Memoirs of influence including Citizen by Claudia Rankine, The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit, and Safekeeping by Abigail Thomas.

Under the influence

Readers are influenced by the books they love, and writers doubly so: not only do we think for months or years about our favorite books, we refer to them, consciously or unconsciously, when we write. While I worked on my memoir California Calling, I read and referred to a stack of books that deeply informed how I approached my writing. Some of these books influenced … Continue reading Under the influence

Exploring the impact of ‘domestic’ writing on the mother artist

I am so overwhelmed to have this critical essay published in the incredible journal Literary Mama. It explores how reading poet Bernadette Mayer’s book-length epic poem, Midwinter Day, which she wrote in a single day on December 22, 1978, helped me move past my reluctance to write about my domestic realm. Read the piece here.   Continue reading Exploring the impact of ‘domestic’ writing on the mother artist

On mother artists: an interview with playwright Emily Conbere

The playwright, Emily Conbere. The dramatic changes motherhood imposes onto one’s life tend to get all the attention. But partnership and marriage can do a number on you, too. And it’s those intimate, umbral spaces of marriage that Seattle playwright Emily Conbere mines in her psychological thriller, Knocking Bird, now playing at West Lenin. I became interested in Conbere’s work when I learned that not only … Continue reading On mother artists: an interview with playwright Emily Conbere

8 Winter/Spring 2014 Writing Contests in Memoir/Creative NF

I usually have to force myself to submit to contests, but a few of the times I have, great things have happened. Part of the dread of course stems from needing something to submit. But the other part is all the legwork to figure out what contests apply to your genre, what the deadlines and submission guidelines are, etc. Here’s a list of eight nine upcoming … Continue reading 8 Winter/Spring 2014 Writing Contests in Memoir/Creative NF

How to Pitch an Editor, Not Piss Her Off

I’ll be teaching a session with this nearly-rude title at an amazing writer retreat this June at Doe Bay put on by my dear friend and author Theo Pauline Nestor. From the description: The Doe Bay Work-On-That-Book Writers’ Retreat will be four days in the stunning beauty of Orcas Island at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat. During those four days, you will have the opportunity … Continue reading How to Pitch an Editor, Not Piss Her Off

Write Fear

Today was an overwhelming day, because I had the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the most inspiring people I have met. As part of my  job as the managing editor of a parenting magazine, I help honor about a dozen changemakers for our annual Superheroes issue. Today, I met many of the upcoming honorees, all of whom have done,  in their given field, … Continue reading Write Fear