Speaking Up About Consent & Helping Others Heal


Today is your last chance to donate to Speak4RAINN!!

Thank you all so much for the donations and support, and for your part in continuing the conversation about how we need to teach our children about consent so that they might be made safer from being hurt by or committing sexual assault.

Thank you for joining our tribe of loud and proud kindred spirits!

Still unsure how how to talk about consent?

A Fearless Sexuality Educator can help.

Everyday Feminism has some ideas, too.

A mom posted her letter to her sons about rape.

The Good Men Project has many helpful tips.

A high school teacher posted The Day I Taught How Not To Rape. It’s worth reading the comments, too.

One last plea…. please give $10 to RAINN right now. For less than the cost of a movie and popcorn, your gift will help a sexual assault victim speak up and begin the journey to becoming a survivor.

Thank you!






Me & My Chainsaw

A couple of weeks ago I tweeted something to the effect that I’d love to see a PSA of a couple making out, then one pushes the sexual boundaries not respecting the partner’s wishes, and that partner whips out a chainsaw to prevent being sexual assaulted.

Graphic? Perhaps. But sexual violence is graphic and damaging. Maybe a graphic image or two might help potential rapists decide not to break the law and hurt people.

Anyway, author Libba Bray liked the idea and said that if I posted a picture of me with my chainsaw, she’d donate to RAINN.

Libba asks, I deliver.


When you live in a forest and heat with a wood stove, the chainsaw is almost as important as the popcorn maker.


This one’s for you, Libba!

If you loved SPEAK, if sexual violence has hurt you or someone you care about, if you are sick to death of rapeculture bullshit and most of all, if you want to be a helper, please donate $10 to RAINN right now. Your gift will help a victim speak up, heal, and become a survivor. Donate before the fundraiser ends and SPEAK publisher Macmillan will double your gift. There are a bunch of cool incentives, too, head to the donation page to check them out.

Speak up, help others speak up, and remember to listen.

Thank you!

On Changing the World



When I was a newspaper reporter my editors yelled at me constantly for burying the lead. So here it is:

Our RAINN fundraiser has already exceeded its goal!!!!


As I write this, the total stands at $22,315! Most of those donations have been $10 often given by students or newly graduated young women and men still living on ramen noodles and bad coffee. One very generous donor contributed $5000 for the incentive of having me take her out to lunch.

We have five days left and countless souls to help. It has been so energizing to watch people talk openly about sexual assault, about the need to teach our kids consent, debate how to change rape culture and decide to change the world.

Time for you to join the party. We’ve been waiting for you! Give $10 to help sexual assault victims speak up and heal.

Fight rape with hope. Fight rape with RAINN.

Writer Goodies and Gifts!!


As I write this we have nine days left in the Speak4RAINN fundraiser and roughly $7500 to raise in order to meet the goal… and help a lot of sexual assault victims. I would love to see us blast through the goal of $20,000 and help even more people.

The overwhelming response to the auctioning of a manuscript critique (up to a 300 pp mss) took everyone by surprise (winning bid was $3750!) so we decided to roll out more writing-related donation incentives.

If you are a writer and have been looking for a way to take the next step in your journey, this is for you!

If you love a writer and are looking for an amazing gift, this is for you!

If you are or love a reader who lives for all things book-related, this is definitely for you!!

Author Meme


AWESOME READER GIFT: Donate $500 and I will use your name (or the name of someone you know) in my new YA novel.  Perfect for the English teacher who is secretly proud of being Hairwoman or the graduating student who has made her/his parents incredibly proud.

AWESOME WRITER GIFT: Donate $1,000 and I’ll critique a portion of your manuscript and discuss it over Skype. I’ll look at 30 pages of your book AND THEN we’ll sit down to a cozy Skype chat, a long one, to talk about where you are with your work and figure out your next steps.

SECOND AWESOME WRITER/READER GIFT: Donate $1500 and I will join your writer’s group or book club via Skype. I’ve been a member of a critique group for my entire writing career and I know how important these meetings are. We can talk about inspiration, craft, the nuts and bolts of publishing, and/or how to balance your writer life with the rest of your life. With a book group, I’ll answer all questions, explain my inspiration and process if you like, and let you know what I’m working on now. You get everyone in your group to pitch in and we all have a great time!

ULTIMATE WRITER/READER GIFT: (Ask your wealthy aunt or grandfather to get this one for you.) Donate $5,000 and I will come to your town, take you out for breakfast or lunch and talk about writing and life. You can bring up to three friends, because a donation of that magnitude deserves a lot of love.

The goodies are my way of thanking you for helping sexual assault victims speak up, heal, and become survivors. There are a lot of horrible, tragic things happening in the world that we can’t do anything about. But we can do this. We can be the helpers.

Am I right??

(All of the legal-schmegal stuff can be found on the RAINN website. While the writer gifts are not tax-deductible as a charity because you’ll receive services in exchange for your donation,  they are probably deductible as a business expense if you file as an author. PLEASE NOTE! I have a linguistics (not accounting) degree and my taxes are done by a nice CPA named Pete, so you should consult with your own tax professional about this.)

Life’s Marathon

After the Boston attack yesterday, I didn’t promote the Speak4RAINN campaign. I also turned down a speaking gig last night because the timing felt disrespectful.

This morning the world is back to business, it seems, except for those most directly affected. This is reality, I know. But it makes me sad. I’m stuck between the desire to stop and pay attention, mourn, pray, and the need to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Other countries have been dealing with things like this – sometimes daily – for years & years. We Americans are new at this. Uncertain. Unsettled.

I ran the Marine Carps Marathon in 2011. (My first of many, I hope.) Every time I woke up last night I was thinking about that race. There are so many parallels between marathon running & life, marathon running & writing.

At the Marine Corps Marathon, I learned a lot from watching the wounded vets who raced in wheelchairs. Their defiance affirms life at its very best; to live and to live energetically. Enthusiastically. To defy death and the death-bringers and the haters until our last breath. To celebrate for however many days and hours we are graced with.

Which is a long way of saying that I am pushing on to the next mile and the miles after that, and after that.

My job now is to raise money so sexual assault victims get the help & support they need. Plz donate $10 to http://rainn.org/speak