Monday, December 18, 2017

My Relationship with Words

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood

Words have always possessed a mysterious and infectious power for me. I’m not exactly sure when this initially took root, but I imagine it dates back to many overlapping instances that each contributed to who I am today.

One of the first stories I ever wrote revolved around a boy who was assigned the difficult task of naming all that existed around him. His circumstances, his environment, events both painful and exhilarating, birthed the beautiful process of naming. It’s how he grew to understand the world. As a maybe-ten-year-old, I imagine this young boy’s story was closely linked to my own.

Or perhaps my fascination and reverence for words came alive during a rowdy dinner table moment. I had three older sisters and often our conversations tilted toward the profane. Wearing thin of this, my parents tried something new one night. They invited us to, on the count of three, yell out our favorite curse word. One. Two. Three. At maybe-ten-years-old, I let the F-word fly. Everyone else kept their traps shut so my F-bomb shot out like a solo grenade. I think my parents were intending to strip profanity of its brassy lure. I get it. But something else stuck with me that night. Words have impact.

Some words I wear like scars. Others I have tucked so far deep down inside me, they’ve ossified like bone because they’ve meant that much.

Words are exquisite. Volatile. Heartbreaking. Tender. Blades and balm. They evoke all kinds of reactions and interpretations. They are our primary way of communicating, of speaking both love and hate.

I’ve grown quite attached to words, the way they bend and shift inside my mind. The way I can spill them on a page, then fold them up origami-style, reveling how they change shape. And meaning. Words can mutate and blossom. They can multiply exponentially or shrivel within a second.

As I age, I’ve learned to be more careful with what I say, more discerning.

I share all of this to drive home one point.

Words brush against the sacred for me.

You can do a lot to me. Much has been done already. I rebound with fire in my soul.

But do not take away my words.

These words—they are how I understand this world. I am free in them. And I have every intention of staying that way.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood

*I’ll be back in a few weeks. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2017

10 Things Anyone Can Benefit from Doing this Holiday Season

It’s a mad-rush time of year. Lines are long. Tempers flare short. Traffic stresses. To-do lists feel endless. These are the best times to keep perspective—to focus on the things that matter most.

I’m throwing out a few ideas that help me to stay centered and spirited during the holidays.

Hope they help you.

10 Things Sure to Benefit ~

Let Go of a Grudge
Aunt Mabel forget to include you on the holiday Christmas card. Nephew Troy didn’t invite you to the big event. Yep, you were hurt. You still are. You have every right to that hurt. You also have every right to let it go. Now’s the perfect time. Let that hurt solidify rock-solid inside you or witness the change in your attitude and countenance after you choose to let it disintegrate.

Get Outside
I walk my youngest to the bus every morning. It’s not a long walk, but it does take about five minutes. And every morning I’m grateful I go. I have no idea if she even wants me there anymore, but aside from giving us a few moments alone together, it feels good to move. I’m also in love with the stars I see when I look up.

Take a Break from Social Media
But then you wouldn’t be able to read this. So? I’d rather you reboot and spend a good chunk of time away from “liking” and binge-reading recipes you’ll never try. We’re losing something in our culture by spending so much time online. Take a piece of it back. I’ll be here waiting for you when you return.

Reflect with a Grateful Mindset
What went well this year? Who were you most thankful for? What new and impactful interactions did you have? Have you changed for the better?

Write a Handwritten Letter
Lost art. I know it. You know it. Imagine what a surprise it will be for someone to open their mail and read actual handwriting. Think of the things you could express.

Make a Christmas Gift for Someone
Maybe I’m hinting on this one. I’m a real sucker for homemade gifts. I could spend all day on Etsy (see point above about a social media break). There’s a real opportunity to tap into some creative juices when you don’t throw a credit card at everything. Resources are everywhere (says the woman who keeps painting on drywall she keeps finding in her basement).

Ask What Kind of Impact You’re Making
Through your language, how often you volunteer, the way your children look at you when you’re talking, how often people look to you for support…what has been your role for making this world different than it currently is?

Try Something New
Studies have proven when you launch into learning something new you unlock potential in other areas of your brain. A new recipe. Language. Subject. I kid you not, I’ve been learning a great deal while watching Narcos with my husband. Laugh all you want, but it’s inspired a lot of conversations between us.

