Monday, December 18, 2023


I did a tea advent calendar this year and I have to say, I have had several mornings where I had to check the date on my phone because the days left in the box didn't seem to match the day I thought it was.
Time is so odd, and talking about time and the passage thereof becomes a weird conversation much like, how was traffic, or this weather huh, that used to seem as a kid like why are adults obsessed with this? And yet, now I am that adult. 
One of the things I really enjoy is the isea that if you follow all the various traditions, the end of the year, comes three to four times. New starts are always there. 
And of course both writing and reading fiction make clear that where and how you start a story is honestly a constant choice. 
But in the northern hemisphere we approach the smallest amount of daylight, it is nice to pause and note the end of that cycle and the transition back in the other direction. 
Whichever side of the world you are on, may you find the light and warmth you need. And also cookies. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Smashwords Sale

Just a quick heads up, a number of my books are on sale in the Smashwords end of the year sale:
If Smashwords is not your etailer of choice, my books remain available on other sites, in paper, and of course, can be requested from your library: Happy reading!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Three Interesting Things

1. A friend alerted me to this news story about a man who arrived in LAX without documentation and apparently without memory of how he ended up on a plane. 
2. I recently took training offered by DC Health in providing Narcan to folks who may have overdosed, so found this story of this woman who has become a safe hub of sorts for folks in her community. 
3. And in a nature vs. nature sort of plan, they are using sea urchins to help with invasive seaweed in Kaneohe. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Peaks, Valleys, Blooms, and In Between

Author Hannah Carmona once talked about how cherry blossom trees reminded her that incredible things sometimes require a lot of prep. Cherry blossom trees may bloom earlier than they used to with climate change, but they bloom once and then they move on to other phases. Because not every season is meant to be bloom season. 
Similarly I saw someone on social media talking about how you cannot build your productivity plan around your best day. 
It's funny, because I think in capitalism we've all seen this. How hiring freezes and other measures that show up in times of economic uncertainty become our normal staffing, and three years later everybody is tired and burnt out and you suddenly remember, oh yeah, there used to be more of us to do this. That's why we're tired.
And yet, I will call myself lazy for not writing every day, or finishing a draft and wishing to read for a few weeks. 
And look, I know for some people a break from writing longer than an hour is too much for them. 
And to be clear, there is still writing work happening. My first drafts are often written in a giant long string with a quick indent for new scenes, and so the first thing I do with a draft is break it into scenes and figure out what I have and take a big picture look at the pacing. And a lot of that is hard to quantify. The draft looks less like a giant brain dump and more like a draft. 
But pondering pacing and other things, well, that kind of looks like me playing games on my phone. 
Everyone has different processes, and many many people wish their process was some variation of better, faster, cooler, or let's face it, easier.
But if the social pressure of NaNo helped you be productive and now you are less productive, that isn't you backsliding. If you finished your draft (at least for now) you have earned that rest. Your brain often needs time to process, so you can look the draft with fresh eyes.
If you did not finish your draft, you have a few options here. You may need to rest. I know all these people have been telling you you can build a habit of writing just by writing, but your process may need more than that. If it benefits from social pressure, finding drafting or writing groups that continue on might help you.
It may also be that the NaNo pace is not sustainable for you for more than 30 days. Even marathoners don't run a whole marathon every day. So maybe work on finding a good pace for now. 
And you may also just need a rest. December may not be a good month for you. But the good news if you did write for 30 days straight, you can do it again. But maybe not now. 
Kind if like that old video with Stephen Covey talking about planning for family and vacations first. Make space for your writing, certainly. But also make space for you to not write, so that when you go back to it, you've had time to gather up the energy and excitement to go at it again. 

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Three Interesting Things

The Washington Post Guild has selected a historically newsworthy day - ie today - for a one day strike, so none of the links are to them today. 
1. Five folks talked about ways they are trying to think sustainably about clothes
3. I am interested that Penguin is taking legal action against one of the legal book laws.

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Credit Where Credit is Due

I once spoke to someone who started the interaction with something to the effect of, the last person I spoke to about this obviously didn't know what they were talking about. It's always a weird spot to start. 
And so I looked into this person's stuff, saw the very detailed comment left by the prior person, and related that info. 
They were pleased. And wondered aloud why the last person couldn't have told them that. 
I told them the last person had left clear info, and that was how I was able to give them such a quick and clear answer. 
I thought of this, as I had several calls with a place I was doing business with. And when one call led to my needing to call back, I decided to just go in as if the time between was for them to fix everything for me. And they did. 
We all hear these stories about how frequently we share bad customer stories instead of good ones. And I think sometimes its easy to be like oh no, this one not great call means everything is doomed. But sometimes, it just means, oh, let us work on this. And then all will be resolved. 

Monday, December 04, 2023

And Some News

I had the chance to narrate a flash story "A Girl Bikes Home Alone at Night" written by Georgie Morvis for the Cast of Wonders podcast. The link to the episode is here: