Doing the ‘big chop’ to start my natural hair style

Well I did it. I chopped it off. I’ve long been wrestling with the issue of whether to rid myself of my chemically treated hair and grow it natural.

I’m going to back up just a smidge to drop some knowledge for those who don’t know much about black hair and why going natural is a thing. I liked how this piece in The New York Times explains it in the context of updated Army regulations.

OK, so for a few years, I’d stopped getting a relaxer that straightened my hair and opted for a texturizer which loosened my natural curls. I loved my texturizer. I could wash-and-go letting my curls air dry, or I could invoke the power of the heat and straighten my locks. I had a fantastic hairstylist in Chicago (Cister to Cister Salon) and under her care, I was the happiest I’ve been with my hair.

I'm in the front to the right with my texturized hair but curly.

I’m in the front to the right with my texturized hair but curly.

Here's my texturized hair straight.

Here’s my texturized hair straight.

Fast-forward to my move to Portland. Not known for being a mecca for black people, I began looking for a black hair salon the moment I found I was moving to the Northwest. I knew the hair thing would be a challenge, especially with all of the rain.  I got some ideas from Yelp, and when I got here, I noticed that many of the black women I saw were wearing naturals. Should I do it? How would I look with closely cropped hair? Would it make my face look fat?

I wasn’t ready to do it. Shortly after the school year began I saw a black woman with wavy long hair walking her kid to class. I literally chased her down, dragging my 2-year-old behind me and bewildering my 6-year-old. “Excuse me!? EXCUSE ME!!” I shouted breathlessly. Then she turned around and I could tell it was a wig. Damn.

Turns out she was natural too, but she recommended a black hair salon that is in my area. Months later, my hair was looking like who-did-it-and-what-for, so I needed to go in. I got the texturizer, but the woman left the chemical on too long and it really was like a virgin relaxer. Basically my fun, springy coils were just wavy blahs.

My chemical-free hair, wet and curly.

My chemical-free hair, wet and curly.

I vowed to never return and searched for more hair salons. I also began to look into natural hair options. I found a woman named Amber at Conscious Coils, who specializes in chemical-free hair. She is a pioneer of sorts here in Oregon. She led the push on easing regulations on natural hair care, opening the door for her and business owners like her to practice their trade.

But what struck me is that she offered consultations. That’s what I needed, someone to talk this over with who was an expert.

I could read all of the blogs, watch YouTube videos, talk with my naturalista friends, but everyone had their own take. After my consultation with Amber, I  had a good outlook on what was ahead on this natural hair journey and was sold.

I wasn’t going to be as cool as one of my besties about going natural. She had just had enough of her hair and had her husband take his clippers to her hair. She said she was crying during the process, but as soon as it was done felt just a freedom and weight lifted off her shoulders. It sounded intoxicating.

But I’m not as ballsy as she. I decided I would cut off a few inches and then use protective styling via weaves and braids. From my weave-wearing days in Chicago, I still had a couple bags of hair, so Amber gave me the contact for the go-to place for weaves in Portland, Studio Six 9 Hair Design.

My stylist Jerry was a nut, but in a good way. She rocked a thick, tousled mohawk that was red, purple and had shaved her sides. Usually that would have given me pause since our hair style choices are obviously so different, but I figured, I’m getting a weave and having her cut off an inch or two and that’ll be it.

My chemical-free hair straight.

My chemical-free hair straight.

As I’m sitting in the chair, she starts to cut. I got curious.

“How much of my natural hair is there?” I asked.

“Oh you’ve got a good three, four inches.” Jerry said, snipping away an inch here and there.

Should I cut it off? This wasn’t part of my plan to do it right now, but I’m really tired of feeling blah and I needed a change.

“What if we just cut it all off?” I suddenly could relate to Britney Spears in her head-shaving moment.

“All the relaxed hair? Are you sure?”

I am so effing done, I thought, let’s just do it. “Yes.”

Jerry began to invoke her inner Edward Scissorhands and a few minutes later I had a nice puffy little fro. I was so stoked, I sent my girlfriends a group message to announce my new ‘do. They were so excited, I got ballsy and put pics up on Facebook.

I thought about taking a pic of the piles of hair on the floor, but thought, nahhh, that’s gross. So I looked at it and was reminded of what it meant. All of the swimming-pool concerns when I was a kid, the awkwardness of a gheri-curled tween, the panic-inducing rain as a career woman. All of that, was no more. It was headed to the garbage where it belonged.

