I am a physician who knows how to do an autopsy.  Only girl among 5 brothers.  I hit a big forehand, but backhand is oddly feeble, athletic but lack the discipline to be an athlete.  Birder.  Mother.  Wife.  Reader.  Bell-ringer.  Writer.  Word Enthusiast.

Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain and Charles Darwin are my literary heroes.  All three are preeminent “noticers.”  I admire Nabokov for his ability to engage all five senses in his descriptions,  Twain for his dissection of the human condition, and Darwin for his keen observation of the natural world.  I try to bring the same curiosity, humor, wonder and awe to my essays, which include memoir pieces, commentary on contemporary culture, and curiosity driven research pieces on anything that catches my eye.  I have been inspired to write about the remarkable life cycle of the tick in response to their abundance in the prairie next to our home, and have written about the patterns of swearing across cultures as researched in cab rides.

My mother Fan Brown bequesthed me a love of word games and high-quality doggerel.  Her clever wit and worn pink rhyming dictionary are constant inspirations.  In her honor I have concluded many of the Fanagrams with a doggerelish word game poem.

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I’m told that everyone likes visuals.  So here I am, as chronicled in a series of Passport Photos:

Classic mid 1960s look. Note the Peter Pan collar.

Wow, I really had it goin’ on the in the 1970s!

Hey, this picture of me looking like a strung out crack addict is not my fault. The photographer insisted that I was not allowed to smile on a passport photo. I am really not that grumpy and humorless – actually the opposite is my goal!