Welcome

Photo by Chris Hardy
Photo by Chris Hardy

Write. Read. Edit. Narrate. This is how I make my living. And since I have a bit of a bird obsession, it’s serendipitous that those four words lend themselves to an avian acronym.

I’m a freelance writer/editor, a niche I segued into 16 years ago after living previous lives as a stage lighting technician at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and an RN in the neonatal ICU at Children’s Hospital Oakland. This role feels right. There’s satisfaction in playing with words, syntax, style, and structure, whether they’re my own or someone else’s, and there’s a deeper reward in unleashing the beauty and power of language. Black marks on a page—they can change a person, sometimes forever or in unexpected ways.

I was editor in chief of a magazine for 9 years, and an associate editor of a different magazine before that. I’ve edited hundreds of magazine articles, a handful of books, a collection of essays written by a San Quentin inmate, and journal articles and whatnot for a policy research company. I’ve written dozens of features and editorials, along with ballet program notes, feature articles, and website copy; CD liner notes; and medical abstracts for litigation purposes. I have a BA in theater from The College of William and Mary and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. And I’m proud to be part of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, a collective of journalists and authors whose achievements astound me and whose generosity enriches my writing life.

The victim of obsessive curiosity (which leads to, in a fellow Grotto-ite’s words, “research rapture”), I’m a gluttonous reader. Fiction was my first love, and though I came to it late as a writer, I’m working on a novel (or two), along with essays and poetry. Other than that, I’m the mother of two [maternal hyperbole redacted] young men, the love object of a herding dog and an exasperated cat, and a swing dancer who remembers when taking ballet and jazz wasn’t entirely humiliating. I have an innate duality that lets me see both sides of an argument (usually) and makes me yearn for conflicting things simultaneously (like companionship and solitude). I try not to be superstitious, but I do come from people who believe in the malocchio. I often say Vermont is my spiritual home, but it could be Venice (Italy, not California). I’ve been to Bosnia. I’m learning to meditate. I don’t know the meaning of the word “bored.”

Thanks for visiting. Bonus points if you leave me a note. And remember Haruki Murakami’s words: “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”

~Cheryl