The Good Grief Chair: How to perform a Furniture Exorcism

Even if you got it at that funeral home estate sale.

If you’re anything like me, you see an ad for a funeral parlor estate sale and say: SCORE! But there is so much wrong with taking dead weight home with you, in furniture or otherwise. So bear with me while I explain how one little orange chair became the bane of my existence and started […]

Every couple needs a city that is all their own

The trick is to never, ever (truly, don't do it!) take your kids there.

So here’s a bit of travel wisdom every couple should keep in mind. If you have decided that a place is YOUR place, you’ve said ad nauseum that you’ll never take your kids there, then maybe perhaps probably don’t take your kids there to write a travel story. I did just that the other week […]

How to use two sentences to focus your memoir

Work small before you work big.

I’ve been giving talks around the Pacific Northwest for the past year about how to structure a memoir. It’s a beast every writer attempting the form must grapple with. Where do I even start? How do I take the dramatic moments where everything changed for me and place them within a structure that’s compelling for […]

Jessica Abel’s Growing Gills is the book on creativity that we needed

Why my favorite creativity coach isn't a writer, but a cartoonist.

No one has done more for my creative practice in the last year and a half than Jessica Abel. A well-established cartoonist who has made a turn to blogging and writing about creativity, she has walked the walk (or swam the deep ocean, to stick with a metaphor more in line with her book’s title) […]

Taste of Dundee: Four things I learned

My favorite things: Tiny towns with big ambition.

Great big things happen in tiny Dundee, a town of roughly 10,000 home to scores of Oregon’s most renowned wine producers. It’s rare you get to see many of them all in one place. Normally you’ve got to drive all over the Red Hills (which has its allure), but if you want to taste wines […]

Why every established writer needs a logo

Making the leap to logo: A personal story, with vectors

Well, there it is. My new logo. My first, actually. I’ve had branded blog headers and other graphically oriented signifiers, but I’ve never had a logo before. And now that the process is done — the terrible, gut-wrenching, headache-inspiring trip from idea to emblem — I can’t recommend more that you get a logo for […]