Monthly Archives: April 2015


Sometimes, when I drive down the road, I think how almost every single thing I see is backed by a real live breathing person.

The Dollar Cuts store. Someone had the idea. Started the business. Stuck their neck out. Someone else bought the franchise. Worked thousands of hours. Hired people. Managed them. Taught them. Paid them.

The grass in the median that someone planned. Someone planted. Someone mows. Someone oversees and decides when maybe they should put flowers there now.

The little house on the corner. Someone saw the lot. Maybe a field? Bought it. Found money to finance it. Found a builder. Watched it grow. Picked the colors. The carpet. The carport. The mailbox.

The mailbox. Someone designed that mailbox. Got the metal. Made the metal into a box (welded it?). Picked out the paint. Put it in a catalog. Wrote some copy.

Every thing. Every single thing you see has a story. Has a someone. Has risk and love and blood and sadness and joys and money and no money and relationships and heartache and people. Stories stories stories. People. People. People.

Ann Lamott turned 61 recently and posted something about it on Facebook. I loved what she said. Here are one of my favorite things she said:

Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides.

We are more alike than we know. And when we read (and write) we get to hear people think, we get to experience their risks, their joys, their sadnesses, their everythings, intimately, and that makes our world bigger. It makes us understand more. It makes us kinder. It makes us smarter. And makes us love a little bit better.

I hope we write the hard things. I hope we write the stories we feel and and we see and we experience. I hope we don’t shy away from scariness or vulnerabilities. I hope we tell about the Dollar Cuts owner and her dog named Jimmy and how she lives alone and eats pancakes and drinks Sprite and watches HGTV and how she spent her life savings on that store. Her entire life savings and how maybe it wasn’t worth it. Or maybe it was.

So many stories waiting to be told.


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Today is the Beginning of Summer

For me, I mean. School’s out. I just have to submit grades.

And, as with any beginning, I have my goals.

The biggest goal of all is to enjoy.


I’ve never allowed myself to just live.


And I haven’t had the best of times the last few months. I’ve let this influence me. The sadness. The heartbreak.

Before me now is five months–with WIFYR ( stuffed in the middle–of enjoying being with Carolina. Taking a trip with a few of my girls. Polishing and organizing. Visiting Rick. Catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while. And writing.

How I love writing. And hate it, too.

And how I love rewriting.

How I love sexy new projects.

I’ve got all that before me.

Plus, guess what? I even jogged today. Not very far. And real slow. R-E-A-L slow. So slowly that Carolina walked beside me and said “Mom. ” And I was like, “Run. A. Head. Pl. Ease.”

I have second hand smoker’s lungs (thanks southern family o’ mine) and so I can’t breathe easily. Is this why I’ve had the cough now for years? (This better not be serious–but the allergy pills didn’t help. The asthma stuff didn’t help. The cough medicine didn’t help.)


What’s before you?

Is it dark?

Can you find light in that darkness?

Is it joy?

Does it include children? Lovers? Books? Friends? Food? Serving? Being served?


Perhaps is should include all of that.

And a good dog.



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Filed under CLW, Depression

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Kyra is on her way, with her sister Laura and their cute friend, Katie, to Oregon.

So I’m writing since I didn’t say anything on Monday.

I’ve been visiting Rick in the hospital at the U of U. I’m happy to say that, today, he’s moving to Orem. I’m so grateful. He’ll be closer to me and Cheri and Ann Dee, and many of you. But mostly me. That’s what I’m thinking. All my classes–who is it all about? Who should be happiest? That’s right–me!

Rick is expected to be in Orchard Park Post-Acute Rehab sometime today. The address is 740 North 300 East, Orem, UT 84057. As I get more information on what his rehab hours will be, I’ll post here or on FB. He may be there as long as three months.

BTW, this place got the thumb’s up from our own Ann Cannon’s dad, Mr. LaVell Edwards. Did you know he’s a Hall of Fame coach? I didn’t until I read about that on the Orchard Park home page. Wow!

Rick’s cancer is the kind that can never be completely removed. Life expectancy is 6 months to 1 year. However, as many of you are, I’m praying for a miracle.

When I saw him a couple of days ago, Rick was moving his left leg much better. AND he was bossing me and Cheri around. You have no idea how happy this make me. When a nurse came in I told her, “Rick has been waiting 20 years to tell me and Cheri what to do.” She just laughed.

I think it might be good to let Rick get settled today.

Visits starting tomorrow? Call to make sure he’s not in rehab. Here’s the number: Tel: 801-224-0921

Our own sweet Amy Finnegan and Kristyn Crow came up with the idea of filming yourself reading to Rick–perhaps reading one of the books he wrote that has made you happy.

From the bottom of my heart I thank all of you who are praying, thinking good thoughts, and etc for Rick.

It’s all about me, and I need my pal around.

Love you, Rick. Love you all.


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Filed under CLW, Family, Kyra

Three Things Thursday


Miss out on going to college?  Didn’t QUITE get that degree you thought you needed?  Help is at hand. In keeping with April, National Poetry Month, you could always hit the CLASSICS on your own. Here, a few tidbits from a Haiku U. by David M. Bader “From Aristotle to Zola,” his cover declares, “100 Great Books in 17 Syllables” — read this and be the best-read Mommy on the block — Master’s Degree?  Who needs if you’ve got “Haiku U.”?
Plato: Phaedo
By Zeus, Socrates!
It seems you’re right once again!
Time for your hemlock!
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
Single white lass seeks
landed gent for marriage, whist.
No parsons, thank you.
Albert Einstein: Relativity: The Special and General Theory
Cherry blossoms fall
at light speed through curved space-time
and land with a thud.
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Alone for twelve years,
Then a footprint in the sand.
Thank God!  A servant!
Louisa May Alcott: Little Women
Snow-drops hang like tears.
Shy, sweet, saintly Beth has died.
One down, three to go.



This past week I’ve spoken to a few teenagers, it surprises me how…young…they all seem. 

Was it really that long ago that I was like them? Did I really think like that? Was I really convinced that the boy I had a crush on was going to be “the one”?
Didn’t I know there was a whole world out there waiting to be seen? Didn’t I know that the girls making me cry today would be completely forgotten in a matter of months?
When writing YA, we have to remember to play by their rules. It’s true, teenagers don’t make much sense. They overreact. They have an incredibly narrow view of the world. They believe they’ll live forever and yet that they already know everything they’ll ever need to know. And they still believe they can do anything.
It’s this unique combination of attributes that make teenagers so much fun to write for. For better or for worse, the teenage years only happen once, and yet are some of the most memorable years in a person’s life.



Three Bests:

The best dying scene in a MG or YA novel.

The best first line in a MG or YA novel.

The best kiss in a MG or YA novel.

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Filed under CLW, three thing thursday