In Defense of Childless “Mothers”

A recent blog entry caused a bit of a stir among readers. In the entry, I confess that a friendship ended because my friend’s children were impossible for me to be around. Some of the comments in response to the entry were quite critical of me. Some expressed solidarity with the “I can’t stand your kids” sentiment. But most of the responses, either way, expressed the unfortunate and often wrong perception that if a woman does not have a child, she just doesn’t understand what it takes to parent one—or what it’s like to parent one....more

Choosing Conflict: A Blog

My grandmother died in June. She was 94. She lived a full, wonderful life, and suffered little in the end. We were very close; when her daughter (my mother) died (at the young age of 32) (cancer), my grandmother took care of me in many ways. And I did my best to honor her final years with lots of visits, with taking care of her when I could. And now that she’s gone, I find myself in a quandary....more

I have no advice for you I'm afraid but good luck with whatever action you decide to take. ...more

I love you, but I can’t STAND to be around your kids

I used to be good friends with Charlene and her husband, Ben. I mean GOOD friends. We partied in college, where we met. We kept in touch. Charlene and Ben even moved up to Sacramento, where I was living at the time, mostly on a whim, and the four of us—Charlene, Ben, me, and whoever I was dating at the time—played. We camped, hiked, talked over coffee, over beer, at the beach, over BBQ. We spent Thanksgivings together. We were close....more

Absolutely. Raising a much younger autistic cousin because his parents couldn't cope and gave ...more

Writing Exercise—The Sex Scene, pt. II: A PassionsPath Blog

Is it “sex” or is it “porn”? How “hot” can your Romance be before it’s morphed into “erotica”?  The truth is… pretty darn hot. And maybe that’s true in life, too. (Thank goodness!)...more

Kindness V. Honesty: A PassionsPath Blog

Your good friend—Claire, let’s call her—is an actress. She fell in love with theater and acting in high school (where you fell in love with writing and music). Claire’s pursued acting as a profession with a focus and determination that can only be described as admirable. She’s taken risks—financial, social, professional (all sorts of “-ial”s—in order to achieve what we’d all call “a successful acting career.”  ...more

Writing Love Scenes: A Blog

Here is a writing exercise for you, ladies, and you won't find it in "Writing Down the Bones." Take thirty minutes (I hope you can) and sit down at your computer. Pull up a "new document" and create a setting--maybe a room in a house, a house somewhere, during some particular season. Maybe make it the room you're' in right now.Then write a woman into the room. Describe a little bit of what she's wearing, how she feels. ...more

Hi there -

This sounds like a great exercise.

When writing sex scenes for my own novel, I ...more

Hope for the Love-Hopeless: A PassionsPath Blog

"How did you keep sane while dating?"Larissa is 32 and still single. "It's a curse," she says. "I'm cursed." She's my friend, though, so she comes to me and I listen to her talk about the latest man-disaster, which I don't mind hearing about because it's interesting (can you say  "birthday surprise" and "after six months of dating" and "gift certificate to Applebees"? Eeeyikes!) and now that I'm married I don't feel the panic of the possibility I'll live without a partner for the rest of my life....more

Oh, Baby!

How lucky am I? I get to homeschool my two fun, wacky kids, ages 6 and almost 9, and I get to partner with one of my favorite people to write fun, choose-your-own-adventure style romance books at our website, But this is where thing can get messy... my six-year-old asks, "Mama, why is your new book called Gwen's Awakening? What's an awakening?" My eight-year-old wants me to read him the chapter I'm working on....more

Two in One: A PassionsPath Blog

I started writing Romance novels decades ago, but back then, I thought it'd just be an easy way to make some side money. I mean, really... How could writing that stuff be hard? The writing itself is usually pretty cheesy--as cheesy as the covers assigned to the novels. The characters are barely three-dimensional. Their thoughts are predictable. Their moves are predictable. Their MEN are predictable... Piece of cake, right?Not so much....more

Two in One: A PassionsPath Blog

Ever feel like you're two women sharing one life?One of you is married. You live with your husband, your ferret, your dog, your two hairless cats, and you homeschool your two children. You live on the west coast. You eke by on one income--an income that used to be middle class. You lost your house, so now you rent, sharing a small yard with three neighbors. You don't get paid for the work you do, and you work your ass off--writing, tutoring, teaching, driving, cleaning, feeding, etc. etc. etc....more