Category: | Blogging

Happy Birthday, Unfolding Tale

How does one celebrate the second birthday of one’s blog?


By taking it down, of course. HA!

But seriously, though, I am taking the plunge and paying an actual web designer to make me my very own site on WordPress. No more of this Weebly business, no more blogger. I’m moving on up.

Because the thing is, I’ve really come to like blogging, and since I intend to keep it up indefinitely, it’s about time I have a site all my own. I hate it when I’m browsing blogs and come across this very template at someone else’s url. It’s like showing up at the prom with the same dress as the queen, and you’re thinking “well, I look pretty, but dang, she does too.” Then all you can do all night is compare yourself to her. Bah.


So Happy Birthday to the Unfolding Tale. In a couple of days this url will bring you to an “under construction” page. A short while after that I’ll be back, in my shiny new digs. To celebrate I’m thinking of giving away an Amazon gift card to one of my readers, so stay tuned (read: “like” my Facebook page), so you know when the grand reopening goes down.


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Digging Deep is now live!

I am super excited to announce the launch of my new website Digging Deep. It’s the continuation of my Month Without Monsanto project, but better. I’m working with my friend Cassie, and we’re not only exploring questions about Monsanto’s involvement in our food system, but also looking at all kinds of other questions we have about what’s on our plate. We’re digging deep, so you don’t have to. 

For the next couple months we’ll be in beta mode, collecting feedback from supporters and generally keeping it quiet, but if you’re reading this blog, I count you as a supporter, so click on over, check it out and send us your thoughts. It’s a real passion project, and it feels like it’s been forever in the making (having a baby will really put a dent in your pet projects), but it’s finally live! 


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Fall Break

This week is my daughter’s fall break. You know, when you’re four, the trials of preschool can be overwhelming. So she’s home all week to rest up before becoming a Big Dragon in the “fall semester.”

Our house, and my writing practice, is trashed. To get any work done I basically have to sit here and give her assignments, and not worry about the mess she makes. Make me a picture. Staple this piece of paper until it’s full of staples. Right now she is “scanning” things with my mouse, like we’re at the supermarket, her art projects stacked up around me like leaves caught in a fence on a windy day. Earlier she got ahold of the Febreze and “cleaned” the whole house. It wreaks in here.


I’m keeping this post brief. I’m hoping to get some writing done tonight once she’s in bed. We’ll see if I have any energy left for that. I finally get why my parents were always so excited when I had summer school.

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Two Truths and One Lie

I was at a conference a while back and a guy told a story about a writer who had taken a leap as a professional, and upped his price. This writer was surprised and excited to find that his new client didn’t balk at the quoted rate and posted  a note to Twitter – something like “just landed a job for three times my usual price!” The presenter joked that hopefully this new client wasn’t following the writer’s Twitter feed. 

I think about that a lot when I’m trying to decide what to write about for my blog posts. There are so many things I would love to share that I just can’t. Say I agreed to write an article for an online venue for free and the editor is holding out on giving me the byline. Or, say a fellow writer has given me a crap manuscript to read and I’m not sure how to give them the feedback. Or, say  I’m working on a piece for hire and the client has five individuals giving conflicting feedback. (Two out of those three are true. One is total fabrication.)

The point is, I can’t really blog about some of the most interesting shit going on in my writing life because I honestly don’t know who might happen by for a peek. In fact, it’s the people I am currently working with who are most likely to stop by my blog, as I have an automatic signature on my email linking directly to it. 

Honestly, I think I’m safer blogging about my husband these days since he’s way to busy to read my blog. But then again, my father-in-law gets posts delivered directly to his kindle, so gotta be careful there, too. (Hi Juan!)

How do other bloggers out there deal with this delicate balancing act? How to engage online in a frank and honest way without sharing details that really don’t need to be immortalized through the internet?  

Would love to hear any thoughts y’all might have on this one.

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It’s That Time Of Year

About a year ago I began the strange four months that I now refer to as bed rest. At first the doc just said “take it easy, rest as much as you can,” and seeing as I’m a writer who pretty much does very little in the course of day anyhow, I didn’t worry. Yes, I tossed in a nap mid-day, and stopped exercising, but that was about it.

But by the end of August, I was in bed full time, trying to keep the contractions at bay. The first few days of bed rest I actually kind of enjoyed it. I caught up some projects, watched a few movies. Not bad. For a few days. Three months later I was desperate to leave that room, but that’s a story for another time. Allow me to bring it back to the present. The reason I’m thinking about last August is because one of the projects I did was to revamp my website.

I had my reasons for choosing Weebly, but mostly it came down to design. I liked that not everyone had this same layout. But since then I’ve come across other sites that look just like mine – boo. At the same time I’ve become cozy with WordPres, I actually much prefer their interface. So now I want to redo my website – again. It’s becoming an annual thing.

I don’t have time for it to be an annual thing.

