Can I Pick Your Brain

Can I Pick Your Brain

Can I Pick Your Brain? The Fine Line Between Giving Back and Getting Paid

The right connections in publishing can jumpstart your career and make the journey more enjoyable. But there is a fine line when asking for a favor (or a freebie) and networking. This panel looks at how emerging writers can gracefully navigate the art of “the ask” and how established authors can balance their time and effort and meaningful connections. Five publishing insiders share secrets of effective networking without looking self-interested—and when to say no without looking unsupportive.

Every writer, regardless of experience or genre, must network; relationships can make the difference between a so-so and a successful career. In today’s digital world, connecting with others has never been easier—but connectivity has increased opportunities to make gaffes. This panel, comprised of a geographically, ethnically, and professionally diverse group of publishing pros who network in a variety of equally successful ways, gives writers tools to connect in an authentic and effective way.

We are often on the receiving end of requests for help or information. Each week our inboxes swell with messages from former coworkers, friends of friends and people I’ve met at networking events who want advice about writing for a living. As you might suspect, we’ve found there are a right way and a wrong way to tap an acquaintance for professional suggestions.

All of here on this panel have asked for help and given it. There are times I’m sure when we have done it gracefully and other times when, in a panic related to deadlines, or anxiety, or desperation we asked for too much in the wrong way or were unable to help others because of time and energy constraints.

Do’s for asking for help: read more…

Cake Without The Calories

Cake Without The Calories

Cake Without the Calories

There is a man outside my house shoveling my sidewalk. I can hear him chopping and scraping against the inches of slush and ice that has collected on my concrete path and driveway. It’s a miserable job; unending and one that Sisyphus himself could totally get into. Push the slush, watch it slosh back. Repeat a thousand times. He’s doing it without my asking him to. I don’t even know his last name. 

It’s been a winter of multiple snow storms, freezing rain, regular old wet rain, and wind. I want to go outside and help the man. I want to rush out and thank him. I want to bake him the crustiest loaf of warm bread and deliver it to his family with the best butter Wisconsin makes, but I’m crying. I’m sobbing really.

This is what kindness does for me. Kindness unravels me.

I’m a tough nut otherwise. I can manage death without tears, pain makes me rage and then throw up, and watching videos of people falling on the ice doubles me over with unsympathetic hilarity.

But kindness.* Oh my God, kindness. read more…

Sexting And Other Accidents

Sexting And Other Accidents

Sexting And Other Accidents

I’m single again.*

Actually, it’s been over a year since my last relationship and my friends have made it clear that it’s time to pair up and shut up. Apparently, my tirades during the Bachelor about the show’s irresponsible perpetuation of the myth of true love are wearing as thin as the dignity of every single person on the show, including the key grip. 

To be supportive of my search for a partner, one of my best friends went so far as to suggest how much fun it would be to go through profiles with me on  I scoffed. is for oldies, not for cool-ass me. Sure, I’m an oldie—but as a college professor, I spend my days with college students; ergo, I’m practically a college student myself.

I decided that if I was going to try online dating for the first time, I should try a dating site more commensurate with my associated college-age coolness. I knew Tinder, the notorious hook-up site, was too hot for me to handle—I couldn’t even say “hook-up” without a flash-mustache-sweat. If I’m honest, I was hoping to wave at “matches” from across the street and leave my hooks at home in, say, the dishwasher.

But, I overheard my students talking about Bumble, the e-dating site that, in heterosexual matches, the female gets to make the first contact. I sidled up to a cluster of my university students and learned that the swiping right and left that indicated interest or lack there-of was both low-commitment and so very, e-asy.

It was decided. I had a smartphone and was ready to swipe my way to a new relationship on that sunny yellow Bumble site that let women make the first move. (Air horn!)

8 PM: I joined Bumble, set up my profile and began shopping for a man as I would a pair of shoes. It felt strange.  I had a vague strategy. I would steer clear of the super-hot dudes posed on sailboats, shirtless, Ray Bans covering their sure-to-reject-me-eyes.  I would also swipe left on the men who looked like Dumbledore and would only swipe right on the perfectly age appropriate, acceptable looking man who hit solidly between Playboy and Terrorist.

read more…

Ann Garvin 2019 Appearances

Ann Garvin 2019 Appearances

Ann Garvin’s 2019 Appearances

It’s official I need a wrangler. Until then this will have to do. Please Come Sit By Me ‎

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Lonely? Just say Hello Kitty!

Lonely? Just say Hello Kitty!

Lonely? Just say Hello Kitty!

I got carded in Target. I got carded in Target and made a date to have coffee with the woman who carded me.

Let me explain.

You know how it is. You go to Target for a bath mat and you leave with $100 worth Chip and Jo twinkly lights, a hello kitty coffee mug and a stuffed animal for someone in your future who might have a baby someday. Also, a can of silver spray paint.

Here’s how it went down.

Seriously beautiful Cashier: I need to see your ID.

