Polar Vortex Redux

It’s finally winter. Really and truly winter. We’ve gotten around 6 inches of snow today in Lansing, Michigan, give or take, and expect a little more tomorrow. Starting Tuesday night and running through Thursday morning we are set to have wind chills down to around 40 below zero, with some Midwest cities likely to be colder than Antarctica and frostbite possible on exposed skin in as little as 5-10 minutes.

So yeah. Winter finally made an appearance.

You know what else was late in coming? Last week’s episode of Your Face Is Crooked. I blame it on tech issues, followed by severe illness for a couple days, and then the need to recover and catch-up on work and home stuff. Oh, and throw in another book event as well!

At any rate, just like winter arrived today, so has the next episode, in which I am made to look the fool because I didn’t know anything about alcohol until I was in my late thirties.

Enjoy!

A New Short Story, an Interview, and Other Podcasty Things

You may know that I have a podcast, Your Face Is Crooked, that comes out each Monday morning. Those little episodes are concise looks at some of my formative experiences and the resulting neuroses that make me me.

What you may not know is that I have recently appeared in a couple long-form podcasts this month.

The first is as a part of season 2 of Clinch: A Podcast of Fiction and Not-Fiction. Last year, Clinch started as a way for my husband, Zach, who is also a writer, to deliver a brand new YA suspense novel in serial fashion (that’s the fiction part) and to explore what went right and what went wrong in his own publishing career thus far (the not-fiction part). If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, I highly recommend starting the Clinch podcast from the beginning. It covers indie publishing, traditional publishing, dealing with tricky relationships and ego and expectations of yourself and so much more.

Near the end of the first season, Zach brought in other writers as guests for the not-fiction portion of the podcast, and they shared their own experiences and struggles in the form of interviews. For season 2, guest writers are doing both the fiction and not-fiction portions. And that’s where my episode comes in. For the fiction part, I share a brand new short story that takes place in the same world as my second book (out in September) which you can’t get anywhere else. In the not-fiction part, I talk about where I have found validation as a writer (and where I should find it). I hope you enjoy listening to it!

 

The second podcast you can find me on is Hear Us Roar, a podcast produced by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association to highlight debut authors. In that interview, host Maggie Smith (no, not that one) and I talk about We Hope for Better Things, history, photography, research, my writing process, why I chose to tell this story at this time, and more. Click on the graphic to check it out!

Opening the Door to 2019

If you follow me on social media, you know that the past week has been on the busy side, and that it’s not over yet. Christmas celebrations on both sides of the state, time with friends in different cities, my wedding anniversary. Now New Year’s (though we blessedly have zero plans) and my birthday rapidly approach.

And…release day. We Hope for Better Things will be out in the world on its own, like a young bird finally pushed out of the nest into the cold air of the unknown. Today’s podcast is about what that feels like.

That’s little first-grade me in the picture, reading. And for the past few months, I’ve been reading a lot.

 

 

 

 

These are all books that will release in 2019 like mine, with the exception of the first, which is already out, and I’ve enjoyed reading each one of them for different reasons.

Reading has always been important to me. I cannot imagine my life without books. And in the past eight or nine years, writing has been just as important to me. So as I consider what 2019 will bring and make goals for myself, reading and writing figure heavily.

It’s hard to believe we are entering the last year of the twenty-teens. The last year of my 30s. The last day, today, that I will consider myself an unpublished author or an aspiring author. 2019 is sure to bring with it a lot of excitement and opportunity, some stress and probably some overwork, and certainly some disappointments or failures. But one of the things I am sure it will bring in spades is more great books to read, more stories to write. And what book-lover could ask for more?

Thanks for coming along this journey to publication through the storytelling vehicle of this blog. Some of you have been here since 2012. Some came along with me to this space from earlier blogs, starting way back in 2008. Ten years! Ten years of reading my words, looking at my photos, watching me sew, seeing my son grow from a baby to a fifth grader…it’s nuts how quickly the time slips by. And it’s exciting to think about what the next ten years will bring.

I’m so grateful to you for reading this blog and my newsletter.

I’m so grateful to those of you who will read We Hope for Better Things.

I’m so grateful that I get to do what I love and that what I love to do can offer you some pleasure, comfort, laughter, or maybe just a moment to slow down and think.

May the Giver of all good gifts bless you in the coming year with faith, hope, and love. See you in 2019.

Before Starbucks: Remembering the Late-Nineties Independent Coffeeshop

Starbucks may have been founded in the 1970s, but it didn’t make its way around Michigan until the early 2000s. Before that, the quirky local independent coffeeshop was the only game in town.

Here’s a little taste of the long-gone coffeeshops that fueled my late teen years in the late Nineties.

NaNoWriMo Success, a Goodreads Giveaway, and the Return of #Debut19Chat

The past week has been busy in a good way.

I topped 50,000 words in my newest novel manuscript and won National Novel Writing Month for the second time (the result of the first time will actually be my second novel, coming out in September, and which has a shiny new title I can’t wait to share with you).

I finished up several PR items my publicist needed in order to spread the word about We Hope for Better Things.

I actually did my very first interview with a writer for a magazine!

I made much progress on an advance reader copy of The Patricide of George Benjamin Hill by James Charlesworth, another author who will debut in 2019.

dusted. I actually dusted.

I decorated for Christmas.

I did some laundry (finally).

I prepped food for a church potluck.

I started my Advent reading, Wrapped in Grace by Deana Lynn Rogers.

And #Debut19Chat is running again on Twitter, with new questions and answers to get to know 2019 debut authors and their projects.

Now I sit back a moment and consider the reality that 2018 is racing to a close and I have a very busy year ahead of me, in which I have two books coming out (one in just a month!), two books in the process of writing and revising, and I’m directing my beloved WFWA writing retreat.

If you want to keep up with what I’m doing, including my book launch events, speaking and workshops, my podcast, and more, you can get my newsletter in your email inbox by subscribing here.

If you want to enter to win one of ten free copies of We Hope for Better Things, you can enter the Goodreads Giveaway here!

And if you want to listen to me riff about the cute online animal videos I would have attempted to make as a child had the technology been available to me, click here to listen to the latest Your Face Is Crooked podcast episode. Or click the graphic below, which is my husband communing with a goat.