Flying Pig Productions Home News and Events Web Work writing Yoga Life Coaching Whales of Guerrero Research Project Viking Zines Bellycasting Dreamboards Mailing List Nesting Project resumes the basement Surprise Me home -> Writing Contact me: k [at]
Sign up to receive news and stories here See My Writing Resume
See My Travel, Adventure and Art Resume
I am a travel, adventure and personal essay writer. I have also written more SEO copy, website content and corporate communications material than you can shake a stick at. I am working on a book about my year as a go go dancer in Greece. I also publish a little magazine about whales once a year. Contact me if you want something said just right.
Selected Stories:
2017: Think Global, Act Local
December 30, 2017
The National Geographic story continues about my quest to help a little Mexican fishing community bring their local ocean back to health.
National Geographic Whales of Guerrero Story
The Case of the Missing Whales
December 29, 2017
The National Geographic story continues about my quest to help a little Mexican fishing community bring their local ocean back to health.
National Geographic Whales of Guerrero Story
Asking the Right Questions to Protect the Ocean
December 20, 2017
The National Geographic story continues about my quest to help a little Mexican fishing community bring their local ocean back to health.
National Geographic Whales of Guerrero Story
Forest Grove, Oregon: Weekender
November 2017
A classic small-town holiday festival, prime pinot noir, and supersize cinnamon buns.
Mt Hood Oregon Story
Whale of a tale: How a Mexican fishing village found ownership of its cetaceans
September 2017
National Geographic Explorer, Katherina Audley, chronicles the first year of her collaborative whale research and community development project in Mexico.
National Geographic Whales of Guerrero Story
Whale conservation spurs economic revival in Mexican fishing community
June 2017
National Geographic Explorer, Katherina Audley, tells the story of how a love for whales, Mexico and making good things happen for people spurred a project that is bringing an endangered ocean back to health.
National Geographic Whales of Guerrero Story
A Weekend in Mount Hood, Oregon
June 2017
Discover a handful of historic villages near the iconic peak.
Mt Hood Oregon Story
What to do on N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland
December 2016
Discover the unconventional restaurants, shops, and more in this Eastside neighborhood. 
Mississippi Avenue Story
Surfer Women's Guide to Being
June 2016
Women's surf camps are more than just lessons. They are a way to connect with other women, the ocean, and ultimately, with yourself
Surfer Women's Guide to Being width=
Life Savers
November/December 2014
It's a perfect day for a paddle on the Oregon Coast. You load your safety gear into a dry bag and attach it to your PFD: bail bucket, towline, cell phone, first-aid kit, compass, and flashlight. It's a lot, but you're no rookie; you've seen plenty of close calls out there...
Ancient Art on Alaska's Coast
Summer 2016
Carved into stone long ago, mysterious natural images still enchant.
Via Magazine Petroglyph Beach
Oregon's Milo McIver State Park
August 2015
Boats? Bats? This scenic park on the Clackamas River southeast of Portland has it all.
Milo McIver State Park
Cordova, Alaska: 5 Things We Love
July 2015
This fishing village east of Anchorage welcomes wildlife photographers, anglers, and adventure seekers to the edge of Prince William Sound. Framed by snowcapped peaks, the town is accessible only by sea or air—one reason it maintains its relaxed charm.
Cordova, Alaska
The Perfect Storm
November/December 2013
A tub with a view, a bottle of wine, a fireplace, and a dog. What better way to enjoy the coast in the wintertime?
Oregon Coast Storm Watching
A new way to visit Puerto Vallarta -- add philanthropy to your vacation
February 7, 2014
One can only belt out so many renditions of "Don't Stop Believing" from the bar top before it begins to feel a little empty. So on your next trip to Puerto Vallarta, consider stepping off the tourist trail and into the less worn path of the traveling philanthropist, even for a few hours.
Oregonian Puerto Vallart Philanthropy Travel Story

St. Johns district: 5 things we love
January 2014
For a small-town feel plus great eats, head to this hip part of north Portland.


