Progress Every Day

Progress Every Day

They say that to reach your goals, you just have to make a little progress every day. I suspect there’s truth in that, although it doesn’t feel like it. For example:


I’ve been doing a daily meditation on the Ten Percent app after having read the book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris. I do whatever the daily meditation is, for however long it last. The first one is roughly two minutes and they gradually get slightly longer. I have no idea what I’ll do when the free meditations end…maybe it will be like the Calm app, when the free ones are gone, so am I…but I’d like to think that because I’m making slow and steady progress in daily meditation that I’ll continue on my own when it’s required of me.


My boys are still young enough that there’s not much involved in homeschooling and I tend to get by with all the Q&A of daily life with an added dose of weekly Outschool classes and daily book reading. Still, I’ve been creating meetups for my local homeschool group and researching ideas and and and…. My daily progress on this end has been reading one chapter a day from the Homeschooling and Loving It! book by Rebecca Kochenderfer and now that I’ve finished it, I’ll be reading a chapter a day from The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.


My daily progress is tracked by my #writethirtyminutes, catalogued here on the blog and doesn’t include any behind the scenes writing I do (although to be honest, I haven’t been doing much). I’ve been allowing myself the excuse of keeping up with my inbox which includes emails from Authors Publish and Writer’s Digest as well as reading a chapter a day from whatever writing tomb I’m reading, The Savvy Writer’s Guide to Productivity by Bryan Collins is the current pick.


There’s also this thing called life, which, dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through. Life includes making three meals a day, doing dishes from said meals, laundry, going to/from soccer practices/games as well as karate classes, the weekly running of errands, making kombucha every five days, cleaning the house, doctors appointments, etc. Nothing everybody doesn’t already deal with, but things we tend to ignore or consider unimportant because everyone deals with them. These things, however, are a major time-suck and it behooves us to be honest about just how much of our time and energy they take.

What’s My Point?

I don’t know.

Okay, seriously, the point is that it doesn’t ever really feel like I’m making any progress towards my goals, but I am. The going is slow because the progress is slow because it’s daily. These things aren’t about immediate gratification. It’s not painting the bedroom where one day it’s off-white and boring and the next day you’re surrounded by sumptuous color that immediately makes you recognize just how badly you needed to paint. This is stuff that goes the distance.

I want to make meditation a part of my daily life forever, so the effects of the meditation, less anxiety and longer fuse, are going to be noticeable as early as a week from starting, but the bedroom of my mind isn’t going to be painted overnight. It will take a lifetime.

And the same goes for everything else I’m attempting. There will, hopefully, be small wins all along the way, but the path is long and winding and I’m learning to be okay with that.

Classical Music

Classical Music

I recently read the If I Stay and Where She Went books by Gayle Forman, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And because they were partly about a cellist, I retrieved the names of two cellists to lookup on my iMusic app and I’ve been playing them on occasion (luckily I like classical music to begin with).

There’s all the hype about classical music being good for your brain and studying, which is fantastic, but the thing about classical music, that I love, is how it makes you feel. Any music, really, has the ability to take what you’re already feeling and amplify it or even change it. Have you ever desperately needed to hear a specific song? Have you ever been sad and required sad music or switched it up for something happy to lift you up?

With any song or piece of music the opening notes can completely take us over, send us back in time to a well worn memory or completely gut us with the emotions it brings up. I love that some people see color when they hear music and while I’ve had that happen once, I’d love to have it happen again.

Generally I surround myself with silence when I can get it. With two kids and two dogs, four chickens and five cats, and a husband, there is rarely a moment of silence around here. I cherish the silence.

And yet…

The opening notes of Rachmaninov’s Theme of Paganini can transport me to the book shop where I worked for a year and had to play the same piano CD with this being one of the songs. Despite getting thoroughly sick of the CD, I love to hear the song now and remember how wonderful it was to be surrounded by books all day.

Just about anything by Bach sends me back to college whistling to myself as I biked through campus or walked the arboretum in a moment of stillness and decision making.

