Writing Through Doubt

I’m going to admit something shocking.

I have anxiety. And a lot of the time, anxiety breeds self-doubt.

I know, you didn’t see that coming.

Read More »


The Big Orlando Move

We’ve been here a little over a week now. The apartment is starting to look like an apartment and we’ve gotten the hang of some of the building’s quirks, like inside hallways and valet trash pickup.

There’s still a lot to do, of course. Nothing’s on the walls and we don’t have a bed yet. (I’m actually getting used to sleeping on an air mattress. Give me a real one and I won’t know what to do with myself.)

Part of why there’s still so much to do is because Orlando is one of the most fun places I’ve ever lived. We’ve been to a farmer’s market, tried out a ton of restaurants, gone to an event at the farmer’s market, and visited both Disney World and Universal. In between times we’ve been building the Lego castle (you can see our progress on my Instagram).

This was definitely a good move.  Of course, part of it is that we’re still in the honeymoon period and tomorrow starts work. It’ll be an adventure to see if we can keep our minds on task when the whole city is begging us to come out and experience it!

Do you have any recommendations for places to go or things to do? What’s your favorite place you’ve ever lived? Let me know!

P.S. My mss is at 48k words!

Waipi’o Valley

Although no one’s read it yet, anyone who gets their hands on my current manuscript is going to know immediately that I’m madly in love with the Big Island. We lived there for two years and figure that, whenever we settle down, it’ll be back there. Neither of us have ever felt that kind of connection with a place before.

The downside to setting a book there (besides that fact that draft 0 was more ‘love story to the island’ than ‘murder mystery’) is that my memory is made of old sponge. It’ll hold information for exactly as long as its relevant, but no longer. What was my first address? Dunno. How do you find the median? Not a clue.

So I’m doing a lot of research.  And parts of that research won’t make it into the book, no matter how much I wish they could.

For instance: the mysterious Waipi’o Tea House.

Read More »

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 PhryneFisher.com

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.