Notes on Gratitude

Seven years ago, I signed up for a four day intensive writing workshop, called Writers' Studio, through UCLA Extension. I believe the class I took was about writing the personal essay or maybe it was called creative non-fiction. Either way, I wasn't sure why I was sitting there except that I felt writing was something I not only wanted to get better at, but also needed to get better at. I had no idea why.

Now I know why. As I work on my memoir, today I also get to announce that my first ever essay appears in print, as in ON PAPER in the anthology:  "Belly Shame: Stories from the Gut." I was lucky enough to be part of this project because of my involvement with iPinion Syndicate. (You can read my first iPinion piece here.) The topic, shame, is one about which I am very passionate as it has impacted my life and my daughter's life in so many ways. I'm particularly passionate about "belly" shame (i.e. body image shame) because it continues to be an enormous problem that plagues our society and the lives of women and girls, our friends, daughters, and sisters. Our brothers too. Shame–body image or otherwise–impacts us all. The more we talk about it, the less power it holds over us.

I am grateful to be among this group of writers sharing deep and personal stories about a difficult topic. I am grateful that writing this essay was part of my continued path to recovery and to loving myself. And I am grateful that it took seven years for my first essay to see the light of day in this type of forum. I tried and failed to write many, many essays between that Writers' Studio and today. I can say, for sure, that this essay would not exist in the form it is in without having written the many words that came before.

I'm grateful to Debra LoGuercio DeAngelo and to David Lacy (iPinion head honchos) for including me in the fold.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of this book will go to support iPinion and the excellent work that's done on that site. Please read what Debra wrote about our anthology this morning and consider purchasing the book to support iPinion.

BREAKING NEWS! "Belly Shame: Stories from the Gut" is available for purchase!!! It's finally happened! iPinion Syndicate has published its first book, a fundraiser to help keep iPinion going, hopefully, advertising-free! Thank you to all the iPeeps who contributed and donated their talents to our first publication: David Lacy, Carolyn Wyler, Christy Carl-Sillman, Donald Sanders, Hannah Sullivan, Judith Newton, Tom Mcmasters-Stone, Kathy Brotherton, Kathie Yount, Kelvin Wade, Tracey Yokas and Maya Spier Stiles North! And also, Amy Ferris, who can now add "artist" to her resume!

If you like iPinion, we'd sure appreciate it if you participate in what is essentially a "GoFundMe" except you get a "thank you" book out of it!

Please help iPinion continue to thrive and purchase the book here.

For more information on the 2016 Writers' Studio, click this link.


  1. Congratulations Tracey! I believe I was in that workshop seven years ago with you. I knew then that your writing would take you to wonderful places! All the best, Suzanne

  2. I'm so happy for you! What a great announcement! You are reaching more and more people, helping to heal yourself and others, "one word at a time"! Yay, You!!

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