Author Archives: anndeecanndee

About anndeecanndee

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

The Ocean

Last week I went to the raging ocean.
The sand blew at my legs and my skirt flew up and I felt like I was in a novel.
Do you ever describe yourself in your head. As if someone were writing a novel about you right now?
Third person.
I think about it all the time. Grand sweeping descriptions we sometimes write, sometimes read, about a person. “She was overcome by children and middle age,” or “her once SOMETHING body, was now sagging and tired, her energy swept up with the legos and the ants that crawled across the kitchen floor.”
I always feel bad for myself that this is how I’m being described. Is this what people see? Is this their sentence when they interact with me, or observe me wrestling my kids? How dare they! They don’t know me. They don’t know what’s really happening, the hope and the joy and sadness and the fears. They are putting me in a sentence. A generalization.
I get all kinds of upset.
And then I realize no one has written this down about me except myself in my fake novel in my head.
And then I really feel sorry for myself.

Also, I read The Ocean at the End of Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’ve been wanting to read this for a long long time. It took me a day. Less than a day. And I keep thinking about it.

Listen to this podcast and see if you want to read it too.


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WIFYR is always a happy place. I was only there one day and a little bit but all the good and tired and productive feelings of conferences past rushed back as soon as I got out of my car.

There is such goodness in writers. Such charity and thoughtfulness and community.

But then back to real life:

Yesterday in the morning, surrounded by many small people, I thought, “I am lonely.”

Then I thought, “That’s weird. I have so much to do. I have these kids who have questions and demands and funny insights and whole worlds to explore. How could I ever feel lonely?”

But I do sometimes. And I did yesterday. And maybe I feel that every day to some extent. At some point.

I think, or rather I hope, this is normal. That whether we’re at work with co-workers and friends, or home with kids and clothes, or at school with peers and classmates, there are times when we feel like we’re alone. That no one knows how this, this feeling inside, feels. That everyone else is happy or full or connected and we’re not.

That’s why I love books.

That’s why I need books.

And it’s also why I think we need books and each other.

In my mini-class, someone mentioned how she loved a book, felt deeply connected to it and then, come to find out, someone she didn’t see eye to eye with, someone “completely different” than her, felt the same connection. It brought them closer. It allowed them to talk in a way they hadn’t been able to talk ever before.

Sometimes i think, why don’t we all just say the hard things? Why don’t we be honest with each other all the time? But then I think. No. It’s too difficult to do that all the time. And maybe there is a time and a place and a relationship that needs to be there before we feel like we can do that. HOWEVER, if we write, write every day, and not even about the hard things necessarily, but about what comes into our head and our heart without too much thinking, maybe through our characters or our settings or our plots, we unconsciously work some of these hard things out on the page.

And then maybe someone reads it.

And then maybe someone else reads it.

And maybe they talk about it.


Here’s to books.

And writing.

And conferences.

And delicious caramels that I got at the conference that my boys and especially my husband gobbled.

And of course, here’s to hard things and happy things and making the most of both.




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Challenge and Workshop

Don’t forget to sign up for this year’s Totally Radical Summer Challenge! 

Also, there are still spots left in my voice workshop at WIFYR! You know you want to come. It’s Friday and it’s going to be funky. 

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This Year’s Totally Radical Summer Challenge: 2nd Annual

Today was the first official day of summer break. 

Here are the good things: oldest boy almost finished Holes, we did a fun art project and we got to go to the Bean Museum. 

Here are the bad things: Someone dumped out a gallon of milk, I stepped in a puddle of pee, and I got hit in the head with a baseball bat all before 8 a.m.

So overall, a great start to summer! 

For our challenge this year, like usual, you pick your goals. You should make one reading goal (read a book a week! Read more genres! Start posting reviews! Stop watching I Want to Marry Harry!) and one writing goal (write 1000 words a day! Write for 15 minutes a day! Revise an old book! Don’t cry when you think about writing).

The challenge will go through August. In order to enter, you should post your goals in the comment section. Each week you can write an update–we can keep each other honest and push each other. For fun, I suggest you make a chart that you can color in for every day you make your goal. Or put a dollar in a jar. Or come clean my house if you don’t make your goal each week. Whatever is motivating. Share those tactics too! 

The whole goal is to move forward this summer. Why should all the school kids have the fun? At the end of the year we’ll have a celebration pool party in the pool I’m going to buy from Target this week. There will be strawberry lemonades, maybe a fire for marshmallows (if we can find a fire worthy garbage can) and probably a slip n’ slide. And readings! Of course readings! If you aren’t local, of course you should throw your own celebratory party with your writer friends or your family or neighbors. Just tell them you deserve it. 

My goals are this: 

Read nine fun books–I just finished Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath and I loved it! Where has it been all my life?

Write SOMETHING every day–I hope to polish a draft enough to send it on to my editor and finish another one by the end of summer.

And finally, (I always like to have one or two non-writing related ones but you DO NOT have to do this), ride my bike, kids in tow, once a week. And eat shaved ice once a week. And stop watching I Want to Marry Harry or any other trashy TV shows that I don’t watch anyway because I’m not like that so it should be really easy). 

What are you goals? 


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