Happy Fall!

Wow! Halfway through November already. I can’t believe how quickly time goes. Thanksgiving will be here next week with the craziness of the holidays not far behind. Despite the Indiana dreariness, this is one of my favorite times of the year – and not for the shopping. More so to remind me that I have many things to be grateful for in my life, and at the forefront of that my beautiful, talented 5-year-old ball of fire. He reminds me every day of the important things in life. I love him to the moon and back! πŸ™‚

It’s amazing how quickly things can change, and you just never know what life will throw at you. In the last month I took the risk leaving a position I loved at my university for a new position that holds a lot of potential for me. While I think it will be a good fit, navigating unfamiliar territory is always a challenge. I miss my pharmacy family the most, but new opportunities are on the horizon and I find that to be exciting. Most of all, the potential to write more is at my fingertips, and that makes the losses worth it.

In true fashion of our good Lord, an article showed up in my inbox today that was just what I needed during this emotional roller coaster ride. I encourage you to check this post out. Β This very insightful article was a great reminder of why I do what I do each day…because honestly, sometimes I forget.

I haven’t focused much on my writing today, but there are exciting things in the works. My first academic article was published in AJHP last week – you can find it by searching ‘Linn’ on pubmed. I have a second in the peer-review process, and I am in the infancy stages of developing a series that will be targeted at healthcare professionals. In addition, my first novel will be available on Amazon before the end of the year. Exciting stuff…stay tuned for the results! πŸ™‚

What’s New?

What’s up, writing world?! Life is busy as ever for me. This week I get to present for the first time at a regional conference for a national advising association, so that’s fun. It’s all about integrating career and academic advising. If you work in this realm and haven’t explored that option, message me!! What we are doing at Purdue is pretty awesome, and I’m happy to share the ideas. Boiler up!

As for my writing progress, the BoilerMAKER book has been a giant ball of stress while also being a fun project that I will never regret tackling. What a learning experience! I was ready to poke my eyes out midway through tax season, but I survived. The conferences, book signings, and community outreach events have been fantastic. I know it’s a lot of time, but every time a child’s face lights up when I turn a page, I know it’s worth it. My next event is May first in the afternoon at Barnes & Noble in Lafayette. If you’re bored, come on out!!

So what about my other stuff? Well four of my manuscripts are out on submission, so that’s good news. I have a fifth manuscript that’s a bit of a special project, and that one is about to get really interesting. I can’t say much yet, but I’ll fill in with more details as soon as I can. Right now, I want to focus on looking for new ideas. If there’s something you feel is missing in the market, send the idea my way and I will see what I can do!

Well, it’s off to bed for this busy mama. Cheers!

Academic Writing…who knew?

Good afternoon! I feel like it has been forever since I’ve been on here. I’m terrible at blogging…my apologies if you visit often! Unfortunately my website was under attack for awhile, but thanks to my tech-savvy sister I am up and running again!! So it’s finally time to get back on track. Today’s topic? Academic writing.

This is not an area I ever thought I would be interested in. However, due to the nature of my ‘desk job’ and the wonderful faculty that I collaborate with, this door opened to me recently. I accepted the invitation (begrudgingly, I admit) to be an author on an article about institutional tracks for pharmacy rotation students and their subsequent post-graduate positions. Part of my position is collecting the post-graduation placement, so naturally the faculty member working on this project came to me for numbers. After learning that I have a background in writing, I was asked to help put the document together. Considering my first love is fiction writing, I wasn’t super excited about the idea, but at the same time it could lead to another publication, so I went for it.

I have to admit…it was fun! I enjoyed the statistical analysis and writing about the results. I guess I am more of an academic than I once thought. πŸ™‚ We found out last week this article has been accepted in a top-tier journal for health-system pharmacists. I can’t wait to see it in print! And the ideas for additional articles are already flowing. I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait to start on the next project!

This has been a lesson learned for me – writing means writing no matter what genre it is, and when I’m writing I am happy. I spend so much time talking with our students about the importance of networking and making connections – you know just never know what doors might open up. It’s exciting that I now have a personal story to back up my claims during class. I may be well-established in my career, but it is still important to practice what I preach if I want to learn and grow as a professional.

So my advice to you today – if you are afraid to try to write something new and different than you’ve ever written before, take a risk and jump off the ledge! The worst that could happen? It doesn’t work and you abandon the project. But one more tip – don’t try it alone. Collaborate with others you work with who have done it before and will support you through the process. There’s no better way to learn. And if you have that support, chances are you will be successful. But if not…there is still a lesson to be learned.

Go for it…it will be worth it!


