved to Susanville in 1991 when my youngest son was born. My oldest son graduated from Lassen High and my youngest went to Meadow View School.
We moved to Southern California in 1999. Before returning to the area in 2009, I lived on Hainan Island for three years and worked as a travel writer and freelance journalist where I covered mining issues in Mongolia, China and throughout Southeast Asia.
You may have noticed a travel theme in my life and I do love exploring out of the way places and different cultures.
Two weeks ago I returned from six months in northeastern India where I had a Fulbright Scholarship for a research and writing project called “The Language of Place.”
My research was primarily looking at environmental themes amongthe Khasi tribal people of Meghalaya and the Bhutia communities in the Himalayas of Sikkim.
Northeastern India is probably the most politically turbulent area of India and the only way to describe it is intense.
It borders Bangladesh and is a “corridor” to Pakistan and the Middle East.
There are more than 200 tribes and any number of insurgency groups.
Highway blockades, burning buses and kidnappings are daily occurrences.
Yet it’s also an area rich in culture, and I formed friendships that will probably last the rest of my life.
One of the things travel has given me is a deep appreciation for a home base.
I’ve not always had that, but over the past couple years my connection to Lassen County and my home here has deepened.
Recent experiences have given me the opportunity to grow in new and unexpected directions — including this new job at the paper.
As well as writing, I teach online literature classes for National University and keep an online blog: cloudandmountain.com.
We live in a truly stunning area. I love the remoteness of Lassen County, the mountains, the high desert, the grace of the stars on moonless nights and sunrises that look like a crazy palette of color has been spilled across the sky.
Every day I try to remind myself to stop for a moment and appreciate it.
I’m looking forward to the writing, to taking photographs and to stepping into this new venue with the paper and this new stage in my life.
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