Almost exactly four years ago, on a sunny June day in a beautiful Atlantic beach town, I thought my life was ending. My son, Raymond, who was just a few weeks from his third birthday, disappeared on a crowded boardwalk. We’d just gotten off the Jolly Trolley at the boardwalk — Raymond, his two older sisters, my husband and I. For less than a minute, my husband and I took our eyes off the kids while we discussed where we wanted to eat dinner. Less than a minute. How many times have you taken your eyes off your child in a public place for a few seconds? You dig through your purse at the grocery store. You text your spouse. You crane your neck, searching for the other mom you were supposed to meet for lunch.
"Hey! How is homeschool going?" Such an innocent question. And yet, there are so many not-so-innocent words I want to throw out in response.
I want to warn you, before you read any further, that this will not be my typical, dumb humor post. I won't be telling you some sarcastic, relatable story about a time that my kids did something aggravating, then toss in some "funny" so that you can walk away with the feeling that this is all normal, lighthearted stuff. If you want to maintain the illusion that my life is perhaps a bit chaotic, certainly full of hard work, but at the end of the day we can all hug it out like an "aw shucks" moment on a family sitcom, you should probably stop reading now.
This is a record of the Roder Family's experience with the epic storm of January 2016, dubbed "Snowzilla" by the Washington Post. (For the purposes of posterity, this writer will document all trials, difficulties, and opinions associated with the storm, including the fact that I think the name "Snowzilla" is a little lame.) Wednesday, … Continue reading Snow Diary
My book is done! Halleluia! Pack up the babies and a nice bottle of the fizzy stuff. We’re going to Disney World, folks! OK, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I ought to work on getting it published first, don’t you think? So for the last two weeks or so, I’ve been sewing … Continue reading Dear Agent: A Limerick
Hello friends in the blogosphere! As many of you know, I entered my novel, Women Like Us, in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. So far, it's been a hair-pulling, nerve-wracking ride as I obsess over anticipate the next contest announcement. If you're not familiar with ABNA, it works like this: Ten thousand people enter … Continue reading My Publisher’s Weekly Review
If you've been reading this blog, you know that I've been on a mission to get one or another of my books published for a few years now. I've received rejection upon rejection from literary agents. Some of them were encouraging. The last agent to reject Women Like Us wrote, "I was highly entertained reading … Continue reading It’s Heartbreaking When You Have to Say No
With Halloween approaching, I thought it a good time to explore the subject of fear. As in, that immobilizing tightness I get in my chest in response to completely rational, empirically terrifying things, like the porch light coming on. My oh-so-patient husband (who will be fitted for his shining armor on our next anniversary), valiantly … Continue reading I’m a big, blubbering, scaredy-cat baby…and my kids are getting there.
So you finish the first draft of your (obviously) brilliant manuscript. Maybe you let it sit for a while, or maybe you're like me and you can't resist reading it immediately. I've completed two manuscripts, and in each first draft, I've found passages that made me smile and squeal with delight at their perfection, and … Continue reading Critiquing: Take it like a writer!
This isn't going to be one of those, "Rejection is hard, but buck up! My book was rejected eighty-seven times and now I have a famous New York agent and a three book deal with a six-figure advance!" type of articles. See, between my two novels, I've received 94 rejections, and I do not currently … Continue reading Dear Author: Thank you for your query. Unfortunately…