I wanted to make a difference, too.
My other favorite thing when I was a kid was visiting my grandparents’ farm. At the farm, my sister and I were free to climb trees, explore the barn, roam the fields and woods, and play with all the barnyard animals—including my beloved pet rooster, Reddy.
When I was 13, the fun ended. My grandmother died; my mother had a mental breakdown. I had to step up and take on adult responsibilities. My mother never really recovered after that. She was a wonderful, loving and intelligent person, but she never realized her full potential.
She never made the difference she could have made in the world. And I was terrified I’d end up just like her.
I almost did. After college, I married the love of my life and became the mother of two incredible daughters. I had so much to be happy about, but my life was tormented by anxiety and depression.
Eventually, I got help, and the cloud lifted. Life felt good again. After our girls left home, my husband and I moved out of the suburbs to a beautiful new home in a stunning canyon just outside San Diego. We couldn’t believe our good fortune.
But one night just 7 months later, we woke up in the middle of the biggest wildfire in California history. We lost our house and almost our lives. We had to drive through smoke and flames to reach safety. Worst of all, 12 of our neighbors didn’t make it out.
I knew right away that I had to write a book about the fire. I had to tell the stories my neighbors could no longer tell. I wanted their stories, their lives—and my own—to matter. It took me 10 years, but I did write that book. The Fire Outside My Window: A Survivor Tells the True Story of California's Epic Cedar Fire came out last year, and it’s already touched thousands of lives.
I’ve made a difference by telling my story. And it's a wonderful feeling.
That’s how I know our stories really can change the world. And that’s why I care so much about your story. That’s why I want to help you tell it—eloquently, strategically, powerfully.
You can make the difference you were meant to make in the world.
You can touch lives, heal hearts, inspire greatness. You can make your story matter.