The time has come. I’ve been writing here on “To Write These Words Down…” for over a decade. That’s a very long time to call a particular corner of the internet home. Each year, I tend to greet the New Year by renovating the blog’s appearance — changing the headers and colors and images until it feels fresh and new. It’s like rearranging the furniture, but in my virtual home.

I’d been considering other virtual spaces for years now, but with my first professional sale and my committment to “REACH” for opportunity and new skills/experiences in 2022, it felt like the right time to make the change.

I’ve bought a new living space online. It’s bigger and sturdier and with a much better floorplan. All right, enough of that metaphor, the point is, I have a new ACTUAL website!

You can find me at!

Kermit Flail GIFs | Tenor

What does this mean for this site?

Well, I won’t be posting or updating here anymore. It won’t be deleted. The blog will be here, always, but it will serve as a guidepost of where to find me from now on. In time Google algorithms will catch up and the search engines will put the new site at the top of the results page. Slowly but surely, this site will fade. It’s sad, but still so exciting to have my own domain name and a place to really call my home.

I’ll be leaving up the blog posts, the What I’m Reading lists, and the About page. The podcast page and the publications page will be deleted.

The new site is prettier, much more customizable, but most importantly, is still my home. It has a blog where I’ll be writing the same sorts of content and being my usual, weird, opinonated self.

In addition to my socials (twitter and Facebook), you’ll find an option to subscribe to a monthly(ish) newsletter on the new site. I hope you will so we can keep in touch. If not, well, thanks for reading along all these years. It’s been an honor and a joy to call “To Write These Words Down…” home.

Here’s to the next chapter in this writing life and I’ll see you all in 2022!

For the last time in this little corner of the internet:

So long Bloggos!


Snowpocalypse 2021

It’s a snow day here. We’ve had somewhere between 6 to 8 inches of snow in the last 24 hours. It’s a rare sight in my neck of the woods — we’re more prone to ice than snow. This weatherly treat has made for a long weekend for the husband and cozy day spent reading and thinking about writing for me.House Society GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Oh, and ramen! I used leftover Christmas rib roast to make beef ramen and it was delicious and warm and hearty and all the right adjectives for a snow day. I’m sad that I ate it all.

I’m picking at a short story I started Thursday. It’s weird, which is normal for me. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening, but I like what I have so far. I’m doing some experimental(ish) things which is always exciting and nerve-racking, making me eager to continue and leery of stopping. When I stop I have time to overthink it. I’m playing with tenses and pacing and telling story that is (yet again) heavy on atmosphere and character and wicked thin on plot.

*Shrug* What else is new?

In the background both Tavi and Victoria are percolating. I had a couple of ideas for revision come up for Tavi today, so I’ve made the appropriate notes. I’ll start reading through it and making the noted changes this week, I think. It’s feeling like it’s just about time, and I’d like to get started before I go back to work. I’m going to need the momentum.

This week is a liminal space, all of twitter seems to agree. Writers around the country are relaxing, reading, working on projects without a deadline or concern. Working on the “extras”. And we all seem to understand that, come January 3rd, we all get back to business. We get back to the reality of routines and schedules and deadlines. We get back to work.

I have plans. Ideas and goals. But those are subjects for a different post. Tonight it’s just me, the snow, and recording a couple episodes of Top Shelf Librarians. The weather is keeping us apart for this recording, but at least the sound quality will be better! Silver linings!

Anyway, this short story is calling. I keep flicking back and forth between this post and the scrivener document.

Until later, Bloggarts.


Winter Break Things

It’s the first day of Winter Break! *rave dances to Christmas dubstep*

Best Grinch Dance GIFs | Gfycat

The weekend was a busy one. My husband recently started a wedding and event design business with our mutual friend, and they had a GIANT event Friday. Like, 500 attendees. So, I helped clean up after the party and we were at the venue until 1am. Then we had to get up early, unload some more stuff and then return the U-Haul by 8:30a.

So, we’re all exhausted and sore, but the event went GREAT and the client was super happy. We got our Christmas tree on Saturday and celebrated Candlenights with my fellow podcast host, Heather. Sunday was for lounging, watching Home Alone (1 & 2), and decorating the tree. It’s been a really nice weekend.

