• 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…

  • Writing Retreat Report #3

    I asked Liz what I should talk about in the report and she smiled and said, “Just that we had a good day.” And so we did. We got a lot of writing in, a lot of talking, and a lot of walking! After our writing session this morning, we walked into town for brunch at the Downtowner and wandered around a bit, although there wasn’t much to see because most of the shops aren’t open here yet. Lots still closed from Covid and actually the season here hasn’t truly begun yet. I did find a lovely pair of aquamarine earrings and Liz got a really cute top at a…

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  • Retreat Report #2

    Hey, it’s Liz Flaherty here making myself at home on Nan’s blog. Hope you’re having a good day. We’re enjoying our time in Madison. We went out for a piece of pie this afternoon because the weather on my iPhone said it wasn’t going to rain for awhile. Well. Ahem. We did find out that all Nan’s sweetness and light (and a dose of chocolate and pecans) won’t dissolve when wet. We both thought she was carrying her umbrella when we left, and then when she couldn’t find it, we thought she left it in a store. A return stop there assured us she had not and gave me a…

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  • Retreat Report

    We’re here and it’s been a good first day. Liz has gotten some writing done, I’ve gotten some other stuff done that needed doing, but I’m brewing the opening of Beck’s book, so I imagine I’ll start writing tomorrow. Our drive down was leisurely and fun. We stopped at charming little Stream Cliff Farm in Commiskey for an outdoor lunch and to buy some wine. I also got a gift for Husband because I love him and it was too sweet to pass up. Don’t tell him, though, it’s a surprise. Everyone had on their masks, which was nice. Our little cottage is adorable and we love it! It’s just…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The OMG, I’m So Excited Edition

    Yup, I am about to jump out of my fur, I’m so excited! Liz and I are headed out tomorrow for our first writing retreat in well over a year and a half. Frankly, we’re both flipping around with joy! It’s been months since we’ve seen each other and I can’t wait to spend 4 days with her, writing, talking, drinking wine and coffee, eating, processing, catching up… it’s going to be glorious. The weather report for Madison, Indiana, which is where we’re headed sucks–I mean it truly sucks. Rain the entire time we are down there and cool-ish temps, so no fun spring clothes, but you know what? I…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The Do I Make Difference Edition

    I love this bit of wisdom from John Matthew Fox—a writer and editor whose emails I subscribe to. It’s something that I’ve thought about in regard to my own books and then dismissed because it seemed unimaginable that my books would affect anyone beyond a few hours of pleasurable reading. But, as I struggled with the latest River’s Edge story—Max and Lauren’s—I came back to this snippet from Fox. Truth is, my words do matter and when I write them, even when I struggle with the story and it feels as if I’m pulling the words from the very depths of my soul, my books matter. They make a difference…

  • Sunday Snippet: The Writing Furiously Edition

    And so I have been, writing furiously that is. Close to 8ooo words in a week. That’s pretty heavy writing for yours truly. One thing that has really helped up that word count is sprinting. If you don’t already know, sprints are timed writing challenges that writers do together. Sometimes it’s just Liz and me, other times it’s Liz, me, and several Tule authors that get together online. We chat for a few minutes (okay, whine), and then we turn off our cameras and mics and each spend anywhere from 25 minutes to 50 minutes writing. It’s not a time for editing or research, it’s a time for getting words…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The Muzzy Edition

    Mushy mind—it’s a thing and wow, do I have it right now. I have a very bad case of mind mush—my ability to focus and function is seriously out of whack. I’m not sure if it’s pandemic weariness or spring fever or the sinus infection I’m nursing right now, but for some reason, my brain is muddled. Fact is, I’m just not able to focus on much of anything right now. My grandmother used to say she was muzzy—isn’t that a great word? I’m muzzy. My writer friend, Anne Stuart, often quotes Anne Lamott’s story about a time when her little brother was overwhelmed with a science project cataloguing birds…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The Validation Edition

    You know who I envy? Writers who have complete faith in their work and themselves. The ones who write a book and always know immediately that it’s great stuff and is going to sell like hotcakes. Or the ones who may know their work needs help, but believe so strongly in their own stories that they push on, striving to make them better. They never doubt their abilities or spend days wondering what they’re doing trying to write a novel, for Pete’s sake. They don’t wonder if they’re fooling everyone, including themselves, with this whole author thing. Sometimes, I can be that writer. When a scene works perfectly, when I’ve…

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  • Sunday Snippet: The Baking/Creating Edition

    This post may seem familiar but at the encouragement of my writing bestie, Liz Flaherty, I’m repeating the one I posted at Word Wranglers this week. I think my audience is different here, but I’m not sure. Anyway, she feels the words bear repeating. I hope you think so, too. I love to bake. I love that if I mix together butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and other sundry ingredients, I will get a basic cookie dough. If I add chocolate chips or nuts or oatmeal or raisins, I’ll have a special tasty treat. Baking is relaxation for me in a way that nothing else is—not even reading or swimming or…

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