Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

October 2010


To write well you must be willing to go naked into the world. -Daniel Keys Moran After multiple wine sessions, friendly reviews, non-friendly reviews, and a handy “cliché-erasing” pen, my book proposal is nearly finished.  After another week of sober editing, I will hopefully deem it worthy to send out to agents. In my progress I flirted with various themes that would tie the stories of different American women together. 

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Writing a book proposal has been the hardest thing I have done in my life.  While on the road interviewing women, writing was easy.  The women’s stories poured through my veins onto paper, metaphors and adjectives effortlessly dripped from my pen.  After four hours and three cups of coffee in a café, I had a full composition. Tying all stories together, unlocking a theme and revealing myself isn’t quite so

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San Francisco-The Book Writing Begins

I have been back in San Francisco for a week now, right in the height of its personal Indian summer.  While the rest of the United States was skipping around in flip flops and bikinis in August, the citizens of San Francisco were shivering, blanketed in an icy fog.  The prolific mist has since gone out to sea allowing the warm sun to bounce giddily off of the Golden Gate

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The Final Interview: One with Myself

Location: San Francisco Mileage: 8,002 Women Interviewed: ~30 (depending upon how one defines an interview) Cities Visited: ~23 (depending upon how one defines a visit) Items lost: Mac powercord, umbrella, jean jacket, gas cap, keys to NYC apartment I set out two months ago with no real expectations for my writing project except to capture voices of inspiration. I knew that I wanted to break down stereotypes and illustrate various

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A Treasure Chest of Vice, Adventure and Love

Location: Portland, Oregon Mileage: 7,386 Music: “Portland, Oregon” by Loretta Lynn and Jack White. Meal: Holladay Plaza Split Pea soup and Buffet Salad The drive from Kennewick to Portland started out as desolate. One must first pass the Umatilla Army depot in Eastern Oregon where a large plot of land has been used to store chemical weapons such as nerve agents and mustard gas.  I held my breath as I

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A Changed Place

Location: Kennewick, Washington Mileage: 7,200 Music: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac Meal: Alderplank smoked salmon with garden vegetables I left eastern Montana for the west, heading into the most beautiful part of the state I was born in.  My car chugged up the switchbacks at the foothills of the Beartooth mountains.  I looked fondly at the jagged peaks where I had spent many summers learning to hike, fish and sleep under

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Montana: Boom and Bust

Location: Billings, Montana Mileage: 6,500 Music: “Dakota” by Stereophonics Meal: Soup and Sandwiches (on Montana Wheat) The highway between Minneapolis and Billings was a 13 hour stretch of hilly lands, badlands, and no man’s land.  Immersed in miles of flat were sudden mounds of earth, positioning themselves around grassy valleys, and deep cut rivers.  It was these buttes of Medora where Billy the Kid hid out and escaped the law.

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