Category Archives: Pintip

Cover Reveal: Seize Today by Pintip Dunn!

Hello, friends!

Today is a fin-tastic day to be dipping your toes into the lagoon. This is because we Waterworld Mermaids have the distinct honor of participating in a very special book event…

A big thank you and fishy kiss goes out to YA Books Central for revealing the cover of Mermaid Pintip’s Seize Today!

I was just reading the synopsis and once again, Mermaid Pintip has truly delivered an astounding story for the readers. I just marked my calendar–October 3rd–and cannot wait to add this to my collection. I hope you will too. But for now, onto the exciting fishy business of a proper cover reveal.

And so with bubbles and fins and lots of fishy kisses, I only have one word left… ENJOY!!!



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A Lifelong Student

Highlighters: green, blue, yellow, orange, and pink. Check.
Three-ring binder with printed-out manuscript. Check.
Lecture packets on how to write fresh, use rhetorical devices, and assess my writing for weaknesses using a rainbow-colored system. Check, check, and check.

Can anyone guess what I’m doing today? That’s right! I’m attending one of Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Classes.pintip

I am so excited to meet Margie, to hang out with fellow writers for the next four days, and, most of all, to learn!

I love school. From kindergarten through college through law school, I adored exploring new subjects and acquiring the skills needed to think about old subjects in a new way. But just because I’ve graduated doesn’t mean my days of study have to end.

This morning, my son asked where I was going this weekend.

“Class,” I said.

“What?” He scrunched his eyes the way he does when I tell a particularly funny joke. “You mean you’re going to be the teacher?”

“No, honey,” I responded. “I’m the student.”

“But you’re an adult! You can’t be a student!”

“Of course I can,” I said, ruffling his hair. “I plan to be a student all my life.”

good student. A punctual one. Which means I’d bet
ter get going before Margie rings the tardy bell. Wish me luck!

While I’m making the mad dash to class, please share. How do you feel about learning? What was the last class you took? Would you rather be student or teacher?

Mermaid & Friends: Vanessa Barneveld Swims with the Mermaids

Friends, I had a very special day planned for the lagoon today. I was all set to welcome the fabulous Vanessa Barneveld, whose YA novel, THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE, debuts in four short unnameddays, on October 21. I’m a huge fan of this book — not only is it fun, fresh, and touching, but it’s all delivered in Vanessa’s smooth-as-butter voice.

So you can imagine how excited I was when Vanessa agreed to dip a toe in the lagoon. But alas, due to travel difficulties (Vanessa lives in Australia, after all), she couldn’t make it. But not to worry. She promised she would send a replacement. Ah, here comes someone now…

KEIRA: Hi. I’m Keira and I’m clairvoyant. But I’m not your interview guest today. I’m just here as a ghost interpreter.

PINTIP: Ghost interpreter?

KEIRA: Not everyone can see, hear or talk to ghosts, but I can. I’ll relay everything Jimmy says and does for you and your readers. (Whispers) He’s a shameless flirt, so watch out.

JIMMY: (Coughs) I can hear you, Keira.

KEIRA: Whoops.

PINTIP: OMG. You mean you’re Keira and Jimmy? From the book?!

KEIRA: Where else? Why are you so surprised?

PINTIP: (Stutters) No reason. I was just expecting someone, you know, real. In more than one sense of the word.

JIMMY: Do I get a say in what you call this article, Pintip?’Cause I’ve got some ideas. How about Ghost Host? Ghost Host with the Most? Ghost Host Post?

KEIRA: Enough with the rhyming.

JIMMY: Interview with a Vampire Jock?

KEIRA: You’re a ghost, not Dracula.

PINTIP: Uh, those are very…nice suggestions, Jimmy. I’ll give them serious thought. (Clears throat). Why don’t we get on with the interview? So, Jimmy. Wow. I’ve never talked to a ghost before. What’s it like in the afterworld?

JIMMY: Can’t say I was thrilled about dying at seventeen, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, the ability to walk through walls is kinda cool. I had to learn how to get around. After a while, I figured out all I have to do is think of a location and I’ll be there in seconds.

(Long silence)

KEIRA: (Squints, looks around) Jimmy?

(Crickets chirp)

JIMMY: I’m back! I went to Antarctica just then. Pretty cool. Okay, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, travel. I plan to hang around for the Super Bowl. Gatecrash a luxury box.

KEIRA: You could sit on the goal posts if you wanted to. The horizontal bar thingie.

