About Cheri

Welcome to the online home of Cheri Lucas Rowlands. On the front page, explore popular categories, or — if you want to dig deeper — browse the archives.

cheri lucas rowlandsI have always loved to write: from letters I scribbled to my aunt when I was little, to angry middle school journal entries, to the epic screenplay I wrote on a floppy disk when I was thirteen (which I described as Natural Born Killers meets The Fugitive).

After studying screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television — and realizing I didn’t want to pursue a career in the film industry — I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I grew up, and mixed random jobs with part-time writing gigs. An awesome summer at Tower Records. A year at Barnes and Noble. Internships at a daily newspaper, a weekly, and a magazine.

Along the way, I found myself working in education, as a teaching aide in a sixth-grade classroom, a tutor at a reading clinic for students with learning disabilities, a freelance reporter for an education site, an editorial assistant at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and an English teacher in Thailand, in a village east of Bangkok.

My love for wandering the world led to more freelance work in travel and guidebook writing, as well as a shiny new blog to chronicle my nomadic ways. Soon after, the travel startup Trazzler hired me as a community manager to assist in editorial and social media projects, and from there, I built a network and readership, while dabbling in part-time jobs to stay afloat. Other past lives include marketing proofreader at a women’s college in Oakland, award-winning newspaper book reviewer, and TV production intern at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2007, I graduated from the MFA program in creative nonfiction at Goucher College, with an interest in reported memoir, immersion journalism, and literary nonfiction. While I wrote my first book-length manuscript in these two years, on the Oakland warehouse rave scene in the mid-to-late nineties, I’ve yet to publish a book. I’d love to focus on my own projects full-time in the future.

This site, originally a blog called Writing Through the Fog, has evolved since 2008 — first focused on travel, it is now an archive of creative nonfiction, personal essays, and memoir on the writing life, the internet, place and space, time and memory, and relationships. Hosted on WordPress.com, it introduced me to the world of WordPress, and later to Automattic, where I work today as a story wrangler on the editorial team.

I love paddling down rivers; street art and abandoned buildings; drum and bass, old school jungle, and tech house; unearthing memories from the dance scene that wasmy little house, Leavenworth; squirrels and mogwai; and my husband — Nick Rowlands.


  1. Hello, I have a question. I am trying to write a thesis paper fro my English 105 class and I am not 100% sure that you wrote the article that I found. I typed in the author of the article (which was Cheri Lucas) and your name keeps popping up. The name of the article is “Boost Memory and Learning with Music”. I just have to do an about the author so that’s why I am asking.


    • Hi Amanda — yes, I wrote this article in 2009, originally for Education.com. Looks like it’s been referenced/republished on other websites since then.

      Hope that helps. I wouldn’t be able to help further with your work, as that’s not my area of expertise at all. Good luck with your thesis paper!


  2. I really enjoy your blog in all its different permutations. You’re very talented, but you already know that and thank god you don’t have an ego about it. My sister, Janice Gary http://www.janicegary.com also graduated from Goucher’s MFA Creative Writing Program.(’04) and speaks highly of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I recognize that name! Probably from Goucher materials, the alumni magazine, and other places. When I was choosing my MFA program, it was between Goucher and Sarah Lawrence, the latter of which was a traditional, two-year program, and at the time I wasn’t quite ready to pick up and move across the country, so Goucher’s limited-residency format really worked for me. And ultimately, it prepped me for what writing in the “real world” was really like (juggling jobs and family/personal life; and trying to stay motivated while working with editors/mentors from afar)…

      Thanks for visiting and commenting here!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the visit — thanks for exploring some of my posts. I don’t publish much here anymore, unfortunately, though am using a new blog, Notebook, for free-writes and fragments.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of the Writing 101 course — thanks again for visiting :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting… Extremely interesting is your journey of life, work & experiences etc. I loved as I read through your “About Cheri.” Clicked on ‘follow’ button to read more of your piece. Will definitely explore your archives…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheri, I read a few of your pieces and just realized how different your blog is from many other travel blogs. Because in your writings, one doesn’t just make a journey to places, but also to the depths of one’s own self. Great writing, indeed!

