Monday, November 23, 2015

A Word about Quitting

Why can’t I be more of a quitter? There are days I really want to desert this road to publication. The
temptation to bail hits me hard. I convince myself I’m not cut out for the life of a writer.

Things get particularly daunting when I have to make the difficult decision to move on from an agent, or a close friend receives a drool-worthy offer, or I read my stuff and seriously consider shredding it and feeding it to the dog.

Eventually, a powerful message rises to the surface and riptides my thoughts.

You aren’t a soccer player but you are a writer.

Now, if you’ve visited my blog much, you know I’m far from a mathematician and you might be scratching your head trying to work out the logic behind what I just wrote. There isn’t an A + B = X (or whatever) equation that makes sense of the soccer player/writer sentence. There’s just life.

Let me explain.

I played travel soccer for my entire childhood. I was a teenager when I made the spontaneous decision to quit playing. I loved soccer. I still love the sport and have a blast cheering on my kids when they play. I can honestly say quitting soccer is one of the few regrets I have in life—regret squared because I quit for the wrong reasons.

I took my eyes off of the most important thing—my experience with the sport. I stopped playing because my older sister was better. I’m not making this up. She really was. She was All-American, met Pele, got a full ride scholarship for her skills, and eventually went on to play against Mia Hamm in college. She was a soccer rock star. I was solid. And I should have stuck with it. For the love of the sport. Sometimes I wonder what would have been. . .

Fast forward several decades and you have me, a writer, fiercely dedicated to my craft, though still facing that familiar temptation to bow out. It’s so easy to get sidetracked, believing others are better, garnering more attention, that they have something I don’t. They do have something I don’t. And I have something they don’t. The stories inside me. In the way that only I can tell them.

Right at the moment when I feel like the biggest writer schmuck on the planet, I tend to find some humor-filled way to immerse myself in my current project. I coach myself in Star Wars talk, “Stay on target” or I Church Lady-myself until I get in my word count, remembering all of the positive affirmations that I’ve encountered along this Yellow Brick Road (paved with flying monkey poop…it’s funny to me. Writers have a bit of an absurd and well-timed ability to entertain ourselves. We’re alone a lot…it’s part of the gig).

And when the humor wears off and the word count is complete and I’m left with my Tilt-A-Whirl brain, I’m met with a choice. Day in. And day out. Ride the self-doubts? Or hop off so I can get busy doing what I love?

I decide. Every day I decide.

I’m not a soccer player. But I am a writer.

*Pic is of me in my glory soccer days. P.S. It was the 80s. That’s how everyone wore their shorts! ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Clubs—Still Going Strong

Last week I visited with a group who’d read and discussed my book, The Flower Girls. I took so much away from our conversation. I loved how each member began to open up about their own sibling relationships. It was a complete blast for me to be in on that book club. I’ve been invited into the conversations and dynamics of twenty-six groups over the past two years and it simply never grows old.
I’m also still thoroughly enjoying my time with my own book clubs. I rarely miss. The conversations make me feel alive and the connections spur me on in life.
If it wasn’t obvious already, I’m a huge fan of book clubs. And I’m willing to bet I’ll be saying the same thing forty years from now.
Speaking of book clubs, the next three months would be the perfect time for your book club to choose my latest work, The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James. It’s a shorter read with an emotional element worth talking about. Please let me know if you’d like me to partake in any way. I like to bring gifts, wine, extra books, and behind-the-scenes insight on the book being discussed. {I’ve Skyped with a handful, too, so I’m open to that as well.}

Let’s go clubbing!

Monday, November 9, 2015

This Is 40

Over the weekend I had the rare opportunity to gather with friends to celebrate my fortieth birthday. It was a low-drama, rock-out, memorable night. I realize I’m in the midst of promoting my most recent work, The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James and I do hope you’ll check it out. But I wanted to take a brief break from promoting in order to express gratitude for the people in my life who’ve encouraged me, inspired me, and allowed me to be fully who I am (which trust me can be scary sometimes...on all levels).

Your friendship, your love matters to me. It changes me.

Thank you.

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pub Day for Ellory James

The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James is now for sale at Amazon. Paperback or ebook. Great choice for book clubs, Christmas gifts, treat-yourself-days, etc.!
Purchase your copy today!

If you fall in love with Ellory & Pete the way that I did, share your thoughts by writing a review on Amazon &/or Goodreads.

What are you waiting for? Ellory is waiting for you to meet her!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Who Would You Want with You?

One week until Pub Date!
I’m so excited for you to read The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James.
Over the course of the next few weeks I’m going to be asking you TEN bucket list questions.

Curious what your answers are!
Here are the first two…

Feel free to share these to help me stir up interest in my soon-to-release novella!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bucket List It {Giveaway}

I already know you’re going to love it, but now I’m asking you to list it. From now until December 2nd I want to see social media covered with pictures capturing bucket list experiences.

I’ll choose a winner at random to win the ultimate prize bucket of goods…all related to my novella, THE SHORT & SINCERE LIFE OF ELLORY JAMES, releasing November 2nd.

So, here’s how it works.

Whether you’ve already completed the item on your bucket list or now is the perfect time to do so, get out there and make memories. Post a picture from your life-changing experience on social media + tag me in it, mentioning the upcoming release of Ellory James and you can consider yourself entered.

Mention Ellory.

Simple as that.

While I know there are dozens of wonderful sites to show off your photos, I’m focusing this giveaway via Facebook and Pinterest.

It’s time to BUCKET LIST IT!

More details about uber cool items in giveaway bucket to come! So much to look forward to!

*thanks Emily M. (for you know what).
**If you're not the bucket list type, feel free to share the giveaway details by using the graphic above.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall in Love with These Ten Books--Giveaway

I’m ecstatic to announce I’ve joined up with nine talented authors for a not-to-be-missed fall giveaway!

TEN Women’s Fiction titles will be delivered to one lucky winner’s e-reader. Click on the graphic to take you to the entry form. Contest ends October 22! And for all my Canadian and overseas friends – you are invited since this is an electronic giveaway.

Here’s the complete list. Please stop by each author’s website to learn more about us. I know we all appreciate finding new followers for our Facebook and other social media pages, so please join us there as well.


The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James (ebook) – Wendy Paine Miller
Before I Go (ebook) – Colleen Oakley
A Peach of a Pair (ebook) – Kim Boykin
Those Secrets We Keep (ebook) – Emily Liebert
The Good Neighbor (print) – Amy Sue Nathan
Finding Emma (ebook) – Steena Holmes
A Fall of Marigolds (ebook) – Susan Meissner
Rose House (ebook) – Tina Ann Forkner
The Virtues of Oxygen (ebook) – Susan Schoenberger
A Flying Affair (ebook) – Carla Stewart

Ready to enter? Click on the graphic above or here. Best of Luck!