On Daisies in Beer Bottles Outside Hotel Rooms

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Look closely at that picture of a door above– see those daisies in the lower left corner? They are in a beer bottle and placed very intentionally outside a hotel room door. My husband and I happened across them very, very early this past weekend (i.e. before 5:30am), as we were leaving to check in for a race we were running. There’s a story there — right? How could there not be? Here’s my version:

He watched her pick at the corner of the label on her bottle and thought about teasing her about drinking cheap swill, but decided it might not be funny just then.

She took sip of the beer long gone warm and narrowed her eyes at him, “You let me order this?” She nodded her head toward the bottle, her nose crinkled in disgust.

He’d never had the slightest bit of influence over her decisions. Ever. But now didn’t seem the appropriate time to mention that, either. “You insisted it was the perfect night-cap,” he replied instead, then added “An hour ago.” Continue reading

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’ve been listening to a Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors station on Pandora a lot lately, which is how I discovered this Ben Rector song, The Men That Drive me Places. It’s stories, and music, and gratitude all in one little four-minute package. And as someone who spends a lot of time with Uber drivers, this really, really hits home. So much truth.

Continue reading

The Dress

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I want to sell my wedding dress.

When I mention this to people they are either horrified or they totally understand.  There is no lukewarm on this.  Never has anyone just shrugged and said “huh, well, whatever.”

So for anyone who read the first sentence above and felt horrified, let me debunk a few myths.  These are NOT the reasons why I want to sell my wedding dress: Continue reading

Published

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It was sort of a surreal experience; one moment there was this manuscript on my computer and the next it was out there in the electronic universe, just waiting to be clicked on. It still doesn’t particularly seem real to see it’s little icon sitting there on my virtual bookshelf.

Just like the band labeled an overnight success has actually played in basements and bars for years, my published overnight novel has a much longer backstory. It all began with a few chapters in a writing class at Visual Arts Center, probably about four years ago. I enrolled in the class just to explore whether or not I enjoyed writing and I left with the beginning of a story that wouldn’t let go until all 365 pages of it were out.

I finished the novel right around the time of the James River Writers annual conference and decided to pitch it to an agent. My plan was for this to be a “practice pitch” so that I would get some pointers on things to include in the query letters I would soon begin writing. The agent I spoke to asked me to send her the first few chapters. Then the full novel.

She ultimately passed on it, but offered some very insightful advice on how I might improve my manuscript. She indicated I should feel free to submit other work to her in the future. I loved her suggestions and could immediately see how they would make my work stronger; my themes more poignant. I made some fairly significant changes to my original manuscript and queried the same agent again. She accepted.

After numerous submissions to editors and another significant rewrite it became clear that the novel was not going to sell. I set it aside and began working on other projects. For way, way longer than I would like to admit I told myself that this novel would just end up being my second novel, after I published something else.

I can’t say exactly what caused the major “ah-ha” moment for me. The thing that finally caused me to give serious consideration to self-publishing. It was certainly something I knew existed as an option, I just didn’t view it as the right option for me until recently. It’s not at all that I’ve stopped believing in traditional publishing, or even that I won’t still try to go this route with my current projects in progress. I think it’s just that I finally realized that stories are meant to be read. On paper. On iPad. On Kindle. On Nook. On Kobo. On whatever else. It was time for my story to be heard.

I’m so excited that “Neverending Beginnings” is no longer just a file on my computer. I’m thrilled to be sharing it with all of you.

Here’s the “back cover” synopsis:

Kate is alarmed to find out that her best friend Amy is getting married after dating for only six months. Her alarm turns to shock when she learns that the groom-to-be is Kate’s old college ex. As the big day approaches, Kate’s inability to hide her feelings is threatening to ruin her friendship with Amy.

Kate’s last minute, vodka-fueled wedding toast has her wishing she could turn back the clock and make things right. Imagine her surprise when she wakes up the next day and finds out she can.

Forced to relive one of the most painful weeks of her life, Kate slowly works to repair the damage she has done. In the process, she learns a lot about herself and a finds herself looking forward to getting to know the cynically charming best man, Ben, better.

And here’s where to find it at your cyber-bookstore of choice:

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Thanks for reading, I’d love to know what you think!