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A Productive April


A beautiful spring here in Seattle has beckoned us to explore sunny nooks and relish pre-summer trips. We’ve been busy learning from other writers and stretching our own craft as we’ve pressed forward, reaching and expanding in our own individual niches.

To begin with, we wrapped up a Destination Inspiration: Portland series with a taste of Powell’s City of Books and also visited a great place to catch up as we’d been parted for a while through travel and spring plans.

Powell's Banner

In Writer’s Kitchen, we celebrate food bloggers who had recently released books. Cheers to our fellow authors!


Finally, and possibly most excitingly, we started our “From the Pros” series in which we are fortunate to have guest posts featuring advice and encouragement from successful and inspirational authors. This month we heard from Lesley Ann McDaniel about finding your character’s Achilles Heel.


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Writing as an Excuse to Explore

Worthy Brewing Construction Site

Anne Lamott says in Bird by Bird, “One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.”

I love that! From the writing that Sarah and I do for Destination Inspiration–which takes us to coffee shops and restaurants from Seattle to San Francisco–to The Flying Salmon, the Pacific Northwest travel blog I write for Wanderlust & Lipstick, I have to get out and explore my little corner of the world. I can’t stay home and watch the world pass me by–I have to get out there and experience it, and then share that experience with you.

I agree with Anne, that it is one of the greatest gifts about being a writer. Don’t you?

Image shows Sarah in an interview during our beer-tasting trip to Bend, Oregon, last summer.

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Finding Balance

Scandinavian Almond BarHello.

It’s the middle of a new week. And I barely have any writing to show for it.

Time is whirling a little out of control right now. Do you know what I mean? Just a couple of weeks ago I felt like a writing superwoman. I was at the top of my game. I was writing, writing, writing, and produced some things I felt pretty darn good about.

Today you should see my office (it’s a mess). And my list of personal to-do’s (it’s backlogged). My blogging schedule is all out of whack. Deadlines are the only things keeping things going.

However, lest you think I’m complaining, I should say that life is good. Outside of the digital world and my office, things couldn’t be better. I’m blessed beyond measure. And enjoying and maintaining that other world–the one that’s more important, in all reality, than the one that resides on a desk chair and in front of a computer screen–has led to my current situation. I wouldn’t change a thing.

As the week goes on I’ll work at regaining a little ground here in this office of mine. I’ll keep writing, keep blogging, keep trying to get organized. Because that’s where a core part of my life and identity reside. But in the meantime, it’s good to know that I can find balance, that I can identify my priorities and live life accordingly. Now if only I could master my time management, find a way to be too places at once, and always be on top of everything…

What are your tactics for maintaining balance in your own writing or creative life?

(By the way, that photo up there shows tea and a cookie, a Nooks & Cranberries-style way to slow down and reflect. But it gets better than that–the cookie is a delicious Scandinavian almond bar, from recipe I remember from my childhood. I’ll be sharing it over at Outside Oslo soon, so be sure to visit in the coming days!)