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February 1, 2023
The Quarry Girls has been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award! I am over the moon. The MBAs have always guided my book-buying and book-checking-out choices, and so to see my name on that list is next level. It’s extra special because I’m so proud of The Quarry Girls. It was important to me to capture the joy and terror of growing up in the Midwest in the ‘70s, and I love seeing the book resonate with readers.
Thank you to The Friends of the St. Paul Library and librarians and booksellers for this incredible honor!
The Quarry Girls opening lines:
That summer, the summer of ’77, everything had edges.
Our laughter, the sideways glances we gave and got. Even the air was blade-sharp. I figured it was because we were growing up. The law might not recognize it, but fifteen’s a girl and sixteen a woman and you get no map from one land to the next. They airdrop you in, booting a bag of Kissing Potions lip gloss and off-the-shoulder blouses after you. As you’re plummeting, trying to release your parachute and grab for that bag at the same time, they holler out you’re pretty, like they’re giving you some sort of gift, some vital key, but really, it’s meant to distract you from yanking your cord.
Girls who land broken are easy prey.
January 29, 2023
Imagine waking up in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. It’s peaceful and quiet. The only thing you have to do is focus on your creativity. You don’t have to go grocery shopping or make dinner or work or cook. You only have to do gentle yoga and write.
How much could you accomplish? Care to join me in Colorado Springs this fall to find out? Because I'm offering a writing and yoga retreat November 13-18. There, I'll guide 22 women through my unique and gentle method of mining life experiences to create fiction, memoir, or self-help that is meaningful, exciting, and—for those who choose to publish—resonates with readers.
One reason why women love my retreats is they get to travel to a new place where their only responsibility is their writing. Going on a retreat like this, instead of a conference or single day workshop, removes so many of the daily distractions that can disrupt our writing.
During the retreat, participants will attend workshops in the morning covering topics like:
-Keeping your writing true to the story you need to tell
-Structuring your project with the revolutionary Book in a Bag kit
-Making your writing compelling
-Bringing balance and motivation to your creative life
-Defining personal and career goals
The afternoons are free. Find a secluded spot and write, or take some time off and explore the surrounding natural beauty. It’s up to you to use your time at the retreat however you’d like. Days begin and end with gentle yoga to make sure our bodies are relaxed and strong.
Sound intriguing? You can find out more here.
December 4, 2022
When I first wrote The Quarry Girls, there was no Beth. There were, however, more excerpts from Heather Cash's diary, including sketches. I envisioned Heather as a character who—like me, at her age—loved those gag gift ads at the back of comic books and created slightly twisted versions of them to express things she could not say.
If you've read the book, you know that it's crazy cakes that I almost wrote it without Beth. The diary excerpts and sketches, though? It's good my editor and I decided not to include them. They were too distracting.
In case you'd like to see them, however, I've gathered them here, along with corresponding page numbers (as well as chapter placement, if you're reading on a Kindle) so you know where in the book they would have gone. I hope you enjoy spending a little more time with Heather Cash, a girl I came to love.
p.s. I recently received fantastic news! The Quarry Girls has been chosen as The Girlfriend Book Club’s February book pick. The Girlfriend is AARP’s free weekly e-newsletter for Gen-X women with nearly 500,000 subscribers. Woot! Thank you, AARP! (Also, how is my generation now in AARP?!? Sigh. The universe giveth, and it taketh away.)