I am a freelance writer and editor based in the lower Connecticut River Valley. My beat starts at the intersection of ordinary American life and the natural environment. I write about backcountry adventure, environmental change and how people cope with it, and American history.
I was born in Philadelphia at the tail end of the baby boom, fourth of five children of my banker father and artistic mother. We moved to Princeton, New Jersey, when I was four. I share the label "writer who graduated from Princeton High School" with John McPhee and Laura Waterman.
I learned journalism at the Daily Pennsylvanian at the University of Pennsylvania. For 18 years I worked for newspapers large, small, and middle-sized, in Philadelphia; Mount Kisco, New York; and New London, Connecticut. I became a freelancer in 2000.
I am writing a book about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, secret collaborators on the "Little House" books. During the dark days of the Great Depression, Rose—who was instrumental in starting the libertarian movement—captured the settling of the frontier, from 1870 to 1885, as a message about hope, courage, and independence.
I am the editor of Appalachia journal, the mountaineering publication with the literary bent published since 1876 by the Appalachian Mountain Club.I have helped give a start to emerging writers like Blair Braverman, Sally Manikian, Bethany Taylor, John Gioia, and Michael Wejchert. I also edit the work of established writers like Doug Mayer, Rebecca Oreskes, Laura Waterman, Will Howarth, and Kristen Laine. In Appalachia, you can also read my own stories on things like the Episcopal priest who first climbed Denali, my ordeal on the Appalachian Trail, and backcountry philosophy in my column, The Long Way Home.
I also edit a quarterly, Connecticut Woodlands, for the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, the venerable trail-maintaining and conservation nonprofit that formed back when Connecticut had almost no trees, in 1895. I have been building Woodlands into an outlet for journalists and environmental watchdogs since 2001.
I have published many articles in The New York Times—many of them about the coast and landscape of Connecticut, but some about wider topics like hiking with my young daughters. You will find my work on climate, energy, water, and backcountry adventure in Audubon, Popular Mechanics Online, the Washington Post, Connecticut Explored, the Hartford Courant, the Connecticut Mirror, Nature Climate Change, and Yale Climate Connections.
One huge influence on my writing continues to be the thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail I did some years ago. I carried a loaded pack 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine with my husband, Nat Eddy, and friends, Phil and Cay Lodine. Read our story here. We are proud of our two New England-grown daughters, Elizabeth and Annie Eddy. Elizabeth is a 2011 graduate of Yale University now pursuing her nursing degree at Penn. Annie is a 2013 graduate of Williams College who works in healthcare administration in Maryland.
Welcome to my work world! Stay as long as you like. The light's always on here. Start with the Woodside Field Guide.