Sunday, February 10, 2008


I'm there now. Please update your bookmarks, Bloglines, or other aggregators!

You can also find me at my website or at my new blog, Cops 2.0.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I've been trying to get to this for weeks, and now is as good a time as any...

The blog is moving! Thanks to Creative Construction, I've been able to work with a CMS that I like a lot better. So, sometime in the next week (or maybe two), I'll be moving to this address:

And will post one more time when it actually happens.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

I support Barack Obama, and here's why:
"We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy."

If you live in a state that's holding its primary today, or even after today, please: read Michael Chabon's excellent op-ed in its entirety. Then go out and be the idealist we need - and vote Obama.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Deadline rebellion

With a major project due in two days, clients demanding I put their work first, and my new blog in need of some startup posts, I woke up Wednesday with a plan: take as much time as I could to do whatever the boys needed.

See, in the past, I've had a hard time with balance. I can get very focused on work when I have a deadline, to the point where I get snappish and frustrated with anything--or anyone--that distracts me. I've done that often enough with Hamlet to know I needed to try a different tack.

I played with him and Puck all morning. Even though I did have to knuckle down that afternoon, and even though Hamlet acted out because he didn't want me to work, I still feel as if I made a good start. Which is why, on Friday, I rebelled again: with one project complete, I could have gone on to the others. Instead I left the computer off, and spent the day with my boys.

I don't like to generalize and say "The work will always be there." This is true, but specific projects won't be. As a freelancer trying to make a living--not a hobbyist making a little extra spending money--I take my obligations to my clients as seriously as (okay, slightly less than) my obligations as a wife and mother. Anyone with customers and a boss feels the same way.

But it's also important for us to know when to back off. That's why finding family-friendly clients is so important. To be able to say, "I'm working on your project, but it might take some more time than I anticipated--my kids are sick (or clingy, or whatever)" is so critical to any freelance parent's success. I always feel a little weird telling those things to non-parent peers, as if they might think I'm using my kids as an excuse to avoid responsibility.

The fact is, those of us who work from home with kids--especially of the small variety--almost never get a chance to shirk responsibility. True, to rebel against our deadlines is a lot like playing hooky. But it's not like we're going off to the theater to watch movies all day, the mall to go shopping. Having fun with the kids is an investment in business--fun, yes, but also insurance against bad feelings and stress, the creativity-killers.

So, I slacked off work. We all needed it. And you know what? I'm still on schedule.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Support a debut author

Today, January 29th, is the release date for the trade paperback edition of Patry Francis' debut novel The Liar's Diary. What makes this release different? Unlike most authors, Patry doesn't have the time, energy, or probably the money to market it herself. That's because she's undergoing treatment for an aggressive form cancer.

If I were dealing with this, I'd want my friends and acquaintances in the crime fiction community to come together for me too. Book promotion is hard enough as it is. To work so hard on a novel, to be trying to make a career in a business that's increasingly stacked against us, and then to have book sales jeopardized by something completely out of one's control.... So, even though I don't know Patry personally, I'd like to join 300+ other blogging writers to ask my readers to check out her book. It looks like a good one, going by the Publisher's Weekly review -
A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results.
- as well as the publisher's promotion:

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to

Also, watch The Liar's Diary book trailer here.

Good luck Patry!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mark Terry talks freelancing

Not long ago, author and freelancer Mark Terry gave me an interview about his writing. This week, he'll be doing a series that goes in-depth on freelancing. As I wrote him in a comment, I'm thinking about trying to do more with my job, so I'm really looking forward to the series. Go check it out - his first post is all about the different types of writing there are (more in the comments section too).

Saturday, January 26, 2008


For the first time in over a year, I can say it: I have the house to myself.

Rain Dog took both boys to his mother's house for a visit. Originally I was going to go too, but I have so much work and he could see how frustrated I was getting with the regular morning routine. His words: "All you'll be doing over there is thinking about what you're not writing, or you'll be on your PDA." I love that man!

I nursed Puck before he left, and he has his sippy cup and whatever food is available over there. Although I was a bit at a loss for what to do - deadline work, fiction, or yes, even some housework! - I've settled on the deadline stuff. If I can make a dent in that, I'll be in much better shape for the coming week.

So here I sit at my desk with my hot chocolate and my favorite work music. It's allll good.