Set a Goal & Stick to It
I happened to catch a show the other day when famous comedian, Tiffany Haddish said a fellow actor nudged her in the life-changing direction when he gave her money at a time she needed it and insisted she create a list of goals. There’s something to be said for direction. Motivation. Accountability. I also wanted to mention her because I love that she’s a unicorn on the cover of her book, THE LAST BLACK UNICORN. (Want to read.)

Make Peppermint Crack
My husband says we probably shouldn’t call it this, but I can’t help it. It’s so much fun to say. Think graham crackers, melted chocolate, sprinkled with peppermint candy. Look it up. You’ll thank me later.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Crafting Lessons from a Bug

Let me preface this post by letting you know I’m not usually scared of bugs. Normally I don’t hesitate to squash ’em when I see ’em, but it was my turn to sleep in when one particular crawler, track-racing around my ceiling, caught my attention. Here’s something else, this little guy captivated my focus for a healthy duration. I watched, intensely curious (and still hazy from sleep), as he trekked almost entirely around the room. You may be wondering why I didn’t hop up and take the little guy down. I’ll tell you why. He’s perfect fodder for this post—that’s why.

Because that bug (I refuse to call it a roach because I’m still in denial that’s what it was and our bug guy comes this Tuesday, so it’s better for me if I just remain in denial) somehow led me to think about what makes a reader stay with a novel. And not just stay with it, flip pages with vested interest.

I came up with a few parallels between my bug buddy and a book that successfully pulls a reader along.

Fear. Of course not all books must make a reader afraid per se. But compelling novels will evoke emotion in a reader. They will make you feel something. I couldn’t shake the thought that maybe that roach-looking thing was going to go all ninja on me. So I studied it with hawk eyes. My interest was hooked in part due to my emotional reaction. Tension is gold.

Curiosity. I wanted to see where my bug buddy would go. Strong novels lure the reader deeper in when they include characters to care about and a plot that goes somewhere. Truth be told, my bug buddy could move it, move it.

Fascination. I’ve been an animal lover since I was a child. Animals of all kinds intrigue me. And it’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I’m pretty sure I’m the reason why we turn on Wild Kratts every morning before school. All this to say, I had to know how this creature would play his next move. Would it eventually fly? I’ve seen a few creepy-looking ones do that. Would it leap down onto the window and flit against as though caught in a zapper? Would it attack my nose with its flesh-eating legs or spit venom on my forehead? Novels that excel at hooking readers incite readers to ask questions—they encourage readers to care. Whether a reader realizes it or not, they are constantly assessing how a book compares to their life. We want to learn something. Be it simplistic in nature or highly involved, humans are learners at heart.

I know you want to know what happened. Did I eventually smash the sucker and toss it in the toilet? Did it live on to procreate and produce hundreds of other bugs festering in the vents of my home? This leads me to my final bring-it-home bug-related point . . .

The bug made a Houdini great escape. It leapt into some Christmas shopping bags and instantly became invisible. Both my husband and I were not able to locate the little guy. He fled, accomplishing one of the most important things to remember from this post. He embedded himself into my thoughts. The bug is gone. The novel read. And it stays with you. That, my friends, is an indicator of a compelling read.

Think of me tonight as I sleep with one eye open because the bug has done its job. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Shout-out-worthy Favorites 4 You

Having a little fun on this Cyber Monday by sharing with you a year in favorites. Health writer, Kimberly Maravich inspired me when she included The After Glimpse in her post recently. Now it’s my turn to name favorites. I’ve grouped each category into four for your convenience.

4 Favorite Products
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (what a way to kick this list off, eh? Seriously though, this mascara has lengthened my lashes!)
Stella & Dot (especially the silver hammered hoops)
Arbonne (especially the RE9 night cream)

4 Most Inspiring People
Sally Yates. One word. Integrity.
Reese Witherspoon. Two words. Book club.
Shauna Niequist. I love the way this woman writes.
BrenĂ© Brown. Her primary focus is on something I’ve been a fan of for years—vulnerability.

4 Binge-worthy Shows
Peaky Blinders
Stranger Things (Season 2)
And because I get a little kick out of being behind the times . . . Breaking Bad

4 Noteworthy Books Released by Friends

4 Best Reads Written by Folks I’ve Yet to Befriend

There you have it. Some memorable favorites from me to you. Happy Cyber Day!

