Monthly Archives: April 2014

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee (and Happy Anniversary, Ann Dee and Cam!)


I am having a birthday tomorrow.

I’ve lost yet another year.

How do they fly by so fast?

I have a lot of things I wish I could have done. ūüė¶ But instead of dwelling on the bad, I’ll write a list of the good.

1. Almost a year ago I bought myself my favorite car. Good money saving, and surprisingly good credit, and I’ve managed. I’m even ahead on my payments!

2. I finished my second novel. And then rewrote it. And then rewrote it again. {I should be completely done with a third rewrite tonight!} And unlike the first novel, I think that this one is actually pretty good. {The last one has all kinds of horrible horrible problems. Maybe that’s something I can fix with this fresh new year I have ahead of me. Or maybe I’ll just ignore it for the rest of my life.}

3. I’ve started a small {soon to grow, I hope!} critiquing business with Mom. I’ve already read through three or four great novels that I know will get published. {If you know anyone wanting their pages looked at, send them our way!}

4. I’ve successfully gone to the gym on a regular basis. It’s been hard, but working out has not only made me feel good about myself, it’s also helped my brain. I have an hour and a half of free time just for my brain to wander. I’ve even come up with a book idea. {Maybe it’s not great, but it’s my next project!}

5. I have figured out how to control my stress and anxiety.
It’s been a long process, but this last year I’ve really gotten a grasp on my emotions, and it’s helped a bunch. Especially with my relationships and my writing.

So goodbye age 23. I’ll miss you. I wanted to find a magic potion to keep me 21 forever, and that never happened.
I guess I’ll just have to welcome 24 with open arms. {Since I don’t have a choice!}

Off to do more writing!!


Filed under CLW, Family, Kyra, Life

A few things:

  1. I love WIFYR. And my advice is to get your book as ready as possibly can before that conference. Revise it. Have others read it. Revise it again. And again. And again. Make every second of that week count. 
  2. Two of my baby boys had birthdays last week. My youngest turned one. My next youngest turned three.¬†Ack! They’re growing up!¬†
  3. My anniversary is on Wednesday. TEN YEARS! Is that a lot? Probably most of you have been married thirty and think who cares. I care. I think it’s crazy and exciting. We might eat Indian food because that’s what we did on our first date which was a total disaster but the food was good.¬†
  4. And my book’s birthday is THURSDAY! THE END OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT comes out this week! Yay!¬†
  5. I’m doing a signing thing at the King’s English in SLC on May 15th at 7:00 if any of you would like to come.
  6. I’m also doing a signing in Las Vegas on Friday night if any of you would like to come! Road trip!¬†

I think that’s all. xoxoxoxox



by | April 28, 2014 · 9:15 pm

Getting Ready for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

That’s what we have been doing the last few months (since last August, actually). Getting ready for the conference.

How do you prepare YOURSELF for the conference? We’ll talk about getting your manuscript ready next week.


I’ve been running this conference since my youngest was a baby. I used to nurse her in my hotel room and in the bathrooms at BYU. It was terribly hard for me to leave my girls. For me, the huge homebody who would never see the light of day if she didn’t have to, well, I don’t love leaving home. This was true for both WIFYR AND when I went to school at Vermont College.

One thing I did before leaving for school was talk to my girls well in advance.¬†They kept me strong. When i wanted to quit, they told me not to. I cried a lot at night, where they didn’t know. Sometimes, if my anxiety was high, I wrote goodbye letters to them. Letters that could be read after my demise and the double meaning of every line–every word–could be seen clearly.

I went ¬†knowing I¬†would¬†learn every¬†day. It didn’t matter that I was well-published. I could–and did–learn from every speaker. Including those graduating from school. Keep your mind open. We have some of the best coming to the conference.

I took a stuffed animal with me. That little pink pig (named Wilbird–after you know who), slept with me every night. I still have the piggy. When I make my bed, he sits on the covers.

I went to have fun. The reason I went back to school the second semester was because there was a dance and game night and I knew I would miss that evening. WIFYR is a lot of work, but dang it, it’s fun, too. So determine–no matter how afraid you are–to have fun.

These are just a few things I did as I got ready to leave for the two weeks I was away at school.

What do you do to get ready for the conference?



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Filed under CLW, Family

The Amazing Debbie Nance!


by Debbie Nance

We’ve talked a bit on this blog about writing like a writer. Maybe you’ve wondered what that means.

I found an interesting website with scholarship info on various jobs and careers and looked up Authors, Writers and Editors.  According to the website,, there are approximately 281,300 people employed as Authors, Writers, and Editors in the United States.

I didn’t see a year for the stat so I don’t know how current it is. But, I think it is interesting nonetheless, and worth repeating, 281,300 people employed as authors, writers and editors. The website states further:

“Authors, writers and editors produce a wide variety of written materials in an increasing number of ways. They develop content using any number of multimedia formats that can be read, listened to, or viewed onscreen. Although many people write as part of their primary job, or on online chats or blogs, only writers and editors who are paid to primarily write or edit are included in this occupation.

“Given the job environment today, Authors, Writers, and Editors can consider themselves quite lucky, as only 4.4% are currently unemployed.

“In addition, over the next 10 years Authors, Writers, and Editors will be one of the fastest growing occupations. They should experience a 12.8% rate of growth during this time period.

‚ÄúIn respect to starting your own business, Authors, Writers, and Editors are more likely to be operating their own business than working for someone else. Currently, 65.9% of the employment base enjoys the self-employed lifestyle.”

Out of curiosity and for sake of comparison, I randomly chose another profession and googled:  How many dentists are there in the United States?

According to the American Dental Association, as of 2009, there were 186,084 professionally active dentists (dentists using their dental degree in some fashion), and 170,694 active private practitioners in the U.S. (Note that the latter number is included in the former.) Also, the dental classes of 2012 had 5,199 predoctoral graduates. So extrapolate that out and there are probably about 211,000 dentists in the United States. Not that far off from the number of authors, writers, editors.

So then I googled:  How many teachers are there in the United States?

According to the U.S. Department of Education,‎, a projected 3.7 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) elementary and secondary school teachers were engaged in classroom instruction in fall 2012. This number has risen 7 percent since 2002. The 2012 projected number of FTE teachers includes 3.3 million public school teachers and 0.4 million private school teachers.

So, do you think we have too many dentists or teachers or authors, writers, editors in the United States? I think there is room for all of us. And, by the way, which would you rather be a dentist, a teacher, or a writer?


Filed under CLW, Life, writing process