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Life coach, riding instructor, writer, I was raised in a barn and now spend my time figuring out how farms heal us. bramblewoodstables.com

How the author simultaneously inspires and repels me.

I’m binge-watching the recent PBS documentary about Ernest Hemingway’s life. This follows a recent view of the film Hemingway & Gellhorn. I’m not seeking Hemingway out — he keeps finding me. And, if there is one life lesson that sticks with me beyond all the sensible lessons that don’t, it’s to take notice when a theme keeps repeating itself.

Like a dutiful English major and student of writing, I sat at the altar of Hemingway and spent my younger years not really understanding why he was such a big deal. The guys…


I’m a writer who loves stories, community, and seeking hope in dark places.

By day I’m a riding instructor and equine facilitated life coach, partnering with the horses to help people alchemize pain into gold.

Raised in the rural, American south, I learned early on that humans are contradictory. The people who raised me held unconscionable beliefs about race, gender and equality, but it was the writer in me that first called their bluff. The writer in me questioned, listened, and formed her own beliefs about what was right. …


The tragedy of Nell’s Pond hides a memorial to terror

In the shadow of a big oak tree, Nell’s Pond only filled with water when the rain poured for days and the fields became saturated with runoff. I often stood on my front porch and watched how the forked road at the juncture of my childhood home led to a place of legend.

As a child, I didn’t know the origin of Nell’s narrative, but I knew the location of her death was a cautionary tale that kept speaking through wars and centuries. It was a reminder to stop and listen closely to her ghost.

It was said that Nell…


An essay on writing and waiting and eternity.

Dissatisfaction implies that there is a target for the stirring that happens inside me, usually in the spring. Like pond water shaken in a jar, it’s murky. I cannot find a filter fine enough to capture the silt.

I wake with a bitter taste in my mouth. The dog knows to keep her distance. She knows me, the way a salamander knows the shade, tapping my leg with her paw will only give us a shared stare of expectation. If I pet her now, the touch will be incomplete. …


Making the unconscious conscious through creative nonfiction, personal essay, and the occasional poem.

A publication featuring creative nonfiction with an emphasis on lyric composition, folklore, urban-lore, myth, and shadow. I’m obsessed with the interstices of creativity and belonging. And, I believe that the mythology inherent in personal essay holds space for diplomacy and enlightenment in a world of confusing headlines.

I’m a product of creative writing workshops and places where writers gather to share their journeys. I love the way a line of words can stop me in my tracks. But, I’m tired of the limitations that the craft of…


How listening to your body can change your relationship to stress.

For two decades, I worked weekends and holidays to build my business, a horse riding stable and life coaching practice in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Available day and night, I didn’t schedule time off. I believed that the secret to my stagnant success was the amount of blood and sweat I poured into my work. I didn’t see the toll that it was taking on my health — until it was too late.

When a health crisis forced me to reevaluate my business plan, I discovered that I didn’t feel worthy delegating tasks. …


How my relationship with objects helps me embrace my shadow.

I woke up feeling out of sorts.

I’d felt off for a couple of weeks, and rightly so. I’d had minor surgery, my uncle passed away, and I discovered that a horse I’d given to an acquaintance had been starved and sent on a path that potentially led to an auction.

Midway through an Easter horse riding lesson, a member of our farm staff called to say first responders were blocking our driveway.

I walked up the hill and waited in the shadow of a holly tree as paramedics and firemen attended to a medical emergency at a neighbor’s house…


How learning a fresh skill gives this newbie a badge of honor.

When my partner gifted me with an empty fish tank and a box of aquarium supplies for Valentine’s day, I had mixed feelings. He loved the ocean, so I was willing to try anything that brought the water closer to him, but I’d never been keen on the notion of fish husbandry.

Fish tanks freaked me out. The same way a lifetime of flying never prepared me for the moment the flight attendant shut the airplane door — I was phobic of enclosed places. …


The recipe for sobriety was in me all along.

When I first started consuming a nightly dose of alcohol, I drank to make time to write. Drinking cleared space for me to transition from the day’s stresses and tap into creativity. Alcohol lowered my inhibitions, freeing the mud-sunk loons of my creativity.

Alcohol freed me. Or so I thought.

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk . . .” — Ernest Hemingway

I’d think about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bukowski — all the literary greats that were placed on pedestals by my writing mentors. I attended writing workshops since I learned how to drive. I was one of the…

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