• Sunday Snippet: A Garden Tour Edition

    Confessions time: My brain is mush. I have nothing brilliant or even halfway intelligent to offer this morning. I wish I did. So, this edition of the Sunday Snippet is compliments of my genius writing bestie, Liz Flaherty, who said to me, “Take a picture and write about it.” You get several pictures as I give you a little tour of my gardens or as Liz calls them, my “flowerbeds.” One day, either she or I will explore the difference in those two terms, but not today. Today, I’m going to show you my flowers. First, here’s a shot of my incredible front garden–the window you see is my office…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Mid-July Gratitude Check-In Edition

    Every couple of years, I break out my copy of Sara Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance. She calls it “A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” and it truly is. If you’ve never read the book, I recommend it highly and it’s even available as an e-book! I downloaded it to my Kindle a few years ago, which makes it easy to have wherever I am, but I’m still partial to the hardback book because it has my notes in it from previous years, and it’s cool to read those, too. I’ve been doing the Simple Abundance meditations this year because I need that centering after the last eighteen months. Part of…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Lazy, Rainy Weekend Edition

    And so it is–a lazy, rainy weekend at the lake. It’s too icky outside for a boat ride or a swim. Too gloomy and stormy for a walk, so I’m sitting here at my computer contemplating what to write. I did something this morning I do so rarely that I can’t remember the last time it happened. I stayed in bed and read for two hours. My normal schedule is to get up at six and write for a couple of hours–even before I make coffee or face the world. It’s a good habit to have and I’m glad I do it because otherwise, nothing at all would get written.…

  • Guest Author Stacey Agdern Talks about How Your Culture Affects Your Writing

    I am so happy to turn the blog over to pal and fellow Tule author Stacey Agdern today. Stacey is an award-winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She incorporates Jewish characters and traditions into her stories so that people who grew up like she did can see themselves take center stage on the page. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility. “In fact, I’d argue that religion always affects the course of a story. Even in its absence, there is a consequence on the world and how the…

  • Sunday Snippet: The How Is It Sunday Again and I’m Meandering Edition

    Holy cats, kids, it’s Sunday again! No idea how that happened. It’s been an eventful week here at casa Reinhardt, although as I look back on the last seven days, what sticks out most is work. I’ve been working a lot this month of June and now as July appears on the horizon, I find myself wondering what happened to the first third of summer. Does that ever happen to you? Time just sort of slipping away while you’re trying to plan your life? I keep thinking that one day I’ll be organized and I’ll get to sketching classes and lunch with friends, old and new and time with sister…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Discovery Edition

    Several years ago, I attended an Indiana RWA event—Bob Mayer’s Write it Forward workshop. It was inspiring and Bob’s book, The Novel Writer’s Toolkit is one of my go-to references. He has lots of valuable things to say about writing and the process of writing. Another mentor is Lani Diane Rich, whose Chipperish Media’s How Story Works podcasts are an invaluable source of inspiration and education for any writer. From Lani, I learned about discovery—what begins my process when I write. All books begin with an idea, as Mayer says. That’s “the heart of your story.” For me, it’s mostly characters in my head banging around, begging for their stories…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The Moving Right Along Edition

    And so we are. I’m finally out from under a rather large editing gig that was a particularly challenging one. I only have one project on my desk this week, although I am getting another at the end of the week, and so my plan is to write, write, write. I had the great news from my editor that Max’s book is on the way to the copy editor, along with warm congratulations that I’d nailed the story in revisions and she’s excited for the next one. Whew! That is always a marvelous message to receive. So the next one is underway and I’m learning the characters and their quirks…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The French Butter Edition

    I love French butter. We discovered it in Paris, naturally enough, and it’s perfect butter. Creamy and delicious with just the right touch of salt. We ate it on croissants at the little café around the corner from our apartment and on crusty baguettes from the boulangerie next to the laverie (laundromat). It was sheer paradis sur terre (heaven on Earth). I’d never really appreciated butter of any kind before that trip to Paris because my mom bought margarine and that’s what I grew up on. My grandmother had butter at her house and I recall thinking it tasted…oily. And because the size of my butt has been an issue my…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Loving My Own Words Edition

    When Liz and I were on retreat earlier this month, we spent a lot of time discussing our WIPs. At one point she read me something she’d just written and said, “I really love it. That’s so nice when you like your own stuff.” I had to agree. I have to confess, I am one of those writers who needs to do that—read what I wrote previously in order to get into writing mode. I sometimes wonder if that’s because I’m an editor in my heart (and in my day job), but I don’t think I’m the only writer who works this way. I’ve tried just picking up where I…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Mother’s Day Edition

    It’s Mother’s Day. About every seven years or so, my mom’s birthday, which is May 13, lands on Mother’s Day Sunday. Not this year and honestly, I’m glad. The bittersweet of that convergence of memory-inducing events is enough to put me into a fetal position in the corner. There are days even after 33 years–dear lord, Mom has been gone 33 years!–that I miss my mother so much I ache with it. Not because she and I were all that close when I became an adult because we weren’t really. What I miss is my mommy. The woman who read to me endlessly, even when she was exhausted from working…