JIMMY: (Laughs) Glad you clarified that, Keira.

PINTIP: Can ghosts taste or touch?

AfterlifeKEIRA: Weirdly—and I never understood this—Jimmy felt a lot of physical pain in the early days of his afterlife. I likened it to phantom pain that amputees get. It’s something to do with nerve endings. Don’t ask me why ghosts get it.

JIMMY: I’m all healed now, in case you were wondering. I can’t feel a thing.

PINTIP: I’m so glad you’re no longer in pain! What do you miss the most about being alive?

JIMMY: Playing football in front of a home crowd. Hearing everyone stamp their feet on the bleachers. I miss the entire cheerleading squad. My car… But, you know what? None of the material stuff really matters. What I miss most is my family and friends. And I especially miss my brother, Dan. We fought in the days before I died. I loved him. I wish I told him when I was alive.

KEIRA: (Chokes up) He knows.

PINTIP: (Blinking back tears, too) I bet he does. So, out of all places, why did you show up in Keira’s bedroom?

JIMMY: Hey, I had no choice. Another ghost, an old lady, found me, said she knew someone who could help. Before I knew it, she was pushing me through a wall and into Keira’s bedroom.

PINTIP: Did you know Keira before you died?

KEIRA: We were in different classes. He was a senior and I’m a junior. The awful irony is that I was invisible to Jimmy when he was alive.

JIMMY: That’s not true! I noticed you. (Lowers voice) Keira with the long black hair and sexy silver eyes—

KEIRA: They’re gray.

JIMMY: Whatever color they are, they’re pretty.

PINTIP: Very smooth, Jimmy. What were your first moments like being a ghost? Did you know you’d been murdered?

KEIRA: Hold it! I don’t think Vanessa wants us to talk the murder.

JIMMY: Who’s Vanessa?

KEIRA: She’s that author I told you about. Our story—your story—wouldn’t be out there for everyone to read if it weren’t for her. Or her incredible critique partners. Or her agent. Or her editor—

JIMMY: Ha! I get it. No spoilers. Well, the afterlife was confusing for the first few days. When I “woke up” after dying, my head just killed.

KEIRA: That’s a really unfortunate choice of words.

JIMMY: Okay, I had a huge headache. Pain that was worse than any concussion I’d ever gotten playing football. There were big gaps in my memory. It felt like I was living a dream.A very intense, confusing nightmare. My death really hit home when I saw my buddies at school and they walked right through me. Keira helped me deal with all of that.

PINTIP: Sounds like Keira has a lot of wonderful qualities. Your brother Dan certainly noticed. Did you suspect any attraction between these two while you were still alive?pintip

JIMMY: (Shakes head) I was too wrapped up in sports and my own life. I had no clue about those two. Dan keeps to himself. But now that I know Keira a lot better, I think the two of them would be great together. He’s an artist. She’s a creative type, too. And she’s got sexy silver eyes.

KEIRA: (Fidgets nervously) No comment.

PINTIP: What about you? Any cute ghosts in the afterworld?

JIMMY: Hey, forget ghost girls. These Waterworld Mermaids are freakin’ gorgeous. Can I have your number, Pintip?

KEIRA: Nuh-uh-uh, Jimmy! Pintip’s gorgeous and smart and talented, but she’s married. With kids. Go find a mermaid your own age. I know one called Ariel. She really wants to be part of your world.

JIMMY: Under the sea?

PINTIP: Unfortunately, I think she might be taken, too.

JIMMY: (Sighs) I guess ghost girls it is.

PINTIP: I’m sure you’ve got them lined up along the pearly gates already. Thanks so much for being here, you two! And give my love to Vanessa!

KEIRA: Thanks, Pintip! We will!

Aren’t they adorable? If you want to know what Keira and Jimmy look like, click here to see the book trailer.

Vanessa will be giving away a digital copy of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE and a $10 gift card from Amazon to one lucky commenter.

IN ADDITION, because we are so proud of our awesome CP, Kimberly-Mermaid and I will also be giving away another copy of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE, along with a lavender-themed gift basket. The gift basket is in honor of Keira’s grandmother, also a ghost, whose presence is always preceded by the scent of lavender.

Four awesome prizes! Two lucky winners!* One amazing book! Comment away!

*restricted to U.S. and Australian residents.

BLURB: When the one boy you crushed on in life can’t seem to stay away in death, it’s hard to be a normal teen when you’re a teen paranormal.

Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.

Keira’s determined to do anything to find Jimmy’s killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira’s ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.

This thrilling debut from Vanessa Barneveld crosses over from our world to the next, and brings a whole delightful new meaning to “teen spirit”.

BIO: Vanessa Barneveld lives in Australia. She has one husband, two cats, and three Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® nominations. When she’s not writing, devouring chocolate or dreaming of going into space, Vanessa works as a closed-captioner for the deaf and audio describer for the blind.

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Bloomsbury Spark  Amazon | iTunes Australia | iTunes US | Google Play | Kobo | B&N

Why My Life Is Like The Hunger Games

As some of you know, I have a newborn baby. And that sweet, darling child has made my life pintipcrazy busy these last few months. So busy that I’ve cut back on tv time, exercise time, relax-in-a-bubble-bath time — in essence, “me time” — until there’s nothing left to cut. So busy I fall into bed every night stressed about how little I accomplished — and how much more I need to do the next day. So busy I haven’t been able to read very many YA books.

This last, in particular, makes me very sad. That is, until I realized I don’t need to *read* YA stories. Because I’m living my very own!

Behold: Ten Reasons Why Having a Newborn Baby Is Like Living the Hunger Games

1. You can train and prepare and study all you want, but you won’t know what you’re in for until the moment you step into the arena. Even if you’ve been there before.

2. Your body is no longer your own. Instead, you will have a team of people poking and prodding at your naked form. After the team is done, you will not recognize yourself — whether it is your waxed eyebrows or stretched-out midsection.

3. Random gifts will rain down on you, from the sky or the UPS man. The more lovable you (or your baby) are, the more gifts you will receive.

4. You will find yourself tying or strapping everything in sight — car seats, bouncers, baby carriers, tree branches.

5. Your life is boiled down to the most basic needs. You try not to worry about the finer things (hygiene, hurt feelings, relationship drama) because you’re just trying to make it to the next day, alive. Said things have a way of creeping into your life, nonetheless.

6. Your basic needs are at the whim of the Game Makers/baby. You will eat when (and what) they allow you to eat. You will deal with more bodily functions than you ever thought possible. And if they want to keep you up for days at a time? Game on.

7. Just when you think you’ve figured out a routine that works, they change the rules.

8. You find yourself urging your breastfed baby to take one more sip, just as Cinna counseled Katniss to drink more water, as your child prepares to go into battle (i.e. face the evil bottle while you must be away for hours).

9. You will learn that allies are a necessity not an option.

10. The moment your baby enters this world, and maybe even before, you will pull a Katniss and protect your baby at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing your life.

So there you have it! The ten reasons why my life is like The Hunger Games. Either that, or I’m delusional. That tends to happen when writers are too busy for their normal outlets. 😉

What do you think? What book are you secretly (or not so secretly) living? Please share!

Beyond Talks with Imaginary People: Ten Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks Writers Are Crazy*

Pintip Mermaid1. At the table of a crowded restaurant, we debate the pros and cons of killing by poisonous gas or a slit to the throat.

2. Most of our texts to our friends read something like: “1236 words! You?”

3. We return to our manuscripts and add an adjective (only to take it out later in revisions) just so we can say we hit out daily word count.

4. We call our friends to share life events – “Brynn just got into college!” or “Brynn has a baby!” – and accept the ensuing congratulations like a proud mama, even though Brynn is not our daughter. Or niece. Or even a person, really.

5. One year later, we completely blank on Brynn’s name.

6. We convince our husbands to help us out with a sticky detail by contorting our bodies into complicated sexual positions. And when we figure out just the right angle, we pop up and rush out of the room, saying, “Thanks! Gotta get this scene down!”

7. We respond to highly erotic sex scenes by pointing out the missing commas.

8. We get caught checking out a teenaged soccer player, over two decades younger than us, because he reminds us of the hero in our book.

9. We make plans to meet up with our out-of-town best friend, with whom we’ve exchanged thousands of texts, emails, and phone calls, and ten minutes before we arrive at the destination, we turn to our companion and say, “Gee, I hope I recognize her.”

10. We spend hundreds of hours, over months or even years of our lives, sacrificing sleep and entertainment and time with loved ones, pouring our hearts and souls into a story that may never earn us more than spare change, may never be read outside a circle of our closest friends, may never amount to anything other than a file on our computer — and yet, we do it anyway. For the love of the story.

