something special going on


There is something special going on in Seattle right now and it's all about memoir.  


  1. 1.
    a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources.

  2. 2.
    an essay on a learned subject.

 I have been able to either take a class, listen to a reading, or participate in a workshop with each of these authors of my favorite books.  Besides really admiring these ladies as writers, I think they are fabulously smart, crazy inspiring and generous in the way they write and share with the world.  The fact that I have had the chance to learn from them in such accessible ways is something special. 

I have become a memoir junky.  It's all I read.  The season of needing a good book with you on the beach or in a hammock is upon is!  Here's my list of favorite memoirs in four categories: Mothering, Food & Gardening, Finding Yourself, and What I Want to Read.

A Life's Work by Rachel Cusk
Bloom by Kelle Hampton; photography included on the surprise birth of her daughter with Down Syndrome
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Operating Instructions, Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott
Planting Dandelions by Kyran Pittman

Food & Gardening:
Delancey and A Homemade Life both by Molly Wizenberg
Farm City and Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild (out in June 2014)
both by Novella Carpenter

Barnheart by Jenna Woginrich

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Finding Yourself:
Wild by Cheryl Strayed 
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Writing Is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor 
Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Bird by Bird Anne Lamott

What I Want to read: 
I'm down Mishna Wolff 
"growing up in a poor black neighborhood with a single father, a white man who truly believed he was black."

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala 
"Her family—parents, husband, sons—were swept away by a tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004, only Sonali survived to tell their tale."

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen 
"An account of her two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary."

The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
"A side-splitting series of short commentaries on everything from creative discipline to a way you would never think about fixing your email situation."

With all this reading and surrounding inspiration, I have decided to leap right in.  I recently accepted a gig as a monthly contributor to The Voice at
"Sometimes, as parents, the most helpful thing is to hear we're not alone.  Stories about the most heartwarming highs of parenting (and the most chaotic, difficult lows) connect us as a parenting community.  Read about parents just like you navigating everyday tough spots and totally amazing triumphs, and get inspired and comforted by their journeys."

My articles will be about how helpful self portraiture has been for me while dealing with anxiety and depression (and the effects that has on my marriage.)  Putting myself instead of my kids in front of the lens has changed my perspective, be less afraid of my own feelings, as well as express my mood.  I'll jokingly call it:

The (anxious and depressed) Mother's Guide to Healing through Self-portraiture 

It feels risky and exciting to be putting it all out there and taking the plunge with my photos and very personal subject matter.  I might fall (but hopefully not too far) and if I do, the support I feel in the writing community in Seattle is incredible.  It is so supportive in fact that I feel I could actually write my own book and I am trying to do that very thing.  In my current class with Claire Dederer, she likes to stress the idea that writing memoir is one of the most generous things you can do, as well as humiliating.

I'm pretty into that.  You may not see me in this space much anymore, but I hope to swing by here with some news and pics every two weeks.  This blog started it all a little over a year ago.   I am eternally grateful for those of you that visit here and I Thank You.  See what I mean about supportive?  Wish me luck!


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  2. You should check out The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It's one of my FAVORITE memoirs. Congrats on the new gig. So very exciting and well deserved.

  3. I cannot WAIT to read your book. But only if it's been personally signed by the author, of course ...

  4. I cannot WAIT to read your book. But only if it's been autographed by the author, of course ... ;-)