What I Offer

Speaking, Workshops, Coaching, & Personal Writing Retreats

Visit the Events page to see my upcoming schedule.

SPEAKING

Are you looking for a passionate and inspiring speaker for your conference, symposium, group or corporation? I speak and teach from both head and heart, informed by my life experiences, education and craft.

Watch this three-minute Nature Conservancy video on pollinators for an example, or sample this keynote talk. (It’s the full talk, in two parts.)

I just wanted to tell you how much your talk meant to me. You are an incredible person, a beacon of light and wisdom to the rest of us. — Conference attendee

Email me, and let’s talk!

WORKSHOPS

Teaching for me is another way to offer my gifts, whether helping writers reach their dreams through creative writing workshops, helping scientists communicate about their work, or by helping gardeners grow sustainable landscapes that restore the vibrancy and health of nature right at home. I'm a dynamic teacher, listening to my students, adjusting to their needs, and digging deep to inspire and inform. I bring all of my experience in life and work, all of my knowledge and my whole heart to my students to help them grow, learn and reach for their dreams. 

My workshops can be customized to suit the audience and the length of time available, from a few hours to a week. Read the examples below, and then contact me to talk about what you're looking for. 

CREATIVE WRITING

Stories nurture our connection to place and to each other. They show us where we've been and where we can go. They remind us of how to be human, how to live alongside the other lives that animate this planet. ...No one story can give us the whole picture. We need every voice to speak its version of the truth from the silence. We need every story to guide our lives. --Walking Nature Home, A Life's Journey

I didn't write that passage as a teaching philosophy, but that belief in the importance of each voice and each story guides my work with writers. Here are examples of writing workshops I've taught:

Words to Live By

What do the words we use mean? And how can we call on their essential power to guide our craft and imagination? Build a “word prompt ring” with key words to motivate and inform writing and life.

Thank you for sending me out to look at the stars last night before I went to bed and for giving me a push in the direction of taking charge of my dreams. — Workshop participant

Finding Voice and Grace in the Hard Stuff

How do we handle the hard stuff in our writing? How do we write about the issues that are controversial, painful, or just no fun? Practice writing techniques that strengthen our voices and reveal the grace and wisdom to be found in tough times and tough writing.

This was my favorite workshop at the conference. It gave me great tools for dealing with current issues in my writing. –Writing the Hard Stuff workshop participant

Field Notes: Writing From Life

Use the techniques of scientists to sharpen your observation skills and bring the richness of detail to your work. Draw on the lessons of nature to stimulate your creativity and hone your words.

Your workshop was exactly what I needed. I can’t thank you enough for inspiring my writing. — Memoir writer

Take One a Day: Haiku as Writing Practice

Show up! is one of the most difficult tenets of writing. The ancient art of haiku teaches us how to be present and make use of every moment. Think you don’t have time to write? Try one haiku a day, and watch your creativity grow and your words come forth.

GARDENING FOR FOOD AND HABITAT

Cultivating a Sustainable Kitchen Garden

We really are what we eat! Whether you tend a large garden plot or just a few pots, find out how growing your own food can make your body, table and community healthier.

She was my favorite presenter–bring her back, please! –Cultivating a Sustainable Kitchen Garden workshop participant

Planting a Thriving Garden Community

How do you find the plants that will thrive on your site? What can you do to keep them healthy and to attract the other species that help your garden flourish? Learn how to grow and tend a happy, sustainable garden.

COACHING

I work with a small number of individual clients, helping them recognize and articulate their stories, real and imagined, from practice and organization to flow and lyricism–and also publishing and using social media effectively. (TIP: On social media, you'll get the best results if you stress . Clients have included novelists, writers of memoir and creative nonfiction, and speakers with great ideas. Email me for details.

Thanks for breathing life into my words. You bring a story to life with what you leave out. — TED speaker

Your experience and wisdom shone through in everything you showed and advised me. ...Now I am looking forward to the work ahead. You provided both inspiration and specifics that enable me to not just plan but "do." — Doann Houghton-Alco, author of Voice of a Voyage

PERSONAL WRITING RETREATS

If you can’t make it to one of my events and could use some creative time-away, Treehouse, the cozy, self-contained studio apartment above my garage with the stunning view of the mountains, is available on a limited basis with the possibility of individual coaching sessions to work with me on your writing. Contact me for rates and other information.

Your warmth and generosity and wisdom have touched me deeply. — Writing retreat participant