About Me

My friends love to joke about my love of plants and animals – from the hairy tarantula and foreboding rattlesnake to the mesquite tree and the mariposa lily. I’m okay with their banter, because when I step outside my front door in southern Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert, I can appreciate the beauty before me.

I am, however, much more than the gal who gets excited when encountering a new insect. Or bird. Or mammal. Or wildflower. Or rock. Or snake. Or lizard.

I’m also a full-time freelance writer and novelist. My current fiction, Blue, was named a semi-finalist in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition for a novel-in-progress. It also earned a finalist nod in the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Writing Competition (national), and was named a semi-finalist in the national Dana Awards for the Novel 2016. My novel, Bedside, earned semi-finalist recognition in the 2011 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition for a novel-in-progress, as well as a 2014 semi-finalist listing in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition for a completed novel (under the title, The Quickness of Life). Bedside also was a top 10 finisher in the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Great Novel Contest 2014. My magazine articles have won numerous awards with Writer’s Digest, IABC and the International Academy of the Visual Arts. I’m also a member of the Society of Southwestern Authors and the Arizona Historical Novel Society.

With this blog, I combine my two passions: writing and nature. Nature provides inspiration for all my writing – fiction and nonfiction. But more than that, I hope to inspire you – writer, nature enthusiast, or none of the above – to “see” the things around you … perhaps differently, perhaps with new meaning, perhaps for the first time.

So if you’ve never seen a tailless whip scorpion, red coachwhip snake, windscorpion, Gila Monster, red-spotted toad, bobcat, or great horned owl – climb aboard. Your guide is a northwestern Pennsylvania-born girl who has fallen hopelessly in love with the desert. And life.

Melissa Crytzer Fry