Author Archives: anndeecanndee

About anndeecanndee

I write books. Sometimes. Mostly I just throw up words.

Halloween is only a few days away!

A few things:

1. Ally Condie’s launch party for her new book ATLANTIA is tonight at the Provo Library! Come!

2. Write a 25 word scary story and email it to us at We’ll post them on Halloween and scare all the kiddies.

3. My son loves grape juice. LOVES IT. I am paying for this love. Yesterday he sprayed grape juice all over the ceiling. Today he did this:

grape juice

This is my life when I’m not writing. What is your life? If you send us pictures to the above email address, we’ll also feature them not on Halloween but on other important days. Make sure to label your pic with your name and whatever else you’d like to share about your life as a writer.


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Preparation in Pictures!

Here’s what I’ve been doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo:

1. Laying in bed staring at the yellow leaves on the tree outside.


They are slowly falling and I told my husband that when the last leaf falls . . . well . . .

For a more dramatic version, go here. 

NaNoWriMo Prep: Turn everything i see into a horrible story.

2. Making bottles of grape juice that we may never drink because I want them to be bottles of jelly but two of our burners don’t work and I’ve never made jelly so it will probably just be mushy juice but I’m still making juice in hopes of jelly and then when I’m done I am going to say a small prayer that we don’t waste them and somehow find a way. Somehow . . .


NaNoWriMo Prep: Do it even if I don’t have any idea how I’m going to make it work–no idea how it will end, if it’s any good, or if it’s worth my time and effort. Because if I don’t try at all, all I’ll have is rotten grapes and sad feelings of knowing what could have been. A winter without jelly is a melancholy winter indeed.

3. Feeling good about myself because I planned and worked out an amazing project I was going to do at a craft night (MODGE PODGE!!!!!) for church. Cam was my coach as I prepared for the two hours of intense crafting (which I am the worst at and try to avoid at all costs). He even found me some excellent websites to read up on and study. Here and here. 

And then I actually made the light (with the help of about fifty awesome ladies) and I was feeling pretty proud of the results:


See how gorgeous that big fat ball is? Just like Pinterest!

But then today:


Collapsed. Awful. Big huge glue ball with some string on it.

NaNoWriMo Prep: Don’t be sad if what I think is awesome is actually not so awesome. I went through the process. I know how to do it now. I have ideas of what I need to do next time to make it better. Some writers write the entire first draft and then CLICK delete the whole thing and start over. It’s not a failure! It’s a beginning.

And finally

4. Watching this belly grow:

IMG_1803 (1)

This is maybe my best selfie ever. And I take thousands. THOUSANDS I say. I am very far along with this baby (I won’t tell you how far because I have watched Lifetime Network movies many many times). Needless to say, I am gigantic. HUGE. In the best possible way (I keep telling myself).

NaNoWriMo Prep: No research or planning or computer programs beat life itself. Live now and use it later for your books.

That’s all I got! Happy Tuesday.


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Golden Hikes

Here are some things that will help your writing:

1. Writing.

2. Reading.

3. Friends who write.

4. Hiking (right now. on the timp trail. by yourself. with the possibility of getting eaten by bears. in the most glorious setting possible).

5. Writing.

6. Eating chocolate chips with peanut butter.

7. Reading this. 

8. Writing.

9. Giving yourself a break.

10. Trying different genres.

11. Writing a short story RIGHT NOW. Write one. Send it to us. Practice. Maybe we’ll post it.

12. Trying one of these. 

13. Coming to clean my house and/or taking me to Bombay House.

14. Planning for Nanowrimo.

15. Being brave.

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Today I am trying to make this meal. It’s in the crockpot right now and it was a beast to get ready because

a) there are a lot of ingredients,

b) I decided to triple it because I am so lazy and thought it would be better to make enough for thirty meals than just one if I was going to put in so much effort but then it wouldn’t all fit in the crockpot so then I had to take out some stuff and so now it probably won’t taste good but I’m going to make everyone eat for thirty days anyway and

c) my baby can walk but not talk and he yells at me all day to communicate and he is a very sweet boy but sometimes I don’t like yelling so I try to do sign language but then he chucks stuff at me and yells louder so I had to cook while he was screaming but i did hand him food periodically which he also chucked except for the raw sweet potato which he actually ate.

So there’s that.

There’s also something I’ve been thinking about which is this: Can I change my personality?

Example: I start things but I have a hard time finishing them. Can I change that?

Example: I like things organized but I am messy so then it takes me 50,000 times longer to clean the house and I keep reorganizing things but then they don’t stay that way. Can I change that?

Example: I never ever plot. Can I change that?

