Giving the guns, baby.

Photo credit Miranda Lievers, Blue Olive Photography.

I’m a writer, editor and maker.

My passion is Mighty Ugly, through which I facilitate hands-on and discussion-based workshops and lecture-conversations that help people confront creative demons, experiment with new approaches to creative expression, and build confidence in what they make and do. (It’s for all sorts of people, whether they identify as being creative or not.) Look for my latest book, Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises And Advice For Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty, available in bookstores and libraries everywhere.

I started describing myself as a camp counselor for grownups when I realized that Mighty Ugly can be pretty… heavy. Which can be a good thing, but fun and simple pleasures are important, too! I did work as a camp counselor (for kids and teenagers) until I was twenty-five, and I’ve long held that we adults sell ourselves short when we relegate silliness and play to the realm of childhood.

I also work as a freelance writer, editor and speaker. I love to explore topics related (even remotely) to creativity and making, and I also love to write on assignment. I had the pleasure of delivering the August 2014 Vancouver Creative Mornings talk on the global theme of failure, and I’ve recently spoken alongside authors Leanne Prain and Betsy Greer in panel discussions at venues including Powell’s Books in Portland, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. If you’re a magazine editor, blogger, or event organizer and would like to chat about a possible writing assignment or speaking engagement, I’d love to hear from you.

I teach classes online at Craftsy and CreativeLive and run my own online class on forming a stress-free creative habit. Isn’t it just amazing that we can learn pretty much anything online? At our own pace? And ask instructors any questions we have? I think it’s amazing.

I blog here on my site about crafts, solo creative business, books I read, and books I write and edit. I like to explore aspects of creativity and creative life, and I have a tendency occasionally to totally geek out about some gripping thing or another. If you’re into these things, or if you’re a fan of crochet or crafts or books or creativity or, like, Buffy or Freaks & Geeks, you may enjoy yourself.

If you like newsletters that are sort of like letters and come every Friday with awesome links that are right up your alley, please subscribe to my newsletter, the Weekly Digest.

As for my past work, I’m proudest of having launched and run the online magazine-cum-social-network CrochetMe.com; I sold the site to Interweave Press in 2008.

From 2006-2008 I was the editor of Interweave Crochet magazine.

In addition to working on the magazines, I’ve also written or co-authored six crochet books and I’ve contributed articles or designs to several magazines and books written by other people. And yes, as I’ve told more than one border guard while traveling between Canada and the U.S., these books are published by actual publishers and people buy them. For real.

In the out-of-left-field department, I helped to found and currently serve as the editor of Clarinet News magazine.

I have a B.A. in linguistics from Binghamton University (SUNY), my honours thesis for which was about the creolization of pidgins. And I have an M.A. in educational studies from the University of Delaware, for which I performed research on babies regarding some particularities of language acquisition. You might surmise from my educational background that it’s possible to find work you love that has absolutely nothing to do with your past schooling. I love my schooling, and I love not working in the fields I studied.

I live in Vancouver, BC, with my partner, our kid and our aging mutt. In addition to my work I enjoy knitting, nachos, making soap from scratch, dabbling in jewelry making, taking nice long walks in the woods with the dog (sans piña coladas, thankyouverymuch), the smell of clean laundry, and reading books of many sorts. I really want to learn how to skateboard, and I love (some) science fiction television.