What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I mentioned the Spilled Milk podcast briefly when I featured Molly Wizenburg’s book, Delancey, in Books and Brews a couple of months ago, but I’m still listening, and so I’m mentioning it again. It’s two comedians/writers (Molly & Matthew Amster-Burton) talking about food. Everything from lima beans to espresso. I’ve learned some things along the way, (like how it’s the length of time that the water spends in contact with the grounds that determines the amount of caffeine in your cup) but mostly I just love this one because it’s laugh-out-loud-while-walking-to-work funny. I think the best podcasts feel like you’re dropping in on a really great conversation between friends, and Spilled Milk hits exactly that mark. A couple of my very favorite episodes are Peanut Butter Cookies and S’mores. Continue reading

Books & Brews: From the Sideline / New Belgium Brewing’s Shift Pale Lager

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it. 

This month I read Amy Avanzino’s second novel, FROM THE SIDELINE. Technically it’s the second book in her Wake-up Series, but I had no problem reading it as a stand-alone without reading the first book (though I really want to, now). In FROM THE SIDELINE, the main character, Autumn Kovac, reluctantly allows her only son to try out for the local youth football team. She’s terrified about sending her ten-year-old onto the field to be tackled by faster, larger, and far more coordinated children. She’s convinced he’ll sustain a head-injury, at worst, or be ridiculed by his peers, at other worst. Even though she can’t see any positive outcome, trying out for the team is only thing has made him happy since his father left– so she gives him the green light, certain he won’t make the cut. When he does, she finds herself thrown into a world she knows nothing about and finds out she has as much learning and growing to do as her son, if not more.

Here’s what I loved about the book: Continue reading

Books & Brews: Heart Conditions / Saison du BUFF

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

HEART CONDITIONS is the third book in Phoebe Fox’s Breakup Doctor series which chronicles the adventures of therapist Brook Ogden as she helps her clients through heartbreak, while navigating her own relationships with family, friends, and lovers. The concept is a fresh take on the age-old notion of physician heal thyself. As a writer, it’s the type or premise you read and think– that’s brilliant, why didn’t I think of that? Here’s what I loved about this book: Continue reading

Books & Brews: English as a Second Language / Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. Some time ago I set out to write a monthly post pairing a book with a beer, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book. Then I got a bit overwhelmed by all the options (so many amazing books, so little time) and the series fizzled. This month, I’m bringing it back infused with a bit more structure and all the same awesome-ness. On the last Thursday of every month I’ll pair a women’s fiction novel with the perfect pint to sip while reading it. Here goes …

Last week my debut novel was released in paperback for the first time. Holding that first story in my hands as brought on all sorts of nostalgia, so I’m going back in time a bit for this first pairing. The book that started it all for me, the one I related to in such a way that I had that very first nagging thought that perhaps I too could write something was Megan Crane’s, English as a Second Language. Continue reading

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Again

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I was browsing the used books in my neighborhood thrift shop when a young woman came in. Something caught her eye and she leapt across the store to the women’s clothing section, waving her greeting to the guy behind the counter on her way.

“No!” she exclaimed when she finally laid her hands on the object of her attention. Continue reading

Ripping off the Labels

I say: “I’m a self-published author.”  “I write chick lit or you know, women’s fiction, or whatever.”  “My novel is more commercial than literary.”

Which sounds a lot like: “I’m not ready.” “I don’t believe in my story.” “My book isn’t worthy.”

Outside the writing/publishing industry issues about  traditional publishing, self publishing, chick lit, women’s fiction and the never-ending battle between commercial fiction and literary fiction aren’t particularly hot topics.  I’ve  never understood their divisiveness and command of debate within the industry.  I still don’t.

What I have come to understand is my role in perpetuating the power of these labels.  Every time I qualify something I write in one of these ways it sounds like I am making an apology.  Which I most certainly am not.

So instead, I will say: “I am an author.” “I write.” “My novel is awesome.”

I encourage you to do the same.