5 Things we love about St. Johns


A whale of a time in Depoe Bay
November/December 2013
The natural world is infinitely more interesting when seen through a biologist's eyes...


Whales on the Oregon Coast Depoe Bay


Wine tasting on the Oregon Coast
September/October 2013
For all the great grapes growing in Oregon, it can be surprisingly difficult to find local wine on the coast. However, there are notable exceptions to this challenge, scattered from Astoria to Bandon...


White Wolf Sanctuary Oregon Coast


For the love of wolves
September/October 2013
They didn't seem that dangerous from the perspective of Lois' porch. Sure, they were big, wild and wolf-shaped, but I'd seen pictures of Lois Tulleners, founder of the White Wolf Sanctuary, snuggling with them. And in truth, I'd always thought of wolves as extra large, edgy dogs...


White Wolf Sanctuary Oregon Coast


A nostalgic amble down the Columbia River
October 27, 2013
I have been dipping and skimming on the surface of our local waters for years.... But I wanted to go deeper, so my husband and I decided to ride our 14-foot 1952 runabout boat from Portland almost to the sea.


Oregonian Boat Ride from Portland to Astoria


Washington's Long Beach Peninsula is a perfect getaway for foodies
August 25, 2013
I used to turn my nose up at the Long Beach Peninsula. The trucks on the beach kept me and my fetch-obsessed dog away. But thanks to a Groupon-fueled weekend at the Adrift Hotel last March, I found out how much there is to love about Long Beach.


Long Beach Peninsula is a Foodie Paradise


Surfing and yoga: A match made in the Pacific off the Oregon Coast
July 1, 2013
A lesson on surfing and fluidity turns a day at the beach into an invigorating adventure.


Surf Lessons at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast Oregonian Story


Washington's San Juan Island is best place to see -- and sing to -- orcas
May 31, 2013
When a wild orca emerges from its watery home to inspect you, its pectoral fin quavering up to 6 feet out of the water, or when it bursts into the air in a slow spin then crashes back down and slips away, the experience will burn itself into the part of your memory where best days ever get filed.


San Juan Island for Orca Lovers Oregonian Story


Surf's Up in Cannon Beach
May/June 2013
With a great instructor and a cozy wetsuit, learning to surf on the Coast can be a breeze.


Oregon Coast Surf Lessons


Fishing Frenzy at Buoy 10
May/June 2013
Despite the competition, catching salmon during their late-summer run is practically guaranteed in the Columbia River's Buoy 10 region.


Buoy 10 Fishing


Port Orford: An artists' enclave on the dramatic southern Oregon coast
April 29, 2013
Port Orford had on her prettiest frock the weekend I visited. Sunshine coated Battle Rock with caramel and sparkled upon the seal heads bobbing in the quiet surf. Inland, the same sunbeams shone hoary as they flared between grandfather cedars.


Port Orford Oregonian Story


Delectably Fresh: Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon
March/April 2013
Here in the Northwest, itís easy to buy locally caught wild salmon at your neighborhood supermarket. But no fish tastes as succulent as one you pulled out of the water that morning. Every spring, the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Willamette, become peppered with little boats in pursuit of the tastiest salmon of them all: the spring Chinook, known by local fishermen as ďspringers.Ē Just in from a winter of gorging on small cold-water fish in the Pacific, springers have firm flesh, a vibrant pink color and a lip-smackingly high fat content.


Spring Salmon Fishing in Oregon and Washington


How to Stay Safe in Mexico
March 25, 2013
I fell in love with Mexico the first time I stepped off a plane there in 1998. I've been back many times since, and even got married there in 2011. As a frequent visitor to Mexico, I am asked repeatedly if it is safe. It is, if you're smart. A bit of preparation and planning before you leave and using your head when you're there go a long way. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe, healthy and relaxed in Mexico...


