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Three hours of dedicated exploration and motivation

for anyone who wants to control the story

This live interactive workshop will be delivered in person 9am - Noon, Saturday, June 9th.

Show up and commit to three hours on a Saturday morning and I'll give you a set of fresh, intriguing prompts and a community who actually gets you. Best of all, you'll leave with a 12-week plan to get your muse working for YOU. 

During the workshop, we will write and read our work to get realtime feedback on what resonates with the group. We'll also craft a 12-week Muse Buster plan, working with anything you have in progress as well as content started during the workshop. That Muse can't help but show up when you take control and let her know you're the boss.

She shows up on your time.

Every time. 

In addition to a powerful group dynamic, you get my decade of writing and publishing experience that led to hundreds of magazine publications and thousands of happy readers of my three books. 

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I love helping writers find their voice and improve their writing so that they keep writing, keep publishing, keep connecting.

Because when you find your voice, you rule your world. And when you use your voice, you change the world. 

Whether you’re writing fiction, memoir, articles, or a speech, Master the Muse will get you writing, get you excited about writing, and up your odds of finishing whatever project has been nagging at you for days. For weeks. For months? 

Seriously, get your ass to the class. 

If you participate in the workshop and don’t believe your work is better for it, I’ll refund your tuition.

Master the Muse breaks through blocks to get the ideas, words, and pages flowing. During the 3-hour session students receive: 

  • Pages of writing, effortlessly created through thoughtfully crafted and curated prompts
  • Fresh ideas for any focus project they bring to the session 
  • Realtime group feedback on where their words are hitting home emotionally
  • Experience contributing to a professionally facilitated writers workshop 
  • Introduction to or recognition of your voice
  • Camaraderie of a group of like-minded creators 
  • Master the Muse 12-week plan to ensure the seeds you sow in the workshop flourish over the summer

At the end of three hours, you will will feel:

  • Excited about writing 
  • More clear on your message
  • Greater confidence in your voice
  • Determined to commit to a regular practice
  • Connected to a group of writers

Master the Muse will meet from 9:00 am - Noon CST Saturday, June 9th in Rogers, Arkansas

$45 for the 3-hour session + addition to the Second Story Writer's Workshop Private Facebook Group

Ready to tease that Muse out hiding?

Take control of your creativity today.



I started writing when I was 30. And when I started, I couldn't imagine a more ridiculous, scary, silly waste of time.

By then I was a forensic accountant turned tax accountant with a full-time family and a part-time job. If I had time on my hands, surely I could spend it billing clients or sorting darks and lights, not wasting precious hours trying to cultivate a talent you’re either born with or you’re not. (That's a LIE, by the way.)

Not only was I an outsider to writing, I was also an outsider on my own cul-de-sac. A west coast girl, practically born in a commune, I found myself in the middle of the Bible Belt. I’d gone from living in a trendy Seattle neighborhood and working in global financial services, to being a stay-at-home mom living in a Texas canyon.

Secretly I started writing, stealing away to coffee shops to scribble in my cheap spiral notebook. After a few months I decided to declare my insanity at the dinner table. As my toddler son and daughter flicked green beans off their plates and used the pesto sauce for hair gel, I told my husband I was going to write a novel.

I said that. Out loud. Like a crazy woman.

But my husband thought the idea was perfectly NORMAL.

I didn't need much encouragement. 

Desperate for something to show for all those hours wiggling my fingers over the keyboard, I signed up for every class I could find (which was exactly one) and searched for any group that would have me (which was exactly none).

If only I could only capture the colorful characters in my path, I’d have a bestseller, a blockbuster, and probably a Pulitzer too.

Everything and everyone was exotic:

  • rattlesnakes, scorpions, and tarantulas that shared our spaces--outdoors and in
  • the woman with the wild red hair who decorated entirely with peacock feathers and various shades of teal
  • saccharine sweet Southern girls who blessed each other’s hearts.

All gold, I knew it. If only I could get it down on paper.

But with two young kids and a traveling husband, I had a hard time working writing into my schedule. There was so much to learn, which is why I love writing. It’s a lifelong pursuit. Still, I needed help.

