Tag: In Praise of Men



Salutations from sunny Santa Barbara, C.A. ¬†ūüôā

Hope this note finds you enjoying the shifting seasons somewhere outside.¬† I’m near the ocean, wrapping up loose ends- ¬†dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s as they say- as we approach publishing. ¬†It’s an exciting time!

While I don’t want to reveal *too* much, I can say:

1. We’ve re-written roughly 1/4 of the book.

2. I’m currently expanding the final chapter (see:¬†Magnificent Men).

A tiny teaser: one of the amazing men being added to Chapter 9¬†is¬†Rocky Marciano,¬†the World’s ONLY undefeated Heavyweight Champion. ¬†As you’ve likely guessed,¬†Rocky¬†was a cyclopian component of the classic¬†Stallone character Rocky Balboa, ¬†not to mention a committed community and family man, who retired in his prime to spend more time at home. ¬†Below are a few of my favorite photographs of Marciano.

rocky11  rocky17

In the first, Rock hugs the incredible Archie Moore, whom he beat in his final bout.  Ever generous to those he fought, he publicly appreciated and applauded his opponents (watch the end of this aforementioned Marciano vs. Moore match).  Hashtag: #trueclass.

The next image (Rocky in his robe, ‘Brockton’ blazed across the back) makes me smile so much! ¬†Growing up in this hard working, often struggling, blue collar suburb of Boston, he saw how many felt marginalized and made it a point to be loud-n-proud about his neighborhood. ¬†On the same terrain in 1976, just blocks from his boyhood home, I took my first steps at my Gran’s house. ¬†To this day, when life deals me blows, I think of the hard-hitting family man from down the way and know I *have* to get back up.

Finally, the picture of Rocky adoring his daughter (Mary Ann) melts my heart… ¬†And breaks it as well. ¬†Marciano died in a plane crash on the eve of his 46th birthday, leaving behind two beautiful children whose lives were inextricably altered by his loss. ¬†For all of you Dads out there: whether you’re a shoe shine man, a construction worker, a struggling artist, a small business owner or Elon Musk, PLEASE don’t underestimate how VERY important you are to your children and to YOUR neighborhood.



red-christmas-decorations-christmas-22228015-1920-1200**Season’s Greetings**
I sprinkled a lil snow here for you, no shovel required… ūüėõ

Quick catch up: we’ve firmed up book release/a big push for¬†In Praise of Men¬†for Fall 2017! ¬†In the meantime, I’ve done something slightly cheeky that might “jeopardize a sales segment”, but for which I can’t apologize. ¬†In life, one must stand for what they believe in, and so it is with firmly planted feet that I type these words.

Without a bunch of¬†fancy rhetoric, I stand with Standing Rock. ¬†All of the cultures that commingle in my blood- especially the Mi’kmaq in me- scream: NO MORE. ¬†WE’VE ABUSED THIS COUNTRY’S NATIVE PEOPLE AND LAND LONG ENOUGH! ¬†And clearly, I am FAR from alone- have you seen this yet(?): Veterans At Standing Rock.

I am also deeply disturbed by the racist, unpatriotic acts that birthed¬†BLM, and to put it plainly: Donald Trump is #notmypresident.¬† If revealing these sentiments somehow seems inappropriate, I understand. ¬†You’re entitled to your opinion, as well as a refund of your pre-order, which I shall courteously return should you request it.

Now, the big reveal. ¬†On election day, after anxiously casting my vote, I rushed off to see Suzanne Vega¬†at a local record shop. ¬†With her was Bowie¬†guitarist Gerry Leonard.¬† I thought he seemed familiar (had last seen him on the Reality tour, but from nosebleed seats in a stadium), but couldn’t place from where. ¬†When it hit me hours later, I thought about how much had happened since I last saw Gerry; of how I no longer made music; and of course about how that other bright soul on stage (Bowie) was no longer with us.

