About Joan

My real life began in 1978 when I was 27 and an unexpected and hard-to-explain-to-others tragedy catapulted me into quitting my first professional job and heading west for a year of solo soul-reconnaissance.  Fate quickly and kindly introduced me to the man I would love and the life I would cherish, though not before I’d completed the quest that was to encompass a symbolic nine-month inner-exploration while outwardly discovering the enchantment of the California coast.

Spiritual search and literal travel informed our 37 years together. Time spent in England, Poland, Corfu, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and all over the U.S. colored our unfolding, as did a shared quest for our unique place on the planet and a love of all things beautiful. Loving this complex and often impossible man more deeply than I’d known I could immeasurably enriched my existence.

When Philip became seriously ill in 2015 after three months of trying to heal at a Costa Rican fasting retreat, I was just able to get him home in time to die. My last three years have been spent struggling through unspeakable loss, a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other journey back toward purpose, meaning, and peace.  The writing of this first memoir — Life with an Impossible Person: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation has been deep medicine for my soul. I offer it in the hope that it may be so for others.

This is my first book, but I am not new to writing. I have published academic articles, presented at professional conferences, taught and tutored writing to college students, copyedited academic and professional papers and one novel.

I greet the sun each morning as it rises in the vast Colorado sky that opens over Fort Collins. I write, read, dream, and often speak to Philip from my treetop nest, six stories up, where I’ve created my current place on the planet.