52 Baby Steps To Living a More Compassionate Life

baby stepsUpdate: My good friend Chloe Jeffreys has challenged a bunch of us to choose our “One Word for 2015.” I only did this once—last year—because it is excruciatingly hard to sum up my vision in one word. I am, after all, a writer. But this year, the challenge fits better. Because I have vowed to express and show Compassion as much as I can. Yes, “compassion” is my word for 2015. Here is why:

You know I am not much for New Year’s resolutions. Everyone makes them. Most everyone breaks them. Besides, they are created in a way that sets you up for failure.

Lose weight.

Make more money.

Spend more time with family.

These resolutions have one thing going for them. They are worded in the positive. They tell us what to do, not what not to do.

Yet, we still don ‘t grasp what they actually mean, what it would look like if we were successful.

Continue Reading

She’s Out Late: One Story, One Slice


It was the hardest thing I had to learn.

That a memoir is not linear in a this- happened-and-then-that-happened sort of way. But with the help of a brilliant editor, I was able to extract the story, the one story I wanted to tell, from all the mish-mash that is my life.

Writing a first memoir can be tough because you tend to want to include everything. So you must constantly search for your story—and stay true to that one story until you get to the end.

You learn to meticulously, ruthlessly, toss out any detail that does not illustrate or illuminate this one story.

Because a memoir is just one slice of your life.

And each slice is different. Each tells a unique story.

Continue Reading

Summer Book Review: ‘I Am Malala’

I am Malala

Last week a Facebook friend posted a quote about procrastination. She said:

The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.

This leads me to believe that I should be either an eater of chocolate, a librarian, or a full-time reader of books.

I adore books.

All books.

Continue Reading

Just Pick Up the Pen


Pick up the pen.
Just pick up the damn thing and write.
Write about everything.
Write about nothing at all (it worked for Seinfeld).

Write about what chills you to the bone.
About what breaks your heart.
About what makes you laugh out loud.
About regrets (are they still keeping that interpreter position at the United Nations open for me?)

Continue Reading