I guess I just can’t have a website without at least a nod to my original profession. I’m a psychologist and also a mountaineer. Those were my first loves. I still remember sitting with the University of Washington catalog describing majors (keep in mind, this was well before “creative” majors came into being) open on my lap. It was the eve of my junior year and I had to declare a major. I just kept coming back to psychology. Despite dire predictions from my parents that I’d be destitute, I’ve never regretted my choice. I feel the same way about the mountains. Ever since my first overnight backpacking trip at summer camp when I was just a kid, I’ve always loved the remoteness and being “out there” having to rely on my own resources.
Back to psychology, my first trilogy, Soul Storm, is about a Jungian analyst. I never made that mistake again. Much too close to home, but as long as I brought it up, I’ll say a little more.
The Soul Storm books are an extension of my lifelong fascination with dreams. I’ve had precognitive dreams all my life. The ones where I see something in a dream, and it comes to pass. In the spookiest of them, a dear friend was dying and tried to take me with him. I kid you not. It was early one morning and I was heading to work, driving the mountainous roads around Lassen Park in Northern California. For absolutely no reason, my Volkswagen Rabbit went into a spin, the wheel wrenched through my hands, and I slammed into a snowbank. It could have been a boulder, or I could’ve slewed off the cliff into the river. I discovered later that Don died at exactly the same time my car turned against me—to the minute. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’ve never believed in coincidences.
One of my most closely held beliefs is there’s more to the world than what I can reach out and touch. It’s only very recently that people stopped believing in magic. Those who live in third world countries still do. There’s an inverse relationship between levels of industrialism and people’s willingness to accept that life holds mystery. I don’t want a world where science talks everything to death, trying to explain the unexplainable. I prefer at least a few things I still have to take on faith.
Sometimes I’m asked if I still practice psychology. Not directly, no. I put my license on inactive status to reduce the temptation when people ask about seeing me, and it happens often in my small town. But not a day goes by that I don’t use some element of psychology either in my writing or in dealing with people. I’m grateful I followed my heart on that long ago day when I declared a major, and I’ve never looked back.