Psst. I’m active on Instagram now. Would love to connect with you there. Find me wendy.paine.miller

Monday, November 13, 2017


My husband and I love to joke how in the 80s people didn’t care near as much what they looked like as they do today. Just watch 80s TV. Hair was often messy. Junk was stuffed into bookshelves. People didn’t clean and tidy before being captured on film. This is why I love, love, love candid shots. Of others. Of myself. They aren’t posey or some image people want others to have of them. They’re how life actually played out. Or a sliver of it at least.

My latest book, The After Glimpse zooms in on a few significant photographs. These photographs become larger than life to my main characters—and in some ways take on a life of their own. I ached to explore the whole concept of pictures and how we react to them.

Amy Tan, in her memoir, Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir, fleshes out more thoughts on the topic. “I used to think photographs were more accurate than bare memory because they capture moments as they were, making them indisputable. They are like hard facts, whereas aging memory is impressionistic and selective in details, much like fiction is. But now, having gone through the archives, I realize that photos also disorder what is really being captured. To get the best shot, the messiness is shoved to the side, the weedy yard is out of the shot. The images are also missing context . . . what happened before and after, who likes and dislikes whom, if anyone is unhappy to be there. When they heard ‘cheese,’ they uniformly stared at the camera’s mechanical eye, and put on the happy mask . . . I keep in mind the caveat that I should question what I see and what is not seen.

There’s a twist in my book. There are life-changing events that took place while photographs were taken. Not all is depicted. Then again, more is going on in photographs that could ever logically occur as well. I appreciated toying with this idea of how there’s always more to the story than what’s right in front of us.

Long live candid shots!

*Less than two days to Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for The After Glimpse!
**Happy Thanksgiving! See you on November 27th!

Monday, November 6, 2017

What is Chlot?

I live in a house with teenage girls. This means I’m constantly updated on the latest regarding Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. One daughter is in favor of their rumored recent reunion. One not so much. The youngest is too young to care. I’m likely too old to care. No matter what you think of the recoupling of Justin and Selena, you probably cringe a little like I do whenever you hear their “couple” name. Jelena.

That’s exactly why I’ve decided to throw a new writing term at you. The next time you hear someone on the radio going on and on about Jelena, I want your writer brain to replace it with this word . . .

Every book needs it. It’s the essential coupling that must take place for a book to work. James Scott Bell and Jeff Gerke have written about it. I’ve heard numerous conference speakers address it. It’s a tried and true basic recipe for potent novel construction. Guess what it is yet?

The marriage of character & plot. Chlot.

Ten years and fifteen novels ago, I spewed out a book. It was an emotional journey. But when it came to plot it was sorely lacking. Call me a slow learner, but fifteen novels later I get how important it is to hurt my characters—to bring them to their breaking point. I understand that a novel that doesn’t include the cohabitation of character and plot is a novel with gaping holes.

Chlot. Character + Plot.

10 Questions to Help Build Stronger Characters

  1. What does my character want more than anything in life and how can I keep her from getting it?
  2. Who does my character feel closest to and how could I threaten that relationship?
  3. What does my main character fear most? How could I incite that fear in some way to the book
  4. Where does my main character place most of her trust? And how can that trust be damaged?
  5.  How could my character’s deepest secret come back to haunt her?
  6. Is there a way to force my character to relive a horrible experience, tapping into a psychological, torturous replay?
  7. What has the power to push my character to the breaking point and how can I introduce that something at a vulnerable moment in my character’s life?
  8. How will my reading audience best connect with this character? How will they relate?
  9.  Does my main character learn something powerful about herself that will impact the rest of her life?
  10. Am I being too nice to my character because sometimes she reminds me of a loved one or even me?
10 Questions to Help Develop a Compelling Plot
  1. What can happen in this scene that will cause readers to worry?
  2. Who can I kill, maim, or severely mentally injure?
  3. How can I force my character into a setting that terrifies her?
  4. What opponent can my character face that has a good chance of crushing her?
  5. What kind of danger can I throw at my main character?
  6. How can I set it up so my character is betrayed?
  7. How can I take what my character wants most and make it feel increasingly impossible to achieve?
  8. What is mentally or physically immobilizing my character so they are unable to act against their greatest threat?
  9. What perceived or real enemy can suddenly gain an advantage, causing my main character to doubt their strength/intelligence/ability to flee harm (whether perceived or real)?
  10.  How can time play a role in my character’s stress? Deadlines? Urgency? Life or death matters?