Safety in Mexico 2013Safety in Mexico 2013


Ten Safest Places to Visit in Mexico Now
March 25, 2013
News of violence in Mexico has frightened many visitors away in recent years. But smart travelers know that there are hundreds of places in Mexico, a country roughly the size of Western Europe, that have been untouched by recent events. The following 10 places are just a tiny sampling of the many of beaches, cities and towns in Mexico for which no safety advisory is in effect.


Safety in Mexico 2013Safety in Mexico 2013


Former Hood River nurserywoman Laurel Patrick works to save a Mexican ecosystem bird by bird, coatimundi by coatimundi
March 2, 2013
Laurel Patrick was never much of an animal person before she built a house on the beach in Playa Blanca, Mexico, 13 years ago. She certainly didn't aspire to become patron saint to the critters of the region. She only meant to escape Oregon's dreary winters in a tropical paradise by an undulating cyan sea.


El Refugio de Potosi Laurel Patrick Mexico Animal Sanctuary


Foraging for Black Diamonds
January/February 2013
My truffle addiction began on a rainy winter night in Florence, Italy, when the waiter set a plate of fresh pasta blanketed with black truffle shavings before me. My taste buds have been chasing that umami flavor ever since. Given that truffles go for $200 to $1600 a pound, such cravings arenít cheap. But as a Pacific Northwesterner and a DIY type, I am lucky...


Truffle Hunting with Dogs in Oregon


Playa Blanca, Mexico: The perfect beach, perfectly accessible from Portland
January 6, 2013
Perfect beaches are as hard to find as pristine conch shells. Having dedicated my early adulthood to becoming a beach connoisseur, I know of a few that fit the bill. But I know only one that has all the attributes above and requires no long layovers or extended transport between airport and destination: Playa Blanca.


Playa Blanca Mexico Beach Story


Fall bird migration at Malheur: I went to the refuge an innocent and came back a bird nerd
December 1, 2012
I am not birdy like my good friend Heather, who's one of those people who paid for the bird app on her phone. It takes a big, obvious animal, like a breaching whale, to get my heart pumping.

But I envy Heather's ability to get excited about a woodpecker -- she can just hang out in her backyard with a cup of tea and watch the drama unfold.

It was a high school field trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon that made Heather this way, and now she and I are tagging along with a Road Scholar group at Malheur Field Station at the end of their six-day "Ornithology in Marsh, Mountain and High Desert" program.


Malheur Field Station Birdwatching Story


Angling and Wrangling the Weekend Away in Central Oregon
August 25, 2012
The moment you cross the Deschutes County line, nearly every third car is pulling a horse trailer and the ones that aren't are usually hauling a boat.

My husband and I headed into central Oregon for a weekend of angling and wrangling to see what all the fuss was about. We stayed in a 1966 Airstream trailer at FlySpur Ranch in Tumalo complete with the sound of horses snorting outside our window. Muy cowboy.


Horseback Riding and Fishing in Central Oregon


Fresh Catch!
September/October 2012
Piping-hot battered fish with a crispy side of chips. Belly-warming chowder on a chilly gray day. Fresh-caught grilled chinook with a glass of Pinot Noir. A visit to the Coast often means a fish feast....

A handful of restaurants and seafood markets on the coast make it a priority to serve local seafood that is in season. Below are a few of my favorite locavore restaurants and seafood markets on the North Coast.

Where to find fresh and locally caught seafood on the Oregon Coast


A Haven For Sea Lions
July/August 2012
Thousands of visitors from all over the world descend into the belly of Sea Lion Caves, located just north of Florence, every year. Some come for the chance to get closer to Steller sea lions in their natural habitat. For others, it's a family friendly diversion as they travel up or down the coast.

As for me, I keep going back. I'm practically a regular. I just love the way the caves assail my senses.

Sea Lions at Sea Lion Caves on the Oregon Coast


Glamping: Places throughout Oregon lend themselves to not exactly roughing it in the great outdoors
July 22, 2012
I'm in between the John Muir types who scamper over fields of scree to dine on reconstituted chicken and rice, then bed down in ascetic mummy bags; and the princess campers who toss ice cream-making-balls around the fire and serve it up on matching 38-piece mess kits. I am willing to give up a bathroom, electricity and running water for solitude, but I need a good night's sleep and a latte in the morning in order to be nice. I long to escape the reaches of Wi-Fi but hate hauling a heavy pack. I like to camp in comfort and give bonus points for style. There's a word for people like me: Glampers.


