Author Archives: anndeecanndee

About anndeecanndee

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



Dear Everyone,

Happy New Year!

Some things:

  1. Hopefully things will get back to normal around here.
  2. I just ate many of these things because Sister’s BIL works for Nabisco and she brought us a garbage sack full so I feel like I should do my duty and contribute to the family more this new year.
  3. I have a new book to work on, a book with Carol to revise, a memoir project I’ve been posting, and really bad hair.
  4. My goals for this year is to have no zero days (google it–beware of language). My dear friend Shar told me about this and maybe we’ve discussed it on here before. It was a post that someone put on Reddit that went viral. The basic concept is that you never go a day without doing SOMETHING towards your goal. You want to get in shape? Do at least one jumping jack or one sit up or one really painful lunge if the day gets away from you. You want to write a book? Write a sentence if that’s all you can do. Want to be a yoga master? Wear yoga pants all day. You get the idea–Make sure no day goes by with you doing ZERO towards reaching your goals. This is something I can get behind.
  5. Last night I read this article and cried and cried. I think writing has so much power to connect us whether it’s through middle grade novels, picture books, memoirs, articles, notes to each other, or essays like this one. I’ve never lost a child but people close to me have. My own mother lost a child and sometimes it was hard to understand her grief. Now my sister has lost one and others I know and this small piece of writing has opened up my heart just a little bit more.

That’s all for today. Much love in the slush and gray of January.


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This is how I’m doing NaNo

I call it the “be kind to myself”approach. It’s a little bit like this  or this when things don’t go my way.

Here are my rules:

  1. Try to write every day.
  2. Try to write more than I think I can.
  3. Try not to start a new book when things get hard.
  4. Try to stay focused rather than rummaging through the cupboards or cleaning out my closets.
  5. Being okay with messes both in my book and in my life.

So far so good!

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Have you written?

I haven’t. But I have eaten Skittles. And Reeses Pieces. And a very small Heath bar.

Yesterday I put a water bottle in my hair and I felt very amazing. But I didn’t write.

But I am going to write today because it’s a new day.

And then I’m going to write tomorrow.

And even the next day.

I’m going to write every day in November (except Sunday Funday) and if I finish a novel, I’m going to buy myself something very fancy. Like tapioca pudding. And I might go to a movie. I might sneak tapioca pudding into a movie. And eat it.

What will you do if you finish a novel?

Dessert and the cinema?

One thing to remember: You can do this. It’s up to you and only you.

Another thing to remember: It’s okay if it’s bad.

And a final thing to remember: Writing every day on the same project, even if you think it’s bad and not going anywhere, will make you better. It will make you think hard, it will help you create good habits, it will teach you things you didn’t know you needed to know, and most of all, it will show you that can do something really really hard.

And you’ll get tapioca at the end. The best food that my mom used to make which I haven’t eaten for years and which I hope to eat in 30 days.



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Writing an entire book

My next goal is to write an entire book.

I’ve done it before.

I’m not sure I can do it again.

I can start books.

Many many books.

I can make myself laugh and have a good time.

Then I stop writing and I sit on the floor and people climb on me and I don’t write again for awhile.

Then I start another book.

How do you decide which book is the book? Which idea is the idea? This is an article that tells you how to do it.

Will you do it? Do you write as fast as you can all the way to the end? Or do you stop after page 40 and say: this is crap.

Or: I’ve already written this before.

Or: This is boring.

Or: I don’t know what to write next.

Or: What is this even about.

Or: I should be making dinner.

Or: I have a better idea that will make me happier.

Here is another article about how to finish a book.

I especially like how they say you don’t HAVE to write every day but it helps and that you can’t use kids or a job or netflix as an excuse. It’s not a race. Chip away at it slowly.

I’ve been reading books my kids love and I’ve noticed that their very favorite ones aren’t complicated, don’t necessarily involve new worlds or surprising plots. The ones they love are simple, heartbreaking, real, funny and are about real life.

Write your real life.

Write your character’s real life.

Also, go to Carol’s book launch to read her book Messenger which is about real life and ghosts.

Love you Carol and love all you writers. Hope you finish a book, if not soon, sometime.




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Hello all,

Halloween is coming soon and last night a friend of mine told me that when she wants to destress, she listens to horror on audible. She loves Stephen King, of course, but has branched out. “It just helps me unwind,” she said.


Blood, guts and killer cars?

What do you think? I must admit I have not read very many horror novels. My mom loved them. Her very favorite movies were The Shining and Silence of the Lambs. In an effort to read more widely, I thought it might be fun to take on a few books for this October season. If you have any recommendations, I’m open.

Also, in the spirit of the season, how about some horror prompts? I dare you to try one or two or three of these. And if you feel like posting them, I would be so so very happy. I’d love to see what you come up with. I’m going to try a few myself.

Happy almost Halloween Month

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The Movies: From Carol

This past summer, when I’ve been able to, I’ve gone garage saling. Yup, I love a deal. Garage sales are a great place to do Christmas shopping, FYI.
One thing I’ve bought are books written for adults, including a novel that was recently made into a movie.
So. I read it.
The story is told from several POV’s, including two teens.
What kinda blew my mind is that all the people–men, women, teens, they all sounded the same.
And the other thing? The book was soooo corny.
I actually closed my eyes and thought, No way, at the end.
I thought “This is so dumb.”
I tried to figure out why this was a hit. Why it was made into a movie. And I couldn’t.
This isn’t the first time I’ve read popular adult books and cringed the whole time.
Many times, writers of children’s work are not taken seriously.
Not at the university level.
Not by general readers.
Not by some writers who write for adults and decide to cross-over and write for teens because that’s ‘easier.’
So keep writing.
Write truth.
Real feelings.
Fun plots.
Let’s keep teaching kids, now, what great story is.

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Hey, Everyone!
Ann Dee and I are barreling toward the end of this newest revision. I feel so lucky to get to write with someone who is so funny and so talented.
Two FYI’s–
#1 I’m holding at writing class–a month long–starting in a couple weeks. We’ll talk voice, structure, language and a few other things (like ethics in writing, beginnings and even . . . plot!). We’ll do critique, you’ll have homework (but not too much!) and we’ll end our session with a Q&A with a NY agent or editor.
If you are interested in this intimate, hands-on learning, email me for dates, times and pricing.
#2 For November (NaNoWriMo): I thought it might be cool to do a weekly writing event here at my home. Doesn’t that sound like fun? We’ll get together for a few hours of writing, one night a week. We’ll do potluck, start with a writing exercise to get us going and then just write. This event is free and limited to 15 people (on a first come/first served basis).
Please email me for more information on both events.

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