Capturing Iceland

This is my Iceland Writers Retreat writing competition submission. While I didn't win this year, I was one of the finalists. I'm including the photos I took during the 2014 layover that inspired this piece. The rules: Iceland – Regard the Moon! Many authors have drawn parallels between Iceland and the moon. Write a max 500-word …

Adventures in Self-Publishing with Lilly Maendel

While many of you are slogging through years of classes in pursuit of your MFAs and sketching outlines of your first novels, my 6-year-old niece Lilly is already one step ahead of you. With only a kindergarten education, she has penned numerous short stories and is well-known in her North St. Paul neighborhood.  Lilly travels door to door, selling her work for 50 …

Dreaming

Today I am dreaming of County Galway and the Connemara Loop, channelling the spirit of Ireland to finish my memoir. Next week I'm flying to New York City to attend a pitch conference and will have the opportunity to pitch my book directly to the editors of some major publishing houses. Excited doesn't even begin …

Growth

I attended the Chuckanut Writers Conference this weekend and pitched my book, The Parting Glass, to 3 different agents. All three expressed interest. Two requested a couple of sample chapters via email and one wanted a completed manuscript. So, now I have the challenge of actually finishing my book. I've been so focused on perfecting …

Optimism

The skies are still overcast here in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm not entirely sure what the sun looks like anymore, but I'm feeling optimistic anyway. I have plenty of reason to be hopeful this week. The Chuckanut Writers Conference begins on Friday morning and runs through Saturday, and I'll have the opportunity to pitch …

A Picture without a Picture

I've been reading Susan Sontag's essays, "On Photography".   A few pages into the first essay she writes, "Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs."  She refers to snapshots as souvenirs - and that clicked for me, so to speak.  I don't buy souvenirs, I take pictures. However, on my first trip to Ireland I chose not to photograph …