The Novel

What If, Can Be is a fictional work in progress about folks in a small community in an Oregon beach town who are slowly making their way towards resilient economic and environmental sustainability at the same time as they growing a spiritual consciousness worthy of a new age.

Manifesting Together (2005)

I have lived in such a community with my sons and my husband Tom Bender since the late 1970’s.  In fact, this process – making it real – has long been my life work. Thus you will also find information and links on the community page of this website for connecting into real life examples.


For the novelizaiton, I started by dividing myself into several pieces – the painter, community organizer, recycling/reuse maven, parent, yogi, tantrika, herbalist, and priestess. Soon those roles began to blur. The characters morphed into even more parts, truly taking on lives of their own and sometimes letting me know in no uncertain terms what they wanted….

Thus while locals will recognize some of the events, organizations and places that appear, the characters are truly fictional composites… With one exception: the minor character Seth is based on a real person now passed on who demanded from his new realm to be in this story pretty much as he was in real life. I kept trying to take him out, yet finally felt compelled to follow his directive. So here’s to Three-Fingered Ron Hintz who helped make one aspect of this real.

For a while I was posting chunks of this work on this website as they became honed. It was a crazy quilt of characters and adventures that I wanted to have pull the readers along on the adventure with me. I was thinking of Louisa May Alcott and Charles Dickens whose 19th century novels appeared serialized in the newspaper.

But it has all taken longer than I thought it would – life has intervened to slow the process down. Plus I keep revising what I have and wanting to repost it, something those early writers didn’t have the luxury of doing once their work had appeared.

And now I’m reworking the novel as a whole…. So what you have here is still a crazy quilt, but it’s more teasers of the whole that is still to come….

Other examples of my writing and artwork, as well as my community work, can be found at

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