Getting my weave sewn in.

Getting my weave sewn in.

Then… I looked at the pile of weave on Jerry’s desk and questions swirled in my mind. Should I just forget the weave and rock my new hair? I don’t even have any products and I’m leaving for BlogHer in the morning, do I have time to get it all together? Do I want to be getting acquainted with my new ‘do while away?

I decided to stick with the plan. (My Type-A personality doesn’t often allow for deviations in plans, but it’s something I’m working on.)

So I’m rockin’ my weave and it’s a big change. When my 6-year-old first saw me, he dropped his jaw and Kindle simultaneously, which is a miracle within itself. “Whooooaaaaaaa!” My Portland bestie got out of the shower and met me soaking wet in only her towel just to get a glimpse and my neighbor didn’t even recognize me.

But it was when I later read the numerous comments on my Facebook page about my metamorphosis into a naturalista did I have a twinge of regret about not rocking the ‘fro from the beginning. But I won’t have the weave forever and once it’s out I can begin getting to know the real me, the natural me.

This is me.

This is me.

 

Posted in Health and Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Visit to Oregon’s Cannon Beach

“Let’s go to the beach, each!” That line from the Nicki Minaj song had been running through my mind since I had the idea to slip away to Cannon Beach, Oregon for a couple days.

My mother-in-law was in town from Norway to help me take care of the kids while my husband was galavanting in Brazil at the World Cup. Seriously, he was at the World Cup. More on that later.

So our summer had officially begun. We finished our soccer season first, a couple weeks after that we were done with Cub Scouts, then our baseball season ended and finally, school was over. To celebrate, I thought it best to get out of Dodge.

Late one night I hopped online to try to find a place for us to stay. I know it’s the summer season, but figured surely *something* was available. I got a list of the top accommodations for kids and families in Cannon Beach. It was nearly 11:30 p.m., but I started calling places anyway. I mostly got the resorts’ voicemail, except for one. The Waves.

I got excited when a woman answered the phone. I quickly told her what I was looking for, a two-night stay for two adults and two children and had an oceanview. Turns out they had a property called The White Heron Lodge that fit the bill.

♦             ♦               ♦

A couple hours after Logan left first grade behind, we all piled into my Jeep. It was me, Farmor (The Norwegian word for father’s mother), Logan and Ethan. An hour and 15 minutes later, the GPS said the White Heron Lodge was just 5 minutes away, but we were still deep in the lush forests of Oregon. How could the Pacific Ocean be anywhere near here?

A winding turn to the right and a zigzag left and poof! We were in charming downtown Cannon Beach. The mainstreet, Hemloch, is lined with all kinds of boutiques, eateries and galleries. What’s cool is that once you walk along the stores facing the street, you will see snaking alleyways between some of the shops that reveal more back-to-back boutiques. Shopping is clearly alive and well in Cannon Beach.

We didn’t know what to expect when we got to our property. Online the pictures looked great, but we all know how pictures can be deceiving. Thankfully this place was even better than I imagined. There was one bedroom, a full (but small) kitchen, bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, a living room and dining area that had an expansively gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.

♦             ♦               ♦

Farmor and I lugged all our bags inside and she quickly began unpacking everything. That’s the thing about Norwegians. They’re crazy practical and efficient. I had unpacked only half of my 3 year old’s clothes and she already had her clothes in the drawers, our jackets and shoes properly put away in the closet and was half way through unpacking the kitchen. I was floored. She was like the Unpacking Ninja.

For our first walk on the beach I put the kids in rain boots. I guess the Norwegian practicality is contagious. I felt a little silly because others were barefoot or wearing flip flops. But when the boys started splashing in the cold, sandy puddles, I no longer felt silly, but a little proud.

The water was cold, but Logan was determined to try it out. And I couldn’t blame him, the ocean is so lively and mesmerizing. It’s impossible not to dip at least a toe or two in. Well at least for Logan and I. Farmor decided to stay on the nestled on the couch with her book and a glass of merlot.

The straightest shot from our suite to the ocean required that we cross a stream called Ecola Creek, that fed into the ocean. We were all kind of nervous because we didn’t know how deep it would be.

