I live in the lovely, bikeable city of Davis, where I spend my days teaching English as a foreign language to students who are studying abroad at the University of California– students having their own adventure overseas, if you will. 

Originally, I am from southwest Minnesota, from the small town of Luverne, famous for Blue Mounds State Park and wooden nutcrackers. My undergraduate education was done at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree (Español and Political Science), I made my first move out of the country. I headed to Guadalajara, Mexico to study some more Spanish (CEPE!).  By chance, I ended up teaching English there as well (at ICI, if you’re wondering). After about 10 months, and a really, really amazing backpacking trip down and across Mexico, I flew to Vienna, Austria. There, my future was changed for good.

To this day, I don’t believe you can enter Vienna and remain unchanged. Perhaps this is due to the insane imperial history, or perhaps it is because of the absolutely amazing efficiency of the transportation system. Whatever the reason, I know someone who studied abroad there in college and never returned to the U.S., and I. Totally. Understand.

After Vienna and some hosteling around Romania and Slovakia, I headed back to MN to get a job; student loan debt was calling.

As you well know, the perfect job is harder to come by than we are taught growing up. After a couple of years in the workforce, I discovered a need for more adventure and inspiration and ended up at Leiden University in The Netherlands working on a Master’s degree. This university was already an amazing 433 years old. You can only imagine how this entranced me. It was completely pleasant (leuk) and I could spend my days honing my bicycle (fietsen) riding abilities and happily debating the importance of how people pronounce the word roof. Hello, Linguistics.

I started this blog in the fall of 2008 there in Holland.  While many times it served as an update and anecdote service for my family and friends about life in the Netherlands, it was started because of my interest in writing and my lack of a decent outlet.  Since then, the writing has not stopped.

In November of 2013, after six years of writing before and after grad school and work through fatigue, grading, and rain, I completed a novel, Wandering Canalside.  The story follows a woman named Clara who leaves life in the U.S. and heads to The Netherlands.

Wandering Canalside reaches out to anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of another world and another life. For me, it was Holland, for you, it could be anywhere.

Back in northern California, I spent three years writing for the Sacramento Press.  I wrote culture pieces and beer writing, copy edited and did interviews (Kristi Yamaguchi!)  In 2016, I put out a book of very diverse short stories.  My work from Thursday night writers club became an anthology. Case by Case Basis includes just over a dozen short stories, and a handful of poems.  This one is only $0.99 on Kindle, by the way.  It’s my special brand of unique, weird and sleepless.  I hope you are able to find something in there that you like.

Well, this is who I’ve decided to be.  A writing, teaching, biking, fake-tattoo wearing, craft beer drinking, language speaking reader.  I will be perfectly happy if life continues this way, with time for students and time for putting words down on paper.

…I’m not sure yet if all will go swimmingly.  I’ll have to be patient, wait and see.




  1. What a satisfying life you’ve been living, Patricia! And so much more to come! (I often think of that perfect chair your character had in “Wandering Canalside” – I’ve yet to find my own.)


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