My life has been bookended by two periods rooted in community and home, with volumes of movement in between. I spent my first seventeen years in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and the past seventeen years on the shores of San Francisco Bay.
My family—with the definition of “family” shifting with the era—has always traveled, always been drawn overseas. My parents settled in Spain for the final twenty years of their lives. My sister lived in Austria, Germany, and France before settling in Amman, Jordan. From my late teens through my late thirties I traveled widely on five continents, covered 40,000 ocean miles under sail, and lived in Spain, Portugal, France, Côte d’Ivoire, and Bulgaria.
Since childhood, I’ve made sense of my world by shaping it into words. I studied writing and literature at UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies. My first memoir—Sonnet: One Woman’s Voyage from Maryland to Greece (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / North Point Press)—was favorably reviewed by Kirkus Reviews (“Bird plays the nautical lexicon as if it were a stringed instrument”), the New Yorker (“Perhaps because wind and language are both such transporting—and fickle—elements, it’s not surprising that good sailors often make good writers”), the Smithsonian (“Bird can sketch an immense seascape with a few strokes”), the Christian Science Monitor, the Oakland Tribune, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Newsday, and others. My articles have appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sail, and Sailing; I’ve also published instructional manuals, short fiction, and poetry.
I make my living as a freelance editor and manuscript consultant, helping other authors write better books. I share my home with two cats and a dog, and my life—often long distance—with people I care about deeply.