    And thank you for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading. I don’t really consider this a travel blog for the very reason you describe — I like to travel, but I don’t necessarily write about a physical place in a certain way. Journeying “to the depths of one’s own self” is an excellent way of putting it :)

      Liked by 5 people

  5. aaroncauser says

    Just stumbled on your blog; wordpress thinks we have shared interests. Have to say; beautiful – everything about it !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tessa Love says

    Hi Cheri,

    I love your blog! So beautiful, insightful and inspiring. I’m a recent addition to the Zuki blogging family and would love it if you took a look at my work. I just published a post about fog and thought of you, endlessly writing through it.




    • Hi Tessa! Just dove into your blog — lovely stuff, from your thoughts on home, to describing your time in Istanbul, to the Central Valley, to your musings on fog: “It feels as though I am constantly on the edge of the world, but as walk towards it, the edge becomes a delayed place, stretching on forever.” I love this.

      I’m following your blog now, so thanks for the note.

      I’ve been very happy with Zuki so far — looks great on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tessa Love says

        Thank you so much for the kind words and support! I’m really happy with Zuki, too. Cheers!


  7. Hey Cheri,

    Just wanted to say I am incredibly impressed by your blog, it is really inspiring to know that making a lifestyle out of writing/blogging is do-able. I’m still fairly new to the game, just started blogging this past year and I was wondering if you have any advice for newcomers? Maybe you could direct me towards a helpful post or site? Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you have a chance to check out my own blog, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Cheri, I recently reblogged your amazing piece about vertical writing and I just nominated you for a Liebster award, No obligation to accept, but I’ve linked to your site in my recent blog post about it, and if you decide to participate, I’ll explain the rules of engagement :)
    All best!


  9. Hey Cheri,

    As a fellow writer, I’m in awe on how much you have had to write so far and how much you are able to express through your words.
    I’m a new blogger and sometimes, coming across blogs like yours inspires me yet deflates me a little, in a sense that blogs like yours seem too good to be true! haha
    Thanks for sharing your passion – looks as though we have lots in common – travelling, writing, the perpetual you talk about – I can totally resonate with.
    Keep up the beautiful work!!



  10. I actually came to this blog because I wanted to see how you used Zuki theme. But then realized your writing resonates like tuning fork. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. chainlog says

    Your talent is breathtaking, wish I can only have a fraction of your insights to photography


    Ronald Du Plessis

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Cheri,
    Thoroughly enjoying all of your photographs and how you use them to enhance your entries and writing. It is very inspirational – I’ve been using photography (among other mediums) to illustrate poetry on my new blog. I hope you will check it out and enjoy:


    example of iPhone photography around Boston with poem: http://illustratedpoetry.com/2014/05/30/double-original-friday-to-paul-baumer-with-love/

    I’m a former Bay Area resident (Yay Cal! Go Bears!), so feeling nostalgic seeing all your SF pics. In addition to following your blog – I’m sending it to my good friend who is getting certified to build eco and tiny homes in CA. We are always exchanging tiny home and eco building blogs. Thanks again!
    Marcy Erb


    • Hi Marcy — thanks so much for the note (and for sharing the link to your blog!). A friend certified to build eco/tiny homes in CA? That sounds like a great possible contact — we’re total beginners and learning as we go (only finally just wrapping our heads around our solar/energy/plumbing setup). I sense once we get our shell and start working on it, we’ll have a lot of questions — thanks for forwarding our site; hope to stay connected.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You seems extremely uncluttered for someone finding her way through the fog. Absolute pleasure stumbling upon your blog. Will be sure to follow your future stories. Thanks for writing


  14. Thank you for following my blog. I was so happy to come here and find your writing and your thoughtful essays. I love the look and feel of the blog too, it is, like your beautiful writing, lovely and uncluttered.


