Coming Back with Joy: Our Son and a Book Giveaway

Milo Says, ‘Hi!’

On Monday, I returned to work, to writing and editing work that is, after giving birth to our son Milo on June 9th.  The work of caring for him, of tending him, of simply basking in his long-awaited presence is tiring but the most beautiful work I’ve ever done.

But already, I see how doing the work of words is going to be important to me as a mother. It grounds me in something I know when so much of mothering is new to me, and it gives me a joy and a sense of accomplishment that even the great heart-warmth of mothering cannot do.  I’m grateful to have a loving partner in Philip and wonderful parents and in-laws who help when we need it so I can keep doing the work I love, even as I stay home with this beauty of a man.


In the midst of my maternity, Kelly Chripczuk, Shawn Smucker, and I hosted our annual writer’s retreat here at our farm. It was a wonderful weekend full of stories and questions, conversations and quiet.  29 writers joined us here for meals, readings, workshops, and craft talks, and when we all parted ways, I once again felt like we’d all stepped into the most rich elements of the writing life – a community of people who get it.  (The retreat for next year will be June 21-23, and we’d love to have you join us.)

At the retreat, I got the privilege of spending time with literary agent Ruth Samsel of the William K. Jensen Literary Agency. (She represents Shawn and does it marvelously.) She gifted me with a few books from her authors, and I am thrilled to be giving them away to you.  Lisa Deam, one of our retreat speakers, also gifted me with a couple copies of her book to giveaway.  Yay for great, free books!!

I love supporting authors, and I particularly love supporting woman authors who produce gorgeous books like these:

Coming Back with Joy: My Son and a Book Giveaway

Aren’t all these beautiful?

If you’d like to receive a copy of one of these great books, please leave a comment below and tell me two things: 

  • What book you’d like and why you want to read this particular book. 
  • Where you will share the book to help other people know about it. 

I believe mightily in the ways that writers and readers can help support writers, so it’s really important to me to hear how you’ll get word about these titles into the world.

I’ll use a random-number generator to choose the winners on Saturday, July 7 and contact them via email to get shipping information. (One book per person, please.)


One thing this near-month of mothering has taught me is that my son needs me to be the best mother I can be, and if he needs it, every child needs the best of their parents. For me, that best requires that I work, and goodness, it feels good to be back into the words.


Just an FYI, two of my friends have written great books that I hope you’ll check out.  Shawn Smucker’s The Edge of Over There* came out on Tuesday, and you won’t want to miss this mysterious, engaging YA story that is a great read for everyone. 

And Christie Purifoy’s new book Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace* is now available for pre-order. I’m so excited about this book because that sort of place is just what we’re hoping to create here at the farm


*These links take you through my affiliate page on Amazon, which means if you place an order after following them, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.