Around midnight, final polls arriving, a group of us decided we needed a stiff drink. ¬†We wandered into legendary M/SP dive bar The CC Club, and just after clinking our glasses hopefully, I looked up and caught “Clinton Calls Trump To Concede…” silently scrolling across CNN. ¬†At that exact moment, Heresy by NIN randomly came on the overhead.¬† During the first chorus, a drunk blonde climbed on top of a table and began screaming about our reproductive rights, and all across the bar, heads shook in disbelief. ¬†Was this our future? ¬†Had THIS happened? ¬†We were all terrified.

By the final chorus of Heresy, I knew what I had to do. ¬†I began silently humming the ONLY song I’d ever heard that could convey our mood at that moment, then messaged several of my former TC Electropunk compatriots and a few ex-band mates. ¬†In less than a week, we assembled en masse to cover the Bowie/NIN collab¬†I’m Afraid of Americans.¬† By week two, we’d organized a video; on week three, we shot and began editing, then recruited a handful remixers from different countries (Britain, France, Africa, Russia, etc.). ¬†Now, one month out… ¬†Gentlemen and Ladies, meet A*O*A:

Cover Art by Robertson, Whitlatch & Calder

Listen FREE (and if you dig it- own it FOREVER, with a portion of profits benefiting #NODAPL) here: a-o-a.bandcamp.com

Last, am pleased to announce that I just wrapped an on-air with Joe Kelley at¬†WVOF, and while it was music-focused, we most certainly discussed the book and its’ forthcoming release. ¬†Will post the archive here soon, and hope you approve.

With Holiday Cheer,


A quick AHOY from Book Editing Land!

My dear friend Erin Carere found something that you might find of interest.  Remember this chap, Ethan Hawke?


Many of my generation first met him as Todd Anderson in the film Dead Poets Society, in which he, Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles and a cast of many made us laugh, smile, cry, and take classic literature a little more seriously. ¬†From Shakespeare to Dickens, 1990’s Seattle-tinged cinema to Sci-Fi, we’ve seen Hawke shapeshift through a slew of characters, but what many of us may not have caught: he’s been moonlighting as… an author!

Hawke’s most recent release, Rules For A Knight is a fascinating read. ¬†Here’s a¬†small snippet from¬†Geekdad: geekdad.com/2016/02/rules-for-a-knight-review, and an excellent interview with Jimmy Fallon:



And here’s a link to preview/peruse the book:





Our U.S. Navy ensign taking in the Tall Ships at Duluth.

A great, BIG end-of-Summer SALUTE!

This past weekend,¬†I sojourned to Duluth, Minnesota to visit the Tall Ships,¬†and had the privilege of meeting a few of our ¬†U.S. Navy¬†fighting brave, including ensign¬†Blake Ramsdell¬†and¬†Alex Isakson (pictured above). ¬†They had impeccable manners, were full of enthusiasm and optimism, and I couldn’t help but feel like a very proud Auntie.

This led to meditating on how We the People¬†are a little bit like one giant, extended family, and thinking a good deal about my Grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran¬†James ‘Jim’ Richards.


Jim- who in later years preferred to be called by his middle name, Grahame- was a World War II recruit who served as chief announcer and program director for¬†Armed Forces Radio on Leyte.¬†¬†The Battle of Leyte¬†(part of the Pacific Campaign)¬†is perhaps most famous for being where General MacArthur–¬†aided by the Navy, U.S. Army¬†and native Philippinos fighting for their lives- landed and took back the island from the Imperial Japanese Army¬†¬†in 1944.

As we finish editing the Men At War chapter of In Praise of Men  this weekend, my gratitude and thoughts are with all of those who served, who currently serve, their families and with our Navy, who shall always be especially dear to my heart.

Last, if you donated (or chose a perk/perks equal to… ) $100 or more to the book publishing campaign, look for an invitation to read the Author’s Edit of the first 1/3 of In Praise of Men¬†this Wednesday!