Today, being the first day of Winter Break, is the first day of my new “Work From Home” schedule. I came up with the idea while listening to Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang and imagining my ideal, write-for-a-living kind of life.

How Yoga with Adriene Combated My Mental Illnesses | by Malinda Garcia |  Medium

So, I woke up, did some yoga, considered taking the dog for a walk but it’s like 40º and pouring down rain so we skipped that, then I ate breakfast, drank coffee and caught up on social media. Now I’m here, writing this blog post.

After this it’s chores. There’s some laundry and dishes I’d like to tackle and I need to go grocery shopping. It’s apparently going to snow for like 5 days next week so I’m going to stock up now before the real madness sets in. This side of the Cascades no one knows how to handle winter weather, the whole town will shut down if it’s even slightly icy. I wan to be prepared for 5ish days of avoiding going outside…

Although that’s been the norm for almost two years at this point I suppose.

Once all that’s done, I’m home for the day. That means lots of writing and reading time! The schedule calls for a three hour writing block after lunch. If I reach 2k words written in that time, I can skip the scheduled two hour evening writing block. I’m also working on Tavi revisions again so I’ll need to split the three hour block up between revising and writing the new novel.

In addition to all this writing, I have seven books that I’d like to read over these two weeks. Admittedly, that’s a lot of fucking books. I’ll be happy if I finish four of them. And of course there are non-writing related goals. Wrap Christmas presents, walk the dog daily (weather permitting), do yoga every day, keep up on chores, etc.

So, a busy but calm Winter Break. We’ll see if all this wintry weather will extend it… Fingers crossed!

What are your last two weeks of the year looking like?


The Benefits of a Critique Group

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it at this point, but I recently joined/sort started a Science Fiction/Fantasy critique group. We had our second meeting tonight, and as the instigator of the group, I was one of two folks critiqued tonight.

I sent the group the first ~10pgs of Tavi.

I had a lot of feelings about this. Upon sending it I felt confident. I’ve read this book at least seven times. I know it’s good, I just need more eyes on it to ask questions and point out things that might not have occurred to me. But as the time drew nearer, anxiety kicked in. My chest felt tight, my heart raced, and the cold sweats kicked in.Sheldon hyperventilating panic attack Big Bang Theory | Reaction Gifs

Now, I feel I must explain. This anxiety wasn’t a sudden belief that the book is bad, or that I was a fraud, or any of those other impostery sorts of doubts all writer-folk are prone to. This was a very specific sort of fear:

No one has ever read this book except for me. For three years, this book has been secreted away on the page and in my brain. And now seven strangers have not only read these pages, but they’re going to tell me what they THINK about them???

Yeahhhhh, that ushered in the panic real quick.

But, I want to query agents with this book. I want lots of strangers to read this book. So I have to get over this sudden, unexpected fear. For this alone, I would say participating in this critique group is worth it.

But, wait! There’s more!Wait there GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

They liked it! I mean, there were some critiques, the manuscript isn’t perfect, but the criticisms were largely small, simple fixes that might not even be strictly necessary. They laughed where I wanted them to. They appreciated the tension, and the balance of horror and humor. They quoted some of my lines and descriptions back to me. They… they legitimately LIKED it.

That alone is enough to have me floating on cloud nine tonight, but that isn’t what really made me happiest. I mean, of course people liking my pages made me extremely happy, but it made me happy for a very specific reason.

That validation, babeyy!

I’ve spent over a decade writing. Honing my craft. Experimenting. And all the while my understanding of my work, of what’s “good” and what “works,” has been developing right along with it. My instincts for my writing has been validated tonight. I felt like I finally felt the pay-off for all these years of writing and working on my craft.

This is what it’s for. This is why we do the work. It’s about developing our skills and developing our instincts or understanding our writing.

Now, I know that it won’t be this way each week. I’m sure as get further along (muddy middle anyone?) there will be more criticism. But I’m also sure that most of it, if not all, will be expected. Because I know my work, and I have a newfound trust in my assessment. And that’s extra exciting, because I know this book is very close to being ready to query. It may not even take as long as I originally planned…

God, this just felt so good, y’all. A part of me wishes I’d joined a critique group sooner, but honestly? I don’t think I was ready before now. This is the right time.

