Yellow Shoes

Back in September — lo, when the world was a simpler place — I bought two pairs of shoes. A sturdy red pair for walking and a yellow pair of slip-on flats. I walked myself into blisters in the red pair on a trip to Oklahoma to see friends (and the visit was well worth it), so the yellow shoes were my best friends on the airport ride home.

I’ve since worn those shoes to Ohio, Montana, Montana again, Ohio again, DC, and the Rainforest near Lake Quinault. For the past month or so, I’ve been lucky enough to be home and the yellow shoes have had a bit of a rest, which is good, because they are about to fall apart. They’re an apt metaphor for my state of mind, which has needed some rejuvenation. I’ve started back on my third novel in earnest, with a slight detour for puppy knee surgery for Hippo.

In the next months, I’ll put the yellow shoes back on and head to California a few times and, if I’m lucky, swing past Montana. But here at home, I’ll be teaching at a super cool workshop called The Seattle Writing Workshop on May 6th in Redmond, across the pond. I’d love to see you there, talk books, read manuscripts, and do the old network-over-wine stuff (always a fun part of any conference), meeting up with friends old and new. You can read more about the event here.

Wishing you a wonderful April of writing, reading, and Spring-greeting. xo

Out & About

Every year the agonizing choice hounds us as the autumn turns the leaves to golden, amber, and red: to turn on the heat or not to turn on the heat. Besty Friend and the Las Vegas-born puppy were almost popsicles this morning, so I bowed to the 57 degree temperature reading and flipped the heat to ON.

Besides this valiant seasonal battle, there’s a lot going on around here. After visiting Tulsa and then stopping in at the Montana Book Fest, I’m home for a few weeks before continuing on to Columbus for World Fantasy. In November, I’ve been invited to do a couple of special readings. 1. On November 2, I’ll join The Gay Uncle Time to read some summer camp stories for their theme, Bless the Beasts & the Children. On the 15th, I”ll be reading for the Inkwell Seattle series celebrating this quarter’s theme of Dystopias! More info on all of these can be found on my event page.

Hope to see you all out and about. xo

Hello, July. Goodbye.


Hippolyta Marie Siefker-Griep (Not recommended for peak productivity.)

Friends, an update has been a long time coming. The summer has flown in and past and through at a most alarming speed. After some whirlwind, post New Charity Blues launch travel, my get up and go got up and went. I gave my Easy Street staff the month off and bought a puppy. (She and Dutch are getting along swimmingly, but the puppy has a desire to work on the computer that would send most copyeditors into apoplexy.)

It hasn’t been all political conventions and bon bons, though. I’ve been helping to launch Prison Renaissance, a collaborative non profit aimed at breaking cycles of incarceration. I’ve been catching up on Easy’s submission queue and reading contest work from The Lascaux Review. I’ve even been reading for fun! (I’m in the middle of Annie Proulx’s Barkskins for those keeping track.)

I spent a bit of time last weekend chatting with my dear friend Sarah Meckler-Tate, who now runs the lovely Golden State Media Concepts Book Review Podcast. I talked so much they had to give me two episodes. The first is available via iTunes now and the second should be up next week. It’s always exciting to talk about writing, but getting to talk to a friend about writing takes a lot of pesky nerves from the equation.

I’m also working on my latest book project, Virgie’s Guide to Hell. Re-entering the world of satire via a contemporary hellscape has been a lot of fun so far. We’ll see where it takes us. Onward to August, no doubt where I’m headed to the sweltering Midwest for a wedding, skipping Worldcon, but then it’s on to the Montana Book Fest, some time with friends in Oklahoma, and World Fantasy in Columbus. I hope to see some of you along the way. As always, thanks for reading. xo

New Charity Blues – Now Available

IMG_4317It’s been a whirlwind of weeks here at the Bulldogge Fortress. I was in Los Angeles for AWP 16 where I participated in one, wonderful creative nonfiction reading with Under the Gum Tree and moderated/read with a fantastic group of women for Women Writing SFF.

