Introducing Jessica and Me

So the brilliant Wendy Simard (I know she’s brilliant because she hired me to do book development work for Adams Media, which eventually led to my spending eighteen months looking at pictures of shirtless men as my job, so you know I can never repay her) is the brains behind Sprouted Content, and she put together a blog challenge starting April 1, which is why I am introducing Jessica and me when mostly everyone who reads this blog already knows who we are.

A blog challenge is an opportunity to build an audience and reach people who aren’t regular readers. So I’m introducing us because it occurred to me that reading this blog is sort of like coming into the tenth season of Grey’s Anatomy. If you have no idea what happened before, nothing will make sense, but if you’ve been following along the whole time, you know what’s what.

This post is for the people who are new to our adventures.

This is Jessica:




Jessica is my daughter. She is sixteen-going-on-forty, and is a very zenlike and imperturbable creature and sometimes she MAKES ME INSANE.

This is me:IMG_0069

You are probably thinking it is likely that I started off insane, and you are almost certainly correct.

Usually I have eyebrows, but not in this self-portrait, apparently. I am forty-something going on twelve.

Jessica has a disease called tuberous sclerosis, which is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me, but it does not daunt her.

Tuberous sclerosis SUCKS beyond my capacity to tell it. When Jessica was nine months old, a neurosurgeon removed half her brain to control her seizures. That she still has seizures tells you everything you need to know about this disease. Tuberous sclerosis has caused a lot of other damage, including cognitive impairment, which is to say that Jessica’s brain works very differently from everyone else’s. She is partially blind but that does not stop her.

A few years ago, Jessica was diagnosed with another disease, an incurable degenerative disorder that has created a hole in her spinal cord. It’s like her spinal cord is being hollowed out from the inside out. You can imagine what this results in and that also sucks beyond my capacity to tell it.

What does not suck is how amazing Jessica is, even when she is making me crazy because she is so calm and accepting of the way the world is. I prefer to kick the world in the balls, and spend a great deal of my time doing so. Not that this helps anything, but I enjoy it.

Jessica is an artist, and works in fused glass:




I am a writer. I write romances under a variety of pen names. Yes, I know that being an insane woman who kicks the world in the balls on a regular basis may not square with your idea of what a romance writer is, but I cannot help it.


The Matchmaker Meets Her Match


I also write other types of books and the occasional magazine article and I teach classes in writing and editing. I started this blog years ago as a resource for writers, but then I started writing about Jessica a few years back, and now no one reads anything I write about writing, and all they will read are stories about Jessica, which fortunately this is.

So there you have it, Jessica and me in as few words as I can tell it.


My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here. And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! I give random stuff away—and I tell more stories. Just wander over to my homepage.

A few of my favorite things



  1. Well this pretty much sums it up I would say, although I think the drawings have now given me a visual image I did not have before. Ok, so I did have that image of you with no eyebrows, but not the full body shot.

  2. Jessica is an extraordinary artist! Those glass bowls are beautiful. If she sold her work commercially, she would make enough to take you on another European vacation in no time.

  3. I love, love, love the glass!
    Also, very nice to officially “meet” you (..? nah, that’s just odd).

    Speaking of writing & seizures & matchmaking, do you read Elizabeth Aquino? I think you two might like each other.

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