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Authenticity, Soul Searching, and What I’ve Learned from Mother Theresa


Promises CoverWhen I first sat down back in the summer of 2009 and started writing about two guys named Matt and Jared, I had no idea what kind of journey I was starting. Yes, I was attempting — for the first time ever, really — to write a story. Yes, there was a tiny hope that maybe it’d turn out good enough to be published. There was a seedling of the idea that maybe this was what I was really meant to do with my life. But at no time did I have even an inkling of the type of soul-searching this career choice would create.

I’m starting this blog post without a clear idea of where it’s going (that’s nothing new), so please bear with me.

The last few years have been trying for me, and it’s been difficult to even grasp what was making it that way. But it was all sort of a downward spiral that culminated last January in the INdecision to quit writing.


I know that sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense. But it wasn’t a “decision,” really. It was indecision, all the way…

It’s like the other night. My husband and I were watching the Raiders versus the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. (Hey, NFL? Nobody likes Thursday night games!) It was the end of the third quarter, and the Chiefs were up, but it looked like the Raiders might pull something together (or, to be more accurate, it looked like the Chiefs might decide to fumble it all away), and I said to my husband, “I can’t decide if I’m going to watch the fourth quarter, or go to bed.”

Fast forward forty-five minutes, when it’s suddenly the two-minute warning, and I’m still parked on the couch, thinking about going to bed. I realized I’d never actually made the decision to stay up and watch the end of the game. I’d spent the entire quarter trying to make up my mind, and as a result, saw the rest of the game anyway.

That’s kind of how it went with my indecision to quit writing. I never decided to quit, but my indecision carried me all the way from January to August, when I finally announced my “hiatus”. But all of it was a culmination of a battle I’d been fighting for two or three years – a battle to determine exactly why my career felt like slow death rather than accomplishment. 

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Random Babbling

It seems like a good time for some random updates and babbling. I’ll be talking audio books, Twitter, idiotic Verizon commercials, and yummy chicken dinners. 🙂


en_isell_1First of all, I’ve finally opened an Etsy shop. Some of you know I’ve had the bags and wallets I make on sale in my Selz bookstore, but the shipping options there are incredibly limited. Still, I’ve been hesitant to wade into Etsy, because I worry that my sewing just isn’t good enough, but after receiving encouragement from just about everybody I know, I decided to give it a shot. So, for those who are interested, you can find the bags and purses I make at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MarieSextonBags.


Trailer Trash is now available in audio, narrated by John Solo. You can find that here:



Winter Oranges will also be available in audio sometime in the next few weeks.

Social Media Boycott

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Gratefulness, and Apologies, and Promises

bad-bloggerI’m a terrible blogger. In fact, I think if you scroll back through my blog, you’ll find that most of my blog posts begin with that exact line. “I’m a terrible blogger.” And I’m always telling myself I should do better, and yet… what to say?

I know a lot of authors blog about craft, and that’s fine. But who the hell am I to try and tell somebody how they should or shouldn’t write? I don’t know nearly as much about the industry as I probably should, so I don’t want to write about that. I don’t want to blog about any of the random shenanigans that recur over and over and over again in the m/m world, or the wider romance world, because they mostly just bring me down. So, what does that leave?

59spdI guess it leaves me. And again, some authors are quite open about their personal lives, but I’ve never been comfortable doing that. Besides which, my life is boring. I taxi my kid around. I clean my kitchen. I forget about the laundry in the washer and then have to wash the load again. (Speaking of which… be right back!) But there is nothing about my life that’s exactly memoir-worthy, you know?

And yet the truth is, I’ve had a massive shift of perspective in the past few months. And at the risk of sounding trite, it occurred to me yesterday — and continues to astound me today — how truly grateful I am to be here, right at this point in time, at this stage of my life. Summer is drawing to a close, and fall is sneaking in. Right now, it’s raining outside, and thunder is rolling off the mountains. I turned off the AC (finally!) and opened the windows and exchanged my shorts for yoga pants, my flip-flops for thick socks, and all I could think was, “I’m so ready for fall!” I’m ready for football and pumpkin patches and soup simmering on the stove. (Not that I’ll actually cook any. I’m dreaming of soup elves.)

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