It's no secret that about five years ago, my life changed in big ways. I wrote a bit about that journey in a series for Glamour, which after writing about and interviewing other people for years, it was scary, exciting, and therapeutic--all at the same time--to write from a personal place. But I'm so glad I did! I hear from women all the time who are facing similar big life changes and looking for advice, encouragement, or just someone to tell them that everything's going to be ok (it will, I promise). I've been wanting to write more on this subject in a more extensive, public way for some time now. So, I've decided to pool my advice, observations, wisdom, experience, encouragement, along with all kinds of confessions--both serious and hilarious. I've lived it all in these past five years--from crying to laughing, barely surviving to thriving. While it felt like my life was falling to pieces back then, I never imagined the beautiful, wild journey in store, or how happy I'd wind up years later in this very moment. I'm excited to share those thoughts, anecdotes and stories here. Will you follow along? OK, so today's topic: For starters, I just want to say that I really do think men are great. In fact, I loooooove men (and my fiancé, Brandon, is my total dream boat). But girls, here's the thing: I think that, in marriage or any longterm relationship, we sometimes fall into roles that can become limiting when (I suppose this is true for men, too, and I by no means want to imply that I or women are victims in any way. No. No way.) These roles we can find ourselves stuck in, well, it's nobody's fault, per se. I think it just happens. For example, I when I found myself suddenly single, with three little boys wanting me to fix their broken remote control cars, in a creaky old house with things breaking right and left, and no man around, at first I kind of



Some of you here have been longtime readers of my books and my work for Glamour (hi everyone! And, good heavens, I just saw that when you search my name on the site, I've written something like 4,600 articles and blog posts over the years. I am exhausted just thinking about that right now, ha. I mean, how did I do this? Did I have a clone working at night while I slept. These are blurry years. There was a lot of newborn babies involved.). Anyway, some of you are new here--new to me, my books, my writing, and I wanted to say hi! I love hearing from new readers every day all around the world. It's seriously my favorite part of what I do--hearing from you! I write to authors of books and articles all the time to say hi and tell them when I connect with something because it means so much to me when people take the time to write. So, welcome, everyone, and thank you for stopping by! Things have been a little quiet around here for a while. I took a bit of a break from this blog while I went through some big changes in my personal life, which I will write about more here in the coming months, but I’m BACK, and I have some exciting stuff coming your way. If you'd like to learn a little about me, you might check out my bio (scroll down for the slightly more fun "informal bio"), but to add to that, I decided I'd share some more, real life, less stuffy kind of stuff (stuffy kind of stuff-? My editor would cut that one on sight). With that, here's some stuff about me: I write books. Ten so far, published in a lot of countries (around 30, I think). Pinch me. Sometimes I still wake up and am like, "really? Is this really my career?" I feel very lucky. I'm a boy mama. My boys are presently 11, 9 and 7. If you see me in Seattle, I usually have a herd of little men around me, with the littlest one (age 7)  holding onto my purse or skirt hem (he's done this since he learned to walk). I love pink, heels, and all things girly, and while I'm not entirely sure how/why God thought it would be a good idea to shower me with boys, I have to say I love, love, love being a boy mom. Lots more posts on boy-mamahood to come, but I feel, truly and deeply, like the luckiest lady to have been blessed with this tribe of little men. My first love was magazine journalism. After college, my dream was to become a freelance writer, and I hustled it big time to make it a reality. While my career transitioned into writing fiction, I still love magazines and would drop anything if one of my former editors called and asked me to write an essay about, say, my love of jazz, for example. (Friends at Real Simple, are you listening? Also, here's an article I wrote for RS years ago titled "20 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe Last" that I just found online. My Lulu leggings are looking kind of haggard, so I'm going to stop this and re-reread my own advice right now, ha.) I'm obsessed with jazz. Old jazz, new jazz, latin jazz, piano jazz, Bossanova jazz--all jazz (except elevator jazz, which really isn't jazz) makes me insanely happy. Dave Brubeck for me = instant mood lift. At my house, you'll find jazz streaming through the speakers all the time, especially on Sunday mornings, when it's a ritual. I think life is better with wine. Enough said. Dark chocolate makes me sneeze. Totally bizarre but true: I sneeze after the first bite of dark chocolate. Same thing happens to my son, Carson. Genetics, I tell ya! I love love. I'm a total cheeseball, tis true. I cry at weddings. All of them. I ask everyone how they met, fell in love. I eavesdrop on strangers on dates at restaurants. I am eternally fascinated by love. I'm a huge believer in forgiveness, of others and self. Forgiveness comes easier to some than others. I am always grateful that I'm an easy forgiver. I mean, I know, some people deserve what they have coming, but the thing is, friends, holding on to anger is sooooo toxic. Choose forgiveness. I do! And what's harder, I've found, is forgiving yourself. I'm still working on that. I survived divorce, and am stronger in its wake. Divorce sucks. I went through a pretty bad and wacky one, and still struggle with frequent landmines in its aftermath. Basically, when you dismember a family unit with the court system as the surgeon, you're going to have a bunch of wounds, scars, infections and phantom pain. Good analogy, right? That said, five years later, I am happier than ever, stronger than ever, and look at life and people so differently than I did before. Lots more on this subject to come



