Find the Truth

If any of you keep a diary or write letters (or emails), or blog, you’ll know what I mean when I say writing is therapeutic. Reading good writing is, too. It’s enlightening. Informing. Awesome.

Especially when you arrive at a truth. That is writing at its best. Today, I write about truth over at Julia Munroe Martin’s blog. I’d like to close comments on this post in the hopes that you’ll head over and comment there, but I can’t figure out how to do that (Nina Badzin, where are you when I need you??).

Please do head over and let us know how good writing influences you, whether you’re a writer or a reader.

Read my post HERE or click on the image below. Thanks.

Click on the image to read my post


The Rooms Are Filled

Happy Publication Day!

  • Today, at long last, about three years after I started writing, is publication day for The Rooms Are Filled. The book is available everywhere books are sold, like here and here and hereIf you’re game, please share this news with your friends, family, and book clubs today. There are some easy sharing buttons below.
  • Here’s an inside peek into the life of this writer on pub morning: I’ve just dropped my children off at school, I’ve poured a cup of coffee and am considering a shower, and then I shall figure out how and whether I can add photos to my newsletter emails. Then, I will pick my children up.
  • I also have the first chapter of the book up on JukePop Serials — you know, the old-fashioned way of publishing. If you’re interested in reading a bit before you buy, click HERE.
  • *TONIGHT*: Google Hangout at 7pm Central. It’s online, so grab a drink, put on your pajamas, turn on your computer, and join us! My two friends will be interviewing me live. We’ll chat about the book, writing it as an at-home mom, and publishing. Please click HERE for details.
  • I am getting wonderful feedback about the book (and not just from people who love me). Feedback like this:

“The only other book I remember reading in 2 days was The Poisonwood Bible. I’m generally distractible, but I couldn’t put this down.”

“It was as good as any of the books I’ve read recently — and I mostly only read books on the top seller lists because I never know where to look for recommendations. In other words, there could be room on those shelves for you. It stayed with me long after putting it down and I can’t wait to read your next one.”

“A painful read but one anyone who has ever been on the outside can relate to. Beautiful.”

I wrote a book I’m proud of, and I’m enjoying the ride. Thanks for being a part of it.


PSOn to Minneapolis! See where else I’m headed HERE. And let me know if you have friends there I should invite!


Hope to Meet You

I put off writing a blog for a long time. It seemed everyone and their mother had one–what could I add? But I really wanted to write one. I love personal essays. I love the everyday stories of everyday people.

And everyone was telling me that if I was writing a book, I needed to get myself online. Have a “presence” and whatnot. But I didn’t want to start a blog unless it was me. So I thought and thought about it. It seems simple now, but it was about a year before I had the idea to make this blog what it is today–a place to share stories in an effort to better understand ourselves and one another. The simplest is usually the answer.

So I started True STORIES., established the almighty platform. But all of you readers here mean so much more to me than any step in a marketing plan. You are my refuge, my grounding, my reminder of why I write–not only these essays but even my novel. When the book world gets scary, as it often does, I come back here.

In fact, I consider this such a refuge that I sometimes forget to fill you in on the book side of my life. So I’d like to invite you to some of the events that have already been planned, in hopes that some of you might be able to come and we can meet. I’ve pasted them below. If none of those work for you, my friends will be hosting a Google Hangout on the evening my book is published–April 22, 7pm Central. Here’s a link to the event description:

My friends and hosts even created a questionnaire so you can ask me questions that I’ll answer that night.  It’s super easy to fill out and submit, I’d love for you to be part of the conversation:

Other upcoming events:

April 16 — Arlington Heights, Illinois.  Official Book Launch! Barnes & Noble, 13 W. Rand Road. 7-9pm. This event is free and open to the public.

April 22 — Online. Google Hangout, 7pm Central.

May 1 — Palatine, Illinois.  Palatine High School’s Writers Day. For students and faculty of Palatine High School.

May 2 — Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Reading & signing. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. 7-9pm. This event is free and open to the public.

May 12 — Denver, Colorado.  Reading & signing. Tattered Cover, Historic LoDo, 1628 16th Street. 7:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

May 21 — St. Joseph, Michigan.  Reading & signing. Forever Books, 312 State Street. 7pm. This event is free and open to the public.

May 28 — Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Women’s Speaker Series, Lynden Sculpture Garden. 7-9pm . Tickets include an autographed copy of The Rooms Are Filled, refreshments, and admission to the sculpture garden. Register online now.

That’s what I’ve got so far, possibly more to come. If you’d like to stay updated on future events and publications, please sign up for my newsletter. My Facebook Author page doesn’t reach everyone who has “liked” it, so a newsletter is the best way I can figure to get you information. As long as I remember to send it. 🙂

Publication: What’s Most Important

It’s getting close to publication day and I realize this is the first and last time I’ll ever have the “first book” experience. I’m trying to savor it, to step back and see this for what it is: an amazing moment and the accomplishment of something that’s been in my bones for a long, long time.

This lead-up to publication hasn’t all been easy, though. I got a bit frazzled for awhile there, and I wrote the following post that’s over at She Writes today: One Month from Publication and I’ve Figured Out What’s Important. I hope you’ll check it out to see what I’ve learned these last few weeks. I think it applies to any big goal, writer or not. And if that doesn’t tempt you, there’s the promise of gravy. You’ll see.


Barn Happy

It’s frigid again today—blue sky sunny sort of frigid. The coldest winter days are always the sunniest. The children are off school for the third time this month; tomorrow will mark the fourth. Thankfully, some neighbors asked them to play, so they get rid of some cabin fever and I get to write.

When I was a girl, I begged my parents to move us to a farm. (My son does the same to me now; can this really be genetic?) I would clip bits from the real estate section of the newspaper advertising farms in Wisconsin for sale and present my case to them. It never worked and, alas, we stayed in our suburban home my entire childhood.

I now live in that same suburb, in a 1925 farmhouse (of course). There are four original barns left in this entire sprawling suburb, and I’m lucky enough to be able to see one of them, our neighbor’s, from the window next to my writing desk:


Not bad, right?

Looking at this barn seems to stimulate all the thoughts swirling in my head, all the stories. Every morning, I open my blinds and I am happy to see the barn standing there, as it has for over one hundred years.

The anxious anticipation of releasing a book in a few months is becoming stronger. This barn keeps the anxiety at bay and reminds me that there are many stories to tell and I will continue telling them. One book is one book. There are others to come.

My publisher emailed me the other day with my first Goodreads review, pre-release (my book comes out April 22). I’m happy in a barn sort of way to share it with you here. I don’t know this person, but I love her for making my first review ever as an author a good one:

BOOK REVIEWERS: An advance copy of my novel, The Rooms Are Filled, is now on NetGalley. Click HERE to request an e-book.