Brahm transports me to Budapest where I attended an orchestral concert that played over and over in my brain as I walked the bridges and riverways for days trying different random bits of wild game: bear (not a fan), boar (not bad), and venison (my favorite).

While all music transports us, part of why we love it, there’s something about the sounds of classical music without the interruption of words, the words that pull us out of what our brains and souls are doing as we listen to the music, that’s part of what makes classical music so essential.

In an attempt to get our kiddos to appreciate all forms of music we routinely mix up what we listen to in the car when running errands or driving long distances. They’re mostly exposed to music from the forties on but every now and again we slip them a classical album or a meditative suite. I won’t lie and say these are their favorites, but they also aren’t opposed.

Just now as I was listening to Yo-Yo Ma play cello my oldest came running to let it wash over him as well. The kids are alright.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.

Ray Bradbury

Short Story Challenge

I would very much like to believe what Ray Bradbury says is true, “write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” I want so much for this to be true, that I’m taking it as a personal challenge, although I’m sure I’m not the first. I’m not sure exactly when I’m going to start (she hedges quietly from behind the safety of her computer), but I’m doing it.

I’ve been doing these mostly-daily thirty minute writing warm ups and then moving on to other things…other non-writing related things. I’ve got two kids to homeschool, a house to keep clean, chickens and dogs and cats to care for, groceries to shop for, three meals a day to make, a garden, life…and let’s be honest, my husband does at least half of these things for me cause I can never get to them.

All that aside, I’ve got to get back into a rhythm and since all of my major excuses are used up (our lives are a shambles as we figure out where to live, our lives are a shambles as we live in a trailer, our lives are a shambles as we actually move somewhere, our lives are a shambles as we clean the place we moved into, our lives are a shambles as we get settled and acquire the things we need to live…like books), it’s time to get cracking.

My first new habit to practice is meditation which I will begin tomorrow. Once I’ve got a solid week or so under my belt I will begin the short story challenge: one short story a week, every week, for one year.

Has anyone ever done this? I mean, I could Google it, and knowing me I will, cause I’m curious:

  • How does one go about it?
  • Do you write the story in a day or two then spend the remaining five days editing?
  • Do you spend the first day coming up with the characters and idea, the second day writing it all out, the remaining days editing?
  • Are there any days left open for giving the product to someone else to read and comment on leaving time to re-edit afterwards?

The how-to part is what I will work on and determine over the next week as I get my meditation habit going and gear up for taking on this challenge. I’d love any feedback anyone has on doing this.



We buy a quart of goat milk every week from a neighbor and today we went to pick it up in person. The kiddos got to meet her goats, adorable, and her chickens and ducks, and then we got to go say hi to the horses.

There’s something magical about the horses. They smell like comfort.

Every summer when I was growing up I’d get to go to my cousins ranch in Arkansas and ride horses (and work in the chicken houses, but we won’t talk about that here). Riding horses was magical for me, a city kid. And even now every horse I meet is Sugar in my head cause that was the horse I rode every summer.

My kids, especially the oldest, have been begging us to get a horse for years. Especially now that we live in Montana where it seems every single property you drive by has at least two horses. We’ve been sticking to our guns, their dad and I, no horses because money, feed, time, manure…but it’s not easy.

I don’t enjoy being a crusher of dreams, but the idea of getting a horse just so I can smell it and my kids don’t have to be told no is a pretty obvious no brainer. Still.

I’ve smelled like horses all day. I have had every opportunity to change, but haven’t because then I wouldn’t smell like horses anymore. I love that smell. I love the idea of heading out to the pasture in the morning, swinging up on a pony’s back, and riding down to the river…but since I can barely make time to exercise in the morning before the boys wake up and I have to schedule in the twenty minutes I need each week to clean the chicken pen (lemme tell ya, it doesn’t always happen), I think it’s pretty clear we don’t have time for horses.

But maybe goats?

Just kidding.

I know our lives don’t have room for any of that right now. And that’s a good thing. Our lives are very full. Our lives are very wonderful. And there’s always time for these grand things in the future. The boys will keep getting older, as much as I don’t want them to, and there will be more time in each day and then one day, there will be more time in a day than I know what to do with.