And then we get up the next day and do it again.

* This post is dedicated to Kimberly-Mermaid.

Lessons in Rejection

My heart has been breaking all summer. Over problems no parent can solve. About my inability to protect my children — from hurt feelings, from being excluded, frompintip the agony of rejection.

“I’d rather get a hundred rejections than have my child go through this,” I thought.

The sacrifice of a mother? Sure. But being a seasoned veteran of rejection, I also felt I was better equipped to deal with the pain.

After all, I’ve had LOTS of experience with rejection as a writer. And I’ve learned a ton. For example:

1. I learned to temper my expectations. Seven-figure deals, international book tours, movie adaptations — I’ve dreamed them all. But they didn’t happen, and they didn’t happen quickly. And so, my dreams are different now. Simpler. And they motivate me just as much. A career as a writer. My book on a shelf. Spending my days doing what I love most.

2. I learned that rejection gets easier over time. The very first rejection — whether it is the first one ever or the first on a particular submission — is always the hardest, at least for me. I don’t have the world’s thickest skin, but after years in this industry, I’ve had no choice but to toughen up. These days, I (mostly) react to rejection by shrugging and redoubling my efforts on the next book.

3. I learned to see the silver lining in every cloud. Most things are not all bad. In every rejection, we can find something positive to take away. A lesson about craft, perhaps, or information about the market. Maybe even a compliment on which we can focus. In the midst of the overall message – “NO” – these compliment can easily get lost. But as with anything else, the skill of honing in on the positive part, while ignoring the rest of the noise, improves with practice.

4. I learned to have confidence in myself. Writing is so subjective that it is impossible to please everybody. We can’t depend on external sources for validation (even though they are nice to have!) It’s not easy — this believing-in-yourself business. But when you’re faced with the decision of quitting or persevering, and you choose the latter time and time again, you develop that inner core. I’m not saying I’ve perfected the art, but I’m so much better at it today than I was a few years ago. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

5. I learned why I’m really doing this. It’s not for the money or the recognition. Certainly not because it’s an easy career path. I write because I love it. Because I have stories to tell. Because I feel closest to my true self in my words.

I’ve learned all this and more by being rejected. And so maybe I shouldn’t try to shelter my children from the pain, after all. Maybe the disappointments of today are exactly what they need to prepare themselves for the bigger obstacles of tomorrow.

That doesn’t mean my heart won’t break when my child buries her face in my chest, and her tears soak through my shirt to scorch my skin. But maybe there’s a lesson in that, too.

Please share. What has rejection taught you? What makes your heart break?

Summer Reading Recommendations from the Dauntless

I love book recommendations. I especially love YA book recommendations. And I REALLY especially love YA book recommendations from my writing friends. What’s more, I’m at the beach this week, and I needed to load up my kindle with lots of good reading.

So who better to ask than the Dauntless, my fellow YA Golden Heart finalists from this year?

Here’s what they had to say:



I am crazy about the Sweet Evil series by Wendy Higgins! If you haven’t picked up these books yet, now is the perfect time to start, because the third book in the trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, was just recently released and shot right onto the bestseller list. The series features the sons and daughters of fallen angels, whose lives literally depend on being bad influences. Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna is fighting her fate until she meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe and her willpower is put to the test– he’s the son of the fallen angel responsible for Lust– like father like son? I am telling you, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a YA book this much fun, this well-written, and featuring a truly hot bad boy hero even a slightly “older” (ahem) YA fan can appreciate.

— Amy DeLuca/Amy Patrick, FOUR BULLETS, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist; CHANNEL 20SOMETHING, debuts August 12, 2014.




Obsidian_cover1600I’d recommend Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, which was published a couple years ago, to anyone who likes stories with a bit of a speculative twist.  Obsidian was the first book in a long time where I didn’t skim any parts—at all. (I have this really bad habit of skimming the slow parts and then missing something and having to backtrack…not at all a recommended way to read books!)  Obsidian’s plot was unique and interesting, the voice was fun and engaging, and the guy (Daemon) was hot.  A recipe for success!

More recently, I read Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg and would recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary stories. The81kWl5PEFqL._SL1500_ story switches POVs between a teen boy and girl, best friends. I normally don’t books with two different narrators because many times, they read choppy.  This one did not. It was a cute story, and again, no skipping!

— Barbara Gerry, MACHA AND THE RIVER BLUE, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist.






