Like Royalty

It was a Saturday afternoon. My friend and I wanted to go on a girl-date somewhere nice. We went to an Italian cafe--a favorite of mine--ordered a bottle of wine and some snacks, and sat out in front of the cafe. This cafe is also a coffee shop and a restaurant. To say that I love this place is an understatement. The very first time I…

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Costa Rica! Together!

Some of you know that my family (my husband and my two kiddos and me + my brother and his wife + my sister and her husband + my parents = 10 of us!) traveled together to Costa Rica at the beginning of 2023. It was a beautiful adventure. We got to swim on gorgeous beaches, watch incredible jungle life (monkeys! iguanas! parrots!), hike, zipline, explore,…

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Finding My Agent: A True Story

I’ve wanted/dreamed/struggled for years to find a literary agent. I remember sitting in a quiet corner of the Northgate branch of the Seattle Public Library, hunched over a table with The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit (Elizabeth Lyon) lying open beside me as I tried to painstakingly write out a query letter. Every sentence was agony. It was like learning a new language in which I…

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The Road to Publication (is a very long one!)

I had the opportunity to join several other authors online to speak candidly about our varied roads to publication and the surprises and lessons we've learned thus far. This is a lovely bunch of people and we had a great time together! The first ten minutes of the video were accidentally lost during the recording process and, lo-and-behold, as the salvaged recording starts I'm finishing up…

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Writing Mama

If you have known me for a few years, you'll have heard me talk about how staying home with my kids and finding creative ways to continue writing and finishing my stories has been an immense challenge. But the kids haven't been mere obstacles to my professional goals. They've changed me as a person--and for the better in many ways! Through changes to my heart and…

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Writers of the Future: My Week in Hollywood

Wow...you guys. I've returned safely from Los Angeles with a full head and swelling heart. My time was chock-full of learning, making connections, learning the craft and business of writing, and (the best part!) making friends. My week got off to an awesome start when I discovered I'd been assigned the talented and wonderful Carrie Callahan (fellow writer winner) as my roommate. My exclamation of "YES"…

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Anything but Plain (WA)

As the capstone to my participation in the Cascadia Residency this year, I and four other artists stayed in a beautiful riverside retreat center in Eastern Washington called the Grunewald Guild. We experienced warm, mild weather, created art, took restorative breaks in hammocks, and gathered around fresh meals that were prepared for us. We worked hard, really! It was a true residency—we didn’t have to worry about…

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Swim

"Put your face in the water. Blow bubbles. See? Like me!" I immerse the lower half of my face and push air through my nostrils. I raise my face from the pool in an expression of excitement. My son copies me once, then refuses to repeat the action. He needs to learn to swim. Sure, it’ll take years before he’s close to mastery, but the process…

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The Art of the Do-Over

What would you do over, if you could? My husband and I were recently talking about things we truly wished we could do over again. He’d wished he’d attended high school prom with the girl who’d asked him. I wished I’d actually dated a particular boy in my senior year of high school, despite my parents’ objections—because, looking back, I’m pretty sure he was my first…

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