When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories...

Oct 21, 2016 by

I tried to avoid writing a memoir but my family’s stories wouldn’t let me go. In fact, they grabbed my by the tail and swung hard. After many temper tantrums, much stomping of my feet, and much cursing my fate, I finally wrote down the tales of our travels and travails living in Nigeria, Peru and Bolivia. I’m in the final stages for publication–filling out paperwork for publicity preparation. Soon we will have a pub date, and I’ll be sure to post it here. In the meantime, this is what the book is about: When Amy Wallen learns her parents are grave robbers and her memory is out of focus, she tries to figure out what truly happened. She excavates both their sojourn overseas and how her family was one-by-one sent away from her...

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Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Manuscript Workshops with David Ulin...

Nov 3, 2015 by

While we call it a 200-page manuscript workshop, this means UP TO 200 pages, with a minimum of 100. We’ll even take fewer if you show you’ve got perseverance. Few other workshops invite authors to submit so many pages-this is a great opportunity to have an astute set of eyes see the larger framework of your book and thus provide more comprehensive feedback. Have you been struggling with seeing the vision for your book come to life on the page? Working on a novel or memoir and desperately need a few readers and some critical feedback? At the Ulin Workshop, an exclusive group of your peers, led by professional critic and author, David Ulin, will spend up to two hours diving deep into the core of your project and help you brainstorm around ideas,...

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UCSD Novel I Class

Apr 2, 2015 by

Novels can be daunting tasks.  They can also be a lot of fun. Usually they are both. But with the right tools, the tools of craft, a novel can come together much quicker.  I love teaching Novel I at UCSD Extension. Each week we learn a new aspect of the craft from creating three-dimensional characters to adding suspense and tension. We do some read and critique, and most of all we get ourselves (yes, me included because it’s that much fun) motivated to get the novel written. If you don’t have a first draft, you can’t have a second draft, and you can’t finish unless you revise and rewrite.  That’s why there’s Novel I, II, & III! Starting January 17, 2017, come join me for Novel...

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Love Me Some Death

Mar 6, 2015 by

I’m the morbidity guru, according to San Diego Voice. I write a semi-regular article for City Beat on Death. The links are below. One about Death Cafes, or at least my sardonic take on these lovely tea and cake events. And another is about my love for graveyards, and obituaries. To me, some of the most interesting people exist in the obituary column, and I’m not talking celebrity obits. Please, I prefer ordinary folk, like the member of the mariachi band for JFK’s funeral, or the inventor of the poodle skirt.  My next article is due out on April 27, and it looks like it will be about Near Death Experience Association. I’m not a believer of the Afterlife, but these folks have some interesting meetings and discussions. Many stories. June, I’m looking into the...

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Novels & Memoirs

Nov 15, 2014 by

While I write my own books, I also work with others on their novels. I love the process of writing a book. I have just finished my memoir about growing up in Africa and South America (forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press, American Lives Series 2017) and I’m champing at the bit to get back to fiction. The way I keep my appetite whetted is working with students in workshops, classes and one-on-one on their novels and memoirs. I ran the Revisionistas Writing Group for twelve years. Each member is about to finish their own marvelous novel. I also facilitate along with David Ulin 200-page manuscript workshop. Starting in January, I will be teaching Novel I at UCSD Extension. And, I love to edit novels and memoirs to get them to that final stage...

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Cherry Cabernet Brownies

Jun 24, 2014 by

Here I am wanting to start my recipe blog and never get around it, then one day I’m on facebook and I mention Cherry Cabernet Brownies and everyone wants the recipe, that if I had my blog going I could readily post. Instead, I have to post it here among my other mental meanderings. Alas, it’s still great to share. I’m without a photo of the brownies, so grapes will have to do. I call them Spicy because I add extra cinnamon to almost everything that calls for it. So, if you do the same, be sure to adjust the rest of the dry ingredients accordingly, so the brownies will be moist. Cherries, cinnamon, cabernet and chocolate. Is there really any need for anything else in life?? Here’s the recipe! Cherry Cabernet Brownies Servings:...

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