You Won’t Escape Critique, So Don’t Worry About It

Once you decide to create something, anything, and send it into the world it will be judged.

There will only be a handful of responses to your efforts.

People will either love it, hate it, or feel completely indifferent.

Of course, we always hope that our work will be enjoyed and appreciated. And if we’ve done our best, and ensured we’ve sent out the very best we were capable of at the time, we can at least stand beside and feel proud of that work. When we’ve done all we can, the chances are good that at least some people will resonate and love it.

But that’s only some people.

Which means, other people will not love it. Other people will hate what you’ve done.

It’s okay, I promise. Remember the old adage, you can only ever hope to please some people some of the time anyway.

I actually think there is something worse than those other people hating your work. At least you made them feel something! And with those feelings, they may my inclined to leave you a terrible one-star review.

Other people read one-star reviews. They are curious about those strong feelings of hate. So curious, one-star reviews can lead a new reader to investigate for themselves what all the fuss was about.

I’d argue there is something much worse than single stars and hatred when it comes to our creative works.

It’s indifference. When a reader either didn’t engage with the work at all, or if they did, they came away feeling nothing.

When a book or movie or any form of art makes you feel nothing, you never bother to say anything at all about it. Why would you? You barely even remember the experience.

No matter who you are, or how amazing your work is, once you put it out into the world it will be criticized and critiqued by others.

Accept that this is true, there is no escaping it, and that it will absolutely happen. Then, do whatever you have to to release any worry fear, or care about it. You can’t control or avoid it, and it happens to everyone brave enough to put their work out into the world.

You Can’t Accomplish What You Don’t Show Up For

It’s easier to imagine what we want and what we’d like to do than to physically do it.

Imagining, visualizing, can be fun and it’s an important step in the creation process.

But it’s only a first step.

If we want our thoughts to eventually become our reality, imagination will require the follow-through of physical acts. You can dream about yourself winning a race all day long but if you don’t actually do the running, you’ll never cross any finish line ever.

And you can’t start running if you don’t first show up to run with your shoes laced up.

Do you imagine yourself accomplishing your goals? Yes? Great!

Now show up for them and take action.

You Don’t Need Their Permission To Create

You were born with your unique ability to create.

You don’t need permission, support, guidance, or blessings from anyone to follow your creative instincts.

Humans are, by nature, highly creative beings. All of us.

Some of us are drawn to words, some pictures, others form. Some are drawn to creative concepts. Wherever your innate creative drive takes you, follow it. Indulge it. Get dirty with it.

You will never regret the minutes you spend with your creativity.

You will likely very much regret walking away from it.

Getting Ready for Christmas

I spent the day finishing up with all the decorations for Christmas. I try to get them up pretty soon after Thanksgiving because December just seems to fly by and it never seems worth all the work to only have them up for a couple weeks. In the last photo, you see my darling, Pepper, Who absolutely loves all the decorations. I just splurged and bought all new strands of warm, white LED lights so that I can leave them plugged in all the time without worrying about wasting too much energy or the bulbs getting too hot. I tend to wake up pretty early in the morning and it’s still dark outside, I love to see all the lights and decorations shining in the dark as I come downstairs to make my morning coffee.

This next week is going to be an especially busy one for me unless someone happens to pick up the trip I have scheduled on Tuesday. Even though I said I would never do it, I was asked to help out at a school with some school psychology work, and I said yes. I know better than to ever say never. So starting tomorrow, I’ll be heading down to Colorado Springs to work at that school for two days before flying out Tuesday night for a four day trip. If another flight attendant doesn’t pick up that trip, at least I’ll have a nice long layover in Lahui. Which, of course I will need, because I’m sure to be bone weary exhausted by the time I get there.

I’ll be working on my November newsletter over the next couple days. So you can expect to see that in your mailbox, if you’re a subscriber, by the end of the month. In it I’ll do a quick wrapup of my time spent in Las Vegas for the 20 books conference and I’ll share some more details about how the new book is coming along. Which reminds me, I haven’t posted the cover here on my blog yet, but if you’re curious, you could head over to my Instagram or my Facebook page and see it there. I’ll try to post it here by the end of the week, along with the blurb and my plans for publishing.

I hope all is well, and that you are enjoying this holiday season. Wishing you all the best.

Book Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

5/5: Finished Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Yes, this is a very, very dark read. Reader beware of what you’re getting yourself into. Masterfully crafted and addictively compelling, I read this one straight through over the course of two days. I was shocked and saddened and repulsed but this is what you’re supposed to feel when reading thrillers that fall into the ‘very dark’ category. No spoilers from me, but if you’re the type of reader who isn’t squeamish about the deplorable underworld of humanity, Karin Slaughter really delivers with this one.

From the publisher:

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.
More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Updates: No Alcohol, Conference, Travel, Books

At the hotel in San Antonio

It’s September first, which is a big deal in my house because it happens to be both my husband’s and son’s birthday. It’s also now officially the month when I can sink fully into that fall feeling, especially at home in Colorado (even though I happen to currently be in a state that is still insisting on having temperatures over 100 degrees…come on Texas, this is silly.)