The definition of an accomplished career is different for everyone, depending on individual goals. I think I have a unique situation in which I have a career I strive for, but an every day job that is fantastic. A job that I am very happy in, regardless of the fact that it isn’t totally in alignment with the career goals closest to my heart.

So what makes a job different from a career? Why is a job for one person a career for someone else? In my opinion, it depends on what you pinpoint at the very depth of your development as a lifetime career goal. What activity brings you fulfillment beyond any other? What will you continue to work toward even if it isn’t something you can step into immediately after college? What makes you truly happy? And what is it that at the end of your lifetime you will be truly proud that you accomplished? Regardless of your answers to these questions, we all have one thing in common – the goal of no regrets.

Now that can mean a lot of things in the various aspects of our lives. For me, it’s to write and publish books when it comes to a professional career. That dream is slowly but surely coming true. But not without the help of colleagues in my every day job. The connections I have significantly contributed to the solidification of that dream. The support and feedback I have received has been invaluable. Too many people work in jobs they consider mundane and pointless to pay the bills while working to fulfill their real career dreams in their free time. I feel blessed that I am not in that position. I’m excited to go to work every day, even if it is work. And sometimes hard work. But it is worth it because it has lead me to develop wonderful relationships with people I consider irreplaceable.

So for those of you I work with (if you read this), thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your interest in what I am doing outside of my every day job has propelled me forward, and I could never repay you for that support. If I can return the favor using some of the skills I’ve developed in this fabulous job, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Okay…I’ll stop rambling. I’m feeling very humble this evening for a variety of reasons. I saw a quote on a student’s computer last year that has stuck with me – one that I would venture to say I may live my life by these days. I’ll end with that tonight…I hope it gives you something to think about.

“Build your own dream. If you don’t, you will live your life working to build someone else’s.” Β  Β -Unknown

My first book!

For the first time I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! This story originated in October of 2011, and is finally coming to fruition now. After endless hours of revising, it’s now being illustrated by my wonderful sister (also my website creator). She’s doing a great job, and I can’t wait to see the final product!

Not only is my older sister illustrating it, but my younger sister is contributing as well. She is a marriage therapist, so her section is an appendix with a variety of family activities built around Purdue’s campus and programs. Part of what I think makes this story so unique is that all three of us are Purdue grads from different departments. We have all excelled in our own areas, but we all attribute many of our accomplishments to our time at Purdue.

If we stay on track, we will have the book in stores in early fall. The goal is before school starts, but we will see how quickly we can get through these last few stages. I want it to be perfect, so I’m in it for as long as it takes. Just know…for all you Boiler fans out there…you are in for a TREAT!

More to come. Happy Monday!


Next week is the national BookExpo America! This is a HUGE author event each year. Sadly, I can’t go, but if you’re up for a spontaneous weekend trip this will not disappoint! Check out the details:Β http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/.

I’m so excited it is FINALLY warm out. Winter was so dreary and drawn out this year, we’ve been starved for warm weather here in the Midwest. I can’t wait to take my computer outside on my porch to write! College students are out now, so things are slowing down a little there. My evenings are coveted- those precious few hours of sunlight left after dinner- it will be just my computer and me. And occasionally the three-year-old question and dogs barking. Couldn’t ask for anything better! πŸ™‚

So a quick update on my current project – the Purdue book! It is coming along well. My sister is hard at work on the illustrations, and with any luck, she will hit her deadline which is just under two weeks away. Once that is done, we will move forward with the layout and finally, the printing. This is so exciting! I’ll keep you posted as things move forward.

Happy Monday!


Howdy! Thanks a ton to my sis for fixing the issues with my website. Unfortunately it wiped out the last few blog posts, but I can’t complain since it’s functional again. Couldn’t live online without her!

So many exciting things have been happening lately! A few weeks ago, I attended the fantastic Indiana SCBWI Conference at McCormick’s Creek. It was overflowing with wisdom. Dynamic speakers, helpful tips, networking opportunities, and fabulous friends…I couldn’t ask for more! I even ran into an old high school friend that I haven’t seen for years, who is also now a writer! She writes for National Geographic, and has a chapter book about lions that just came out recently. I highly recommend it. I bought it for my three-year-old son and he LOVES looking through it. Lots of great stuff! I always find these workshops to be rejuvenating. If you’ve never attended, I highly recommend it!

