When You Receive a Pass: Ways to Cope and Keep Going

You poured your heart and soul into your manuscript. It took weeks, months, years to get it just right. Then after doing research, you’ve found the perfect agent, the one that fits just right. And you press submit! A mix of excitement and worry hits you simultaneously. Did I spell their name right? Did I make any typos!? Did I send the right document? After some deep breathing (and perhaps checking your already sent work) you’re ready for the next part. Waiting.

How to keep busy when waiting to hear back from an agent, editor, or writing contest.

Write. Staying busy helps distract us from the waiting game. Maybe use all of your nervous energy and convert it into a new story, blog post, or poem. Critique someone else’s work, watch a webinar. These all allow you to stay creative and productive. Allow yourself to write what your mood feels like.


Take a brain break! Do something unrelated. Get out into nature. Take a walk, run, have a cup or tea/coffee outside in your backyard or local park. Call friends that you haven’t talked to in a while. Or read a book! This is how I became encouraged to write in the first place. And going back to ENJOYING just reading a book for all of its goodness has always been a good decision.

After all the waiting, you finally hear back from the agent/editor/contest and it’s a no. UGH. Let’s sit with these feelings for a bit because it’s okay to admit how hard it is! It’s disappointing, discouraging, and does hurt because our writing is us, our hard work, our heart, and our thoughts. It feels personal – but remember they aren’t rejecting YOU as a person. They are PASSING on a project that isn’t right for them, that they aren’t 100% passionate about. Would you want an agent that didn’t feel like they could represent your work? Of who wasn’t as in love with it, and didn’t see it for all of its goodness? No, of course not. BUT that doesn’t make the “no” any easier.

This, my friends, is the hardest part of writing for me. I write heart books, books that deal with big feelings and situations for little children. Because to children, these feelings ARE big, and they don’t have the coping strategies to deal with them. I write to help them see that these feelings are okay, and hopefully bring their grownup and them closer together. So when I’ve poured my heart into these books, a “pass” really stings. Is it easy to keep going? No. But I couldn’t imagine not writing. Even if that means years (yikes) of passes. Because these stories matter to me. And hopefully one day, they’ll matter to children.

So take heart my friends. Know I am feeling the sting right along with you. You can always reach out to me and I promise to help any way I can. I wish you luck on your writing journey. Stay strong!

The Grief In My Heart

In the quiet times, when I least expect, it finds me.

It tugs and pulls, and climbs up to the surface – gasping to come out.

It’s grief – and its different for each of us…but it’s there.

This year has been hard for everyone. Some of us have lost someone we love. Some of us haven’t been able to hug those that are still here. And all of us have struggled at some point with isolation, routine, and trying to stay positive for those around us.

But it’s hard! And in those quiet moments when I sit in silence, an unexpected companion shows up. And I let myself FEEL all that I’ve worked so hard to ignore this past year. And with a deep exhale, I cry. Because life is so different. But it’s OKAY to cry – to mourn how things were, what I miss, and what I’ve lost. I’m writing all of this to let everyone know it’s okay to cry. To let yourselves feel isn’t being weak – it’s being in tune with your emotions. It’s letting out what’s been hiding for a while. And maybe once it’s out, you can take a cleansing breath, and begin the day again. I hope that you can.

Dark Days

These days, things are anything but easy. Some days, its taken all of my mental courage to keep it together. I have felt down, and low, and have had moments of uncertainty and tears. If I’m feeling the darkness of COVID and isolation, I can only imagine what those battling mental illness are feeling. These are tough times, times that can darken mental illness into complete blackness.

It’s unfair.

It’s unfair for life to hand you something that you have to learn, to understand and wrap your head around. Through the doctor visits, medications, therapy, you’ve worked hard toward progress. Towards a better understanding, a better handle of your disease..and now this.

It’s unfair.

It’s unfair for life to come along and derail the progress you have made. To make you fight each and every moment harder, longer, and by yourself.

It’s unfair.

Know there are people out there who love you, who are waiting to see you after all of the restrictions are lifted. Life wants more from you. I do not know you, but am rooting for you, cheering you on. I wish you light during these dark times.

If you are feeling unsafe please please reach out to someone. Friends, family, anyone that can help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.1-800-273-8255

What to get a graduate

It’s that time of year when you ask yourself….what should I get the graduate? There’s always money, and who doesn’t love that? BUT, but….maybe, just maybe, think outside the regular pinterest/etsy list and be bold…be daring…be unconventional.

As some of you may know, I write picture books. It is only natural, then, for me to have stumbled upon a BEAUTIFUL picture book. It speaks of finding out who you are, staying true to yourself, and to…. “Dream your own dreams, hear your own heart, you could change the world, you just have to start.” – the great Pat Zietlow Miller.

I believe there is a picture book for every season and special life moment. One for healing, for happiness, for indecision, and one to inspire. THIS IS THAT BOOK. I know what you’re thinking….a picture book….for a graduate? YES! YES she cries with all her might. This book is so beautiful, so inspiring, it speaks of holding on to one self, about making a difference, sharing what you’re good at and not changing who you are, where ever you are. If that doesn’t sound like a great book to have your graduate read before embarking on the next phase of their life, then I am speechless (which doesn’t happen to often).

My next door neighbor doesn’t know it yet, but i’m going to gift her this book. (Shhh, don’t tell her!) Will she look at my and wonder why I’m giving her this book. Yes, yes she will. But once she reads it, she’ll understand. And now more than ever, we need to support those who have gone through such a unceremonial end to their schooling.

This book has heart, and love. I tear up every time I read it. So, instead of money, maybe try this book…and a gift card 🙂

BE the good in the world.

Today, I started crying

This is the first time I’ve posted anything since February. COVID hit, changed all of our lives, and I just couldn’t bring myself to talk here. I held my cards to my chest, steeled my core and kept a schedule for my kids to keep life for them as normal as possible.

I did tear up a few times but tried to keep it together. I needed to have it together so I could be their teacher everyday, their mom, their friend, their opponent at cards (which they seriously beat me at UNO all the time) and their buddy. With all of this, I had to block out the outside world. Anytime I would read the news, I was reminded how fortunate we’ve been that our family was healthy and safe. COVID has brought such devastation to so many lives and I can’t even truly grasp it’s horrible actions.


My 7 year old have their last virtual meeting with their class. Their wonderful teacher put together a slide show that played Jason Mraz “Have it All” in the background and I cried. I cried because of the lyrics, because of the fact that my kids didn’t get to have class in school with their friends and their teachers. I cried that this virus has ROBBED so many of graduations, proms, final seasons of sports. I can’t imagine not having the last few months of my senior year be at school. Heartbreaking. I cried for those who have lost their lives, for families that have been torn apart. I cried for those who died without family around them, and for the families who haven’t been able to have a proper burial.


All of this does not sit well with me. Now that I am letting myself feel, the tears come more freely. How do we pick up? Start over or start again? How do we heal? One day at a time. It’s hard to move past something that still has a firm grasp on our lives. I can only pray for the medical profession, the scientists, doctors nurses and all hospital staff. May they develop a vaccine, get the care THEY need and deserve.

I am thinking of everyone today. And hope, hope that healing is just around the corner.

Lyrics of love for my kids compliments of Jason Mraz ♥️

“Have It All” by Jason Mraz

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to aslways do your best
May you take no effort in being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your hcest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

Well here's to the hearts that you're gonna break
Here's to the lives that you're gonna change
Here's to the infinite possible ways to love
I want you to have it
Here's to the good times we're gonna have
You don't need money, you got a free pass
Here's to the fact that I'll be sad without you
I want you to have it all