So what is going on with me? Health wise I’ve been on a zero alcohol kick for the last two weeks. I do this at least once or twice a year for a month or more. I love my wine, but honestly when I do these little detoxes it is AMAZING how much better I feel physically, cognitively, and emotionally. It’s gotten to the point where I realize even having a single glass of wine can significantly effect my mood and motivation the next day. I know it’s not like this for many people–maybe it just effects me more? Anyway, as I always wonder when I do this–would life just be so much better without alcohol ever? Probably…but damnit, I do love sipping a big fat cabernet especially when the weather turns cold.

In the fun/career category, I’ll be heading out to Chicago in a little under three weeks for the WFWA (women’s fiction writers) tenth anniversary conference. I’m so excited to mix and mingle with fellow writers in person again. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to a conference (the last was the ITW Thriller Writers conference in June of 22). It’s always a relief to sit down with other people who IMMEDIATELY just know the crazy ins and outs of this life and business. I’m very lucky to have amazing family and friends who will ask questions and are interested in what I do–but there really isn’t a substitute for connecting with people who are also living this weird life. Commiseration loves company, and all that.

As for my traveling life, things are finally starting to slow down a bit with the end of summer. As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently in Texas (San Antonio to be specific). It’s the last day of a three day trip for me. Today I fly SAT-DEN-SAN-DEN and I’ll get home tonight around midnight. I miss Rod and Matthew’s actual birthday, but we’re planning on going out for breakfast tomorrow morning and we also have reservations for a family dinner in downtown Denver next weekend. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I will indulge in a perfect filet mignon about twice a year–and almost always on their birthday. Imagine how hard it will be to NOT order that fat cabernet to go along with that beautiful steak–hmmm, we’ll see what happens.

In book news, I will say my furious writing pace for the last couple of weeks has slowed a little just recently. While writing yesterday in my hotel in Newark, I just crossed the 34,000 word mark. I had originally hoped to have a rough draft of this book completed by the end of August. I’ve now set my sights on mid September. I would REALLY love to have it done before I head out to Chicago for the conference–hmmm, we’ll see what happens 😂

And I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again in case you missed it–thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed Once Upon a Lie. It’s been so well received and this has really encouraged me to continue with my indie publishing plans. It was a leap to leave my agent and the continual grind of traditional publishing over this past year. I can truthfully report that I’m so much happier, optimistic, and consequently, PRODUCTIVE, since leaving all the angst behind. It’s so liberating to just write the books YOU WANT, publish them, and actually enjoy it all again. Life is so short, and I’m probably at least halfway through mine–happy is my number one priority from here on out.

Until next week.

Where Does it Come From?

Every time I attend a book club as a guest author or answer interview questions or even just have a conversation at a bar that leads to the discussion of writing books, I get asked this question:

Where do you get your ideas?

And you would think that after having been asked this question so many times I would have developed a succinct answer that I could deliver quickly. But no. I typically flounder my way around this question because the answer is really complex. Or so I thought. I would spend too much time trying to explain, with examples from my books for god’s sake. I essentially always end up boring my questioner to tears because the reality is that while readers enjoy fantasizing and romanticizing about the writing process, especially when they’ve just finished something they really enjoyed, actually hearing the author talk about how they make the sausage is far less glamorous.

Anyway, all that is to say it finally occurred to me what the real answer to this question is. I’ve generally failed at this because I’ve tried to focus on answering it based on end results, when in fact the better answer, and what the questioner really wants to know, is what is happening inside the brains of writers. And while I can not, and should not, speak for other creatives, this is what it’s like for me.

So here it is, the where, how, and why I get ideas for books, stories, characters, settings, plots…a goddamn chair that is placed in a particular room–all of it.

In my real waking life, and sometimes dreams too, whenever absolutely anything happens, or I hear about literally anything that captures my attention enough to take notice of it, my immediate follow up thought is ALWAYS about how this potentially works in a book, story, character, setting, plot, or even furniture placed in a fictional room.

I don’t know why, but this is my hardwiring. And while I’m not one of those people that always JUST KNEW she wanted to be a writer, I am absolutely someone who has ALWAYS done this.

As a child, it looked like daydreaming and an overactive imagination. Traits I would still use to describe me today. Traits that both serve me well and cause me grief, to be honest.

So where do I get my ideas? Everywhere, all the time, all at once–and I don’t seem to be able to ever turn this off.

Expanded Audio Distribution for Once Upon a Lie

I published the audiobook for Once Upon a Lie back in May, and it was available on Audible and Apple books right away. So that was great. But I was using a different distributor to publish it and make it available on other platforms. Well…as often happens when you’re running your own show, things in business don’t always just work.

Long story short, I’m happy to share that heard back from the distributor today and the audiobook is now available on many retailers beyond Amazon and Apple. So if you’ve been waiting to grab it on a different platform, now you can (including Barnes and Noble and Spotify).

The list below isn’t everywhere you can find it…but it’s several of the big ones.


Barnes and Noble

Google Play




Libro FM


To buy my book on the darknet use the archetyp market.