Across the Sound

There’s something so awesomely crazy about driving, transporting your car on water, then driving away again. I mean, how often do you get to do that?

Okay, some get to do it often. The people of Seattle sure do.

For the rest of us, it’s kind of a miraculous feeling.

It was a few minutes before 8am last Saturday when me, Mr. H, and our car, Uschi, loaded onto the Edmonds-Kingston ferry in Washington.

We stepped out of the car to stretch our legs and watched the serene world go by through the big windows inside.

I love the inside of ferries, don’t you? They’re always so retro and battered, a great backdrop for some impromptu modeling shots.

inside edmonds-kingston ferry

edmonds-kingston ferry galley

I had been on a ferry once, maybe twice before, when I was a pup back in Southern California. But nothing could prepare me for taking a ferry across the Puget Sound on a January morning.

We scurried onto the freezing deck like a couple of kids.

It reminded me of running into the living room on Christmas morning, sneaking around at the crack of dawn so I could check out the pretty presents under the tree before Dad woke up.

britt on the ferry

edmonds washington

Every possible shade of blue, purple, and grey surrounded me. Like I had opened a box of crayons with only a few options.

But I wasn’t disappointed. It was just too beautiful.

puget sound in the morning

olympic mountains puget sound

Where does the water end? Where does the sky begin? I wanted to cry—my eyes barely knew how to handle visions like this…

puget sound

Others on the boat were just as hypnotized as we were. Bundled up couples strolled the deck, physically attached to each other in some way, their bodies begging for warmth.

couple walking on edmonds-kingston ferry

freezing on the edmonds-kingston ferry

A man who has probably taken this route every single day for years couldn’t resist the temptation to step outside in the biting cold.

To marvel at all of it—the majesty, the simplicity.

man on ferry

Even with all of this power, somehow the Sound was soundless. Here was a welcoming haven from the boisterous world we knew all too well.

The water danced, only because it wanted to. The wind whispered poetry. The birds played it cool.

It was a foreign land, an exquisite secret. Nobody gets to stay here…you can only pass through.

We felt honored to be here, to breathe in this unexpected bliss as we glided across the Sound.


Sensory Deprivation

flotation tank
Infinity Tank at The Float Shoppe


Overstimulation. You, me, we all know it too well.

I’ve always been sensitive to my physical surroundings. I don’t know if it’s the dancer in me, the Yogi in me, or the writer in me that makes me this way.

Bright lights, strong perfume, and big crowds have always been too much. On the other hand, I’ve lived in the city for the past decade or so.

Because this stimulation also provides inspiration. It teaches me about real life and real people. It shows me who I am as a survivor in the midst of all of this activity.

I get infatuated with the chaos. I think we all do in different ways.

How else can you explain why the world is like it is today? With so much chatter in our lives—the rushing, the busyness, the self-indulgence.

Those of you outside of the city, in your peaceful abodes, you participate too.

You’re online. The kingdom of overstimulation.

I started a new job last month—an amazing one. Through it all, more changes and stress were added to an already hectic year I’ve had since uprooting my life and moving across the country.

It had been an entire year since my last massage, back on my birthday of 2013 when I was still in Milwaukee. With the cross-country move came unemployment followed be a low-paying job.

The luxury of a massage was unspeakable. So, my birthday present this year wasn’t hard to pick out.

I was going to treat myself to not only a massage but a flotation tank as well.

Say what?

Floating is pretty popular here in Portland and I’ve been dying to try it. There’s a place right down the street from me, so I made my appointment.

I heard different things from different people. Some said it was like taking hallucinogenic drugs. Some said they were bored and restless, got out of their tanks after squirming for a half hour and left.

The thing that enticed me the most was the miraculous ability to float. I’ve never been able to. I’m an expert swimmer, but I sink like a damn rock.

See those legs up there? Boys in school used to say I had horse legs. And those horse legs ain’t light.

I was skeptical that it would work. But as soon as I laid back, I giggled as my body rose to the top of the heavily Epsom salted water.

The water is kept at skin temperature so that the body is comfortably cocooned. You want to float naked to avoid any swimsuit hassles. (Carrie Rubin, I know this sounds like an introvert’s biggest nightmare.)

flotation tank
Infinity Tank at The Float Shoppe


Being the claustrophobic gal that I am, I chose the open tank where the room is quaint and steamy. Turning off the light is optional by the push of a white button attached to the tank.

There is no music and the room—or enclosed tank pod if you go that route—is soundproofed. Earplugs are provided so you can connect with the cadence of your heartbeat and breath.

Like many others, I spent the first half hour of the 90-minute session getting situated, my mind racing about the domestic tasks I should have been completing that Sunday instead of “wasting” my day at the spa.

Naturally there were some awkward moments, like earplug mishaps and salt in the eyes.

I was reluctant to turn off the light, because when you do…it’s pitch effing black. Seriously, you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to push that button to become fully immersed in the sensory deprivation experience that I was paying for.

When I was thrown into absolute darkness, I was reminded of a time Mr. H and I were in a cave in Texas, just outside of Austin. Part of the tour has a very special treat for us claustrophobic types.

Once deep inside, the lights are shut off. Darkness encompasses everything—your body and your mind.

A tingling on my neck, face, and shoulders caused me to splash/flail into an upright position in my flotation tank. I punched the button to turn on the light and my eyes darted around the room, searching for the Boogie Man.

Cut me some slack. I was a die-hard believer in the Closet Monster well into my teen years.

