About

I grew up in the culture of New England in a small Massachusetts town. How I got from there to the West Coast is an interesting tale.

For a number of years I was an ESL teacher in northern Virginia. And before that, in a former life, I lived overseas in the Foreign Service. Just as I provided “springboards” for my students in writing class, my travels provide the backdrop for my second book, a memoir full of humor and pathos, on how I’ve overcome my lifelong depression and found my own prescription for happiness. Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation is scheduled for publication with She Writes Press in June, 2020.

My partner, Gene, and I still spend time in New Mexico where we lived for a decade after retirement. When I’m not writing, I sing in a small women’s choir. And I do volunteer work in twelve-step organizations. We still get away whenever we can to enjoy hiking, skiing and canoeing locally. The rest of the year is for grandchildren and salt air at our home on an island in Puget Sound.

Toward the end of my teaching career, I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching. That journey was critical for me because it was a Master’s in Reflective Practice. Now that I’m retired, I have time to reflect back on my fortunate life. But it’s an inward journey I’ve been on for the past few years. My bittersweet mother/daughter memoir was published in New Mexico in 2014. It was my first full-length publication.

I have published almost exclusively in the memoir genre. In a piece I published almost three years ago, I talk about how “writing, for me, is self-discovery. It’s a real excavation process, as we mine our depths often coming out so much richer in self-knowledge than we were in the beginning.” If my first book was a “memoir of recovery,” then Stepping Stones digs much deeper, exposes more, and gets to the true heart of my story. Time—and all the perspective it offers me—is an invaluable tool as I seek to unravel my own life in the search for answers to some important questions.

Get in Touch

Send your questions and comments to marilea.rabasa@gmail.com.

Member

National Association of Memoir Writers
Story Circle Network
The Addict’s Mom
Nar-anon
Al-Anon
Alcoholic’s Anonymous
The Addict’s Parents United
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Overeater’s Anonymous

Literary Awards

The Journey Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of Narrative Non-Fiction and Memoir.

Stepping Stones made the first cut and is on the Long List of the CIBA’s. I am honored and humbled to be among these talented memoirists.