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A Year of Yes: Update from Wind Dancer Films about my Emerson Page book

I have heard back from Wind Dancer Films about the possible film production of my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters. They chose not to option it at this time but with solid feedback that they love the story and have logged it in their system for future consideration.

While I of course was hoping for more, I’m also extremely encouraged that they would even read the book, enjoy it, and log it in their system for future consideration all without me having an agent. I’m extremely grateful to Readers’ Favorite and the Miami Book Fair for making this possible, and of course to my publisher, Possibilities Publishing and their imprint, Thumbkin Prints. This is my first novel and is part of a series, so as the other two books are finished and published “some day” could become “one day” for me and Wind Dancer. In the words of Hamilton, maybe it’s only a matter of time.

Also, I will continue to submit to other production companies because maybe this is the right book at the right time for someone else. As always, my focus remains on the readers who need Emerson’s story of resilience and courage to face our deepest fears, just like I did many years ago. She changed my life the day she entered my imagination and I’m honored to be the person sharing her story.

As an artist of any kind, you have to keep at it. Your drive has to be stronger than the sting of any rejections. It’s part of the work. Speaking of which…I better get back to writing Emerson’s second book.

A Year of Yes: Trailer for NYC’s Secrets and Lies on December 6th at 7pm

It’s impossible to articulate how excited I am about our holiday edition of NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat on Thursday, December 6th at 7pm so I made a trailer to show you what our storytelling show about secret NYC history is all about! This month’s cast includes all-star storytellers Vicki Eastus, Dustin Growick, Jackie Peters, and Nate Charles with Brooklyn street artist Blanco as our special guest. If you can guess the lie correctly, we have prizes from Untapped Cities, Kaitery_NYC, and a secret one from me. Grab your tickets and I’ll see you there: New York City’s Secrets and Lies on Eventbrite.

A Year of Yes: Fan mail from a young reader filled my heart

Today my heart’s so full it’s going to burst. I just got this fan letter and art from 10-yr-old Evie, 1 of my young readers. She addressed it to Emerson Page, my book’s heroine. I’m cry-smiling so much my face hurts.

She said the book “was very well written, with good use of figurative language and action packed. Thank you for your memoir of adventure, friendship, and around every corner was a surprise.” I am overjoyed because Evie is exactly the reader I wrote this book for.

I met her dad thanks to the Ologies Podcast FB group. He said that he believes in providing books with strong female characters for Evie to read so how could we not be immediate pals?!

This is the stuff of my dreams as a writer. You better believe I’m saving this letter, framing this art, and replying to this enthusiastic young woman who is articulate, and by the way, has gorgeous hand-writing and mad art skills. 😊😭😍

A Year of Yes: Writing a book is mostly re-writing

What no one says often enough is that writing a book is more re-writing than it is anything else. It’s a continuous act of tearing down and dismantling what we’ve built. We ruthlessly eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary can speak.

It hurts to let go of words we worked hard to put onto a page. There’s no way around it. We have to do it.

My protagonist, Emerson Page, deserves the best, truest, and most honest version of her story that I can tell. That takes time, and my first instincts in her story are almost always wrong. And I’m not alone.

Any writer who tells you that the book just poured out of them like silk off a spool is kidding themselves. Writing and re-writing is a massive labor of love. If it were easy, everyone would write books all the time. We don’t do it because it’s easy. We do it because we must, because a story is so urgent and eager to be told that we must keep at it until it’s done, until it’s as good as we can possibly make it.

My role now, at this point in writing Emerson’s second book, is to be the chief deconstructionist, to literally pull back the sheen and write truly and deeply about what hurts, and then to heal that hurt with love and bravery and grace. To make every single word count.

A Year of Yes: Feeling stuck in your writing? Go outside.

Despite the cold, my senior dog, Phineas, took me on a 2-hour hike through the North Woods of Central Park yesterday. The late afternoon light was just perfect. Time in nature is like a massage for the brain, heart, and spirit. It prompts my creativity. The movement jogs my imagination, restores my resolve to do work that builds a better world. If you need to be restored, get outside. Your restlessness has a purpose. It is meant to move you. Don’t fight it. Go with it. 

A Year of Yes: What I Love Best About Writing a Novel

I am a meticulous outliner, especially when it comes to my fiction writing. Still, you know what I love best about the practice of writing fiction? I never quite know what will be on the page when I’m done with any single block of work. I sit down and I think I know exactly where I’m going. Then, my characters will do something or say something I never expected. A stranger will arrive. A discovery will be made. I’m living this story in the moment with my characters, and I feel lucky to be along for the ride. 

A Year of Yes: Happy Thanksgiving

“It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” ~Angela Davis

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote lately, considering why we gather to share experiences and stories. And for me it’s exactly what Angela Davis says here: to find hope and optimism for a better tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

A Year of Yes: Warming to the Chill of Thanksgiving Eve

A chilly start and a chilly end to Thanksgiving Eve. All beautiful thanks to Central Park, my pup, Phin, and the Macy’s Day Parade balloons. All bright thanks to the sun and the moon. A good day and night in NYC. Wishing you and yours a Thanksgiving full of light and gratitude.

A Year of Yes: My Readers’ Favorite Book Award

Bit of a day. I was in Miami for a long weekend to receive the Readers Favorite Gold Award for my novel and to attend the Miami Book Fair. I’m honored! I had an incredible time and am so grateful for the support and encouragement of my work as an author. I have to admit that I teared up several times – seeing my book at the book fair and receiving the award. Thank you to all of you who have believed in this story and shown me so much love in this process. I couldn’t have done it without you. And a big shout out to my publisher, Possibilities Publishing Company. Now back to work finishing Emerson’s second book! You can pick up a copy of the first book in the series on Amazon and at all book stores.

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A Year of Yes: The most personal interview I’ve ever given is now live on the How Humans Change podcast

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 10.19.44 PMIf you want to really know me, listen to this interview. The big question for me in this lifetime is, “Does everything matter or does nothing matter?” A few months ago, I gave the most personal interview I’ve ever done. My friend, mentor, and storytelling hero, John Bucher, introduced me to Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton, hosts and producer of the podcast, How Humans Change. My interview is now live. our wide-ranging conversation includes career, science, sustainability, the health of the planet, biomimicry, dinosaurs, product development, therapy, curiosity, change, the economy and capitalism, time, technology, work, culture, implicit bias, life-changing moments, storytelling, writing, poverty, trauma, writing, my book, mental health, strength, resilience, therapy, fear, courage, my apartment building fire, how my plane got struck by lightning, and so much more. Despite these dark topics, there is a lot of light, fun, laughter, and healing in this interview. It’s the most personal interview I’ve ever given, and some of the details I reveal about my personal path and past I have never discussed publicly before now. I hope you enjoy the podcast episode and that it inspires you to live the best life you can imagine.

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