Since February, I’ve been working as the managing editor at American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly papers and editor at Maine Women Magazine and My Generation. These newspapers and magazines take a local approach to news and features. I’ve been grateful to work with a group of dedicated and kind journalists and editors.

Since the shootings at Parkland, the reporters have been researching and writing for student mental health series that I proposed. My hope in instigating the series was that readers would be able to use the information from the reporting to advocate for their needs and beliefs at their local school boards and in our state capitol. When we have good and balanced reporting, communities are informed to speak up for their priorities. Isn’t that really what all news is about?

That three-part series, “Under Pressure,” started publishing last week and I’m eager for people to read the amazing reporting. Please follow the links.  I’ll edit this to add Part 3 next week.

Part 1:

Under pressure: Mental health needs challenge southern Maine schools

Part 2:


Under pressure: Topsham school counselor has seen the profession evolve


Under pressure: Yarmouth team responds to variety of student needs


Under pressure: As South Portland schools become more diverse, so do needs


Under pressure: Mental, emotional support for Portland students largely ‘crisis driven’

American Journal/Lakes Region Weekly

Gorham High takes team approach to mental health



Has writing lost its joy?

The other day I went for my first psychic reading and there were many moments during the hour that I was completely blown away by her uncanny knowledge of me and my family.

Okay. I know that half of you are spitting chewed pretzels into your hand as you laugh hysterically. Don’t burst my little bubble here. Just go with it.  I also know the other half of you are nodding your head quietly. Either you’ve had a reading or you’ve always wanted to.

I’ve always wanted to. I’m a very head oriented person so I bring a healthy dose of skepticism with me, but I also grew up in the New Age 80’s near Takoma Park, MD and went to the Western hills of North Carolina each summer. (Yes I had a pouch with crystals and spent some time in a sweat lodge.)

As I’ve aged into Motherhood, and adult responsibilities I’ve grown out of those practices. According to the psychic– I’ve also lost my intuition and my joy.

My intuition helped me make decisions that led me on the path to joy. My decision to go to VCFA was very intuitive. It was completely the right thing to do. I looked at Ingrid’s Notes the other day and saw her amazing list of accomplishments. A year out of school, intensely focussed on revising and marketing my manuscript, I had to remind myself that just last year I had a similar list. VCFA doesn’t talk about the market. They don’t talk about agents or publishing if they can help it. Coming into the school I hated the practice. What was I paying for if not a route to publication? Now I pine for the focus on craft, the feedback of trusted advisors, the regular visits with people I love and trust. If only I could have that safe space again.

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As much as I might want to, I can’t go back to VCFA as a student. (I’m still paying off loans.) What I can do is remember the joy of writing. I can believe that I have all the resources I need to be successful. I can let go of my fear and anxiety. Write more. Trust my intuition (muse) in my work.

How do you rekindle the joy in your work?