Selected Works

In Progress
A Tale of Love, Wonder, and Footwork
"Shepherd embraces family, friends, and neighborhood for a thoroughly satisfying story" —Publishers Weekly
Edited Collections
"Fourteen excellent essays by some of our best writers"  —Austin American-Statesman
Narrative Nonfiction
This is what happens when they rip up the streets of your neighborhood.

Selected Articles and Essays

        The story of what happens when a guy buys his gal a bra.

        I wrote this when I started discovering that half the California native plants
        I encountered on my daily walks paid eponymous tribute to someone named
        David Douglas. Think Doug fir. California Wild illustrated the piece beautifully
        —and botched the editing badly; to see their version, be patient while it loads.

        What's to be learned from 518 ologies practiced by 304 ologies?

        Anthologized in:
            Common Culture, M. Petracca & M. Soprapure (eds.), 2001
            Mirror on America, J.T. Mims & E.M. Nollen (eds.), 2003

        Best of Show, non-daily print
        Winner, Best Feature Story, non-daily print
            San Diego Press Club Journalism Awards, 1998

        Profile of piano tuner Bud Fisher; includes the best single word
        play in all my work.

        A woman I knew introduced me to a man she knew who had lost both
        testicles to cancer. He took a huge, once-a-month dose of testosterone as
        replacement therapy and this put him on his very own behavioral cycle—
        and gave me the chance to explore the many effects of this fascinating hormone.

        My first publication. Winner of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's national
        Communication Award, the Reader republished the piece twenty-six
        years later—obsolete information and all.

Here's a collection of pieces I've written about
violins and violin making.

        Young man makes a fortune on the internet. Becomes a philanthropist, develops
        an interest in violins, tries his hand as a luthier, sells a fiddle to a Dixie Chick,
        commissions an orchestra's worth of new instruments from the world's finest
        contemporary makers. And you can read all about it.

        Five years before violin maker Joe Curtin won his MacArthur Award,
        I visited and interviewed him in his Ann Arbor workshop as part of the
        background for this story. The published magazine piece contains some lush
        photographic work; but it takes a while to load and the editing is abominable.

        How one man with an obsession helped put American violin makers on the map.

        American luthiers—now making some of the best violins the world
        has ever seen—exhibit their wares.

        First Place, Arts and Entertainment Writing, non-daily print
            San Diego Press Club Journalism Awards, 1998

Notes From A Life That Might Have Been. Scientific, peer-reviewed papers of which I'm the principal author.