March Newsletter: The Glam Life of a Writer?

Woman smiling casually with quote 'You don't have to be perfect to be Amazing"

Dear Loyal Reader, it is officially spring.

With the change of season comes a change to the REMARKABLE! News. You may not notice the difference, but I’m sending this via a new platform. I’m hoping it reaches you and doesn’t end up in a spam folder.

Basically, I’m writing the newsletter on my website now–from which it will go out to you and everyone who subscribed using the old form. The biggest difference is that each installment will also be available to read directly on


  • A personal essay about my sometimes-not-glamorous life
  • Guest fiction story by Mary Ann Giasson
  • Latest news about the book launch & upcoming events
  • What I’m reading this month

You can still unsubscribe any time, no hurt feelings, and there is a privacy policy at the bottom of each newsletter reiterating that I will never sell or give your info away to anyone. This first one is a test, though, and it has me jittery and, no, it’s not because of the five cups of coffee I’ve drunk today!

I’m writing today about how we are NOT always perfect, but still amazing. Of course we aspire to be our best selves at all times, but some days just pound you down like a daffodil in a downpour, right? And eventually we spring back and shine with all our daffodilly brightness again.

I hope the essay encourages you or at least makes you smile.

The Not-Glam Writing Life

If you could see me now, you’d know just how UN-glamorous my writing life really is. Okay, to be fair, all days are not like this, but right now I’m wearing flannel pajama bottoms printed with holly berries and cardinals, a sleep shirt with a vaguely Parisian bicycle with a basket of flowers, and my red plaid flannel L.L. Bean shirt. I’m listening to Puccini arias on–with advertisements–and I’m staring balefully at a stack of things I need to do. Like:

  • Activate the credit card that came in the mail yesterday
  • Create a book event announcement on Facebook 
  • Deposit a check–sent to me in January
  • Write some words on the book in progress
  • Work on this essay to post in my newsletter
  • Get a Square credit card reader account set up

I haven’t brushed my hair or my teeth…and it’s 2 p.m. I’ve drunk two (okay, five) cups of coffee and I want more. I’ve had some avocado on a tortilla. In bed. With a book propped on my knees. 

I need to shower, but first I should exercise because I’m in my fifties and my bones are apt to start crumbling any minute now. The rain just stopped, the first of two waves predicted for the latest atmospheric river tumbling over California. The only thing that comforts me is knowing the weather probably sucks in Maine right now, too. 

Is it any wonder that I wrote a novel about a vibrant, thirty-year-old, kick-butt private detective with a huge walk-in closet full of glamorous designer labels? A smart and sassy woman who’s making her own way in the world despite her privileged upbringing? A compulsive runner training for a half-marathon? Who’s caught the eye of a hot heart doctor? And possibly a cute FBI agent, as well? 

Novel Character Development & Setting

Olivia Lively is NOT me. She’s someone I enjoy “inhabiting” as I plot out and create a few women’s fiction/mystery novels set in arty, coastal Portland, Maine. I’ve never actually lived in Portland. The closest I got was neighboring Westbrook for three years in the mid-1990s. Hubby and I hung out in the Old Port with our best couple friends just about every weekend, mostly for dancing in places like the Old Port Tavern and T-Birds and Zootz and Raoul’s. We liked to eat at The Village Cafe beforehand. Sometimes we’d end up at Denny’s on outer Congress Street around 2 a.m. for burgers and fries or maybe pancakes. 

Later, having moved around a bit and finally settling in a small town 50 minutes west of the city, we made irregular treks into Portland from the hinterlands. Magic of Christmas concerts. The annual Portland Opera production. Restaurants. Theater. Museum of Art outings. First Friday art walks. Sea Dogs games. High school basketball tournaments. 

I took my daughter and three friends to the Telling Room for a few weeks one spring for writing classes, and the Telling Room’s Glitterati Ball ended up in FINAL DRAFT. A sister-in-law’s former apartment on Munjoy Hill was the inspiration for Liv’s third-story space overlooking Bayside. 

I have loved Portland the way I used to yearn for certain boys in junior high school–with longing and not much hope of ever getting there. So I wrote about it. 

This is the joy of writing. You can be sitting in your ratty old pajamas in the real world and hating the taste of your own coffee breath while simultaneously—in your imagination–you strut through the crowd at a glittery fundraiser wearing a fabulous green Halston gown and your grandmother’s emerald earrings. 

Why everyone doesn’t try it is beyond me. 

Haven’t Read FINAL DRAFT YET? Click!

Book cover with woman's face with yellow glasses

Guest Flash Fiction

By Mary Ann Giasson


Ainsley flopped into the hard plastic subway seat, glad that as the car lurched out of the station, there had at least been a place to sit on a Friday afternoon. There was an energy to New York City that had drawn her here after high school. And even after a seven-hour shift on her feet; an hour off for lunch, her body was still humming with the possibilities of the evening.

