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. My writing has since appeared in Slate, The Washington Post, Lithub, Tablet, The Forward, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and numerous other publications. My short fiction has won some nice awards, including a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and my debut novel, Washing the Dead, was included in Book Riot’s list of 100 must-read books about women and religion. 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 my own writing, I help others find and tune their narrative voices. I’ve taught creative writing at The Johns Hopkins MA in Writing Program, the George Washington University, and the New Directions Writing Program. I also founded the Glen Echo Workshop where I teach a college essay writing class and lead a monthly multi-genre writing group.
I love to share my passion for stortelling 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, takes place in a community pool during the swim season the summer of the famous D.C. area derecho. I live in Glen Echo, Maryland, not too far from that very swimming hole.