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DIY Chick Lit & DIY Writing Retreat PDFs!

Great news! If you are tired of looking at your Kindle/device screen but still want to read DIY Writing Retreat and DIY Chick Lit, they are now available as PDFs…on Etsy!

etsy screenshot

There is a brand new Scratch Paper Shop and I’ve already made my first sale (thanks, Sonia!).

Why would you want a PDF of my handy ebooks?

  • So you can print them out and write in them
  • So that you don’t have to take the internet with you on a writing retreat
  • So that you can flip the pages
  • So that you can put them in a sparkly binder!

And great news–through the end of March, you can buy one of my books and get the other free. Just use the code STPAT17 and add both of my ebooks to your cart.



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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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On hiatus!

On hiatus! - Alicia de los Reyes
Azaleas c/o liz west

I’m taking a break from blogging for family; I plan to be back in the fall. In the meantime, scroll down for some fun videos I made with my publisher/editor/BFF Kelly Rizzetta of KMR Publishing–a new one posts each week. You can find out my secret writing rituals, why “chick lit” isn’t a dirty word, and some of my favorite books. You can also check out an awesome sweater in at least two of the videos.

Plus, here are some other things you can do here!

Happy summer, everybody! Hope it’s filled with road trips and beaches.

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A slight shift

I re-started blogging by writing about finding a new church (Valley and Mountain).  I decided to write bi-weekly for six months, from July to December.

Then, I switched gears and wrote about writing (mostly) from January to June.

Now I’m thinking it’s time for another shift. I’m a bit tired of looking at everything through the lens of “How is this related to ‘the writing life?'” and ready for a change, period.

Here’s a little update on my life:

Up until quite recently, I split my time between tutoring and writing. I tutored part-time to support my writing, and my goals were to make a real website for myself, self-publish a writing guide, get published in a few magazines, get an agent, get a regular writing gig, and eventually get a traditional book deal. I’ve written two guides and an e-course, gotten an agent, been published, contributed to Alt Magazine, and now regularly blog for Patheos–all in all, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done. I’ve also finished numerous writing projects, as yet unpublished: two book proposals, a nonfiction manuscript, a novel, a few short stories, and a few research-heavy essays.

Two things happened, though, to shift my focus. First, I got pregnant (yay!). Future Baby is going to arrive soon, and I’m going to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m very excited about this.

Second, my husband broke his collarbone. That might not sound like a game-changer, but for about two months I suddenly took on all the house duties. I cleaned, cooked, did the dishes (oh God, the dishes), the laundry, the bed-making…all stuff that I had formerly resented. It wasn’t easy–frankly, it was exhausting, and I am eternally grateful to my incredibly thoughtful parents for buying us meals for a week from a local delivery service.

When this happened, people kept telling me it was “practice” for when I was taking care of an infant. I didn’t like these comments; I didn’t want practice, I wanted a real infant! Taking care of an injured husband was scary and stressful. I would drive out to a tutoring session wondering if I should stay home with Andrew, and then text him each hour to make sure the pain meds were working at least a little bit and that he’d found something to eat one-handed.

After that, something changed. I don’t know if it’s hormones or just me, but I realized I liked taking care of things around the house. I mean, I don’t like doing dishes, and I can’t pretend I take out the compost or the trash, but I like planning and cooking meals and keeping our living space clean. It feels good. I’m taking care of a big part of living doing those two things.

As planned for a long time, I’ve quit my tutoring job to get ready for the baby to arrive. I have a bunch of writing tasks I want to finish in the next few weeks (writing posts for Patheos, including a cool series [I think] about adoption and Christianity) and all kinds of little projects that need to be finished before a new human arrives in our house. I’m spending time writing, cooking, cleaning, practicing Spanish, and running about a hundred errands. I’m lucky to be able to take this time–dude, this is the life.

All this to say, I’m thinking of a shift in my writing for this blog. I’ve been trying to think of something more sustainable to write about–a way to keep my blog going without getting burnt out on the topic at hand. I don’t know what my time will look like after the baby is born, but I have a feeling that with Patheos and writing projects on my plate, this blog will take last place on my list.

I’ve thought about just not blogging, and who knows–I might stop sooner than I think. But partially inspired by this blog, also by a small business owner, I’m thinking of writing more about the fun parts of life. I don’t want to share too much about my personal life, but I do want to share more about what it’s like living in an awesome part of Seattle, writing and working from home, and making stuff in my free time.

I’ll keep doing monthly indie book reviews (I have one in the works for Growing Eden, about another 20-something writer who became a mom) and sharing my writing around the internet. But I plan to add in a new series or two about living in the city and making stuff–perhaps a photo series of the city living thing and a monthly round-up of the projects that I’m working on (I’m almost always working on a quilt). We’ll see how it plays out. My goal is to continue to post something bi-weekly, and perhaps ramp up to weekly–though posting weekly on two blogs seems ambitious.

In August and September, I plan to take a break from blogging–I’ll be posting some fun videos me and my publisher BFF Kelly Rizzetta of KMR Publishing made about our favorite chick lit, our own personal fatal flaws, and fun stuff like that.

Oh, and about my newsletter, Greetings from Bookland! It will remain a writer’s newsletter. You can sign up here and get monthly mini-writing lessons, plus all my deepest darkest secrets and reflections on the trials, tribulations, and fun times of writing life.

Thanks for reading along, and tell me–if you blog, how do you make it sustainable?