My name is Annette Marquis and I’m an author, activist, public speaker, and community builder. I’ve created four newsletters to write about the things I love and things I’m trying to understand better.

These are:

If You Only Knew: A Memoir of Family Secrets and their Undoing

When I learned that the man I thought was my father was not, I had to find a way to understand and reconcile this truth with the lies I had been told. I had to take a close look at everything I knew, including choices I’ve made in my own life to reconcile this new understanding of myself. My parents were long gone when I learned the truth. During their lifetimes, the secret they kept lay dormant in a mine field ready to explode with just one faulty step, but somehow, they navigated their way through that field and each of them died of natural causes—Dad when he was 69 and Mom, almost twenty-five years later, at the age of 88.

I’ve written what I know of my story in If You Only Knew: A Memoir of Family Secrets and Their Undoing, and am releasing it as a serialized memoir starting January 2024. I hope you’ll follow my journey of discovery and healing.

Accidental Mentors

I created Accidental Mentors: Inspirational Stories of Women Who Shaped My Life by Just Being Themselves because I believe that when women find courage from each other—courage to write and speak our truth, to go where we want to go and see what we want to see, to live how we want to live, and to leave the world better than when we found it, a kind of magic ensues.

​By supporting each other in our dreams, we can make the world a magical place for all women, and ultimately, for all people.

Published in serialized form in 2023, Accidental Mentors: Inspirational Stories of Women Who Shaped My Life Without Even Trying is a collection of micro-memoir stories about women who have influenced me in untold ways. Watch for the print, e-book, and audio versions in 2024. You can read all of the stories here:

Wandering WordsWomen

In 2017, I formed a community of outdoor-loving women writers who love to wander. Wandering WordsWomen hosted a women’s writing retreat at a Virginia campground, held online memoir writing workshops, and shared ideas, support, information, inspiration, and community to women writers who love to travel, whether that be in its physical or metaphysical forms.

In this relaunch of Wandering WordsWomen on Substack, I hope to encourage and inspire folks, especially women, to break free from their COVID-19 shutdown restrictions and experience the open road again.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Memoir Story Craft

I love writing memoir and personal essay. I didn’t know I loved it until someone in my MFA program pushed me to put myself on the page and helped me see why it’s so important to do it. You can read that story here:

In Memoir Story Craft, I share with you some of the tools and techniques I’ve learned to tell a better story so that others can learn, be inspired, connect, and come to understand themselves and the world better.

I hope you’ll join me in writing your stories!

About Subscriptions

​I believe it is my responsibility to use my voice and be involved with the world around me in as many ways as I can. Writing is one way I can do that.​

​I work hard to write and publish stories, ideas, and content that matter. My dream is to have the resources—personal, financial, spiritual, and physical—to support my writing. If you share my dream, or any part of it, I invite you to come along.

As a subscriber, you’ll join me on the journey and hopefully find inspiration along the way. As a paid subscriber, you’ll make it possible for me to write and publish my writing, and I hope, you’ll be inspired and supported to do the same.

Annette's Wanderings is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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More about me

I am the author of Resistance: A Memoir of Civil Disobedience in Maricopa County, and co-author of twenty-five software books, including Mastering Microsoft Office by Sybex/Wiley. My writing has appeared in anthologies, including The Women of Katrina: How Gender, Race, and Class Matter in an American DisasterStruggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious PerspectivesComing Out in Faith, and Bless the Imperfect. Accidental Mentors: Inspirational Stories of Women Who Shaped My Life Without Even Trying is a serialized micro-memoir focused on gratitude for those women who have made me who I am.

I have a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University that I applied to a twenty-five-year career in chemical dependency treatment and mental health crisis intervention services. In my later years, I received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction from the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, now associated with Lasell University in Newton, MA.

Writing is a vital tool in my activist and my how-to-live-my-life tool bag. Over the years, I’ve discovered that writing is a craft that can be learned but that great writing must be felt. I continue to study both craft and feeling.

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Family secrets, women’s and LGBTQ lives, travel, and writing in two serialized memoirs "If You Only Knew," and "Accidental Mentors," and two additional newsletters, "Wandering WordsWomen and "Memoir Story Craft," from author and wanderer, Annette Marquis


Annette is a community builder & author of two micro-memoir series published on Substack, "If You Only Knew" and "Accidental Mentors." She lives with her wife Wendy in Richmond, VA.