We Have to Postpone The Shower

Ann Dee had her baby this morning.


Will get back to you with new dates and times.


And  more information if she wants me to post it.


I’ve seen a picture. She’s beautiful and she has a slight smile. I love her already. And I love the baby, too.

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by Lisa Sledge

I’m going to do a bit of soul bearing.

I love my mother-in-law. My children call her “Hara”. She is the kindest, most selfless person I know.

Once I was sick. It was so bad I needed someone else to lift my legs into my bed because I had no strength. She took the midnight train to sit with me, clean my home, comfort my two-year-old, empty my catheter, and scrub vomit out of the carpet. She saved my life and gave me courage.

And when I let her down, she forgave me.

Ten days ago, I called her on the phone.

“I’ve been having a little trouble,” she said. “I keep forgetting things. I couldn’t remember my phone number the other day. And last night I was reading and then forgot how. The letters stopped making sense.”

“Maybe it’s stress,” I said.


Last Friday, she had a problem at work. She couldn’t remember where she was. Or what she was supposed to be doing.

There is a tumor the size of a golf ball entwined deep in the tissues of her brain. She has months remaining. Soon she won’t be able to speak. Then she’ll lose the ability to move.

I’ve only known her six years, but somehow, I can’t imagine my world without her.

I don’t want her to go.

I’ve never met most of the people who read this blog. Someday I hope to know more of you.

But as you see my words on your screen, you might think of someone you love. You might remember what it was to watch them fade. In our shared sorrow, we will connect. The world will become smaller. We will find strength together.

It’s amazing, the power that can be found in typing a few words onto a page. Somehow, in spite of differences and distances between us, we understand each other. And we find friends and comfort among strangers.


Filed under Family, Life

Three Things Thursday


What: Writing Baby Shower. Games are Writing Games. You might even walk out of the party with a story idea.

Who: All Writers. All Friends of Ann Dee Knight Ellis.

Boy Writers May Attend, too. We want you there.

When: Nov 20, 2014

Time: 7-8:30

Where: Orem Public Library, 58 North State Street, Orem, UT

More specific directions: Orem City Rotunda (reception area just outside of the City Council Chambers).

Covered food items may be brought in through the library entrance.

Enter through the main library door. Take the breezeway on your left into the adult (south) wing. Continue out the library’s South entrance into the City Building. You are still inside the city buildings, cross through this second breezeway and into the Rotunda.

NOTE: This is Ann Dee’s first baby girl. She has four adorable boys. At this point she has little for a female child! Let’s change that!

Look for: Utah Writers and Authors
Celebrating Author Ann Dee Ellis and Her New ‘Edition’

From Cheryl


I just came across this video, and it’s fascinating.  It’s made for photographers, but it relates to writing as well. 

The video shows hundreds of different photographs taken by different people with different cameras, but with almost identical results. The point? Pretty much any picture you take, just like with any story you write, has been done before. Nothing is truly unique.

But then it goes on to make the point that you should take comfort in that. There is beauty in the similarities, and in the idea that all across the world we are finding common experiences.

In Nanowrimo, you’re coming up on your Murky Middle. This is when you will doubt yourself. This is when you realize that this is the exact plot of Indiana Jones if he was in the Star Wars universe. This is when you decide it’s not worth it, you’ll never get published, you’re wasting your time.

Stop it.

No, your story isn’t unique, and that’s okay. It’s your story, no one else’s.

Get your butt back in that chair and keep writing.



From Brenda

Boy!  Just in Time ! ! !
As some of you know, I’d set up a regimen of writing for one hour, reading for one (genre-related materials), and writing for another one.  Then, during the last 3 days or so, I’ve been just barely clocking in the 750 words needed on www.750words.com in spite of their reminders, incentives, “badges,” etc.  JUST enough to keep my “streak of 300 days” there going.  But I’m trying to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which requires 1,667 words “a day” (average) to get the 50K by the end of November.
What to do?  I was discouraged and struggling with sticking to it, after what I thought was a stellar beginning.  It’s a book I care about writing.  But still . . .
Then this morning (11/10/14) at 5-something a.m., I opened my email of the day from Write to Done: Unmissable Articles on Writing, a piece entitled “7 Ways To Keep Writing When You Feel Like Giving Up” by Alison Breen. [ https://us-mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=5ia69olqp63pc ]  Check it out, to get full value from this thoughtful article . . . it may help you, too.  Still, I’m going to list the seven insightful ideas, most of which relate to keeping up your “grit” quotient:
1.  Know Your Writing Motivation
2.  Practice Mindfulness
3.  Manage Your Self-Talk
4.  Shift Your Focus
5.  Learn to Regulate Your Emotions
6.  Shift to a Growth Mindset
7.  Keep Your Energy Levels High
And I’ll add one more – the ONLY thing I had come up with to help myself out this morning before I’d read this article:
8.  If I can’t write for an hour, I’ll write for 20 minutes . . .  I can do ANYTHING for 20 minutes!  (Then take a break and add another 20 minutes, and another 20 minutes, and another 20 minutes . . . )
Thanks, Write To Done, and Alison Breen !

