My Process

Dear Writer:

There are different ways to get to the place where you start writing. Perhaps you are not a  natural goal setter. I’m not either. I work by “unfolding” from one experience to another, with one door opening to another. By trusting this process, I have accomplished more than any goal setting would have done for me. Others have a more direct route to writing and that can be very efficient. However, those with clear goal setting abilities need to be careful that their manuscripts have the depth they need because goal setting is often less of a reflective process.  As we mature, we are more a combination of  goal setting and unfolding.  There is no right or wrong because, in the end, what we have is our “river of words” and our own individual processes.

This is how the “river of words” came through me and brought me to memoir. What’s your story?

As a child I loved paper and sharpened pencils. I wrote to pen pals and in a diary. I grew to love poetry and saw poetry as a wonderful way to express feelings. I also loved to read biographies (Pearl Buck, Anne Frank and Margaret Mead) and any fiction. In college I studied the Russian novels and started my first journal. I liked words and letters and the look of words on the page. To me it was a code for communication and for connection. I liked writing to share with others. I later felt writing was contribution. I saw writing as a creek joining the river to join the sea, a part of the whole of humanity.

I started teaching public school and playing with photography.  I was a small town newspaper photographer. In time, I was given a one woman show in the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Galley in Marin County (outside of  San Francisco) and started writing poetry after a newspaper reviewer said my photography was “pure poetry.”

I joined poetry peer groups and sent out poetry for publication. Six books were published. The Mouth of Home and Riding Free in a Blue Studebaker  are memoir in poetry.

I stopped teaching and went back to school so that I could become a counselor.  I started writing self-help and inspirational books as a way of making contribution to the public. I found I really liked the longer project and my poetic voice helped with creative nonfiction writing. Four books were published, some by major publishers, all with advances and royalties.

I combined writing coaching to my counseling practice and began teaching memoir and writing as spiritual practice classes in San Francisco.

I was doing collage at home for relaxation and liked making a unity out of disparate parts. I thought to do a memoir as a collage. I wrote Salt and Paper  and sent it to the publisher of RAW ArT PRESS.  The manuscript won their Experimental Prose Prize for 2010 and they published it in 2011.

I am a creative person who can help you with any concern you have with writing a manuscript. I have probably had the same concerns in my long “unfolding” process including how to tell the family issues and how to cope emotionally when writing difficult topics. I can be as involved as you’d like or as hands off, as you need.

Best of luck with your project. I hope you feel comfortable in choosing me to help you. Let’s talk in a half an hour consultation. See details below.





Concept to Completion Memoir Coaching

Including help with memoir publication from author of self-help, inspirational, memoir and poetry books from major publishers. See web site.


30 minute phone consultation to determine if project is a fit for us.

During our phone consultation we will decide which option would best fit your needs or if there is a way my work with you needs to be tailor-made.  My job is to suit your needs and to help you make your memoir the best it can be.

Please call 415-824-2490 to set up $45.00 phone consultation appointment.

We’ll talk about your topic and goals. PayPal option or check.


Encouragement, guidance, planning (setting up structure), and emotional support from coach who is long-term counselor and writer.


You may need help in some of these areas:

Getting Your Memoir Started

  • help writer clarify deepest meaning of memoir
  • assess manuscript for depth of material and suggest where and how to deepen, if   necessary
  • determine audience
  • determine author’s voice
  • clarify form best for manuscript content and author’s voice
  • help writer make decisions on table of contents
  • read 2-3 sample chapters (up to thirty pages) to determine shaping
  • (additions  subtractions) and estimate, how much line editing it will be needed
  • decide specific genre of memoir for marketing
  • referrals to trusted line editors
  • suggest proposal resources, when ready
  • referral to publication options


Completed Manuscript Read and Feedback

  • careful reading of your memoir
  • detailed written suggestions to strengthen organization and/or clarify concept
  • phone session to discuss the written suggestions
  • phone session to discuss publication options


Completed Manuscript Read and Feedback

You just need a final reading by a good writer and editor and receive suggestions on any problems. If your manuscript is completed and you are 90% sure that that it’s done, this  service for you.  All manuscript services estimated for manuscripts up to 300 pages. Additional price longer manuscripts.

  • phone session to discuss issues for which the author wants me to read
  • careful reading of your memoir
  • detailed written suggestions to strengthen organization and/or clarify concept
  • phone session or meeting to discuss written suggestions
  • phone session or meeting  to discuss publication options


Best of luck with your memoir.