Do you have people in your life who inspire you? My guess (and hope) is that most MoB readers have people they admire and/or love. But that is a little different than what I am referring to here. Do you have someone who makes you want to get off your butt and actually DO something?

Every time I connect with my friend Julie Mars, I want to write….all the time. I was lucky enough to see Julie on Friday in New York. Her novel, Anybody, Any Minute was recently published and she had a reading in The Village.


The book follows the life of a middle-aged woman who has what Julie refers to as a “nervous breakthrough” and purchases a house on a credit card advance in upstate New York. The characters are complex yet very lovable; the story comes full circle leaving you feel like you just ate a great meal but didn’t gorge yourself. It also sends the message that Anybody Any Minute (duh) can come into your life and change it. Julie in many ways has done that for me and I’m really proud to call her my friend.

I took my first writer’s workshop with Julie at the Taos Summer Writer’s conference almost exactly two years ago. It was a workshop in which you had to share your writing with the group and I was scared s*@tless that I wouldn’t measure up. I imagined a pretentious teacher and annoying workshop people and found just the opposite. It was back then that Julie told me that someday I would have a column of my own. She could see it. When someone who is not your mother tells you these things (and that person happens to be a published author), you can’t help but be inspired.

Since then, I’ve done writing work with Julie in Costa Rica and visited with her out in New Mexico. We talk several times a month about life and writing. She asks the best questions of me – and I always leave our conversations thoughtful and appropriately agitated about my life. It’s truly hard to be a writer – and trust that you are doing the art any justice at all. But when I heard her read the wonderful string of words from Anybody Any Minute on Friday, I was newly inspired to push my writing even further.

Julie has told me she hates getting her picture taken but this is one of my favorites of her so I hope she won’t mind if I POST IT IN CYBERSPACE FOR EVERYONE TO SEE. It was a beautiful sunset on Playa Grande in Costa Rica. No one wanted to swim but Julie. I personally was thinking of Jaws – so there was NFW I was getting in the water no matter how inviting it looked. But she just waded out and swam – totally free from the hang ups and fears that anchored the rest of us on the beach. A metaphor for writing. A metaphor for life.

Julie at Sunset

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