Another family was standing along the banks of the creek considering a walk through it. Collectively, we decided to send their teenage son into the waters first so we’d know what to expect. He waded in, it went up to his knees, and he looked back saying that it wasn’t too cold. After he made it ashore, his parents followed.

I lifted Ethan while Logan grabbed onto my elbow. We waded in and Ethan started hollering: “I want to go back!” “Take me back!” In the pool, Ethan is like a fish and that he was afraid of this creek struck me as funny.

The water was cold (that teenage boy lied) and against Ethan’s demands to go home we kept trudging through. When the water reached my knees and Logan’s netherly bits he tried to climb me like a tree, sending Ethan to scream louder and switch his call for help to “Farmor! Farmor! I want Farmor!” Meanwhile I howled with laughter.

After crossing the creek, we spent some time walking along the shore, uncovering partial sand dollars and crab claws. It was lovely and I’m instantly envious of anyone who lives on the sea.

The rest of our time in Cannon Beach we hit up some of the local restaurants, windowshopped and enjoyed Haystack Rock, which is a 235 feet tall sea stack. You guys might remember it in a couple scenes from the movie The Goonies.

And then, it was time to go. As my SUV snaked through the forest and back toward Portland, all of us were a little calmer, happier and excited for the next time.

Posted in Travel | 2 Comments

Wild Kratts and National Geographic on Netflix feeds my son’s hunger for all things animal

I’m writing this post as a member of the Netflix Stream Team and have been compensated for it, but as always all opinions are my own.

My son loves science. Anything dealing with plants, animals, rocks, the ocean whatever it is, he just eats it up. One of his favorite things on Netflix is the National Geographic documentaries. There’s the Amazing Planet ones, a dinosaur episode, but the most popular in our house is “Predators At War.”

Granted many of these would not be appropriate for all 6-year-olds. We have decided it’s OK if Logan gets to see nature at its most beautiful, where string rays gracefully glide through the rocky coral reef and its most gruesome, such as a shark’s bloody attack of a sea lion.

Martin and Chris Kratts created a funny cartoon series starring themselves. Through the brothers' adventures kids learn about the lives of animals.

Martin and Chris Kratt created a funny cartoon series starring themselves. Through the brothers’ adventures kids learn about the lives of animals.

Something that’s much more child-friendly is Wild Kratts. It’s the story of brothers Chris and Martin Kratt. They’re nature lovers who have combined that with their love of filmography to create this animated series. Each episode features an animal who is in trouble, whether it be because of a villain or a real-life issue such as the affects of deforestation. Then the Kratts and their crew use only-in-cartoon technology to save the critters all while sharing interesting facts about the animals.

The Kratts seems like fun guys, a little dorky, but in a charming way. That’s a good thing because as an adult I too find their banter entertaining. After the cartoon portion of the show, there’s a brief unanimated segment on other animals and it shows the real Kratt boys talking about animals.

I also like all the animal facts they present and the info seems to stick with Logan because out of nowhere he’ll go: “Mom, did you know that crocodile’s bite has 3,000 pounds of force?” or “Mama, did you know that honey badgers are the most ferocious animal because they have to face other predators like cheetahs, lions and hyenas?”

The answer is always no. I didn’t know that.

Maybe if I keep watching one day I’ll be able to answer with a “Yes” and spit back some other impressive knowledge like: Did you know that the monarch butterfly migrates south about 2,000 miles each year for warmer climes in Mexico?

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who says you can’t talk about race, religion and gender?

How do you guys feel about book clubs? I’ve never really belonged to one, well at least not beyond reading the first book. Since moving to Portland, I’ve been checking out different groups to meet people to build up my tribe.

It’s important for me to have a tribe, a group of good friends who are there for you, are honest with you, even if it’ll make you mad, and really just love you unconditionally. My friend Patti mentioned she was going to ask her book club if I could join it because she thought I’d like the ladies.

Our book club Skypes with author Jessica Null Vealitzek about her new novel.

Our book club Skypes with author Jessica Null Vealitzek about her new novel.

Turns out the group had a lot of educators in it, they read my blog about my opinion of Oregon schools and felt I’d be too “hostile” for their book club. C’est la vie, Patti and I started our own, called Not Your Mama’s Book Club.

