I’m a freelance writer and father of two daughters, the oldest of whom has autism. Posts on this site will largely relay experiences raising Shannon, who though at five years old remains speechless continues to be a fountainhead of insight. I’ve been her primary caregiver from the start, and in that time have learned that while spoken language is critical, it’s largely so for utilitarian purposes. Without it, however, we’re able to focus on life’s otherwise obscured, often vital elements. Many entries here will attempt to relay what that means.
After living in Newport for four years, my wife Karen and I are raising the girls in Jamestown, Rhode Island, at the mouth of Narragansett Bay. I grew up in Connecticut and lived out West for thirteen years, mostly in Alaska, before returning to marry in 2008. Prior to moving back, I’d never realized how much I missed New England, both its human and natural histories and how the two continue to mingle. Shannon and I wander through this embroidery nearly every day in all seasons. Alongside autism, the three essays in the section entitled “Newport” attempt to fathom both the ecology and history of southern New England, and many future posts will as well.
Along with over fifty essays, articles, and reviews, I’ve published one book, Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson (SUNY Press), and have completed a memoir for Riddle Brook Publishing (NH) about the impact that outdoor experiences have had on my relationship to my father and the world at large, including God. Titled “Neither Mountain Nor River: Fathers, Sons, and an Unsettled Faith”, its anticipated publication date is September, 2014. The book’s last chapters detail my attempts to pass such experiences onto my daughters, which includes passages on autism’s at once lucid and opaque portals. Links to each book are both here and in the Publications section:
Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-5299-drifting.aspx
Neither Mountain Nor River: Fathers, Sons, and an Unsettled Faith: http://www.riddlebrookpublishing.com/p/catalog.html
Lastly, I review books for the Providence Journal and other venues, and have dedicated a page to books either about New England, by New England authors, or issued from New England publishers.