Author. Artist. Educator. Storyteller.

As a professional Writer, I aim to create a better understanding of the world and our place in it — a mission which has cast me in many different roles: author, artist, teacher, farmer and mother. Find more information about me and read selections of my work below.

The Orange Woods

available now

Marilyn's debut memoir follows the lives of a big city radio couple who morph into small town farmers during a two-decade love affair with a magical piece of land in Southern California. Their dream-like life, complete with an orange grove, vineyard, a loyal black dog and unparalleled scenic views, comes to a sudden end when Jack unexpectedly dies, leaving Marilyn alone to face her devastation and her future.

It is an inspiring story of poignant memories, shining moments of laughter, immeasurable grief, and, ultimately, hope.

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Rich Sterglutz pastel of me June


Three long years ago, I lost my husband and found myself thrust into an abyss of uncertainty, sorrow and fear. To cope, I began to write. I had been a journalist most of my adult life, but writing was ancillary to my various careers, escapades and whims. This writing evolved altogether different in my arduous self-administered therapeutic journey, then to now.

Writing about loss was a completely foreign and excruciating endeavor. But, along with a great deal of wine-induced cry marathons, late night scribble sessions and enthusiastic support, I prevailed. Within the last three months I put the euphoric finishing touches on my memoir—my first book—not only about loss, but love and laughter and loyalty and learning.

Surprisingly, now with the relationship ended (my manuscript and me) here I am today suffering another loss. Those pages, over three hundred, have been my companion day and night, as I poured out my heart and tormented my mind. Constant focus. Driven relentlessly to heal.

My book is done. It’s out there. The universe will either accept or reject it. But it will not be rewritten in any major fashion. It could only have been written in that certain manner, a prose style of grief therapy. It could only have been written from the trenches. As I experience this rebirth of me, alone and optimistic at this point, I understand that I will never feel that way again; I will never be in that place again. My book is a memento mori of that lowest point of my life. The time when piercing grief and undying desperation were my constant companions who drove me to the finish line.

As this Renaissance unfolds, I sense a new me emerging. Just last month, I booked a very nice hotel in New York City for my traveling companion and me. A glimmer of pleasure surfaced as I tallied our expenditures. I only have to pay half of the hotel bill. Nice.

My horoscope for the year predicts  “Immerse yourself. An intellectual connection is *huge* for you. You are attracted to people who make you laugh, love a good adventure, and those who (like you) don’t take anything too seriously.” I no longer prefer to stay under the covers; I am open to these people.

Walking home from the museum this afternoon, as I crossed the bridge, a couple holding hands strolled in front of me. I didn’t cringe. This new life could have some good stuff. Not much so far. But, I’m hopeful. I feel a shift. A Renaissance after a long period of sadness and stagnation.

These days, I have dedicated myself to writing. It is a lasting legacy of my loss and I find myself on the brink of writing about things other than that horrid time of my life. Things like friendship, fire, fast food. Interesting male companions. Scooters, electric assist bicycles, airplanes. Technology, Texas and Trump. Art, and country music. Radio, family and fallout.

The lens in my progressives are now rose colored and I like what I see. The Renaissance of me has brought balance, harmony and beauty into my new life. I am blessed. I will write about these blessings.

Painting by Richard Stergulz (2015)

A Blog About Life's Second Acts
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The Ridotto

iō Literary Journal

"Tales from Six Feet Apart"



A short story in an upcoming, open-access e-book.




Marilyn's short story, Loosing Steamer, is included in the 2018 Year in Ink Anthology.  Lyft, detailing her first experience using ride share, is featured in the 2019 Year in Ink Anthology.  



Marilyn's short story,Thirtieth Reunion, is included in this collection of non-fiction short stories, edited by Marni Freedman & Tracy J. Jones. 



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©2018 Marilyn Woods

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