RSCDS, or Finding Community

Five or six years ago, I was in grad school.  It was probably one of the more miserable years of my life. I was sleep deprived (getting up at 5 every morning to catch the bus to the train to school, and up until 1 or 2 completing work), struggling (my stat’s professor saw me in ever single office hour she had), and all-around miserable. I didn’t realize it until after I quit (a very good day), but I had fallen into a major depressive episode.

In the midst of all this, I did have one good point. I’d made a friend during the orientation and we rode in together each morning. We’d talk about anything and everything and one of our conversations ended up covering one of his hobbies- Scottish Country Dance.

Read More »


Adieu, Rainbow Railing

When we first moved to Maryland, I spent a lot of time painting things. The bank that owned the house before use had painted every single wall beige.  I’m not a beige fan, so I spent hours (and our friends spent hours, to be honest) covering it all with a bright white.  But since I thought we’d be living here forever, I also painted a few walls bright blue because it’s pretty. I also painted this:


Read More »


Marcus Tullius Cicero (apparently a person worth quoting) is said to have said “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

At first glance, I thought this was a pretty cool quote.  After all, I like a lot of other book quotes. “If you go home with someone and they don’t have any books, don’t fuck ’em.” -John Waters

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” -Ernest Hemingway

Read More »


Have I done this before?  I sure hope not, but with a memory like mine-and a disinclination for actually looking it up-we’ll never know.

Anyway!  One of my internet friends is querying right now, which made me think of my time querying, at the end of 2016.  So, just in case it’s helpful for other people, here’s The Query Letter That Got Me An Agent, and the breakdown of how I wrote it.Read More »

Phryne Fisher

The header for

The Phryne Fisher series are traditional, rather than cozy, because there is both blood AND sex on the page, but the most incredible thing is how character-driven these books are.

Most mysteries are interesting for the plots.  You want to know who did The Crime and why.  That’s why I find so few mysteries rereadable.  Once I know the answer, what do I care about discovering it again?  (I struggle with this in my books, not going to lie.)

But Phryne is different.

Read More »

Cozy Mysteries and Why You Should Love Them

You know that feeling when you’re the only one on Tumblr in a fandom?

Well as far as I can tell, I’m the only Tumblr user who’s into reading and writing cozies.

Which makes sense.  I mean, cozies are basically exclusively marketed to women forty and up.

But the thing is, I really love the genre, and it kind of sucks that more people don’t know about it.

So, as with all people who find themselves alone in a fandom, my new goal for 2018 is to start shouting about it as loudly as I can until someone caves and joins me.Read More »

My favorite charities 2017: Part Two

As much as I wanted to spend the weekend watching John Green cover his face in a variety of face-inappropriate substances (like peanut butter and sharpie), I had thoughtlessly planned not one but TWO parties this weekend.  Still, substituting forty-eight hours of partying for forty-eight hours of livestream watching wasn’t all bad.  Except maybe in the eyes of our foster cat, who doesn’t like crowds.

Anyway, here’s another charity recommendation!


Gerald Durrell’s books about his childhood in Corfu (now a TV series, thanks BBC!) and his adult life collecting animals for zoos, then starting his own zoo, were a cornerstone of my childhood reading.  After he began his zoo, which is dedicated to rehabilitating endangered populations, he began the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

A donation to the Durrell Trust is always on my Christmas wishlist- and you don’t just get a warm, fuzzy feeling for your money!  Over the years family members have surprised me with books from the Durrell Trust store and an “adopted” pied tamarin named Dobby.  (A perfect overlap of my passions.)

Money given to the Durrell Trust goes to their training of people around the world in conservation programs (50 programs in 18 countries, according to their website) as well as the Jersey Zoo, where they manage their breeding programs.

An interesting fact- Henry Cavill was named their celebrity ambassador the year before I had any idea who he was. Only this month did I ever actually see him in a movie.

My favorite charities 2017: Part One

With Project for Awesome coming up, I realized I haven’t told you my favorite programs to throw money at yet!  Here’s number one:


The Harry Potter Alliance takes all of that fan power and puts it to real-world use.  They’ve successfully campaigned for slavery-free chocolate in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter parks, run a woman-led leadership program, and donate hundreds (thousands?) of books to areas in need.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Conveniently, they’ll be part of the Project for Awesome this weekend, you- and I- will have lots of ways to donate to them, from “liking” the videos that people made to support the HPA to giving directly to the organization.


Harry Potter and the WHAT DO YOU MEAN STANDBY

The big news today, of course, is that Cursed Child tickets go on sale Wednesday and the very bizarre ticket-purchasing made started today. So this morning, I and thousands of my closest friends woke up, scrambled to check our emails and… nothing.

The weird “advanced notice that you can maybe buy tickets later” emails didn’t arrive until well after noon. And alas, I got this one:Read More »