Autobiography

I am someone who cares.

My first byline came in 1996, when Time magazine published a short letter-to-the-editor sent in response to an article titled, "Global Fever; Climate change threatens more than megastorms, floods and droughts. The real peril may be disease."

I had written in favor of the planet getting global attention, and when my concerns made the printed page, they exposed a useful path for my talents and softly launched my writing career.

I had grown up playing in the wooded acres behind my rural Pennsylvania home. There I realized of the value of Nature ... to life and to my well-being. I also learned the art of quiet contemplation. I grew to see that my existence was impacting the ecosystem in which I lived, and I began to turn to Nature for further understanding.

I also used another kind of keyboard to express myself, the one on my mother’s spinet piano. After 10 years of piano lessons, I developed a cherished, lifelong hobby. I now have a heightened appreciation for rhythm, melody, and harmony, which transfers nicely to the writing world.

Heil photo

Heritage

My grandparents lived in a Pennsylvania Dutch community where the concept of “save and reuse” flourished. My farming ancestors were at the mercy of the land and weather. As immigrants, they learned to survive in America using their own skills and self-taught trades. They were, and I am, industrious, devout, self-sufficient, open to every shade of religious expression, and dedicated to wasting nothing.

Career Path #1: Advertising

At age 18, I moved to the big city of Philadelphia and entered the world of advertising. I eventually became Vice President in Charge of Production at the Gallagher Knetzger agency in King of Prussia, where I served as a liaison between the client and the artist. I got to know the importance of professional design, copywriting, page layout, typesetting, and branding from a wonderful group of long-time creative executives, the kind of men who preferred their martinis dry and their Fridays relaxed.

Career Path #2: Consulting

In 1999, the agency closed when the owners retired. I used my production skills to help entrepreneurs build solid office foundations by consulting under the name Streamline Organizational Services. A strict focus on office management and business success set my service apart from other “organizers” who were just becoming popular at the time.

In 2007, the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce honored me with its “Distinguished Service Award” for my work in its office.

Outside the office I made a lot of great friends in a local Toastmasters public speaking club, where I achieved Competent Leader status and served as an officer.

My clients inspired me and the work was gratifying, but after 10 years, I realized it was time for another change.

Career Destination: Writing

In 2008, following the advice of colleagues, friends, and loved ones, I officially began my writing career.

I now organize thoughts on paper (or online) through the arrangement of words instead of filing systems. When not writing for others, I satisfy my curiosity about natural science and spiritual wisdom through the writing of articles, essays, and blog posts for publishers who want to bring such information to their readers. (Click here for a complete list of published pieces or check out my daily or biweekly blog.)

My Audience

Maine water image

I write to support readers who understand that their lives make an impact, and I honor their attempts to foster a sustainable way of living. I reminders to trust their instincts, offer simple solutions to common problems, and provide examples of the miracles that surround them each day.

Other Interests

After more than 30 years, I continue to express myself at the piano (now a Boston studio) where I play classical, folk, pop, and more.

I support various economic development, community building, and environmental organizations. I volunteer administrative time to the Philadelphia Folksong Society. I serve on the planning committee for Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s annual Congress on the Schuylkill River as well as the Upper Perkiomen Bird and Wildlife Festival, and I am a founding member of the Upper Perkiomen Land and Water Alliance. I also enjoy hiking, gardening, jigsaw puzzles, and living life.

Writing Vision

I strive to say what needs to be said while building a well-balanced, healthy environment for myself and others.

You can learn more about how Nature has influenced my perspective via my Back to Basics Blog (Connect with me to receive a brief note each time I add a post) or my Today's Walk Blog. (Reader subscription available via WordPress.)