Glamping: Places throughout Oregon lend themselves to not exactly roughing it in the great outdoors


Fresh Seafood Spots Abound on Oregon Coast
June 10, 2012
Everyone knows that the best-tasting fish is one you caught yourself that morning. Failing that, the next best thing is to seek out restaurants that partner with local fishermen. Here are a handful of eateries on the Oregon coast that do just that.


The Oregonian


Dog-Friendly Oregon Coast
June, July, August 2012
If dog heaven were a place on earth, it would look a lot like the Oregon Coast. All 363 miles of beach are publicly accessible and only a few are closed to dogs. Endless trails through lush forests offer a respite from the wind and salty sea. Hotels vie for the privilege of pampering you and your dog with complimentary chew toys, cozy beds and fireplaces.

Best Dog Friendly Hotels on Oregon Coast


Where to Beach Your Salty Sea Dog
May 27, 2012
She stands up in the back seat when we reach Camp 18 and won't be sitting down again anytime soon. When we turn onto U.S. 101, she starts to pant and quake. At her first whiff of sea air, she lets out a moan that sounds like all the longing in the world has swept into the car and possessed her...


The Oregonian


Halibut Fishing on the Coast
Oregon Coast(March/April 2012)
Halibut aren't pretty like salmon. They don't fight like tuna. But they've got a taste worth working for...

Oregon Coast Halibut Fishing
Married in Mexico: Five Star Accommodations, Two Star Prices
SF Gate: Mexico Mix January 31, 2012
Considering that weddings are often your one chance to bring all the important people in your life together, it's unfortunate that the big event is often a dizzying, stressful blur with little time to spend with anyone. A destination wedding in Mexico is a great way to slow it all down and spend quality time with your loved ones. It's warm down there, relaxing and beautiful. There are comfortable accommodations for every budget and taste. Delicious food and drinks are abundant and easy on your wallet.
sfgate icon
Acupuncturists Building Bridges With Western Medicine
Acupuncture Today (August 2011)
When Mary Tagliaferri and Isaac Cohen co-founded the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program at the University of California, San Francisco's Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and opened the first traditional Chinese medicine clinic at UCSF, their plan was straight forward: employ state of the art technology to rigorously identify and test the active ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine herbs and botanicals. Little did they know that 15 years later they would be working with the FDA to test oral botanical drugs for major medical indications.


Acupuncture Today

Tuna Fishing on the Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast (May/June 2011)
When a tuna hits, it feels like you've got Lance Armstrong's thigh on the line.
Oregon Coast Magazine Cover
Oregon's Grandest Migration
Northwest Travel (March/April 2011)
Visitors flock to the coast to view migrating gray whales during winter and spring, but you can see whales all summer in the waters around Depoe Bay.
NorthWest Travel Magazine Cover
The Perfect Day
You lean in for your kiss. It opens up its blowhole and, “Whooosh!” you’ve been baptized with whale breath. Consider yourself initiated into the church of the whale.
52 Perfect Days

View from the Bartop
Greece: A Love Story: Women Write about the Greek Experience (Seal Press: 2007)
"I was not meant to dance on countertops for a living,” I said to myself as I surveyed the cheering drunks below, and smashed my glass to the floor....