I recommend the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. The heroine is kick-butt and feisty–she 81EP-oUzgaLsaves herself instead of waiting around for a guy to save her. There is a love story through the series that will break your heart at times (it literally brought me to tears), but stick with it! It’s worth it in the end. Make sure you carve out a chunk of time for these books–you won’t want to put them down!

— Jessica Ruddick, LETTING GO, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist.





EleanorPark_cover2-300x450 I’ve read a bunch of fabulous YAs recently, but I loved this book because the characters aren’t your typical ones.  Eleanor is on the fatter side of chunky with unruly red hair while Park is half Korean.  Their romance is sweet and sarcastic and completely real.  It’s about acceptance and love and putting yourself out there.  I found this book refreshing, and it stands out even in the midst of this fabulous genre.

— Kimberly MacCarron, CHASING FIREWORKS and TO FEEL OR NOT TO FEEL, 2014 double GOLDEN HEART® Finalist.



9781442416895_email-1-265x400I’d love to recommend The City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare.  I loved the conclusion to this portion of the Shadowhunter story.  I loved seeing how Jace and Clary got together and worked all the problems out.  And I think Clary is a real kickass heroine.

— Marnee Bailey, ALTERED, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist.





6. MEANT TO BE. mtb-final-cover
Looking for a fun summer read? Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill is a spring break romance set in London. The romantic comedy between by-the-books, Shakespeare quoting Julia and her class clown nemesis Jason is entertaining and hard to resist. It’s quick, laugh-out-loud hilarious, and a nice little vacation from some of the darker YA that’s currently so popular.





MMD final cover hi-resThe Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd caught my eye because of its haunting premise. A book written from the point of view of Dr. Moreau’s daughter? Yes, please. The character’s voice drew me in from page one, and the world-building was gorgeous. Her Dark Curiosity, the sequel, was just as brilliant. I’m counting the minutes until the third book in this trilogy arrives.

–Stephanie Winklehake, CARMA ALWAYS, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist.




8. WHISPER FALLS.Whisper_Falls
One of the last books I read that stuck in my mind is Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston. It’s a YA time-travel romance — I do have a soft spot for those! A 21st-century boy meets an 18th-century indentured servant girl thanks to a waterfall portal. If you love history blended with a bit of mystery, you’ll love this book!

–Vanessa Barneveld, THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE, 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist, Fall, debuts Fall 2014 by Bloomsbury Spark.



Wow! Don’t all those books sound awesome? Looks like I’m going to be busy reading this summer!

jpegAs for me, I’d recommend DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas. After I read that someone had described it as a GONE GIRL for the YA genre, I downloaded it that very night and finished it in one sitting. This novel is about a spring break vacation in Aruba gone awry, in the worst imaginable way. Anna’s best friend Elise is brutally murdered — and the prime suspects are Anna and her boyfriend, Tate! Each chapter alternates among the trial, the few days leading up to Elise’s murder, and the previous year. I could not stop turning pages, and the ending left me thinking about the story all night long. In fact, a couple days later, I had to go back and reread parts of the novel in order to glean a new understanding of the whole story. This is a fun, fast-paced read, perfect for a sunny day at the beach — not unlike the idyllic Aruba setting!

What about you, mermaids & friends? What recommendations do you have for summer reading? (Does not necessarily have to be YA!) Please share — my kindle can never have too many books!

Refilling Your Creative Well

When the Waterworld Mermaids blog first started three years ago, I wrote a post about the Artist Date and my hobby of making bento box meals for my kids. For those of you who don’t remember, Julia Cameron defines the Artist Date as apintip time used to nurture our inner artist and a way to refill our creative well. (THE ARTIST’S WAY, 20-21).

In the past few weeks, I have found myself in desperate need of refilling my well. Lots of things can suck your creativity dry, some writing-related and some not. Health issues, money problems, fatigue, and the loss of a loved one, to name a few. Rejections, revisions, and less-than-stellar reviews, to name some others.

Whatever your reason, if you find yourself in need of an Artist Date, here are some suggestions:

1. Plant a garden. Buy some potted plants, seeds, soil, planters and dig in. Get your hands dirty. Nurture your plants, day after day, and revel in the pure joy of growing something.

2. Get a mani/pedi with your daughter, niece, or neighbor’s kid. Pampering yourself at the salon is a treat in and of itself. But experience it anew through the eyes of someone who’s not used to such an outing. I guarantee you’ll gain a fresh appreciation for something you may have been taking for granted.

