Not Another Newsletter!

And More Significant Ways We’re Out of Control

If we’re not on the frontlines, like healthcare workers (I mean superheroes), and lucky enough not to be caring for a loved one with Covid-19 or suffering from it ourselves, then I think the next hardest thing about the pandemic is that now we know how out of control we really are.

A few short months ago, our kids went to school. We had plans for the summer. If we wanted to hug a friend we could do so without worrying about endangering the life of someone six degrees of separation away. If we ran out of milk, we just went out and got some. And if we needed a night off—choose your poison—downing drinks at your favorite bar/knee-deep in a sundae at your favorite ice cream shop (me! me!)/losing yourself at a movie theater/hooking up on Tinder, we could.

Then that all disappeared and we weren’t prepared and there wasn’t one thing we could do about it.

This might all sound like small stuff—and it is, that’s why I started with the folks who are really struggling and supporting on the Corona front—but that doesn’t mean it’s nothing.

Being out of control is associated with a host of emotional reactions and symptoms, up to and including depression. What I want to say to everyone—myself included—is, It’s okay to not be okay. It’s even okay to want your dang doughnut.

And then, of course, we have to acknowledge our privilege, keep a gratitude journal—according to this article, over 11,000 studies show gratitude is connected to overall health and wellbeing—and buckle down and help in the ways we are able.

Love our families and take care of them as best we can.

Jenny and Kids and Purple Tree

Smile when we do see others—even from behind a mask, it’s possible to tell.

Give what we can when we can. A woman approached us in a deserted parking lot a few weeks ago. She was struggling to put food on the table. It wasn’t much, but we bought her dinner that night.

Find ways to enjoy life no matter how out of control it is at the moment. Below are two of mine. What are yours?

Book Mail

Book Mail

It’s like Christmas morning when a book comes (and is left for several hours to kill any viral particulates, sprayed with alcohol, and finally opened. What, was that not implied?)

Here are a few goodies I got in May, available now to buy or pre-order:

Spiked by Jon McGoran

My son is ADDICTED to this series!

Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon

My #1 most awaited domestic thriller so far this year!

The Chicken Sisters by Kj Dell'antonia

A NYT parenting blogger offers an intergenerational family saga? Sign me up!

These links are to bookshop.org, "an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores." Another way to help during this time!



I bake muffins that contain less sugar and more whole grains. Who knew this hobby would turn out to be pandemic-ready? Now my baked goods are the only ones we eat, so I’ve had to branch out. Here’s a pic of my latest, courtesy of my brother-in-law, who’s taking names and kicking butt in the kitchen and inspired me to try YEAST.

Any cooking firsts for you? Just glad to get a sandwich on the table at dinnertime? Believe me, that’s me too. Only now I might try to make the bread.


So, How About That Pub Date?

The Second Mother

My brilliant, outside-the-box publisher took a good, hard look at marketing plans for The Second Mother, and, well, the state of the world, and decided to move my release to August 18th.

I give talks to writers about how to publish—traditional, indie, or hybrid? I truly don’t believe one is better than the other, so I use a questionnaire and one-on-one conversations to help writers find their way to the path that will fit them best.

One aspect of traditional publishing is that the writer doesn’t have as much control over things like publication schedule. I feel lucky that my release date has been based on close examination of the book and my hoped-for career trajectory.

I’m trying to think of things I can do in case my in-real-life tour can’t happen. I’d love to hear ways you’d like to connect with authors during this time. Maybe I can meet you virtually, or your book club, or women’s group.

The sky’s the limit—send me an idea and we'll chat! From six feet away, of course.

Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,


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