I am a writer and a collector.
When I was a kid, I collected rocks.
In 2011, I started a blog entitled “Great Lake Island Escapes” and started collecting islands and writing about them. Ultimately, I visited 136 Great Lakes Basin islands on 27 trips over two summer seasons. My experiences and the information I discovered about the islands became my first book, Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure (Wayne State University Press, 2016), a 2017 Michigan Notable Book, which was awarded the 2017 Midwest Book Travel Award and the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Travel/Travel Guide Award.
Having that book published gave me the opportunity to write another. My juvenile nonfiction book All About the Great Lakes (Blue River Press) is came out in July 2020. In my writing past, I have had poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction published in anthologies and I earned my MFA in fiction writing from Goddard College.
These days, through Dunphy Consulting Services, I offer individual coaching services for writers, assist with book proposals and manuscripts, and facilitate writing workshops and retreats.
I also teach two prose-writing workshops for Springfed Arts, “Getting There from Here” and “Going Farther.” I have taught creative writing and other writing courses at Oakland University, Oakland Community College–Orchard Ridge, and the University of Windsor,
I have always lived in the tri-county area of the Lower Peninsula in the “Mitten State,” so, of course, I grew up vacationing on the Great Lakes–Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, in particular.
But, for the last 25 years, once the ice is off the lake and the ferry is running again, I spend time at my cottage on Ontario’s Pelee Island in Lake Erie. On weekends during three seasons of the year, I can often be found collecting fossils and beach glass on the west shore. And, squinting out at the horizon, I collect the ideas that hover just above the waves.
Regardless of what else I happen to be collecting at the moment, I’m always collecting words and stories, connecting and combining bits of information in ways that I find fascinating. For the next dozen weeks or so, the subject of these particular collections of mine is going to be trees. I’m interested in seeing what my thoughts about trees spark in you.