Monday, August 18, 2014

once upon a time

I’m in a lovely place, writing-wise. Two weeks before book launch. Finished with a serviceable draft with my Moment sequel. About to undertake the next Empress book.

However. Times like these (pauses in the process) are historically fraught with upheaval for yours truly.

And by upheaval, I mean, leaps. Mostly, that’s served me well. Case in point: 25 years ago this month I encountered Portland for the first time. Me, my Subaru, my one-year-old daughter and two-and-a-half year old son.

We had been temporarily living in North County San Diego after my first husband died (how we got there from upstate New York is a whole other blog post). Anyway, I’d been renting this tiny cottage in Solana Beach. Every morning I’d plop the kids in the jogger, and off we’d go – into the surf.

Sounds dreamy, right?

For most people, it would be, but I was restless. I wanted to find a permanent home – a city where I could afford to raise my kids. I longed for green. Much as I love the bustle and energy of city life, I need down time. Quiet. Regroup space.

I belonged to a support group back then – for young people who had lost spouses. I met all these wild widows (we’d go on widows-gone-wild trips to Mexico… again, I’ll leave that for another post). While in this group, I met a young woman who’d been raised in Oregon, and she piqued my interest. 

One morning, instead of plunking the kids in the jogger, I strapped them into car seats and drove north. The Pacific Northwest felt like home the minute the first log truck passed me on the I-5. Seriously, all of it: the natural beauty, the go-your-own-way spirit of the people, the various shades and interpretations of green.

Twenty-five years later, here I am, happier than ever with my adopted city. 

So, where am I going with this metaphor? I’m ripe for a writing practice version of Portland. A way to approach writing and putting my work out there that honors the pioneer spirit inside of me. A set of practices and participation that stokes the fire. That feels authentic to every cell in my body.

I think I’ll start by throwing a party. Something in October. Stay tuned – I’m heading north again.

What makes you feel reawakened? 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Hey there folks! I'm pleased to present my VERY FIRST RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

I'll be giving away a signed copy of THE MOMENT BEFORE as a way to thank you all for the tweeting and viral shenanigans you're all going to help me with in service to spreading the word about the new book. Which is out in less than a month. How crazy is that?!

So, signed free copy of a paperback edition of MOMENT to the automated winner of this game. It's like going to Vegas without leaving your desk, right?

USA residents only because, postage! And all those other forms you have to fill out at the PO for overseas mailing. But to my international friends, worry not!

There will be an e-copy giveaway of the new book next month. Ready, set, go!


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 03, 2014


THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES is all set to launch one month from today, and if you’ve been
following this blog lo these many years, you know what a long-in-coming milestone this is for me.

TEC isn’t officially my debut, but it sort of is. I wrote the novel (many times!) a couple of years before THE MOMENT BEFORE – which came gushing out of me like a flood. In contrast, TEC feels like a pregnancy that went on way past term – coming into the world as a toddler rather than an infant. It walks, talks, and drags me around behind it, offering bold suggestions and defying my attempts to shape it.

Even though MOMENT rushed out of me, during its launch it wasn’t very demanding. I was feeling out this whole debut author thing step-by-step, and I puttered, and muttered, and scratched my head. That first book, I could leave it alone in its high chair, and it would just smile and wait for me to offer the next thing. (Come to think of it, my first child, Sam, was sort of that way too.)

This child? Not so much. (Ah! A theme here, Maggie, my second child, was much more, whoa Nelly!)

So. Today begins the official launch-before-the-launch known as the Cover Reveal (here’s a link to the hoopla party). I didn’t get a CR for MOMENT (another way in which that book was less of a diva), so this’ll be new territory. I feel a little like a movie-of-the-week character. You know, like those undercover muckrakers who set out to write scathing articles about beauty pageants, and while gathering data, fall in love with the process? Well, I’m smitten. My cover is drop dead gorgeous, don’t you think? (I can say that, because I had nothing to do with its creation.) But even better, the cover truly, truly reflects the tone, themes and energy of the book.

Whereas MOMENT came out at the beginning of the year, TEC is launching at the “real” beginning of the year – when school starts up again. And not only that, but it’s conveniently making its way into the world at the dawn of Oktoberfest, and since you already know how precocious the book is, you won’t be surprised if its swilling the beers in a couple of months and I'm already planning the party!

So, speaking of party, you want to help an author out and keep TEC the sassy little thing she is? Click on this e-book pre-order page. But if you want to wait for the physical book links, I hear ya! Especially if you live in Warwick, NY or Portland. OR, because I’ll be doing readings in those towns and I will totally keep y’all in the loop.