Welcome and thank you for dropping by. I'm an essayist, memoirist, a contributor to fifteen books, the author of two memoirs, and essays in numerous publications. 

For me, writing is a way of reaching out to others, to people I don't know. I sit alone, in silence, but all that time I’m out there, connecting with whoever reads my words. My stories illuminate our humanity, remind us to be open, to connect, to hope, to question—or bring change. 

My blog | journal at Earth and the Great Sea, is my open field to think out loud, find inspiration, tell stories, and share updates. Within my collection of Essays and Stories archived here, some are serious/substantial, and are balanced with lighter topics. Most of all, my writing is timeless (vs timely).

We Who Walk the Seven Ways: A Memoir

We Who Walk the Seven Ways is Terra Trevor’s memoir about seeking healing and finding belonging. After she endured a difficult loss, a circle of Native women elder friends embraced and guided Trevor (Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca, and German) through the seven cycles of life in Indigenous ways. Over three decades, these women lifted her from grief, instructed her in living, and showed her how to age from youth into beauty. 

With tender honesty, Trevor explores how the end is always a beginning. Her reflections on the deep power of women’s friendship, losing a child, reconciling complicated roots, and finding richness in every stage of life show that being an American Indian with a complex lineage is not about being part something, but about being part of something.

University of Nebraska Press, May 2023 

Race, Ethnicity and My Face

As a woman of Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca, German descent, I came of age understanding that I'm not totally Native nor am I totally white. I'm a border woman dwelling between the boundaries. 

I have light skin, light enough that some people think I’m a white person. My dad, a Native man, and my mother, a white woman, had me when they were teenagers in 1953. I grew up in Compton, California, a mixed race suburb of Los Angeles. The family next door was Bolivian and they loved me like a daughter. My best friend was Japanese and Mexican. Still, when I was 10 years-old, my dad sat me down to have “the talk” with me about race. He told me about how to navigate the streets, about how to stay safe. He wanted to make sure I understood that in order to be accepted by certain white people it mattered who your friends were. 

By that point, however, I already knew. 


Writers Consider Native American Identity and Cultural Belonging

Edited by Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez 

I'm honored to have my work included.
Unpapered is a collection of personal narratives by Indigenous writers exploring the meaning and limits of Native American identity beyond its legal margins. Native heritage is neither simple nor always clearly documented, and citizenship is a legal and political matter of sovereign nations determined by such criteria as blood quantum, tribal rolls, or community involvement. Those who claim a Native cultural identity often have family stories of tenuous ties dating back several generations. Given that tribal enrollment was part of a string of government programs and agreements calculated to quantify and dismiss Native populations, many writers who identify culturally and are recognized as Native Americans do not hold tribal citizenship. 
With essays by Trevino Brings Plenty, Deborah Miranda, Steve Russell, and Kimberly Wieser, among others, Unpapered charts how current exclusionary tactics began as a response to “pretendians”—non-indigenous people assuming a Native identity for job benefits—and have expanded to an intense patrolling of identity that divides Native communities and has resulted in attacks on peoples’ professional, spiritual, emotional, and physical states. An essential addition to Native discourse, Unpapered shows how social and political ideologies have created barriers for Native people truthfully claiming identities while simultaneously upholding stereotypes.

At Home on the Mountain

A soft mist fell this morning, the sky looks silver-blue in this light, and the wind has cleared. The redwood trees are still, nothing is moving across the mountain. 

Dancing to Remember

I am gathered with friends and family under a bead blue California sky. Powwow weekend. Santa Ynez Chumash Inter-Tribal. My shawl is folded over my arm. I listen to the wind, spilling through the tree leaves. 

Time merges with timelessness. Memories circle and carry me to a day forty years ago, when I stood on this good land, near the oak tree for the first time, with my young children gathered about. The same tree I am standing under today. 

I lean my back against this oak. This tree, giver of life. She has raised a community with song, dance and prayer. We return to this land, to this tree, in October every year. Laughter, flirting and romance in lives young and old take place all around her. 

She stands sentry. Her autumn softened leaves, swept up from a cool mountain breeze, fall gently on American Indian fathers holding sleeping babies. Mothers trading stories, their shiny cut beads reflecting light while braiding their children’s hair, with feathers in the colors of the earth, trailing. 

There were difficult times too for this oak tree, when she witnessed wild fires raging, drought years with dust rising against the clear sky. The times when her branches sheltered human arguments and angry outbursts, but mostly she is surrounded by love and caring. 

