Last weekend I [wo]manned a booth with four other She Writes Press authors at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Having been super COVID cautious over the past two years, I was apprehensive about the prospect of being among crowds, as well as occupying close quarters with four other people, some of whom had been out and about for weeks, maybe months. Still, I knew it was time to step outside my comfort zone. I figured I’d mask up, keep my distance from others as much as possible, and hope for the best. But when I arrived, no one was masked, and oddly, I didn’t feel the need to don one. It was as if I’d returned to the world, and everything was normal again. It felt amazing to connect with people in-person. Saturday morning, a woman sprayed saliva while speaking, and instead of worrying about catching COVID, I saw the humor in it: me with my health anxieties, uber COVID cautious for over two years, coming face-to-face with a sialoquent within my first hour out. It was comical to me; I laughed. But I digress.
It’s a little early in the season for sunflowers, but they will bloom before too long—and look at this radiance! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be this open? Writing and teaching make me feel this way. How about you? What brings out your inner beauty?
Last week, when I sat down to write my New Year’s letter, I felt a ton of resistance. I didn’t know why, but the thought of writing it made me both squeamish and sluggish. I procrastinated for a week.
“Just a reminder that you don’t have to make resolutions. Or huge decisions. Or big proclamations. You can just set some sweet intentions and take each day as it comes.”
I was surprised by the relief I felt reading the above Facebook post written by Barbara Bos in Women Writers, Women [’s] Books on January 1. I hadn’t realized how worked up I’d become approaching the new year. My inbox was flooded with “self-improvement” invitations and opportunities.
The holidays are here. And while it might be “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be the most stressful.
I keep a snow globe on my desk to remind me of two things: 1) how my mind works, and 2) what I’m made of (what’s inside me). You might think that a pile of five stacked rocks is an odd protagonist for a snow globe, but it resonates with me in four meaningful ways:
A few weeks ago at FedEx, I spotted a book near the checkout counter: Dare to Doodle. I picked it up, flipped through the pages, and thought, This is so cool! I was about to buy it when another voice kicked in and said, You suck at drawing.
Last week I received a call from Gail Warner, a therapist friend and owner of Pine Manor Retreat Center, in Lake Elsinore, California, to tell me that she’d used the title of my new book (Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?) as a sand tray prompt during a recent group session.
I took this photo at the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens on a walkway in the new Chinese garden. I love that each stone is unique and has its place, but is part of the whole. The stones are connected in a mysterious, intricate weave. And so are we.
Today is my official publication day (Pub Day)! If you’ve already ordered a copy, thank you! It’s on its way! E-books should appear on your e-reader. Paperbacks will arrive soon. If you haven’t yet ordered a copy, I’d be grateful if you’d do that now. You may purchase it wherever books are sold. Or, you may order one here. Book sales today are very important and set the tone for the success of the book. I appreciate your support and am proud of this book, which will inspire and inform writers and other creative people.
Get 80+ writing prompts from my new book to ignite your creativity, gain clarity, and reach your personal and professional goals!