Thursday, October 6, 2016

Queens & Courtesans & Sirens

Hello My Loves!

It's been too long, so let me first say that I hope the turn of the seasons has been kind to you and yours. I've been busy with kidlets and our house remodel and (another!) family wedding and and and. September was a blur. Not unkind, just a bit too fuzzy for my liking.

So here we are in October and I'm hoping to be more present and centered. Luckily, I have happy news to start the month.

As many of you know, every year I attend Sirens Conference. This experience has connected me with dozens of wonderful women and I've learned a tremendous amount from many of them. When a few attendees got together earlier this year to create an anthology to benefit Sirens, I knew I wanted to be involved. And so I am.

Today is the release day for Queens & Courtesans: A Sirens Benefit Anthology!  The whole thing was lovingly made by generous volunteers and ALL proceeds will benefit Sirens. My story, "Ripe for Rebellion", is included. I'm proud of it, though I'll admit it's very different from the sort of things I usually write. It's even a touch spicy. Eep! I'm nervous about what you'll think of it, but hey, that's a writer's main jam.

If you're curious and you can spare a few bucks, e-book and print versions are available in a bunch of places. It's for a good cause. Here's the link (to all the links):


And here's my love. Loads of it. <3 As always, thank you so much for stopping by. Means the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Catch up and Querying

Good heavens, July came and went in a blur. Hello friends!

In the Luray Caverns, VA, July 2016
I hope this entry finds you well. I've been so busy I hardly know how to sum it all up. I'll let some pictures do the talking.

We visited Virginia for a family wedding and left in awe of the summer landscape there:

Above and beneath.

Happily, the calendar is a bit more clear for the next few weeks. Lots of catching up to do.

In writing related news, I'm well into a new WIP.  Having made good progress, I recently set it aside to query query query and query some more.

I don't know about you, but sharing creative work can be draining for me, especially when the outcome is a simple yes or no. I'm not always up to the work of querying and it's never my favorite part of the process. When I feel like maybe I can send a few, I jump to it and try to get it done as well and fast as possible. Sadly, I'm slow. 

I like to research agents thoroughly before sending a letter and attachments crafted specifically to their guidelines and interests. So, I'm flying if I can send out more than one an hour. And I've sent many. So many. And time creeps on. 

The good news is that there's interest in my work. I haven't found the right match or moment yet, but time and again I'm encouraged by the responses that say "yes, I'll see more" or "maybe next time, keep me in mind" or even "no, but you were very close".

It also helps me to have many pots on the stove. Instead of driving all my energy in one direction that might not work, I've been querying for poems, stories, essays, and novels in waves that feel genuinely motivated by what's inspiring me that day. What I like that day. Where my hopes are pulling me.

This year has already given me more publishing experience than any other in my life and for that I'm incredibly grateful. 

August means we're back home and I'm back to work. Much love to you all. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

June (You Minx) and Lucia

June got away from me! I owe this blog a post. July, a more attentive friend, has already confided that she has plenty to say, so I'll be back soon. =)

In the meantime, I have a short piece published today at a new magazine called Lucia. I must say, while I'm here, that 2016 has been challenging for most of us. The headlines are grim, our nation and world is in turmoil. Now, more than ever, I appreciate the small safe spaces where friends can gather to think about what moves them and what inspires. Lucia is all about that, and more.

I hope my little essay on writing retreats finds you well and cared for. Sending out love, light, and hope for better times ahead.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

May, You Darling You

Hello Dearest Ones!

Thanks so much for stopping by. First, the good news:

TOUGH (my middle grade scifi novel) is now a finalist in the Pacific NW Writers Association (PNWA) Literary Contest. WAAAAHHHOOOOOO!!!

This is a *huge honor* and one that, I'm humbled to say, I've been blessed with before. THE ONE THE EMPRESS HUNTS (middle grade fantasy) was also a finalist in 2013. I had an incredible time that year attending the PNWA conference and left with several requests from agents and editors, happy memories, and one new dear friend.

This year I won't be able to attend the conference because my sweet brother-in-law is getting married to my sweet soon-to-be-sister-in-law and I wouldn't miss their wedding for the world. Still, I'm bummed to miss out on the networking opportunities that come with being a finalist at the conference. I've promised myself to push hard querying TOUGH for the next month or so and to indulge in an extra dessert (preferably something chocolate) at the wedding when the clock tells me that contest winners are being announced back in WA.

Meanwhile, I've been working on a short story for a fantasy collection to benefit Sirens Conference, have submitted a few poems here and there, and am continuing to dabble in a new novel. There is also a secret project in the works with my talented brother, but I'll say no more. ;) There will be time for all these things anon.

In other news, I'll be joining the Board of Trustees at my child's school this fall and I'm excited to launch that work. I'll be scaling back my other volunteer work in order to preserve writing time (and sanity). Our house remodel is fully under way and should wrap up (all digits crossed) in the fall as well. Family and friends are incredible and vital support in all of this. Thank you.

As for my recent writing retreat in Port Townsend & Seattle... I could spend, well, thousands of words trying to capture what it means to me to hang with smart, funny, creative women. Ah, but I could never say enough.

We ferried,

we wrote,

we wandered,



danced in kaftans, howled at the moon,

we ate delicious thalis,

shopped for baubles and boots,

performed, lectured, questioned, hiked, and wandered again.

Some of us got trapped in a lighthouse.

All of us read aloud. None of us slept much. 

Eventually we collapsed back to our separate homes.

We don't get to have such Glorious Howls often, and as our lives continue to change, this kind of trip may be harder to pull off. Thank goodness this one will live on in my memory. I have the kaftan to prove it happened.

My deep thanks to all the Lady Wolves, their families, and my own family who made it possible to have such an experience.

