Writing

Here is a sampling of some of my other writings. If you enjoy these, please read about Hand Me Down! You can also check out more of my musings on writing and life at my blog.

Most Recent:

My essay, “What We Keep” won The Florida Review Editor’s Prize and was published in issue 40. I’m both super proud of this essay and terrified of people reading it. Read an excerpt, and please be kind.

True Nourishment is More Than Food in Good Housekeeping. “I tell this funny story sometimes, about how I know what cat food tastes like…” My essay from the May issue was a kick-off to the magazine’s campaign to help end childhood hunger and support the non-profit, No Kid Hungry.

On Writing:

My TNB Self InterviewThe Nervous Breakdown does a great feature in which authors interview themselves. I love these and was excited to get to do one myself. I’m pretty proud of this. I ask myself about forgiveness, early writing influences and Christopher Pike, and what it was like to recognize the “unidentified Hispanic male exposing himself to women” on the local news as my stepdad.

Learning to Let Go: A Control Freak on Publishing a Novel on Beyond the Margins. “But here’s the thing it took me twenty years to begin to understand (though accepting it is an entirely different beast): you never control all the variables. In life, or in publishing. No matter how hard you try.”

My First Story Acceptance, Which Led to, My First Moment of BeliefSelf-doubt, Molly Giles, and the power of hope. This is a piece featured on The Quivering Pen‘s “My First Time” series about my first short story publication and the day that made me believe that a career as a writer just might be possible.

Judgment Days: Five Things I Learned About Having Your Book ReviewedI wrote this piece for Blurb is a Verb about the agony and ecstasy of having your book reviewed. “It’s not like I can’t take criticism. I can, of course, take criticism.”

My Posts for Author’s Desk, the Penguin Publishing Blog:

I Didn’t Always Want to Be a Writer: “For most of my youth, I wanted to be a rock star or an actress; thought performing was my destiny. My dad was a drummer in a band and his best friend had a recording studio in his garage, so my sister and I recorded our first original song at the ages of six and four called, “I Got the Baby Blues, Baby.””

From Teen Journals to Published Book: Truth in Fiction“One of the most common questions I’ve received this year from readers is: “How much of Hand Me Down is true?” As a short answer, I say about 80%. But the truer answer is much more complicated.”

The Power of Shared Stories: “Until I started writing this book in graduate school, I had told very few people the real reason I was forced to move out of my mother’s house when I was fourteen. The embarrassing details of your dysfunctional family are not what you want to lead with when trying to make friends in a new school.”

Book Pregnant:

For  over a year, I contributed monthly to Book Pregnant, a blog about what to expect when you’re expecting a book, with loads of great advice from debut novelists for those newly on the path to publication. We eventually stopped posting new material as our book babies entered the world, but it’s still a valuable resource for anyone wondering about the process of birthing a first book. Here are a few favorites:

How Can I Write Naked When Everyone’s Watching?

My First Agent Crush

Cover Story: How My Book Got Its Face

My Baby Gets a New Face: From Hardcover to Paperback

A Case of the Whatifs: Pre-Publication Jitters         

Nine New Year’s Non-Resolutions for Writers                                                     

Three Ways Non-Writer Job Skills Can Help as You Publish Your Novel

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