Greece: A Love Story
I Never Wanted to Be a Valkyrie
Women Reinvented: True Stories of Empowerment and Change (LaChance Publishing: 2010
The ad read: Vikings Wanted: Tahoe Ski Resort Seeks Tall, Ruthless Scandinavians For Ad Campaign...
Women Reinvented
The Pantanal
VoiceCatcher (LuLu: 2007)
Eventually, my outer thigh became a kind of no man's land where he was permitted to rest one fingertip, but that was it....
Surprise Landing
Orion Magazine, June 23, 2010
Iím a landlocked mermaid here in Portland, Oregon. Yes, the landscape is green and lush. And the people are wonderful. Itís a foodie heaven and culturally rich for a city its size. But after fifteen years of constant tides in my periphery, I never thought I would leave the ocean again.
Spanish Lessons
Imitation Fruit, Issue #5 (2009)
Kiera is the kind of seven year old who goes tearing down a hill on a broken bicycle, crashes, comes up spitting teeth and blood and says, “Whew! That was an experience.” So when that scorpion stung her, she was more pissed off than scared. “That thing bit me!” she said, and squished it with a flip-flop.

Meanwhile, the rest of us freaked out.
Imitation Fruit
Orcas Serenade
Northwest Travel (May/June 2010)
One summer day in the San Juan Islands, orcas gathered near shore for soulful songs by First Nations performer and a choir from Seattle.
NW Travel Magazine
Secret Beaches and a Napali Coast Hike

A perfect day on the North Shore of Kauai
52 perfect days
Blue Whales in the Sea of Cortez
Whoosh! (Flying Pig Productions, 2008)
Joseph and I track down one of the world’s experts on blue whales, Fernando Arcas, and spend an unforgettable day on the water with him in Baja.
Clap Your Hands and Sing: or The Summer Solstice Superpod Spectacle
Whoosh! (Flying Pig Productions, 2008)
Now that the orcas were in plain sight, the Tlingets resumed their drumming and singing....just moments later, a 6-foot high pointed male orca fin rose up directly in front of us.
Fish Fever (A Greenhorn Fishing Story)
Moe Bowstern, Ed., XtraTuf #6: The Greenhorn Issue (2010) [Publication Available In Print Only]
The Gypsy Camp Fishermen
The Sun Magazine: Readers Write (Issue 402: June 2009) [Publication Available In Print Only]
The Sun Logo
Fishing Report from Bristol Bay
(Presented at the Fisher Poet's Annual Gathering: 2006)
I land myself a gig as a deckhand on a gillnetting boat. Trouble ensues.
Fish Fever (or How I Got to Be This Way)
Rain Magazine (2007) [Publication Available In Print Only]

Published Poetry:
'Nicotine Nostalgia'
Stockwell, Shelley. Denial Is Not A River In Egypt. (Creativity Unlimited, 2003).
'Crete 1996'
The Ever Dancing Muse. 1996.
Off the cuff, bite-sized chunks, etc.
The K List: Things I Like, Don't Like + News and Other Animals

• My Examiner Column (>500 word generally whale related articles)
• Open Salon (<500 word stories about all kind of things)
• Kat's Ass Fan Club: All Tush Stories, All the Time
Whoosh! The Zine for Whale Lovers
The Very Hungry Caterina
Holding Pen of Loveable but Barely Housebroken Stories Available for Adoption:
Road Song (Chronicles my 10 month overland journey from Tierra del Fuego to Colombia)
Peripatetic Ruminations on the Rio Paraguay
All the others on the cramped barge were asleep when the Guarani woman next to me finally spoke: “Aren’t you lonely? Why aren’t you afraid?” 
Everything's Better With Horns On
I fulfill my viking model duties at Granlibakken, a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, with two other real modern day vikings.
Ahem. About that fish.
It starts with a group e-mail: "okay. have i got a deal for you. i've procured a 10 cd player with great speakers and have no music. so. here's the deal: you send me music, i DHL you fish..." A horny pirate, the wacky birthday fairy, uppity orca scientists and the little dictator join the mix. It ends in tears.
Be Soft and Lovely and Full of Grace
Let’s all go ahead and be very very soft. Let’s speak softly and walk softly and hold each other softly and think soft thoughts about soft things. Let’s all be big softies and have lots of give and wear soft clothing that makes people want to touch us.
Minds are Magnetic: How to Make Sure Obama Wins the Election
I make peace with my competitive nature, deal with election anxiety and figure a few things out