Archive for category: Random

December 25, sunny, 40s. You know what that means: PERFECT BEACH DAY, BITCHES.

When does something become a tradition? I went to the beach on Christmas last year (remember how warm it was?) AND this year. I’m calling it: Christmas Beach Day is my official holiday tradition now.

Today, I saw a horse frolicking in the surf. A woman laughed hysterically on a seaside bench while talking on the phone. A guy walking his dog stopped as I was gazing out over the water and asked if I was looking for seals.

“If you go around that bend over there, you’ll see them,” he said.

I started walking towards the bend. He followed. Then, he scampered down some rocks and beckoned for me to come.

“OK,” I said. “I’ll follow in your footsteps.”

“I might be dangerous,” he said with a chuckle.

“Or I might be,” I replied without a smile. He gave a nervous laugh and considered me carefully for the first time.

“I better see some seals,” I added. “Or else.”

His name was Richard. The dog, who paid me no attention, was Tasha. His sister’s dog.

We got to the bend. Out across the water, I spied a sandbar covered in rocks and seals.

“Back there,” Richard asked, “when you said you’d better see some seals…were you suggesting you were going to kill me if you didn’t?”

“You’ll just have to wonder about that one, Richard.”

He stared at me.

“I’m a writer,” I said. “My mind always goes towards the darkness.”

“Oh,” he said, seeming only slightly relieved.

It was a beautiful day at the beach.


Note the headgear. People, if you’re looking for a good read, check out VIKINGS, VAMPIRES, AND MAILMEN by Kevin Glennon. #nosparklyvampshere

Here’s the soundtrack to my current work-in-progress (WIP). It’s important to note that I don’t listen to these songs while I’m writing, but they’re in heavy rotation and a huge inspiration in between writing sessions.

In no particular order:

Possum Kingdom” The Toadies

Wide Awake” Katy Perry

Follow Through” Gavin DeGraw

Next to Me” Emeli Sande

Night Swimming” REM

Somewhere Only We Know” Keane

Home” Phillip Phillips

Double shot! “Gone, Gone, Gone” Phillip Phillips

I Will Wait” Mumford & Sons

Ho Hey” The Lumineers

I’ll Fix You” Coldplay (the version I love is on this segment from the HBO’s The Newsroom)

(For reference, here’s the soundtrack for What Happened in Granite Creek.)

I imagine I’ll be updating this list as the countdown IS ON. Home stretch, here I come!

Do you listen to music as you work? What’s in heavy rotation for you right now?


When I was kid, I loved going to the movies. General Cinema was the big theater in town, and one of my favorite moments was after the previews and before the movie started when the General Cinema clouds would appear with this soaring music — music that made my skin tingle and my heart beat faster and my imagination spin with possibilities.

I knew at a very young age that I wanted — that I needed — to create, and this “thing” inside me stirred whenever the clouds appeared and the music played, almost as if the two were a trigger to remind a dormant piece of my soul what it was being called to do.

I was thinking about the clouds and the music the other day, struggling to describe them and wondering if I could somehow find them online. I googled “general cinema clouds,” and the first item to show up was a YouTube video of what’s called “the policy trailer” (I never knew it had a name). I’m embedding it below. About 32 seconds in you’ll see my clouds and hear my music, and if you listen closely, you might hear my soul singing, too.


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Lately, I’ve been in the weeds, feverishly working on the draft of my next book. It’s messy — very, very messy — and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be sticking with it. But! A song has emerged, the video for which I’ve been watching over and over.

I take this as a positive sign…this happened during the drafting of Forgotten April and Granite Creek…this obsession with the song tends to spur me on and helps me become obsessed with the character. (In this post on my soundtrack for What Happened in Granite Creek, I talked about the role music plays when I’m writing.)

Anyhow, back to the song in question: “Inside Out” by Eve 6. For some reason, it captures the essence of one of my main characters. I can’t tell you much about this character right now, aside from the fact he’s male and around 24 years old, but I thought I’d embed the video below to give you a sense of something.

Tell me, based on what you see and hear, what characteristics would you expect this character to possess? There are no right or wrong answers, and I’m truly curious. Share in the comments.

Considering how insane I am with my cat/muse, I think it’s best we let my ovaries be.

Anyhow. Yeah. I’d love for you to meet my muse and not-so-little kitty, Dorian Gray (named after that dastardly and dashing character in the Oscar Wilde novel of the same name).

Handsome Boy.

Avid Reader.


Exercise Maven.

Domestic Darling.

Cunning and Sly.

Who — or what — inspires you? Share in the comments.

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I was first inspired to write during Mrs. Shea’s fourth grade class when she had us pen a short story and read it out loud in front of the class. I will be forever grateful to her for helping me find my passion at such a young age.

So it seems apt that today, the day after Labor Day, I salute teachers for all the work they do in and out of the classroom, since I’m fairly certain most kids and teachers are back in school now.

I give you Taylor Mali, a poet and teacher, and his famous “What Teachers Make.” Here’s to all the great teachers out there.



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  1. I told someone that my second novel is coming out in October. Here’s what he said (via email): “Will I be able to get it on my Nook? Or in store?” (Notice the order of those two phrases.)
  2. I was driving through the winding roads of my apartment complex, and I spotted a young woman walking up a hill, her attention completely focused on her Kindle.
  3. I’m reading Lolita, one of those classics I’d never gotten around to checking out. I bought it from Annie’s Book Stop, a wonderful indie bookstore that’s hosted my writers’ group for the last 6.5 years. The owner closed the shop this past weekend, and he’s had these amazing “everything must go” sales.” I bought Lolita for 50 cents. When I was reading it in bed the other night, sand poured out from between the pages (that’s a first for me…and not something that’s likely to happen with my Nook).

What interesting things have happened to you this week?

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Feeling a bit twitchy and out of sorts. Novel #2 is officially with beta readers. Forgotten April — the paperback version — should be on sale by the beginning of next week, provided the next proof looks okay. I haven’t looked at sales once since I put the eBook version on sale, and I don’t plan on doing so any time soon. (It’s a marathon, not  sprint. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.) One of my nephews graduated from high school on Sunday — the same high school I graduated from twenty years ago. Tons of memories flooding back, along with self-doubt and considerations about the roads not taken. Wistful. Yes, that might be a good word for the way I’m feeling right now.

What makes you feel twitchy and wistful?

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