January 18, 2019 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday: Bruises

A few days ago I was visiting a local park and snapped the photo above. I’ve seen the park’s old archway lots of times, but for some reason in the cold January sunshine and covered with leafless vines it seemed rather sinister. Looking at the picture later I realized it was perfect writerly inspo for…

December 28, 2018 Writing

New Book Coming Early 2019

Having just sent the final round of edits off to the formatter I can confidently say that my new book, Rune’s Folly, the first in the Tower of Shells fantasy adventure series, will be making its way into the world in January! This story has been a long time coming. It’s been, at different times…

August 3, 2018 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday: The Archer

“Step away, please,” Einar said. The woman continued to lean across the barrier. Its taut metal wire dug into her voluminous black skirt as she tapped the screen of her phone, adjusting the focus before snapping a picture. Einar took a steadying breath and waited. But instead of retreating, the woman bent closer to her…

March 9, 2018 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday: Everwood

This piece of flash fiction is a bit longer than usual at 1,300 words, but what can I say? The Everwood just called for something a bit more robust. Plus, it felt good to write again after working on novel revisions for so many months; it was hard to reign in the word count. Everwood…

November 22, 2017 Life Lessons

Thankful for You

It’s been eight months since my last post. That post in March was about my goals for the year and those same goals are why I haven’t been devoting any time to my blog. I’ve been writing and working on my fitness. In 2017, when I wasn’t taking care of my kids, I was either…

March 16, 2017 Life Lessons

It’s Never too Late for Some Resolutions

I realized a few days ago that I never wrote my annual goals post for 2017. I usually do it around January 1st but that day is overflowing with resolutions and good intentions. Why not put a little of that optimism into March, which, let’s face it, is often just a long slog toward spring….

September 9, 2016 Parenthood

Toddlers Be Crazy

She is screeching. Again. We’re in a quiet bookstore on a weekday afternoon. There’s no other family in sight, even in the children’s section. The place is full of careworn bookworms or hip Millenials. And all of them seem to be glowering at me. I can about guess what’s running through their heads: “Why can’t…

July 11, 2016 Reading

Fantasy Favo(u)rites Read-a-Thon

It’s been 10(!) weeks since I last posted on Scriven by Garen. It’s been 2.5 months of conferences, colds, graduations, vacations, deadlines, weddings, and a multitude of other daily tasks that have kept me from my blog baby. But it’s July now and things have settled down just a teensy bit as we hit mid-summer,…

March 25, 2016 Writing

A Writing Experiment in which Garen Attempts Poetry

So I’ve been wanting to write a poem for a while now. It’s one form of the written word that I haven’t attempted since probably junior high English. Today, I decided, was going to be the day I sat down and tried my hand at a few stanzas. Just as an experiment, if nothing else….

February 26, 2016 Parenthood

To My Daughter on Her First Birthday

Dear Bean, There are certain things I know to be true. Among them are standard measurements of time. There are 24 hours in a day. There are 365 days in a year. And we are only given so many days on Earth. But babies, they bend the rules of time. Perhaps it’s because they are…

February 5, 2016 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday: Flesh and Blood

It’s only been two weeks since I said I was taking a break from Scriven by Garen but I can’t stay away for long. Plus it’s Flash Fiction Friday and I’m in the mood to write. So I present to you for your reading pleasure Flesh and Blood. It’s a little dark, a little tongue-in-cheek. I’d…

January 22, 2016 Writing

Done and done.

This is it. Number 52 of 52 in my year-long quest to write a post every week for Scriven by Garen. I did it, and to my mind at least, I did it well. I’m proud of what I’ve written. Proud that I persevered through the late stages of pregnancy, the early stages of a…

January 15, 2016 Flash Fiction

A crazy little story for Micro Flash Fiction Friday

It has been a crazy week and a crazy week deserves a crazy story. A few months ago, I asked people for words I could use as inspiration for my flash fiction stories. Carrie gave me the word agateophobia, the fear of insanity. I couldn’t let such a good word go to waste. So without…

January 1, 2016 Life Lessons

Goals Redux

It’s the time of the year for goal-making, and it’s the time of the year for reflection. Back in March I made a list of ten things I wanted to accomplish in the rest of 2015. Nine months, ten big goals, one brand new baby, one crazy-active preschooler. Yeah, I might have been a little…

