I am fortunate to write a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books (WIRoB). I've attached links here for anyone who is interested. Also, if you have a moment, check out their website and the other columnists. A.E. Aymar's columns are a particular fave.





Write Side Up



April 23, 2017, "When Your Favorite Author Goes on Hiatus: A Writer's Perspective." Looking at the same topic as last month, but through the eyes of a writer instead of a reader.





March 20, 2017, "When Your Favorite Author Goes on Hiatus: A Reader's Perspective." There may be some fist shaking and breast beating in this one. As someone who started Robert Jordan's Wheel of time series and had to wait 22 years for it to conclude, I know something about waiting for the next book to come out. 






February 13, 2017, "Aesop's Analysis: The Famous Fables, Sibling Rivalry, and Why My Brother is Always Wrong." I think the title expresses it nicely. 






January 2, 2017, "Dear Friend: An Open Letter to 2017." My plea to 2016 to be a better year than 2016. I threaten to write a dystopian story. 






November 28, 2016, "No, Officer, I Swear I'm Not a Serial Killer: Researching the Daring, Dangerous, and Dark for Fun and Profit." I discuss my time as a citizen's police academy cadet. Such a cool experience!






October 17, 2016, "Teaching and Old Dog New Tricks: Honing My Work Habits a Thousand Words at a Time." I'm trying a new system where I write at least 1k a day for 300 days a year. We'll see how it goes. 






September 19, 2016, "Balancing Act: Kids, Writing, and Taking Over the World." One of my rare completely serious posts. Its title sums it up well.






August 22, 2016, "To Fangirl or Not to Fangirl: How Neil Gaiman Nearly Cost Me My Spock Card." It's my story about meeting Neil and the epic awkward interaction that followed.






July 25, 2016, "Beryl Markham and Mattress Mary." It's about my visit to my mother-in-law's book group. 





June 27, 2016, "A Reader's Prerogative." It's basically arguing that while reviews are lovely, readers don't owe authors anything. Review. Not to Review. It's a reader's choice. 






May 30, 2016, "Genre Shaming." It's basically saying that what I like to read is my own business and what you like to read is yours. There's a lot of shaming for what people like to read going on and with the drop in the percentage of readers, I think we need to stop shaming and start encouraging people to read. Period. Regardless of genre.






May 2, 2016, "Boring Stories without Dragons: What My Daughter Thinks of Mystery." Pretty self explanatory. :) I also ask readers what we can do to interest young readers in mysteries. 






April 4, 2016, "What's My Line, Anyway? The Don'ts (and dos) of Preparing for a Pitch Session." Lists my suggestions after having pitched to film agents at a Sisters in Crime conference in Hollywood. 





March 7, 2016, "Viva La Revelation." This month I discuss how I overuse the word "but" and provide an example of a word "hit list" I use when I edit. 





February 8, 2016, "Take My Children. Please." The subtitle is "Surviving SnOMG2016 with word count intact." After having my kids home for almost two weeks during a stowstorm, I still had to find ways to write and meet deadlines. I managed, but wasn't always easy to live with. Ahem.





January 11, 2016, "Labda Kesho." That's Swahili for "perhaps tomorrow." It's used liberally in Tanzania and I've used it many, many times in my life. However, it's not great for my word count, so I discuss strategies I use to meet my goals and keep to a timeline.





December 14, 2015, "5 Ways Not to Panic that the End is Nigh." A look back at the past 11 months and some strategies for dealing with the inevitable disappointment so you won't ruin your holiday cheer. It might be slightly tongue in cheek. Ahem.





November 16, 2015, "My Cup Overfloweth." What happens when there are too many ideas and not enough time?





October 19, 2015, "Refilling the Well." What happens when your ideas dry up?





September 21, 2015, "A Bully's Pulpit." It's addressing online bullying between authors.





August 24, 2015, "Slings and Arrows." It's about how I deal with criticism. 





July 27, 2015, "An Extrovert's Plight." It's a tongue-in-cheek piece about how introverts aren't the only one's who have difficulty at conferences. 





June 29, 2015, "Critique Checklist, or, 'Hey Am I Doing This Right?'"





May 4, 2015, "What are Workshop Rules, and Why Do We Need Them?"




April 6, 2015, "What's a Writing Group Good for, Anyway?"





March 16, 2015,"Down with Hegemony." It's about the process of transitioning from academic to fiction writing.