Anyway, I’m done gushing. I just wanted to share that having a group to read and discuss your work can be scary, but also so so validating. I can’t wait to read more of the group’s work and to help each other grow as writersthe gif of the magi


Until next time, Blogland.


It’s Monday.

It’s the last week of school before Winter Break. It’s spirit week (Flannel Day today). And I have a migraine.

It’s a day where I want to sit in the dim, binge a podcast in its entirety, and fill out my calendar for the next two months. No real work, just thinking about and organizing the work. Unfortunately, I’ve already planned out all of December and basically all of January that I can.

My brain isn’t good for much else at the moment.

I think this is a part of my Anxiety/ADHD brain that I find organzing my time very soothing. It’s comforting for me to make lists and to plot out my days. I’m also a BIG fan of  color-coding my planner. But what’s wild is that, despite all this forethought and organization, my planner still looks absolutely chaotic. Thanks, ADHD!


Anyway, my head is all over the place. Focus is very limited today, my physical energy is low, but my mind is a hamster in a wheel. Maybe a slightly sick hamster, but it’s still getting its steps in. There’s a lot of potentially exciting things happening in the background right now. Things I want to write obsessively about, but won’t until the New Year.

So I’m just over here thinking myself into circles and nursing a migraine. I hope your Monday goes better for you.

Later Bloggarts,


Brain is full.

It’s mostly writerly stuff, which is a nice change of pace. I’m scheduling writing time in my planner. I’m listening to writing podcasts on my evening walks with the doggo. The wheels are churning enough that I feel destracted from the day-to-day with all kinds of writerly excitement. So I’m just gonna dump it all out in a series of bullet points so I can *hopefully* move on and focus. Because this is my brain right now:

Overstimulation on Make a GIF

To the list!

  • I applied for Clarion West!
    • I know that the odds are NOT in my favor (the applicant pool is huge, international, and they only select 18 writers each year), but I’ve talked myself out of applying for like three years now, so applying at all seems like a win.
  • I joined/founded a SFF Critique group through Willamette Writers!
    • We met (virtually) for the first time last night. we’re mostly strangers and we’re writing all kinds of different stories, but I’m super excited to get to know them and their work, and to see what good this group can bring to each of us.
  • I found new podcasts to listen to!
    • I’ve been walking the dog each evening when I get home from work, and am now all caught up on Deadline City. I needed more writing podcasts and found EIGHT of them! I’m pumped to start listening tonight.
  • I’m beginning the 2022 Planning Process
    • I’ve drafted my New Year’s (New Look?) post and have started to schedule out the first few months of 2022, including backwards planning for all kinds of writing goals. It’s seeming increasingly likely that my whiteboard and monthly and/or weekly goals will make a return in 2022!
  • My podcast is getting its [ish] together!
    • It’s been a struggle to get all four of us scheduled to record. Four is a lot of hosts and brings all sorts of interesting issues to recording and editing the show. But we love it, so the show will go on! Just with much better scheduling.
  • I have two writing craft books queued up to read this month!
    • Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories by Charlie Jane Anders and A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: in Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. Two very different books that I am somehow equally excited to read.
  • I’m only slightly behind on my reading goal for this year!
    • I’m very confident that I will catch up and maybe even surpass my goal! I have two weeks off at the end of the year (one of the perks of working in public education) and I am looking forward to using that downtime to read and write. Historically, I read more than five books in December, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
  • I’m considering a site revamp!
    • This is all I’m going to say about it. The thought is nebulous and new, and could go a million different ways. Best to keep this one close to the chest for now.

I feel like there was more, but it’s all dribbled out of my ears. This worked. I started this post buzzing with all the things, and now they’re out and I’m feeling much calmer. This is part of living with ADHD. It’s this sort of frantic, obsessive thinking that leads me to compulsive list making. Which leads to sticky notes and scraps of paper everywhere. Which leads to a very frustrated spouse wondering why I have eighteen versions of the same list scattered around the house.

Oh, it’s nothing, Honey, I’m just so excited I literally can’t hold it in my brain anymore. It’s fine. No, don’t look at my desk, it’ll just stress you out. What do you think? Pizza for dinner? Pizza sounds gooooood.