In the meantime, maybe I can go pick up our goat milk and snuggle up on our friends horses every now and again and revel in the smell of comfort.

Ivy Gordon Photographer

The Photograph

The colors in the photo are simply stunning. The vibrancy of the orange, how sheer on the mother and how thick and comforting on the child. They seem almost out of place until the same lines of orange are caught in the upper left on a skirt or sari hanging out to dry. The orange also seems an odd choice when paired with the purples of skirt underneath.

There’s more to this though. There always is.

This woman appears well off, her clothing isn’t frayed and there are bits of beadwork evident along the edges of her shawl, in a pattern on her skirt, even along the rim of her shoe. Yet the child with her, clearly with her seen gripping her shawl, appears half-naked, hair tussled in a way my own mother would never permit, “you look like a ragamuffin,” she’d say. So too the alleyway they’re walking down appears run down, although clean, large bits of plaster flaking away from the buildings, laundry left out to dry.

The juxtaposition is all quite striking.

The orange alone enough to draw the eye repeatedly.

The child’s jacket appears to be a fleece, warm and comforting on a chilly day, several sizes too large with the sleeves rolled up, the bottom sitting somewhere above the knee but below the seat. Exactly as my youngest’s jackets fit, handed down from his older brother. Despite this warmth above, the child wears nothing below, or at least nothing visible from behind. Beautiful bare toddler legs in sandals, a bracelet around the right ankle. No visible goose bumps, however, so clearly not uncomfortably attired.

My favorite part though, the way the adult and child are in step with one another, the way the child grips the adults shawl in a confident, claiming manner. I’m left to assume this is mother and child, that mother has something in her hands and is thus occupied, unable to hold hands. This gripping of clothing a reasonable alternative for them both, confirmation, yes, I am here.

I look at this picture, with it’s simple white matting and modern black metal frame, which doesn’t “go” in my home in any way, which stands out as an awkward choice, really, and I love it. I see motherhood and childhood and security and comfort and joy. I wonder if this is her first child, her last child, if what she’s holding in front of her out of my view is another baby or a sack of rice for dinner or a pregnant belly.

I didn’t choose this photo, but I would. It was gifted to me, and I’m grateful. I can look at all the separate elements in the photo and see nothing of note, nothing that would draw my attention or emotion a second time, until put together as it is. When looking at the photo as a whole, I see love.

To view all of Ivy Gordon’s incredible works, please visit her gallery and website.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.



Have you ever tried to meditate? Did you enjoy it? Did you create a lasting habit of daily meditation? Were there any specific apps or resources you used and enjoyed?

I’ve tried meditation a couple of times. I was really quite successful with the app Headspace until I ran out of freebie meditations. Then rather than continue the practice on my own or pay for more, I stopped.

My husband is a phenomenal meditator. Meditates every day. He can do it without a guide even! Can you hear how jealous I am?

There are countless stories about how wonderful meditation is not just for your mind and body but for your ability to think clearly, act efficiently, and maintain equilibrium in stressful situations.

In other words, if anyone needs meditation in their life, it’s me.

I started a book last night called Badass Habits by Jen Sincero and as part of internalizing the tools taught by the book, the author wants me to either choose a habit I want to pick up or choose I habit I want to be rid of. There are plenty of both to choose from when I stop and think about it. But I’ve decided that daily meditation is a habit I most sincerely want to pick up sooner rather than later as I already know all the reasons I ought to be doing it.

So today I picked up the book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and I downloaded his app Ten Percent.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, it’s only noon and I’ve already been triggered to overwhelm several times today by simple things:

  • two people needing my attention at the same time
  • two people yelling and fighting
  • fear that I won’t get to my #writethirtyminutes today
  • fear that I’ll forget to sign the kids up for the dance class they want now that we know their soccer schedule
  • anxiety over being billed $20 for something and not knowing why and when will I have the time to figure out why
  • how is it that no one has any clean shorts when I’ve been doing laundry nearly every day (because all the clean clothes are in the dryer and/or hanging up over drying racks waiting to be folded/put away)

You get it…right? These are common, daily things that crop up and absolutely should not cause overwhelm. They just are. It’s not like I’m in an enormous crowd of people and my hands are full and I can’t find my kids or my husband…but that’s the kind of scenario I want to be prepared for, in addition to the little daily things. I want to soar calmly over the overwhelm. Just breathe.

