What Doesn’t Kill You…

Every year on January 1st I go for a walk. I write down the first twelve things I see that seem significant – things that leave an impression, then I flesh out my impressions in my journal and use each one as an inspiration for the coming months. Laugh if you will – this exercise is extremely powerful – and surprisingly accurate. Last year’s impression for December involved a huge tree in my neighborhood. It

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The Timeline of Life’s Story

I've been journaling for as long as I can remember. Literally. As soon as I could spell I started keeping a diary. In the midst of a difficult childhood, it became the only way that I could safely process my thoughts and feelings. As time went on and life got more complicated I still turned to this almost daily habit whenever life got overwhelming, but as a busy young mother, my entries became more of

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Modern Moto Magazine Official Launch!

  Hey there beautiful people! It's March 1st, and that means the premier issue of Modern Moto Magazine has finally launched! I'm super excited to be writing for this brand new motorcycling magazine aimed specifically at women riders – helping to empower them to ride safely and also to find great looking gear that actually fits and is made for women! This magazine was the brainchild of Katie McKay who saw a need that wasn't

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Dance With The One That Brought You

By Writing

A long time ago my husband and I used to work with a lot of young people. We worked in schools and centers and with youth groups plus had four kids of our own. There were always extra kids and extra teenagers hanging around our house. Like, a lot 😉 It's funny because after a while, no matter the subject, I felt like I was answering the same question over and over again. Eventually  I

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Change Is The Ride

image source I remember buying my first bike. It was only about a week after my endorsement class, and one of my instructors had said something to me, tongue in cheek, that I'll never forget. “When you go to buy a bike,” he said “remember this: When you turn it on, it should turn you on right back.” I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud at that one. As a newbie, everything about riding turned

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The Far Side of the Mountain

  Standing naked in my kitchen one day, making some salmon fillets and a microwave baked potato, I was forced to think about my life and my choices. Ok ok. It had nothing to do with the salmon. Or the baked potato. Most people have something they don't like about themselves. Mine is an apparent inability to figure out what I want out of life. Ok that's not entirely true. I know exactly what I

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Going Toward The Mountain (Or, an ounce of reinvention is worth a pound of cure…)

The idea of reinventing myself is an interesting concept. Invention refers to creative ability, but to “reinvent” means to change something so much that it appears entirely new. Entirely new? Is that even possible? Most of us try on new things. New clothes, new voices, new “favorites”, new friend groups. We try things on for size. To see if they fit. To see if we fit. And if we don't, we move on. It's not such

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Beauty From Ashes. Literally. What it means to be a survivor…

I was fourteen when Mt. St. Helens last erupted. I remember my brother, who lived in Eastern Washington at the time, telling us how the ash fell like snow and they were scraping it off their cars. The devastation near the mountain was incredible. None survived within the blast zone, especially not the hardy old Harry Truman, who refused to leave Spirit Lake when evacuations were ordered. Foremost researchers and volunteers died that day. Fifty

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I’m afraid…not. (Confronting the fear of being a woman and traveling alone on a motorcycle)

Some people call me fearless because I ride my motorcycle and camp solo, but the truth is, this shit scares the hell out of me.  Don't get me wrong, Belle and I make a pretty good team (“Belle” is my Harley – I named her that because she’s Beauty And The Beast) but I’m still solo a lot of the time. It isn’t that I’m against riding with other people, but a lot of the

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What the heck is a YURT? a.k.a. Motorcycle camping for the wet and wild :)

Yurt camping is kind of the best of both worlds – you get the experience of camping but with several of the comforts of home – like the ability to stay warm, and dry which – in the Pacific Northwest – is not always easy to do. It also gives you a bed off the ground and all you need is your sleeping bag – no pad, no tent, no worries! This trip was kind

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Thoughts Along the Way – Changing Perspectives

I was walking along the beach on my last motorcycle trip, picking up rocks and shells and looking at the things the ocean had left behind. I picked up a particularly  beautiful light green stone that looked like it would be much more at home on a beach in the  Mediterranean than the Pacific Northwest, and I wondered how far it might have traveled through the seas. I wondered what its journey had been like.

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Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History…

    I think the thing I hear most often when I'm traveling by motorcycle is: You're riding alone? Most of the time the answer is yes. This time I shared the first day's ride and then camped with a friend. It was only a 2 day adventure but I covered 433 miles with plenty of stories and a bunch of gear to review because of it!   Setting out from Portland I went north

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Madrid Day 3 – Life Is Art

By Writing

  Standing in front of Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia, I became a different person. And I don’t mean that in some cheeky, self-indulgent way. I mean it in the truest sense of the word. This change was not subtle. It was startling. I have never been a lover of modern art. With its seemingly simple brush strokes, violent streaks of color, deformed faces, stick figures, and incongruent structure, it has always grated against my

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We were together, and this was just a part of our life…

We were sitting in a cafe last night about 11 pm having a little pastry before bed (because in Madrid you can do that, and because when you're on vacation, calorie counting is sacrilege) and my daughter asked me what the most memorable part of the day had been for me. I had to think about it. I'd had very little sleep in the last 48 hours so my brain felt fuzzy and even the

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“You want to go home and rethink your life”

Many people spend the first part of the New Year sort of rethinking their life, and it doesn't take The Force to convince us to do it. It comes fairly naturally. I'm pretty familiar with this ritual. Each year I take a walk on New Year's Day and write down my impressions about what I see in my journal, then I use those themes and images to help me think about the coming year. But

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New Release! Finn Again Official Launch!

Hey all! I'm so very excited to announce the official launch of Finn Again!!!  This book has been a long time in the waiting, but it's finally here!! It's currently available in paperback and on Kindle. If you haven't read it I hope you'll give it a try. If you have, please feel free to add your comments, questions or reviews to the mix!   Here's what the book is about! Finn McCarthy is half

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What’s New?

I have to admit. I laughed at this one. Out loud. And then I cried a little. On the inside. And then I smiled when I realized life is kinda like that. Anne Lamott talks about writing shitty first drafts in her book “Bird By Bird”. It's one of the things that gives me the courage to keep writing. Not worrying that anyone will necessarily read that first bit of dribble, but rather just getting

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Is there a Match to Spark this Tinder?

I'm not a fan of dating websites. I prefer my relationships like I prefer my produce: organically grown. However, in this day and age of internet dating and so much conversation that takes place online and over text, I can understand how tempting it is to just throw your manifesto out there, like a boomerang, and see if it comes back with anything interesting. I am one of those people who probably ought to come

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Procrastination = Fear. (Or, Tattoo You…)

I attended an amazing Ted-X event in Salem, Oregon recently with a theme of Fearless. Or maybe, Fear-Less, depending on how you look at it. Either way, the timing of this topic was spot-on. I've also been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's podcasts for her newest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In the very first podcast she made a profound statement that pretty much stopped me in my tracks: Procrastination is another name for fear. I flashed

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