Busy spring/summer of writing and reading!

–I finished an extensive revision of my novel-in-progress thanks to a deep reading from the ever-wise Ethel Rohan.

–I joined a writing group with marvelous Bridget Quinn and Kate Folk. Workshopped and revised two new stories and one new essay thanks to their comments (with the not inconsiderable bonus of getting to read their inspiring work).

–I taught personal essay writing at the SF Writers’ Grotto and memoir at Stanford Continuing Studies’ Online Writers Studio. This fall I’ll be teaching a ten-week course on crafting a strong book proposal for OWS. Registration opens August 18th. Check out all the great Stanford OWS classes here.

–I signed a contract to publish an e-chapbook of five of my personal essays, “Losing Things,” with the new ebook publisher Shebooks. Read all about their mission to equitably publish and pay women writers for their work here. The title of my collection comes from this essay published at Berfrois. The mini-collection will also include this essay which appeared in the Arroyo Literary Review, and will be released later this year.

–A few months after accepting my essay mini-collection, Shebooks editorial director Laura Fraser asked me to join the editing team. I’ve since had a thrilling time acquiring and editing exquisitely written nonfiction and fiction by Brenda Miller, Kathy Flann, and Anne Kaier. The first of my acquisitions for Shebooks, Brenda Miller’s moving essay collection Who You Will Become, will be published later this month.

–Finally, I’ve been fortunate to see and think about some great dance here on the Bay Area dance scene. What a pleasure to interview and profile RAWdance’s smart co-directors Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith for the SF Chronicle.

–And, after seeing LevyDance’s world premiere Soar, I had an idea: What if, rather than writing a review, a critic sat down with the choreographer to have a two-way conversation about the work? So I pitched that idea to In Dance, and got the greenlight to launch a new series, “Critical Dialogues.” The first “Critical Dialogue,” between me and Soar’s choreographer, LevyDance associate director Scott Marlowe, will appear next month.

–Oh! And in non-writing life, I finished my tenure as cantor at St. Augustine’s Episcopal, where I was blessed to serve for six months. I’ve now joined the choir at St. Paul’s, and start rehearsals with their incredible singers in September. The music director assures me I will sight-read much better in six months, thanks to the wealth of challenging music they take on. Gulp. I’m grateful for this new adventure.

Phew. Now back to work.

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