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Feb 10, 2015

I always imagined that a woman named Spike Gillespie had to have a great backstory. I just never dreamed I’d actually get to read it. Spike first came into my life when I was editing and publishing an alternative newspaper, JUMP Monthly. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, 30 years later, but I remember being enamored of her name and the details and narrative style found in her writing.

SPIKE GILLESPIE podcast excerpt: "Many years ago, around the time of SXSW, my first book, 'All the Wrong Men' came out. In two completely different incidents, I was walking down 6th Street and two strangers stopped me, hugged me, and thanked me for writing my book. They said that it really told their story, too."

JUMP was short-lived and Spike and I went our respective ways. She wrote stories that appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, Elle, and Smithsonian Magazine as well as books such as All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy: A Memoir and Pissed Off: On Women and Anger. She currently writes two blogs, “Keeping Austin Austin” and “Meditation Kicks Ass.” She also officiates weddings in and around her adopted hometown of Austin, Texas.

We lost touch for years until Facebook put her name and face in front of me in 2014 as someone I might know – which was true.

SPIKE GILLESPIE podcast excerpt: "Meditation is the new hot topic. I'm listening to Russell Brand's new book, 'Revolution,' and it's like, everybody's going to be doing it in the next 5 minutes!"

Sit. Stay. Heal.: How Meditation Changed My Mind, Grew My Heart, and Saved My Ass is a compelling memoir that Spike wrote to accomplish two big tasks. First, it details her life’s story – childhood abuse at the hands of her father, a lifetime of man troubles, alcohol abuse, her love of dogs, and the healing power of knitting. It is a story of a woman who has endured great pain –some of it, undoubtedly, brought on by her own actions – but it also presents equal measures of triumph.

SPIKE GILLESPIE podcast excerpt: "I changed some characteristics of people in 'Sit. Stay. Heal.' that don't affect the integrity of the story--or the lack of integrity, if you will. I did that because the older I get, the more I really clearly see it's about the themes, more than the specific people."

The second task is when Spike shares the ways in which meditation has helped her cope with the life she leads. This part isn’t all sunshine and roses, either, but it does demonstrate the value of introspection and the examined life. My great fondness for Spike over the years never diminished and I’m pleased to give her a new forum for her work.

Spike Gillespie WebsiteMeditationKicksAss.comKeeping Austin AustinWedding Racket blogWrite With Spike blogFacebookTwitterYouTubeGoodreadsOrder Sit. Heal. Stay. from