TGIF--Thank goodness it's fall!

Plus, an UNCHOSEN/OF WIND AND TIDE easter egg!


You read that right. Thank God It’s Fall. I don’t need all the pumpkin spice or apple cider or even the candy corn, but I do need the cooler nights, boots crunching through leaves, and rainy mornings. They’re the perfect balm for the summer dry season here in the PNW, and coincidentally, the perfect writing weather, in my humble opinion.

Harry and Sally got the best version of fall. But with the ice cream on the side.

I’ve just finished another round of revisions on my current project (some might have heard me call it the Time Loop project) and have sent it off to a fabulous beta reader. I’m excited for her feedback so that I can start (yet another) round of revisions and get this thing closer to the version of this story that I imagine it could be. Even as revisions feel like they will never end, there’s something refreshing about the idea that I can keep improving my work—and my craft.

In the meantime, I’m hopping between two new(ish) projects: one in drafting stage, and another in the brainstorming/daydreaming stage. Which is probably my favorite stage. What are authors if not daydreamers with a pen?


As you know, my next book, UNCHOSEN, will be available wherever books are sold on November 7th, 2023. In the meantime, here’s the Pre-Order Link.

In the meantime, I wanted to remind everyone where we last saw Neve. That said, if you haven’t read OF WIND AND TIDE, it will be a spoiler.

Proceed at your own caution: you have been warned. 🙂 


I enter, and immediately stop short.

“Well, you look positively royal,” Neve says, standing in the middle of a large, richly appointed bedroom.

“Neve?” I say, but I don’t wait for her response before I crush my friend and roommate from the peninsula into a hug. She resists at first, always more refined and dignified than me. But then she relents and squeezes me back.

She looks the same, but different. Her dark, ebony hair flows in free waves, framing her oval-shaped face and making her copper skin glow. She smells different. Spicier. At the estate she was obsessed with anything that smelled like a baked good. She was always trying to sneak vanilla and almond extracts from the kitchen to put into her bath oils. Now her soft, dark hair smells like unfamiliar spices and rich stone fruits. I lean back and cup her face in my hands. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few months since I last saw her. She has aged, or maybe just grown up, especially around the eyes. Her hazel gaze looks harder, colder, despite her soft smile.

“How are you here?” I ask. Her gaze goes far away for a moment, and then she returns, strong and hard against my question.

“That’s a story for another time…”


Suffice it to say, it’s about to be “another time.” And I can’t wait for everyone to see what Neve was up to!


In this never-ending season of revisions, I’ve come to rely on my critique partners more than ever. Which begs the question: how do you find a great critique partner?

Finding a great critique partner is like dating: there’s a lot of options that look great on paper, but is there chemistry? Is there a meeting of the minds? Oof, that’s hard.

First, I am a huge fan of starting out in a group setting. Check out a meeting with your local writing group, whether in person or online. Local libraries often host writing groups, or if you’re in a more rural area, check out SCBWI, SFWA, Willamette Writers, or any litany of writer groups that offer online meetings. Chat with the other writers there and see if anyone is running a critique group you could try out.

It might seem more intimidating than working 1:1 with someone, but being in a group setting gives you an opportunity to test the waters without putting all the pressure on one person to give you exactly what you need. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from different critique styles and figure out what you want in a critique partner, and just as importantly, what you don’t want.

Another option is to register for a formal critique roundtable and see what comes of it. I’ve met two critique partners at SCBWI roundtable events I attended over the years. (And life long friends. #cuetheawwws)

All of this is to say that finding the perfect critique partner for you takes time. It also takes trial and error and fortitude, but I promise, the process is worth it.

The joy of finding that perfect critique group is like a nice pair of slacks.


I’m so excited to be attending the Better Books Workshop in the Bay Area in October. If you’re attending, let me know! I’d love to see you there!

NaNoWriMo Month is fast approaching and I have two area workshops I’m presenting to help you prepare!

  1. I’ll be presenting a Plotting 101 workshop for the Hillsboro branch of Willamette Writers at the Brookwood library on October 16th. Details can be found here.

  2. I’m giving a talk at the Bethany branch of the Cedar Mill Library on Plotting A Story Roadmap for NaNoWriMo on October 26th. If you’re in the area and want to get a jumpstart on your November project, swing by! For more details: Click Here!


Since we’re back to school, we’re also (unfortunately) back to more stories about book bans. Which leads to this month’s Backlist Bookclub selection.


This is my kiddos’ (ages 11 and 8) favorite book we’ve read this year. Full stop.

In this book, Mac is reading a book in his sixth grade class and discovers some words have been blacked out. He and his classmates go on a quest to uncover who doesn’t want them reading the book in its entirety, and their battle takes them to places they never expected.

With accessible characters and powerful themes, this book is incredibly important right now, given our current climate of kneejerk book bans. My whole family was sucked into this story—we even listened to it on a bluetooth speaker through dinner one night!—and cheered Mac on as he learned about his first amendment rights, the power of standing up for what is right, and the impact that his voice, even as a tween, could have on local government.

I rate this 5/5 protest posters.

That’s all she wrote. Literally. Stay creative, stay cool, and ‘til next time…