Since my 2010 layoff, I have slowly claimed the poet's life I planned at college, before my master's degree and career in nonprofit communications; married life raising two daughters; and work as a freelance journalist and editor. Hit hard by hormonal mood swings, I struggled with fears of rejection and ageism in the job market; lost income; my dad's declining health; and my youngest daughter's departure for college. I told my husband I needed to take my first solo trip, to the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland, land of W. B. Yeats. My journey of "coming out" as a poet continues today.
In Ireland I met a poet with whom I began exchanging critiques via email. I won first place (for the second time) in a local poetry contest and was invited to join a workshop group. I decided to abandon my job search and launch Gold Boat Journeys, a business to inspire creative travel, cultural exchange and community. Learning as I went, I built my own website, taught myself how to blog and built social media profiles. An active volunteer, I also advocate for arts, human rights, nature, education and culture. As a poet I try to re-emerge new every day--offering my "letters to the world" as inspiration.
Since re-emerging as a poet well past middle age, I have followed my burning questions around the world. The experience of wonder, which many know from childhood but stop chasing as adults, seems more vital in our tumultuous times. Curiosity, which drives questioning, leads to experiencing wonder, which inspires a passion to protect and share the wonderful. My questions are existential: How is the world changing and how can I respond in a way that will make a difference? The answers don't change: speak out, stand up, show up, be brave, be kind, do good, listen, love, persist, hope, abide, evolve.
What I do
I am an award-winning writer and communications professional. In my 25-year career I directed marketing and public relations for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Canyon Foundation. A layoff inspired me to enroll in a poetry workshop in Ireland and launch my first website, Gold Boat Journeys (Creative Cultural Travel). Since then, I have organized trips around events such as writers' conferences, book and music festivals and literary anniversaries and holidays.
With a B.A. in literature (UC Santa Barbara), an M.A. in mass communication (California State University, Northridge), I now work as a freelance editor, marketing consultant and contest judge. Certified in Writing Group Leadership by Amherst Writers and Artists, I also teach marketing, creativity and writing workshops. Over the years my freelance clients have included the Rancho Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, UC Irvine Office of Student Affairs, Bow Seat Ocean Conservation Programs, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and many others.
My travel writing, essays, opinion pieces and feature articles have appeared in The Atlantic, L.A. Times, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Culture Trip, Transitions Abroad, Westways, Laguna Beach Independent, Laguna Beach Magazine and numerous other publications. My poems have been internationally recognized and published in literary magazines and anthologies. Called 'a timely and powerful selection of climate poetics,' my chapbook, 'Thirty Views of a Changing World: Haiku + Photos,' was published in December 2017 by Finishing Line Press.
In my spare time I travel, hike, garden, bake, read, usher at theaters, oversee two little free libraries, serve on the Laguna Beach Friends of the Library Board and advocate for the arts and the environment. An avid, published photographer, I post an image and accompanying haiku daily as @placepoet on Instagram. I also create hybrid works that combine images and words.