An average day that ends up anything but

She took a walk that afternoon like she did every afternoon. Three o’clock, right around the time her body usually wanted to lure her back to bed. Hottest part of the afternoon, but it was early June and the days were still crisp and blue, not the limp, wet days of July that dragged her down. No, this was a spring day like any other and Cleveland looked forward to the wild roses and purple clover and buttercups that lined the shaded dirt road near her house. Even though she lived in…


A little ditty about a dull day

There’s a ladybug on my windowsill and it’s sunny but somehow water is dripping on the metal roof. My stomach gurgles from the sip of wine I just took and Alexa wants to give me wellness tips. (when I read this paragraph out loud I have to tell her to shut up) It’s a little chilly and the heat pops on, just when I think about giving it a nudge, like it knew what I needed. Regardless of how patient I am, I am not the most interesting thing in this room. The…


A small town, coming of age friendship story

The high school parking lot after practice let out was like a mini-version of Penn Station. I only knew that because for honor society freshman year, they took us to the city to go to the Museum of Natural History. The station had been a better exhibit, in my opinion, and on my one and only trip to the big apple, I would have much rather seen the art museums anyway.

Band practice had just ended and Audrey and I sat on the curb, flicking small stones across the lot while we…


Our Home Buying Purgatory Story

I don’t know what to do with myself right now so naturally, I’m writing about it. I miss my pen and journal for this type of writing, however, I have virtually lost the ability to handwrite. It’s boggling but it’s true. Last weekend I was signing books at a festival and constantly flubbed up my own signature. Either I’d forget how to spell my name of nearly forty-four years or I’d literally write the letters incorrectly. Is this a perimenopause symptom or a lost-forever skill due to near constant computer use? Probably both. Probably stress…


What if everything didn’t happen for a reason?

It’s odd to be at a loss of words when you’re a writer. Verbally, I hardly ever know what to say, I stumble over sentences, can’t pronounce things correctly, but kinesthetically, I can always communicate. I don’t believe writer’s block is a thing; it’s an affliction we create as an excuse when we feel insecure or suffer from imposter syndrome. But sometimes life is so difficult the words aren’t at the tip of my fingers, they’re not even swirling in my mind as they usually do, jumping over each other to be…


When a shopping trip becomes a lesson in choice

One afternoon, my husband and I were Christmas shopping in Target for our kids. We have six together, sort of a modern-day Brady Bunch, ranging in age from 12–21. This was the first year shopping wouldn’t threaten to put us in the deep red if we bought more than candy canes, so it was a pleasure to amble about the store. But we kept running into a family we’d seen in the parking lot, a family that had unloaded from their minivan like a loud theatre troupe with awful casting.

Both…


Don’t let your finances be part of your imagination machine.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Recently I’ve been going through the process of buying a house and it has made me realize how horribly unorganized I am. Not a pretty sight. You know that quote “A messy desk is a sign of a genius”? Yeah, not true. I’m just a mess.

So lately, I’ve been researching a lot about how to get my writing business organized as we approach the new year. For so long, writing was something I did for myself, on the side, or for grad school. I didn’t make any money from…


That IS the question.

In 2010, I decided I was finally going back to school. I was thirty-five, had three kids, and had just lost my home to foreclosure in the 2008 housing crash. I’ve always had impeccable timing for complicating my life even more than it already is. But I had put off grad school for years because I had kids so young and felt I couldn’t work part-time, raise my kids AND go to school. The foreclosure made it clear to me that I was stalling. It weighed heavily on me, because I also could not for the…


A pep talk on your writing side hustles.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen

I want to talk about one of the more awkward scenarios with which authors have to grapple: charging for their time. My writing life mostly revolves around the kidlit world, rather than the adult circuit, so it’s with that perspective that I approach this topic, but I’m sure it applies to any professional writer who has been asked to do something for free.

“Will you read my self-published book?”

“Can you visit my school?”

“Are you able to help me get traction with an agent?”

“Will you attend our festival four states…


How to Make the Most of the World around You

Photo by Helena Lopes

One of the things you hear a lot about when you’re first starting out as an aspiring author, attending conferences, talking to publishing folks, heading out on retreats, is the idea of networking. Long applauded as the way to meet the right people, networking is a term that’s used in all job sectors from finance to food and seems to strike fear into even the most stalwart of hearts.

Networking is especially the introvert-writer’s bane, and yet seen as something we must do as professional writers in order to get…

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