Tag: publishing

Any Excuse for Cake, I Tell You: It’s the Anniversary of ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Any Excuse for Cake, I Tell You: It’s the Anniversary of ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Hi! Hi! Hi! It’s the fifth anniversary of the day my debut novel was published (yes this has been a long time no you don’t have to ask me when another one is coming out I AM TRYING). All the Difference had its book birthday on this 

This is Just a Giant Paraphrase of “Eye of the Tiger”

This is Just a Giant Paraphrase of “Eye of the Tiger”

  On Thanksgiving I was talking with my Aunt Michelle, an avid, self-published writer, when she said something about the work that took me by surprise: writing is her way to relax. Michelle hustles like nobody’s business, but she cheerfully told me and my mom that 

Yep, I Got All That from a Conference

I went to the first regional conference of my organization, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, in Philly this weekend. It was a nonstop sort of weekend, with workshops and meetings from 7:30 a.m. to 9 at night. I got to speak on a panel with other authors and agents, including my own. I sat down (in a bar, but never mind that) with Ann Garvin, a USA Today bestselling author and professor at the University of Wisconsin (“You’re from Wis-cahn-son! My brother and sister-in-law live in Wis-cahn-son!”). I gouged my hands open on a razor in my overnight bag and dripped blood all over the bathroom I was sharing with an author friend. It was eventful.

A theme popped up over the course of the weekend: keep moving. Agent Katie mentioned the exact phrase during her keynote speech. Ann, during her workshop presentation, addressed something similar: if we forget what we want, we end up just standing still (she was talking about characters moving through a plot, but about real life, too). I ended up discussing it too, during a question I answered on the panel: in publishing, time moves so slowly leading up to actual publication (trying to find an agent, submitting to publishers, making edits toward a final product), but once your book comes out, the expectations (and the time it takes to produce) speed up extremely quickly. If you want to succeed in this career, you have to anticipate that you will have a career: getting a single novel to print is something you move past, not just toward. It’s a strange paradox when you’re at the beginning, just dreaming of one day seeing your book on a store shelf: you need to be prepared to sprint once you’re told to move up to the starting line. I can only know this is true for a lot of other careers and dreams, too.

I write this both as a reminder and as encouragement. Sometimes it feels like life is at a standstill–and sometimes, that place is comfortable for a lot of people: people who are tired, who want to stop wanting, who would just like to sit down and rest for a while. But if there’s something you want, something you’re walking toward, you need to go get yourself a really sturdy pair of sneakers, because: your goal isn’t the final destination. Your goal, really, is only the first step along the way. If you’re dreaming, if you’re working, you need to be prepared to keep going. Because when you reach that first goal you get to choose to stop walking and start running.


Better go lace up those sneakers.

I’ll Tell You Now I Keep it On and On

David got me these flowers on our anniversary in July (13 years, baby. Our marriage is officially a teenager). I’d chosen them as part of my wedding bouquet, but just got around to looking up their meaning today, and what I found kind of threw 

We Interrupt This Broadcast For a Little Self-Promotion

Soooooo. I have a book coming out. Most of you who’ve been with One Vignette from the beginning know this already–you’ve actually followed my journey from the time I got brave enough to tell you about it to now. Thank you, thank you for that. 

Perspective: Writer Version

I posted a cute (well, I think it’s cute, anyway. Blog posts are kind of like kids that way) story over on my other website about the day last week that advanced reading copies of my All the Difference came in. Please go check it out, then come back here, because I have something funny to tell you that won’t make sense until after you read that other one…

4.17.15. ARC. Leah website

…did you finish it yet?

…what about now?

Okay, good. You’re back.

So now you know the embarrassing Story of the ARC (not at all like Noah’s, but for a brief moment in my little corner of the continent, almost as earth-shaking). You know all about the tears, and about the family huddle, and the fact that–for all of us, kiddos included–it became absolutely real that this book is actually, really, happening. At least, I thought it finally made sense to most of us. The Big Huge Accomplishment was UNDENIABLE. I was humbled. I was giddy. I was overwhelmed. We were all so happy at this Wonderful Thing That Happened. And–for a brief moment, just the tiniest–I was THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO’S EVER HAD A BOOK PUBLISHED.

But then I got a reality check, preschool-style.

The next day, the day after the ARCs came in and I cried too much (happy sobs!) and called my mom and cried some more (more happy sobs!), Quinlan went to school, as usual (apparently the world does not stop to clap its hands when early copies of a person’s novel are released into the wild). And that evening her teacher sent me a message:

4.17.15. ARC. Quinlan comment

I told you.

Reviews of the book are going to start coming in soon. In a few months, people out in the world–friends, family members among them–will read All the Difference and…wait for it…TELL ME WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT IT. I am so nervous. Excited, but really, really nervous. My mere 294 pages, about to be tossed into the hands of people, and digested in a matter of days, then placed aside. In between that time, though? These knees will be a-knocking. But this, my friends–out of the mouth of our Quinn, who calls the writing “work” more often than I do, who sits beside me and comments as I finish up emails and blog posts and Twitter updates, who asks me when I’m going to finish the next book–is keeping it real.

4.17.15. ARC. Quinn runningMan, it’s good to have a four-year-old around.

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Okay, you guys. You know that little book I wrote? The one that got revised and revised and edited and revised some more, and finally went out and got somebody to say they wanted to publish it? Well. That book has a cover. It’s an 

When it Rains

This was going to be a much different post, when I set out to write it a couple of weeks ago. It was going to be about fear, and gratitude. It was going to be about moving houses, and about leaving the neighbors who’d become