Monthly Archives: May 2015

I didn’t steal the ruby slippers, but they’re coming closer to finding who did!

I’ll be signing copies of Stealing the Ruby Slippers and Finding the Ruby Slippers at the Judy Garland Museum during Wizard of Oz Festival in Grand Rapids, MN on June 12. Ahead of the festival, I did a little interview with the museum and learned that there is a dive planned for two days during the festival— and they think the missing shoes will be recovered! You can read the whole interview here. From everything I had heard, I thought the shoes had been thrown either in the Mississippi or Pokegama Lake, this was the first I’d learned that they might be in a mine-lake. (Although, to be fair, the mine they’ve referenced, Tioga, is also the name of a beach on Pokegama, so I don’t know that I would have known there was a mine-lake associated with it!) I’m hoping to get to attend the dives, and will keep you posted if I do!


Get The Thief Audiobook and a bunch of free extras

the Thief Audio Book RGBThe Thief and The Damage are becoming audiobooks!

You can check out an interview I did with the narrator in the April edition of my newsletter. He’s awesome, and he’s done a great job bringing my characters to life.

This process has been a blast, and I want you to check the new versions out. To sweeten the deal, this summer, when you download either of my books through Audible or iTunes, email your receipt (even free downloads with your Audible subscription count!) and I’ll send you the either free digital versions of either of my books or at-cost physical copies!

Check out all the details here.

Where did May go?

It’s the end of May already, and we’re gearing up for summer here. My husband and I made the decision to save the money and keep the kids home with us, which means learning to work while they’re here, and also rearranging schedules so we each get some concentrated time.

I’ve been spending a lot of May in a really reflective mode, which makes it a bit ironic that I haven’t been blogging. I’m taking on more responsibility in my day job, which I’m excited about and thankful for, but it’s taking up a lot of my mental capacity. And there’s something about spring in Minnesota—I don’t want to work. I want to be outside. Which isn’t necessarily all bad. It’s caused me to really reflect on my goals and activities and realize some of them just really aren’t that important. You saw that a bit with the May Goals Reflection, but I’ve let things go a bit more too. I can’t do it all, and I have to do some things that aren’t entirely fun, but I don’t have to do everything. I’m learning to say no, little by little. Even to myself.

Goals Check-in — May

priest-darth-vader(Does anyone else combine church and Star Wars in their minds today?)

“May the fourth be with you.”

“And also with you.”

“Let us rise and pass the fourth.”

That’s not really what I’m blogging about today, though. It’s time to check in on my goals.

The thing about writing a bunch of goals at the beginning of the year is that it’s like predicting the future. And I’m not so good at that.

I’ve fallen behind on almost all of my goals this year, but I’m actually not upset about it. In general. There are a few that I need to get cracking on. So, below, I’ve got my original Dream, my progress, and, if necessary, a revised plan. Because I do think the goals are necessary and they help me make day-to-day decisions and prioritize. But I don’t think they should be a source of stress, and if I still to the original ones, I will be stressed, I’ll put out less-than-stellar work, and completely miss the point of goals in the first place.

Removing goal as it can’t be tracked.


Progress as of May 4, 2015

Revised Plan

Publish another book Waiting on grant application to continue work on Home. Clouded has been through beta readers and needs a ton of work. The Cast is currently being drafted. No revision. Will continue to work on all three books.
“Do” two short stories a month (one drafted, one completed) No new progress Removing this goal entirely. I am not interested in short stories and working on them takes time away from working on projects that I both enjoy more and am better at. More power to the short story writers of the world. I will admire you, but I am not one of you.
Publish at least four short stories see above Remove
Draft two more novels 1 done, 1 in progress No revision necessary. Unless I decide to add a third.
Read at least 96 books Oh geez. This is one that I need a swift kick in the pants with. I’ve finished 20. 2 books a week is too many for me. So, I’m revising it down to 78 (1.5 per week.) Even with this, I’m 10 behind. But I’ll make it. Summer is coming.
Complete 12 new paintings 3 done, will do another this week and get back on course No update. Just motivation.
Get Spiraling Forward Jewelry into 3-5 boutiques You can now buy Spiraling Forward at Doodle Bird! Remove goal. I am shifting focus away from the jewelry completely. I don’t have time to focus on it, and I’d rather just make stuff I want to wear when I want to wear it.
Have/be in an art show No progress other than painting I’m not removing this, but I don’t feel like it’s an important goal at this time and I’m not focusing on it.
15-20 gym visits/month Averaging 15.25! Not changing goal, but changing execution. I’m counting bike rides of 6+ miles or walking/running 2.5+ miles. The goal is fitness, not time inside.
4+ yoga/Pilates classes/month Hit I’ve been hitting 2-3 a week, so no revision necessary.
One vegetarian day/week It’s happening, although maybe not all day. It might be lunch one day and dinner another. Changing to 3 vegetarian meals per week.
Speak at 2 conferences 1 Scheduled. This isn’t a focus for me, I’m removing it.
Continue to reduce clutter This goal is not written in a measurable way, but I’d say it’s going well. Removing. It’s not trackable, but we’ve been doing really good with it and I don’t need a monthly reminder.
1 artist date Didn’t happen in April No revision, it’s important and I need to make it a priority.
Attend 2 book/writing events 3 days of AWP! Keep as is.
1 real date with hubby Hooray for Parent’s Night Out! I’ve been thinking about revising to two, but we’re having a hard time getting sitters.
1 art event Nope Removing. This is something I would love to do, but I don’t think is necessary to track.

How about you? Are you still working on your yearly goals? Have you had to make any revisions?

Book of the Week: The Art of Asking

Book of the Week for May 3 – May10

The Art of Asking:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help


Why it’s interesting:

Another in my long line of audiobook recommendations, I have to admit, while this book was incredibly interesting, I didn’t love it. Had I not been listening to it, I don’t know if I would have made it through. But Amanda’s narration is personal and I felt like she was really talking to me. I got to hear about her music career, her marriage to Neal Gaiman and her incredible fan base. I admired her honesty, even in some unflattering details. I think it was the unflattering parts that made her seem more real and believable in the rest of it. Also, as a creative person, her drive is incredibly inspiring. She’s got an ability to ignore the status quo that I wish I had.

The blurb:

When we really see each other, we want to help each other.”
—Amanda Palmer

Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter – they’ve taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she had learned how to ask, she was able to go to the world to ask for the money to make a new album and tour with it, and to raise over a million dollars in a month.

In The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use these same principles in our own lives.

Did you like this book? What are you reading right now?