But, it was just me. It turns out I had surrendered to a state of complete relaxation.

So, I tried again. I turned off the light and to comfort myself, I covered my belly with my hands to feel the rise and fall of my own breath.

I don’t really have a way to describe what happened next, because I don’t remember. I was in the zone of weightlessness—perhaps I dozed off for a bit.

All I know is that I reconnected with myself in an entirely new way. What was complicated became simple. What was stressful became serene. What was loud became hushed.

This sense of calm stayed with me throughout the week, and my sleep was on a whole other level. I tried something new, something a little kooky and scary, and I took myself to a place we adults don’t like to visit.

Vulnerable territory, where our only duties are to be naked, quiet, and still.

Will I ever float again? You bet your ass.

Goodbye, Kindle

Those of you who know me are used to this. I get attached to things—like, REALLY attached.

The time I tried to pretend that I was a real adult, somewhere around the age of 25, I declared to Mr. H that it was time to get rid of Ken the cow.

ken the cow on the road
(If you haven’t met him, this is Ken and he’s awesome.)

I made him put Ken in a duffel bag so I couldn’t see his face as he went out the front door, out of my life forever.

As you can imagine, that made it even worse. It was like my favorite stuffed animal friend was being carried off in a body bag.

Mr. H hesitated by the door, took one look at me, and brought Ken safely back inside. He knew.

I still have Ken the cow to this day. I’m in my thirties, I sleep with a stuffed animal—and dammit—I don’t care.

Today this post is about letting go of another friend, who simply goes by the name of Kindle.

My mom asked me if I wanted the new Kindle for my birthday next week, which is the sweetest gift she could ever offer me. Naturally, I hesitated before saying yes.

Me and Kindle go WAY back. My mom passed him on to me back in 2012 when she got an iPad.

It was a life-changing moment for me, when I finally decided to give ebooks a chance after being such a paperback purist.

But I wanted to read ebooks by other indie authors, to support them in the same way that some of them have supported me.

Kindle was the way to do it.

Me and Kindle got off to a rocky start. I was reluctant to give up real books in any way. Kindle knew our relationship would take some time and he was very patient with me.

But then, tragedy struck.

Hazel the cat murdered him, knocked him right off the top of our built-in cabinet. I found Kindle’s lifeless body on the floor. I pressed his power button repeatedly, trying to resuscitate him…but there was nothing.

Until that moment, I didn’t realize how close I had become to Kindle and I was very sad. I went back to regular books for a while, then months later—for shits and giggles—I tried turning Kindle back on.

And he was alive. Back from the dead!

After that we were inseparable, and I rarely left the house without Kindle by my side.

He showed me many wonderful novels on his little screen. He didn’t mind when I spilled beer on him and he never judged me when I was too tired to spend quality time with him in bed.

Kindle didn’t complain once during our cross-country move from Milwaukee to Portland. He was a real trooper and a stand-up guy.

New Kindle arrived on Thursday. It’s lightweight, tech savvy, and shiny.

The transition has been made. My library is now on New Kindle, but I haven’t read anything just yet. I needed to give Original Kindle a proper goodbye with this tribute.

Though I only captured a few moments, here are some of our fondest memories together…

my very first kindle

Kindle cat

fall of giants kindle

cat kindle stand

Thanks for everything, Kindle. You will be missed!

P.S. In case you missed grabbing the Everything’s Not Bigger freebie last weekend, if you have Amazon prime, you can borrow two of my books completely free from the Owner’s Library—Everything’s Not Bigger and I just added Nola Fran Evie. Enjoy!

Support Your Indies…Last Chance for a Free Book!

Trying to take my passport photo with a straight face.
Trying to take my passport photo with a straight face never works.


This weekend has been pretty wild with my first time using Amazon’s KDP Select freebie days for one of my books.

On the first day Everything’s Not Bigger ranked at #15 on Amazon under Action & Adventure/Romance, if you can believe it. This little indie author was quite confused by that awesome stuff!

I wanted to take a moment to thank so many of you out there for your lovely support this weekend.

Besides grabbing your free copies, there have been reblogs and social media shares like crazy. So…thank you!

Just a friendly reminder that the free promotion ends at midnight PST tonight. If you haven’t scooped up this book yet, you know what to do.



Everything's Not Bigger Cover

Hope you’re all having a beautiful Sunday!

Everything’s Not Bigger is Totally FREE All Weekend!

Everything's Not Bigger Cover

Hello, beautiful friends!

My book, Everything’s Not Bigger, is totally FREE all weekend 12/5-12/7 (until midnight PST) on Amazon, so run over and grab your copy!

If you’ve never read any of my books before, this is a great way to test drive. As always, reviews are much loved if you can take a quick moment to leave one.

I would describe Everything’s Not Bigger as a thriller/romantic comedy/travel adventure/drama. Hey, I’m Indie…I can do that sort of thing with genres.

In case you’re new around here, this is what the book’s about…

In the heartland of oil money, Jaye Davis spends her whirlwind existence trapped in the battlefields of high fashion. After escaping a turbulent past and leaving everything behind, she struggles to find her place in the world. Because Jaye Davis isn’t her real name. She’s a player in the witness protection program leading a dual existence.

Once her fabricated identity is thrown into jeopardy, Jaye flees to the haunting allure of Prague, embarking on a solitary quest to find certainty in her uncertain world. Unearthing her roots in an important step toward self-discovery, she learns to return to who she really is.



Thank you for supporting the Indie Author movement.