I published my first book, Ghosts of Alcatraz, through Schiffer Publishing in 2007. That was followed in 2008 by Ghosts of Alcatraz. I spent the next few years exploring the pros and cons of self-publishing and ultimately decided that I would prefer to self-publish future works. In 2011 I put together a short booklet of articles to test out Amazon’s self-publishing tool (called CreateSpace). I loved the way that the tool worked and that confirmed that it was the way to go for my 2012 book, Crochet Saved My Life. I used it again in 2013 when I published my most recent book, Cracked Wide Open. My newest book is Mandalas for Marinke, released in November 2017.
Books I’ve Authored
Here’s a little bit more about these books in reverse chronological order:
Mandalas for Marinke
Mandalas for Marinke is a collaborative crochet art project that I curated to raise awareness about depression and suicide. This book is a full color, 200+ page excerpt of the larger online project, filled with images of contributions along with stories and thoughts submitted about the topic. I’m humbled by the depth and richness of all that people shared with me through this project and worked hard to make this book of a quality that honors those contributions. In addition to the contributions, the book includes my own writing on the topic and additional thoughts on the project.
Hook to Heal
Hook to Heal is a set of approximately 100 creativity exercises designed for people who crochet to use the craft to improve their lives in myriad ways. It covers a range of topics, including using crochet for mindfulness practice, improving relationships through crochet and honoring your inner artist with crafting.
Cracked Wide Open
In the fall of 2013 I started an intensive graduate school program to get a degree in Integral Counseling Psychology. My first year in the program gave me a solid foundation in the basics of psychological counseling. At the same time, it allowed me to delve deep into my own soul, cracking open my own misperceptions of myself and offering me the opportunity to recreate my personal narrative into a story better suited to my current self. Cracked Wide Open: Essays, musings and observations from my first year as a counseling psychology grad student is a collection of my academic essays, creative writing, journal entries and thoughts from the first year of that program. It is part-memoir, sharing my journey as a growth-in-process. It is part academic, introducing the basics of psychological theory through my own writings about what I read. And it is part just a human story, the story of what we are all going through and how confusing and inspiring that journey is.
Crochet Saved My Life
Crochet Saved My Life is a non-fiction look at the mental and physical health benefits of crochet. In it I share my own story of dealing with lifelong depression and the role that crochet played in finally healing from that. I interviewed nearly two dozen women who shared their stories about healing through anxiety, PTSD, post-partum depression, chronic pain and a variety of other conditions. Learn more about these women here. The book also covers the research that has been done into the healing benefits of needlework. Crochet Saved My Life is available in print as well as on Kindle.
When Grandma’s Not Crocheting, She’s Hunting Big Game
In 2011 I published a collection of short articles titled When Grandma Isn’t Crocheting, She’s Hunting Big Game. Each article is only two or three paragraphs long and is printed in a similar format to how the story originally appeared on my crochet blog. This book was primarily an exploration into the self-publishing process. The end product is just a small booklet. It is my intention to follow up on this booklet with future series of more well-developed articles about elderly women who not only crochet but also do other cool things with their later years of life.
Ghosts of Alcatraz
Ghosts of Alcatraz, published by Schiffer in 2008, is a book that relates the most popular stories about spirits that haunt the island. My favorite part of this book was that I got the opportunity to research and relate the history of Alcatraz Island from its early days a a military prison through to the time when it was taken over in a civil rights movement by Native Americans through to now when it’s a popular tourist attraction. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, I hope that you enjoy that the book shares this history of the island.
Ghosts of San Francisco
My first book was Ghosts of San Francisco, published by Schiffer in 2007. As with the Alcatraz book my favorite part of this book was the opportunity to research the history of the place where I live. I love San Francisco for many, many reasons, not the least of which is that this is a city full of stories from every era. I wrote this book less than two years after I first moved to the city and it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the place and the people who have lived here. It was a joy to share the history of the area through these stories.
I was a contributing author to the following book projects:
Hungry? San Francisco: The Lowdown on Where the Real People Eat!
I contributed information to a San Francisco local dining guide. From the Amazon page: “Locals and tourists alike cherish San Francisco for its picturesque charm, diverse culture, and perhaps most of all its food. And why not? Whether you’re zig-zagging down Lombard Street or escaping to Alcatraz, it’s easy to work up an appetite in the City by the Bay. Unfortunately, San Francisco’s high cost of living and thriving tourist industry make it easy to ring up a hefty bill, too. That’s why we’ve created Hungry? San Francisco: The Lowdown on Where the Real People Eat!”
Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage: Greenwood Milestones in African American History
I was one of 80+ contributors to a large project called Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage: Greenwood Milestones in African American History. From Amazon: “For the first time, the Middle Passage — the experience of slaves on the trans-Atlantic ships —receives a full reference treatment in an encyclopedia. This A-to-Z reference consists of 226 signed entries arranged alphabetically, exhaustively covering the Middle Passage from a variety of perspectives for student research and browsing.”
Out of Office: How to Work from Home, Telecommute, or Workshift Successfully
Out of Office: How to Work from Home, Telecommute, or Workshift Successfully is a book by Simon Salt about the work-from-home life. I wasn’t exactly a contributing author here but I was interviewed by the author about my decade of experience working from home and I was quoted (on the topic of isolation) on page 62 of the book.