The Winter Loon is a fictional story inspired by my my mother, who died when I was nine and who had divulged very little information about her life. Estranged from her parents, brother, and uncles, she moved across country from Minnesota to California, ending up in a remote area of the Mojave Desert far from the nearest town. From my earliest memories, the two of us lived as a family with her woman companion until shortly before her death. Some of the things she left behind were a few photos (that’s her in the photo above), a newspaper clipping of her as a rodeo competitor, and her master’s degree certificate from the 1930s. As I envisioned how my mother’s life might have been if she had been able to live her authentic truth, I realized how much, and how little, has changed for the LGBTQ community. It is my hope that in these divisive times, this story about the healing power of love will positively influence anyone who reads it.
Lori worked as a social worker and licensed family therapist in San Francisco before turning to writing. She now lives in Oregon, in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, surrounded by forest where hiking trails that weave through the trees follow and cross a creek with crashing waterfalls. Finding solace in nature and in the company of Ponderosa Pines over 100 feet tall, pushing toward old-growth status, she writes stories, putters in her garden and hikes with her rescue dogs.