In praise of the 100% Real Fake Book Cover

A little inspirational wall art never hurt anyone.

Things are getting real over at the Emily Grosvenor studio, ahem, in the corner room where I pound out my words every morning. So real, in fact, that I’ve made a real fake book cover for my current writing project. Why? I believe firmly in the power of visual dreaming. It’s been a bit of […]

The one big thing I do to restart my writing practice

After a hiatus of non-writing, the struggle is real.

You might recognize this feeling I’ve been having. The summer is ending and I am completely unmoored from my writing routine. My own reason is specific to the work-at-home mom whose kids are there all summer and who gets hammered with freelance work, but really, all of our reasons are the same. Life gets in […]

Come to my talk: Entrance Strategy for Writers Building Platform

I make the mistakes so you don't have to, and then I talk about them.

I’m talking writer websites this Thursday to a great group, the Washington County Writers Forum. As with all my talks, my goal is to give people in the audience actionable steps for making their big projects happen. Writer websites are a problem. Most are just placeholders, somebody out there standing in place, waiting to be […]

Recipe for an ultimate Oregon wine country picnic

Soaring music, picnics in paradise and a barn owl release at Elk Cove Vineyards

My partner and I celebrated our 11-year anniversary yesterday in bang-up, Oregon wine country picnic style. Just like for our original honeymoon, when he indulged me by taking me to the writers’ homes in the Berkshires (hello, Edith Wharton’s Mount!), Adam was more than happy to step into my idea of bliss: Opera in the […]

Tiny Travels: 7 Ways a Tiny Wine Country Town is Saving Summer

Small towns slay summer doldrums. Don’t believe me? In Oregon wine country, it’s actually possible to fill all those late sunsets with every kind of party and none of the hassle. With a scene set for late-night strolls, nightlife that is just happening enough, and spaces meant to maximize the easy living of the wine country lifestyle, McMinnville might be just the right place to go big on summer.

Read the full post here.

Next time you travel, start with what you want to smell

The nose knows some things about rest and transformation.

Traveling as a lifestyle habit and professional reason of existing is one thing. Truly relaxing is another entirely. I usually don’t relax while I travel. I am fully engaged, feeling ALL the things, trying to find the way in and the transformation that can happen through a change of perspective. So when I want to […]

What pink hair taught me about branding yourself as a creative

I didn't do it for a response, but what happened next changed how I view creative brands.

A couple of months ago I finally bit the bullet and dyed my hair pink. The flood of Pinterest images with awesome pink hairstyles, a lingering Barbie fetish from my youth, and the realization that everything I love came into my life when I was in fourth grade made me decide to just go for […]

Feeling stuck creatively? 6 steps to get unstuck.

Counterintuitive advice for creatives who work from home.

If there’s one thing I hear most from people who work from home, it’s the challenge of ignoring household duties to focus on your work. The struggle is real. In my decade of professional creative work I’ve developed a lot of jedi mind tricks for getting in the zone. But today I’m going to offer […]

Putting together a book proposal? Map it out!

Amidst the agony and the thrill of starting new projects, make a plan.

I’m waist-deep in a new memoir book proposal. The juices are flowing, the words seem to be flying off my fingers (my mom, a typing teacher, would be so proud!) and I’ve got that thrilling new project feeling. But I know myself. I am very good at starting projects. There’s little at stake in starting, […]

The conversation that changed everything for me

Why creatives need an entrance strategy, not an exit strategy.

I was sitting next to a Hood River winemaker on a press tour last summer. He and his wife were serial entrepreneurs, the kind of people who spin off businesses like other people eat potato chips. We were talking about businesses — how they start, how they thrive — when I asked him what his […]