I got to choose the first book, naturally I picked Jessica Null Vealitzek’s The Rooms Are Filled because it’s a great book and she’s a treasured piece of my Chicago tribe. About a dozen of us met at my house, the ladies brought really, really good food and drinks. My favorite was when a sweet little coffeecarafeblonde showed up with a huge container of coffee. It was practically bigger than her, you’ve seen them before, they’re the ones caterers and restaurants use. I kept thinking about how my rabid Chicago coffee-loving friends would bow down to her brilliance. (Ahem, Coffee Lovin’ Mom.)

The group of ladies came from different experiences, some were born and raised here, others grew up on the East Coast or had hopscotched across the U.S. We had stay-at-home moms, corporate moms and folks like me who are working part-time. We all gelled naturally and spent a lot of time gabbing away.

I didn’t want to stop all of the chit chat because it was fun, but it was a book club so I felt we needed to talk about the book. Plus Jess graciously agreed to appear via Skype to talk with our club and answer questions.

We used our smart TV for the Skype session and though there were some connectivity issues (which I always have with Skype) it worked pretty well. Since our TV’s quite large, the dork in me imagined that my Jess was sitting in the living room with my new gal pals.

At the end of the Skype call, our conversation took an interesting turn. It started as we discussed intolerance, which is a prominent theme in the book, and soon I was answering their questions about my thoughts of being black in the Pacific Northwest. And in my typical fashion, I was honest in expressing my feelings. Some of you are aware of my frustrations tied to the lack of cultural diversity here and how that affects us, so it was good to talk it over with these women.

We also talked about race and having conversations about race with your kids, and how it’s different for each family. Some of us have biracial children and we discussed how that has shaped our experiences. The race talk then shifted to gender issues.

Gender in terms of family members who are gay and how they were received. One mom also shared the story of someone in her extended family who is transgendered and the challenges she faced as she and her family worked to accept her as a woman.

There was even a time at the end where we talked about religion. I couldn’t believe we were delving into all these topics at our very first book club meeting.

I can’t capture the magic of the evening in a blog post, but you’ll have to trust me when I say it was beautiful to have substantive conversations on sensitive topics. I promised them that each book club meeting wouldn’t always be filled with such weighty topics, because it’s clear these girls, like me, love to have a fun time. Still yet, it was refreshing to stretch the boundaries of our understanding about the human experience.

Thanks Not Your Mama’s Book Club, I’ll never forget it.

Posted in Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

slideshow test

[acx_slideshow name="Cannon Beach" height="360px" width="640px"]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Motherhood, Am I Doing This Right?

I’m sitting here at the top floor of my first blogging event in Portland. I was excited to cover the BabyFest Northwest because it was one where they reached out to me, which made me feel like I was starting to gain more ground on the local social media scene.

But now that I’m here, all I can think about is the unhappy guy at home, my sweet Logan. He woke up to find the babysitter already in his house and with the news that in about 20 minutes I would be leaving. It was a sad goodbye where he was crying and was begging me not to leave. (“Don’t LEAVE MEEEEE!”)

sad-baby

Keep in mind, Logan is six going on 16. He was in daycare starting at 7 months old and continued until Kindergarten. He usually isn’t this dramatic when it comes to departures. But today was hard. My theory on how to approach such situations is to rip off the bandaid and once the parents have left, things get so much better. Usually this is the case, but shortly after I arrived at the shower, the sitter called.

It was Saturday, so Logan had a baseball game. Since neither my husband nor I would be home, I arranged for another family to take him to and from the game.

Being the forgetful mom that I am, I left the house this morning without setting out his baseball gear. The sitter called asking if I knew where his equipment was. It dawned on me. Oh no, it was in the back of my Jeep.

The sitter passed the phone to the dad who was going to shuttle Logan to baseball. The dad wanted to know if I wanted him to push Logan to go.

By now I’m standing in a back storage room of the event space, finger in one ear, phone in the other. “Let him decide what he wants to do, but make sure he understands that once he makes that choice, he has to stick with it.”

Then I get to talk to Logan. He’s nearly hysterical and blubbers to me that he didn’t eat the bacon I made him for breakfast because he was still mad at me for leaving. *sigh* We talk about the baseball choices, he says he’d rather stay home. So home it was.

We hang up the phone. I just take a pause.

