Thursday, May 16, 2019

An Update

Well, hello, dear readers!

It's been more than three years since my last post here. I'm not even sure how that happened. In that time, I saw The Trick to Landing published and contributed a short story to Coming Home, a beautiful anthology centered around adoption. I lost my day job, found a new job, lost that job and am now getting ready to start yet another job. My youngest started elementary school. I moved. Twice. My husband lost his job and went back to working freelance. A whole bunch of my closest friends have moved out of state. I destroyed a couple of hard drives and an entire MacBook. In all, it's been a wild couple of years.

It seems like I might finally be moving out of survival mode. Not that much of anything has actually changed. Except me. At 36, I might actually know who I want to be when I grow up. I'm finding balance and clarity and purpose in new ways. Since the new year, I've actually been reading again! I've been writing more. I actually passed the 3/4 point in the middle grade manuscript I've been working on for years. My creativity is slowly but surely coming back.

And I've been blogging more about life and family and faith and community. There's been a lot on my heart and mind through all of the restructuring in my life. Blogging has always been a great outlet, but this didn't feel like the right space. (If you want to read those posts, go here:

I hope to have more updates in the future. I hope this really is a new start. And I hope I can encourage all of you. There are ugly seasons. Seasons of heartbreak and pain and the crippling weight of loss. But time also moves forward and no season lasts forever. Hold on to hope. There's still life ahead.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


You guys! THE TRICK TO LANDING releases in three weeks! THREE WEEKS!!! And the good news for all of you is that I have a bunch of Oceanside High swag I want to give you!

How can you get some? Basically, send me an email with your address to Sure, it would be nice if you pre-ordered LANDING or left a quick review of FALLING, but it's not required. I'm just really excited that I get to do this book thing AGAIN!

Want to know more about LANDING? Here's the blurb:

When you wipe out in life, who helps you get back up again?

After a gnarly fall in competition, a DUI, and moving in with her mom dashed her hopes for a spot in this year's X Games, 16-year-old skateboarder Summer O'Neill is left with one last shot at redemption. But her fresh start is even harder than getting back on the half pipe: hours of community service, a party girl reputation she can't shake, and life with a mother she hardly knows leave Summer scrambling to keep her world stable.

The very last thing Summer is looking for is a boyfriend, at least until she meets Sebastian Vega. Steady, unassuming, and self-assured, he's everything she's not. Before long, she's sneaking out for midnight sandcastle building excursions and trading in her art class for private photography lessons with Bastian.

But Summer's past won't stay behind her and Bastian has problems of his own – including a bleeding disorder that seeps into every aspect his life. While he pushes against the limitations of his hemophilia, she is bound by the rules of her probation. When the ramifications of her past crimes collide with his frustration, it may be more than their budding relationship can bear.

With the next X Games qualifier rapidly approaching, Summer has to own up to her mistakes if she wants to soar again. If she can't, she'll lose more than her second chance. She'll lose her future-in skating, and with Bastian.

You can also check out my Instagram feed for my favorite quotes and photos inspired by LANDING!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

...meanwhile back at the ranch...

So...long time, no blog. Back in August, I said something crazy like "both my kids will be in school two mornings a week! I'm going to have sooooooooo much free time!"

Protip: never say things like that. Eating your own words just isn't all that satisfying.

BUT! All kinds of good stuff (and crazy stuff) happened this fall. My oldest started kindergarten and I am so in love with his school! We are beyond blessed to have the kind academic and social opportunities we do at our local public school. He gets to walk to school with the other neighborhood kids. It takes us an hour to walk the half-mile home in the afternoon because all the kids are hanging out and talking. It's a brilliantly diverse school too. He's living and learning and laughing with kids of different racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds from us. We can teach him the value of diversity, but he gets to live it. He gets to see it in the faces of his friends. It's beautiful. AND he's learning to read, which is basically like watching a kid discover magic. It's amazing.

With kindergarten and my youngest off to her first year of preschool (which is also amazing), I launched into edits on THE TRICK TO LANDING (insert awkward self-promo: available for pre-order now). Oooph. This book fought me, but in the best way possible. I wanted so badly to tell Summer & Bastian's stories well and Meredith, my amazing editor at Bloomsbury Spark, made that possible. I am really proud of how it turned out (and that cover!!!! It makes me so happy) and I cannot wait for it to release on February 16.

While I adjusted to kindergarten & preschool, edited a book, wrote and submitted a couple huge grant application packages for Sound Art, and kept myself/my marriage/my house from falling apart, I also go an up close and personal look at exactly how messed up the foster care system in Los Angeles is. In all seriousness, this situation might be the worst heartbreak of my life. I learned and grew so much through it, as did my family and our friends, but wow. What a mess. Life will never be the same for any of us, mostly in good ways. I certainly see the world through different eyes now.

Throw in a couple illnesses, my husband's knee surgery, a trip to urgent care with yet another head injury for my 5yo (but, hey! At least no concussion this time!), a lot of personal growth and uncertainty about the future (like, what state we'll be living in next year) and it's been the exact opposite of the relaxing "free time" I imagined. But isn't that how life goes? Here's to hoping 2016 will be quieter!