As I said, I’ll keep you posted….



I’m not much for morbidity. Although I suppose some would argue that planning for you death isn’t morbid but smart, forward thinking, another part of the circle of life we all must deal with.

My prompt today, care of Bryan Collins’ Yes, You Can Write!, is to write my epitaph.

No, thank you.

It does bring to mind, however, a book I recently finished that was above and beyond my expectations. I don’t normally read fantasy or young adult books, even though I love them. But this one was recommended to me by several different people multiple times, so I read it.

Gilded by Marissa Meyer.

And as soon as I finished it I looked for the sequel…which won’t be released until November 8, 2022. I’m devastated, because I simply must know what happens next and I need to know now.

But why would I think of this book when tasked with writing my epitaph? And how to tell you why without a massive spoiling of the book? I suppose I can’t. So instead, if you’ve read the book, and you understand what I’m talking about, excellent, send me a note and we can geek-fan-out together. And if you haven’t read it, please do. Even if it’s not your typical read. Especially if it’s not your typical read. Then, please contact me and we can *squee* over it.

In the meantime, I need to write about something for thirty minutes as that’s my current self-imposed writing challenge, and then I need to make lunch for my kiddos, and then do dishes, and then I need to finish the kombucha process so I can bottle again in five days, and then I need to do some one-on-one time with each of them before we rush off to the rest of our day.

An epitaph.

Nope. Can’t do it.

How about this, how about what I hope people remember about me when I’m gone?

  • I love to laugh and be the reason others laugh
  • I love to read and will read anything if I forget to bring something to read and the time presents itself
  • I love to volunteer especially when it comes to anything to do with children or animals
  • I was a floozie (okay, not an actual hooker, but a pseudo-actress in my previous towns annual production of the Melodrama)…and it terrified me to get on stage each and every time, it never got easier
  • I want to write something that makes someone feel something true
  • I went to college because I felt I had no other option and it was four years of exquisite torture but I also did some things I likely would never have been able to do otherwise, so I wouldn’t change it but I also wouldn’t do it again…like being a kid, why do people say it’s the best time and that they wish they were young again? No you don’t you big liar, being a kid is hard! Everyone makes your decisions for you and you’re completely overwhelmed by emotion at all times…but I digress
  • I love to hike and mountain bike and kayak, I loved to snowboard even though I was terrible and don’t know if I’d still love it as it’s been at least twenty years since I’ve done it
  • I say I love dogs and hate cats, but I actually love all animals and the five barn cats on our property have been known to appear sleepily purring in my lap on occasion
  • The most important thing, perhaps more important that anything else, I love my family. My family is everything. I would literally do anything for them. I love them fiercely and fully and without end

That’s as close as we’re going to get to an epitaph. And if there’s one thing I’d want my family to know, the world to know, when I pass it’s that my family was my world. I wanted them with every molecule of my being at every moment they were mine and before, and I’ll still be loving them with everything I have after.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.

Water off a Ducks back


Before having kids myself, I always swore I’d never tell my kids “no.” Unless it was an emergency. I believe it’s the Dine (Navajo) who raise their children without using the word “no.” I’m thoroughly enchanted by the idea, and sadly haven’t been up to it myself. Despite my best intentions I hear myself saying “no” all the time.

“No, you can’t use the butcher knife yet, wait until you’re older.”

“No, you can’t pummel your baby brother even if he hit you first.”

“No, you can’t jump on the couch, don’t you remember going to the emergency room the last time you jumped on it?”

I could go on.

There are multiple problems with no: it creates disappointment, it becomes easy to use and next thing you know you’re using for everything, it stops being heard because it’s overused. The thing to do, is not say “no.” Easier said than done.

Perhaps a parents main job is to be their childs first source of disappointment so the child can learn how to deal with it.

That’s a depressing thought.

