How to Handle Self-Doubt

Disclaimer: Profanity ahead. All four of my children are good writers, but only the youngest enjoys it. Which is great for me, as she and I swap plot lines and brainstorm ideas and figure out how to up the stakes. She’s an excellent writing partner, though she can’t read all my work (she is only…

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Closed Door, Open Door

Today marks my last day as an editor with Literary Mama. I started there in January 2014, after sending them a letter that basically said, “Hire me! I’m enthusiastic.” Of course, I had a few editing credentials to my name, too, but Literary Mama had confidence in me before I had confidence in myself. They…

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Another Year Older

My birthday has come and gone, and here I am, another year older. But am I wiser? That’s a question I like to ask myself. I’m not sure I have an answer though. Of course for me, the answers never come quickly—my mind doesn’t work that way. Even when I taught every day—a subject I…

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At Least a Little While

Here we are, at Wednesday of this week, and so far, I feel like it should be Friday. Actually, it should have been Friday at the end of Monday, but it wasn’t. What a shame. None of the events of the week have been onerous, per se, but because the kids head back to school…

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Finding Myself Again

On Wednesday, October 22, 2008, I decided to take over what had been, at that time, my husband’s blog. Tim is a fabulous and gifted writer, but he’s not a consistent writer. And in those days, my plan was to “update a blog once a week so that [our] little ‘buckets of sunshine’ [could] be…

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Missing Out

Literary journals uphold standards by following a style guide. Literary Mama uses The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) as its guide, though we do have our own in-house style guide for a few items. One of the standards we follow is to italicize book titles. That choice might seem inconsequential to you, but to someone…

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A Night at the Library

If you look up the word “introvert” in the dictionary, my picture should be there. It’s not. But it should be because I am one of the most introverted people (at least from my perspective). My need to rest and recharge—alone—is so great, I could easily move away from my family for a bit of…

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Life Lessons at Trader Joe’s

Grocery stores and the people inside don’t know how special they are to me. Honestly. My experiences at grocery stores are legendary! Okay, well, not legendary, but one encounter led to a moment of human connection and another to a novel. And those are just the moments I wrote about. But as my family will…

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Even More Words for the New Year 7

Well, friends, we’ve had another interesting year, have we not? Here we are, two years into this pandemic, a year past vaccinations began, and we’re still hearing complaints about mask usage and vaccine mandates. We’ve proven that vaccines work (if you’re vaccinated, you might get a breakthrough case, but it looks like you won’t be…

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