She paid no attention to the people coming and going. The stops and starts of the subway were a thing her body had gotten used to in the last few years. Her mind was already on the pale glass of Sauvignon Blanc and fish that she was going to order. 

A mechanical voice interrupted her planning and the car jerked to a halt. A small group of passengers moved into the car as a larger group moved off. A couple settled in the seat across from her. The man was wearing white jeans and a black polo shirt.

Ainsley tumbled right back to high school.

Patrick Jameson. Number 5 jersey and one of the stars of the Raiders soccer, basketball and baseball teams. Two years ahead of her, Patrick probably didn’t even realize she existed. What would a jock and a student council nerd have in common? 

She could close her eyes and see him walking down the hall with a classmate, or even with his arm around a pretty girl. The white jeans that fit his snug athletic frame. The black polo with one button undone to show the simple silver chain he always wore. There was a slight dimple in his left cheek that showed every time he flashed a smile or laughed, his brown eyes the color of Hershey’s milk chocolate. 

Crushes and relationships had come and gone from her life. There was something about Patrick Jameson that lingered. The role she had given him as the ideal man. And from time to time, he still crept into her thoughts.

Like today. On the subway. In the clothes of a stranger.

Book Launch Success & Events

It’s been a whirlwind of activity since March 8 when FINAL DRAFT and private investigator Olivia Lively launched into the world. Not so much physical as much as online activity. I hosted a small gathering of 13 people at Carruth Cellars Urban Winery & Cheese Shop, and we toasted the book. Everyone seemed to have a good time. You can view the video on my Instagram.

Since then I’ve heard from so many of you saying you’ve purchased and enjoyed the book, and some of you have even sent lovely photos which, if you’ve made them shareable, I’ve shared on Facebook.

In April, I will be reading/signing at three separate venues in my home state of Maine, and I will certainly share photos and my thoughts on them in a future post. If you live in Maine and think you might want to see me at an event, check my Facebook page for details.


I finished reading Anne Britting Oleson’s lovely & literary THE SPRINGS. Read my review on Goodreads.

I am currently reading THE PRIESTESS WITCH by Katerina Dennison, a YA paranormal witch story which is captivating me. Review to come!

The SIPPS project is my attempt to read mostly small & indie published authors this year. I also have a T for traditional when I come across one I think you might enjoy. Have a suggestion? Send me an email or leave a comment on the website!

That’s it for now. If you signed up for the newsletter (rather than reading this online) I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to get an email back letting me know you received this one.

If you are reading on the website, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts in a comment.

Oh, and I’m open for submissions of flash fiction of 100-300 words. Contact me on Facebook messenger to submit. Sign up for the newsletter and you can email me the submission, as well.

Happy Spring, Lovelies!



  1. Yes, I’m commenting on my own post…maybe it will prime the pump. What did you like about this newsletter? What did you hate? What left you with burning questions you MUST have answered?

  2. Ratty pajamas? That’s like, a uniform for writers, yes? Mine have little pink unicorns, lol! Keeping it real, folks! Happy Spring!

    1. Lol, yes, I suppose they are a uniform, but most days I actually do get dressed. The pink unicorns sound so cute! Thanks for stopping in, Jolie.

  3. OMG I loved this “I have loved Portland the way I used to yearn for certain boys in junior high school–with longing and not much hope of ever getting there.” I so connected with that! Thanks for sharing my short. Can’t wait to catch up in Farmington! Where’s your other event??

    1. Thank you! That was my favorite line in the essay, too. I loved your short story and the twist ending. I have an event at the library.

  4. I love your raw honesty about involved hair and coffee breath lol twinsies for reals. I may need to check out The Springs. Sounds interesting!

    1. I’ll probably have to put up some photos of me wearing something nice, with my hair brushed and teeth brushed so as to dispel this image I’ve created here, lol. I think you’d like The Springs.

    1. Auto correct is so annoying. When I type on my phone it ALWAYS changes “and” to “abs.” Why??????? It’s and, not some unusual word.

  5. I loved the realism you described in your life as a writer. I’m obviously not one – I couldn’t bear to be in bed in PJs, and caffeinated to that extent for most of the day. But we all know, of course, that each of us is different in our own non-glamorous way! And that was the point.

    I loved reading this line in Alice Feeney’s “Rock Paper Scissors” this week:
    – Writing is a hard way to make an easy living.

    Mary Ann’s guest piece was a great read, too.

    Thanks for keeping us updated

    1. Not all writers stay in bed all day in the pajamas, Debbie. You know I think you are a terrific writer.

  6. I always appreciate when someone embodies “being human together”. Thanks for being human with us.

    “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”— Desmond Tutu

    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”— Mother Teresa

    Be the woman with the fire in her soul who says, “I will use it all – my humanity, my strength, and my love to make this world a better place”- Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey

    1. We are definitely all human and imperfect but also capable of doing good work. I like your quotes!

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