I’m thrilled to share recent updates on my current projects. First, I have one manuscript out that was a revision request from a very prominent publisher. After implementing the changes, I believe the story is stronger than ever. I’m amazed at the insight of this particular editor, and thrilled at the outcome of my story because of it. Even if they don’t take it, I’m more confident in it now than ever. It will sell somewhere! But I’m waiting by the mailbox each day for his response. This part is the hardest! Second, my BoilerMAKER book is well on it’s way. My illustrator (also known as my website builder and sister) is furiously working on the pictures to hit her June 1st deadline. Now it’s deciding between hard and soft cover and signing the contract. If we stay on track, it will be out this fall. Can’t wait for that! Finally, I’m starting a new project that relates to my current job. This will be nonfiction, and from what I can tell, nothing like it has been done before. It’s too early to release too many details, but the idea is developing. It promises to be exciting! πŸ™‚

Time to put my little boy to bed. He doesn’t do so well when I’m clicking away on the keys, so it’s time to close the laptop.

Happy Monday!


Happy 2014!

Being snowed in for two days has proven to be very productive for me! I’ve gotten all my emails organized, and now I’m getting the updates done on my website. I’m always amazed at how quickly time flies.

I’m setting my goals for 2014, and I’m hoping by the end of the year when I look back at this I will have made some progress. So here we go:

1. Find groups to actively use the BoilerMAKER book and seek out publishers. If I can’t find one, I will look into self-publishing!

2. Continue to look for a publisher forΒ Crystal Clear. This is my most polished piece, and I’m sure there is a home for it somewhere!

3. Attend the SCBWI National Conference in LA in August. This is a pricey goal, but since my sister lives in LA now it might be attainable! This would be an amazing opportunity to network if I can find a way to make it work.

4. Produce new material! There’s no limit to this goal, and I really want to make progress this year. Hmmm…since I mostly focus on picture books, I’m going to set my goal at five new manuscripts produced by December 31, 2014. I may change this to a word count later if I decide to work on a chapter book. πŸ™‚

I think that’s all for now. I need to be realistic, and I know if I continue listing out things all the things I would love to accomplish, I’ll put myself over the top. What are your goals for 2014? What do YOU want to accomplish? Set yourself up for success by setting goals and use every day to take a step closer to getting what you want.

Stay active and NEVER GIVE UP! Happy writing πŸ™‚

Focus on Picture Books!

Wow! The summer flew by and now it feels as though fall is in full swing. Although this crazy fluctuation is weather is making me crazy! I guess that’s Indiana for ya. πŸ™‚

Last weekend I went to the Falling Into Picture Books workshop at Turkey Run. It was AMAZING! I was lucky enough to sit at the same table with an editor from Cartwheel Books and Scholastic Press. His insight into our discussions was fantastic. I love hearing it straight from the pros! Both editors in attendance are allowing submissions, so that’s an extra bonus. I’m almost finished putting together my packets. I had a hard time choosing what to turn in, but after researching each publishing group, I think I found a perfect fit. I hope at least! We’ll see.

I’m very excited about the fact that a new critique group emerged for me from this workshop. I found two authors that live relatively close to work with. First submission is October 15th, and I can’t wait! It’s way past time for me to get back on a deadline. I have a feeling this simple commitment is going to produce great things for all of us!

If you are a writer and you’ve never attended a conference, I cannot stress enough how important it is. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a variety of conferences over the last few years, and each one energizes me more and more. I’m also networking, and that is huge in the publishing world. Perseverance. Hang in there. It will happen! At least that is what I’m doing…I’ll never give up! Every rejection is a step closer to an acceptance. So keep writing!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful week! The first day of fall is creeping closer as we speak. πŸ™‚

What’s New?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted for a month! Time gets away from me so quickly. We just got back from a wonderful vacation in Florida…exactly what I needed to relax and regroup! Spent every day at the pool with my family–that’s the way a vacation should be!

Before that, I went to my alumni retreat at Seton Hill and had a blast. It was so great to get back together with my classmates and talk writing. We don’t have near enough opportunities to do that! One lesson I learned: always go prepared! You never know who you will meet. I had two requests for my YA manuscript; one on an impromptu pitch and the other at a dinner. I didn’t expect either one and was beyond thrilled! Submissions are out, so we will see what happens. Fingers crossed! Also came up with a new story idea with my buddy Dave on the eight hour drive home. This is a non-fiction reference book that I think could be dynamite if it is done right. We have the same thoughts on voice, so that’s a start. I’m really excited to start working on this book. It’s a different area for me, but different is good! Have to keep most of that under wraps right now, but I’ll update on the project as I can.

I was able to get my thoughts organized while in PA, and that is a huge plus. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything that goes into being an author. I am going to work on writing the book with Dave, but selling my Purdue picture book. I am going to add a blurb about that soon on the work in progress tab. It’s super cute and should be a huge hit around here. My goal? Expand to other universities of course! But start here…baby steps.

That’s all for now. Had a window to blog since I’m dogsitting my neighbor’s awesome pups! I don’t think I will want to give these two back. They are the sweetest! πŸ™‚

As always, if you have book ideas, don’t hesitate to put in idea requests!