Category Archives: Writing

I’m not really a writer

I ran in college. As exercise. Well, really as anorexic over-exercise. I never liked it. I hated it in fact.

Over the years I would try running now and again and realize I still hated it. Really hated it. I swore I would never run.

Then my older child started running, and I started running so that we could run together. Then I kept running. I now run at least a couple times a week, and I have two friends I run with most of those times. They’re both way stronger runners than I am. In fact, I refer to them as runners, and me, well I only admit that I run. I’m not a runner; I run with my friends who are runners. No surprise, they correct me. They tell me I am a runner.

Last Wednesday was my (first of many I hope) author event. It was a wonderful event put on by Daralyse Lyons, the transformational storyteller, who has written twenty (yes twenty) books. The event also featured two really cool authors, Helen W. Mallon and Heidi Doheny Jay. You MUST check out their work! Heidi interviewed over 400 men and shares their perspectives on sex and relationships. Helen writes fiction that reflects true life – to talk about the things that we can’t talk about, and you can download her short stories, free of charge, on any device through True Courage Books. These authors are all fascinating and inspiring to listen to…and read.

The first question from Daralyse, “Why are you a writer?” I believe I answered third. My answer? “I don’t see myself as a writer; I just wrote a book.” (Well technically two books. I’ve published a book for work – The Power of Thoughtful Leadership – that is a compilation of posts from my Thoughtful Leaders blog. And most of those I write.)

So I run but I’m not a runner, and I’ve written two books and I’m not a writer. Funny huh? At least I’m honest about the weirdness in my brain.

The other funny thing about my writing and my memoir? I’m the first to tell you that I don’t have many memories from my childhood. I often ask my brother, “What happened then?”

All that aside, my (hopefully first of many) author event was Wednesday, and it was tons of fun. I used my spectacular line, “the best seats I ever had at Madison Square Garden were at my mother’s wedding, and the best cocaine I ever had was from my father’s friend the judge.” I told the great story about getting lost in Greenwich Village when I was about eight and I refused to cross against the light at 8th Street and 6th Avenue. (Ask my brother how old I was. He’ll remember.) And about how when I finally found Broome Street Bar where my dad, Danny, was bartending, there was a strange bald-headed man behind the bar instead of Danny. (It was Danny. He shaved his head one night while drunk.) And about how a few months later he showed up at my school play with a bald head, a top hat, a tooth-gap in his mouth because he’d lost a tooth in a bar fight, and a tooth earring hanging from his ear because he’d made the tooth into an earring.

At the end of the night someone said to me, “I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds hilarious.” I’d never thought of it that way.

I also (huge smile) had numerous other people tell me they couldn’t wait to read To the Moon and Back and two people who bought The Power of Thoughtful Leadership and asked me to autograph it for them.

It was a really, really fun night. And maybe I am a writer. I’m soon to be a (twice) published author.

PS – Dara is hosting another Storytelling and the Stage event on May 3. It should be at least as amazing!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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A bit of spring memoir inspiration + a giveaway

I’ve been blogging about my life for almost five years and just the other day was attempting to articulate with my book launch team the special ‘space’ that blogging creates in the world — for my readers (hopefully) as well as for me.

I won’t lie, there’s a voice in my head tries to mess with me… I’m sharing too much. I’m not sharing enough. I’m damaged beyond belief. It wasn’t that bad. What am I even talking about? But I know from emails and conversations with all of you that by sharing my truth, just a little, I’m opening up the door for someone else to see themselves and in turn share their truth too.

It’s powerful stuff. So as long as I’m (mostly) not creating hurt for my husband and (always) not creating hurt for my kids, I’m going to share. I heard years ago, “we’re only as sick as our secrets,” and exposing my secrets has freed me and hopefully freed others as well.

Which is why it’s so exciting for me to work on the release of my memoir, To the Moon and Back: A childhood under the influence this fall. It’s probably not any surprise to you that my coffee table is buried under stacks of memoirs that I’ve read, loved, studied, and learned from while I worked on To the Moon and Back. I’ve been inspired to share my own truth just from reading the stories of others. And while my hope is to give back a bit with my book, I thought it would be fun to share a list of a few of my favorite memoir inspirations … and to literally give back. Be sure to read to the end, because I’ll be giving away the whole set to one of you!

PriestDaddy

If you know my story, you’re probably not surprised that I picked PriestDaddy for this list. Author Patricia Lockwood grew up in the shadow of the Catholic Church, one of the largest organized churches in history, with a father who was a married Catholic priest. Not quite normal. I grew up in the shadow of the Messiah, in one of the most infamous cults in history, with a father who was a swearing, pot-smoking, bartending hippie. Not quite normal either. Of course I love her book. It’s about family. It’s about faith and religion. And it’s about being real. It’s funny, painful, and raw. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Hallelujah Anyway

I’m not sure about you, but I think that there are two kinds of folks in the world. Those that get Anne Lamott, and those that don’t. Her writing is inspirational, warm, and (importantly) funny. With the volatile times we live in, it’s no wonder that she took on the concept of mercy in her last latest book. As I read Hallelujah Anyway, I felt my head nodding and heard myself thinking, “yes, yes, yes.” I simultaneously wanted to underline full paragraphs so that I could come back to them and remember to (as always) up my compassion and my self-compassion and be my best self. If you’re looking for a good chat with a girlfriend about how to navigate tough concepts like forgiveness and just being your best self, Hallelujah Anyway will show you the way.

Art of Memoir

Mary Karr has been writing memoirs and teaching the art of memoir for decades. and She is the author of the extremely popular memoirs, The Liars Club and Lit, two crazy poignant memoirs that urged me to write To the Moon and Back. I chose her how-to manual, Art of Memoir, for those of you who are thinking of exploring your story through memoir. It’s written, as everything Mary writes, beautifully and will inspire, educate, and entertain you. If you’re thinking of writing a memoir, this is the book for you.

So these are my top picks for memoir inspiration… and they could (literally) be yours! To kick off the launch of To the Moon and Back we’re celebrating with a giveaway. It’s very easy to enter, and I’m looking forward to the fun! We’re offering more than one way to enter — just click below!

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Categories: Writing

I’m nauseous again. It’s a good thing.

I’m getting used to it I guess. Each new phase is nauseous making, and then I breathe through it and it lessens. A little bit.

This time it’s the cover we’re working on. Should it have a picture of me? Should it have a picture of a moon? Should it show New York City, the East Village? Should it be symbolic and not realistic?

It’s making me a bit nauseous. Again.

The good news is I remember I felt this way when we played with possible titles. And then we found the right one, and we knew. I felt this way as I spoke with publicists and marketing experts. And then I partnered with the right ones, and I knew.

The good news is that as soon as I felt the nausea seeping in, I remembered that I’d been through this before. That it’s scary…and exciting. That it’s overwhelming…and exhilarating. That it’s daunting…and fun.

I’m having fun. I’m having fun with the choices. I’m having fun envisioning the outcomes. I’m having fun with the process.

I know the final goal is a book – a book that inspires people and changes lives. Hopefully a book that finds its place on a few bestseller lists.

But the current goal is to enjoy the journey.

And to not be too nauseous. At least not for too long.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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