Darling Patrons: An Open Letter To the People Who Read My Stuff. Otherwise known as a blog post.



I have lovely news, but I keep getting interrupted by other stuff.

Other stuff:

  1. Children. Small children. They NEED things. Even when they don’t they really like to carry on conversations with you. Case in point: This morning Red was coming out of the bathroom, sauntered past me, and asked, “Mom, do you like sausages?” I had no idea how to respond, really. It was the whole juxtaposition of the bathroom*, the nonchalance, and my inability to talk without coffee. I was flummoxed. But, yes, actually, I DO like sausages. Italian and summer are my favorite.
  2. *Just don’t dwell on it too much and it won’t get icky.

3. A furry white cat that was on death’s door a week ago. But more on that later.

4. Laundry. See #1.

I know the other stuff is normal (except for Steve, the cat but more on that later) but the older I get the harder it is to multi-task. It’s like my synapses just freak out and say, “Hey! Everybody! She’s trying to do that multi-tasking thing again! Take COVER!”” And there’s general running about and firing of synapses all over the place and waving of synapsey arms and mayhem.

I was trying to get (shove) my two boys out the door this morning for VBS, hoping for an hour to work on the lovely news, when I noticed that Red’s bed looked like he had piled every single one of his stuffed animals on it. It looked like this because, as I asked him for verification, “Mom, I piled every one of my stuffed animals on it! I have a kaJILLION!”

And that’s when I started in on Mom Lecture #3445, Clean Up Your Stuff Or It Will Go Away And You Will Have to Play with Sticks. 

Me: Red, you KNOW you are to MAKE YOUR BED every morning, and this is a MESS and-

Red: But, Mom-

Me: Hold on dear, I’m not to the sub points of the lecture. And FIRST OF ALL-

Red: But, MOM-

Me: One minute. FIRST OF ALL, it’s important to be RESPONSIBLE-




Me: Oh. That’s adorable. And, they gave you homework? This VBS is hardcore.

Jesus and Red = 1 Mom = 0


Anyhow. I am now writing my little fingers off to tell you about THIS:IMG_6550.png

I’m working on another book. The publishing company actually wanted me to write another book. ANOTHER ONE.

Which, as you  know, means I am really a big deal.

Also, it’s possible I have had the worst case of writer’s block known to all writers in the universe (no hyperbole here) because FOLLOW UP IS SO NOT MY THING.

I’ll keep you posted. But, in fact, I won’t keep you posted as much as I would like because every stray minute that dangles in front of me is utilized in eeking out another painful sentence on this second-book thing. I am serious. Last night I wrote a sentence. Then stared off into space. Then deleted the sentence. More staring. Wept a little. Repeat. This must be what snails feel like all the time.

Poor snails.

I tell you this, so you will feel sorry for me. Just a teensy weensy bit? I always did like sympathy. I’m so not like those people who are all, “I don’t want your sympathy!”



See?! This writing thing? It’s really hard! (To be honest, I think George might want to consider counseling.)

But, if not sympathy, then your prayers. My family and me need to survive together until the manuscript is done, and this morning I asked Blonde to provide me with a synonym for “glass” and he answered “Um, donkey?” and I just nodded and carried on.

Never ask an eight year old with bad hearing for synonyms.

I’m gonna try and stick with the donkey-half-full ideology that a second book is wonderful and exciting and such a blessing. And, it is happening because of YOU guys. So, I thank you from the bottom of my synapse-misfiring little heart.
I do love you so.

I lift my donkey of grape juice to you.

This book is gonna be so good, can’t you tell?










I Went Away and Came Back Again. Episode #34

I think I’ve written about this before. But you guys. It is SO exciting! I went away!

And! Double bonus! I came back!

Last weekend I went away to write.

Does that not make me sound like Zelda Fitzgerald? I mean, without all the booze and angst about her husband and all. But still. It sounds so… writerly, doesn’t it?

Ok, so I packed my stuff:


Important! Always include incredibly soft Netflix shirt (jammies) in blog post as Shameless Plug.

Also, I didn’t read Big Magic at all. I meant to. It is a great book and I will… but really, all I did all weekend was write or watch You’ve Got Mail. And Jaws 3. Which is in 3D, may I remind you, and has some really awesome acting in it. Basically, people shouting “Get out of the water!” and staring at horror as a gigantic fake shark slowly 3D’s its way towards them. I had forgotten how good that movie is. The shark was a little stiff but perhaps he just needed to work on his motivation.

Anyhow. I also wrote. I went to a hipster coffee shop, plunked my stuff down, and wrote my hands off.

I wrote. I wrote like the wind.



The poor focus on this picture is not because I am a bad photographer. It’s symbolic. It’s showing you, dear reader, the very writerly PROCESS I struggled THROUGH to try and make this book something with some SORT OF FLIPPING POINT BECAUSE MY GOD PEOPLE I AM SO STUCK. I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK. IT’S NO LONGER A BLOCK IT IS MORE LIKE A BOULDER. HELLLLP.




