The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Real Tweets



Horseback fun in Alpine Meadows


I’ve been missing reading your blogs in Alpine Meadows, but it’s good to be forced to unplug every now and then. Although there is no Wi-Fi in our cabin, I brought along my MacBook and Avonlea figured out how to use the Mac’s iMovie app. I didn’t even know I had iMovie or what it is, so it’s very cool to have my ten-year-old show it to me. (And here I am, a former American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women intern!) Anyway, Avi and her sister had a blast making a bunch of trailers; see below for one wacky example.

I’ve been low-tech for the most part, taking long hikes with Lucy. We’ve been exploring trails overlooking the appropriately named Red Dog Ridge. I love hiking – I used to do it all the time in L.A. Hiking reminds me of the happiest times in my life in which the word “bipolar” wasn’t part of my lexicon. 

Watching Lucy sniff wildflowers and tree stumps, her tongue lolling out to the side in ecstasy, is one of the best parts of this trip. We haven’t run into any bears yet, but I’m on the lookout, and I know what to do if we have an ursine encounter. (Mom, do NOT worry!) Lucy’s ear-splitting barking will help frighten them away, and I’m to make very loud noises, and/or sing loudly. Craig said that if I belt out my beloved Crowded House catalogue, my shrill voice is guaranteed to drive away any bear.

In the evenings we’ve been watching a BBC series called From Lark Rise to Candleford. For you Downton Abbey addicts it has the fantastic actor Brendon Coyle, a.k.a. Downton Abbey’s John Bates.

I haven’t been writing as much as I hoped I would, but I’ll be honest with you – I’d rather hike than write! Plus I’ll be doing some heavy-duty writing soon enough. Want to join me? There’s still room in my Catamaran Writing Conference Nonfiction workshop with Frances Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz is the author of an incredible memoir  * entitled To Have Not and the founder of the Community Memoir Project. She has taught memoir courses alongside luminaries including the high holy Cheryl Strayed. The registration deadline has been extended to August 1. Visit for details.

I look forward to catching up with your lives next week when I plug back in to my daily dose of reading devouring your blogs.

Have a great weekend!


 * That’s for you, L.E. Henderson, author of the five-star A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond.

This prolific writer lives with bipolar and has been a tremendous inspiration. I do declare…“titled” is so pedestrian!


18 thoughts on “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Real Tweets

    • Thanks lovely one! We did – sorry to reply so late but ***you*** get it! Congrats on the new casa!!! I’m thrilled for you and I’m SO glad you didn’t get a gross mega-mansion! 😉

  1. Awesome iMovie! Really well made. Love the graphics. The girls’ expressions are adorable. Reminds me of good old Peter Sellers pink panther intros. So you were a film director? When I directed a one-act back in highschool, I was a raging prima donna, recasting the play one week before performance. When I finally stood on a desk and yelled at my cast, my drama teacher got on the phone with my mom to express her concern. Foreshadowing of a future bipolar diagnosis?

    Glad you and Lucy are enjoying your hikes. Sounds divine. Enjoy and enjoy your upcoming Catamaran writers’ workshop. (I, too, like “entitled,” and I’m entitled to entitle posts however I ple

    • Here’s yet another “better-late-than-never” thanks for your comments!

      I was intrigued by reading about your directing experience….your yelling could have been a hint that the bp diagnosis was to come – it’s a good questions. You could have been getting less sleep, and it’s a given you were under a lot of stress in recasting so close to performance day. Do you recall what came out of the conversation your teacher had with your Mom? Nosy minds want to know!

      p.s. While an intern at the AFI I didn’t get to direct anything whatsoever- I never went past the P.A. duties. That experience was a total fiasco from start to finish. I’ll save that story for when we finally dig into our sushi!

      • All I know is that they had the conversation and that my mother told me that my teacher had called concerned about my behavior. Bringing my attention to it was the consequence. I was a straight A student. I have no idea if anyone knew what was going on. I didn’t realize that anything was wrong until I attended UCLA and wanted to kill myself. Then I knew I had a problem.

  2. I’d rather hike than write, especially with the little ones !! Enjoy yourself, you are making the very best kind of memories ! ☺ Van

    • Here’s a belated thanks, Van, for your sweet comment! Yes, we did have some great experiences @ Tahoe and my girls loved taking short hikes to a spot they named “Bearitopia” on Bear Creek. Luckily we didn’t have a bear encounter. (See my reply to Yve above for more about *that*!)

  3. If you want to find out how anything computer-related works, ask a kid!! I’m glad you’re having fun, just don’t let Lucy or your kids wear you out!!! Your video was so cute it ought to be illegal!!

  4. You sound relaxed dear 🙂 enjoy every moment.

    hahaha to the bears. You are joking right? Are there bears or just really hairy men? :/

    • I meant to answer you sooner, my lovely – oh, bears hang out there!!! It’s Bear Country!

      I saw one with my own eyes a couple years ago – it had just been IN our cabin silent as could be, eating garbage, while we were in other rooms totally oblivious. Craig accidentally left the front door open!

      After munching on the bag of garbage that had been left near the front door, the bear crept back out. I saw it 8 feet way from me through our window. It was a cub, so its Mom must have been close by. :000000000 (I’m sure there are many hairy men around there too, ha ha ha!!!)

  5. 1. My blog is not, nor has it ever been in Alpine Meadows. That’s a dirty rumour and it’s consulting it’s lawyer,
    2. The reddish dog and I would love to see a photo of Red Dog Ridge. Nextofkin had a reddish Ridgeback years ago too.
    3. The video is lovely, clever kids. The youngest looks most like you.
    4. My dog says to tell Lucy that sleep is for pussies. I hope she meant cats.
    5. There is no number 5.


    • Dang, I missed you!!!!! I’m still going through Blahpolar withdrawal as I write this. I’ll get back up to speed soon. You’ve been one prolific blogger over the past 10 days. What’s your secret?????

      I’ll get a photo of Red Dog Ridge to you – it’s a beautiful sight. It’s one of the main reasons I love going there. I woke up early every day with Miss Lucy and we went out on the deck to watch the sun rise and light up the ridge. You & S. would love it.

      Sleep – what’s that?

      Thx about the video – yep, Rilla looks like yours truly the most – my childhood photos confirm it too.

      There may be no number 5, but there is certainly #11. (Have you seen “This Is Spinal Tap” yet?”) I think you’d like it, and after watching it you’ll never regard #11 the same way again.

      Great to hear from you – xoxoxoxoxoxo

  6. Sounds like your holiday is going well! Hope to read more when you get back!
    Also the book of Lark Rise to Candleford is also excellent – it’s in the same vein as Anne of Green Gables, What Katy Did, and Little Women, and just about the only British novel I’ve read with a similar feel to it (rather than a similar setting, there’s loads of those). Although naturally Anne and Katy are my favourite favourites…

    • I was so excited to read your comment – I didn’t even know there was a “Lark Rise to Candleford” book (the horror!) I’m also unfamiliar with “What Katy Did” (ahhhh! I’m loathe to admit it, but there you have it) so you’ve given me a double gift today. Thanks, my dear! Will catch up with your blog as soon as I de-zombify! 😉 XOXO

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