Juggling for Beginners: Why I Don't Use Checklists

Hello, friends!

Welcome to the first edition of Emphatically, Erin, my monthly newsletter! I’m so excited to have you here, and since there’s no reason to delay, let’s jump right in!


I’m not good at juggling. I mean this literally. I’m actually very good at metaphorical juggling (thank you ADHD brain), though I’ve learned it’s entirely unsustainable for the long term.

Typically, when I’m working on a project, I’m singularly focused. I keep my eyes on the prize and push through until I’ve finished. But in this season of end-of-the-school-year shenanigans (our last day is the 21st!), my attention has been more divided than usual. In a given hour, I might hop around on four or five different tasks between writing, marketing, and family things. It’s not my favorite way to roll, but I also know it’s just a season and soon enough it’ll be on to the next.

Let’s make invisible juggling an Olympic event.

One way I stay on task is by keeping a planner in reverse. Instead of jotting down to-do tasks in the planner, I only add them down once I’ve completed them. Then, at the end of the day, when I wonder if I actually got anything done, I can see that YES, I DID! It feels so much better to see a list of completed tasks than remaining things to do, and perspective in nine-tenths of contentment. (I’m pretty sure that’s a fact.)

Tell me your tips for how you stay positive when life tries to teach you to juggle with six flaming sticks!


So that’s that! And in the interest of starting strong, here’s my first Backlist Book Club Rec for June 2023: BABY & SOLO by Lisabeth Posthuma.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

This YA historical fiction novel set in the 90’s (it pains me to write that) is about a teen who, after leaving an inpatient psychiatric ward, takes a job at a video rental store. There, he adopts the nickname “Solo” and makes friends with an employee who goes by “Baby.” (I’ll let you guess what movies inspired their choices.) It’s funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and has all the 90’s vibes you could possibly want.

I give BABY & SOLO 5/5 rewound video tapes. #bekindrewind


Alright, here’s the big kahuna: the next book I’m releasing is a standalone in the world of Nordania.

Yup. You read that right. (And I’m sorry for those who are still mad about how long you’ve had to sit on that cliffhanger at the end of Wind & Tide! I promise, good things are coming to those who wait!)

For now, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from Book 1 of the Embers in Wait series, BUT FOR THE MOUNTAINS. This will serve as a very big clue to what my new book is about:

All that’s left now is Neve. She stands, setting aside her untouched glass, and wraps stiff, mechanical arms around me, pulling me in tight.

“I’m so sorry,” I whisper.

“You watched me dress, encouraged me, made me look the fool. You have ruined my life,” she hisses as she digs her perfectly rounded fingernails into the back of my head. “I will never forgive you.”

She pulls away and gently runs a finger down my cheek, the edge of her nail drawing a line down to my chin. She backs away, and I feel the weight of her promise settle in my chest. It feels a lot like my heart breaking.


Stay tuned for a title reveal, release date, and cover reveal—all coming SOON! In the meantime, you can find books 1 and 2 of the EMBERS IN WAIT series wherever books are sold.

That’s it for now! I’ll be back next month with updates on my own projects! Until then…