  15. Thank you for inspiring me even more. I am blogging on being a Somali woman while also writing my memoir. Being authentic and writing my thoughts unfiltered is difficult, or so I seem to think. How do you keep it so real? I am in awe. God bless you.


  16. Cheri! Your blog is just so amazing. I found it out on freshly pressed and reading it now makes me feel really fresh.
    Thanks a ton!


  17. Thank you for having a part of your heart designated for street art. I like to think of street art as the world’s most honest form of art. Art without bounderies, snobs, or gallery openings. Amen to you and your blog.


  18. Hi Cheri. Nice to meet you. I love your photography. Beautiful shots. I was reading some of your writings about home, and family. You’ve maybe gathered we don’t have a home. Being nomadic we’ve learned home is an internal experience not an external place. It’s an on-going journey.
    I relate to your writing about information overload – twitter no, FB only to keep up with family, a bit. No watching the news. Not for years. We are of different generations you and I – the whole social media thing is fairly new for me, and frankly overwhelming. It seems to be full of a lot of information I don’t need. OTOH I’ve made some wonderful connections through blogging, and read many blog posts that have been uplifting and/or inspiring just when I needed it. I blogged for nearly 3 yrs before I discovered the “blogosphere”!
    Thank you for visiting and following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer. Being nomadic, truly nomadic, changes you. In a good way.
    I wish you well on your journey. Your writing is excellent and your passion, honesty and intelligence shine through.


    • Hi Alison — sorry for the delay in response. Thanks for the thoughtful comment — I agree that “home is an internal experience, not an external place.” I also appreciate you reading my thoughts on other things, like information overload in the time of Twitter and Facebook. Your words are kind — thank you, and I’m glad to hear that what you’ve read here resonates with you.


  19. Hey Cheri, Thanks for the like at kallucuriocorner. I liked your daily prompt very much. After studying or working without much of a break all my life, I just don’t feel content if I have not ‘done’ something, so to keep my brain from degenerating I try writing daily – mostly to entertain myself and the daily prompts take me all over the place. Keep it coming,
    Have a wonderful day,


  20. Dear Cheri, thank you for stopping by and for subscribing. I’ve read some of your posts, the ones about Granada, and I will definitely be back for more. I enjoy reading your thoughts and I like your stile very much. Your idea of time and what it means to us and makes of us is very interesting and I am looking forward to reading more.


  21. Cheri,

    Thanks for letting us explore your world and gain insights of what is important to you. Many of those things like home, family and love are important to me as well but writing about them can be difficult but therapeutic, a learning experience.

    In the days ahead I will follow you and inspirational writings I’m looking forward to. Great blog.


  22. Hello Cheri,
    After reading a handful of your posts tonight, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your work. You have an obvious gift with both words and the camera (or iPhone!). Thank you for sharing your talents here for visitors like me to enjoy.
    p.s. I’m also a huge fan of Bananagrams and am happy to have found another enthusiast! Normally, when I mention my affinity for the game, people stare at me with a “Banana-what?” I even travel with it — sadly, it’s usually the first thing I put in my suitcase (before even my underwear or toothbrush!)


  23. You are too good. God bless you. It’s so good to read you, and learn, always. Thanks for everything you do to make our world a better place. Thanks again.


  24. Anonymous says

    Inspiring Cheri, nice blog. *sigh* I have to agree, as much as I love photos from my camera…the iPhone has taken over. Revolt!


  25. Hi Cheri, without sounding too creepy, I can’t help feeling that your name is familiar (apart from the Friday Faves, I mean). Anyway, your blog is wonderful, so much to read and look through. Congratulations on such a professional website and I look forward to reading you regularly!



  26. Cheri, thank you for reading my post at NotebookM about privacy, Chekhov and our exterior untruths. Your site is very interesting. One for the times. Here is a solution to your problem of trying to keep up with all that is being written or left behind on the digital trails: Don’t read anything written after 1936.