December 24, 2015 Flash Fiction

Tis the Season for a Little Krampus Flash Fiction

My Christmas gift to you: some flash fiction with a dark, yuletide theme. Krampus is a creature that’s gotten a lot of buzz lately and for good reason. He’s an odd sort of demon with German origins (no surprise there) that was used to frighten ill-mannered children into behaving. Because, really, what good is the…

December 19, 2015 Creativity

Jumping on the Adult Coloring Book Bandwagon

I had to give it a try. This coloring books for adults phenomenon. I mean it’s become so popular they even had a ginormous stack of them in Costco just in time for the holidays. I had a fresh set of colored pencils ready to go. I’ve probably had these Faber-Castells for a year and…

November 27, 2015 Life Lessons

Sitting with Sadness. Lessons from Inside Out.

On Thanksgiving Eve the Hubs and I sat down and watched Inside Out for the first time, and while Up still wins for most sob-induing moments caused by a cute animated movie, Inside Out is a close second.  Somehow those master storytellers at Pixar manage to get me almost every time. That particular combination of…

November 20, 2015 Creativity

100 Things That Fuel My Creativity

This has been a weird week. I’ve got a serious case of back-from-vacation blues and a minor case of food poisoning. There was a major windstorm with a power outage. A sick baby. A sensitive kid. And a few other things that shouldn’t have bothered me but really got under my skin. So when it…

November 13, 2015 Writing

A Writer in Paradise

These are the first words I’ve written in days. There is something called NaNoWriMo happening right now. I think I’m supposed to be writing a novel or outlining one at least. I have a list of publications to check out and query for my freelance business. I haven’t looked into a single one. I was…

November 6, 2015 Writing

Some Excuses for Not Writing

As promised, this week’s blog post is brief. The end of week one of NaNoWriMo is drawing near and I am behind schedule. I had hoped to write at least a little every day, but that hasn’t happened for a number of reasons. The primary one is that after putting the first 800 or so…

October 30, 2015 Writing

Another November, Another Novel

Each year a growing number of writerly weirdos decides to attempt 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s about 1,666 words a day. In 2013, the last time I did NaNoWriMo, I completed just under half that amount (24,014 words) and felt pretty darn good about it. Little did I know at the time that the vast…

October 23, 2015 Flash Fiction

Cheers to Nine Years: Celebrating with a Story

On October 21st the Hubs and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. The date happened to fall on a Wednesday this year so we spent the evening working out at our normal Bassline class. It was actually a fitting way to honor our relationship. We’re both trying to get and keep in shape so we…

October 16, 2015 Writing

Book Update: One Month In

It’s been exactly one month since On the Verge went live on Amazon. Sales started off well (thanks, friends and family!), and then steadily tapered off, at which point I was cruising along at 1-2 sales per day. But I have recently hit a long dry spell. No sales for more than a week. Ouch….

October 9, 2015 Flash Fiction

Last Minute Flash Fiction

I’ve been feeling under the weather all week. Being sick always makes me extra cranky because I hate slowing down. I’ve got things to do and stories to write. But occasionally life forces you to take a break. So I’d been taking it easy. That’s how I found myself on the couch Thursday night tired…

October 2, 2015 Reading

The Dark, Dreams, and The BFG

Several weeks ago I wrote about The Phantom Tollbooth (you can read that here), and how Norton Juster’s kid lit masterpiece sparked a lifelong love of books and fantasy. Well, I was feeling nostalgic again, and this time as my finger bumped across the well-worn spines of my childhood favs, it came to a stop…

September 25, 2015 Flash Fiction

Micro Flash Fiction: Storm

It’s been a week since my novel debuted on Amazon, and I’ve spent the last seven days hustling, doing my best to get the word out about On the Verge. Many, many thanks to my friends and family who have read, shared, and reviewed my scrappy little novel already. I hope more of you will…

September 18, 2015 Writing

Welcome to the World Book Baby

It’s been a long road. Almost two years have passed since I began On the Verge, and yesterday it became available on Amazon for the first time. And just like my two human babies, the book came early. I expected to release it on the 22nd, but the amazing team over at Polgarus Studios that…

September 11, 2015 Parenthood

To My Daughter on Her First Day of School

Dear Bun, Four short years ago you were cozily lodged against my ribs. You would kick like mad, long pushes and short jabs, and I think I knew then that you would be a spark, a bright flame dancing through life. I should have known how fast you would dance, how quickly the years would…