I returned with some souped-up variety of pestilence and before I could finish sniffling, it was time for the New Charity Blues Launch Party and then it was, all of a sudden, yesterday: Release Day!

So now you can get your readerly hands on an ebook, paperback, or the lush and gorgeously narrated audiobook version (seriously, it’s good). You can also read an excerpt here! Thank you to those of you who are celebrating with me. It’s been a wonderful journey from start to finish, and I can’t wait for you to meet Syd and Cas. xo

Returning from the Rainforest

Last weekend, I spent 4 days in next to the beautiful Lake Quinalt, at the Rainforest Village Writers Retreat. This was my 4th year in attendance, but every year is a unique experience. I wrote, after my very first year there, that I felt as if I’d finally found a space to be valid. Writers were at all levels of their careers and credentials didn’t particularly matter. Everyone was there to write.

This year, I was late, due to an unscheduled and unprovoked assault by my own body, which I fully intend to turn in for a new model as soon as one becomes available. It’s been a slow year so far, fighting strange illness, fevers, and exhaustion, and the social aspect of Rainforest was daunting. I’d spent my first two years mainlining Pinot Gris and basking in the euphoria of creative energy. This time, thanks to a ruptured ovarian cyst, I spent the majority of the time with my heating pad and my lap-held laptop, looking out over the lake from our cabin’s balcony.

The wonderful thing was, everyone understood. Everyone was gracious and kind and so immersed in their own work, absences (mine and others in similar straits) were noted but not an affront. I included the delay as an example during my Thursday talk “When Bad Things Happen to Good Writers,” which ran the gamut from what the world does to us as artists to what we do to ourselves. My wonderful roommate, Jill Seidenstein, has a blog called Slowbloom, reminding us, “No one yells at a flower to bloom faster.” My roommates, Jill along with G.G. Silverman and Malia Kawaguchi, brought me breakfast, conversation, and encouragement. I wrote 2500 words — not much, but still forward. I came home and wrote 4,000 more. Forward. I completed the outline and sent the sample to my agent. Forward.

My own lecture from Rainforest was something that came back to grace me. I’m so thankful for the writing community that I’ve surrounded myself with. I’m so thankful to call so many of these people true friends. I’m thankful they remind me to give myself a break, that this life is a marathon, not a sprint, that it’s okay to live in the here and now, making the decisions that make us happy, not the decisions that please everyone else. Lifelong lessons from lifelong relationships.


The Stabby Awards

Griep-LettersToZell-19807-CV-FT-V7As an unabashed Reddit lover (and lurker) I was delighted to discover Letters to Zell has been nominated as one of 2015’s Best Fantasy Novels (note, not Best Debut).

If you are a Redditor or know and love someone who is, take a look at this amazing list of literature and perhaps put in your vote using this link. If you loved Letters to Zell, feel free to give it an upvote, but there are a lot of great books on the list that are also deserving of love and champagne and unicorn sprinkles. I’m splendidly grateful to be in their company. Best of luck and to all a good Stab! xo

Onward to 2016

Friends, I’m delighted to share a collection of poems up today at Sick Lit Magazine. It’s a great new pub and I’m so excited to be a part of their first year, humbled they offered a home to this tiny collection of pieces.

In other news, Publisher’s Weekly included New Charity Blues in their list of anticipated Spring 2016 titles. It’s nailbiting season between now and April 13th, and I cannot wait for the book to land on shelves. Though it is different in many ways from Letters to Zell, I’m hoping the journey toward home and friendship is one that resonates with readers.

Happiest of New Years to you all and thanks, as always, for your support. xo

Year’s Best

I’m thrilled to share some recent news about Letters to Zell. The Editors over at Amazon chose it as one of the Best 100 Books of 2015! I’m delighted to be in the company of so many amazing authors and works. The Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, Pennsylvania also kindly nominated LTZ as their Book of the Day earlier in November. Last, but certainly not least, I wrote a little something for Writer’s Digest about how I found my superstar agent, Cameron McClure. More soon, and thanks, as always, for reading.