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Strong Start + A Theme Song

The After Glimpse has been out in the world for one week. And I have to say I’m loving the initial reactions I’m reading via Amazon & Goodreads reviews, texts, and Facebook messages. It’s thrilling to know my stories are stirring readers.

If you’re a member of a book club and your group would like to discuss The After Glimpse, please contact me. I’d love to be a part of your gathering. I’ll bring wine & cheese. Or my latest obsession, Kalamata olives.

Finally, if this book were to have a theme song I know the perfect one. It’s an oldie, but goodie. Have a listen, then if you haven’t already, buy my book and see why this song is such a great fit. 

*See you back here on November 6th. Be sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway for The After Glimpse starting November 1st!

Monday, October 16, 2017


At book clubs I’m often asked where my ideas come from. The concept for THE AFTER GLIMPSE (available now) was first sparked in an ice cream shop in Wethersfield, Connecticut years ago. The owner takes pictures of her patrons and hangs the Polaroid photographs all over the shop, so even the ceiling is covered. I knew somewhere inside that shop existed a picture from when my mom had visited the ice cream shop with us years earlier. When my family went back to the same store years after my mom’s visit, I spent time hunting among the hundreds of pictures for the one the owner took of my mom and my girls. Suddenly, I was overcome with a stab of nostalgia, thinking how cool it’d be if I found the photograph, and my dad, who’d passed away years before my mom visited, somehow materialized in the picture next to my mom.

I found the picture. My dad wasn’t in it.

…and so a book was born.

In the process of writing this book, and now releasing it, I understand how this book is about grief, but it’s also about so much more.

Our lives—every relationship—every interaction counts for something and as one endorser so profoundly put it . . . “maybe there’s more going on around us than we know.”

The After Glimpse is available in paperback and ebook formats—TODAY.

*If you read & enjoy, please consider writing a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Outings

In the midst of all that’s chaotic out there I’m thrilled to let you know my novel, The After Glimpse, releases in ONE week! Everything leading up to release day has kept me super busy. Here are a few of the many things I’ve been invested in…

The After Glimpse is now on Goodreads. Tell the world you want to read it by clicking that cool green Want to Read button.

While at soccer practice last week, I had the pure joy of Facetiming with an endearing group of women. They discussed my book, The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James, and asked me thought-provoking questions related to the book. I was greatly encouraged by my interaction with this Florida book group.

In a few days I’m visiting my first Georgia book club! I can’t wait to see what the group thought of Ellory and Pete. Will let you know how it goes. If you’re a member of a book club interested in discussing any of my books, I’d love to know—and participate. Please reach out!

I’ve begun the initial stages of planning a local Book Release Party for The After Glimpse. Cannot wait to share more details about this in coming weeks.

Another women’s fiction manuscript has captivated my focus. I’m deep in the editing stages. Goal is to pitch this one soon.

Finally, if somehow your eyes skimmed over this before, The After Glimpse releases in ONE WEEK, on Monday, October 16th. I seriously cannot wait for you to get your hands on this one. I’ve been told by more than one person (both have read all of my published works) that this one is their favorite.

Monday, October 2, 2017


I feel small on mornings like this. I’d planned on sharing all of the exciting things I have going on this month, including several book club visits and the release of THE AFTER GLIMPSE, but I’ll save the updates for next week.

Instead I woke to news of the deadliest mass shooting in America.

And my heart atrophies.

Another day I must teach myself to embrace the significance of humanity. There are days I’m certain the world has gone mad, then I remind myself it’s always been this way. Even when my heart falters I will slam up against the madness. In this short time I have here, I’m determined to create a spark against all that breeds pain.

My thoughts and prayers are with the grieving.

“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.” 
–Mark Zusak, The Book Thief

*picture is of the sky this morning when I drove my eldest to school

Monday, September 18, 2017

Write Angry

Something happened yesterday that royally pissed me off. During an away game one of our soccer players fell to the ground injured. Immediately the parents for the opposing team launched an aggressive attack against the ref and his “poor” call after giving us a free kick. Their screaming escalated and was, in my opinion, beyond classless. Our player lie writhing in pain only feet from these parents and they had the audacity to spew about what they believed was an unfair call. Let me shed a little more light on the situation. The ref had made a few questionable calls during the game so far—this was not one of them. Also, the injury didn’t occur during a breakaway. And our player has to get an X-ray for what could be broken fingers.

