Category Archives: Life

Back at it!

Back to Tahoe! Traveling solo with children is rough. Doing it with a broken toe is even worse. My one-year-old fell asleep for the first two hours of our five-hour flight, which was great except that it meant that I couldn’t move my foot for all that time, and it definitely did not like being immobilized. My three-year-old dropped the one-year-old on her nose in the airport, and it was a bloodbath. The three-year-old had an “accident” on the second flight, then spilled my wine on herself when she stuck a straw in it thinking it was apple juice. So basically, between the three of us, we landed in Reno covered in a mixture of tears, blood, urine and wine (which is more often how people leave Reno).

Anyway, despite the fact that I barely left the couch during my convalescence, I managed to complete almost no work. So on Monday, the kids go to daycare and I get to put up my bad foot and spend the day writing about art and architecture. Welcome to my happy place!


Parental Procrastination?

STFU Parents logo

I just spent the last 30 minutes taking screenshots and compiling my submission to STFU Parents (which is a great blog for anyone fed up with parental overshare on social media). This is what happens when I get on Facebook and see a “friend” write yet another nauseating letter to her toddler son and make it her profile picture. Really, it’s okay to not share intensely personal moments and stories with the rest of the world! Anyway, I would call it procrastination, but people like my “friend” give the rest of us parents a bad name, so I found it incredibly cathartic to submit her to the site rather than writing something snarky on her posting. So, I’m going to consider my submission time well spent. Okay, and NOW time to get working!

Smoked Out in Reno-Tahoe

My view normally/My view as of 8/26/13 because of Rim Fire smoke 150 miles away.

My view normally/My view today because of Rim Fire smoke.

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Not great news from Reno-Tahoe: The smoke from the Rim Fire in Yosemite (150 miles away) is so thick that there have been air quality warnings locally that it’s basically unsafe to be outdoors. It’s putting an unfortunate end on summer, but the fine particulate is so dangerous that it’s not worth trying to be outside. It constantly smells like a campfire (not in the good way) and I’ve been getting headaches in the few moments I am outdoors, just to let the dog outside or run into stores or to the neighbors. Here’s a view of the smoke from the International Space Station: The two lakes are Tahoe on the middle-left and Pyramid above and there’s me just under that big white cloud!

Anyway, between the headaches, my already-asthmatic baby and the fact that this will most likely still be burning for a few weeks, I don’t think I’ll be spending much time outdoors. Now I just need my writer’s block to go away and maybe I’ll find a silver lining to all this time indoors…

PA & Projects

Just back from a two-week hiatus in central PA <3

Just back from a two-week hiatus in central PA ❤

I’ve been bad about updating again, but got back on Tuesday from a wonderful, two-week-long trip to Pennsylvania. Was great spending time with family and passing child-care duties off to more-than-willing grandparents.

Anyway, excited to be back! Lots of projects have been popping up lately, which is always fun. I recently proofed a magazine for the local hospital system, and received a very nice thank-you note, which, I think, reinforces how important it is to get a fresh set of eyes on anything before it goes to print. I’m also meeting a client soon to discuss editing her manuscript, which sounds like it will be a very entertaining read. And I’m staying busy with newsletters and work for upcoming issues of TQ. It’s a nice amount of busy for summertime in Tahoe!

Immersion, by MJ Prest


Author MJ Prest reading from her novel Immersion.

Last weekend, a friend invited the family and me to a book event for one of his friends. We accepted the Facebook invite and, noting that it said that anyone dressed as a merman would get a free copy of the book, I spent most of last Friday making Jason a merman cape (which involves felt fish and seaweed—I had wanted to get a trident, too, but this was sort of last minute!). Anyway, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about the book when we arrived at Mellow Fellow, an excellent little dog-friendly tap room with an outdoor patio, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Fortunately, the author, MJ Prest, was wonderful—we talked about her Young Adult novel, Immersion, which is a retelling of the story of Atlantis (complete with, as she put it, “a ripped merman”), as well as about self-publishing, audiobooks and marketing. It was great to connect with another writer to learn a little about the next step, and to celebrate her accomplishment. She treated us all to Mermaid’s Tail Ale and cake and did a reading of the first chapter. It’s the first book in a trilogy, and I’m very excited for Jason to get his copy (he was, believe it or not, the only person dressed as a merman). Click here for the ebook to immerse yourselves in a fun read! Big congrats to MJ; learn more at

An Evening with David Sedaris

Last night, I got to see one of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, speak at Reno’s Pioneer Center. It was a great night: My book club made an event out of it and began with tapas and sangria at Fuefo (AND, importantly celebrated with cake for my 30th birthday!).

