I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 11.
I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 11. (And yeah, that’s it in the photo up there on the left – in all it’s groovy 60s flower-power glory.)
In those days my most fervent musings centered on whether Davy Jones or Paul McCartney was cuter, but today my writing practice is the glue that’s not only seen me through, but seen me thrive through a divorce that ended in friendship, an eating disorder that began in my teens, grief from the loss of my mom and dear friends, a solo cross-country move, major career changes, and launching my own business.
I’m something of a “writing evangelist” – as a workshop leader, and founder of Write Your Way Free, and The Writer Babes group, I create a safe space that inspires and encourages women to use the powerful but simple practice of writing to break free of the things that are keeping them from having the kind of life they want.
That’s because I believe happy, powerful, women send ripples out to people all around them, making a happier, stronger, more compassionate world. And the best way I know how to make that happen is through the deceptively simple, but profound practice of putting pen to paper.
I was trained and certified as a coach (CPCC) by the Coaches Training Institute; I am also a graduate of their intensive Co-Active Leadership program. (CTI’s International Coach Federation-accredited certification program is one of the most rigorous and respected in the industry.)
I’ve spoken/given workshops about using a writing practice for creativity and personal growth in corporations; for trade groups, community groups, and non-profits, and at conferences. I’ve interviewed and written articles about Jon Stewart, Allison Janney, and Dr. Ruth – among other writers, artist, and cultural icons. I’ve edited and/or contributed to multiple books (including an essay in the 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul – Random Acts of Kindness book). I’ve appeared on a number of podcasts, and written about the power of a writing practice for a number of popular on-line coaching blogs.
DEB AS PODCAST & BLOG GUEST
- On unraveling life’s conditioning and finding true joy through journaling on the Jumpstart Your Joy podcast …
- On discovering the magic and value of a writing practice on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand podcast …
- Thoughtful discussion about practice, imperfection, growth and so much more with Mel Hunt in her Perspectives on Practice interview series …
- I was one of the top downloads from Paula Jenkins’ second season of Jumpstart Your Joy, and was featured in a season-end roundtable on finding inspiration and taking care of yourself during difficult times with other top download guests Kate Swoboda, Michelle Ward, Laura Simms, and Sarah von Bargen …
- Talking about changing the world (along with an inspirational playlist) on Christy Tending’s Collective Care interview series on her Healing Arts blog.
A random number of random things about moi
(that are not credentials or businessy background info…)
- My manifesto-like playlist is as important as my business plan. Seriously. It includes Mama Cass, Cat Stevens, India.Arie, Dave Matthews Band, and Petula Clark – among many, many others … and when you work with me, there’s gonna be a playlist for that.
- I’ve made my home in such exotic places as Sydney, Australia; Berkeley, California; Brooklyn, New York, and 3 different towns in/around Princeton, New Jersey (where I grew up). I currently reside in the Beautiful Boonies: a loverly home on a hill overlooking a river in Hunterdon County New Jersey – about an hour from where I grew up, and 2 1/2 miles from my sis. (They write sitcoms about that, don’t they?)
- I used to manage press and public relations for professional theatres and other non-profit arts organizations. Some super-famous actors, directors, playwrights, set designers, etc. are part of my history (usually before they got super-famous.) (And yeah, I’ve got stories. Don’t ask me about Jean Stapleton or the woman who played Dr. Beverly Crusher on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ unless you want an earful. But Lauren Graham [Lorelai Gilmore/Sarah Braverman]? As cool as you’d probably imagine.)
- I worked on several cruise ships in my early 20s. It was nothing like The Love Boat. (But I once had a Love Boat themed party during college, and my old shipboard uniform came in handy.)
- I read/performed an essay about my relationship with my mom – with particular focus on the last year of her life – as a member of New Jersey’s inaugural cast of the national Listen to Your Mother show. (You can see my reading here.)
- My ex-husband and I “uncoupled” well, and he’s now one of my dearest friends, and we were included in a USA Today article about “good divorces.”
- If I didn’t do what I do now, I might want to be a photographer. I particularly like taking photos of people. Some of the best photos of my family and friends are shots I’ve taken. (She said, humbly …) 😉
- Or maybe a baker. I love to bake. I once sold my home-made fruit juice-sweetened muffins to a speciality bakery in Brooklyn (long before the hipster invasion) (which makes me kinda meta-hipster, right?). My apple crumble, pecan pie, chocolate-mint brownies, and cheesecake are fargin epic.
- Please, don’t call me Debbie unless you’re a relative, you knew me when we were in grade school, or you put “Uncle” in front of it (that’s a bit of a story for another time …).
- I have an ear for accents. This also means I’m a bit of a chameleon. When I hang out with friends from the south, I find myself slowin’ down mah speech and soundin’ a bit suuthern’ (ish). When moved back from Oz, my US friends said I sounded slightly Australian. (But to the Aussies, I never sounded like anything but a Yank …) This chameleon-like talent has also helped me avoid most New Jersey-like accent tendencies (… or so I’m told).
- I have been called Pollyanna … with the mouth of a truck-driver.
- I am an ordained Rev through the Universal Life Church, and the church of Dudeism – if you abide. By the power vested in me, I’ve made it official for couples in churches, yards, a cabin in the woods, a beach, a museum, a zoo, and an island in the Caribbean. (want me to do yours? i love doing them; get in touch.)
- I once interned with the late Letitia Baldrige – Jackie Kennedy’s former Social Secretary. I learned a lot from her. Mostly: kindness + attention = good etiquette.
- I believe in Yoda and The Force. And Mr. Rogers.
- I have an almost scary memory for pop culture trivia … particularly bubble gum music of the 60s, 70s and early 80s.
- I have never seen an episode of Seinfeld. Sue me.
- I believe there are very few things that can’t be made better with bubbles, fairy lights, and sparklies. (aka: glitter) (And yeah, I know the traditional kind are shit for the environment … luckily there are several places where you can get bio-degradable glitter.)