As a child growing up in New York City, I played with a basket of plastic animals instead of human dolls. Much later, I received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and after about a decade in academia I decided to more or less fulfill the foreshadowing inherent in my dissertation acknowledgments, where I write that I’m not sure whether or not to thank John J. McCarthy for being such a good advisor “since I probably could have been a professional manatee keeper by now.”

I never did get to work with manatees, but after quitting my tenured job to take a temporary position as a small mammal keeper, I spent a while roaming the animal collections of the Washington/Baltimore corridor caring for mostly frogs and reptiles. I also wrote a column about pets and animals for the Associated Press.

After all those years slaving over animals and writing about how great they are, my revenge was the blog and book Animals Behaving Badly. It's shelved under Humor but has a twenty-five page long bibliography. It's the truth!

In a more serious vein, I've written for newspapers, magazines and websites on a variety of topics including home and garden, pets and animals, food, travel, and all things Japanese. You can check out samples at the links at the top of the page.

Email me: linda (at)


Me on Twitter: wombatarama






This website is hosted on; I deleted their logo and don't know how to get it back. The banner was made by my friend Paul McCrae and features my pug Lilly. I wanted more animals, but I couldn't afford to hire them so the costume was the best we could do for now.