Asking for Help

I battled with undiagnosed OCD for fifteen years before I finally sought help. Now, that just seems silly.

These days, when I encounter a problem, I open my mouth and ask for help. This isn’t weak. It’s smart.

I’m so over the ridiculous stigma attached to this. There is nothing shameful about identifying areas where I struggle and then seeking out solutions. I celebrate my enterprising, aggressive spirit and commitment to health.

This post is not to toot my own horn but to give my blog readers another way of framing the often humbling experience of asking for help. Doing so is a brave, intrepid, wise move– don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Vintage inscription made by old typewriter


Filed under real life

My 14 Favorite Books of the Last 5 Years

My favorite books that were published between 2010-2015:

last five years collage


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme over at The Broke and the Bookish.

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Filed under reading, YA

A Portrait of Uncertainty, Before & After

SONY DSCUncertainty, Before ERP: intolerable agony. Even a sliver of uncertainty would collapse my entire self. It was torture, hell on earth. I didn’t think I could stand it for one more minute. And, in fact, because of that intense pressing need to erase the uncertainty, I’d usually do something to alleviate the ugly anxiety … but compulsions prevent you from realizing that you can live one more minute. And then another. And as the minutes stack up, you start to get used to the cold water. In fact, it stops feeling icy.

Uncertainty After ERP: uncomfortable still, but necessary. These days uncertainty feels like a built-in, expected part of life. It’s no one’s favorite thing to experience, but I experience it much the same way as the general population. It’s not an emergency; it’s just an inconvenience. And because I learned that I could survive– and even thrive– by embracing uncertainty, I actually love it more than most people.

Uncertainty isn’t the enemy. ERP can set you free.
Go to for more details.


Image credit: Mark Turnauckas


Filed under anxiety, doubt, ERP Therapy, OCD, terror, uncertainty

Dear Diary: February 2015

dear diary FEB 2015February’s a short month, it’s true, but WOW, can you pack a lot into 28 days!

I saw my galley pages and made corrections.

I started hand therapy (I have bad wrists).

I worked three out of four weekends in a row (okay, two were in January).

I had a couple rough days.

I explored the war monument near Shadow Falls in St. Paul and the mill ruins in Minneapolis in research for my WIP.

gold medal

Truest 3d jpgThe most exciting part of my month was, of course, the cover reveal of my debut novel, Truest. It’s gotten so much love, and I’m so glad you guys like it. I love it. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Jenna Stempel, the designer, hand-lettered the title and the chapter headings. This process has been very, very real to me for some time now, but I think, for many of my friends and family members, seeing the cover has finally made it real to them.

Thank you, everyone, for caring about my life, my book, … me. I feel really blessed to have the life I have, bad wrists, bad days, and all.



Filed under dear diary

Poetry 2015 Review: Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder

stupid hopeThough Jason Shinder is highly esteemed, this was the first of his work I’d ever read.

It was interesting. Very spare language. Very vulnerable.

There were four parts. In the first two parts, Shinder talks a lot about his mother’s illness. But in part three, readers learn that he also has an illness– and is dying from it. This is where the book took a turn for me. The first half I could do without, but the second half– when Shinder was facing his own mortality– had an urgency and honesty that made it special.

It was, in fact, so imbued with urgency, that I wondered if Shinder would die before part four. Then I realized that there wouldn’t be a part four without him.

It was tragic, and readers learn in the postscript that his dear friends put together the book after he died and at his request.

You should read this one, or at least the second half.

If you’re reading along with my Poetry 2015 Campaign, then make sure to track down a copy of Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair for March!

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Filed under book review, poetry

What I Want to Know about You

Your Turn Words Two Red Dice Game Competition Next MoveHumor me, please.

Leave me a comment with the following info:

1. Your name (or pseudonym).

2. Three things you’re passionate about.

3. What you’re most looking forward to in 2015.

4. A name you love (I love collecting names!).

5. Where you are right now (“Mpls,” “the library,” “far away,” & the like are all acceptable).


Filed under Uncategorized

Days Like Today

I’m having a bad day. The worst I’ve had in a while.

I’m down. I can’t write. It makes me feel lazy and sluggish and I hate that.

Expectation vs. reality really clobbers me sometimes. I had wanted this weekend to be ultra-productive– to rip through my work in progress in two days and get scenes lined up and make them prettier, and instead I stare at one page, fumble through a little bit, then stare at another page, repeat.

I took my meds this morning. All good on that front. Just woke up with a foggy beast on top of me that I’ve been trying to outrun all day– unsuccessfully.

My nap didn’t help. My excellent lunch didn’t help. Reaching out to friends isn’t helping either.

I think that those of us who have brain disorders are just bound to have these funky days from time to time. I praise God that this is a rare occurence. It used to be expected.

So there’s my silver lining.


Filed under Uncategorized