I stand high upon a flat rock, my eyes roaming, taking in the day, the years. Filling my lungs with sweet fragrances of the damp Mother Earth. Feeling my body grow light, like the feathers of the red tail hawk touching the soft clouds. 

For the record I am not California Indian. I am an Indian born in California, mixedblood Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca, and for forty-three years I lived in an area that makes up the traditional Chumash homeland. I spent those years walking gently, a guest on this good land and I hold the culture, traditions and history of the Chumash people in my heart. For my Chumash friends this is their landscape of time. 

I remember the words of my aunties and my grandmothers, about how each person is a connection to history and when we gather around the area and form a circle around the drums, singers and dancers we are all connected, and it's our way of saying that American Indian people are still here. This is our celebration of life past, present and future. 

Tomol Evening was first appeared in News from Native California, a quarterly magazine devoted to California's Indian peoples published by Heyday Books. This essay also appears in Terra Trevor's new memoir We Who Walk the Seven Ways.

Copyright © Terra Trevor. All rights reserved. 

Follow my inner and outer travels as I stumble along with simple life, simplicity, and journey moderately minimal

While growing up in a working class neighborhood in southeast Los Angeles, I had a small amount of clothing, and yet I never felt lacking. I was dirt poor as a young adult, but I always felt that the few outfits I had looked great on me, and I was satisfied. My early adult years were not focused on an overabundance of clothes or an excess of anything materialistic, but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn. Then one morning I reached my limit and made a commitment to change my ways. I began charting a plan and cleaned out my closet.
The extra space on my side of the closet (along with the small amount of laundry I now generated) caught my husband's attention. He cleaned out his side of the closet, and discovered he had more clothes than I did. Then he sorted through his collections of things-he-thought-he-might-need (but never did) in the garage and in our gardening shed. We edited each room, closet and cupboard and came to the realization that much of what we had collected and saved over the years was no longer needed. We gave away the things we never used. But we did not get rid of everything unnecessary all at once. It happened in stages. We took it one room at a time. With a much smaller wardrobe, along with less belongings everywhere within our home, my busyness stopped. The fragments of my life became still. I began to connect with the part of me that craves simplicity. 

When I first began publishing my minimal-ish wardrobe stories I was greatly surprised to gain a large readership from all over the world, and I greatly appreciate the support. It has helped me stay focused and rooted to my goals. But I’m not a clothing or minimalist fashion blogger. I’m a writer with a clothing and clutter problem that needed to be solved. The good news is I’ve reached success! Yet I don’t want to walk away believing I’m forever cured. I’ve come to think of maintaining a lean wardrobe and a simpler lifestyle in a manner similar to how I approach exercise, a healthful diet, and writing—I must constantly stay in training, on the ball, alert, remind myself to stay moderately minimal, and practice the process. 

Take A Stand: Art Against Hate

I'm honored to have my work included.

Take a Stand: Art Against Hate
A Raven Chronicles Anthology

“The poems and stories in this anthology offer necessary anecdotes against hate. They are inscription, instruction, witness, warning, remedy, solution, even solace. This anthology is relief.” 
 —Diane Glancy 
Winner of an Amerian Book Award and the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry 

“We can regard Take a Stand: Art Against Hate as a print-form peace march, an ongoing campaign for justice for all of the struggles embodied in these writings and depicted in the artwork included here.” 
 —Carolyne Wright
co-editor of Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace

Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, contains poems, stories and images from 117 writers, 53 artists, with 69 illustrations, divided into five fluid and intersecting sections: LegaciesWe Are HereWhy?Evidence, and Resistance. We begin with Legacies because the current increased climate of hate in this country didn’t begin with the 2016 election, and to find its roots we must look to U.S. history.

This Wilderness in My Blood

"The idea of the contented hermit who lives close to nature, cultivates his garden and his bees, is trusted by animals and loves all of creation, is some kind of archetype. We think we could be like that ourselves if somehow things were different." —Isabell Colgate

And then along came Covid, and suddenly everything was different. Calling me in simple ways. Sunrise. Black coffee in my favorite mug. Making a pot of soup with late season vegetables. Searching the deep autumn garden and finding a few red serrano peppers clinging to spent vines. Sunset and moonlight with owl sounds pressing against the night. I begin watching an Orb-weaver spider, growing bigger each day, and I tuned to her rhythm. 
At first it was hard to take it all in, this close to nature living was all so new, and then I emerged and it became my way of being. And I carry forth crowned by the natural world, with her ritual convenings, her shared generosities.