Damn it. Now I want pizza…


How to Talk About Your Writing When You’re Anxious AF

No. Seriously. Does anyone know?

You’d think after a decade of blogging about writing, taking creative writing classes, and talking with other writers at meetings and conferences I’d be a pro! But, uh… Nope. It is a struggle, every damn time.

In virtual spaces it’s easier for me. On the blog, on twitter, tumblr, or my various other social media accounts it’s easier. It’s just me shouting into the void about the most important thing in my life. If other people connect with it or engage with it, cool.

(Spouse and doggo are not “things” just fyi. I didn’t forget them.)

But, in person? Face-to-face? With EYE CONTACT?!?!?!

Nope. Nuh-uh. No can do.

Cant Do It Not Today GIF - Cant Do It Not Today Not Now Please - Discover &  Share GIFs

If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you may have garnered that I am a being steeped in ADHD and Anxiety, with an added dash of Depression to keep things spicy. I am mostly functional because my personal mantra is “fake it ’til you make it.” Shoutout to my high school dance teacher for that gem of life advice — Thanks, Mrs. Buren!

My back-up plans have back-up plans and my phone calls have dress rehearsals. I am not great at social situations and tend to replay them for weeks afterward, picking my every movement and word apart, dissecting for the exact moment I revealed myself as (insert disparaging remark here). Unfunny, stupid, weird, rude, thoughtless, inconsiderate, weird, awkward, uncomfortable, weird… you get the point. I worry. A lot.

So, you can imagine, talking about something as vital to me as my writing is very stressful. It’s easier with strangers. I don’t really care what strangers think about me and never have. And my closest loved ones are easy because I know they know me best. They will read the work and understand it. And they’ll understand my flailing, ranting, rabid excitement about it. They even claim to find it endearing. Who’s weird now?

(Pssst… It’s still me.)

But, acquaintances? People I know in passing, friends of friends, or *gasp* colleagues? This is the nightmare scenario. Sharing my writing with people I generally like, and who seem to like genuinely me is terrifying. Because they know me just well enough that they might see behind the curtain of my fiction and find my trembling heart hidden underneath the floorboards. It’s a vulnerability that makes my chest clench, my palms damp, and gives me the cold sweats.

But talking about our publications is absolutely necessary! Not only should we celebrate our accomplishments, but we also need to market our books!

How do I overcome this?

Perhaps you should take your aunt's advice and practice – MOVIE QUOTES |  Darcy pride and prejudice, Pride and prejudice 2005, Pride and prejudice

The answer seems obvious and I hate it. To get better about talking about my writing I have to… talk about my writing. Gross. Gross, but I get it. I get it! But how? Where do I do this? When? My closest friends and family already know all the things. I talk with them. I have no problem talking about my writing career with fellow writers. Granted, that’s all been over a zoom call lately, so who knows if that ease will transfer to in person interactions. And I’ve gotten better at talking to acquaintances! But only when they bring it up first…


What I need is a good reading. I need to get in front of people and practice reading my work and talking about it with them. This is deeply disconcerting. It’s the last thing I want to do, but I just looked and there’s an Open Mic Night through Willamette Writers at the end of January. Guess I’m gonna read something.

… Shit.

I did a reading once in college. It was terrifying. I did all right, but I remember how much my hands and voice shook. I think it’ll go better this time. I have a bit more confidence now than I did then. Maybe this will just be one of the things I work on in 2022?

Speaking of 2022, I should probably start thinking about goals for next year…

Ah, shit.


Oh. Shit. It’s DECEMBER?!

Hey Bloggos,

Sorry it’s been so quiet over here. This weekend was a blur of birthday celebrations and I felt like I barely had a moment to think — in all the best ways! We drove up to Seattle for a couple of days and saw our favorite podcasters (The McElroys) perform both MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone live! We also walked around Emerald City Comic Con and ate so much AMAZING food. It was a truly wonderful weekend, definitely the best in recent memory.


Which brings me to today. I’m feeling really good. Refreshed in a way I didn’t expect, to be honest. It’s nice to remember there’s a world outside of work and home. And there’s no better city to remind me than Seattle. I love it so, so, so much.