I seriously kept thinking is this how it’s going to be—the world my kids are going to live in? I think this a lot and it tends to freak me out. I have to mollify myself with the whole be the change self-talk. I maintained self-control and I’m proud of that because every muscle in my body was ordering me to go off on those parents. Instead I took a little walk and breathed.

You could say I was just a tad angry. Rightfully so.

There are plenty of times in life we should be angry. It’s the most appropriate response to injustices we see around us. Someone once told me the things that trigger the most anger in us are signposts, informing us of the issues where we’re most impassioned and positioned to respond—to inflict change.

Here’s where the writing part comes in. I understand the argument for writing sound, for dealing with your emotions before you tap out the first word so your work will be coherent and well-punctuated.


I say write hot. Three reasons why I stand by this . . .


When you write angry your passion will be evident in your words—it will seep into every sentence. People will feel that passion and latch onto it. It’ll create emotion in others. Your anger will present people with a choice. Your work will hold up a sign that says I care about this. Will you?

The Geyser Inside

Sometimes you don’t know how strongly you feel about a subject until you begin exploring your feelings on the page. Writing is an optimal way to unleash these untapped emotions. It’s incredible what your impassioned indignation may look like when it’s finally free to spread out and find a home on the page. No matter what it looks like, I guarantee it will demand attention. It also has the potential to introduce you to an assortment of other things you had no idea you were feeling. Hello, geyser inside.


I didn’t know the parents from my team were bothered by the embarrassing actions of the parents from the other team until I took my little calming walk. It’s then that I heard the comments. Guess what? They were fuming mad too. It’s exactly for this reason that writing hot is important. When you write angry you have the potential to create powerful empathy. You motivate others to care and move to action. You connect with readers.

*All this to say I’ve noticed people seem to get angry at the slightest things anymore. Then they spew like crazy with little self-control. Let’s get angry when anger is merited. Then, let’s follow Toni Morrison’s example. “I get angry about things, then go on and work.”

Monday, September 11, 2017


I’m more than a little slammed right now with self-imposed deadlines and life in general. Still, I wanted to inspire you in some small way today. The following three quotes speak to me. 
Hoping they will speak to you today.

The success of love is in the loving—it is not in the result of loving.” Mother Theresa

“Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ―Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

“Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.” ―Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

Monday, August 28, 2017

When a Book Moves In

Balance? I’ve heard this word and it always rings strangely in my ears. This is especially the case when I’m in the midst of a tricky edit or when a rough draft is practically writing itself.

It’s more like triage around here. And I’ve come to accept that and thank God so has my family.

When a book moves in I’m aware of all that goes by the wayside. My methodology to keeping some semblance of balance comes down to this: the important stuff gets done.

Everything else … {shrugs}

Right now I’m not only hosting one book in my brain, I’ve got two roaming around up there making quite a ruckus. Working through edits. Picking up dirty socks. Wiping down streaky mirrors. These characters can make a raging mess. And they love to hog my attention.

I’ve trained them to sleep when my kids are home. They’re not great sleepers. I’ve debated slipping them some NyQuil, but so far it hasn’t come to that. There are some nights they’ve stayed up partying so hard, pinging inside my head until the wee hours, they end up crashing hard during the day. Crazy house guests these books are.

But I suppose I love them and I haven’t yet found a way to kick them out (trust me, I’ve tried). In the meantime, you might see my kid wearing two different types of cleats or you may wonder how long can clean clothes rest on a bedroom floor before they’re considered dirty again.

Some people crave physical order before they’re ready to face the day. For me it’s all about mental order and mental order begins with me preparing my kids for school, kissing them goodbye, then shaking my house guests awake, never knowing what surprises I’m about to encounter

Monday, August 21, 2017

What is a Character Solar Eclipse?

I thought it might be timely to mention a character solar eclipse. We all know, and have read, the ins and outs of what’s going to happen later today. We’ve bought the glasses and lived to tell about it. (I haven’t bought the glasses actually, and I’m just praying I don’t get tempted and stare too long and burn my corneas to a crisp.)

