Writer & Storyteller

Introduction

I’ve been graced with a fascinating life. Born in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment I’ve had astonishing experiences, mystical encounters, known extraordinary people and traveled to remarkable and mysterious places. All these experiences and encounters are threads woven with imagination into stories and essays.

My writing abilities were first recognized by my fifth-grade teacher who announced to the class in dumbfounded astonishment, “Susan can write!” when I turned a what-I-did-over -the-weekend class assignment into a mystery story involving the family cat trapped in the heating ducts. For the daydreaming child who constantly stared out the window, ran with scissors, never followed directions or paid attention, and refused to use the specified crayon to color in the lines, my story was clearly out of character with her expectations.

In my teen years writing was a way to cope with a rough family life and there are actual lines from my journal in my first “novel,” Don’t Judge a Heart by its Brokenness. As an adult, my career was focused on writing about science and technology. Now, fiction writing is my passion.

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The Quest to Find Raven Sky

Runaway foster kids on a wild journey to reclaim their future

Wolf and his siblings lived on the streets, in shelters and grungy motels. Four kids with ethnically different—and unknown fathers— they survived with fierce loyalty and grit as their mother spiraled into addiction. After the tragic death of their little sister, the child welfare—not!— system split the siblings apart. Wolf ended up in juvenile detention.  When their mother and her drug dealer boyfriend abducted four-year-old Raven, and disappeared, Wolf had to act. His plan was bold. Ok, maybe crazy.  He’d escape and he and his fifteen-year-old sister, Silver, would do what “the system” wouldn’t: find Raven.

 

First, Wolf needed a break-out accomplice, somebody who could steal cars. That would be Justin, a fifteen-year-old Native kid with squirrel-on-crack mannerisms and a heart-breaking backstory. The emotional magnetism of Wolf’s determination attracted other allies to Wolf’s quest: A woman willing to take big risks; a mysterious, loner nomad who prevented a bizarre accident from turning deadly; and others helping along the way in a journey of resourcefulness and resilience.

 

 

 

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Don't Judge a Heart by its Brokenness

A story of brave love that demanded courage and created it.

When their lives intersected Brian was a ridiculed outcast because of the crazy, stupid lies he told to try to fit in, and Sara was the mascot of a catty clique of socialites.

Brian and Sara both wanted the impossible.

Brian survived —against all odds — experimental surgeries for a congenital heart defect. For what? He couldn’t do anything remotely active. He wanted to be a normal sixteen-year-old, but all he could do was shut himself in his room and draw and watch other kids from the window… especially the beautiful, athletic Sara.

Sara wanted to be in the elite, wanted status. With a blue-collar background, a homelife in turmoil from an alcoholic mother and an abusive father, she did a lot of pretending.

Against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s, Brian and Sara’s unlikely relationship careens along a jagged emotional path as they negotiate the unknown territory of trust, loyalty, friendship and, eventually, love. Until. Everything changed.

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Soul Transcendence, Journeys to Other Dimensions: A DMT Research Volunteer Tells Her Story

“After the injection, you might think that we overdosed you and you have died.”

 That ominous warning was part of the research volunteer interview for arguably the boldest, most revolutionary brain/mind/consciousness research ever performed: Dr. Rick Strassman’s University of New Mexico School of Medicine study investigating the effects of N,N-dimethyltriptamine (DMT) on humans. 

I was Research Volunteer #34.


Strassman explained that he believed DMT was involved in the death (or near death) experience, and the pineal gland released a large burst of it.

“Sort of the booster rocket for the soul?” I asked, half in jest. 

“Yes. Sort of the booster rocket for the soul,” he replied.

 

In his book, DMT the Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, Strassman described his research from a medical perspective, including the bizarre and other-worldly experiences of the volunteers. I describe what it was like to actually be a volunteer. I relate my experiences reconstructed from extensive journal entries and tape-recording transcripts of the sessions. Besides descriptions of my experiences in The Study I also share the ongoing beneficial impact being a study participant has had on my life decades later as well as the bizarre and horrifying experiences at an infamous ayahuasca retreat.

 

Forward comments by Dennis McKenna and Rak Razaam.

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Animal Encounters: Mysterious, Mystical,Hilarious and Heartbreaking

A teleporting snake? What other explanation could there be for a large snake to suddenly appear in a bedroom…when doors were never left open. Never.

A cat acting like a beaver gathering sticks all night with malicious intent.

A beloved dog flat-lining and then miraculously coming back to life for one last goodbye.

The mystical appearance of a bird messenger for a grieving family.

A goose exploding out of a gunny sack, terrorizing toddlers in a car hurtling down the freeway.

A rabbit’s apparent virgin birth
These are some of the extraordinary encounters and interactions recounted by a woman deeply in touch with the natural world.

sans

Santa Fe Ghosts

Find out what pounded up a flight of stairs in a cloud of stench, freezing house plants along its path, and terrifying the resident caretaker of a landmark house on Grant Avenue. Learn why a lost soul at La Residencia spent years communicating its distress until one man understood what it wanted. Encounter strange events at the The Loretto Chapel and its enigma staircase. Dine at the Pink Adobe with a ghost who occasionally serves lemon wedges and levitates tables. Hear police dogs howling as one specific hearse passes with a body that was removed after the bloody Santa Fe prison riot of 1971. Eyewitness accounts intertwine history, spanning from the earliest settlements through contemporary times, with mystery and ghostly events taking place in one of the oldest and most haunted cities in America.