All posts in creative nonfiction

Mugged! a moment in time from 2009


Friday night in the district, pre-Christmas, 2009
I am walking home from the 7-11, carrying the sugar and butter I picked up for my housemates Doug and Eric. It’s around 8 pm, and I’m thinking that my father should be arriving soon from South Carolina. I am worrying about a snow storm prediction for the weekend; it is supposed to be (…)

Riding the School Bus in Belize

Continued after my previous story, First Impressions of Belize

We were the first two passengers on board the tiny school bus leaving Placencia, so we took photos of the tiny brown seats our bodies and our backpacks weighed down. About 7:15 the bus was on its way with a few other passengers. The reggae music started, and I prepared myself mentally (…)

First Impressions of Belize




December 2011: A giant Welcome to Belize information “guidebook” I’d found in a small guesthouse in the coastal town of Placencia was slightly misleading in some of its information. The book, upon closer scrutinizing, was less of a guidebook, and more of a coupons and advertisements packet. Hard-backed with pictures of exotic beaches and birds on the cover, it momentarily (…)

Vegetarian Contrarian: Welcome to the Bright Side

I’ve now spent almost half my lifetime as a vegetarian; not too shabby for a 26-year-old.

When I first started I was 14, and I think most people, my parents included, thought I was going through a phase. Something I would grow out of, like my Jim Morrison obsession I’d begun, the philosophy club I’d joined, and all these Pearl Jam (…)

The beauty and confusion of returning to Oz


Late September 2012: Patrick and I are almost broke, without jobs and flying to Melbourne from my native US.

   First we stay with friends in Melbourne, then we crash his parents’ house in Canberra, next comes couchsurfing in Newcastle for This is Not Art Festival (a true highlight), and finally we catch a train to Sydney to catch a flight (…)

Five tips to surviving Christmas abroad

1. No expectations, all observations
If you go into the holiday season expecting to have the same warm fuzzies (or holiday dread depending on your family) your expectations will most likely fail you, for better or worse.  Obviously, your folks aren’t there, and no matter how much eggnog you drink or how many lights you wrap around your foreign excuse (…)

beyond your toes!

I was hired as a boat tour guide at Lost River Cave at the age of 19 in the spring of 2007.  My cousin recommended the cave as a casual job, great for people who like working outside. I’d been to Carlsbad Caverns as a child, as well as Mammoth Cave. From what I could remember, those caves were cool, (…)

coffee into the grounds

My blog is called coffee cave woman for three reasons.

One, I hope is obvious. While Alex is an androgynous name and once in in high school I got assigned a locker in the boy’s locker room, for the most part, I hope it is evident that I am indeed a woman.  (I don’t count when small children ask me if (…)

dreaming of purple corn

Today I tried to explain what a hipster was to my Peruvian Spanish teacher, Daniela. There is no word for one in Spanish as far as she and her housemate could tell. The closest thing was “emo.”  But maybe I did a bad job describing a hipster. It’s hard enough in English, let alone in Spanish.  I said something like (…)


It’s incredible how well I sleep knowing I have nowhere to be in the morning.

Today my thoughts drift to an environmental economics professor (Dr.K). He told us he learned as much being  unemployed as he did working. He told us he had been unemployed for almost 7 years of his adult life. He found ways to survive nonetheless, and I (…)