How long is your response time again?

What do you mean two to three weeks?

I’m a bad waiter. I want things when I want them – a spoonful of ice cream, an answer to my text message, a response from that magazine.

I spent days, months, (years!) working on those sentences there, and now that I’ve submitted them, I want an answer now! Can’t you see I’m tired of waiting?

In the days immediately following a submission, I jump to check every email or notification on my phone – is that the response? Did I get rejected yet? Can I celebrate another “failure” with a scoop of exorbitantly expensive gourmet ice cream from the place down the street?

No. No I cannot. Because it is Petco reminding me to Save BIG on top food brands! or AbeBooks announcing Sale Order Confirmed!

But what if I check my email on my computer? Will that look any different than it does on my phone? It might. Let me check.

No. Nothing. Still Petco. Still AbeBooks. Oh there’s a new email! It’s a line of bold, beautiful text! What if it’s — No. Lanier Under the Lights 5K – Register Today!

“Wait and hope,” says Alexander Dumas.



Murphy. The best writing companion.

In my earlier drafts, I thought I could just skip the middle. Who needs a middle? Isn’t that the boring part that no one reads, anyway?

But I do need a middle, for all kinds of things – the dreaded “character development” and plot complications, and lots of unintended consequences.

It turns out that I’m asking a lot of this tough little middle.

So instead of working on my middle, I’m writing this post and I’m thinking maybe in my next novel I won’t have a middle at all!

Books aren’t written

Michael Crichton was a pretty cool dude. He said this, which has been my mantra for the past few months:

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”

I’m not on the seventh rewrite (yet). I think this is only the fourth, but I’m getting there. I sent my third draft to my first reader about a month ago and she told me, “It’s great, but it doesn’t have a middle.” I said, “I know, but I was hoping I could skip that part.” She said, “No. Middles are important.”

So I’ve been rewriting a middle. And once I rewrite a middle, I’ll rewrite the rest of it (again).


Murphy. The best writing companion.
Murphy. The best rewriting companion.

writing is insane

I’ve been thinking a lot lately (okay, over the past couple of years) about how insane writing is.

I do pretty much the same thing every day, hoping it will take me somewhere new. I hope that even as I repeat the same actions, I’ll get a different result.

I read books on craft, I read books for fun, I think about how movies and television shows fit together, I help writerly friends refine their work, I send work for (possible) publication, and I write like a motherfucker.

I may as well jump a thousand times, thinking that someday I won’t simply land back on the floor, but that I’ll fly.

But that’s what writing is. It’s a daily grind, and it’s a lot of fun, and it’s crazy.

Here’s to the crazy.



I always envision that I’m going to have a lively and productive blog, and then instead I spend my time on things like writing, my job, reading, planning my wedding, training for various races, and Clash of Clans.

I’m working on a romance/adventure/heist novel that I’m hoping to start querying for in August. Every so often I send out short stories to ridiculous markets like the New Yorker.

And when people ask me what I’m doing this weekend, whether I’m going to such-and-such concert or this-and-that festival, I smile and shrug. Books don’t write themselves.