About

Photo credit: Karen Walrond

Hi, I’m Asha. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family. I’ve been a writer for over 20 years. Longer, if you count the stories I scribbled on binder paper as a kid.

My first published work was a poem in Children’s Digest when I was eight years old. I still remember how it felt to see my name printed in those newsprint pages. It was my first opportunity to think of myself as a writer.

Not that I planned to pursue writing as a career. But after a few years of work and marriage, something big happened: the Web. Between jobs in the mid-90s, I wrote a number of how-to books about Web publishing. One of these books was Microsoft FrontPage For Dummies. It sold thousands of copies and went into multiple editions, making me a professional writer, after all.

In 2005, my oldest kid was in kindergarten and my youngest was a toddler. I struggled as a new parent, and none of the parenting books I read helped me feel better. I longed to swap tips and stories with other parents and talk about what was really going on. So in December 2005, I launched the Parent Hacks blog.

Parent Hacks kicked off a 10+ year journey with the smartest, most generous community of parents on the Internet. Parent Hacks readers and my cohort of fellow bloggers were wise, funny, encouraging, and kind. Parent Hacks transformed my writing career from a solitary job into a vibrant, dynamic conversation. And it confirmed something I’d always hoped was true: that most people are helpful and generous when given the opportunity.

My book, Parent Hacks, is an illustrated collection of tips collected on the blog and contributed by other parents. I wrote it to honor the magic of those ten years and that community. I wanted something to back to say look, we made it together.

In 2013, I joined my dear friend Christine Koh to co-author Minimalist Parenting, the “keep it simple” philosophy we both came to in our different ways.

In 2015, Christine and I expanded upon Minimalist Parenting in Edit Your Life, a podcast about simplifying, decluttering and making room for the awesome in your life.

In 2016, I took a sudden and unexpected turn toward grassroots political organizing. The Presidential election results filled me with alarm — for the safety of my kids (all of our kids) and the health and integrity of the United States. On November 9, 2016, in a Tampa, FL hotel lobby at the end of my PARENT HACKS book tour, I created a secret Facebook group as a place to gather friends and educate ourselves about how to lobby our representatives to make our voices heard. 

Within weeks, the group grew to over 7000 Portlanders, and became one of the early outposts in what grew into a nationwide “resistance” movement. I led and moderated this group (later named Persisters PDX) for two years, organizing meetings, encouraging participation, and building community. Together with other local groups, we made phone calls, wrote letters and postcards, attended town halls and rallies, and got out the vote. Thanks to the work of people like us, a “blue wave” swept through the 2018 election.

With a nationwide movement well-established, I left online political community-building in pursuit of a more approachable and sustainable model for democratic engagement. A small group of friends and I formed a Democracy Club — like a book club, but for democracy. We’ve been meeting and taking action ever since, and we’ve written a guide, How to Start a Democracy Club, so anyone can start a Democracy Club. 

My kids are now (almost) grown. My nest is (almost) empty. And I believe, more strongly than ever, that each of us has a voice, and it’s our right, responsibility and remarkable gift to use it in service of creating a more just and peaceful home.

 

How to Contact Me

The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to my newsletter. I read all replies!

You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at @ashadornfest.

Speaking at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Photo credit: Armosa Studios

Book-related press and publicity

For Parent Hacks, email publicityinfo@workman.com

For Minimalist Parenting, email edityourlifeshow@gmail.com.

Speaking

For speaking engagements, contact Carol Schneider at the Workman Speakers Bureau, speakersbureau@workman.com

Sponsored work

I only work with sponsors on my podcast, Edit Your Life.  Email edityourlifeshow@gmail.com for details and our current rate sheet.

Review requests and guest posts

I do not accept product pitches, press releases or guest posts.

What to read next 

 

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MY BOOKS

PARENT HACKS
Genius shortcuts and workarounds to make life easier.

MINIMALIST PARENTING
Enjoy family life more by doing less.

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