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee!

November is almost halfway over
Time is flying by!
Trying to use the time to write is what’s difficult.

Is everyone excited for Ann Dee’s baby shower? A little girl is about to show up and change that whole family’s life. How crazy!

I think I will be there. And hopefully with something pink and cute to share. And also hopefully with some great writing ideas rolling around in my mind.

How is everyone doing on nano? Are you guys making your goals? Building a story that’s gonna blow everyone’s minds?
I hope so!

Let’s keep going!

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Writing Night Youdon’thavetobringmeanything Shower!

I am excited for next week’s gathering!

A writing night! Yay!

HOWEVER, please don’t feel like you need to bring me something. If anything, you can write a limerick or a flash fiction piece on having five kids and why that’s maybe not the best idea (or maybe it is? advice limericks?). I think we should all just hang out and have fun together and write. That will take my mind off this impending shift that is about to rock our world–that alone is a wonderful gift! :)

Also, here is how my son does his homework:

IMG_2015 (1)

I hadn’t checked his work for awhile. My mothering skills are off the charts.

Feel free to use this as your writing prompt for the day–a child who writes this in his math workbook when the mood strikes.

See you all next week!


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Writing Baby Shower for Ann Dee

Here’s what I know so far– (about the shower. If I have to talk about something else, man, we are in trouble.)

We have a venue–The Orem Public Library

Why: Because this is a Writing Baby Shower. Instead of you eating poop candy out of diapers, we’ll be doing some writing things.

When: Thursday, Nov 20

Time: 7-8:30 pm

NOTE–This date is subject to change. If the baby comes early, we’ll do this in December. Probably on the 25.

Ann Dee has 4 boys and so she needs anything and everything for a baby girl. Oh! I can’t stand this, I’m so excited!

Please RSVP to carolthewriter@yahoo.com so we have enough whatever is usually at a baby shower. Put Baby Shower or BS in the subject line.

And thank you in advance.



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Concrete Writing

by Lisa Sledge

The WIFYR assistants met last weekend to plan the 2015 conference. Can I just say how excited I am to go back to a conference that has done so much to save my writing and build my confidence? I wish it was June already.

Cheri Pray Earl gave a great presentation on how to improve our writing. I took pages of notes. One thing she mentioned that really stuck with me is the importance of concrete rather than abstract writing.

It brought me back to my college days, studying poetry. William Carlos Williams (1883 – 1963) had a bit of an obsession with concreteness. And I love him for it. Here is my favorite of his poems:

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Beautiful, isn’t it? For me it conjures up all sorts of feelings, emotions, and even memories. A note on the kitchen table. Plums, icebox, cold, sweet, and that little bit of guilt that makes pleasure run deeper.

There is a chance, I realized last Saturday, that not everyone knows or understands what “concrete writing” means. Maybe you’ve heard the term before, but you can’t quite define it and you’re not sure you’d be able to recognize it in something you read.

I’m an English teacher. This is what I love. Indulge me for a moment.

Concrete writing relies on nouns, verbs, and vivid adjectives. It is a way of helping the reader look at ordinary things in a new light, makes the mundane stand out, and breathes life into what is easy to overlook.

Abstract writing is the cheap and lazy way to try and conjure up emotions in our readers. And guess what? It often doesn’t work. For example, I might write, “I ate the last plum and it tasted so good.” The phrase “so good” is empty. What does it represent? What emotions or feelings does it create? Nothing. And the “last plum”? Who cares if it was the last one. It doesn’t mean anything to me.

Inject power into your writing. Avoid abstract words such as “amazing”, “awesome”, “terrible”, “bad” or other vague constructions. Look through the world of your novel and highlight small objects and details in a way that will carry specific meaning and emotions to your readers.

Be concrete.

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