I’m sitting at this babyfest surrounded by, well, babies and not only is it hard not to get baby fever as all of these wiggle worms are all strapped to their mommies, but knowing that my baby is not doing well at home, I’m thinking. What am I doing here? Didn’t I quit my full-time job so that I wouldn’t have to choose between career stuff and my family? Freelancing and blogging were supposed to make this juggle less hectic. Even though it’s much better than before, am I making the right choices?

Sure today is just one event and it’s not like he’s going to be scarred forever for the time I didn’t remember his baseball equipment. But it’s funny how in motherhood you’re always asking: Am I doing the right thing?

If I had skipped the event, I would have regretted it and wished that while folding laundry or picking up toys that I was networking with businesses and other bloggers. So either way I guess I would have had regrets.

I suppose that the best thing is to have fun with the choice that I made and know that in the end, everything will work out fine. I truly believe it always does.

*I wrote this while at the BabyFest Northwest. After feeling conflicted, I found some quiet space amid nursing mamas and decided to write out my feelings because it’s how I process things. After that last line, I snapped my laptop closed and started networking. I have to say I’m so glad I did, I met some really inspiring people who are doing exciting and innovative things. Not to mention I clicked with a lot of folks and they gave me their number so we could go have coffee sometime. Also, Logan had a great day hanging at home. See? I was right, everything did work out fine in the end.

Posted in Blogging, Motherhood, Parenting, Portland, Women, Working Moms | 4 Comments

Tasty Tuesdays: Portland’s Cadillac Cafe has good pancakes, a real Cadillac and breakfast martinis

I told my new chiropractor of my quest to find a writing space in Portland and he recommended the Cadillac Cafe.

The pink Cadillac inside the Cadillac Cafe.

The pink Cadillac inside the Cadillac Cafe.

I was expecting a coffee shop vibe that’s similar to the other spots I’ve visited, but no, this is a laid back, serves-breakfast-all-day diner. There’s a real pink Cadillac in the main dining area and something I’ll call “The Garden Room.” Where the walls are glass, there’s a fireplace and the tables and chairs are either wrought iron, wicker or both.

Being how I just had a beast of a workout and then got my back cracked, in my mind that warranted some pancakes. I have a very unhealthy obsession with pancakes. I’m on a quest to find the world’s greatest pancakes, but that’s another blog for another time.

Cadillac Cafe has a full menu, and even fun cocktails in the morning. This goes way beyond the traditional Bloody Mary or Mimosa. The menu flat out says “Breakfast Martinis.” There’s the Oil Change, which has Frangelico, Baileys, Kahlua and a splash of espresso with a chocolate rim and the Back Seat, which has Mandarin vodka, triple sec, fresh muddled oranges and a splash of orange juice with a sugar rim. There’s more on the drink menu, but you get the idea.

Cadillac Cafe has been on North East Broadway for more than 20 years. It seems to be a popular staple of the Irvington neighborhood. Walking in on a late morning it’s moderately packed with older and old ladies. Not quite blue hairs, nor the “ladies who lunch,” but largely women who are in their early 50s on up to 80ish. Come lunch time, the clientele shifted to men in suits and early 40-something guys with beards and hoodies. (I’m in Portland, remember?)

Mmmmm, pancakes....

Mmmmm, pancakes….

I couldn’t write here as the food is so yummy. (Yep, the pancakes were really good. Not a contender for the World’s Greatest Pancake, but still oh-so-very enjoyable.) I’d gain way too much weight and then there’s the food coma that is now starting to settle in.

Maybe I’ll come back some time to see if the garden room has a different vibe, but really, right now, I just want to curl up and take a nap. Thank God I didn’t order one of those martinis, I might have done just that.

 

Posted in Food, Travel, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Enter My Giveaway For Free Passes To The #NWBabyShower

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been chosen to be one of the VIP Bloggers for the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower.

Enough about me, let’s talk about you! If you live in Oregon or Washington, can enter to win free passes to the event. I know a lot of you guys already have kids, but this event is for parents at all Button_NWBabyShower_2stages, from those who have who have a baby bump to those with tantrum-prone tots. (Or maybe my 3 year old is the only one whose Terrible Twos are now Terrifying Threes…)

Anyway, each pass has a $30 value. It’s on Saturday, May 31 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Left Bank Annex in Portland. By attending the party, you can participate in some of the workshops such as sleep solutions, non-toxic babyproofing and how to birth without fear. Each workshop will also give away a fantastic prize. There’s 80 vendors that cover the latest and greatest in all things baby and it will end with “The Big Shower.” The organizers are telling me this shower is unlike any other we’ve seen and that they’re going to give away more than $10,000 worth of prizes. I say that’s way better than the cinnamon candle I usually win at baby showers.

