HOCD More Prevalent Than You Think

Anecdotally, I hear from more OCD sufferers dealing with HOCD than with any other kind.

Statistically, my HOCD posts get the most traffic on my blog (see graphic below).

HOCD sufferers, please know you’re not alone.

I invite you to read my interviews with “Hannah,” a former HOCD sufferer who now lives in freedom from HOCD (part one | part two).

Leave your questions below, and if I get enough, I’ll do a third interview with Hannah!

HOCD stats.jpg


Other related posts:
A Closer Look at HOCD
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
OCD Help

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Dear Diary: January 2015

dd jan 2015 2Today is my spiritual birthday! Nineteen years ago, I made the best decision of my life and signed everything over to Jesus. It’s been a wild journey with him ever since!

This month has been packed to the gills. I celebrated the new year with my best friend Eir, I watched Truest start cropping up for pre-order on online bookstores all over, I turned 33 and didn’t have a third-of-a-century crisis in any way.

I spent close to a week up in Duluth on a writing retreat, where I hammered out 10k words in three days. I’m absolutely thrilled about my work in progress! The characters are gripping my heart, making me laugh, making me cry. And the best thing is that I’ve been absolutely LOVING the writing process lately. 2014 was a bit harrowing, and– truth be told– there were many stretches where I didn’t feel like I was enjoying writing anymore. Over and over, I’d ask myself, “Is this still what you want?” Sometimes I’d have to really think about it, but my answer always was yes. And now: to enjoy it again? Delicious. Hard, hard work. But good work.

Some exciting things are coming up for me! I’ll be reviewing my galleys soon, making last-minute changes and corrections to the manuscript, and the cover will be revealed next month! I’ve been so eager to show the world– I hope you’ll all love it as much as I do!

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Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson

I’m reading one book of poetry each month this year!

For January, I read Polar by Dobby Gibson. For February, I’ll be reading Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder. You should read it too. For a list of all poetry books I’m reading this year, click here.

polarDobby Gibson is a local poet. I’ve seen him around Minneapolis, tweeted with him a little. He used to be my friend Alison’s boss! I’ve read two of Dobby’s other books (reviews here and here), and I loved them both.

I think Polar is his first book, and I found it less accessible than his later two. That said, I still very much enjoyed it. To me, this collection felt like a blender of Billy Collins and Annie Dillard, whose poetry is nothing like the other. Dobby was a comfortable middle ground between the deeply accessible and the brilliantly obscure.

“Two hands for undressing, / one mouth for lies, / a moment for every question / we save only for ourselves.” Love this.

Or how about this? “It’s luncheon-meat cold, and even winter rain / isn’t anything new, but it hurls itself / at us like a smashed chandelier.” Yes.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me was his vocabulary, which is clearly massive. For Gibson, it’s like an arsenal that has every weapon available, and he need only choose the best one for the situation.

He does. Over and over again.

Did you read Polar this month too? What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment. If you blogged about it, include a link!

I hope you’ll track down a copy of Stupid Hope for next month!


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Truest Behind the Scenes

Writers are weird. At least, this one is.

* I know my characters’ middle names, though they are not mentioned in the book.
* I have a couple important scenes written from multiple POVs.
* I could send you links to a couple of their very real outfit choices.
* I have already casted the movie version of Truest. Which is not a real thing.

And though John Green would emphatically disagree with me …

* I have a decent idea of what happens to the characters after the story ends.

But …

* There is one Big Question in the book that I don’t know the answer to.


Image credit: Justin Henry



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I love that “twenty.”

I got my galley pages today; that is, Truest is starting to look like an actual book.

I need to read through these, make any last-minute changes, and then we’ll make my ARCs (advance review copies)! I’m still tracking down permissions for a few of the song lyrics and poetry in the story. Let me tell you, that part is not fun. With my current work in progress, I’m trying to stick mostly to stuff in the public domain.

Anyway, I know a lot of you say that you want to hear all the details on the publication journey– even the little ones– so I thought I’d better share this exciting step with you all!


galley pages2galley pages3



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The Road Thus Far: Champagne Problems

Jackie Lea Sommers:

Good solidarity and reminder from my friend Mackenzi (who is also with Katherine Tegen Books) …

Originally posted on mackenzi lee:

I haven’t blogged in a while, and I’m doing it now because a) I am trapped inside by a post apocalyptic snowstorm, and b) I have a novel I should be writing but am stuck on.

So it has now been eight months since I signed my book deal for my debut novel. In that time, I have learned a lot. Mostly that if I can worry about it, I will. I worry about everything associated with publishing, usually irrationally and in maddening excess.

That has been the biggest lesson of debuting so far: You will worry about everything.

You will worry about plot choices you made. You will worry about setting choices you made. You will worry about the words you used in describing these plot and setting choices. You will worry about how you spelled your characters’ names. You will worry that your book isn’t getting enough marketing…

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Faith & Truest

成功への鍵I wrote Truest with God.

That might sound crazy, but it’s true. From beginning to end, this book was a collaborative project. I conferred and brainstormed with God on a continual basis. Any time I got stuck, I would retreat to my prayer journal and talk it over with God. It was typically during these conversations that the Spirit would give me his best ideas. I was more than happy to take them.

I understand that for those of you who aren’t theists this sounds preposterous. You’re welcome to believe that those brainstorming sessions were actually between me, myself, and I, but I know my limitations. I was not alone.

One of the cool things about Truest is that it’s a story for everyone. People who aren’t religious can enjoy the story at one level, and people who are will enjoy it at a different one. How to make that happen was itself a revelation.

It was a Monday evening. I had plans later that night in Hudson, Wisconsin, about forty-five minutes from my home, and I was lying down in bed, thinking over how in the world to make Truest the story I needed to tell while at the same time the story my agent believed could sell. As I lay there, a word came to my mind: parables. The word burrowed in.

I read and re-read what Christ said about his parables: that they were the way they were so that people who were seeking the deeper meaning would find it and people who weren’t would not. I prayed about it a lot and sat down to re-frame some of my most important scenes.

While I, of course, hope that many people will read between the lines of my story, I know that many will not– and I believe that that is okay. The book is written (or rather, was re-written) so that anyone at any level should be able to jump in and participate.

I cannot wait for you to read it. September 1, folks. Get pumped. I am.


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