Today, I found myself in a molasses-slow line at my local DC post office. In trying to while away the what-felt-like-hours, the women waiting ahead of me got to chatting.

Somehow, the conversation wound its way to a stereotype claiming that Texas women are obsessively attached to their cosmetics (even to the point of slathering on lipstick pre-Cesarean section).

Being a proud Texas gal myself and friends with many a Texan-ess who rocks the bare face,  I was about to pipe up and offer some schooling:

“It’s a big state, y’all–we Texans aren’t all created equal! And where did this stupid stereotype even come from?!”

Fortunately, I gave the crowd one last gander… and realized I was the only one of six women wearing makeup. Because how long does it take to swipe on some mascara before you walk out the door?

Yep–Great strides were made today toward busting up clichés. 

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Ah, the twin hazards of being a freelance artist/writer: procrastination and performance anxiety.

As soon as I sit down at my watercolor block and pick up my brushes, I find myself convinced that the writerly muse has suddenly, decisively descended and I must return to my novel RIGHT. FRICKIN’. NOW.

The minute I pull up that chapter I’m re-writing for the second third fourth fifth time, my eyes sneak back toward my painting. I mean, is it really wise to give up the last good natural light of the day?

I think I might need a personal assistant. Just to set off the shock collar every time I think changing up activities every five minutes is a good way to be productive.

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Comedy & Query Trenches

I recently took a 6-month hiatus from querying literary agents so I could focus on putting my historical novel on a very-much-needed weight loss plan. Now that I’ve lopped off 30+ percent of the book (and it can finally wiggle back into that little black dress), it’s time for me to return to the query trenches.

As anyone who’s been there before–or is hunkered down now–can attest, those trenches are not a fun place to be. There’s a lot of research, a lot of letter-honing, a lot of hoping/praying, a lot of waiting, a lot of stress-eating-ice-cream-by-the-pint.

A lot of bracing for the inevitable rejection. As Dana Stabenow said,

“To be a writer is to embrace rejection as a way of life.”

Continue reading “Comedy & Query Trenches”

Paint Hack

#LifeHack: When your watercolor palette is on a slow-moving boat somewhere between your last post in South America and your new home in Washington, D.C., a CorningWare lid makes for a handy mixing tray for the colors in your travel kit. Who knew? (Well, besides my troubleshooting husband.) #ForeignServiceProblems #NomadicArt

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Mugs & Motivation

It’s been a quiet few weeks (er, months) around Ebb & Flow.

My preoccupation with our newest international move–this time back to the Good Ol’ US of A–is much to blame. There’s a lot involved in purchasing new cars, identifying apartments, catching up with family and friends, and coordinating three different shipments of far too much stuff. (Every time we go through one of these nomadic seasons, I fantasize about burning everything we own–books excepted–and starting from scratch.)

But the biggest culprit behind the “Mysterious Case of the Missing Blog Posts” has been the dedication of all my writing time to a massive overhaul of my historical novel. And I do mean massive: facelift, rhinoplasty, and some serious literary liposuction. As in tens of thousands of words, now gone.

I’m glad about it. With every word felled by my editing machete, I know my book’s becoming better. But… Continue reading “Mugs & Motivation”

An Ode….

An ode (that’s technically a limerick) to my husband, in honor of his patient creativity in helping me re-plot my novel this weekend:

There once was a man whose writer wife had

Written a book whose problems drove her mad

She asked him plot questions

Nagged for edits, suggestions

With a sigh, he gave advice ironclad*

Continue reading “An Ode….”

Weddings, Writing & Words of Encouragement

Between the last week of September and mid-March, I was a bridesmaid in three weddings. Three. It’s been an incredibly blessed, busy, beautiful, occasionally-manic, joy-filled season.

And now I’m ready for a nap.

At the most recent festivities, I was honored to be a bridesmaid to my hilarious, loving, incandescently-beautiful friend, Sarah. As so often happens, Sarah’s wedding party was cobbled together of friends from different periods of her life. We required a few rounds of introductions to get to know one another.

It wasn’t until several hours into our pre-wedding slumber party that I learned Sarah had raved to the other ladies about my novels (for which she’s been a gracious beta reader) and introduced me as a “world-renown novelist.” I blushed, rolled my eyes, and made a joke about how you had to actually publish a novel before you could become world-renowned.

But on the inside, my heart blossomed, warming, practically glowing. I kept thinking: Thank God for friends who see us as the writers we want to be, instead of the writer we are right now. Continue reading “Weddings, Writing & Words of Encouragement”