How Best Friends with College Rivalries Say Thank You


Last year when we had our Indiegogo campaign, I wrote “Generous Souls” posts for each person I knew who donated. Here’s the post I wrote to thank Andrea Torres, my best friend and first writing partner from 7th grade, for her generous donation last year.

So when we launched our campaign this year and Andrea matched last year’s gift before I even put the word out, I thought, “I need to write another post to thank Andrea. Luckily I have so many good Andrea stories!”

But by the time I sat down to write, the Big Game had already been played. You know which “Big Game”—it’s the one best characterized by this picture

And this video.


You know—the most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending… exciting, thrilling game in the history of college football. The one where California wins the Big Game over Stanford.

Only this year we didn’t win. More like we got crushed. And not just crushed. Our hearts and spleens and livers and kidneys were pulled out through our pores and strained and made into paleo-smoothies with genetically modified strawberries (because all smoothies taste better with strawberries and let’s face it, all strawberries are genetically modified these days) and then the Stanford team fed their strawberry-organ-meat smoothies to their ruthless fans who gulped them up with fury and frenzy. It was horrible.

(At least, that’s what I gathered from reading my Facebook feed. I haven’t watched a college football game since the third trimester of my first pregnancy–that’s seven years ago for those of you keeping track at home.)

So even though Andrea is a generous soul and she made all the family vacations from my teenaged years tolerable because she came along and she let my little sister store all her stuff in her house when my sister studied abroad for a semester. And even though she hosted our family and let us drink the fancy micro-brews she left in the fridge when my sister graduated from college and even though she’s actually thinking of flying out for the Write On Mamas book launch party and even though I didn’t even remember that the game was happening this past weekend.

Still. Once a Bear, always a Bear.

And maybe Andrea’s Stanford degree is her only character flaw, but this time of year, that’s enough.

(But that shouldn’t stop you from donating to our campaign! We’d still appreciate your help and your contribution. Even if you went to Stanford.)

Meet Sue LeBreton the “Quick-Draw Commenter”


1375255_10152250035388222_1916757086_nUsed to be around these parts that if you had a blog and you linked it to your Facebook wall and I found it on my feed that I’d go and leave a comment. The first comment.

But then Sue LeBreton and I started following the same blogs.

I met Sue at Kate Hopper’s Madeline Island retreat (because I couldn’t possibly write a blog post without mentioning Kate Hopper). My first impression of Sue was that she was sweet, you know, in that Canadian sort of way. I invited her to be our first international member of the Write On Mamas. She accepted. I asked her to write an essay for our upcoming anthology. She accepted.

Sue wrote about listening to her tween read to her as she lay in viparita karani (legs-up-the-wall pose) and how it brings her back to the days when her daughter is 18-months old and in the hospital with infant leukemia. I won’t spoil it for you because I know you’re waiting to read it from your very own copy that you’ll get with your perk after donating to our Indiegogo campaign (See how I worked that in there?)

That’s the middle story—Sue and her beautiful essay. But the real story is how I used to be the first person to comment on blogs. And how I was so sure that I’d be the first of the WoMs to contribute to the Indiegogo campaign just launched a day ago (or two days ago, depending on the blog you’re reading).

But nooooooo. Quick-draw Sue beat me to it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for her contribution. My question is this: How did she beat me?

I’m telling you—a mutual writer-friend has a guest blog on a site. I click on the link. Sue has already left a comment. And a thoughtful one, too! Not just the generic “This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! Smiley face.” I look at a profile I’ve written for Literary Mama. Sue has already left a comment. How did she even know this profile was up? I didn’t even know the profile was up. I suggested to Sue that she link to my blog in lieu of fishing for Indiegogo donations and she found my blog post that not even Google knows about.

I’m in awe. (And feeling a little displaced. What’s to become of me? Will I be Second-to-Sue from now on?)

So here’s your challenge. Post a comment before Quick-draw Sue does. GO!

It’s Indiegogo Time Again!


Woo hoo! Write On Mamas Indiegogo-campaign time is here again!

What is Indiegogo-campaign time? Who are the Write On Mamas? you ask.

Well, who are YOU? I ask. As far as I know, the only people who even know about this blog are Write On Mamas themselves. And my mom. Who I suppose is a Write On Mamas-mama.

OK–the Write On Mamas are a group of moms who write (duh) and we’re putting together an anthology of our essays. This is where I stop trying to be funny, so listen up–last year we raised just under $8000 in our Indiegogo campaign. We used some of that money to hire a developmental editor (the awesome and fabulous Kate Hopper) and she worked personally with 25 of our authors to help them shape their essays. The rest of the money we raised will go toward the cost of designing the cover, layout, printing costs, promotion, that sort of thing. Problem is, we didn’t raise enough the first time around. We need a little more to reach our goal.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s “WOW! How can I help?”

Click here to get started. It’s fun! Delightful, even. And any pain you experience is purely psychological.

That was what you were thinking, right? Or was it, “Tell me more about your project.”

We’re writing about writing. “Writing our mothering and mothering our writing” as WoM member Allison Tierney put it.

I’m on the editorial team along with Mary Hill and Joanne Hartman. Our job is to take the essays already given the green light by Kate and to shape them into a coherent whole. What are our themes? What’s going to make the book work? Who’s our audience? (Answers TK).

Every Friday Mary, Joanne and I meet at Bittersweet Cafe in Oakland (Joanne is working her way down the hot chocolate menu). We come with our binders of the work-in-progress. Each week we look at a handful of essays. Along with light copyediting (we’ll hire a professional copyeditor to do the heavy lifting thanks to the funds we’ll get from our Indiegogo campaign HINT HINT) we look how to highlight the very best in each essay and discuss where it might fit in the anthology.

“WOW!” You’re thinking. “That’s awesome. What a great way to build community. I wish I could help. What was that number again?”


Now didn’t that feel good? Post a comment. Share on Facebook. Let everyone know that YOU are a rock star philanthropist. (Or share anyway and be a poseur philanthropist, that works too. Unless nobody else donates. Then it doesn’t work at all. So think about that.)

And thanks, Mom, for already answering the call!