  27. Cheri, I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog. The name of your blog is perfect; I wish I’d thought of it! Your thinking comes shining through in your work – keep it up!


    • You’re kind — thank you for the note, and I’m happy you like my blog name! My blog started as a travel blog, and so the name was fitting because it reflected where I lived (San Francisco). But I’ve shifted gears quite a bit, and yet the name — still — makes sense in a fuzzy way. I also noticed you reblogged my “On Everything and Nothing…” post. I’m actually writing up a (sort of) follow-up to that right now. Will post it soon.


      • You’re welcome. I “met” you when we were both Twitter guests with Mary Chayko’s class, and was immediately interested in what you were saying, but just finally got the opportunity to really dig into your blog. So, anyway, that’s the reason for re-blogging something you wrote quite a while ago.

        I look forward to your follow-up post!


  28. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenges: Home and Kiss | the ever-budding bear

  29. TheBestDamnSportsBlogEver says

    Love the blog! You are a magnificent writer, and it’s always great to find another that spreads the love of the Bay Area to all those missing out on all its splendor. Maybe someday i’ll be lucky enough to run into you in the City!


  30. I have followed a mighty trail to get here begining with Adam over at My Right to Bitch….Passed by a Clown on Fire and waaaa laaa here I am. Hi Cheri. I’m Cheri too. I do not often meet another of the same spelling so howdy howdy and Aloha. I like how you said you are “a writer who always carries her camera”… your images are great and I am really enjoying peeking around here. Words wonderful words everywhere I look!


  31. Really, truly outstanding blog – beautiful to look at and terrific to read. I’m so glad you stumbled across mine so I had the chance to stumble across yours. You have a new fan!


  32. Pingback: Ok! WordPress, You Win! | A Clown On Fire

  33. Hey Cheri – I stumbled across your blog this morning and absolutely love it! I’ve never been able to take a good picture (fumble-fingers and shaky hands!) and really admire those who can. I’ve only been on wordpress for three months and already I feel like I’ve travelled the world!

    Amazing stuff :) Thank you so much for sharing your pics


  34. Nice blog, Cheri. You’re a great writer and I really enjoy your ruminations on technology and the limitations thereof. Maybe I’ll run into you somewhere in the SF fog! : )


    • Sven — thanks for the note (and sorry for the delayed response). I’m glad you enjoy my musings on technology — it’s definitely a topic I like exploring. Hoping to sit down and write more soon…


  35. This is brilliant…I can so relate to sense of place and recently have been getting lyrical about it. I have generally written, shall we say, satirical cynical stuff (and still do) but recently started a totally different blog…about what makes life great – The Small Things where I am exploring everyday things that lift us all. http://www.itsthesmalljoys.blogspot.com but also memory and intereaction.

    All the best


  36. Cheri – so excited to meet you. Thanks for following my blog girlfriend! But also, thanks for being out there so honestly writing and taking snapshots of life and trying to soak it all up like spongecake. You are doing so well at it.



  37. Pingback: Inspiring Blog Award « Anthropology Gallery

  38. Cheri,
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I can’t wait to read more of yours….. I have a feeling I’m going to learn a lot from you. p.s. Yay! Streetart!


  39. Hi Cheri, I have nominated your blog for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I hope you accept this nomination.
    regards Luciana


  40. “And I don’t really consider myself a photographer, but rather a writer who always carries her camera.”

    ~I can relate to this tremendously! I love how you write – straightforward but insightful. Your photos are amazing as well. More power! :)


  41. Love your blog! Absolutely amazing is all I can say :). Want to take a trip out to San Fran myself, but have had some plane difficulties in doing so. Keep up the awesome work!


  42. Hey, cheri,

    what are your memories of school, good or bad.

    just started a second blog about ed, please comment on the january 22, if you will. trying to get a consensus from thinking people to begin a base from on a blog. thanks.


    from thinkvisual’s blog. thanks.


