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I was born in Los Angeles and attended public school in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Bellingham (Washington) and Geneva (Switzerland.)

My mother's parents were Ashkenazi Jewish. My father's ancestors were--according to oral tradition--- Huguenots from France and Occitania,English,Scots-Irish, German, "Black Dutch", and Native American. (Tribe uncertain--possibly Kickapoo and/or Cherokee).

I grew up watching and listening to the stories around me, letting them speak through me, filling blank pieces of paper with words and images.

In my late teens and early twenties, I lived in London, Barcelona, and Paris, where I worked as a translator and English teacher. Returning to California, I studied photography at City College of San Francisco, earned a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University and worked as an editorial consultant, educator and criminal/civil rights investigator, while publishing short fiction, journalism, essays and poetry.

Since 2001, I have lived and worked as a journalist and teacher in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and the San Francisco Bay Area, writing about the environment, the arts, and Native and Latin American issues.

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