You might be wondering, what the heck is a character solar eclipse? This is the moment in a novel when a character’s secret or dark side is revealed. You grasp their weakness for the first time, perceiving them in all their human glory. The guesswork is gone. They’re outed. Vulnerable to judgement, while at the same time primed for your enthrallment.

A character solar eclipse has the power to magnetize readers to a character forever.

The following are three reasons why authors should create a solar eclipse moment in their novel ~

Oh, the Humanity
The moment a reader is privy to a character’s deep and not-so-pretty internal conflict they are likely to become hooked. Why? Because, at once, the character has become instantly more relatable. We empathize with their doubts, feel their fears, and are up close and personal with their weakness. We feel the struggle. Man, it’s a beautiful thing.

Why, oh Why?
When an author develops a character so fully as to delve into their dark side and intentionally reveal it, they’ve done wonders to help the reader understand the character’s motivation. Every decision the character makes will hinge, in part, on that nagging fear, that raging insecurity, that past mistake . . .

Time to Bite the Nails
A character solar eclipse will cause the reader to ask—will this character overcome? Will they conquer the fear? Slay the doubt? Forgive? As readers, we subconsciously begin to root for the character. A character solar eclipse has a way of creating tension when tension is needed most in a story.

You’re probably aware of the term internal conflict. A character solar eclipse is the moment, the scene when this conflict is realized. It all comes to light, so to speak. Or should I say dark?

Be safe, my friends.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Introducing . . . The After Glimpse

Corrine Boulder, Landon Young, and Aria Glynn share something inexplicable in common. They’ve all lost loved ones two years ago to the day. To the second, in fact. But that’s not the only thing connecting these three.

Their loved ones are resurfacing in photographs taken within the past twenty-four months.

A toddler, a murdered sister, and a beloved dog suddenly begin appearing in photos captured after their last day on earth. Desperate for an explanation, Corrine, Landon, and Aria seek out possible reasons as to why this phenomenon might be occurring. Little manages to put their minds at ease as they wrestle with the implausible potential that maybe their loved ones are still alive.

Bereft of answers, the trio begins to understand that perhaps it’s not why this is happening, but to what end that matters most. 

THE AFTER GLIMPSE ~ available this October!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Window to my Soul

I thought it might be fun to show you my office in our new home. I’m really doing this as an excuse, so I could open up and share a few things you may not guess about me—to let you in a little more. 

Here it is . . . where the magic happens. Or the drivel. Or nothing at all. Here’s one of the rooms where I give my creativity permission to come most alive. I thought I’d share a little about what you’re seeing in this picture.

The fat Shakespeare book. A dear friend I met in Seattle gave this to me. I remember thinking how cool it was she earned her PhD in writing. I look at it as a reminder to keep learning. I also keep it as a visual to remind myself of a college break when I couldn’t make it home, and I sat curled up in my papasan, falling for Shakespeare, the words strumming some untouched territory in my brain. I also happen to think it looks uber-cool in a writer’s office.

The angel girl hanging from the doorknob. A friend from Connecticut gave this to me after I released THE FLOWER GIRLS. This nature-loving angel is my muse. She knows it. I know it, and I still love her even though my dog ate the big blossoming flower off her head.

The keys. I went a little nutty buying anything key-related after the release of my first novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY. These remind me of the start to my first brave foray out into the world as a published author.

The computer. Hard to say how many times I’ve cried in front of that thing. Over characters. Rejections. Offers. Doubt. Even over my stubborn refusal to quit. Pretty sure I’ve begged that screen to release me. Try as I have, it never works. I’m always seduced back. With more characters and more stories to be told.

The refurbished chair with a stack of books. I love working with furniture and painting anything I can get my hands on and I’m a little addicted to the library.

The picture of my girls walking away in Ogunquit, Maine. I’m in love with this picture. Truly. Because it serves as a reminder of my role in their lives—to teach them how to take their own brave steps in this world, hoping that they’ll always know I’ll be behind them cheering them on every step of the way.

Next week I’m revealing the cover of THE AFTER GLIMPSE!

Preparing for the Big Move

I forgot how much goes into the pre-stages of preparing for a big move. It’s all coming back to me. Except this time we’re headed all...