September 4, 2015 Writing

Cover Story: Creating On the Verge’s Kick-Ass Cover

I am so in love with On the Verge’s cover. Every time I look at it I’m filled with warm fuzzies. The credit goes to my absolutely amazing designer Daniel Cullen. Daniel has been designing covers for 20 years and it shows. He’s been running his current studio, Page & Jacket, since 2003, and has…

August 28, 2015 Writing

About My Title: On the Verge

I’m in the midst of a last mad dash to clean up and polish everything I possibly can before I call it a day on this story. The book is *this close* to being ready for the digital producers to have their way with it and make it all pretty for your eReaders. In anticipation of…

August 21, 2015 Life Lessons

What Are Your Plot Holes?

I’m in the final stretch of editing my novel. I am very happy to be typing that sentence, but at the same time I am starting to feel a bit anxious. As I scurry around the manuscript tidying things up, here and there I will run into little bits and pieces of dialogue or exposition…

August 7, 2015 Writing

I’m Feeling Good: Novel Coming Soon

It’s been over two months since I last posted an update about the novel. Exciting things are happening, and I feel the need to share. First off, no, I never heard from that I agent I was all hopeful about (you can read more about that here). I’m still bummed about it. It feels a…

July 24, 2015 Writing

Halfway There: Forget Prayers. Give Me Caffeine.

I’m serious. Where’s my coffee? This week’s post marks the halfway point of the year commitment I made to Scriven by Garen. I have been writing weekly blog posts for 26 straight weeks. I’ve learned a lot so far: 1. Writing short, polished pieces each week helps keep me on point. Writing done well is…

July 17, 2015 Writing

Writers Are a Dime a Dozen. Here’s My Secret Weapon.

I’ve been feeling a bit low these past couple of days. It’s a funk I get into every now and then when things aren’t going how I thought they would. Expectations can be deadly. For starters a flash fiction piece I entered in a writing competition didn’t make it into the top ten and so…

July 9, 2015 Creativity

Yes, You Are Creative: The Disease of Wasted Talent

Growing up, going to school, I was content. There are many reasons that contributed to this overall feeling of happiness, but one of them is surely the enforced writing time that came through class assignments and culminated in my senior year with AP English and the amazing Mr. Arkle (whom I credit with teaching me…

July 2, 2015 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Homunculus

This past week I finished up the major set of edits to my book that a potential agent suggested I make. I’ve followed up with him regarding his thoughts on the first fifty pages and whether he wants to see more, but I have not heard a peep from him in over a week which…

June 26, 2015 Life Lessons

On Running and Birthdays

Back in March I set some goals for myself for the rest of the year (you can read them here). One of those was to run a 10K in June. Last Saturday I convinced the hubs to go with me to Burlington, over an hour north from where we live, to run the Berry Dairy…

June 19, 2015 Life Lessons

10 Things I’m Giving Myself Permission to Do

I’m inspired this week by a great post on Linked In which I found via Susan Cain’s Facebook page (if you are an introvert or the spouse/friend/parent/lover/teacher/fill-in-the-blank of an introvert you should definitely check out her site The Quiet Revolution and her exceptional book Quiet. Anyway the post (read it here) is by James Altucher, entrepreneur,…

June 12, 2015 Writing

The Wisdom of Ratatouille

I almost didn’t write a post this week. My manuscript needs my attention now, and it’s hard to find time to write. When I do scrounge together a few minutes my scrappy little novel calls my name. I significantly revised the first fifty pages and resubmitted them to the potential agent (for a recap of…

June 5, 2015 Life Lessons

Grey Hair Don’t Care

I got my first grey hair when I was twenty-four. I remember it well because I was getting my hair done for my wedding and they needed to put a little mascara on it to cover it up. After that the silver strands came at an exponential rate. By the time I was twenty-nine I…

May 28, 2015 Writing

A Glimmer of Hope on the Agent Horizon

This is going to be a short post. The reason: I have a lot of work to do. Why do I have a lot of work to do? Let me explain. I read this amazing article on Medium yesterday and it inspired me. It’s called Submit Like a Man: How Women Writers Can Become More…

May 22, 2015 Life Lessons

Hulk Smash or Hulk Maybe Write Blog Post

A week ago I got really angry. Seven days later and every time I think about it I start to get angry all over again. So I am going to write about it. Why? Because writing is cheap therapy and it almost always makes me feel better. The incident occurred in a Starbucks parking lot….

