This morning I realized that I’m going to have to start over. Or rather, my second novel has to be tossed and I have to begin again. I’ve been trying to patch together the pieces for months. Maybe some of them will prove useful down the line. Maybe some of them can be recycled and reused and reformed. But now what I need to do is begin again, all over again. For a split second, the weight of despair was heavy. Months of work just evaporated. And then very quickly, my heart moved from mourning to excitement. A fresh start, a new beginning created by a new ending. This is the creative process. It takes time. It takes patience. You have to be willing to go back to the beginning, reset, and try again. That’s where I am today: at the edge of the cliff, and now I leap.
If there’s one universal truth I live by, it’s this: if something scares us, then we must do it. Yes, there will be bumps, scratches, bruises along the way. We’ll figure it out. We always do. I’m cheering for you, even when you’re scared. Esp when you’re scared. So go. Be. Do.❤️
I outlined all of my remaining assignments for the first semester of my biomimicry graduate program, and then I burst into tears. One step closer to my decades-long dream of being a scientist. Some dreams take time. Don’t give up.
I spent my birthday morning yesterday brunching in Queens. On the train it occurred to me that 20 years ago on this exact day I moved to this neighborhood, into my first NYC apartment, and was promoted to my first management job (Studio 54 at the Roundabout Theatre Company.) Time and memory are such funny, twisted things.
My birthday has been filled with friends, sunshine, and tequila so in my book, I’m already winning at this latest trip around the sun. Life only gets better every single year and I’m so dang grateful. Thank you all for being here for the glorious madness. I love you.❤
And happy 1/2 birthday today to my favorite fuzzy co-pilot – my sweet senior dog, Phineas.
I’m super-excited to take over Young Entertainment Magazine’s Twitter feed today from 2pm – 4pm Eastern. I’ll be talking about my writing journey and my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters. Tune in, ask questions, and hang out with me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the college cheating scandal. As a poor kid, higher education was the ticket I chose to build a better life for myself as an adult. I worked incredibly hard in high school and I was so fortunate to have an amazing guidance counselor.
My college tuition was more than my mother’s annual salary. I am forever grateful to Penn that they had need-blind admission and that they had (and continue to have) a guarantee to meet 100% of a student’s need through loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study.
I worked 3+ jobs all through college. It was tremendously difficult to be a student who struggled financially in a school full of privilege. That shame left a scar that took years into my adult life to heal. I’ve learned to be proud of those scars; they show what I survived.
Now w/ college 20 years in my rear view mirror, a graduate degree from the Darden School (another wonderful school), and currently enrolled in a second graduate degree in biomimicry at The Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University. I understand the pressure to get into a top school and the opportunities it affords.
What’s most tragic to me about this college cheating scandal is how many students there are today who are in the same boat I was in at 18 years old. How many spots were taken from them at these colleges by people who had parents pay their way in? That loss is what hurts most.
My great hope is that this situation will lead to greater equity in higher education. I’m living proof that it is a path to a better life, and it’s an opportunity that should be open to all who are willing to work for it, regardless of the financial status of their parents.
I’m doing a #YAAuthorTakeover on Thursday for Young Entertainment Mag ‘s Twitter account @YoungEntMag. I’ll be talking about my book, writing / publishing, turning a book into a film, etc. What questions would you want me to answer?
You have to be your own best advocate. Know your worth and don’t settle for anything less. This International Women’s Day stand up, speak out, and shine. You were born for this.
Dear ones, on freeeeezing days like today (windchill in NYC was 4 degrees this morning!) I make some hot beverages, hunker down at home, and engage in creative work as I dream of spring. How do you endure? (H/t Honschar for his inspiring street art.)
Happy birthday to fellow Pisces, Dr. Seuss! Whenever I make a big life change, his book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! gives me courage. Not ashamed to say I get choked up every time I read it. It’s the Hero’s Journey in rhyme. You soar. You fall. You fail. You dust yourself off. You try again. The important thing is that you keep going – through the Lurch, the Waiting Place, the lake full of Hakken-Kraks, and all the games, some good, some bad, some lonely, some scary. Go in search of the Boom Bands and you’ll find them. You’ll face up to all your problems. You’ll figure out Life’s Great Balancing Act. And you’ll succeed. You’ll move mountains. Just don’t give up.
“It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Be your name Baubaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way.”