  43. SarahAlice says

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, which I hope you’ll accept and enjoy! The rules can be found on my page. Congratulations! (:

    I love the blog!

    Have a lovely day!


  44. Hi Cheri!

    I enjoyed reading your latest blog: “On Eternal Sunshine, Erasing Memories, and Facebook Timeline” so I looked around your page. :) Just curious, how did you format the Archives page to show the Categories and Monthly Archives as lists in two columns?


    • Hi Adrian,

      That’s a default format on my theme (Delicious Magazine). In edit mode, under Page Attributes > Template (on the right side), I’ve set it to “Archives Page.” The archives are automatically formatted this way.

      Glad you enjoyed the Eternal Sunshine post!


  45. Pingback: CHERI LUCAS « Miscellanehouse Blog

  46. Latin America is a good place to settle with chickens and cats. Just be sure not to mix them.

    I like your writing and energy. I would like to explore my own country as you have one day….after, of course, returning from all the chickens and cats here in Latin America.

    Boa sorte, que te vaya bien, and keep writing :)



    • Hey Patrick–thanks so much for the note. Definitely pondering exploring/living abroad again for a spell, and Latin America is on my radar. I loved Costa Rica, and would love to visit Panama, Belize, and Nicaragua. And then there’s Buenos Aires, which has been on my list forever.

      There are still so many places within the US that I’d like to visit, too.



      • I think the best places I’ve been to so far in Spanish America are Colombia, Chile, and Panama. Brazil is a whole different catagory, and I love it almost unconditionally. I found Buenos Aires to be a bit smarmy, but many people adore it.

        If you go to Panama prepare to eat lots of liver.

        Good luck on your future. I’ve subscribed.



  47. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and looking through your pictures. They’re fantastic! So vibrant. And you have a very fun and succinct writing style. Love it!

    I have started a blog as well, if you would like to check it out!


    Funny enough, I just wrote a little entry about San Francisco. Enjoy.

    Take care!


  48. chalemonster says

    Whoa. :)
    Seeing yer blog is amazing, its been awhile since i seen good photography. Its all very lovely hunn.
    I enjoyed every one.
    That sorta motivates me even more to go to school for photography in time.


    • Wow, I have received some very nice comments this weekend, yours included. As I said to someone else, I post writing and photos here mainly for myself, family, and friends, but when someone I don’t know is motivated and inspired to explore, take photos, or write, it makes me happy. Thanks for the note!



  49. cam ferrin says

    Great blog Cheri! I came across your page via wordpress and am glad i did. I’d love to live in SF sometime. Keep up the great photos and come check my blog sometime…I’d love to hear from you!!


  50. Hey, really great blog posts… I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy. I actually work for the CheapOair travel blog. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: gchristodoulou(at)cheapoair(dot)com, and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.


  51. Pingback: Hungry to Travel « GapGrad

  52. Nelson Baker says

    Hey Cheri,

    I really liked your post, and getting a look at your latest travel location through your videos. It really makes me want to take a trip somewhere and explore.

    You do so much – when it comes to writing. I am trying to make some kind of a career out of writing myself – just not sure what avenues to take. I love fiction, but am taking quite an interest in writing on new experiences and ventures. Good luck and stay motivated! You’re doing great.


  53. Hey! Thanks for the nice words. I generally think when a place is inspiring, the writing follows naturally. I’ll admit I go through dry spells; that usually means it’s time to go exploring again…

    Thanks for visiting and saying hello.


    Liked by 1 person

  54. Cheri,

    Your bio is very inspiring! Amazing that you traveled solo throughout several Asian and European countries, that is something I’d love to do. And to be able to write about it is such a great gift. I’m new to the world of blogging and reading through some of your travel blogs encourages me to keep it up!


Please note: in most cases, I don't approve self-promotional or off-topic comments, or those that don't add to the discussion.

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