Recently, I had an interesting exchange with a writer friend of mine who lives in a progressive bubble in the Pacific Northwest.
She was remarking on how accepting everyone is now of the LGBTQ+ community.
"They even paint the streets with rainbows during Pride!" She said of her hometown.
I get why she felt that way. I used to feel that way too, curled up in my liberal bubble in the northeast, comfortable in my privilege living as a straight, white woman.
I gently reminded my friend about what's happening in Florida and many other states.
About the fact that Target pulled Pride garb from its shelves after a protest.
About the fact that we are living in two Americas—one that embraces and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community—and another that wants to annihilate it.
Queer folx need to raise their voices and write their stories. These stories matter, y'all. Representation matters.
That's why during Pride Month, I'm centering the stories of queer writers who...
Years ago, an old friend of mine said to me in her inimitable Southern drawl: "I needed to be hit over the head with a 2x4 to get the message."
As a native New Yorker and someone who barely knew what a 2x4 was, those weren't words I would have used, but I knew what she meant.
I've been known to ignore signs from the universe for umm ... decades?!
Signs that I was gay (really, oh so gay).
That I was a writer.
That I could use my natural gifts as an editor to work with other writers.
Instead, I typically chose the safer, easier-in-the-moment path.
In my 50s, I finally listened to the signs from the universe, which led me to the very different life I am leading today—as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a first-time dog parent (!), the wife of Wendy, and a book coach dedicated to helping queer folx raise their voices,...
Years ago, when I was in the throes of hands-on parenting, my nightstand was piled high with parenting books.
One of those books was GOOD FAMILIES DON'T JUST HAPPEN.
As I recall, the author was the mother of TEN SONS (and no daughters) and her book described the intentionality with which she and her husband approached child-rearing and what made their family work.
Putting aside the astonishing amount of testosterone in that household, the central point of the book is a good one (an aside for writers: note how perfectly the title communicates the point of the book!).
Good families don't just happen. They require intentionality, commitment, consistency, support, and a plan—and the ability to pivot when the plan isn't working.
Those 80%+ of Americans who say they want to write a book "some day"—most of them, I reckon, would like...
My 87-year-old mom fell eleven weeks ago and the stress hasn't let up since. Beth, my sister and only sibling, has shouldered most of the load.
ER visits. Hospital stays. Rehab. Managing caregivers and medication. Grocery shopping. Phone calls at all hours from health care professionals and our mother. I've done what I can from long-distance—primarily dealing with insurance companies and being a safe place for my sister to vent.
We've never had to deal with a situation like this before. Our mom was the caregiver for our dad, who died eleven years ago at age 73 after living with Parkinson's disease for 22 years. Now we're the ones on the front lines.
We're exhausted. Angry. Frustrated.
And many days we feel alone—and hopeless.
We're grasping at straws, searching for help, information—something to help us get through this.
I'm nearing the home stretch with my revision of GRAVEYARD OF SAFE CHOICES, my later in life, coming out memoir, which will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2023!
I'm celebrating my good fortune and hard work!
But something less pleasant is also happening as I near the end of this journey.
Your writing sucks.
You are really going to expose ALL this to the world?
Sure, you got a book deal but no one's going to buy your book except for your family and close friends. Because they have to.
You spent how many years of your life on what?
I come back to my WHY.
WHY am I writing this story in the first place? Why THIS story? Why me? Why now?
The same questions I ask my memoir clients.
Like many memoir writers, I started writing my story because I felt like I had no other choice. I started writing first for ME—to make sense of a very confusing and...
Last week I wrote about how National Novel Writing Month 2012 (NANOWRIMO) changed my life.
It can change yours too!
No, I didn't write a novel or a memoir in 30 days—in fact I ended up with a tangle of 50,000 words that were largely a stream of consciousness (see below for how you can avoid the same).
Most of the LGBTQ+ folx & allies I work with have never written a book before, let alone taken on the challenge of writing a memoir.
NANOWRIMO is a great place to start.
Block out time on your calendar every day to write and set a daily goal. 50,000 words divided by 30=1,667 words a day. The equivalent of 6 to 7 pages double-spaced every day.
If you know...
Writers go on a hero’s journey when they make the decision to get their story out of their heads and onto the page.
Queer writers go on a Queero’s Journey!
Just fill out the details below and you'll be good to go. Please note, your information is safe with me, and welcome!