The Book. The Product

Well it’s here. It’s a real life, bound beauty of a thing isn’t it? I would like to talk about how this all got started. This whole book thing. I want you to know, and I need to remind myself because lately English Lessons has felt less like a book and more like something else. More like…

Should You Pre-order English Lessons? Probably. Here’s Why.

So the process of releasing a book is in full swing. This time last year I was hardly able to tell you what the book was about. Now, I can tell you everything! It’s so great. I don’t know if you’re into pre-ordering books or not. I am, but only for special books. For example, as…

English Lessons Launch Team: How You Could Be On It

I tell a story in the book about this time in Oxford when somebody stole a battery from me. I rode a bike everywhere in Oxford. I didn’t have a car, so I depended on that bike to get me from here to there, rain or shine. It was illegal to ride a bike in Oxford without a headlight…

“At the Well”

It’s Friday night. I’ve been working and what I really want to do is lie down and binge watch West Wing. But instead I am here, typing. I just listened straight through Bethany Barnard’s new album three times in a row. The fifth song is called “At the Well.” It has a sort of haunting sound to…

English Lessons: The Book Cover and How Writing Makes You Crazy

Around this exact moment on this day last year, I hit SEND on my manuscript. I had spent the previous nine days in a bit of a frenzied state. I did not speak to other people. I holed up in a garage apartment in the country for a couple of days. My physical appearance got scary. All I did was…

2017.

2017. I know three things about it so far: It will be the year my first book releases. It will be the year I move home. And, I hope, it will be the year that I rest. I think above all else, 2016 made me aware of how tired I feel. I’m not sure I’m supposed to confess…

The Name Jesus. The Word Love.

Perhaps what has brought me hope these last few weeks is seeing people come together. An election that has made many groups feel as if they’ve been voted against as someone else was voted for, we have linked arms in a necessary kind of way, vowing to stand up for each other and remember that none of this is…

What Empathy Is and What It Is Not

I went hiking with a friend a few weeks ago and learned a lot about empathy. I learned a lot about it from myself, who was not being very empathetic. My friend was sharing a really hard thing with me and I kept chiming in with examples from my own life. Something deep down inside of me was saying, “Stop…

The Opposite of Fear Is Not Courage

A few months ago I had a week full of fear related to my work. I felt overwhelmed, andthe thoughts running through my head looked something like this: “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “This is too much.” “I need to just find another job.” “I’m not going to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations.” You…

Between the Wish and the Thing

There’s this quote from All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy that has been totally haunting me this year: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” Have truer words ever been written? That sentence is a bit glum on first reading. A lot of the things McCarthy writes are glum, but as I’ve turned…