Autumn in Vermont...
(April, 2015) I'm beyond thrilled to learn I've been selected for a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, one of the nation's largest artist's residencies. I'll be spending the month of October in the company of fellow resident artists and writers in the beautiful, tiny town of Johnson, Vermont. Looking forward to Fall colors and cozy fireplaces and the immensely generous gift of unlimited writing time!
Early Praise for An Innocent Abroad
(Dec. 2014) I'm ecstatic to get a nod in the Publisher's Weekly review of An Innocent Abroad! "From Cold War Yugoslavia to modern-day Yemen, Lonely Planet’s latest
collection of nonfiction travel stories doesn’t leave a stone or
continent unturned. Readers will relish Simon Winchester’s boyhood tale
of a near-death experience in the Arctic Circle and Marina Lewycka’s
vodka-soaked narrative of being stranded at a Russian summer camp. Other
stories, such as Alexander McCall Smith’s brush with murder in
Swaziland and Ann Patchett’s tale of friendship formed while backpacking
around Europe, focus on the loss of innocence. A few of the selections
are plagued by clichés of the travel genre: overly sentimental,
boastful, or boring. Personal narratives of David Baldacci discovering
his familial ancestry in Italy and Mary Karr’s trek through the
Guatemalan jungle are among those that fail to hit the mark. But
high-quality tales from John Berendt, Cheryl Strayed, Tim Cahill, and
Anna Vodicka are enough to keep readers paging through this enjoyable
An Innocent Abroad Hits the (Virtual) Bookshelves!
(Nov. 2015) Lonely Planet's An Innocent Abroad is now available for pre-order, and it's a beauty! Dave Eggers, Jane Smiley, Mary Karr, Cheryl Strayed...the list of amazing writers goes on. I'm wowed to be included among them. You can pre-order a copy now from your favorite local bookseller, or Amazon.
"On Modesty" selected for Best of Wordpress Vol. 8
(Nov. 5, 2014) I'm a longtime fan of Longreads.com, which makes it even sweeter to see my essay "On Modesty," originally published in Shenandoah, chosen as a Longreads pick this week. The cherry on top: it was selected among hundreds of stories on the web for Longreads' Best of Wordpress, Vol. 8! Many to the Longreads editors for believing in this piece, and please take the time to read some of the other amazing stories in the bunch. Feeling lucky to find myself in such stellar company.
Love & Gratitude: Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund
(Oct. 2014) Barbara Deming was the kind of woman I've always wanted to be, a writer who spent her life working for equality, justice, more kindness, more heart. Here is what Grace Paley had to say about her: "First: She’s a listener. So you can learn something about paying
attention. Second: She’s stubborn. So you can learn how to stand, look
into the other’s face and not run. Third: She’s just. So you can learn
something about patience. Fourth: She loves us—women I mean—and speaks
to the world, so you can learn how to love women and men.”
I just found out that I am one of eleven women selected for the latest round of grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and couldn't be more honored to be a part of this woman's legacy. Thank you to the board and staff for believing in my writing and my in-progress book, and for your continuous support of women in the arts.
(Spring 2014) I'm happy as a clam and incredibly honored to learn that my writing will be included in two super cool forthcoming anthologies:
- Lonely Planet publishes an annual themed travel writing anthology. This year's theme is "An Innocent Abroad," and will feature essays by such luminary writers (and literary heroes of mine) as Richard Ford, Pico Iyer, Mary Karr and Ann Patchett. It will also include an essay of mine, "Voice Lessons," about my first trip abroad on an evangelical mission trip, a journey that turned out to be a conversion experience of an entirely different nature--one in which I lost the church but found the world.
- The cool folks (and fellow Midwesterners!) at Capstone Press are producing an anthology of true stories about adolescence, Love & Profanity:
40 Writers and Their True, Heartbreaking, Wild, Tortured Stories of Teenage
Life. They came across my short-short essay, "Girl/Thing," originally published in Brevity magazine, and are going to publish it in what's sure to be a moving and entertaining compilation of awkward-phase experience.
Publication dates are November, 2014, and January, 2014, respectively. In the meantime, many thanks to the editors for including me in these collections!
Moved to a Tropical Island
(Sept. 2013) Brian was hired as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Palau, which means we are now living on a remote island in the South Pacific. Follow our blog here
August 17, 2013: Got hitched!
After 7+ years, Mr. Brian Q and I tied the knot in a teensy ceremony on the boathouse in Sugar Camp, Wisconsin. Nuptials were followed by chocolate peanut butter ice cream and homemade pie a la Peggy Jo, fireworks compliments of Grandpa Albie, and an epic night of karaoke at Johnny Nick's (formerly Schneider's Pub). And maybe some skinny dipping. You didn't hear it from me.
Missouri Review Audio Competition Prose Winner
(May 2013) My audio essay "In Search of Magic Kingdoms" was selected as the prose winner for The Missouri Review Audio Competition! The piece will air late Summer 2013. Read more over at TMR blog. Congrats to my fellow winners and runners-up, and writerly love to all who participated.
I'll be reading, blabbing, teaching, and generally running on adrenaline and a literary buzz throughout the 15th annual GetLit! Festival
- Your Truth, My Truth, Their Truth: The Modern Memoir - panel with author-of-all-trades and fellow UI MFA alumnus Joe Wilkins. Friday, April 12, 12 p.m.
- I Wrote, I Rewrote, I Conquered: The Art of Revision with Anna Vodicka. Workshop - Saturday, April 13th, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- The Reading Public - Staged reading and open mic with Kevin Taylor, Luke Baumgarten, and other local talent. Saturday, April 13th, 12:30 p.m.