For whatever reason, I have had the life I’ve had and you, the one you’ve had. From my first breath on this earth to my first day of kindergarten; the first time I shaved my legs to my first kiss; my first heartache to my first time moving away from home – 

– every single moment has perfectly and unequivocally led to this one. Every past self and past decision, has made me… me.

I really feel this sometimes. When I’m listening to an old song that reminds me of a moment twenty years ago, and how that one led to the next, to the next, to the next…

When I look back at old journals.

At old calendars.

It’s easy to chart how each moment has connected; I can point to each and make a constellation of my life.

Sometimes I feel it as an encompassing, something bigger-than-me, oh-THIS-is-why-this-happened.

That’s how it was yesterday.

I went to my good friend’s house, a friend who is struggling with addiction. A few of us showed up to support and circle him on his experience. I felt, perhaps, unduly equipped to understand him; armed with years of my own struggles with addiction and eating disorders; steeped in a family history of alcoholism and drug abuse.

I know the feeling of being powerless over something; I know how it feels to be hopeless.

There’s not a whole lot I can do – but I get it. So, I just got it, and was there for a while.

Then on my drive home – a woman stumbled out into the middle of the street, flip flops dragging behind her. She fell over in the road.

I immediately pulled my car over and ran out to help her. She was, perhaps, 35 to 40. Blond, well-put-together, wearing diamonds on her fingers. We sat down for a while in the shade, not talking. I got her some water.

“I’m fine.” She must have said this about thirty times. Her words were barely coherent; she couldn’t stand – she also couldn’t really sit.

So I held her up. I talked to her as best I could while she drifted in and out. When a man came out to try and help and became aggressive when she wasn’t making sense – I told him, that’s not helpful. Don’t be aggressive with her.

Finally, her phone rang and I picked it up. Shortly thereafter, her wife and her mother-in-law arrived to take her home.

“Absolutely not,” she said when they asked her to get in the car. They began arguing. The mother-in-law raising her voice – “You’re the alcoholic here! Get in the car!” Again, I said, that’s not helpful.

The woman wanted to leave, so I walked with her a ways – supporting her – guiding her – keeping her away from the road.

“I’m not fine,” she told me.

I know.

We continued to talk – I heard a bit about her life. Her anger. Her pain. I just listened, mostly. I guided her more strongly when I needed to – “Do NOT get in the street again.” “Come this way.” “Stay right here.”

In an hour, we developed something like a friendship.

“Stop trying to be my friend.”

I don’t want to be your friend.

“Fuck you.”

Fuck you, too.

“Hey, I really like you. You know that?”

I like you, too.

Finally, the cops arrived – several bystanders down the road had been worried and called them.

For a variety of reasons, the woman ended up getting in the police car instead of her wife’s. While this was happening, I spoke to her wife. How was she doing? What’s been going on? I understand.

While the woman she loves was put into handcuffs, I stayed with this woman. How was she doing?

While the police car finally drove away, we hugged. She and her mother thanked me for staying for so long – for helping. For understanding.

“I’m glad it happened to be me driving by,” I said. And I went home.

I’m not sure how this woman is doing now – no doubt she sobered up and they let her out of jail. No doubt she’s feeling shame. No doubt, the pain for her and her family is far from over.

But the experience has stayed with me, and likely will for a long time. It has reminded me that each moment shapes the next, and each is perfect, because it is.

If I hadn’t seen this sort of behavior before, there’s no way I would have known how to handle it. If I hadn’t once felt so out of control personally, I wouldn’t have been able to empathize. If things hadn’t fallen apart in Austin, I couldn’t have given her family the resources I know of. And if I hadn’t spent so much time learning communication tools, I may not have been able to be there as solidly.

And just like life goes – where each moment leads to the next – yesterday has led to this: I feel reminded of the unique perspective I have on addiction – growing up with it in my family, and in me.

At that time, it certainly did not feel like a gift. And in many ways, it still doesn’t. But I can see that it is what I make it, and I feel inspired to make it into something good.

So coming soon – another book in my “Is” series. This one focused on addiction. This is certainly not something that many people, let alone books, talk to kids and teenagers about.

It feels like a gift to be able to do so.

More updates soon.

And, keep a look out for those moments that connect like stars. The more you look for them, the more you’ll find them.

