Out of The Snarl and Into The Joy

May 30, 2024

The tender new-green freshness of spring continues here in Northern Colorado because we’ve had so much rain. I don’t want to go inside, it’s so fragrant. Poppies and peonies and lilacs galore. I’ve obsessively planted my pots and window boxes (or rather porch boxes) and sing to my flowers every morning. My neighbors just smile and look away.


Part of my work as a writing coach and a big part of my work as a successful author has been learning how to market books. I’m good at it.

But I’ve never offered a class in how to market — until now.

Marketing your Non-Fiction Book while Writing it with the amazing AJ Harper

Start June 12th

This is NOT a course where we overwhelm you with info, but more of a lab where we tell you what you need to do, and why, you go do it, and then we give you feedback.

And no YOU DO NOT need to have your book finished or even close to finished!

Join us — it’s going to be stellar. And fun. Yes, marketing can be fun!


It’s been another month of wheel-turning and head scratching — I’ll figure out one story question and another three will pop up. While part of me is impatient and churlish that I’ve only written a few new scenes, another part of me knows the book is coming together. The deeper truths about the story are coming to light like rare artifacts in an archeological dig.

It’s so exciting that I have a hard time staying with my writing some days. The joy of creating a whole world, a world where older women have power, where older women save millions from a massive heat wave, where magic is real, is almost too much for me to handle.

Managing this energy has always been my challenge with fiction writing — I love it so much that I find myself out of my chair, dead heading flowers, doing the dishes, picking up Willa poo. Wait, how did I get here?

I’m becoming the person who can bear the love of writing what she has always wanted to write. One word, one breath at a time. I’m becoming the person who can bear the joy.


I write a newsletter based on the themes of my novel and how you too can own your power and let the joy flow. If you haven’t subscribed or read this month’s articles, click here: It’s Too Late

From the national best-selling author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and Why Bother.

5 Ways to Start
Your Non-Fiction Book

You can write your book faster, easier, and better.

I’ve written 9 books with about a million copies sold.

I’m not one of those creepy people who make it hard to unsubscribe or email you again nine years after you’ve unsubscribed. Giving me your email is like a coffee date, not a marriage proposal.


Being patient with impatience by Grant Faulkner. “One of the strange laws of the contemplative life,” the monk, mystic, and poet Thomas Merton said, “is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems: you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Or until life solves them for you.” Needed to read this!

Writing interiority is challenging. The novelist Rebecca Makkai has written three brilliant articles on it — here you go: part one, part two, part three. I’ve sent these articles to all my fiction writing clients!

For my memoir and personal essay writers who have gotten comment, “I need to know more about you’re feeling,” read this from Alexander Chee.


We tried Mary & George and while it’s beautifully made and the writing is incredible, I got tired of all the sex and scheming. I just didn’t care enough about the characters.

We went back to an old favorite For All Mankind (Apple) and started Franklin (Apple). For All Mankind is an alternative history where the space program flourishes, women are among the first astronauts, and BIPOC astronauts are equally represented. Also, John Lennon doesn’t get shot and Sally Ride is alive! The show is sometimes a stretch to believe but it’s beautifully produced and acted. We are enthralled. Franklin is also interesting — he was 72 when he went to France.

My best reads last month included The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings — the writing is juicy, the magical world intentive, and I loved the sly humor. I struggled with the mom’s character and the narrative structure but in the end really liked it.

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, Eric Ozawa (Translator) reminded me of Murakami but lighter.

Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen is about the Vietnamese immigrant experience and family dynamics, the inner workings of nail salons, and finding your way at all stages of life.

I’m on the fence about The Fortune Seller — it was hard for me to understand the choices the main character made earlier in the book and it took a long time to set up the story. But the writing is terrific and the second half is suspenseful

The Water Outlaws by S.L. Haung is so much fun. Female bandits meting out justice, spiritual elements in the magic system, and excellent action sequences– yes, please.

Give War and Peace a Chance by Andrew K. Kaufman is a great read-a-long with War & Peace, which I’m participating in a year long read.

The Work of Art by Adam Moss is the book I always wanted but didn’t even know I needed. It would make an incredible gift for any creative in your life.

What have you been reading or watching? Hit reply and tell me.

Keep loving, keep living, keep creating!

Jettison Self-Doubt and Lose the Itty-Bitty-Shitty Committee and Make Your Thing Now

From the national best-selling author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and Why Bother.

Made for writers, artists, mail art makers, knitters of sock puppets, creative entrepreneurs, photographers, Tarot readers, and anybody who needs to make stuff they love.

I’m not one of those creepy people who make it hard to unsubscribe or email you again nine years after you’ve unsubscribed. Giving me your email is like a coffee date, not a marriage proposal.