Summer is a step away. What are your plans/ goals/ dreams for the months ahead? Let's do this.

Love and many thanks again,

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April's Adventures

Hi friends!

It's been a tremendously busy month. Travels have taken me deep into the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula and skipping down the streets of NYC. I've had no time at all to post, and little to write, but my heart is brimming. I'm happy to say that I'm slowly settling back to work and very excited about a new WIP. Of course I have plenty else to do with our house remodel, querying, proposals due, and a few other writing commitments I'm excited to fulfill, but I'm scribbling anyway. Hoping that May will bring more peace and I'll be able to catch up.

In the meantime, Happy May Day. One of my favorite days of the year. I'm wishing you joy, health, love, and flowers. Boatloads of flowers.

Lupine in Seattle
Cyclamen (?) in NYC
Calendula in Seattle
Apple Blossom in Seattle
White Iris in Seattle

On the Highline in NYC
For a beautiful post on the meaning of various wildflowers (many not pictured here) please visit Myth and Moor by wonderful Terri Windling.

More soon. Thanks for stopping by. xo

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Swamps of Home

Hiya friends,

Spring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest with a flurry of color and pollen. I hope this entry finds you well and escaping seasonal allergies. As for me, I'm spending lots of time with my good friend Claritin. 

I've been busy with writing, revising, traveling, our house remodel, and the daily mayhem of family life. My middle grade science fiction manuscript, TOUGH, is ready to query and I'm organizing to send to it off on its way.

I recently spoke with a couple of close writing friends about that strange space between writing projects, particularly after just finishing a longer piece. There's plenty to do, too much really, but I still get this itchy, frustrated feeling that I'm making no progress. TOUGH is the fourth novel I've completed, but I'm still not used to these aimless feelings. I want to dive right away into a new long term project, but as good people remind me, I also need to rest and refill my well. Clear my desk. Reorganize. In that spirit, I've started gathering the ingredients for a new manuscript and have been rereading some books that fuel my muse. I'm starting to remember that this part, like all of life, is a process.

In related news, I just took a trip to Orlando, Florida to attend my first International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). 

I chose to attend this conference because I'd heard from a number of people I respect that it's a great venue to discuss fantasy literature and think deeply about myth and folklore (and, er, sit by the lake).

One of my literary idols, Terri Windling, had also been slated to attend as a Guest of Honor, but sadly she cancelled due to health concerns. My thoughts have been with her a great deal lately. Blessedly, there were many other fantasy luminaries in attendance and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Ellen Kushner in her beautiful "Terri Windling Inspired" Garb <3

Delia Sherman relaxes for a moment in the shade. <3
Veronica Schanoes, Ellen Datlow, and my beloved CON-panion, the intrepid Ysabeau Wilce 
I met a few new folks too, which is always *wonderful*. If you are one of the kind folks who shared a conversation or a beverage with me, please accept my thanks. I'm continually impressed by the warmth of the SFF community. I feel so lucky every time I get to spend time in the same space with so many fun people. There were too many of you who I didn't photograph!

Ellen Klages, Molly Tanzer, and Nick Mamatas
I also enjoyed reconnecting with some long lost friends and family who live in the area.
Isis, one of my oldest and dearest friends.
My beautiful aunt and twin cousins.
Worlds collide. Megan and Ysa chatting between hushpuppies.
There's too much to say about my deep love of Central Florida. I spent most of my childhood vacations visiting with my grandparents and aunt who lived there. We caught blue crabs on the Indian River, helped Grandma Bishop in her vegetable garden, and ran wild on the beaches.

In this spirit, I spent a little time on the banks of the lake behind the conference hotel and bothered some fish with my bait (they were too smart to take it).

It was a fun trip, both too brief to see so many wonderful people and too long to be away from my precious boys. It's good to be home.

Next month I head to NYC for other, more...err... theatrical, adventures. Much love to all. Thanks so much for stopping by. <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

House of Wood and Word

Hiya sweet people,

This picture makes me happy for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was taken at my writing critique group meeting this past weekend. Such good soul food. This sweet pup is not mine, but isn't she great? Her name's Petra. *melt*

February has been busy, but all is well. Children have recovered from winter illnesses, our house renovation is well underway, and spring is preparing to spring. I've finished revising my new middle grade science fiction, TOUGH, and will be working to research and send out queries soon. In the meantime, RAIN MUST FALL is in the hands of a few folks and I have lots of fingers and toes crossed there. Poems and short stories are out and about as well, and I'm happy to say that a teeny (but mighty!) poem of mine will be published at the Yellow Chair Review in a week or so. So you see, busy. Which reminds me--

we often visit our local beach and wetlands in the winter.  Even on sunny days, all is quiet. Lately, our beaver family has been very busy working on various projects around their pond.

I'm sure some locals despair at how destructive these beavers can be. They've felled dozens, maybe a hundred trees in this area.  But I can't help finding their muddy, grubby, work beautiful.

Their structures are both intricate and alive. Every time we visit, there are new shapes and areas where they've reworked something. It feels like revision is simply a way of life for these industrious creatures.

We sometimes see them at dusk in the fall or spring, when they come out for a snack of horsetail or birch bark. They're entirely disinterested in our presence and go about their business with diligent focus and energy. Can't blame them. We don't offer much help.

We're working on our property too, or, more accurately, the good people we hired are working on it. Our house is over a hundred years old, so this is the sort of thing they find beneath the plaster:

Solid wood lathe. A bit more orderly than the beavers' work, but still a home of wood.

And here she is, hoisted in the air so that the basement and foundation can be altered for new space and stability.

This is all to say, I'm busy and working. Change is underway. I'm grateful for it all. Hoping this post finds you and yours well and, as always, thank you *so* much for stopping by. Means the world.