News and Announcements

"Hands On Water" Featured in Center for Humans and Nature

"Hands On Water," my commentary on our moral and ethical responsibility to the planet's finite supply of fresh water is featured in the Center for Humans and Nature's website, and is the top story in the Center's recent newsletter. Here's how it begins:

When I was young and idealistic, I lived a back-to-the-land existence in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming. The cabin sat in a sea of sagebrush at the edge of town, its lone connection an electric wire. No phone, no natural gas, no running water.

I pumped water by hand from a well, carried it to the cabin, and heated it on a wood stove. When I was finished bathing or washing dishes, I carried the dishpan outside and carefully emptied it.

The essay, about returning rituals of mindfulness and gratitude to our everyday consumption of water as I return my dishwater to the earth and the cycle of water, evolved out of a shorter piece I originally wrote for High Country News. Its evolution reflects my relationship with the tiny urban creek I have lived alongside and worked to restore over the past two decades. And also deepening belief that spirituality must inform even our most quotidian actions, and especially our relationship with those resources we have come to take for granted, like clean water. 

Give "Hands on Water" a read and leave a comment!

"No Species Is An Island" Featured in Humans & Nature

"No Species Is An Island," my commentary on the ethics of restoring species and the importance of community to all species is featured in the online journal Humans & Nature, and is the top story in the Center's recent newsletter. Here's how it begins:

Out my window, an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly, velvet wings striped with brilliant gold, flutters around a Rocky Mountain Beeplant, probing each pink blossom for nectar. Nearby, a male Lesser Goldfinch, its plumage a similar black-and-gold color scheme, pries tightly packed, fat-rich seeds out of the flower head of a native sunflower, pausing between mouthfuls to call in its sweet, chiming voice.

Give the essay a read, and leave a comment!

Wildscaping Workshop Featured in Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Cheyenne gardener and writer Barb Gorges featured the wildscaping workshop I taught earlier this spring in her Wyoming Tribune Eagle feature article on wildscaping. The print piece isn't available on the web (too bad, because it's a beautiful layout!), but the article is on Barb's garden blog. It's a great introduction to wildscaping for Rocky Mountain gardeners, so give it a read. (Thanks, Barb!)

Finalist for the 2015 Colorado Authors League Awards!


"Thank You for Your Service," my commentary for the Denver Post Sunday Perspective section, is a finalist for the 2015 Colorado Author's League Awards in the Essay category. I'm deeply honored to be chosen as a finalist for these professional writing awards. I'll head to Denver May 8th for the Awards banquet--fingers crossed I'll be coming home with the coveted crystal CAL-winner book! 

Winner of the 2014 Colorado Authors League Award!

My crystal "book" from the Colorado Authors' League

My crystal “book” from the Colorado Authors’ League

I’m thrilled and honored to have won the 2014 Colorado Authors’ League Award for blogs, for a series of essays I wrote on my blog last year. Colorado Authors’ League, the state’s oldest professional writing organization, put on a top-notch awards banquet, complete with an advocacy award for Joyce Meskis, founder and owner of Denver’s beloved Indie bookstore, Tattered Cover. Thank you, CAL, for honoring me, and thanks to my fellow writers for the support and encouragement!

My award even made the local newspaper!. Read the story here.

My accidental creek restoration project is featured…

Ditch Creek, vibrant and sparkling after a decade of restoration work.

In this article about Salida’s H Street rebuild by investigative journalist Cynda Green from the Salida Daily Post.

(P.S. After several public meetings, the City decided to go with a wonderfully green and forward-thinking solution: they’ll use rain gardens in curb bump-outs to capture some of the stormwater runoff instead of letting it all pour into Ditch Creek. Thank you, City of Salida!)

News from Sus[an], an occasional email newsletter, is out….

News from Sus[an], No. 26

If you’re not on my eNewsletter list, click here for the latest edition. If you’d like to be on the list, just send me an email. Thanks!

Susan J. Tweit: Love, Life and the Truest Kind of Courage

Interviewed by Lisa Shirah-Hiers, Story Circle Journal, March 2012 (Story Circle Network is a writing sisterhood for those who write life stories and memoir, dedicated to nurturing authentic women’s voices.)


Here’s an excerpt:

SCJ: In your [blog] post on August 25, 2010, you write “I have this odd sense that Richard and I are being stripped to our essences too, all of our unnecessary habits, behaviors and preoccupations honed by this journey with brain cancer as if to prepare us for—what? Some work ahead that will call on who we are at heart and spirit, perhaps.” Now that more than a year has passed do you have a better sense yet of what that work might be?

ST: I know now that the work ahead when I wrote that post was the work of living whole, healthy lives, living with thoughtful awareness, up until the moment death parted us. Richard was determined to live his days mindfully and in a loving way, to be “present in my moments,” as he put it, for as long as possible. And he was: he was able to continue his sculpture work until a few months before he died; he was able to read and think and talk with friends until a few days before his death; he maintained his sense of humor even when he could no longer talk and had to communicate with his expressive eyebrows and by squeezing his hand or raising one thumb in an ‘okay!’ gesture; he was responsive until his last breath. He went into death as he lived his life: curious, thinking, feeling, aware, wanting to be part of whatever came. To be able to live through his decline and death with openness and love we had to drop our baggage along the way. His practice of approaching death with an open heart was inspiring to all who met or read about him. My work was helping him be that person, reminding him of what he was capable of and giving him the support to do it.
And now—another chapter is unfolding. Richard will always be my love; our life together will always inform who I am. I am exploring what it means to live along for the first time in more than three decades. It is not the role I looked for or wanted, but here it is, and I am open to whatever possibilities this new phase of my life brings…. Read more

Deadly Handouts, Dependent Deer

Op-ed essay for Writers on the Range syndicate, High Country News, March 22, 2012

Here’s how the essay opens:

My neighbor feeds deer. He says he’s actually feeding birds so that his disabled wife and her pre-teen daughter can enjoy watching them. But when he tosses chunks of stale white bread out in his front yard, it’s not just crows, ravens and starlings that come to call. (And why anyone would think it was a good idea to feed any wildlife a diet known to cause diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in humans is a whole other question.) At dusk, the street fills with mule deer, the twin bucks, each with one twisted antler, born to a scrawny mom last year; the runty triplets she had the year before, who still hang together; mom herself, looking pregnant again, one bad eye oozing; and the gimp with one back leg jutting out at an odd angle after what must have been a bad break.

Some might think this neighbor is a rescuer of sorts for giving this motley crew of deer a handout. I think he’s handing them a slow death sentence….