I needed deadlines.

And I needed to find my people.

Ready to find your people?

Master the Muse will be made up of 12 creative, ambitious and fun people. These are my people, and I'm guessing they're yours too.   

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In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says to get good at something, we have to practice for 10,000 hours. That’s five years of a 40-hour a week job. I didn’t have that kind of time to spend writing, but if I wanted to make any progress at all, I needed to put in the hours I could. Or, as one of my writer friends says, I needed the BITCH method-- Butt in the chair, Hon.

If I wanted to be a real writer, I had to write.

I entered contests, took a class and drank a LOT of skinny lattes in a LOT of coffee shops. I started going to any meeting or event where writers congregated. None of them fit quite right, but they would have to do. I needed the support of other writers.

I knew that if I could just keep writing, getting past my fears, and write in spite of my perfectionist tendencies, that I’d be on track to log those 10,000 hours and create something of value. I still had no idea what that value might be, but I knew there had to be a purpose behind my obsession with writing.

It’s amazing what happens when you really commit with your heart, soul, and spiral notebook. Little by little, with the help of many mentors, teachers, and writing groups, I started finishing things.

Journal entries, essays, short stories.

Soon, writing opportunities seemed to pop up everywhere. I started writing for my professional trade paper, local magazines, and eventually found my own style and strength in short-form humor.

I developed a thriving reprint business among scores of parenting magazines across the country, publishing hundreds of stories and earning thousands of dollars a year for our family.

I started writing content online, which led to all kinds of opportunities-- from New York City to the red carpets to finally scoring my dream job in advertising.

All because I kept scribbling. All because I found the support to keep going.

Ready to play with your voice and your writing strengths?

I will never forget the book launch party for Blacklisted from the PTA. And not only because I still break out the hot pink bedazzled shoes for special occasions. My friends helped me plan perfect celebration and the perfect sales plan.

When the big night arrived, scores of friends and readers came out to toast the work they’d cheered along for years in the making. We rented the hottest spot in town, hired the best DJs, and spent a night away from the kids and jobs that ruled our days.

I signed so many books my Sharpie ran out of ink. 

Only moment that beats that was that time one of my essays made it to NPR.

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It took me a long time to learn, but I know for sure that writing is for everyone--for anyone who wants to write, and is willing to put in the work.

If you want to write, I know you can.

I know the feeling of wanting it so bad, and feeling so conflicted, and then feeling so frustrated when you finally find the time to write and you don’t feel focused and productive. I know how bad that feels, and I want to help.

On my own journey to becoming a “real” writer, it was critical to see what success looked like. Writers need support in the craft, but we also need moral support. Most of all, we need to let go of all the excuses in the way of becoming a successful writer.

There are so many awesome excuses.

Master the Muse is the ideal environment to practice your craft and connect with like-minded creators who are putting in the work to realize their dreams, no matter how impractical those dreams may be.

The crazier the better.

This is the workshop I dreamed of when I was starting out, when I was plugging away at my books, and what I still crave today. We write to connect, so let's come together to make sure your writing connects.

Are you ready to show the Muse who's boss?

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Hit Goals

It’s a place for writers to make real progress toward self-set goals and find community with others doing the same. I would recommend six weeks with Lela to anyone who wants to write more, start writing, or just see if writing is really what they want to do.

— Laurie Marshall, Freelance Writer / Social Media Strategist


Create Fun

Lela is exciting, inspiring, and perceptive. I am writing again and loving it! This workshop was the most creative fun I’ve had in years.

— Marie Clapper, Media Executive / Playwright, Author "Everyday Matters: One Woman Savors Ordinary Days in Extraordinary Ways"


Write Regularly

Exactly the shot in the arm my creativity needed. I had let my writing languish, and I was having a hard time getting my rear end in the chair to write regularly. The work in a group setting was motivating and validating. I would recommend this workshop to would-be and new writers as well as veterans in all genres.

— Angie Albright, Non-Profit Fund Development Professional

Master the Muse is limited to 12 members. 

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