Book Edits and Life – a November Update

[Image: crooked photo taken by my youngest, with my oldest next to me with your daily reminder to follow your dreams.]

[Image: crooked photo taken by my youngest, with my oldest next to me with your daily reminder to follow your dreams.]

Hello friends!

I’ve enjoyed some down time over the last two weeks after sending my agent the current round of edits. Last weekend our internet was out for an entire day so I looked at some of my long-term ‘to-do’s and tackled one that didn’t involve wifi. For a whole day, my girls and I cleaned and reorganized their room (and got some needed quality time together). It was amazing to take a full day away from the internet and reminded me of passages sailing when we had no wifi and just focused on connecting with each other instead.

[Image: the girls’ desktop supplies organized and set up so they can clean up better on their own.]

[Image: the girls’ desktop supplies organized and set up so they can clean up better on their own.]

[Image: Lyra and Cora were both stoked for some time with mom and me too with them!]

[Image: Lyra and Cora were both stoked for some time with mom and me too with them!]

Monthly State of All Things (now Retrospectives)

My first State of All Things post was in June, and inspired by artist Amanda Palmer who writes one to review everything she has done in the past month. I like this process of looking back to record what I’ve accomplished but I’ll be calling them Retrospectives and I’ll be sending them out through my email list. 

If you’d like to subscribe to my email list, the link is here:  

This monthly email will also include some of my faves, like reading recommendations, articles I’ve recently enjoyed, and anything else swirling in my brain.

Here’s the direct link to October’s Retrospective. It was a helluva of a month for accomplishing things. Thank you for your support while I went at it like a fury:

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This week I had the opportunity to meet with writer and professor, Monica Prelle, who is teaching a course on journalism and writing at Northern Michigan University. I talked about getting started as a writer (at age 8!) and the process of writing the Rebel Heart memoir. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak with her and her students.

[Image: Tuesday, November 6th, we voted!]

[Image: Tuesday, November 6th, we voted!]

Our country this week.

My anxiety level was through the roof going into the mid-term election on Tuesday. The good news is that a record breaking number of women won their campaigns. The anticipated blue wave was female and LGBTQ and I was ecstatic to see win after win happen for our sisters and brothers as we turned the House of Representatives blue. Locally, my husband Eric ran for office for the County Water District. He lost by a slim margin. He would have been a tremendous asset to our community but the upside is we get to spend more time with him so that’s a win too.

Two days after the emotional wave of the election, I woke up to news alerts about a massacre in Thousand Oaks, California and the news that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) was in the hospital with broken ribs from a fall. Bleary eyed, I read the notifications and my first thought was, ‘ahh, there it is, the fuckening.’ You know, when things have finally gone well (like the good news from the mid-terms) but you know the other shoe is still going to drop because hello our culture and country today?

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We can celebrate the wins from the election, but we all have much work to do. Mass shootings won’t stop without us working very hard. I don’t know how to keep RBG safe other than to offer any part of my body she may need to stay alive and functioning. And my California is a wild with fires right now. May all those affected survive unscathed. 

Stay safe out there, friends. Let people know you love them. Reach out and hug somebody. Celebrate our wins but know there is much work to be done. One foot in front of the other, on every level. 

All the best,


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Monthly Retrospective | August 2018

I hope you are enjoying a long, relaxing weekend. I’ve been pushing hard on edits of the Rebel Heart book including over this weekend too. Eric took the girls to a local campsite so I could work from home and write and then join them each night for dinner and hanging out by the campfire. He is awesome like that.

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At Sherwin Creek campground with my friend, Staci.

What follows is my monthly All the Things post. This is a recap of everything I did in the previous month in the writing world (and sometimes life too). I’m a patron of several artists myself on Patreon and I love it when they recap since I’m sometimes too busy to follow their posts as they happen. Enjoy and thanks for your support!

Monthly Retrospective | August 2018

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I worked on the media section of the Rebel Heart book. I’ve been working the section of the book that details the media coverage of our family’s rescue at sea in April of 2014 and my reaction to it. This was tough because I had to re-read and re-live all of the negative commentary along with the positive.

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I holed up in a hotel in Bishop, California. Family life took over after the writing I did in the beginning of the month so I wasn’t able to complete the draft of the post-rescue section until Eric and I put our heads together and worked out a plan for me to go and write in solitude at a hotel in Bishop, a town an hour south of us for a long weekend.