So I’m thinking of turning to a professional. I’m going to bite the bullet and pay someone to design a site that is uniquely my own, and to get it up and running on WordPress. My hope, in investing a small(ish) amount of cash, is that this will be a site I can use for years to come. Is three years of functionality too much to ask in this day and age? I’d settle for two.

The way I figure it, $450 spent now will (I hope) save me weeks of trying to revamp a site I will be sick of almost immediately – a week that I could use to write something that gets me paid. When I put it that way it seems absolutely worth the money. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and it’s probably time for a real head shot, too. Ug.
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The Productive Writer

It’s true what they say – the second baby is easier. Not easy, exactly, but easier. The fact is, I’m just better at it. I’m used to being up at all hours of the night, and am well aware that babies cry, they just do. In short, I am a lot calmer, and I think he’s picking up the vibe from me. As I type, he is slumbering peacefully on my tummy, in a sling my neighbor loaned me (thanks Elisa!). It is totally possible to take care of an infant and do a little writing. Not a lot of writing, but a little.

And that is why I’m so excited about what I have in store for you all on Friday. Sage Cohen, author of the newly released “The Productive Writer” (who also happens to be a mother), will be doing a guest post about how to get our sh*t together and get organized as writers. Whether you’re a parent or not, setting goals for your writing, and having a plan on how to reach them is vital.

What’s even more exciting is that Sage has agreed to give away a brand spanking new copy of her book to one lucky reader. So come back on Friday, bring any questions you have about organizing your writing life, and leave a comment for your chance to win.

Lastly, I will be wrapping up my “parents who write” series next week with a guest post from one of my favorite writers – Janet Fitch, author of “White Oleander” and “Paint It Black.” Tune in Monday for some serious mom/writer wisdom.

Who loves ya?

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Thoughts On Blogging From the Rents

Thank you to everyone who participated in my survey last week. It turns out that about 2/3 of you think a post should be between 100 and 500 words. Not too long, not too short. The other third voted for good long posts of over 500 words and I have to give a special thanks to JJ Keith (of the JJust Kidding blog) for her thoughts on the matter. It does seem that now and then you just need to delve in a little deeper to capture the nuance of certain ideas.

Which leads me to babies. What? Babies?

Yes. If you’ve been following along you know I’m due to give birth any day now, and since I’ve done this once before (that’s my little girl in the photo there – three years ago) I know things get a little hectic when you bring home the little screaming, pooping bundle of joy. I’m afraid of loosing track of the days and not keeping up the blog.

So starting fairly soon this blog will be host to a number of guest bloggers. I’ve reached out to some writer friends (who happen to be parents) and asked them to write a short post about being a writer/parent. I’ve left the definition of “short” open to interpretation, and am excited to hear what these folks have to say on the topic of juggling the bundle with this creative profession we call writing.

So stay tuned, I’ve got some pretty great writers on board so far – it should be an interesting discussion.

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In Search of the Perfect Post

It occurred to me this morning that I’ve been blogging away for over a year without giving much thought as to how long my posts are. I tend to lean toward the shorter, snappier post, but I was wondering if perhaps I should be spending a little more time to writer longer, more involved pieces?

If you would be so kind, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter. This quiz is set up to run until the night of Nov. 24th. If you’re reading this before then, lay it on me.


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Happy Anniversary to the Unfolding Tale

I feel like a forgetful spouse.

Last Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of my first post on the Unfolding Tale. Last year at this time I was a little skeptical about blogging, but it’s been a great year. I finished a first draft of my novel, completed my Month Without Monsanto project, graduated with honors from USC’s Master of Professional Writing program, found an agent, wrote my first non-fiction proposal and blogged about it all right here.

I used to think of blogging as journal writing for the public, but it has become more to me over the year. Blogging keeps me thinking about writing. Twice a week I have to think about the act and art of putting words down and find something (hopefully) interesting to say about it. It also keeps me writing. Yes, a few hundred words twice a week isn’t much, but it’s something. Lastly, it’s a fun record to have of my adventures in writing. In this way it is kind of like a journal – one devoted to my writing.

Thank you to my readers. I know a lot of you are writers too, and your thoughts and feedback have meant a lot to me over this first year.

May it be the first of many.

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Welcome To My Shiny New Blog!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been thinking about updating my web presence. Well, here it is!

I’m very excited. A few of the new features you’ll notice are that my posts are now all neatly archived and categorized in the column on the right over there, I have an RSS feed that works, and it’s all held together under the url, which doesn’t forward to some crazy coded url, and is, oh, yeah, free.

So I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. When you get a chance, take a look at the new site, and if you have feedback let me know. I would love to hear it.

Also, in celebration of my new digs, I’m going to start posting twice a week, and this is perhaps the biggest change – I’m going to expand the scope of my posts to include all of my writing, not just fiction. While I will still share my thoughts on the novel, I hope also to talk more about writing my first full-length non-fiction book.

So stay tuned, Mondays and Thursdays, to hear all about my various tales as they continue to unfold.

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