Japan · Memoir · Writing

Japan Memoir Part 5: The Comfort of a Known Noise

When I was a child, I knew when something fancy was happening because my mother would dress up. She would put on her earrings, curl her bangs higher than usual. Wear a dress, and high-heeled shoes that clicked when she walked. That sound was the sound of grown-ups. At age five, I knew that some… Continue reading Japan Memoir Part 5: The Comfort of a Known Noise

Publishing · Writing

Dear People I Submit My Work To: A Love Letter From the Discard Pile

  Dear People I Submit My Work To; You don’t know me, but you’ve read my handiwork, or at least the part where I make an honest attempt to spell your name correctly. That’s a lot of your job: to read my writing, judge it, and finally click a button that either sends my dreams… Continue reading Dear People I Submit My Work To: A Love Letter From the Discard Pile

Japan · Memoir · Writing

Japan Memoir Part 4: What Can Be Bought

To me, going food shopping in another country is the best part of travel. I love novelty foods, and any given trip to my local grocery store will find me pulling down new flavors of chips and going “ooh, what’s this?” Away from home, I’m prone to exiting with my arms full of new foods, grinning as… Continue reading Japan Memoir Part 4: What Can Be Bought

Comedy · Technology · Writing

Smartphones Are For Idiots Like Us

I am not a technology person, so of course I married the sort of man who thinks a month-old phone is “a bit dated.” In some ways, this is perfect. I hate all things that require more set-up than plugging them in and pushing an “on” button, he positively revels in finding little bowls to… Continue reading Smartphones Are For Idiots Like Us

Interview · Writing

Pushing to the Forefront: Background Characters With RR Willica

Everything—from movies to novels to video games—has its NPCs, the people who weave in and out of the story for one purpose and one purpose only: to usher it along. Yet this doesn’t mean background characters are unimportant. In part 1 of this two-part series, I’ve teamed up with R.R. Willica, author of the Darkness… Continue reading Pushing to the Forefront: Background Characters With RR Willica

Japan · Memoir · Writing

Japan Memoir Part 2: Streets that Live

Between a rider and a horse, the rider doesn’t have to think of the horse, but the horse probably spends an awful lot of time thinking about the rider. Sometimes I felt that way about Japan; I spent quite a lot of time thinking about it, but doubt it spent more than a moment considering… Continue reading Japan Memoir Part 2: Streets that Live

Novels · Saint Flaherty Series · Writing

Finishing Yet Another Silly Manuscript

I don’t plot my books; they come to me in the spur of the moment from a single scene, idea, voice. Sometimes I know where I’m going, sometimes I don’t. In the writing world this means I’m what’s commonly known as a pantser: I write by the seat of my pants. It’s a pretty accurate… Continue reading Finishing Yet Another Silly Manuscript

Opinion · Short Stories · What Boys Are Made Of · Writing

We Find Small Candles in the Night

[This post comes from an exchange I had last winter about writing characters—specifically why do I write mine the way I write them. It contains spoilers for my short story “The Foreigner’s Loneliness” (read for free here!) It also discusses What Boys Are Made Of, but does not contain spoilers.]     Why do I… Continue reading We Find Small Candles in the Night

Comedy · What Boys Are Made Of · Why I'm a Ridiculous Person · Writing

What Happened When My Dad Started Reading My Book

  A couple weeks ago, just prior to publication, I was at my parents’ house chatting with my mom when my dad picked up my proof copy of What Boys Are Made Of and began to read. I sort of froze up, frantically gesturing to my mother at what was happening in an attempt to indicate that… Continue reading What Happened When My Dad Started Reading My Book