A Year of Yes: My storytelling show about NYC’s tattoo ban

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 12.30.08 AMI became enamored with tattoos and tattoo history a few years ago when a friend of mine found getting a tattoo as a way to give meaning to a grave injury. Then a few months ago, I learned that tattooing had been illegal in New York City, the city that gave rise to tattoo culture in the U.S., for nearly 4 decades in recent history. The more I learned about this prohibition of ink, the more fascinated I became with the reasons behind it and the characters who played a part in it.

I considered making it a part of my secret history storytelling show,  New York City’s Secrets & Lies, at Caveat. However, the more I learned, the more I realized that the topic was too big to be a segment of a show. The complex history and all of the people involved needed and deserved a standalone show.

The idea of doing this show, coupled with flash tattooing, just wouldn’t leave me alone. So I reached out to Caveat with an email titled “Is this a crazy idea? Tattoos…” Ironically, one of the co-founders of Caveat had just gotten a tattoo and was talking about the ban with her tattoo artist the day I sent the email. And so we were off to the logistical races to make this event happen.

And it’s happening with an incredible dream lineup of historians and artists who have lived in the swirl of this chapter of NYC history, along with flash tattooing at Caveat, on Sunday night, September 30th. I’d love for you to join us! Grab a ticket to the show, or a ticket that includes a tattoo.


A Year of Yes: Letting my writing lead my travel

Iceland has been on my list of place to visit for a long time. I’m so excited to be able to bring that gorgeous landscape and natural history filled with mystery into the world of my next Emerson Page book (along with my magical trip to Ireland earlier this year.) I spent the majority of my time outside. The open air restored my spirit and I stuffed my eyes with beauty at every turn.

What I love most about travel, is that I get the chance to be exactly who I am moment to moment without the requirements of labels, titles, and actions. I’m not my job or my projects. I’m just me, and there is newness everywhere.

Whenever I come back from a trip, my heart and mind are filled with mixed emotions. I love being back in New York with my friends and my sweet dog, Phineas. I’m grateful for the adventures I had, and I miss the freedom that travel affords to shake off responsibilities and to-do lists. The difficulty of re-entry is a real thing, even when I’m away for just a short time.

To get through that, I start thinking about a new adventure, some time from now to some place I’ve never been before. On the plane home from Iceland, I came across an article in a travel magazine about the Azores (an autonomous region of Portugal), an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic that’s a nature lover’s paradise. São Miguel, the largest island, has lake-filled calderas and a huge tea plantation. Pico, another island, is home to the 2,351m Mt. Pico and vineyards sheltered by boulders. It’s also known for its beautiful birds, stunning waterfalls, whale watching, volcano roots, and hiking.

The Azores are calling and I must go. If you’ve been, I’d love recommendations!


A Year of Yes: My 9th Alive Day

Today. I. Lived. Waterfalls. Volcanoes. Mountain hikes. Black sand beaches. Cliff walks. Hidden people homes. The North Atlantic. Beauty everywhere.

It marked my 9th Alive Day. 9 yrs ago I ran from an apt bldg fire & lost nearly everything. I almost didn’t make it. At the time, it was the worst day of my life. Now I see it as 1 of the best. That was the start of my journey toward wholeness & healing I didn’t think was possible.

If you told me then that 9 yrs later I’d be in Iceland, a country forged by fire, researching a 2nd book & living a life I never dared imagine, I wouldn’t have believed you. The journey was intense. I had to look at the ugliest parts of myself & not flinch.

I had to learn to stand in my light in my darkest hour. I couldn’t have done it without my wizard of a therapist. He gave me the map & walked beside me every step of the way. I stumbled a lot on that road, & every time I got up & kept going I grew stronger, braver, steadier.

It was in the falling down & getting back up that I learned. It’s how I rebuilt a life that was better than the one that burned away. That journey is the toughest one I’ve ever taken. It made me fearless. It gave me purpose. It showed me grace.

There’s no way I can ever say thank you enough for the gifts I’ve found along the way. All I can do is pay it fwd. That’s what I’ve done for 9 yrs. It’s what I’ll continue to do every day of every year I have left. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so.

So if you’re going through something dark that feels difficult to survive, just know you can. We are so much stronger than we think we are. I believe in us.


A Year of Yes: Emerson Page wins Readers’ Favorite International Book Award and Wind Dancer Films Awards

If you need me today, I’ll be on Cloud Nine. I’m honored to share that my book received the Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal in the young adult adventure genre and the Wind Dancer Films award for film and TV production consideration. Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on and encouraged me along this long and winding road. Your support means everything to me!

Congratulations to all the winners! See the full listing by clicking here.

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