Joy today: Writing about education for The Washington Post

I spoke to five DC-area schools about parent involvement in education, and folding diversity, inclusion, and mindfulness into their curriculum for a piece I’m writing for The Washington Post. I’ve freelanced for The Post for four years and this is my favorite piece I’ve written for them. It’ll be in the October 27th Magazine. I’ll post a link or PDF of it when it’s live.


Joy today: Encouraging hashtags for writers

If you’re a writer looking for some encouragement in your process, I got you. There are so many of us out here and you are not alone on your journey. If you walk your fingers over to Twitter, check out these hashtags for encouragement, resources, and inspiration:

#NaNoWriMo (stands for National Novel Writing Month):
Every year in November thousands of people around the world attempt to write 50K words in a month. It’s how I wrote the first draft of my first novel. I’ll be participating again this year to work on a completely new book – historical fiction romance set in an Italian bakery in New York City during the early 1900s.

#MSWL (stands for manuscript wishlist):
Agents and editors tell you what types of books they’re looking for. Great if you’re in the query writing stage.

Started by author Claribel Ortega, this is an encouraging stream of tweets from authors attempting to complete their current manuscripts by December 21, 2019.

Now open for submissions, this is a way for non-agented authors to get their current pitches in front of agents for their consideration.

Happy writing, friends. We’re in it together!


Joy today: Happy Fall

This summer wasn’t the one I expected or wanted, though it was absolutely the one I needed. The adversity and disappointments made me stronger and more compassionate, and for that I’m very grateful. Welcome, Fall. I’m so happy to see you. I’m ready for whatever you bring.


Joy today: How to write a book per year

How can I write a book per year for the next 10 years? I tossed this idea around in my mind this morning as I thought about tremendously prolific writers I admire.

Here’s the math: write 250 words per day for 360 days. That’s a book. 250 words a day? I could write that while my coffee’s brewing. That’s only half a page. That’s almost the length of this post.

Yes, that’s just a first draft. It needs LOADS of editing and rewriting. Yes, if you’re a planner and outliner like me, that takes time, too. Yes, there’s research. And yes, marketing is also time-consuming and extremely necessary. And you have to also pitch your own work if, like me, you don’t yet have an agent.

But in my mind this breaking down of this enormous task moves it from possible to probable. I could write a book every year. And that to me is exciting.


Joy today: Research for my next novel in NYC’s Little Italy

This week I went down to Little Italy to revel in the joy and desserts of my ancestors, and to do some research for my next novel that will be set there in the early 1900s. The San Gennaro Festival runs through this weekend and it’s an absolute delight. If you’re in New York City, wonder down to Mulberry Street where you’re sure to find some characters and cannolis.


Joy today: My dog, Phineas, is 10 today

It’s a happy 9th Gotcha Day for this little guy! Today my sweet dog, Phineas, is 10 years old and he’s been in my life for 9 years. How grateful I am that when I rescued him, he rescued me right back. I’m the luckiest. Here’s to two pawfuls of life, buddy, and many more ahead.

Phineas Day 1
Our first photo together on the day I adopted Phineas
Phineas October 2010
Our first My Dog Loves Central Park festival photo
Phineas October 2010 2
His first close-up

Joy today: The genre of my novel for NaNoWriMo 2019

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the genre for the novel I’ll be writing during National Novel Writing Month in November.

Can a bread bakery in New York City be the setting for a book that’s historical fiction, an immigrant story, and a romance novel? I’m going to give it my best shot. Let’s see what I find. Regular updates will be provided in November. 

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, I’d love to know so we can support each other through it!


Joy Today: I’m doing NaNoWriMo in November 2019

I’ve decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year, writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I have a few new book projects I’m thinking about in different genres and I’m trying to decide which to work on in November. Would love to know your opinion! Choices:

1.) Young Adult Sci-fi
2.) International Crime
3.) Romance Novel
4.) Historical Fiction: ~the year 1910

Also, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What are you planning to work on?


Joy today: I’m writing a theater piece about Prohibition in NYC

Today I’m putting in a funding application for a piece of writing that combines my love for secret New York City history and immersive theater. Would you go to a show based on historical events and figures set in one of New York City’s only remaining original speakeasies during prohibition?

books, creativity

Joy today: What happens to an author and a book when a publisher goes out of business?

Emerson book cover with awards sealsI got some unfortunate news on Friday night: my publisher for my novel is going out of business on September 30th. As of October 1st all the publishing rights for Emerson revert to me. Because the book has been reviewed well, received several awards, and is still up for a few more awards, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to find a new home for her story that will include the existing novel and the sequel. If you’ve been through this type of situation or know someone who has, I’d love your advice on approaching this process and taking next steps, I’d love to hear it. Thanks, all!