The contest ends Sunday, May 25 at 11:59 p.m. You can enter as many times as you want by commenting on this post, liking my Facebook page or following me on Twitter. You can also like the Facebook pages of Kid Fest and ItsaBelly and their Twitter accounts: @kidfest, @itsabellyHQ @melissamoog.

You can also send out a Tweet: Wish me luck! I’ve entered @sheswrite giveaway for passes to the #NWBabyShower! @kidfest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a blogger for this event, I have received compensation for writing about the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower.

 

NWBabySHowerShesWrite

Posted in Giveaway | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Portland’s Forest Park

 

An entry point on Wildwood Trail in Portland's Forest Park

An entry point on Wildwood Trail in Portland’s Forest Park

Posted in Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

You’re Not Alone: Women, Writing and Online Networking

Writing is lonely, especially that first draft. You kinda know what you want to say, but aren’t sure how to get there and there’s always a surprise blip along the way that throws you off your game.

Then you begin to wonder, is this piece even any good? You need another set of eyes. You need a writing group. A collective of people whose honest opinions and writing talents you respect and who push and inspire you to be a better writer.

Jessica Null Vealitzek reads her debut novel, The Rooms Are Filled.

Jessica Null Vealitzek reads her new novel, The Rooms Are Filled. (Photo by Ginny Washburne)

“Writers need other writers,” said Michele Weldon, assistant professor emerita at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She has been in a writing group for 12 years that meets once a week. “I have found that it’s been enormously successful, having that camaraderie, the editorial help and the brainstorming — it’s helped to enhanced my writing and my life.”

There’s something special about sitting elbow to elbow with fellow writers as you read your words. “You hear them sigh at the beauty of a sentence, or laugh at a line,” she said.

But with all the lean-in/lean-out hubbub of today, it can seem impossible to set aside time to talk about our writing. Many of us are ecstatic that we’ve managed to find the time to write. (I type this as my 3 year old is napping across my lap.)

This is where online writing groups come in handy. There’s so many out there, you can pick which group speaks to you and participate on your own schedule.

Some prefer bigger writing communities, such as She Writes, which has more than 20,000 members and is similar to Facebook. When Kamy Wicoff launched She Writes in 2009, she told Salon.com that she started it “to share our knowledge, to aggregate and harness the information each of us has hard-earned, and make it available to our community in an organized, efficient way that will make all of our lives easier.”

Other writers are active in smaller online groups, which can come out of umbrella communities such as She Writes. Increasingly, small writing groups have been creating their own online platform to share their work.

For example, Mary Breaden started PDXX Collective in 2012 because she became concerned by “the media’s depiction of women — from Hillary Clinton to Sandra Fluke,” she said.

“I wanted to encourage my many brilliant women writer friends to publish their work and mitigate the overwhelming male perspective represented in the media,” said Breaden, who is also an education assistant at Mediabistro.

PDXX Collection is comprised mostly of women from the Portland, Oregon area and aims to provide a woman’s voice on various literary facets including news, personal essays, fiction, science fiction and pop culture.

“At PDXX, I don’t think we live in the ‘pink ghetto’ of topics — I’d say we have a full complement of writing and I believe we break the boundaries of the four Fs (food, family, furniture [home] and fashion,” said Andrea Janda, writer and PDXX member.

Another member, Jessica Null Vealitzek, recently released her critically acclaimed novel, The Rooms Are Filled, and is grateful to be part of the collective.

“It’s cool to have this online connection,” Null Vealitzek said. “We don’t know each other that well online, but I feel like I have this resource of writers that I can not only read, but ask questions of and pick their brains.”

“I think it can be awfully lonely if you don’t have a sort of real-life, physical book club or writing club that meets,” she added.

But actually Null Vealitzek is about to meet members of the collective for the first time in person. She lives in suburban Chicago, but is on a book tour that includes a stop in Portland.

On Monday she and several members of PDXX Collective are reading their works at In Other Words, the feminist bookstore featured in the TV show Portlandia.

“I’ve known these ladies online through their writing,” Null Vealitzek said, “and I’m so excited to meet them in person.”

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment