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Nobody Road Trips to Akron, Ohio!
In a few weeks, my partner Brock and I (and our newest furry addition, Penny) will be taking our first week-long road trip together—to Akron, Ohio.
It’s not exactly a tourist hot spot or sunny beach resort or the kind of place where you drink the water. Akron is our destination because I’ve been invited to be an opening reader for Meg Johnson's book release party on Saturday, April 19.
Meg is releasing her first full-length poetry book—Inappropriate Sleepover. Her poems have appeared in Slipstream Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Stone Highway Review, Word Riot, SOFTBLOW, and others. She even read at the first ever Espresso Yrself reading (before it was even called Espresso Yrself)!
After the reading, we’ll head west and snake our way up the eastern coast of Lake Michigan, eventually crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. This will be new territory for both of us and will probably include something like car camping, watery diner coffee and wrong turns (which can also sometimes be right turns).
To finish out the week, we plan to end up in Duluth, our first trip destination together almost exactly one year ago. Stay tuned through April. It’s guaranteed to be an adventure.
Graphic by Brock Petrie, my human GPS

Nobody Road Trips to Akron, Ohio!

In a few weeks, my partner Brock and I (and our newest furry addition, Penny) will be taking our first week-long road trip together—to Akron, Ohio.

It’s not exactly a tourist hot spot or sunny beach resort or the kind of place where you drink the water. Akron is our destination because I’ve been invited to be an opening reader for Meg Johnson's book release party on Saturday, April 19.

Meg is releasing her first full-length poetry book—Inappropriate Sleepover. Her poems have appeared in Slipstream Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Stone Highway Review, Word Riot, SOFTBLOW, and others. She even read at the first ever Espresso Yrself reading (before it was even called Espresso Yrself)!

After the reading, we’ll head west and snake our way up the eastern coast of Lake Michigan, eventually crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. This will be new territory for both of us and will probably include something like car camping, watery diner coffee and wrong turns (which can also sometimes be right turns).

To finish out the week, we plan to end up in Duluth, our first trip destination together almost exactly one year ago. Stay tuned through April. It’s guaranteed to be an adventure.

Graphic by Brock Petrie, my human GPS

Pledging to complete the 30 Days of Biking challenge in Minnesota is always a gamble of sorts. There’s the potential for spring and thunderstorms, warm wind and blossoms—and the looming possibility that winter hasn’t quite waved goodbye.

Tonight in Minneapolis we’re bracing for a record breaking April snow storm. And, for our community of joyful cyclists, we’re also doing our best to keep pedaling. To match the speed of my city, I rode to the cemetery, a peaceful winter wonderland. A piece full of winter and wonder and land.

It’s hard to imagine, at the moment, that spring will ever find the tree I’m under, the footsteps and tire tracks I left behind, or the tiny writing studio with the little pup named Penny. For now, the only thing I see is an open field of white for me to pedal through.

brockpetrie:

Biker Chick

Upcoming Reading: Cracked Walnut

I’m excited to say that I’ve been invited back to read in the Cracked Walnut Literary Festival. (If you missed the last one, you can still listen to the recording of my piece The Old Peterson Dock.) I’ll be reading on Sunday, April 13th at C4 Creative Salon in Rochester, Minn. You can find more information, or RSVP, on the Facebook event page. You can even find the series highlighted in the Star Tribune.

Happy April 1st—and the first day of 30 Days of Biking! I’m so excited to kick-off daily April blog posts submitted by an awesome team of bloggers from around the globe. From illustrators to podcasters, filmmakers to song writers, follow the 30DOB Tumblr as our community joyful cyclists pedals through April.
And, I’m excited to say that both my mom and dad have registered for the challenge this year, too. 2014 is extra special since my dad is post-chemo treatments and on his way towards recovery. This realization has rekindled in me an appreciation for simple gifts like family and time and bikes.
Bike Firsts
On a whim, on the very last possible day to register for the 2013 Almanzo 100, I called my dad at work and said, “Would you bike 100 miles with me?” To my disbelief, he agreed, and I postmarked a single postcard with both of our names and callouts to “dad” and “daughter.”
For me, 2013 was a year of many bike firsts—first custom built bike purchase, first major bike accident, first feature for my bike fashion and first bike race with my dad, which was also our first Almanzo 100.
At the starting line, we joked back and forth that May was early in the bike season, hardly enough time to train for 100 gravel miles. (Although, a year wouldn’t have been enough for us.) We had only one goal. We were going to enjoy our ride together.
In the end, we didn’t make it to the finish line before the 12-hour cut-off, but we did ride further together than ever before. In fact, we forged rivers where bridges were out. As fatigue set in, we pushed it back out with bystanders’ water handouts. On fresh laid gravel, we fell—and kept biking. We both smiled at mile 62 where my mom and partner waited to pick us up.
Only a short month later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. As they shared the treatment plan with him, the doctor told him overall he was really healthy, likely from pre-Almanzo training. They agreed it would make his treatment and recovery easier.
Our original panic at an early race date turned into an unforeseen blessing. Now we share an unforgettable bike memory together, one that has kept us laughing and smiling during his treatment and now, I’m proud to say, one that has taken him to cancer-free.
For the 2014 round, I’m riding for 30 days because everything seems brighter on two wheels, especially in a community of joyful cyclists that includes your dad.

Happy April 1st—and the first day of 30 Days of Biking! I’m so excited to kick-off daily April blog posts submitted by an awesome team of bloggers from around the globe. From illustrators to podcasters, filmmakers to song writers, follow the 30DOB Tumblr as our community joyful cyclists pedals through April.

And, I’m excited to say that both my mom and dad have registered for the challenge this year, too. 2014 is extra special since my dad is post-chemo treatments and on his way towards recovery. This realization has rekindled in me an appreciation for simple gifts like family and time and bikes.

Bike Firsts

On a whim, on the very last possible day to register for the 2013 Almanzo 100, I called my dad at work and said, “Would you bike 100 miles with me?” To my disbelief, he agreed, and I postmarked a single postcard with both of our names and callouts to “dad” and “daughter.”

For me, 2013 was a year of many bike firsts—first custom built bike purchase, first major bike accident, first feature for my bike fashion and first bike race with my dad, which was also our first Almanzo 100.

At the starting line, we joked back and forth that May was early in the bike season, hardly enough time to train for 100 gravel miles. (Although, a year wouldn’t have been enough for us.) We had only one goal. We were going to enjoy our ride together.

In the end, we didn’t make it to the finish line before the 12-hour cut-off, but we did ride further together than ever before. In fact, we forged rivers where bridges were out. As fatigue set in, we pushed it back out with bystanders’ water handouts. On fresh laid gravel, we fell—and kept biking. We both smiled at mile 62 where my mom and partner waited to pick us up.

Only a short month later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. As they shared the treatment plan with him, the doctor told him overall he was really healthy, likely from pre-Almanzo training. They agreed it would make his treatment and recovery easier.

Our original panic at an early race date turned into an unforeseen blessing. Now we share an unforgettable bike memory together, one that has kept us laughing and smiling during his treatment and now, I’m proud to say, one that has taken him to cancer-free.

For the 2014 round, I’m riding for 30 days because everything seems brighter on two wheels, especially in a community of joyful cyclists that includes your dad.

Our Serenify team is busy getting ready for a spring 2014 launch! Until then you can follow our new blog at blog.serenify.com. We’ll be talking about everything online dating from tips for the perfect profile pic to keeping your personal info secure online.

Our Serenify team is busy getting ready for a spring 2014 launch! Until then you can follow our new blog at blog.serenify.com. We’ll be talking about everything online dating from tips for the perfect profile pic to keeping your personal info secure online.

Announcement: Jonathan Chapman Photography Collaboration
It was love at first sight when I connected with Jonathan Chapman Photography.
At our core, we both believe in the power of a story and spend our days finding, creating and telling them in our own different ways. 
I’m excited to say that after months of email exchanges, we’re paving forward with a new form of collaboration, one that combines and accentuates our different forms for telling these stories. It’s a new, tea-fueled storytelling platform that melds words and imagery, both still and moving.
To kick-off our work together, I’m publishing on the JCP blog to help highlight the latest project, JCP collaboration partners and even a one-of-a-kind newsprint promo. We’ve released two posts together: Adidas | Head to Head | Vol. 1 and JCP Newsprint Promo | Vol. 2 Issue 1. Look for another post coming this Thursday!

Announcement: Jonathan Chapman Photography Collaboration

It was love at first sight when I connected with Jonathan Chapman Photography.

At our core, we both believe in the power of a story and spend our days finding, creating and telling them in our own different ways. 

I’m excited to say that after months of email exchanges, we’re paving forward with a new form of collaboration, one that combines and accentuates our different forms for telling these stories. It’s a new, tea-fueled storytelling platform that melds words and imagery, both still and moving.

To kick-off our work together, I’m publishing on the JCP blog to help highlight the latest project, JCP collaboration partners and even a one-of-a-kind newsprint promo. We’ve released two posts together: Adidas | Head to Head | Vol. 1 and JCP Newsprint Promo | Vol. 2 Issue 1. Look for another post coming this Thursday!

Shorelines and Sunrises
We drove to the shoreline. It’s still end of April cold where the wind is out of the North. I pull off on a worn out gravel path to park next to the No Overnight Parking sign. ”Remember the first time,” I say. “We laughed as we tried to guess what our mothers would say when we told them.” 
The sun is almost set. A dim golden glow covers the tops of the trees but I promised a campfire before you would get out of the car. I found driftwood as long and smooth as your legs and carried it to the flat spot near the water with the thick wool flannel. “Come, it’s brighter now.”
In the morning, the sunrise starts to peak over delicate flowers in fiery shades of red, yellow, orange and smoke and you say, “I’ll be right back.” There are still hot coals simmering from the night and they re-flame easily. I hope it’s a sign from a fiery sun God I don’t believe exists.
I find you at the water’s edge smoothly sliding your toes down the rock’s mossy water line and back up again. The waves rhythmically tapping to a wash, wash, wash beat. I try to tell you gently that it’s coming fast, to come up the cliff now, to watch it come over the horizon.
When we left the city, I promised you grand, glistening, and glowing if you’d try—just one more time. The sunrise was the opportunity and I knew that I could finally say those words to you. As the sun rose, your head dipped under the water. It was too late. I lost you when the sunset.
Photo credit: brockpetrie

