Friday, December 16, 2011

Up Close & Personal

This year, blogging's been a struggle. It's hard to know what I should focus on, and that's only been compounded by a drive to present myself more professionally--and the fact that I blog about writing over on the Inkpunks blog. What the heck does a writer-mom-veggie-goofball blog about????

 So my big decision is that I'm going to blog all my professional stuff over at I'll blog about writing at the Inkpunks. And I'll blog all the goofball stuff here! Brace yourself for more recipes and silly hijinks.

This week I've been working hard to eat really great, healthy food and conquer some of my crazy cravings. This isn't easy! My family has roots in Missouri, and so I grew up eating good ol' country food: lots of pie, tasty casseroles, and my mom's amazing biscuits. If you're trying to cut calories, biscuits aren't always the best choice, but here are some biscuits you can enjoy calorie-free!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I just have to say that my birthday was GREAT! I had many wonderful birthday wishes and I am now the proud owner of hand-printed CTHULHU UNDERWEAR. What could be better?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Keep the dream alive

For months now, every day I've wanted to give up the writing game. This year's been hard: I've failed at every goal I've set for myself; I've derailed on dozens of projects; I've hated 90% of everything I've written, and I haven't advanced a lick in my personal or professional life. Last year, I was full of excitement and success and an easy relationship with the part of me that makes words. This year, there have been plenty of days where just getting out of bed in the morning is my biggest achievement. And the unfortunate truth is that on those days, the only thing that could really make me feel better, writing, is almost impossible. The more miserable I am, the more the words feel buried beneath a pile of immovable teak slabs.

On those days, reading most writing advice feels like a kick in the gut. Knowing that all my favorite authors kept on writing when they faced difficulties, producing thousands of words despite all adversity, is just a reminder of how weak and pathetic I seem. Thinking about that is sure incentive to give up.

Luckily, the fire to write is like any other fire: I've fed mine so much fuel over the years, that even smothered, the coals burn hot. Even when I feel like crap, that fire is still smoldering, churning over ideas and dreams. To get through these times, the best thing to do is to stop trying to shift the rocks and simply feed the fire. It'll burn through any obstacle, given enough attention and kindness.

Because I cope poorly with adversity, I might never be a successful writer. (Because of that, I might never be a successful anything, really--isn't that what the school counselor told me?) But I think about some of the great authors who've lived, people like Louisa May Alcott. Sure, she was tough and smart and funny--but when things went wrong, there were plenty of times when she climbed into bed and didn't get up for days at a time. She still managed to scrape by as a pulp fiction writer (until her amazing success with Little Women). She never gave up after her many set-backs.

So I think the single most important piece of writing advice you'll ever get--more important even than "Butt In Chair," which is 90% of everything a writer needs to know--is that you are the only person who can keep your dream alive, and you must do everything in your power to feed it and nurture it. You'll never be a writer if you let the dream die.