ARB thumbnailI am!

Okay, you want more than that?

I’m a writer. I’ve “written” virtually my whole life, mostly for business during my various careers over the past 35+ years in advertising, marketing, sail training, non-profit management, consulting and web-design.

In 2006 I moved with my husband, my parents (both in their 80s), two dogs and two cats from Maine to Costa Rica and took that opportunity to finally take action to become a writer “for real” writing actual published books.

Although I call myself a “writer”—I think that’s the word that folks relate to the most as a description of what I do—it might be more accurate to say I’m a “communicator” since that’s really at the core of so much of my life. Whether simply trying to write the best email, have the best conversation with friends, write books that will make people smile and improve their lives, putting together a newsletter or website for clients, or share my tips on still having fresh tomatoes from your garden in December, it’s all about communication.

My first book, Unraveling the Mysteries of Moving to Costa Rica told the tale of our move and included a large section on the “logistics” of moving and shipping your household. It’s available in bookstores, at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com and I’m gratified that it’s helped a lot of people in their own explorations about taking on such a move. (See the reviews at Amazon for a glimpse of that.)

9_25_2011_Avila in the grassFive years later, though, we found that despite our having loved our years in Costa Rica, life had changed and it was time for us to change with it. Our granddaughter had been born earlier that year and we found it stirred in us a desire to be more than “once-a-year-visit” grandparents. We’d also grown tired of some of the “realities” of living life in a foreign country and realized that while it had been a great adventure, it was time to “go home” so we returned to the states, albeit not back to Maine, but to the Salt Lake City area to be near our daughter and her family.

That led to my finally entering the blogosphere with the-ex-expat.com.  Just as the name would suggest, it both helped explain the whys and wherefores of our becoming “ex” expatriates and gives folks an ongoing look at what our new life is like back in the states.

Our move back also led to my next Costa Rica book, Reality Check, a real-life look at living in Paradise. It will released fall 2016. Designed not to be discouraging of the move, or bashing Costa Rica, it is hoped that it will give folks a more balanced look at what life is really like there, and the larger “reality” that many folks—even those, like us, who really enjoy their time there—will ultimately move back to their home country.

A third Costa Rica book, Thirty Days of Food, should be out in February of 2017.

So, is Costa Rica all I write about? Glad you asked!

Not at all. In fact, one of my books I’m most proud of and hope you’ll read is The Power of Acceptance, Beyond the Law of Attraction. Co-authored with life coach, Doreen Banaszak, I wrote the first half which gives a glimpse into the lives of several characters experiencing a variety of life challenges. They’re all introduced to the technique that Doreen teaches of “acceptance” and “being willing to consider.” While the characters and plot are fictional, they represent typical real-life situations that will resonate with many.

The second half of the book takes the reader through Doreen’s own personal exploration of where the power of creation comes from and how to become a conscious creator, creating the life you want. She gives readers a look at both the more “mystical” side of how acceptance of your state of being eliminates resistance as well as some powerful “nuts and bolts” exercises to help make acceptance a part of your daily life.

Additionally, as a somewhat odd side effect of our years in Costa Rica, I became more interested in the world of “real food”—food that would have been recognizable 100 years ago before the industrialization of our food supply. I’ve always loved food, love to cook, definitely love to eat, so real-food-real-life.com is an exploration of how do real people in the real world manage to eat mostly real food.

And lastly, since being a grandma has become a huge part of my life, are we surprised that my biggest blog is the-grandma-blog.com where I share grandparenting stories, write about food from the perspective of family meals and food for kids, and showcase whatever very cool products I’ve found to make family life easier.

So that’s who Arden Brink is. Or, at least, that’s the writer side of me. And that side is actually a pretty big side, encompassing in one form or another, much of the world that I find most interesting. But there’s more to me than work, of course, and grandma would have to be one of the biggest “other pieces”—to our surprise, my husband and I have found that being grandparents is just better than we’d ever imagined.

We are lucky enough, along with our grandchildren’s other grandparents—their daddy’s mom and dad—to be their week-day caregivers while our daughter and hubby are at work. Rather than heading off to the day-care center every day, they head to one (or sometimes both, in a “divide and conquer” approach) of our homes where we spend the day parenting, or grandparenting to be more accurate. It’s been a trip and something I’m grateful for every day. (Sometimes most grateful when they go home at the end of the day, but nonetheless, always grateful.)

We’re also blessed with dear friends with whom we travel and share our daily lives here just outside Salt Lake City. And I cook and eat and read about food and think about food, even beyond what finds its way onto the pages of the blogs. And enjoy life here on the edge of the Wasatch Mountains with my husband and our four-legged family members. It’s a simple life, but one that seems to suit me just fine.