The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

After roughly six months of avoiding fiction, I dove back into the mix with this book.

1) I love Margaret Atwood.

2) I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book.

I feel like The Handmaid’s Tale was necessary whereas this book felt like piling on. Tragedy porn.

The Handmaid’s Tale left a permanent mark on me as a reader, an activist and as feminist.

This one just made me feel sad and sick at times.

To be fair, it might be because of timing. I read The Handmaid’s Tale when the temperature of the country (United States of America) was different.

I do recommend you read it for yourself. After discussing this book with several friends, I have found that those who watch the television show really enjoy the book, and those who have not watched the show (this includes me) feel the book was not really needed to continue the story.

*On October 30th, I returned this book to my friend and decided to not finish it.

Social Media Map

Weblog – The homefront. This website. I blog here about things and stuff.

Facebook – Have a page, but I do little more than sharing my Instagram posts on there. I do not hang out here at this time.

Instagram – Daily use. Videos in the stories section about whatever. Daily coffee mug. This is my favorite social media platform as a former professional photographer, I like pretty pictures, and I like keeping a chaotic uncurated feed.

Twitter – Links only. Links to Goodreads. Links to long-form articles I’ve written. Links to interviews I’ve done, etc. Links, links, links. Like the Facebook page, this is a place to just share things. I do not hang out here at this time.

Medium – Longer form, less casual blogs and articles here. I have publications on Medium to curate information about health and wellness, step-parenting, and more. Oddly, I just realized, I do not have a writing publication on Medium. Weird? But, Medium has a less casual vibe than this personal weblog.

Author, I Believe In You! (If you see what I did there, let me know.)

I just checked my student count on Skillshare, and saw this!

I said to myself out loud, “Whoa dang!”

Thank you, all, for signing up and taking the classes! I do hope that if you are taking the classes and enjoying them, that you will share pictures of your writing sessions on Social Media, and tag me! I would love to see what you’re working on.

I also hope that my classes give you the space to try new things and to suck.

You have to write the crappy thing. The good news is that after you get the crappy thing out of your head, it leaves room for the really good stuff.

I wish you all the best of luck in your writing endeavors. I believe in you!

Local Artists for Hire

Here is a short list of Nashville artists that are available for freelance and contract work.

“But, Barbara,” you might be thinking, “why are you sharing this list on your personal blog? Is this affiliate scheme?”

No, dear reader. I just happen to find myself abundant in connections lately, and I wanted to share. So, here’s the list: – graphic design and illustration – graphic design and photography – illustration and set design

Completion Funk

I’m running my novelette through Grammarly and am having some humans put their eyes on the ARC (advanced reader copy), but it is done.

I feel relieved and sad all at once.

There is a thing happens after each book or story that is going to be released into the wild. I call it completion funk.

Completion funk is the feeling of loss you get after you finish a project. It is also a feeling of not-good-enoughness and why-botherness.

The logical side of your brain will say, “Hey, buddy! You’ve done a great job! This is wonderful! Now, enjoy yourself, and then pick a new project!”

The other side of you that is more heart than head will say, “No one noticed you finished. No balloons. No party. No one will ever know how hard this was for you, and it isn’t even your best work.”

The fact is that it is awesome that you finished a thing, and no one will ever know how hard it was for you no matter how well the finished product turns out. This is the nature of creating.

It is a rollercoaster of emotion, but at the end of the day, you will be a finisher of things. That feels good no matter the completion funk.

Make A New Bird

There are many different ways of approaching your writing project. I find it best to approach writing like this:

It Is Yours, Then It Is Theirs.

In the beginning, when the story is fresh, it is all about you, the writer. Write about whatever you want. No one has to see it. You can write about ninja pancakes if you want. Doesn’t matter. You are writing for you.

Write the story you want to read.

After you’ve done that, it is time to pass your creation on to the reader.

Once you have written the story you wanted to read (you know, the one about the ninja pancake), then you release it to the world.

You just put it out there. It doesn’t matter if people love it or hate it, because it isn’t yours anymore.

Let that little bird fly away, and then go. Make a new bird.

The Edits Are Complete

It is finished. The final edits have been done. My novella will be out on November 5th.

You might have questions:

Novella? What novella?

I’ve written a 20,000 word novella. Actually, it is more of a novelette.

nov·el·ette – /ˌnävəˈlet/


a short novel, typically one that is light and romantic or sentimental in character.

What’s it about?

It’s a lesbian, sweet, holiday romance. You can read about it by clicking here or visiting

So, it’s erotica? A sex book?

No. Emphatically, no.

While there is bad language in the book, that is the only reason it would get a PG-13 or R rating if it were a movie – Potty words.

Sex is suggested and implied, but never spoken about or described. I leave that people who want to write erotica. I just wanted to write a cute, heartwarming story, so I did…under a pen name.

Why under a pen name? You embarrassed to be writing that kind of thing?

Not at all. It’s a business strategy.

It is kind of like how we see Nora Roberts on a book and think, “Okay. That’s a romance book.” Then, we see J.D. Robb, and think, “Okay, that’s a thriller.” Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb are the same person, but readers know what kind of story they are going to get from the author by which author voice she uses.

I am hoping to cultivate a collection of holiday, sweet romance novelettes, novellas, and novels that tell stories about all kinds of relationships, couples, and groups.

What is the pen name…author voice?

Lily Dae.

If you’re interested, please visit Pilgrim Fowl Press, and RSVP to the launch! This signs you up for a newsletter for this author voice. In the next day or two, I’m going to start sharing snippets from the book, do a cover reveal, and I am even going to give digital ARCS away!