Knocking off the rust

I feel like my blogging skills have gotten a bit rusty since the book tour. Sorry about that, friends. I promise to try harder.

Sometimes the problem is that the kind of thoughts that I want to put into a blog post feel like they will need hours of writing and shaping, and then I’ll have to find the right photo to go with them, or maybe a video, or maybe I ought compose an original tune for piano and mandolin, which means that first I’ll have to learn to play both instruments, and….

You get my drift.

This is the same kind of game my brain plays with me when it comes to my own writing. I hesitate to put any words down somedays because I can see all the things I need to do before I set the words down that will make those words shiny and perfect.


The critical step of writing – any kind of writing – is to pluck the words from your forehead and set them down on paper or screen. Write, don’t think. Just get it down. I am going to try to walk my own talk on this blog in an effort to knock the rust off my brain and encourage the words to flow again.


What kind of day is today? It’s a laundry day, a tying-up-loose-ends day. Trace Adkins on the stereo. And Big & Rich. Scaring the dogs as I sing along at the top of my lungs. Packing for this weekend’s writer’s conference. Planning a date with my husband. Wishing it was time to go to the gym. Ready to plant seeds in my soul.

How about you?



Hey, Big Apple!

I am coming to New York City!!

On Sunday, March 20 at 4pm, I’ll be speaking at Symphony Space.

I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!!! (so excited, I find myself pounding the caps lock and spitting out exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!)

It gets better.

I will be chatting with the One, the Only, Maureen Johnson, who is a great writer and quite possibly the funniest woman in the world.

This is a ticketed event, so you’ll want to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Bring your book club. Bring your mom. Dad. Bring the whole family!!!

And also….

Please bring some ibufrofen and bags of ice. And a few bananas. I wouldn’t mind a bagel, either.


Because that morning I will be running (i.e. shuffling with great purpose) the New York City Half-Marathon. So, no, I will not be demonstrating any tap dancing routines at Symphony Space. But come anyway. We’re going to have a blast.



Catalyst videos!

It is such an honor and so much fun to watch videos based on my books! Here are two based on Catalyst.

(Why are we thinking about Catalyst right now? It’s anxiety time for high school seniors trying to figure out their paths to college. I send all of you big hugs and virtual cups of chamomile tea.)





Staying warm and inspired

We take the phrase “Christmas season” literally here in the Forest. The decorations are finally coming down today. In a lame attempt at our defense, we had Christmas visitors until last Sunday.

The snow is deep, the wood is dry, the dogs are cuddly. Much of life now is hunkering down for serious reading and writing.

Like oldest daughter Stef is doing here.






People have begun to order sweatshirts from the Mad Woman in the Forest Store. These sweatshirts keep you warm AND have magic threads of inspiration woven into them. Don’t believe me?


We sent a sweatshirt to aspiring author and musician Rebecca (seen above) in the UK and she credits it with helping her compose the original song she’s playing in this video. (I do love this song, don’t you?)

What am I doing to stay inspired? Reading poetry. Swimming (indoor pool, thank you). Running. Free-writing.

What are you doing to stay inspired this winter?