Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Welcome back, Dear Readers.

Here’s the Happy List for the week:

1) Guilty pleasures. I think most everyone enjoys something that they aren’t comfortable admitting, be it bad food, bad TV, trashy tabloids, or even a habit that soothed you as a child. Indulging in this kind of “brain candy” isn’t only healthy, it’s necessary…sometimes we need to treat ourselves and just do something fun. I think we should stop calling this a “guilty” pleasure, because who needs guilt? I’m a professional writer, but I still love indulging in Archie digests and fashion magazines from time to time, and I’m not ashamed to say so. (But I did want to hide the cover of a VC Andrews book when I took it on the bus–the shame!)

2) Crossing the gender line. Let’s face it–if you’re a woman, you already know that most products “designed for women” really suck. Or maybe you’ve never tried the men’s version, so you don’t know. But trust me, they do. When I first got my iPod, I remember going to buy a case and seeing all these cases targeted at women. They were cute colors, sure, but the screen was left open! The very thing you’re trying to protect with a case. So I opted for basic black with a protective covering for the screen, and my iPod is still unscratched years later.

But the biggest difference will happen in your shower. Throw away those silly pink plastic jobs and invest in a man’s razor. I recommend the MACH3. You will never go back.

3) Modifying the to-do list. One thing I’ve realized lately is that my weekly to-do lists are much too lofty. It’s definitely time to cut them back to size. Maybe some of you have found the same. Want to feel like a failure? Set yourself up with a to-do list that is impossible to achieve each week. That’ll do it. Scale back and you’ll be thrilled with what you actually got accomplished, rather than being disappointed by what you didn’t. (I’ve heard some people add tasks they’ve already completed just to feel the joy of crossing stuff off, but I haven’t gone that far yet.)

4) Exercise. I think most everyone knows by now that exercise is good for you, no matter how much we don’t feel like it. But it never ceases to amaze me how much better I feel mentally when I exercise–never mind physically. After a kickboxing class, I feel so much joy (exhausted joy, but still) that I can’t believe I stayed away so long. If you’re feeling down and in a slump, try going for a walk. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise for you to reap the benefits.

African sunrise.

5) Travel. If I were to die today, my greatest regret would be that I didn’t see more of the world. I’m devastated that I didn’t take a year off after high school to go on some amazing trip, but I’m trying to make up for it by traveling as much as I can now (not having imposed vacation days helps). This year was Curacao, next year it will be Bali (and perhaps somewhere else, too). There are so many beautiful, incredible things to discover in this world–I will never be the same after spending a month in Africa. And best of all, nothing makes you appreciate home more than spending time somewhere else.

What’s making you happy this week? Please add to the list!

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Michelle D. Argyle

    My hubby has a Mach 3. I use it ALL the time. I just need to buy one for ME. Why don’t they just make stuff like that for women? I don’t get it.

    Favorite line from Legally Blonde: “Excercise releases endorphines. Endorphines make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”

    Mwhahaha. 🙂

  2. Story Teller

    I know! Probably because most heads of marketing are men and most men (sorry guys!) probably think that the best way to get a woman to buy something is to make it pink and cover it with flowers.

    I LOVE that movie, too! That was a great line. But, in the spirit of my earlier post, I sold it, along with most of my collection of fine VHS movies. :/


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