So, then I administered about six cups of very strong coffee:


And after a lot of flipping back and forth between my writing timeshare with the Facebooks, I then spread my crap out even MORE (All the while muttering: “I don’t CARE if it was annoying fellow coffee shop hipsters, this is IMPORTANT. I am a WRITER, people. THIS IS MY CRAFT.” Which really worked because people kept moving away.)



It’s my book, see! SEE! In post-its!

And also, then:IMG_5709.JPGI celebrated with carbs.

I now notice that Porters, next door, was offering nachos and a pitcher AND hiring… which I could always pursue, you know, if I can’t make it as a writer.

IMG_5724.jpgAs I had not had carbs in over a week, it’s possible this was a mistake. But I only at ONE. I promise. (Lower right, lemon cream. Oh my goodness. Heaven.) The rest of the box I faithfully shlepped home to mah babies.

Yes. I did come back to them.

And now the book is well underway, the blockage is over, and I am just spewing writing all over the place. Lovely analogy, isn’t it? Really has great imagery, doesn’t it. That, my peoples, is what we writers do.

We constantly attach too much meaning to everything and end up with poop metaphors.

It’s our thing.

So, The Second Book is on its way. I now I am thinking of some possible titles. What do you think?

All about MEEEEEE!  Part 2.

I Know I Have a Lot to Say, Don’t Leave

or maybe?

Being Me is Very Difficult Let Me Tell You Why

or my favorite:






Five Minute Friday

Today I am writing over with Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood.


Today’s Word:  WRITER


I have no idea how to start this.

That’s irony.  Love it when irony comes and whacks me upside the head.

Maybe I should get a graphic.  Is there a graphic I can use?

Oh Google, you complete me.

No, NO graphics! Focus.  You’re supposed to write, no editing, straight five minutes.

Just WRITE.  Don’t THINK.

I used to tell my students that.  Now I know how they feel.

I wonder if anyone will find this at all interesting.

Or funny.  I gotta be funny.  Some days that’s harder than I thought it would be.

Feeling stalled – have too many irons in the fire.

That’s a cliche.  Not supposed to do those.

Why can’t I come up with anything terrific?  Viral?

Why did I wait until after lunch to attempt this?

Why did I wait until I was 43 to start thinking, “I want to write.  Really WRITE.  Like, for real.  All the time.”

Why did I wait so long for all this?  By the time I get a book deal, I’ll be so old I won’t even be able to read it.

Unless it’s in large print.  I could make sure they make one in large print.

I used to tell my students, just keep that pencil moving.  Doodle if you have to.

I think my version of that now is checking facebook.  Pshh.  Bad writer!

I wake up with ideas in my head, things I want to say.

Things I have to say.

Why in the world did I wait until I had two toddlers to attempt to SAY so much?

In my twenties, I collected ideas too.  And wrote self-indulgent love sick poetry.

And never sent out a query or submitted anything. Ever.  Too scared.

Now I submit all the time.  Rejections come flowing back in streams.

Occasionally, the nugget of gold:  a “Yes” we like your stuff.

Still scared.  But sending out the words.

And submitting to:  the late hours, the distracted mind, the rejection, the waiting, the ego trip, the ego smush, God’s timing. Fear.



I have to.  I don’t have a choice anymore.


Ok, one caption.  Gotta have at least one.

Ok, one caption. Gotta have at least one.



So… Saturday?

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 1.48.36 PM

I never post on Saturdays.

It feels weird.  Like when you get up at 4:00 am voluntarily for a flight, or a run, or because you have nutball toddlers, and everyone else in the world is asleep and you are…  not.  Feels weird.

But take heart.  I am posting anyway. Working through the weirdness, working on my mad NaBloPoMo skillz.

However.  NaBloPoMo leaves us alone on weekends – no post prompts.  They’re all, ‘You just free write on weekends.  Just write and be FREE.  See how freeing this is?  This writing with no place to go or any point to make at all, really?  Just let all your lovely and profound poetic thoughts tinkle down on the page (that kinda sounded wrong).  You know how  Snow White could just break into song at any minute?  And all the animals of the forest were really well versed on chorusing and also basic choreography?  That’s how easy it should be – just write it, and the singing chipmunks will come and perch on the laptop and chatter along.

Again.  That just sounded a bit weird.

This is HARD.  My Disney moment with the birdies and the writing…  my Disney birdies have done flown away.

Or worse.

I started teaching back in my early twenties.  I was a dewy-eyed young thing, full of great ideas and love for my craft.  And one of my favorite FAVORITE things to do to my students?  THE DAILY FREAKING FREE WRITE.

“Just let your mind wander,” I would chirp, “Just move your pen along the page and allow the spirit to move YOU” (scary, right?).

Well, students, I am sorry.  THERE. I SAID IT.

That free write thing? It’s splinter removal.  It’s like Braxton Hicks.  It’s kinda like undergoing one of those intense cleanse things you see commercials for late night television.  *

I am so sorry you guys had to undergo the daily lower intestinal writing purge, my sweet students.  I was naive and underpaid.


*My editor informed me that this analogy is almost stepping into tasteless humor. She also pleaded with me to not include any cute pix of a singing colon.  I was a bit torn on this; humor should never go to waste. In the end, I did feel moved to agree that a dancing colon might be a wee bit below the belt.