What follows is a list of websites, books, places, and other things I find inspiring, beautiful, or useful. To keep this page fresh, I’ll be rotating and updating items on an occasional basis. Enjoy!

writing and publishing

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I was thrilled to have been awarded residency fellowships to work on my fiction here. The VCCA is a working retreat for exceptional national and international artists, writers, and composers sequestered in the rolling foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Write a novel in a month? Write a novel in a month! I’ve done and “won” NaNoWriMo several times. It’s a great way to push past your inner editor and get those words out.

Poets & Writers Writers Residencies database. As described. Helpful and inclusive.

The Purple Crayon. The site of children’s book author-editor Harold Underdown. If you want to create and publish children’s books, this is a must-visit.

A Crowdsourced List of Resources for Beginning Novelists. On my blog. Everything from the Snowflake Method to books galore


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Probably my favorite book, I consider Jane Eyre the feminist ur-text. I first encountered it when I was eleven. I don’t know how many times I’ve reread it since then.

Possession by A. S. Byatt. A romantic romp through academia set simultaneously in modern and Victorian England. If you love the PreRaphaelites as I do, it’s great fun to spot all the references. I reread it every so often for inspiration.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I love all of Waters’ novels, but this one is my favorite. A literary potboiler. Don’t start reading it before sleep.

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. My favorite book on the craft of story. Though it’s pitched toward screenwriters, there’s lots for novelists to take inspiration from.

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I’ve taken two novel-writing workshops with Maass, both which were tremendously helpful. Maass’s fiction writing techniques really do work. I find his concept of microtension to create narrative urgency especially valuable.


Leighton House Museum. A stunningly beautiful home that serves as a paean to the Aesthetic art movement. Peacocks, silk rooms, indoor reflecting pools, and more. Located in the heart of Kensington, London. Right, photograph of Leighton House’s Arab Room.

Kelmscott Manor. William Morris’s arts and crafts-decorated summer home in the Cotswolds.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. My favorite place in Boston to view art. Plus it’s built to resemble an Italian palazzo. I love to listen to their chamber music concerts online.

Highgate Cemetery. Part nature preserve, part burial grounds. Numerous luminaries are buried here including Elizabeth Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s wife and muse.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Peace, quiet, and a Japanese garden in the heart of New York City.