Waiting for the Gatekeepers


photo by Plonq

Some people will waste a lifetime waiting for the Gatekeepers. I was almost one of them. By nature, I’m a rule follower. Even un-written rules. If there’s a way something is “supposed to be done,” that’s how I’ll do it. When I finished writing my first novel, I queried agents. This was the way it was “supposed to be done.” And, since I had aspirations of being traditionally published, I didn’t give it a second thought.

That second thought didn’t muscle its way in for years. That’s because I typically espouse a “never give up” philosophy. I also clung to “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will,” through 81 rejections. But my believing in myself wasn’t exactly convincing the Gatekeepers. The options were clear: move on, or self-publish. I had no interest in self-publishing. I had no interest in giving up either, but I’d be lying if I said after those rejections I still believed in myself.  read more

The Night I Slept With Kurt Vonnegut

Did I ever tell you this story? No? Here it is in the Huffington Post:

The Night I Slept With Kurt Vonnegut

photo by katiemarinascott

It was a nasty night in New Orleans. Torrents of rain–at once pounding and windswept. Filling and rising. We were sheltered, on the floor. The carpet was damp. My clothes were matted beneath me.

That night was unforgettable. But, the best part of the story happened ten years later in New York City, 2005.

It was the first day of the fall semester at The New School. I registered for a writing class as a continuing ed student. It had been over twenty years since I was in school, back then a psych major. I had recently started writing a novel (it chose me, I did not choose it) and it was time to decide what to do with this living, breathing thing that had taken over my life.

I took a seat somewhere in the middle of the tiny classroom and noticed, as the others trickled in, many of them looked like freshman. It would be hard to blend–best not do anything to bring attention to myself. continue reading

How to Write, How to Blog or How to Craft: An Easy Tutorial

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing, but didn’t know where to begin? How about blogging? Or crafting? Well, it’s all here in one super easy tutorial. Check out my newest post on the HuffPo:

Easy Tutorial: How to Write, or How to Make Paper Snowball Garlands

photo by Turinboy

(Read now and receive two Bonus Features: How to Craft and How to Blog)

There are two easy steps to learn how to write. Simply put, one needs to: arrange a selection of words into a particular order. More to the point: select words and arrange them. Or, as I like to refer to it: S & A.

That’s it!

The most difficult thing about writing is knowing which words to select and what order to put them in. Once you’ve mastered that, writing can be quite rewarding and sometimes even enjoyable. continue reading


My Mourning After Piece in The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has published a blog post of mine!! A fan favorite and funny little ditty of a tale: Writer Separation Anxiety. Readers of The Memory Box will enjoy this piece I wrote the day after I finished writing the book. Please feel free to share it, laugh out loud, like it on HuffPo or leave a comment.

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m afflicted with writer separation anxiety. Hopefully others, by reading this, will come forward. There’s strength in numbers. It may not plague the majority of writers, but that doesn’t make us freaks. Why do you think there are so many serial authors?

I know I should’ve been ecstatic, but when I finished writing my first novel — I was bereft. I couldn’t stop thinking about Caroline, Andy, Lilly, all my characters. We’d been together for so long. It’s not a secret that I spent more time with them than my real family. I never prepared myself for life without them. continue reading