Did you find me in a zine?

If you did, that is so awesome! I made tiny little zines called INSTANT GIFT FOR WRITERS and threw them in Little Free Libraries around my neighborhood. Perhaps you picked one up and found my website on the back. Welcome! It is so great to have you here!

Here are the things I do:

  • Write fiction and nonfiction. So far, I’ve mostly published nonfiction but my first novel is [bites nails] on submission.
  • Podcast about writing (I always give a quick update on my novel, which is called Finding Lucy) and how to write better (there’s always a mini lesson on all kinds of things–I did a series on how to get started writing a novel, which you can find here). You can find all episodes here and on iTunes.
  • Make random zines and put them in unsuspecting Little Free Libraries.

In non-writing land, I take care of a tiny human and live in South Seattle.

Would you like a zine?

Maybe you don’t live in the greater South Seattle area, and you would still like a zine! That’s fantastic! I’m so excited for you to get one in your little hands. Click here* and type in your email address, and I will send you a printable version. It’s one page and it’s really easy to print and fold up! In fact, you don’t even have to fold it up–but then it will look like a crazy flyer.

What you will get in INSTANT GIFT FOR WRITERS, a printable, foldable zine:

  • An instant gift for writers! I designed this zine so that you can tape it to the front of a notebook, stick in your gift-ee’s favorite pen, and tie on a bow! Shazam! Christmas! Hanukkah! Solstice! PRESENT!
  • My favorite resources for writers–a couple of book recommendations and one essay that I love (spoiler alert: it’s by Ann Patchett, about whom I cannot sing enough praises). There’s also handy websites if you’re interested in submitting your work places.
  • A cut-out anti-distraction device, which you can tape to the front of your phone, plus a clever do-not-disturb sign.
  • Plenty of my curly but legible handwriting. Old school!

Perfect for you or a pal! Print as many times as you like! Just sign up here** and I will send you one.

*And I promise this is not a bid for your email. I will put in a handy opt-in box if you want to keep getting my podcast updates and read my work, but you do not have to click it.

**Seriously! No pressure! Just get a fun zine!

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Episode 12: Paths to getting published — Part 1


In this episode, I kick off another series: How to Get Published.

You might like this episode if:

  • You have written something–a novel, a short story, an essay–but you don’t know what to do next.
  • You would like to embark on a big, research-y project that would turn into a book, but you don’t know what to do next.
  • You have always wanted to be a published writer, but you don’t know how to get your work published.
  • You have questions like “Where do agents come from?”


Listen in here for a general overview of how fiction and nonfiction writers “typically” get published–based on my experience, that of my friends, and my observations of bloggers and the like online.

This episode is a map that you can look at and figure out what track you are on, or which track you might want to get on. In the next episodes, I’ll dive into specifics like writing query letters, pitching nonfiction, and submitting short stories.


Please post questions in the comments!! As I say in the episode, I feel like it is a mystery how to get published and I would like it to not be.

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Epsiode 11: What to major in (if you want to be a writer)

This one’s for all my college-aged and college-bound lady friends (you know who you are!).

If you think you might want to be a writer, there are a dozen (million) different paths you can take to get there. That’s exciting, but when you’re trying to make concrete decisions about your life, it’s also a little (a lot) nerve-wracking. For example: let’s say you’re going to college, you’re in college, or you’re considering going back to school. What should you major in?

Here’s a fun fact: I majored in math. I liked it and I still do, and I honestly think it helped my writing. I share why in this episode.

I also reveal my totally secret, totally complete fear of failing in a writing workshop in college. If you have ever bitten your nails about submitting your work, signing up for a class, or calling yourself a writer, you will probably enjoy me remembering how mortified I was when I didn’t get into my first writing workshop.

Also! How silly that was. But also how real.

Ok! Listen in below.


Writing update:

  • WHAT DO YOU KNOW I’m still revising Finding Lucy.

Reading update:

  • I’m trying another book by Geraldine Brooks, Foreign Correspondence. Please send help and/or commiseration if you can’t read anything intense/sad/child-related.


What did/do you major in? Do you think it has helped you become a writer? Please share in the comments!

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Episode 10: The secret rules of writing

Greetings, writers! And friends! And kind people who listen to this podcast for no writing-related reason!

And now back to our regularly scheduled program. In this episode (ten! Double digits! What what!), we’re talking about what people (ahem, teachers and professors, also readers) expect in your writing but don’t always ask for. These are the two things I always taught in my classes at UNH and the two things that you can pretty much depend on being required of you whether you’re writing an email or a term paper or a novel. For serious!

They are clarity and concision.


Clarity means clearness. You want your writing to make sense to whoever’s reading it, and for that to happen, it has to be clear! Say what you mean to say, in other words.

Concision means shortness. In general, people want to read less, not more, if less is a possibility. This doesn’t *always* apply (see: this blog post introduction, the Internet, etc.), but it usually applies to paper-writing, essay-writing, story-writing, and novel-writing. It almost always applies at the sentence level. You would much rather read this sentence:

I walked the dog around the block.

Than this one:

I was able to take out my dog-friend, also known as a pet, on a series of steps, one in front of the other, around the vicinity of my home.

See? Writing has rules, and we follow them without thinking (sometimes).

Ok! Show notes!

Writing update:

  • Here’s a link to my (Kindle e-book) guide on writing retreats, DIY Writing Retreat.
  • Der Blokken Brewery is great.
  • I finished 1/3 of my revision of my manuscript, Finding Lucy! Woohoo!

Reading update:


What other writing “rules” are not spoken, but are expected to be followed? What genre do you write in–and does it have rules? Do you follow them, or not?

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