Hey guys! I'm kicking off a new series on the blog today in which I'll be sharing my best writing tips for aspiring novelists. Lots more to come here on the subject of writing (and so many more topics!), but for now, your tip: People always ask me how I get my story and character ideas and my answer always boils down to one word: curiosity! Maybe this stems from my long career as a journalist where I was paid to ask questions and go deep, or maybe it's just my natural inclination to learn more, and more, and more. In any case, curiosity has driven all of my novels. And here's how it plays out in my day-to-day life: I'm always listening, observing, and



Hi all, It's been a while since I've updated this blog, but here I am again, saying hello from beautiful Oslo, Norway, where the temperatures hit the mid seventies today (!). I'm just finishing up the loveliest trip here to promote the Norwegian edition of my new novel, and I'm so grateful for the enthusiasm and warmth from my readers and publishing team in this awesome country. This is my third trip to Norway for book events, and with each visit, I fall in love with this special country all the more. While jet lag has been hard on this trip, it's been my favorite Norwegian experience to date. These past few days have been filled with amazing memories: sold-out reader events, spending time with author colleagues from around the globe (hello, Alyson Richman, Jan-Phillip Sendker, Lucy Dillon and others!), inspiring visits to the Munch Museum and the lookout point over Oslo where Edvard Munch set his iconic painting "The Scream." And, oh! Oh!! For all of my coffee-loving traveling friends, I have a little tidbit for you. Let me preface this by saying



I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love, a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. A lot of people ask me what the most surprising things are about my job--things I never predicted along the way. Here are a few: *Getting published internationally: To date, I think my books are translated in more than 20 languages and sold in about 30 countries. That fact, to me, is still staggering! I remember getting a phone call when I was shopping at Trader Joe's from my agent telling me that several German publishers were in a bidding war for my first novel. My first response was, "Wow!" And my second response was, "wait, really?" I had no idea that I could sell books outside of the US, let alone become a bestseller in other countries, both of which have happened for me. Such a pinch-myself moment, even still.



I've had a busy spring touring for the launch of ALWAYS! It was such a joy to visit Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, New York, San Diego, Amsterdam and Oslo! I have so many happy memories from my travels. When I'm at author events in the US and in other countries, my favorite part is answering questions from readers. I tend to get asked some similar questions. The one question I'm almost always asked is something I've often wanted to expand on here, because over the years, I've come to be pretty passion about the subject:



Today, I'm honored to have a personal essay featured on SignatureReads. I smile a lot these days, and I'm cooking up a storm, but I went through a difficult time in my life several years ago when that wasn't the case. I was not a victim then, nor am I now. But I had to trudge through that miserable valley and learn to reconnect with the things that brought me joy all along, one of which was learning to love cooking again, even if it meant making dinner on lonely nights for just me. If you're in a dark place like this, please know that even when things feel bleak, you are not alone. There is hope and joy and love ahead. Forgive yourself. Forgive the ones who've hurt you. And go make yourself a fabulous dinner.