What is Xilhouette.Horse?

Xilhouette.Horse will be a safe space, a writing center, and a publisher for young voices. It will be a creative collective, a virtual (and sometimes physical) art gallery, and a purveyor of local and global provisions. 

The X.H Mission

Be kind and listen to amplify voices and set the hearts of young writers on fire.

The Community Writing Center

The writing Center will be the eventual epicenter for all of this energy. For now, it will be this virtual space. X.H will be modeled after the International Alliance of Youth Writing Centers, and 826 National as we help young writers write the future.

It is a space where they will be heard; where they will come to understand the most important thing in life is to get to know yourself, and be yourself.

It is a space where the community gathers around our young minds and shines on them so they can rise up, speak their truth, and share their story with the world.

X.H aims to amplify voices and set creative minds and hearts on fire by supporting their development as writers and members of the community. 

We believe the voice of our young writers is essential to our survival, and our ability to thrive as a community. The story of our young minds is the story of our collective future. Their imagination, their vision, their perspective should guide us.  But first we have to make sure they believe in themselves and their worth and the importance of their voices.

We hope to open a writing center in San Diego where kids of all ages can feel safe, explore, and find their voices so they feel confident sharing their stories. We will first look for pop-up writing center opportunities to have an immediate impact. Learn more about how you can help support this effort today.

Online Writing Courses

We currently offer online writing courses designed to supplement traditional education with lessons on reading, writing, organizing ideas, exploring identity, and using their natural talents to define a successful path forward. The course is called Writer.House and walks the audience through some essential steps that will not only help them become a better writer and communicator, but also help them build their own creative space and process. With the tools and skills they will develop in the Writer.House course, our young writers will enhance their resilience, flexibility, and adaptability so they can overcome any obstacle.

Independent Publisher: Pop-up Workshops & Contests

We can get started before the writing center opens. 

We’ll host pop-up workshops and contests for young writers of all ages. And we don’t plan on stopping at the young writers because we want everyone to be seen and heard. We’d love to pair writers of all ages together to forge a creative culture of self-expression, informed by the rich existing culture of San Diego and the wisdom of all generations, as a way to inspire the future vision of our younger minds.

Intelligence, confidence, and resilience are the purest forms of beauty. But it takes experience and perspective to develop these hard-fought skills.

Stay tuned for more.

Art Gallery & Writing Lab

Our ultimate goal is to raise money in support of artists and writers. But we aren't just offering handouts or donations. With the skills our artists and writers acquire, and the work they create, we will pay them an appropriate fee, and train them to manage and plan for their future.

As they branch out and begin to create on their own, as they feel comfortable doing so, we will continue to support these creators however we can. If that's continuing to sell their creations, helping them navigate and negotiate next steps into a career, or work to elevate their own creative freedom, we will offer on-going support, customized for each dream and journey.

Found Object Collective

In our travels near and far, we will collect artifacts that honor the mission of X.H and the people who continue to inspire it. We will offer these artifacts and art and whatever else we can source here for purchase, with a healthy portion of the proceeds supporting the X.H mission, writing center, and holistic support of our young writers and creators.

Source of Light: Transparent Pay & Pricing

As we offer art, books, courses, and found objects, we will provide a transparent breakdown of cost of each product, and share with you where the money will go and how it will be used.

Each product page will contain a breakdown of how much goes to X.H, to the creator, to the hard goods, to site maintenance and cost of operations, and so on.

If ever you have a question, don't hesitate to contact us.

Why must this happen?

Everyone deserves to be seen and heard. 

Sometimes, all you need to blossom is a little light.

I believe our schools are trying to support the creativity of our kids, and show them what the future can look like, and how bright it can be if they tell their story.

But I also believe they need some help when it comes to helping our kids communicate their dreams and ideas effectively, understand the light they carry within them, and express that light in a way that enriches their lives and the lives of those around them.

I believe there are a lot of kids that would benefit from a community that reflects their worth back to them. Whether they’ve struggled with drugs or identity or depression or just feel lost, I want to provide them a place to discover themselves and their purpose.

Where will it happen?

Right here in Solana Beach.

But this isn’t just for our town. This is a space that will help define the present energy and future culture and ongoing history of San Diego through the lens of our creative young minds. 

