Ten thousand.

Last week, I reached an incredible milestone on this blog: 10,000 email subscribers. I can scarcely believe it.

When I first started Extra Dry Martini 3 ½ years ago, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I only knew that I had a lot of ideas and opinions and I wanted to carve out my own little corner of the Internet on which to share them. I named this blog after my favorite cocktail, while the tagline, Straight up, with a twist, was a nod to my often blunt (sometimes foot-in-the-mouth!) Sagittarian nature, and my rather edgy, sarcastic sense of humor. Away I went.


I couldn’t have anticipated that only a few short months later, life as I knew it would fall apart. Or maybe I could have. Maybe I did. Maybe I intuited, in some strange, cosmic, sixth sense-ical way – the way animals can sense an impending natural disaster – that creating this platform to express myself would be the very thing to save me during the darkest nights of the soul I have ever experienced.

When it all came down, I didn’t write for a year. One whole year. To this day, I have only a vague, foggy idea of where that time went. I call that period of my life “the vortex,” a black hole of funerals and whiskey and airports and late night phone calls and never ending to-do lists and sleeping with one eye open.

But when I did come up for air, my writing was different. I wrote with a sort of raw honesty that would previously have been unthinkable to the me that started this blog. I wrote and I wrote, without a goal or a clear direction other than to simply keep going. And through the process of turning Extra Dry Martini into a sort of public journal to air my very private feelings, I changed. No, strike that. I didn’t change. Writing through pain, trying desperately to find meaning where there was none, the real me started to shine through the cracks in the old, broken me, the one I’d unwittingly hidden for years under layers of self-doubt and insecurity. It’s as Steven Pressfield says in his brilliant, essential, book The War of Art: “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves to some idea we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”


Thank you to everyone who has read this blog. The sheer volume of kind-hearted, compassionate, thoughtful comments that I receive from readers never ceases to astound me. While I don’t always have time to respond to all of them – particularly on the posts that WordPress has chosen to feature on Freshly Pressed­ – I do read every single one, and they mean the world to me. Thank you.

Speaking of thank you’s, thank you to WordPress.com, without whom and all of their generous shares of my blog posts, reaching the 10K milestone never would have been possible. In just over a year, Extra Dry Martini has been featured on Freshly Pressed a whopping SEVEN times, including just last week. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read these posts, or if you’d simply like to revisit them, I’ve linked them below at the bottom of this page.

People sometimes call me “brave” for writing about some of the things I do, and for sharing intimate details of my life on the Internet. I’m not brave. I simply write to survive. I write to remind myself of who I am. And I write for all of the people who respond to one of my posts with the comment: “I thought I was the only one.” Let me tell you, with one hundred percent certainty:  you are not the only one. If there’s a single lesson I take away from writing this blog, it’s that despite all of our differences – geographic location, family background, age, gender, ethnicity, religious faith or lack thereof – we are far more alike than we are different. We share the same hopes, the same heartbreaks, the same struggles and the same joys. We are united by the same powerful experience of being human and in this experience no one – not one of us – is alone.


Ten thousand is an impressive number. It’s a humbling number. But I’m not resting on my laurels. As I prepare to head off for a few days of creative recharge at Write Doe Bay, I’ll be thinking about how to make this blog bigger, better, and somehow more. Among the things I’m considering: spinning off Extra Dry Martini into some other iteration like a book, a play, a film, or possibly all of the above. I have no idea how that will look, or what the next steps will be. All I know is that anything that I create will be undertaken with the same commitment to honesty, to cutting to the core of the human experience, and will always, always be served straight up, with a twist.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing my journey. And – fingers crossed – here’s to the next ten thousand.

Until next time, friends.

P.S. – If you would like to read the posts that WordPress featured in their Freshly Pressed section, here they are:

Ice Water

Time Out

Things My Mother Never Did

Putting off Tomorrow

Little Steps. Big Steps. First Steps.


Three Years


Words: a Love Story.

I’ve been writing my whole life, but until recently I never really considered myself a writer. Not like that. Writing was just something that I did. Whether they were high school essays, papers for a college journalism class, or the plays and short films I wrote when I first started acting, writing was always just something that came naturally and was fun to do, but nothing I ever took too seriously.

That all started to shift about three years ago. I’d been writing Extra Dry Martini for just a couple of months – something I started doing for fun – when my entire life fell apart. I’ve written in great detail about loss on this blog and I don’t feel the need to rehash it, but suffice it to say that the spring of 2012 through the spring of 2013 was a very difficult year for me. A very difficult year, the ramifications of which are still reverberating throughout my now very different life. When I finally came up for air and felt brave enough to write about it, I published a piece on this blog about my experiences entitled The Lost Year. And from there on out, my writing was different.

So it was that writing became less of a hobby and more of a lifeline. In the last year and a half, writing has been not only my most reliable creative outlet, but it has been my therapy. I would no sooner give it up than I would give up breathing, and in fact, I’ve often wondered if I were to give it up, if I would still be able to go on breathing.

When I feel lost or adrift, getting all those thoughts and feelings down on the page is sometimes the only thing that brings any relief. And while I don’t really believe that you can “get it all out,” there is something liberating about being able to wrap my mind around a moment, around pain or sorrow, around joy, around love, and to articulate it in such a way that it’s no longer a swirl of chaos in my brain, but something more ordered and easier to understand. Once on the page, with the words and thoughts at a slightly safer distance, I can read them with a measure of objectivity and think, maybe this thing has a little less power to hurt me than it used to.

I write out of a burning desire to transform the sad, empty spaces within me into art and in doing so, transcend the parts of me that still feel broken. And while I cherish the time I’ve spent absorbed in thought putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I sometimes wonder if all the hours I’ve invested in crafting pretty sentences have left me less able than before to say the things that need to be said when it comes to face to face interaction with real, live people.

At this moment, I find myself juggling two projects that will soon bridge that gap: a gap between the solitude I’ve been spending in my own little creative laboratory and the big, bad outside world. The first project is a play. In July, I’m going to stand on a stage and talk about some of the very personal, very vulnerable things I’ve been writing about on this blog as part of a solo performance workshop called (appropriately) Barenaked Angels. For the first time, I’m going to say some of the things I’ve been writing down out loud, in front of an audience. Yikes.

The second project is my screenplay, a project and process I’ve detailed in earlier posts like Putting off tomorrow and Little steps. Big steps. First steps. As I continue to work through the second draft and push toward a looming deadline to hand over scripts to actors for the first table read, I am discovering more and more that the parts of the story that aren’t yet working are the parts where I haven’t delved deeply enough into the main character’s hopes, dreams, and flaws. In other words, it’s an autobiographical story without quite enough autobiography in it.

Words are seductive. There is something exquisitely satisfying about capturing a moment on paper and thinking, yes, that’s exactly what happened, how I felt about it, and why it mattered. Words have an incredible capacity to illuminate a life. But in the end, words are not life, and one cannot live by words alone. I’m so grateful for what writing has given me – for the way it has sheltered me through pain and has allowed me to connect with the hearts and minds of other writers through this blog. I will always, always be writing. But the writer’s life is also about finding balance. A writer needs to experience the world in order to write about it, and I haven’t been doing nearly enough of that lately. So now it’s time for me to take the next step: to take the lessons I’ve learned and not just write better, but live better too.

Until next time, friends.

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