Letters & Literature

I felt like a Jane Austen heroine, receiving this eagerly-anticipated (8 page!) hand-written letter containing a friend’s thoughts on my historical novel.

The stationary may have changed a bit since Austen’s time, but I’m guessing the sense of eager excitement’s just the same.

And in this world of handy-dandy, insta-communication, there’s a particular specialness about a letter that someone took the time and effort to physically craft.

Of course, that could just be my romantic, literature-nerd sensibilities talking.

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Writerly Resilience & Novel No. 2

I won’t lie: The past few days of writing have required a healthy, heaping dose of courage. Why, you ask?

Because I’m finally returning to NIGHT GARDEN, the novel I started way back in 2015.

I know–that doesn’t sound particularly terrifying. But between now and then, my novel-writing life has been a roller-coaster-y one. When I started NIGHT GARDEN four years ago, I’d just finished writing and editing PROHIBITED, my 1920s novel. NIGHT GARDEN was meant to be my work-in-progress while I shopped PROHIBITED for literary agent representation.

There was just one kink in my glossy little plan. At 700 pages, PROHIBITED was literally twice the size it should’ve been. If novels can be likened to sharks, PROHIBITED was a whale shark instead of a sleek, speedy mako. 🦈

(Somewhere out there, at least my brother Hunter gets this metaphor.) But if you’re not so into sharks, here’s a visual: PROHIBITED’s first draft.

Image may contain: Lauren Michelle Peltier Derby

Yep, waaaaaaaaay too many pages in that stack.

Continue reading “Writerly Resilience & Novel No. 2”

Writer Care Kit

Living far from friends and family can mean that things get done at odd times. The most recent example? My best friend Amber and I just had our Christmas gift exchange. In February. Two months late.

But the wait proved well-worth it when I stripped off green and red wrapping to find a chic little box whose contents had me laughing aloud.

To kick off your morning, an encouraging coffee cup:

“You got this.”

–Coffee

And to cap off your evening, a reassuring wine glass:

“You gave it your best shot.”

–Wine

While I’m sure writers aren’t the only professionals who experience these twin emotions across their workdays, I can’t help thinking this gift makes a particularly excellent support kit for authors. How many mornings have I woken up energized and motivated, full of confident, creative energy? Today’s the day, I’ll say. Today, I finally figure out how to…

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For My Husband on Valentine’s Day

Unfortunately, the husband and I had to spend Valentine’s Day apart this year. Nevertheless, he still managed to spoil me from afar with chocolates and TWO bouquets. And knowing his Texas girl is a fanatic for her home state, he even managed to track down a Lone-Star Living bouquet:

True to disorganized form, I wasn’t as good at getting a timely gift into his hands. But for my husband, I offer this Sara Groves song (one of my favorites):

Baby can you help me get undone
The party is over and their hearts were won
There’s a zipper in the back
But I can’t reach it on my own
And I am dying to get out of this so

Baby will you help me get undone

I don’t even remember how I got this on
I started out pretending
Now I don’t recognize myself
And I could use a little help

You have no pretenses
All your walls are fences I can see right through
You have no two faces
You know where our place is and that’s why I need you
Oh baby

Baby will you help me get undone
I don’t even remember how I got this on
I started out pretending
Now I don’t recognize myself
And I could use a little help

Cause I started out pretending
Now I don’t recognize myself
And I could use a little help
Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby
Will you help me get undone

Continue reading “For My Husband on Valentine’s Day”

Best.Mail.Week.Ever

This has been an exciting week in terms of mail deliveries. First, I received my favorite of all types of packages–a copy of my newly-published book.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough fun for one week, I had these little babies land in my box next:

As some of you know, I’m in the final stages of launching an Etsy shop to purvey my wildlife paintings. These handy-dandy business cards represent one of the last pieces in the shop-opening puzzle.

Continue reading “Best.Mail.Week.Ever”

My New Publication: What to Give Your Literature-Loving Sweetheart for Valentine’s Day

As you’re likely aware, Valentine’s Day is barreling down on us yet again. But if you’re struggling to find a gift for the literature nerd in your life, struggle no longer! Because this week, the perfect item arrived in my mailbox:

My newest book, courtesy of Sussex Academic Press–Family, Friends and Foes: Human Dynamics in Hispanic Worlds!

In this literary criticism anthology, my work features as Chapter 4: ” ‘In This Madhouse’: Myth, Message, and Kaleidoscopic Kin in Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Continue reading “My New Publication: What to Give Your Literature-Loving Sweetheart for Valentine’s Day”

If Making a Snow Penguin is Wrong, Then I Don’t Wanna Be Right

Today, I had a ton to do:

  • 1.5 hours of setting up my Etsy shop
  • 4 hours of painting
  • 7 hours of writing

So naturally, I took time out of my busy schedule to make a rather misshapen snow penguin named Hugo, after Victor Hugo of Hunchback of Notre Dame fame. (See aforementioned note re: misshapen-ness.)

To be clear: procrastination is always bad. Unless it involves a snow penguin. Then it’s very, very right.

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