3. Go fruit-picking — and make a fresh fruit pie. I believe strawberries are in season at the moment, but blueberries, cherries, and blackberries are coming right up. My personal favorite is raspberry pie — but regardless of flavor, let that freshly-picked taste burst in your mouth. There’s nothing quite like it.

4. Flex your creative muscle — in an area outside of your comfort zone. If you’re a writer, dance. If you’re a dancer, paint. If you’re a painter, make some music. In particular, I would suggest going to pottery painting studio, where they have all the equipment you need and you just pay for the cost of a certain piece. I have spent many relaxing hours creating fun, moderately attractive pieces at these places.

5. Go out to dinner — at a new restaurant, or better yet, in a cuisine in which you’re unfamiliar. What better way to stimulate the senses by trying something utterly new? And if you can taste yummy food while you’re at it, even better. Best of all? Invite a friend along for the outing, someone who connects with your creative self, and before you know it, your well will be overflowing.

So what do you think, mermaids and friends? What suggestions do you have, or what fun Artist Dates have you been on lately? Please share! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Where Do You Write?

pintipThe place I write most often is my recliner.

My favorite place to write is probably in my bed, first thing in the morning, when I’m snuggled into my pillows, sleepy and uninhibited.

The strangest place I’ve ever written is flat on my back, under a glass coffee table, dictating to a laptop which is face-down on the glass.

I’ve written almost everywhere, in coffee shops and on airplanes, in friends’ houses and libraries, on the sidelines at gymnasiums and swimming pools, at the beach, a ski lodge, a bench at the Navy Pier in Chicago. Basically, anytime I have a free moment, I pull out my iPhone and write.

But where am I most productive? This answer might surprise you. I certainly never would’ve expected it.

In my car. Yep, that’s right. Behind the wheel, my seat slid all the way back, parked on some side street or lot. Sometimes, I’m between appointments, and it’s not worth my time to drive all the way home. Other times, I’ve been known to drive to a parking lot and sit for eight hours, finding a coffee shop or restaurant for food and restroom breaks.

I’m not sure WHY I’m so productive in the car. Maybe it’s the complete and utter lack of distractions. Maybe it’s because the seats aren’t comfortable enough to make me feel drowsy. Maybe it’s because I’d feel silly hanging out in my car if I *weren’t* writing. Whatever the reason, I can almost guarantee a high word count and minimal wasted minutes when I write in a parked car.

So why don’t I do it more often? Good question. I’m not really sure — although I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I’m weird but not quite weird enough to make that my regular office space.

What about you? What’s your favorite/most productive/weirdest place that you write?

But It’s Pretty, Right?

pintipYesterday morning, I was annoyed. The snow had started too late for school to be delayed. When I opened my car doors, flurries of snow rushed inside, only to melt on the floor mats. My neighborhood roads were a mess, and I slipped and slid out of my driveway. There was so much traffic on 495, it took me THREE times as long to drive my kiddo to school. So, even though we left early, we arrived late. (Although: not really. We got to school after the bell, but *everybody* was late, so no tardy slips were given). Needless to say, I was not happy with the white flakes fluttering from the sky.

But then, I passed another mom dropping her student off. She smiled at me and said, “But it’s pretty, right?” These four little words made all the difference in the world.

Let’s unpack this sentence a little bit. She didn’t say, “It’s pretty!” with so much Pollyanna cheer someone (not me, but you know . . . someone) might be tempted to punch her in the face. “But” at the beginning of the sentence acknowledges all the annoyances of the morning. “Right?” at the end involves me in this observation, inviting me to affirm or disagree. When backed into this corner, I was forced to agree. It was pretty. A blanket of pristine snow, unsullied by dirt and footprints. A continuous sprinkle of flakes, transporting us to the winter wonderland of a snow globe.

It was pretty, and as soon as I appreciated this, my annoyance disappeared.

Amazing, isn’t it? I was so impressed with this change in my mood, I’ve decided to apply this little trick to my future frustrations.

My manuscript making me want to bang my head against the wall? I’ll think, “But you love writing, right?”

My children fighting for the umpteenth time about something ridiculously insignificant? I’ll tell myself, “But they’re cute, right?”

Traffic on 495 backing up at completely random times of the day? Well. If you come up with a sufficient come-back, be sure to let me know!

What about you? When was the last time you were annoyed, and what did you do to combat the frustration? Please share!