I am an attorney, writer, friend and helpful neighbor, depending on the day or the hour. First and foremost, though, I am the mother of two “new adults.” I experience great joy watching — and trying less and less to “steer” — as they build their independent lives.
It’s not easy being a parent these days. Have generations before ever experienced more disconnect than felt between those born into the world of social media and the internet and those that knew the world without? We live longer, but already feel like dinosaurs in midlife — just when we started to get things right, hopelessly trying to catch up with technologies that morph before we’ve even had a chance. There is a certain freedom, though, when you know you’re already too far behind ever to catch up. One can hope that it makes space for some degree of wisdom.
I’ve tried to take advantage: A return to the workforce that harkens back to my time as a young Title IX attorney at the US Department of Education. I have shifted my life across an entire continent, moving from the East Coast, to Whidbey Island, Washington. It was a big move, and a long, first winter in the short daylight of the PNW, but I have found peace in the beauty here, and great comfort in the amazing community that drives and binds this island. I feel closer than ever to my brothers and sisters, and to their children, and their children’s children. I had five siblings before we unexpectedly and tragically lost our big brother. His death caused a black hole in the center of our large and close-knit Italian-American Family, but the shared loss binds us, even in its sometimes unbearable pain.
Life is a strange and funny thing. I recently sat at a concert of the Whidbey Island Music Festival and, for some reason, recalled my days as a college junior when I spent a semester in Washington, DC as a congressional intern. I lived on Capitol Hill, imagining, as I walked around on Sunday afternoons, that my new neighborhood might have the feel of my Dad’s Brooklyn growing up. I rode my bike (my only form of transportation) anywhere and everywhere trying to sort out my roots, what I liked and where I fit, who I wanted to become. Those questions created anxiety. I couldn’t yet figure out how to get where I might want to land. In a sudden moment, during the concert, I realized that I had had glimpses back then, in DC, of what I’m experiencing on Whidbey Island. Those partially formed images of a life, of a place, of the structure of a day, had been lost during to the actual hard work — and seeming out-of-control-ness — of building a career, starting and raising a family, all in an uber, high-achieving, suburban town. Listening to the beautiful music, created by my new neighbors, at a venue a mere bike ride from my home (my chosen form of transportation; I left the car in the garage), I recognized that, perhaps, I had arrived; not yet done figuring out who I am, but no longer anxious.
This is all to say that my writing speaks to lives in transition: Experiences of stuckness; unexpected moments of clarity; and taking first steps, no matter one’s age. Family life is another source of inspiration: Its shifting parts, un-named conflict, devastating failures, and inexplicable joys. My newest work: A Midlife Romance Series, combines many of these themes with a sexy twist. The characters find themselves in the perpetual juggling act of midlife — expected to corral children, jobs, finances, friends, ex-spouses, online dating, confounding smartphones, and a sudden stash of reading glasses. Instead of the unattainable dream of perfect romance, however, they find self-empowerment through the unpredictability of sexual and personal freedom.
Please enjoy my novels and stories. I hope they speak to you.