The Saturday Special: Unreasonably Happy Edition


Hey guys,

This has been the kind of week during which I feel constantly on the verge of happy tears, kinda like the last time I went to San Francisco. It’s the kind of week that’s so good I’m not sure I can handle being this happy for this long. Like the dopamine receptors in my brain are actually worn down and going, “Dude, can we just calm down a minute?”

Ellie and I have done a ton of work on our podcast, Write Against the Machine, and I’m really proud of how it’s looking. I’ve been managing the tech side of things with backup from my genius husband while Ellie has whipped the design into shape. Check out them sexy graphics, right? This week, we released Episode 4: Creative Super Friends, Assemble! This episode is all about how to build up your creative circle of friends with people who both support and challenge you.

AND I started teaching online yoga classes. I was mentally prepared for a lot of snags and hangups, but once we got started, it was super easy and fun! If you missed the first one, don’t worry: I’ve added more classes to the schedule already. Right now, online classes are just on Thursday, but I’m considering adding another day. If you want to put in your vote for a particular day or time, let me know in the comments!

Finally, here are the tasty bits from the rest of the internet: 

That’s it for me this week. I hope you’re all well and happy. Take good care of yourselves!


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Write Against the Machine: Self-Publishing, Emily Dickinson and You

ellie and mary

Ugh, guys is it wrong if I really love this podcast? Ellie and I have the best conversations, and I’m so excited to share this one with you. This week, we talked about writing, editing, self-publishing and the real reason we know who Emily Dickinson is today.

What I love the most about doing this podcast is actually editing it and listening to it later to realize how much Ellie and I learn while talking to each other. We’re like a much cuter version of Truman Capote and Harper Lee or something. We certainly don’t agree on everything, but that’s half the fun!

Here are a few of the highlights:

Mary: If this podcast is too awkward for anybody…
Ellie: You’re in the wrong place.

“Fucking punctuation, right?” ~Mary on grammar in poetry

“Self publishing has its own set of pitfalls, and people don’t get to tell you what to do, but on the other hand, people don’t tell you what to do.” ~Ellie

We had a great time talking about the whole process of self-publishing (it’s a steep learning curve, we both discovered) and why believing in the value of your own work is not arrogant but actually really important. I don’t want to give away too much, but we also discussed how too much inspiration can keep you from getting down to the real work, how to repackage blog posts, writers we admire, celebrating milestones, and much more. In other words, we are amazing, and you should listen to this.

Oh, and Ellie just launched her book, Inkchanger, so we discuss the experience of doing NaNoWriMo together (it went well for Ellie, not so much for me!) and our unique approaches to self-promotion — how to do it without feeling skeevy! Yay!

Next time, we’ll be talking about being literary housewives, which is a rather new adventure for both of us. Let us know what other topics you want to hear about, too, because we’re happy to get new ideas any time.

OH! And thank you to Margie for the word art that now graces our podcast! Check out her graphic design work over at Margie’s Mark!

Have a great weekend, folks!


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Write Against the Machine: Don’t worry, we’re from the internet!

So, Ellie and I decided to experiment with a podcast this week. I happen to think that we’re really funny together, so I hope you’ll enjoy listening to us solve the world’s problems.

In this first installment, we talk about being from the internet, making friends online, that funny space between being internet friends and real life friends, and the role of technology in modern life and relationships.

I just keep listening to it because I love this conversation. When Ellie and I talk, we have the conversations I wish I could have with everyone. For example …

On why it’s easy to make friends on the internet:

You get to present your best self and be as witty as you want as many times as you can hit backspace. ~Ellie

On being yourself online:

Ellie: Never apologize for being weird because it’s always gonna be weirder when you apologize than it was before. And don’t use the internet when you’re drunk. It’s like a car. Just don’t do that. Something bad will happen.

Mary: That’s so hard to do now, I mean, either because you’re always drunk or you’re always on the internet.

On growing up:

We all feel like we’re caught in whatever teenage phase was our favorite, and we’re just being temporarily inconvenienced by having a job or a spouse or children. ~Ellie

On youth in the media:

When you’re a kid, you don’t realize that the ideal that’s being given to you is already you. Then when you grow up, you’re like “Fuck, I had no idea how good I had it.” ~Mary

On changing your life:

Oh, that bothers you? Well you should stop that. ~Ellie

Ugh, we had such a great time. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

I do have to apologize for how bad I sound. I have a nice mic and everything, but I’m still figuring out how to use it without sounding like I’m trapped in a tin can. Apparently, I sit too close to it, so I’ll fix that next time. 🙂

We’re not sure how long the podcast deal will last, since we’re just experimenting. If you like it and want it to continue, let us know!

Mwah! Enjoy!

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