I have always wanted to be a writer, and the internet has helped me find my voice and find an audience. I am a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and a graduate of the Clarion West workshop for writers of speculative fiction.

When I was in graduate school for neuroscience I used to joke that I hoped my papers were science fact and not science fiction. I have been blogging at violinist.com for almost 12 years, and here at A Thousand Finds for three and a half. I write about music, about geocaching, and I write near-future science fiction.

My interests in the outdoors and in the future combined for me to write climate fiction, or “cli-fi” before I knew it was a thing. I also write about the relationship between the human brain, mind, and heart.

AlcottsImaginaryHeroesCoverMy most recent publication is an essay on Beth and Jo March called “Finding the Palace Beautiful,” appearing in Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes, edited by Merry Gordon and Marnae Kelley. This anthology was released for the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little WomenCAEmergingWritersNonFiction

I was invited to submit to another anthology, called California’s Emerging Writers, from Z Publishing. My essay “Already? Why I don’t like Daylight Saving Time Anymore,” arguing for Standard Time was included in this work in the spring of 2018.


And my first fictional publications were not science fiction stories, but geocaching stories in volumes 1 and 2 of Geocaching GPS, edited by Kimberly Eldredge of New Frontier Books. Volume 1, Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure, & Connection, was launched on May 23, 2015, at Geowoodstock XIII, an international geocaching conference. It is available on Amazon.com as a paperback and a Kindle edition. My local paper, the Los Altos Town Crier, published a short announcement on it too: “Mountain View Author Published in New ‘Geocaching’ Anthology.”  Volume 2, Great Personal Stories of Geocaching Firsts was launched the following year in 2016.


Since I stopped working in research a few years ago, I have won NaNoWriMo three times. “Winning” NaNoWriMo means that you have put 50,000 words of a novel on paper (or into pixels) during the month of November. It doesn’t say anything about the quality of those words. (But, I am coming to realize, that’s part of its charm.)

The first time I won, I was inspired by my daughter, then in 7th grade, who managed 50,000 words in the Young Writers’ Program with the help of her English teacher. The second time, in 2014, I ended up writing half of those words in the last week. I wouldn’t recommend this.


The third time, in 2015, I kept closer to the recommended pace but still finished in the middle of the last day.

My three NaNo novels are called Hallie’s Cache, Sunrise on West Lake, and Before the Darkness. They will each have their own pages here.

HalliesCacheNaNoHallie’s Cache is science fiction, set in the year 2074. I’ve decided, without any evidence, that they still geocache in 2074. In space. I wrote the first full draft of this novel for 2012’s NaNoWriMo, and I got an idea of how to end it by thinking about the cover.

Sunrise on West Lake is fantasy with music, set on another world. So far, research for this novel has involved cave cities and the glass harmonica.

Illustration of “Before the Darkness,” the short story version, in Infinity Magazine. Artist: Alicia Nowicki

Before the Darkness is a novelization of a short story that I wrote in college. At the time, many people told me that it should be a novel, but I really had no idea how to do that, and put the story aside for years. Then, in 2015 I thought, “if not now, when?” and decided to make it this year’s NaNoWriMo project. The most interesting decision I made was to set it in the same time period and future universe as Hallie’s Cache. Climate change hadn’t even been on my radar screen when I first wrote the story, but the changes and additions necessary to make everything fit made the story stronger and more interesting. It is set in California, in the Pacific Federation. I’m looking forward to exploring this world much more in the future!


Visit my Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/author/klallendoerfer


9 thoughts on “Writing”

  1. Congrats to you for competing in and winning NaNoWriMo. Double congrats in developing those into novels. I’ve won NaNoWriMo a couple of times but only once a novel resulted. I hope to change that this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Hallie’s Cache” is closer to being in shape for someone to be able to read it. But it needs editing. I submitted it to a critique workshop last year and the feedback I received on the opening was a little rough, but essentially correct. “Sunrise” has a lot of filler from having written it so fast in the last week. I’m planning to visit Camp NaNoWriMo in July to do some editing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand it being rough. I am still in the learning stage myself so that gives me a little freedom. I’m crafting novels with no expectation of “getting it right” or “hitting it big” – at least yet. I’m trying my hand at different genres. Some of which have captured my interest and some I have found that I do not enjoy. I intend to participate in the full process on NaNoWriMo this year.

        I will not be quitting my job to be a professional writer anytime soon. However, I am having a blast learning the different aspects of writing.

        Good luck and keep writing. I’d like to see Hallie’s Cache on the (digital) shelf one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m definitely not quitting to become a professional writer anytime soon, either :). But I do feel like I have something to express, and writing is the right medium in which to say it. That’s why I write. That and sometimes the characters don’t leave me alone until I put them down on paper (or pixels).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is funny. I just typed almost the same thing on my blog seconds ago. I have story lines for characters that are in the universe of but not actually in my first book. I’m going to concur to build their works and see what happens.

        Liked by 1 person

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