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I celebrated the year anniversary of finishing the first full draft of the Rebel Heart book. And I wrote this post about that year marker and the new phase of life that comes with both of my kids being in school:

I’m staring at my screen because I’m sifting through waves of simultaneous expressions of joy at the freedom that time with my children gone from the home each day will give me and sorrow knowing that time is the enemy of us all. That my girls are growing before my very eyes. I am split between the deep desire to express myself through writing, alone, and to be present for my children in every way I can. The truth is I cannot completely do both so I do the best I can and hope it’s enough for them and for me.

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My review of Kim Brook’s book, Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear was timely, not only in relation to the section of the book dealing with the media and social media reactions to our rescue, but also with the new phase of parenting we are entering in as our kids are older and in school. I loved her book. You can read my review here and buy a copy of her book here.

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I spent a week writing at Wisdom Ridge Ranch. My agent got her feedback of the media section back to me in about a week and I was eager to start working on her comments. My friend, Amy Buck, who owns Wisdom Ridge Ranch offered to let me stay at her place while she was away so I had time to focus on the work.

While I was there I also sent in my application to the Sustainable Arts Foundation’s yearly award. The award goes to 20 artists and writers who have at least one child under the age of 18 and are actively creating work. Competition is steep, with over 3,000 applications a year, so fingers crossed I make it. They announce winners November 15th. Did you apply too? If you also applied, let me know. Would love to connect with fellow artists and parents.

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Life Stuff: The girls started school and graduated to making their own lunches. We did a series of competitions over the summer to get them prepped for making their own lunches. You can watch them here: part one, part two, part three.

Thanks for being with me on this writing journey. I love sharing my writing and my life with you.

All the best,



{ The concept of a State of All Things was inspired by artist Amanda Palmer. )

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Monthly Retrospective | July 2018

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I’m so happy that it’s August 1st. July is always a buckle-up-and-hold-on kind of month and this year was no exception. In the spirit of how this month went, I’m going to jump right into the All the Things from July and re-hash what went down.

All the Things | July 2018

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I Signed with a Literary Agent, well, two actually! I’m jumping out of chronological order to go right for the big news. If you missed my post here or on social media, I signed with agents Aemilia Phillips and David Patterson of Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. This was by far the biggest news of the month and probably my whole year. Signing with Aemilia and David gets me that much closer to publication and finally telling my story, our story, THE story of how Eric and I met, decided to take our family sailing, and what happened out on the Pacific Ocean aboard our boat, Rebel Heart.

Many of you have asked what signing with an agent means, as in, ‘what does an agent do to get a book published?’ I have a post coming for you on those next steps and the important role a literary agent plays in getting a book into your hands to finally read.

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I Spent the Fourth of July Writing. In early July I drove down to San Diego for four days of uninterrupted writing time. My friends Alex and Ryan offered me their home while they were traveling in Europe so while America was watching fireworks I was working on edit requests to the Rebel Heart manuscript sent by my agent.

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While in San Diego I got a chance to hang out with writers Jean Guerrero and Lizz Huerta. We are all represented by Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency so we refer to ourselves as ‘agency sisters.’ Jean’s book, Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, just came out in July.

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I participated in Camp Nanowrimo. For the month of July I joined seven other women in a virtual online cabin as we each set and worked toward different writing goals. We were a group of poets, fiction writers, non-fiction & memoir writers, and playwrights too. My goal was to work for 40 hours on manuscript edits in the month of July. I logged 15 hours instead but even that was an achievement in a month as busy as this July was. I celebrated those hours because the purpose of all Nanowrimo events is to just keep putting one metaphoric foot in front of another when it comes to writing.

I hosted author Amy Ferris at a Writing Workshop in Mammoth Lakes. July 14 & 15th I held the second annual Amy Ferris Writing Workshop in Mammoth Lakes, California. I wrote with 12 amazing women for two full days and really poured my guts out onto paper. Check out this post I wrote for a feel of what to expect at one of Amy’s workshops.


Life Stuff: C turned eight. Eric turned forty. In the middle of a whole lot of writing and forward progress on the Rebel Heart book, my oldest daughter, C, turned eight and my husband, Eric, had his fortieth birthday.

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Thanks for being with me on this writing journey. I love sharing my writing and my life with you.

All the best,


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