Example: I like the idea of a garden but I don’t put in the work. Can I change that?

One time a neighbor who told me to pull up my whole front yard because it was ugly so I did and then she helped me restart, one time she told me that I needed to be an adult. She said this because I said, “I don’t want to do this because I won’t keep it up.”

She said, “Why not?”

And I said, “It’s just not my thing. It’s NOT MY PERSONALITY.”

She said, “Change your personality. Be an adult. You have the opportunity to do something beautiful. Why not do it?”

I thought to myself, yes. I can do this. I can have a lovely garden and yard.

I don’t.

So maybe I can’t change?

And writing. Do you write every day? Do you wish you did? How do you change?

Do you do awesome at characters but can’t pace worth anything? How do you change?

Are you an amazing marketer and have a billion friends on Twitter but you can’t get past the first chapter?

I’d like to know how you have changed, or learned, or adapted, or made a commitment to try something you don’t normally excel at and then voila! you did it. I’d love to hear success stories because I am happy with who I am but there are some things I’d like to try to do better.

Nanorwrimo may be a good playing field to try some of these new habits i have in mind. I may just try it.


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Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. Actually one hour ago it was his birthday.

Today it is not.

I was up at five a.m. with a peeing-in-the-bed child and didn’t stop the whole day.

but I thought about blogging and I was going to blog and then I kept not blogging.

and then I just read Carol’s post which was so beautiful and said so much and what amazing daughters she has and I started thinking how bad I am at birthdays.

I got Cam beef jerky.

I tried to get him something better. I went to a store. Looked at shirts. I looked on etsy. I asked him so many times what do you want?

And then the day rolled around.

Gift-giving has never been something I’m good at and it makes me feel sad. I have so many friends and family who think hard and long and give the most tender gifts. Who reach out and just know.

Me? Not so much.

How do you read someone’s heart? How do you see what they need and then follow through and actually get it for them. And maybe it’s not a physical gift but it’s an emotional gift or a mental gift or a spiritual gift.

I think I can recognize pain in others. I don’t think I know how to alleviate pain in others.

I am starting to understand why our weaknesses are so varied and why they are so many and why they can hurt and also why they can keep us going as we try to get better. I want to get better at so many things. I also get tired thinking about trying to get better, let alone ACTUALLY trying.

But that’s what propels me.

Or stops me.

Or exhausts me.

Or gives me hope.

That I can get better.

That I can work on the things I want to work on and I can see change.

As for writing, I think it’s the same thing. Helping our character people overcome weaknesses. Helping them learn to change when it’s hard. Whether it’s big or small. When it matters and sometimes when it doesn’t to anyone but them.

I know giving gifts doesn’t have to be a big deal. Some might say, “Who cares? We all have our strengths.” But what if it matters to me? What if it matters to our character? Small things to some are big things to others.

Happy Birthday Carol and Cam.


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I just in this very moment remembered it’s my day to blog.

I am so forgetful, it’s a wonder I have clothes on.

Today I am going to talk about why writing keeps me alive.

One day I started bawling at church. I was single at the time, the lesson in the class was pushing all my emotional buttons and in the middle of the discussion, I made a comment, my voice wobbled and then I lost it.

I walked out. With everyone watching.

I didn’t want to go home because I lived with my three best friends who were going to ask me questions and try to comfort me and maybe make me express myself to them. So I got in my car and I drove to school where I was a graduate student. I went down to the computer station, sat on hard chair and then really really bawled my face off.

Once that was out of my system, I stared at the computer.

And then I started writing.

I didn’t write anything pretty. I didn’t write anything deep. I didn’t write anything worth saving. But I did write and write and write and write and write. And you know what, I felt better. And I figured a couple things out.

After a couple hours of that along with more crying and laying on the floor staring at the ceiling, I felt like I was ready to face the world. Or at least, talk to someone out loud.

I went home.

They were waiting.

They had called my sister.

“Where do you think she is?” they’d asked her.

She said, “she probably somewhere writing an essay.”

At first that made me mad because that was EXACTLY what I was doing though I wouldn’t call it an essay. But then I realized, if writing helps me cope with my emotions and helps me work things out and allows me to not start smoking or drinking, then writing was the best thing that every happened to me whether I ever got published or not.

I hold onto that.


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Olive Garden reading on Thursday . . .

This from Carol: UT friends–dinner at the Olive Garden, 7 pm, September 11. That’s this Thursday. Come with 100-250 words to read. We’ve done this a few times and it’s always fun. I might bring a karaoke machine. I might just sing to you. I might just sing your writing. Hope to see you there!

This from me: Alfredo! 

This from Anne Lamott: What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.

Come learn how to live and die! 

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