I'm a YA fantasy writer, personal essayist and writing coach.
Stories saved my life.
In January 2015 I packed my stuff in 3 weeks and left the country. For over a year I wandered through Fukuoka, Oita, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, Sun Moon Lake, Montreal, Toronto, Vegas, New York, a couple small towns in New Jersey, the California Canyonlands and Phoenix. I stayed in a Tiny House. I entered a Charleston dance contest. (I don't know how to Charleston.) I sang in a jazz club backed by expats on double bass.
I got food poisoning. Several times.
A Bactrian camel chewed on my thigh. A dance teacher in China gave me my splits - by digging his sharp fingernails into my leg. (It works.)
I shepherded my grandmother through her final days. I shot the first season of a cooking show. (And got heartburn.)