And yet, I know I’m constantly disappointing my kids.

“No, we can’t go to the river right now, it’s time for bath, books, bed.”

“No, we can’t have ice cream, you’ve already had too much sugar and you’re bouncing off the walls.”

“No, we can’t stay up late and watch a movie because we have to get up early tomorrow.”

I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but sometimes being a parent means parenting. Of course I want to stay up late and watch a movie with my kids, but not tonight or they won’t get enough sleep and then our event tomorrow will be awful for everyone. It still feels crappy to say no, even when it’s the right thing to do.

I remember growing up and playing basketball with my dad. He’d tell me the rules, we’d play, and as soon as I scored a point, the rules would change. It was confusing and frustrating and disappointing. Much like being told no. Now looking back I wonder, were the rules really changing or was he trying to introduce me to the next thing I needed to know in an effort not to overwhelm me with all the things I’d need to know? I’d like to believe the latter, but…

I grew up in a time where kids went to school, were expected to get A’s across the board, and then went to college. There were no other options even presented. This was the path. I gobbled it up. And then in high school I had a teacher who was even more demanding than my mother, a teacher who had me quite literally breaking out in hives from stress. I worked my ass off for that teachers approval.

One day I’d turned in an extra credit project and was summoned to her room shortly after. She accused me of cheating. I was devastated. I’d never cheated in my life, not even in my math, my worst subject, I certainly wouldn’t cheat in English, my best.

There’s something about that day. I haven’t quite worked it out yet. But it was the beginning of the end for me. I lost so much of my fight then, so much of my confidence, my trust in my ability to do what I set out to do. From that point on when anyone told me I couldn’t do something I believed them.

The thing about disappointment is, it’s everywhere. You’ve got to know how to deal with it. You’ve got to be a duck and let it roll off your back like water.

That’s what I’m trying to teach my kids when I have to say no.

No just means not right now, not no always and forever.

It can be tough to get that across.

I never want them to stop asking just because I said no this one time…well, that’s not entirely true, I mean, I absolutely want them to stop asking now, because I’ve already said no, but I do want them to ask again another day. So how to get that across? How to disappoint for the moment and not forever.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.



Did you have a childhood hero? I can’t remember that I ever had one, at least, not in the way most people think of childhood heroes: Wonder Woman, firemen, a sports star. I did have Wonder Woman underoos, of course, but I don’t ever remember worshiping a character or a profession or anything. The closest I had was my mom. Still is.

As a divorced single mom, my mom did her best to move us to the areas with the best schools, even if it meant she had a longer commute to work. She did her best, when we were very poor, to ensure I didn’t know we were. There were a lot of handmade, homemade holiday decorations, and I always thought that was part of the fun. She made us a Christmas Tree out of cardboard one year, I thought it was beautiful.

Growing up she’d bring home work for herself and for me. Looking back it was just busy work I couldn’t screw up but made me feel like I was helping when really, I suspect, it was giving her time to get the real work done. Then we’d clean the house to the Pointer Sisters or Tina Turner or Billy Joel. I can’t remember these cleaning sessions except for jumping around the house with a rag screaming “Jump! for my love!”

I have a strong work ethic, a desire to get everything done on time or ahead of time, on budget or ahead of budget and this is all because of my mom.

She also instilled an incredible love of books in me, something I try desperately to instill in my own children. We’d take weekly trips to the library where I could check out as many books as I could carry. And there’d be the occasional trip to the used book store where I could buy as many books as I could carry. Just the thought of these events makes me swoon.

My boys and I go to the library every week. I encourage them to take was many books as we can carry together. When we go to a used book store or a garage sale or Scholastic Book Fair, the rules are the same: how many can we carry? This is the greatest legacy I can leave them.

I wonder who my boys’ heroes are. I haven’t thought to ask. Maybe I will.

Equally important, who were my moms heroes? Who are her heroes now? Where did her love of reading come from? Is the legacy I’m passing down one she started or was it gifted to her?

If asked who my hero is now, I’d still say my mom.

As a parent myself now, I know exactly how much energy and drive and thought it takes to be a parent, just how much of myself is drained every day even as it’s refilled by the same. I can’t imagine doing this alone.

