Woman with Bag (OBVIOUSLY holding a red pen):
Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, 1915

Writing is easy--just sit down and open a vein.
--Ring Lardner

I can't write five words but that I change seven.
--Dorothy Parker

Everything depends on those who go on anyway.
--Henri Cole

Here's why you need me to help write, shape, edit, revise, and publish your essay or story or book. 
Because I've been doing all that myself for almost 20 years. 
Because I'm good at it. 
And because I love literature.

I’ve published six books. 

I’ve written and recorded over 30 slice-of-life commentaries for NPR’s All Things Considered
I give interviews, retreats, and talks.

I also have a heart that was formed by living for twenty years in, 

and eventually being resurrected from, the gutter. 
I believe books, art, and music have the power to literally 
save people’s lives, because they saved mine.

I didn't start writing myself until I was 41. I started from scratch. 

I had no mentor, no guidebook. 
I had the literature that had formed me and my love for the people who had written it. 
I had my belief that stories keep the flame of civilization burning.

So I'm passionate about helping you get your own story, 

whatever that story may be, and whatever form it may take, down on paper. 

And because I know the difficulties of navigating the thicket of self-doubt, 
existential loneliness, the publishing world, and self-promotion, 
I'm happy to share my experience, strength and hope there as well.

I’m self-taught, self-disciplined, self-motivated, and depressed, I mean funny. 

I like to make good use of my time. 
I’ll be respectful and I’ll also be honest. 
I’m compassionate and I also expect you to be as serious about your work as I am about mine.

So let's unlock our stories! 
Let’s deepen our capacity for delight and wonder! 
Let’s live up to our callings! 
For surely there could be none nobler than writing.