May 14, 2015 Uncategorized

I Like Big Words and I Can Not Lie: My Faults as a Writer

I read an NPR Books article yesterday on Nancy Reisman’s novel Trompe L’Oeil. I was initially drawn to the review because the book’s title is an art term, and I’m a sucker for stories about art. But while there are apparently sections of the novel that describe and interpret various artworks, it turns out the story…

May 7, 2015 Reading

The Phantom Tollbooth: The Book that Started it All

I was reflecting on my bookshelf the other night, a little Zen moment in the midst of an over-tired preschooler and a colicky newborn (stereo-screaming = fun times!). Up near the top are the books that have followed me since childhood. They’re my own personal classics, and I’ve loved them enough to lug them around…

April 16, 2015 Uncategorized

The Personal Values of a Part-Time Writer

I’ve never been a very good employee. Oh sure, I am conscientious, and I get my work done on time and to the best of my abilities. I can make spreadsheets and presentations, and I’ve generally received positive feedback from my former bosses. But I have a problem. I’ve never been truly happy at a…

April 9, 2015 Creativity

Thinking Inside the Box: The Power of Constraints

Think outside the box. It’s a platitude that’s meant to stir the creative mind. Don’t give in to convention, step outside the everyday, be true to yourself, not the crowd. It’s good advice, really, and let me tell you, as a staunch non-conformist I try to live it everyday. But while all that fighting against…

April 2, 2015 Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Dead Man’s Bells

It has been awhile since I’ve written any fiction so I thought I would do something a little different with my blog this week and make my first attempt at writing flash fiction. Flash fiction basically challenges you to tell a story in 2000 words or less. I had a lot of fun with this,…

March 26, 2015 Life Lessons

The List: 10 Goals for the Rest of the Year

It’s already been a month since Bean was born. March is usually a slow moving time for me, the last long slog toward spring, but this year the month flew by and the cherry blossoms and daffodils seemed to come a little earlier than usual. Life with a newborn and a preschooler is vastly different…

March 19, 2015 Writing

Writing a Book was the Easy Part: An Update

Perhaps the most surprising thing I’ve learned about this writing a novel thing is that the actual creative act of stringing nearly 90,000 words together into a coherent story was the easy part. It was fun. Even the stuff that at the time didn’t seem so great, like when I had to rewrite the first…

March 12, 2015 Creativity

Inspiration or Theft: My Novel’s Origins

It was very late at night or, really, very early in the morning a few weeks ago, and I was on my way to bed after doing my night owl thing when I passed by my bookcase and my heart stopped. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. But still, I walked by those overburdened shelves like…

February 24, 2015 Writing

The Great Pretender: What Makes Someone a Real Writer

Some days on this writing journey of mine (okay, most days) I feel like a bit of a faker. There are certain professions when the transition from amateur to professional is fairly clear. Usually the shift is marked by some kind of degree, a test, or a swearing-in ceremony. If you pass these hurdles you…

February 18, 2015 Creativity

Writing with Kids: Creativity Vampires or Miniature Muses

As of this morning I’m less than three weeks out from my due date with my second child. His or her imminent arrival fills me with a mixture of apprehension and excitement which I manage to control with a swiftly depleting reserve of patience. Of course it doesn’t help that I am also waiting to…

February 10, 2015 Life Lessons

If I Only Had the Time: The Phrase That Makes Me Cringe

A few well-meaning people, when I told them I was writing a novel, replied in what is decidedly one of my least favorite ways: “I would love to write a novel too, if only I had the time.” This response raises my hackles because it implies that whatever that person does with their life is…

February 2, 2015 Writing

Rejection: Five Ways to Make it Suck Less

“I’ve discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his judgment and to say in heart of hearts, ‘To hell with you.’” – Saul Bellow Bright and early this morning I got the first rejection note from my second round of agent queries. So far I have…

January 26, 2015 Creativity

The Value of Mistakes

In a now famous commencement speech delivered in 2012 to the graduating class of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts my favorite author Neil Gaiman eloquently elaborated on the virtues of making mistakes. When I read the speech later it was the first time I’d ever thought about mistakes in a positive light. You see I’m a bit…

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