Musically Yours

I have a thing for musicals. There’s something riveting about a show that features songs, and I’m very excited to go watch Legally Blonde (yes, there’s also a musical) tonight. My older daughter is actually playing in the pit orchestra for the musical (clarinet and bass clarinet, if you’re interested); it’ll be mostly professional musicians with a smattering of high school students. Here’s her souvenir … Continue reading Musically Yours

Guest Chick: Lyn Liao Butler

Jennifer here, and I’m excited to have Lyn on the blog today. We met in the 2020 Debuts group, and it’s been fascinating how her publishing journey has unfolded, including writing an accidental thriller! My Accidental Thriller My first two books, which came out during the pandemic, are categorized as upmarket fiction, or book club fiction. My option for the third book was supposed to … Continue reading Guest Chick: Lyn Liao Butler

Pack It Up!

So we went on a road trip this past Presidents’ Day weekend. It’s the first pack-your-stuff travel I’ve had in 2023. After my four conferences last year, you’d think I’d be a pro. I’ve got these handy-handy travel items: But despite my detailed list and travel tools, I still managed to forget things on this trip: Here’s hoping I’ve refined my trip techniques before all … Continue reading Pack It Up!

All Things Cozy and Warm

I don’t like the rain. There, I said it. Sorry, El…I know you’re a pluviophile. To be fair, I do appreciate the water and the survival of plants. I also like being inside and reading a book on rainy days. I could do without the flooding and severe weather warnings, though. Apparently, I also can’t handle multiple days of rain and sequential weekends spent indoors. … Continue reading All Things Cozy and Warm

A Journey Through Ornaments

Confession: Sometimes I have Christmas tree envy. I see these beautifully decorated trees in holiday movies or in my neighbors’ homes, and I wonder why our tree isn’t like that—in which I mean artfully styled. For example, who wouldn’t want this cozy tree decked in knitted creations? We recently added a gnome to our ornament collection. A warm welcome to our Gnome Sweet Gnome. We … Continue reading A Journey Through Ornaments

Slippery Meanings

Language changes, evolves. I love that we find new ways of describing things and that we add helpful vocabulary. Unfortunately, I’m also currently feeling like I need to play catch-up. It’s like I’m Vizzini in The Princess Bride, and Inigo Montoya is telling me, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” Case in point: I often find myself asking my kids … Continue reading Slippery Meanings

Guest Chick: Denise Swanson

Jennifer here, offering a warm welcome to Denise Swanson! She’s here to share about the fascinating hunt for great names. Thanks, Denise! The Name Game I’ve always been fascinated with names. Maybe because I always hated my first name. Granted, Denise is better than the one my parents first considered—Ernestina after my father. But I would have much preferred a more elegant name like Kathryn … Continue reading Guest Chick: Denise Swanson

Mnemonic Devices—Love Them or Hate Them?

I’m working on a new manuscript, and in it, I reference a rainbow. The mnemonic I learned in school, ROYGBIV, popped into my head. Great! Now I could label the colors! Wait a minute. Shouldn’t I know the hues without needing a reminder? How much do I rely on these mind tricks to help me? Certainly, when I competed in Science Olympiad (nerd alert!) in … Continue reading Mnemonic Devices—Love Them or Hate Them?

Guest Chick: Fleur Bradley and #Giveaway

Jennifer here, and I’m super happy to have Fleur Bradley on our blog again. Fleur and I met online years ago, and I always enjoy her stories for young readers. (Don’t tell the kids that I read Fleur’s books first before I pass them on!) What’s Your Daybreak? Or: My Pandemic Book By Fleur Bradley I’m a big Elly Griffiths fan and preorder all her … Continue reading Guest Chick: Fleur Bradley and #Giveaway

The Perfect Croissant/Word

I’ve been having an almond croissant craving recently. And I’m picky about my croissants. They need to be flaky and not too crispy on the outside. I also like them with plenty of almond paste filling and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Maybe I want a croissant because I’m in the middle of edits. I’m in my revisions cave attempting to incorporate comments … Continue reading The Perfect Croissant/Word

Little Lanterns of Hope

I’ve always loved Chinese lanterns. Maybe it was because we had one hanging up in my childhood home. Or the fact that I did a school presentation on their use in the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. There’s something beautiful about a row of lanterns displayed together: Maybe I just like their vivid colors or the lights contained inside them. Lanterns always seem so cheerful. I once … Continue reading Little Lanterns of Hope

Guest Chick: Faye Snowden (And #Giveaway)

Jennifer here, and I’m happy to welcome Faye Snowden today! Faye is offering a generous combo giveaway to one lucky winner. She’ll be sharing about how she used her bookshelf as a resource for A Killing Rain and give us some great writing self-help book recommendations. My self-help journey By Faye Snowden If you’ve listened to any of my podcast interviews or seen me on … Continue reading Guest Chick: Faye Snowden (And #Giveaway)