Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



Major Advisor

Brady Udall

Second Advisor

Anthony Doerr

Third Advisor

Steven Olsen-Smith


The Next Steps are Only Breathing is a novel set in Central Idaho and Nevada. The work centers around Candy Bear, a lot lizard, or truck stop prostitute. The novel opens with Candy Bear at rock bottom, and subsequent chapters explore her life story, a story of family, home, and extreme loss, paralleled with her living within and rising from the tragic circumstances in which she finds herself trapped. A note on the figures. These are part of an ongoing collaborative project, and will include illustrations. I have been using stock images from the web as place holders, these have been removed to avoid any issues of copyright.