Me: Confused because I was not paying attention. I was reading about Heather Locklear and her hoarding tendencies and trying to decide if the number of 3M hooks in my shopping cart could be considered hoarding.

Seriously Beautiful Cashier: “Ma’am. I need to see your ID.”

read more…

Patch-ing Up After Loss

Patch-ing Up After Loss

Patch-ing Up After Loss

I woke up today, looked in the mirror and found my estrogen patch had migrated from my ass to my elbow. Sometime in the night my helping hormone swatch decided to relocate.

Seriously you guys, my estrogen patch is so well meaning; I’ve been scattered and angsty and I think it’s trying to help me manage my emotions. For those of you who haven’t been following along with my life lately—and honestly, why would you—I lost both of my parents in six months, ended my long-term relationship, my nest emptied out, my book has been in revision for ages and lastly, I bought a house before selling my old house, one day before my mom died.

I thought I was doing fine, JUST FINE, I tell you! But yesterday I realized I double-booked two big speaking commitments. AND the (miraculous!) buyers for my house backed out. AND the weather in Wisconsin got really cold, then wet, then hot, then cold again and now all I want to do is cuddle with my dog and watch Hamilton YouTube videos.

Then, I called my friend and got to talking about the national news, my moving misadventures and how I want her to kill me—but in a good way—if I end up in the nursing home. I think that’s when read more…

Quiz: Are you a dog or a cat?

Quiz: Are you a dog or a cat?

Quiz: Are you a dog or a cat? And what that says about you.

I took a quiz and you can too in a minute.

Turns out, if you are a dog it appears that you are a people pleaser, people don’t take you seriously and you have attention deficit of some kind and possibly a restraining order in your past.

If you are a cat you are sophisticated, cool, choosy, and might knife a loved one in their sleep just because.

Five minutes with me and it’s clear which animal I identify with. I’m overly friendly, don’t respect people’s personal space and while I don’t go so far as licking new people, I will unapologetically hug them. Since I am not completely clueless my hugs come with a warning. “I’m a hugger,” I say just before embracing them. If they stiffen before I make contact I will read the signs and give them a high five instead, unless I don’t pull up in time, in which case it’s awkward for both of us. I’m sorry. read more…

My Beautiful Empty Nest is Magically Full

My Beautiful Empty Nest is Magically Full

My nest is empty.

Here’s the thing.

I wish I had a file cabinet where I’d kept the years memorialized in flat-manilla folders. After the documented year, each tab would have a clever label for quick reference and future nostalgia. 1982-The Nanny Diaries. 1997-Thirty-six hours of labor. 2005 Teen-Sport Hell.

This year would read: 2018 Empty Nest, Empty F’n Nest

In this order, I became single (again), both kids left for college, my dad (as you all know) died, and my mother moved to hospice. I have an empty f’n nest. Peanut, my small, furry just gave me the side-eye. Peanut is here warming my side. Empty nest my ass he says.

So all you people who are into The Secret. Did I call this to me? Did I bring this on myself? Is it a coincidence that I wrote a book called I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around?

In my defense, I just thought the title was funny.

Be honest. It is a little funny because the title reminds you of someone. You read the title of the book and laugh a little and then a face materializes in your mind.

You think of the time you went on a road trip with your sister. The one that makes you giggle but also drinks too much at night and starts telling strangers your secrets.


read more…

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Read an interview with Ann at Brava Magazine

The One Reason Why we remember only the hard memories as children. Funny and sad with a tear. @Listen To Your Mother.

The Dog Year on the Morning Blend

Ann Garvin is a small book girl trying to make it in a big book world, hoping you'll get a cup of coffee and stay awhile.

Another place you can find Ann's Health advice is at the Unreasonable Institute where she helps entrepreneur's stay healthy while they save the world.

Read Ann's Unreasonable blog.

Unreasonable Institute is a mentorship program for entrepreneurs tackling global challenges. Every year, Unreasonable handpicks 25 entrepreneurs from around the world to unite in Boulder under 1 roof for 6 weeks. There, they receive guidance from 50 mentors. They build relationships with over 25 investment funds, scores of other funders, and a network supports them as they work to scale to 1 million beneficiaries.

Buy Now: The Dog Year!

'The Dog Year' is Ann Garvin's new new novel released by Berkley-a Penguin imprint.

'The Dog Year' is Ann Garvin's new novel by Berkley-a Penguin imprint. The Dog Year brings to life new characters that we fall in love with through their everyday happenstance and lively interactions. Meet Ann here in a brief video about her novel, 'On Maggie's Watch' available through these retailers.

"I know of few authors who are funnier or more sympathetic than Ann Garvin, and I know of few heroines more in need of comic relief and sympathy than Dr. Lucy Peterman. This novel will make your stomach hurt with laughter and your heart ache with sadness. The Dog Year is a kind, gentle, honest look at a woman whose life has come apart and a survivor who puts it all back together."

New York Times best selling author Wiley Cash Author of A Land More Kind Than Home & the upcoming This Dark Road to Mercy

Ann Garvin is published by: Berkley/Jove