Nevada, I found a home for my aspirations as a writer and reclaimed my
heritage as a westerner. I describe the impulsive but rewarding experience
of buying a house on dilapidated piece of property in a desolate part
of the country in “Thinking
In Tuscarora, if asked, I would answer, “Yes, I’m a writer”
or “Yes, I’m a poet.” I might also volunteer that I
was born and raised in Elko County, can work sourdough, own a J.M. Capriola
saddle. Psychologically, I felt like someone coming home after a long
absence. I loved reminiscing about places and events: being snowed in
for several weeks on a ranch near Lee; attending first grade in the one-room
schoolhouse in Starr Valley—or telling my listener that he or she
was looking at someone who actually lived in Deeth.
This high desert adventure began a decade ago. Now, the house and studio
look quite respectable, and my friends, the Adobe
House Artists, mark the first week of August on their calendars for
the annual trek to Tuscarora. During the past ten years, I have written
steadily, mostly poetry. Now, I think of myself as a writer, a poet—and
not just when I am in Tuscarora.
In 1996, I wrote a poem, “I
Will Know When I Get There,” describing the joy of finding my
home as an artist. In 2004,, it dawned on me that I could create a virtual
Tuscarora, extending and expanding the creative energies that—for
me—come with the territory.