There are 107 zip codes in San Diego filled with kids of all ages. Each young mind is filled with a beautiful and unique light. But our current educational system isn’t always the best at helping kids identify that light, or helping them develop it so they can shine.

Through our writing courses, through our training programs, through our collections and artwork and independently published books and contests, we will support the community of young writers so they are free to share their voices and execute their vision for the future.

How will it happen?

With the help of our community.

You can invest in the movement right now by purchasing a limited edition asemic Hope canvas.

Why Xilhouette?

Silhouette has long been one of my favorite words. A dark shape, an outline of someone or something, light shining in the background, and our job is to look, to explore, to change perspective and see how the border between light and dark changes.

If we can understand that as we interact, we are only ever engaging with a silhouette of each other, we leave space for others to open up and shine some light on us. If we can recognize that we are only ever seeing one side of a person who is filled with stories and experiences and thoughts and feelings, we can give others the freedom to share and express more of themselves.

Now more than ever, understanding the border between light and dark, and the role we play in looking for light, is essential. If we can explore the dark and what’s unseen through what’s seeable and what stands in the way of the light in this world, if we can study the silhouette and change our perspective to create more light, we all win.

We must explore the balance and necessity of light and dark, and use this knowledge and experience to highlight the beauty, instill hope, uplift the community, and inspire positivity.

Why the X?

Because we are all trans-humans.

We are an amalgamation of disparate perspectives and beliefs always in motion, always transitioning, always transforming internally and externally, which impacts the transformations of those other trans-humans around us, those other beautiful and jagged collections of energy. 

To accept ourselves, we have to accept others, because we are the others too.

What’s with the Horse?

We’ll get where we’re going a lot faster if we ride our horses.

By this, I mean

  • We play to our strengths
  • We accept our wildness even though it might be messy at times
  • We charge ahead, not always knowing where, but always confident in why.

Who am I?

I believe I can create a better world for my daughters through words. 

I am a progressive, conservative, contrarian creative who at my core, loves words and all they can say, but more importantly what they are unable to say.

I am inspired by movement, the sensations these movements create, and the verbs we use to describe how we move and feel in this world. 

I love the meaning of words strung together on a page, and I love the space between the words and letters. I am a bittersweet high reactive (to borrow a term from Susan Cain), which for me, means my emotions get the better of me often. Which also means I am often wrong, but I am always trying to take the necessary time to absorb sensations and measure reactions and respond appropriately.

Above all, I accept my fellow humans as they are. I refuse to be blinded by current beliefs or unwilling to compromise. The more I learn, the more I discover, the more I realize I have to learn, and the more I realize I could have made more space for compromise and shared beliefs.

Where I will not compromise: we must be kind to each other, we must listen to each other, we must lift each other up, and we must strive to see the world through others’ eyes.

Why am I doing this now?

I have played many roles in my first 40+ years: poet, teacher, partner, parent, writer, editor, content strategist

I’ve forever kept that 15 year-old version of myself in mind, and want to support young writers and creators in a similar spot. I struggled to understand my place in this world. All the conventions and career paths didn’t speak to me, I couldn’t see myself in them, and lost many years trying to squeeze myself into these roles and live by the subsequent responsibilities. I don’t believe any kid should have to do that.

So, everything I am doing here, and yes it’s a lot, but as I mentioned above, I’m still working all of this out and doubt I will ever stop. I digress. Everything I do here is in service to those young minds struggling to discover and define themselves in this world, those young hearts that haven’t yet found their voices. I want to help them understand what is best for themselves, what their dreams are, then develop the skills they need to make those dreams a reality.

The X.H Monster

There are several foundational elements that continue to define the DNA and influence the direction of X.H. By piecing together a passage here, a line there, a chapter from her and a collection from him, and a story from them, these texts create a walking talking patchwork of inspiration.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but is meant to ground everything you’ve read here in outside resources I find powerful, poignant, and essential.

  • Spring and All // William Carlos Williams
  • Learning by Heart // Corita Kent & Jan Steward
  • Jack Gilbert, poet
  • Louise Glück, poet
  • Flights // Olga Tokaczuk
  • The Poetics of Space // Gaston Bachelard
  • James Baldwin, author & essayist
  • Asemic: the Art of Writing // Peter Schwenger
  • The Bow & the Lyre // Octavio Paz
  • The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop // Felicia Chavez
  • Critical Response Process // Liz Lehman
  • The Creative Act // Rick Rubin