Interviewing the great Anne Lamott, photo by Drew Altizer, San Francisco

Interviewing the great Anne Lamott, photo by Drew Altizer, San Francisco

[Booking: Brenda Kane at APB Speakers]

Some things you wouldn’t know about me from my books:

My favorite thing to do is talk to other writers, super-brains like Margaret Atwood, Jason Segel, BJ Novak, Mary Roach and Anne Lamott.  You can find these conversations on iTunes and on KQED.

I have a new book coming out in January called Tell Me More (and 11 Other Important Things I'm Learning to Say). It's true stories organized around 12 sentences that turn the wheel of family life, like: I Don't Know, I Was Wrong and Good Enough.

I worry constantly, about my husband getting in a car accident or my kids getting snatched by a desperado or a mole on my nose turning out to be the thing that does me in.  However, I believe worry is the backside of gratitude, so that means that when I get anxious, I am actually acutely feeling my good fortune.  And clinging to it with both hands.

I love live performances of almost any kind, especially music but also lectures and readings and plays. Some favorites: Dear Evan Hansen, Beck, Shawn Colvin and listening to Marilynne Robinson or David Sedaris read anything.

I worked in non-profits for ten years. That decade created my worldview, which goes: people are struggling, make yourself useful. My big project is Notes & Words, which raises $1.5 million a year putting musicians and writers on stage together at The Paramount Theater in front of 2,000 donors of Children’s Hospital Oakland, where my daughter was treated for Meningitis and where I hold babies in the NICU on Tuesday afternoons.

I went to three great schools: Radnor High School, where Dr. Mary Anne Capa showed me what actual scholarship looks like; University of Richmond, which was a whole lot of fun and introduced me to some of my all-time favorite people; and San Francisco State University (for a Masters in Literature) where I was humbled by 1,000 page-a-week reading assignments and floored that for $600 a semester, I could sit in weekly seminars with professors like Michael Krasny (host of KQED Forum) and Bruce Avery.

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As for the family, we are missing Greenie terribly.  My mom is still selling Real Estate on the Main Line and keeping the house we grew up in from falling to pieces.  My brother George is a big time recruiter, as well as a terribly good golfer and a rock and roll musician, and my other brother, Booker, is a lacrosse announcer for ESPN and has his own sports talk radio show.  

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Edward has become obsessed with machine learning and, along with some old work friends, is ramping up a new AI company called Machinify.  The girls and I hope it works; we dream of future family vacations.

Speaking of which, the girls are coming right along.  My almost 16 year-old lives for lacrosse and making sure I'm not embarrassing her on my Instagram account; my 14 year-old is obsessed with baking and Chance The Rapper and a flat iron some lady at the mall sold us one afternoon when my guard was down, something my mother finds very funny.