Northshore Sunrise

Shorelines and Sunrises

We drove to the shoreline. It’s still end of April cold where the wind is out of the North. I pull off on a worn out gravel path to park next to the No Overnight Parking sign. ”Remember the first time,” I say. “We laughed as we tried to guess what our mothers would say when we told them.” 

The sun is almost set. A dim golden glow covers the tops of the trees but I promised a campfire before you would get out of the car. I found driftwood as long and smooth as your legs and carried it to the flat spot near the water with the thick wool flannel. “Come, it’s brighter now.”

In the morning, the sunrise starts to peak over delicate flowers in fiery shades of red, yellow, orange and smoke and you say, “I’ll be right back.” There are still hot coals simmering from the night and they re-flame easily. I hope it’s a sign from a fiery sun God I don’t believe exists.

I find you at the water’s edge smoothly sliding your toes down the rock’s mossy water line and back up again. The waves rhythmically tapping to a wash, wash, wash beat. I try to tell you gently that it’s coming fast, to come up the cliff now, to watch it come over the horizon.

When we left the city, I promised you grand, glistening, and glowing if you’d try—just one more time. The sunrise was the opportunity and I knew that I could finally say those words to you. As the sun rose, your head dipped under the water. It was too late. I lost you when the sunset.

Photo credit: brockpetrie

Northshore Sunrise

Hello Serenify!
For the past five months, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Los Angeles-based start-up Serenify. Typically, I try to refrain from work conversations on my personal blog, but I have developed a special appreciation for this project. It has been a gateway towards reaching and fulfilling some of my own personal 2013 goals.
Serenify is an online profile verification and certification service focused on improving trust, authenticity and transparency in online communication, starting with online dating. As someone who met her partner online, this is especially near and dear to my heart. In fact, the majority of our team has met a partner through online dating.
Our team is serious about creating an online dating experience that is both safe and secure, and we’re doing it by setting a new standard for honesty on the web. While we’re busy getting ready to launch in early 2014, I’m excited to say that my role has evolved into a Communications Director position where I’ll be advocating and raising awareness about our services.
Before I began working on Serenify, I was working a 60+ hour a week in advertising where my writing didn’t matter and my personal life, interests and goals mattered even less. For almost a year, I watched my company turn out mediocre work and I watched myself become increasingly disappointed. Finally, I made the decision to leave what was comfortable in hopes of finding something more fulfilling.
Since I started freelancing I’ve encountered the ups and downs of new business pitches, accounting, taxes and work/life balance. What I didn’t anticipate was connecting with a company like Serenify that celebrated my personal goals and work style and encouraged me to be my own independent brand and person. To my team, thank you.
Until we launch, you can begin connecting with Serenify online—Facebook, @helloserenify, LinkedIn.

Hello Serenify!

For the past five months, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Los Angeles-based start-up Serenify. Typically, I try to refrain from work conversations on my personal blog, but I have developed a special appreciation for this project. It has been a gateway towards reaching and fulfilling some of my own personal 2013 goals.

Serenify is an online profile verification and certification service focused on improving trust, authenticity and transparency in online communication, starting with online dating. As someone who met her partner online, this is especially near and dear to my heart. In fact, the majority of our team has met a partner through online dating.

Our team is serious about creating an online dating experience that is both safe and secure, and we’re doing it by setting a new standard for honesty on the web. While we’re busy getting ready to launch in early 2014, I’m excited to say that my role has evolved into a Communications Director position where I’ll be advocating and raising awareness about our services.

Before I began working on Serenify, I was working a 60+ hour a week in advertising where my writing didn’t matter and my personal life, interests and goals mattered even less. For almost a year, I watched my company turn out mediocre work and I watched myself become increasingly disappointed. Finally, I made the decision to leave what was comfortable in hopes of finding something more fulfilling.

Since I started freelancing I’ve encountered the ups and downs of new business pitches, accounting, taxes and work/life balance. What I didn’t anticipate was connecting with a company like Serenify that celebrated my personal goals and work style and encouraged me to be my own independent brand and person. To my team, thank you.

Until we launch, you can begin connecting with Serenify online—Facebook@helloserenifyLinkedIn.

Not Here

To fall asleep near the sound of water
against the shore and your fingers
against my neck knowing
morning is still far away.
To close my eyes 
to fall asleep 
to pretend
to see
________’s here
and not
still
so
far
away.

These days I write my way out and sometimes I read my work. Thank you to all my old friends and new ones, strangers and supporters, writers and listeners who joined me at Common Good Books.