If this were a Buzzfeed article, something really exciting would follow this.
“I haven’t slept all night – wait til’ you hear why!”
“I haven’t slept all night – Wow are these sex moves hot!”
“I haven’t slept all night – I’m Cheating on my Husband!”
You know. Something like that.
Unfortunately, this is not a Buzzfeed article, so all that follows is –
… because I did that thing where I was lying in bed thinking for a while and couldn’t get to sleep so I got up and had a snack and journaled for a while, then I still couldn’t sleep, so I read a book, then I got restless again and decided to write an article and now here I am writing a new blog post, 9 in the morning, and still, no sleep –
– “because I am a closeted vampire!”
What? Buzzfeed is getting outta hand.
Anyway, I’ve decided to sit down and write a new blog post, because why not, I can’t sleep anyway, and the people need updates! (That’s you.)
So here’s an update:
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working on building up my audience. I’ve been writing articles again for Elephant Journal (you can see some of them here), I’ve been posting more frequently on Facebook and Twitter, and, of course, I’ve been writing more than my traditional one-blog-post-per-year.
This is all leading somewhere very exciting.
(“You’ll Never Guess Where My Audience-Building Was Going All Along!”)
Ahem. I’ve decided to re-focus my attention on a particular series of books: my Is series. The first of these books, “Just Call Me Is,” introduces young readers to mindfulness. The second, “Call Me Perfect” builds on that concept, but focuses more specifically on creating a positive body image. Both are a story, journal, and exercise book all in one – completely interactive with the reader, illustrated, and of course, narrated by the reader’s somewhat snarky Inner Self (or Is!) (After all, these books are for middle graders.)
There is so much more potential with these books – I want to talk about things traditional publishers shy away from: addiction, gender, sexuality, consent. Things that kids really need to know about – but apparently, aren’t reading about.
So I’ve decided to continue the series, and in order to do that…
(“When You Find Out What Comes Next, You’ll Be Shocked!”)
… I will be launching a Patreon in the next several weeks! This Patreon will allow me the funds to continue writing this series of books – from the time and energy spent on their creation to the funds needed to design and publish them. And in exchange for your support, I’ll be offering all sorts of things, not limited to:
– exclusive video and blog content
– reading groups for the books
– guided meditations
– one-on-one coaching for parents and/or kids (on mindfulness, body image, etc.)
– group calls / support group space for kids / teens struggling with body image, being mindful, consent, gender dynamics, sexuality, etc.
– much more
I am not officially launching this Patreon – not just yet. But I wanted to let you know here first, it is on its way.
I’ll keep you guys in the loop on this. And – thank you for your support thus far! ❤
For more info on my writing:
For more info on my work with teens and kids:

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on “book things,” because to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve had an update to share on that front. See, a while ago I took an intentional break from career to focus a bit more inwardly and on my relationships. Well, it’s been several months of this now, and I think I’m about full-up on introspection and Big Emotions for a minute –

I’m ready to dive back into my writing career!

The first thing I have on the docket for you guys is a new Kindle Scout campaign for the third and final book in the Peter Able series. The first two books were published with Kindle Press, and I’d thought that the third was a shoe-in; that I wouldn’t have to submit it to the Scout Campaign. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works, apparently, so coming up next week, I’ll be launching my third (and last) Kindle Scout campaign!

For those who have been following Peter along his journey, you won’t want to miss your chance to vote for this finale’s publication. For those who haven’t been following Peter along his journey, well, you also won’t want to miss your chance to vote for this finale’s publication! (But do be sure to check out the first two in the series before the third is released!)

The next thing coming up is: more author appearances! Last week I had a meeting with the head of Austin ISD’s SEL Program (Social Emotional Learning), and we discussed some exciting possible opportunities going forward. If you’re a parent in the Austin area and you’d like me to visit your child’s school (either middle or high school) to discuss books, or specifically, mindfulness and/or developing a positive body image, please get in touch.

And finally – it’s been a while (at least a year) since I’ve actually written a new book. So – why not write one of those this year too? The next book on my list is likely a third to accompany Just Call Me Is and Call Me Perfect. This one will cover yet another important topic for children and teens: sexuality and gender identity. I went into this a bit in Call Me Perfect, as the book’s focus was on self acceptance (though it did focus more specifically on body image); but god knows there is well enough material to create a separate book on this. I imagine the fourth book in the series will discuss addiction – specifically, living in a household (as a child) where addiction is present, and how to deal.

So, that’s my book news for now. As always, I’m continuing to write a weekly article for Elephant Journal, and will be posting those on my Facebook author page upon publication.

Hope you all are having a great start to 2018 so far!