How did she have the energy to clean the house after a week of working and caring for me, making sure I did my homework each night, that I had my clothes for the next day picked out a ready to go? How did she have an ounce of creativity left at the end of the day to make decorations with me when she knew she was also responsible for all the other things: presents (where applicable), magic, ideas.

Not all heroes where masks and capes, some carry craft supplies and ask how many books you can carry.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.



I suppose everything has a beginning and an end, even things we never expect to end, like love, the Star Wars empire, a lifelong friendship that turns out not to be so lifelong after all.

Growing up I had a best friend I almost never saw. We’d met when we were on vacation with our families and it was instantaneous best friends at first sight. The sort of thing that never happens in real life, but did. We didn’t live too far away from one another, a three hour drive, but neither of us drove at the time. Our parents picked up the slack and we’d get to visit once a year. The rest of the time we wrote. This was before text or email. So we wrote letters. Gloriously long, epic letters. Full of all the things: troubles with siblings and school and partners we didn’t have.

At some point our friendship migrated to all the technological things: emails, texts, FaceBook. We somehow managed to remain best friends for nearly thirty years despite only seeing each other in person a literal handful of times. We stayed friends even though our lives were completely different: she had a great job when I was freshly back from a stint in Europe with no idea what to do next, she settled down and started a family when I was jealously looking on and nowhere near ready, she moved out of state when I was ending a major relationship I’d never thought I’d leave, she was getting a divorce when I’d just gotten married and was gearing up for a major move out of state. We never seemed to be in sync yet remained best friends. And then we weren’t.

It was my fault. I screwed up.

That divorce she was going through was intense, not that any divorce isn’t, and she needed me.

I had a breastfeeding baby that had never had a bottle, a house I was trying to fix up to sell, a toddler that I needed to keep out of my husbands way while he renovated the house and I packed, and through it all we were also trying to figure out just where we were going to go.

In books and movies I would have dropped everything and run to be with her. For at least a weekend. But this was real life.

I had no frozen breastmilk to leave my baby behind, and didn’t know how I’d bring a baby with me and be able to emotionally and mentally be there for her. I had a deadline on renovating/selling the house and I wasn’t even packed yet, I couldn’t leave my husband with two kids and a house to pack up/renovate, not even for a weekend, we didn’t have the time. And I didn’t know how to explain all of this to her and not sound like I was making excuses. So I didn’t.

I didn’t explain it.

I failed her. I said I couldn’t go to her when she needed me. I was a terrible friend.

Even now, roughly three years later, I don’t see how I could have done anything differently. I’m sure there’s something, but I don’t see it.

I tried texting, calling, emailing. I never heard back. I tried writing letters the old fashioned way. No response. At one point, I wrote a letter shouldering all the blame, as I should, with no excuses, cause none would have sufficed, and threw myself at her mercy. I don’t know if she’s ever forgiven me.

Despite knowing no other way I could have handled it, I don’t know if I’ve forgiven myself.

I’d like to think I’ve learned something, but that’s just wishful thinking. I know that if she needed me now, I’d be there on the next flight. If she needed me now, it’d be a whole different thing though. Now I’m settled in my home, my kids are older and don’t physically need me here to survive, we’re on no kind of deadline for anything except maybe getting to karate practice on time. But I’m sure she doesn’t need me now. In fact, I don’t think she needed me then, she’s tough, but I still wish I could have been there. She has some really close girlfriends and I’m sure than at least one, if not several, were there for her. I wish I had been too.

Our lives were never in sync, it really shouldn’t feel like such a loss, but it really is. It’s no less of a loss knowing I caused it. Perhaps it shouldn’t be such a surprise that two people who found best friendship at first sight could also dissolve that friendship in a moment. Maybe there wasn’t as much there holding us together as I thought. Maybe I took her friendship too much for granted. Or maybe she just recognized that the distance between us had become extreme, not just in mileage but in who we were. Maybe two people who were always so out of sync couldn’t continue a friendship based on the past.

None of that, though true, makes the loss easier to bear.

This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.