Some things I wanted to talk about are actually writing related! I know, weird! I’ve joined — founded? — a Science Fiction/Fantasy critique group through Willamette Writers. Surprisingly, they didn’t have one already, and I have a very serious need. Tavi is at a point where I could use some outside eyeballs and I need a group of writers to hold me accountable. And I’d really like to grow my writing community. So yeah. That starts on Wednesday and it starts with me.

I’m not nervous or anything.Kermit Kermit The Frog GIF - Kermit Kermit The Frog Nervous - Discover &  Share GIFs

I’m still working on Victoria… Have I talked about my nanowrimo project with any sort of specificity on here yet?

*Searches recent posts*

Huh. Well, I’m writing a near-future, gender-swapped retelling of Frankenstein. It’s set in Seattle and is the strangest thing I’ve written, process-wise. I’m not going to get into it much here because the draft isn’t done. It’s nowhere near done. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft and I think it’s more of a zero draft than an honest to goodness first draft…

Point is, it’s very much in progress so I shan’t discuss it too much. I’m working on it.

In other news, I wanted to share that two of my short stories are now available in print! If you’d like to support small magazines/publishers please, please, please consider purchasing print copies of both the City. River. Tree. 2020 Anthology and of Luna Station Quarterly Issue 046.


They’d make pretty cool gifts and ship super quick. Just sayin’…

Top Shelf LogoIn other other news, a new episode of Top Shelf Librarians dropped Friday morning. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and give it a listen! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. It’s the end of the year (finally) so I’m sure I’ll be back with some reflective musings and big plans for the coming year. I think I’m actually ready to think big things. But as ever, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

Until then, Blogland.


Reflection: Nanowrimo 2021

Well. It’s the last day of Nanowrimo. I have five-ish hours to write about 1,200 words in order to reach my EXTREMELY modified goal. Originally the goal was the legit, old school Nanowrimo target: 50k. It became apparent very early on that I would not be making this goal. 

Given the past two years of Pandemic Bullshit™ and the fact that I haven’t written anything super long since I finished the Tavi rough draft in spring of 2019, I’m not surprised that this Nano was a major struggle. I expected it, honestly.

The fact that I could reach 15k on a single project in a month is a major win for me. Breaking 19k total for the month is a HUGE win. It’s more than I’ve written the rest of the year combined. I refuse to feel bad about such success. 

They say that comparison is the thief of joy, but we forget that it applies to not just the world beyond, but within as well. Comparing my output to years past is an exercise in disappointment, when really I should be celebrating this productivity that’s leaps and bounds beyond what I’ve done in recent memory.

I’m headed in the right direction. Shocko Elf GIF - Shocko Elf Shock - Discover & Share GIFs

Beyond Nanowrimo, I have MORE news! Say what?!

My microfiction piece “Unforgettable” made its way into the City.River.Tree. 2020 Anthology. I may have missed the email about the anthology’s release, and I’m just now realizing it. Whoops.

Point is! My story is available in print! And that always feels amazing! As indicated by all these darn exclamation points!!!!

Ahem. Anyway. That’s the news. If you’d like to read my story, you can find it online here. OR you can support a small, indie microfiction magazine and buy the 2020 Anthology. It’s like, $8. Just sayin’.

All right. That’s enough procrastination. It’s time to get these final words on the page. See you soon, Bloggarts.



Podcast Update!

After an unexpected hiatus (I’ll be honest, scheduling recording times and editing was too much for my limited bandwidth this fall), the show is back babeyyyyyy!

We’re back, we’re vaxxed, and we’re coming to you from a single, very creaky dining room table. Huzzah!

Also, a friendly reminder: this show is NOT family friendly. So if you have lingering family members this holiday weekend, blare this and send them packing.

The Library Pros™ are happy to help.

It’s been a hot minute but the Library Pros™ are back in action! Travel back in time with us, all the way to August! We talk about The Baconssaince and Matt’s Golden Age, we have a very serious Kantaro Convo, we reminisce about Hot Sauce Homework, and Brittany REALLY loves ramen. Oh, yeah! And we talk about books. And booze. You know, the usual.