With Bright Blessings,


PS: ¬†If you purchased a perk or perks that were under $100, but want to qualify for this week’s preview: I’ll honor your original amount, kick in a $15 credit, and additional donations and/or perks to reach the qualifying $100 may be located @: www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men-book#/




Hello from Minneapolis, where summer’s kiss is upon us… ¬†Where orchids and lilacs bloom relentlessly as boats race back and forth on Lake Harriet, Calhoun and Mark Twain’s Mississippi. ¬†‘Tis truly a sight for sore eyes that have been staring at this computer screen, micro-editing a certain book endlessly… ¬†ūüėČ

As mentioned in our Indiegogo update, we had a slight snafu concerning the cover art for In Praise of Men.¬†¬†Corbis- who owned Lunch Atop A Skyscraper– was acquired by Getty Images on May 2nd, and licensing costs have since doubled. ¬†For more detailed info, please visit: ¬†www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-praise-of-men–3#/

-Please vote for your favorite cover in a comment below or email me directly!

With Gratitude,


Thirteen years ago today, on February 27th, 2003, one of the brightest beacons of our time-¬†Fred Rogers–¬† ascended.

As if but months back, I recall briskly strolling home from a writing session at¬†Nina’s Coffee Cafe, only to¬†discover the¬†New York Times article announcing his departure on our dining room table. ¬†The wind knocked out of me, I surveyed the headline to make sure I’d read it right… ¬†I had. ¬†Blankly, I stared out of the window of 589 Laurel Avenue- a house in historic St. Paul that I shared with beautician¬†Sandra Albert,¬†author Von Braschler¬†and actor Dan Fuller- swallowed the lump in my throat, then mustered up the courage to read the obituary of my television Dad.

Tear-stung half way through, I fumbled for the nearby phone, in a weak attempt to call my Mother, who was probably the only person that might understand my impending melt down. ¬†I couldn’t finish dialing on first try, hung up after the first buzz during the second, then deliberately let it ring. ¬†The 27-year-old me was embarrassed, but the kid in me couldn’t help it. ¬†By the time she answered, I was sobbing unintelligibly, whilst silently thanking various Catholic, Roman and Greek deities that none of my aforementioned housemates were around to witness this hot mess.

You see, for many of us Gen-X/Y-ers dealing with divorce and/or Fatherlessness in our families, Mister Rogers was our part-time Pop, Uncle or Granddad.  For others, he was a mentor, friend, tour guide, self-esteem coach, or if nothing else, that familiar, reassuring, smiling face between channels.

After a heart-to-heart with my Mom, I finished reading his obituary, then dragged my feet upstairs, to the privacy of my then-pink bedroom.  And so, one block away from where F. Scott Fitzgerald was born, I dug out what childhood toys I had left, surrounded myself with them and cried myself to sleep.


Of all the bigger pieces I’ve read about Fred, this 1998 Esquire Magazine¬†¬†cover story by Tom Junod¬†is one of the most touching:
esquire.com/entertainment/tv/interviews/a27134/can-you-say-hero-esq1198. ¬†I also cherish this recently republished New York Daily News article from 1973:¬†www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/mister-rogers-focuses-children-feelings-article-1.2542259. ¬†Reading this coverage of his funeral has also helped me to make peace with it, as rainbows, hearts and coloring pencils couldn’t have been more appropriate, and I’ve always admired¬†Yo-Yo Ma¬†(now more than ever): ¬†http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20030504rogers0504p1.asp.

Tonight, ¬†I hope that you’ll take a moment to remember Fred with me, to reflect on all of the helpful things he taught us, and to re-visit an important episode. ¬†In our adult lives where everything moves at near-light speed and all has changed, this episode is particularly pertinent: ¬†www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8eEHV-b6WM.

Next, I’d like to acknowledge that it’s partially due to Mister Rogers’ work that I’ve been able to pen¬†In Praise of Men. ¬†If ever any thing’s out of place in your life and you need advice, to see the smiling face of a life-long neighbor or friend, all you need to do is find him on Youtube, or visit his legacy site: www.fredrogers.org/fred-rogers.

Finally, I’d like to spread some good news: Fred is still very much with us, in the countless lives he touched.

Thank you again Mister Rogers, thank you to your family, staff and to PBS.

With Speedy Delivery and Love,


Two of my favorite men in the world, who are featured in our final chapter,
50 Magnanimous Men.