Writing is not my first gig.
I’ve also worked as a coffee barista, radio advertising salesperson,
and television producer, among other jobs. My resume reads like a ransom note, yet this assortment of life experiences has propelled me toward my big passion, the telling and coaxing of stories.
I got hooked on writing fiction while I was producing television because I craved another outlet to tell the stories I was gathering. In order to learn the craft, I earned an MA in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. Regardless of the form or the subject matter, I typically write about mending ruptures of the soul and the freedom that accompanies such healing.
In addition to writing, my grand passion is helping others find and tune their narrative voices. I’ve taught creative writing at the George Washington University, the New Directions Writing Program, and the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing Program, where I received the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2004, I founded Yeah Write, a writing coaching business which has morphed into the Glen Echo Workshops, a community of writers that I treasure. Each month, thirty or so scribes gather to dazzle one another and me with their memoir, poetry, and fiction. In the summer, I teach rising high school seniors how to write college essays. One of my biggest joys in life is helping students identify their superpowers and tell their stories, in their own voices.
I love to share my passion for storytelling and have spoken about my books and the creative process at more than 160 venues, including book stores, classrooms, synagogues, and myriad book groups. I’ve also had the chance to interview some of my literary heroes like Ann Lamott and T.C. Boyle.
“When we have the courage to walk into our story, we get to write the ending." -Brené Brown
I grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and have never lived more than a mile from a body of water, be it Lake Michigan, the Pacific Ocean, and now the Potomac River. My third novel, Swimming with Ghosts, is set at a community pool during the summer the famous derecho pummeled the Washington, DC area. I live in Glen Echo, Maryland, not too far from such a swimming hole.