Somehow, David Sedaris is hysterical even when he’s not saying anything funny; I just hear his voice and start to giggle. Last night, he read to us a piece he’d written for the New Yorker, an essay, a monologue and poems from his new book, some diary entries (which may have been my favorite: I loved the story about the very off-color Willie Nelson joke that he ended up explaining to a flight attendant) and an unpublished story or two before taking questions from the crowd. We got to hear the story behind his experience using the language learning company Pimsler. In the New Yorker story, Sedaris talks about how when Japanese cab drivers ask him if he has any children, he say he has three, a boy and two little girls, because Pimsler taught him that phrase and not “I am a middle-aged homosexual.” A week or so after the story came out, he received a new tape from Pimsler that he played for us, which teaches the phrase, “I am a middle-aged homosexual.”

Lots of laughter and a great night from my favorite humorist! Now, off to buy his recently released book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

Happy 2013!

Happy holidays from my crew!

Happy holidays from my crew!

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy New Year, happy everything! Hope the season was wonderful and this year is better than last. My own resolutions—writing more and beating deadlines—are already taking a hit as Nora’s daycare caught fire New Year’s Day (just a small one) and is now closed as they assess damage and review the building’s electrical system. Believe it or not, a toddler who has stopped napping is not great for productivity. Anyway, here’s hoping that this gets resolved quickly and the New Year starts to step it up!

Welcome, Audrey!

As I mentioned in my last post on October 23, baby could be arriving at any minute. That was literally true, as baby Audrey was born just a few hours later! She’s healthy, happy and beautiful, and we feel pretty lucky to have added such an awesome little girl to our family. Anyway, on a little freelancing hiatus for the moment, but I’m sure I’ll be back to it soon enough. Turns out that newborns sleep a lot, so Audrey’s giving me plenty of free time. My toddler, on the other hand, seems to have a different agenda…

October Sierra Snow

Well, I’m a little bummed out: It looks like I won’t be able to make any of the TQ Home Award tours lined up for this year. The first tour was scheduled for yesterday in Truckee. Between the snowstorm that came through on Sunday night, being now based in Reno and no longer having a car with snow tires, it didn’t make a lot of sense to fight the storm and head up the hill. There’s a big tour on Thursday (Martis Camp, which means there will be some unbelievable building projects!), but my mom and sister get into town so it’s probably bad form to ditch them to tour houses. That and, with baby Bender due any minute now, I really shouldn’t be too far from my hospital! I guess I’ll just live vicariously through the other panelists… On another note, although I’m not ready for winter quite yet, how beautiful is the combination of golden aspens with snow-covered peaks?

E-book Happiness

I admit it—everyday I fall a little bit more in love with my iPad! I’ve had a list of books that I’ve wanted to read for awhile now, but I couldn’t find any of my choices at the library or at Grassroots Books, which is my favorite used books store in Reno. I’m such a sucker for print books—I love the feel, the smell, flipping the pages—but when I received a Kindle gift certificate for my baby shower, I decided to bite the bullet, download the Kindle app and try out an ebook. I ordered The Things They Carried (I’d recently seen author Tim O’Brien speak and so this title was on the top of my list) and I may now be an ebook convert! I finished the book in just a few days, and in the meantime, managed to check out The Paris Wife, my next book club book, digitally from my library. I had no idea that was even possible! Seeing as I haven’t read much lately beyond In The Night Kitchen and Counting Fun with Elmo & Friends (two of Nora’s current favorites), being able to download real, adult books may be the highlight of my month (at least until baby arrives!). I heart you, iPad.