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Staying the Course


Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism. There are a lot of areas in life where staying the course is exceptionally hard, where tossing the ticket and jumping the train seem like the better option.

If you’ve been through my blog posts over the years you will see lots of times where I was discouraged, frustrated, and about to jump from the train and take my chances with the ground. You will see all the times when I stood on the edge of the platform with the wind ripping through my hair and clothes, and the rails, tracks, and earth falling away behind me, and my toes hovering over the edge, my body leaning forward, my legs coiling and ready to spring.

But I never jumped off. You will see that too.

And I’m glad I didn’t.

Lots of good things have come from me staying the course as a writer. I have friends who I never would have met without writing–people I love so much it hurts. I’ve experienced some beautiful vistas: making best seller’s lists, winning awards, laughing all night during writing conference weekends, signing with my agent, having boxes of books mailed to my house by my publisher.

And I’ve also been through some nasty dark tunnels.

I am betting you have experienced the same. You have probably had tunnels so dark and long that you weren’t sure that you hadn’t been swallowed up entirely and light had turned into a thing of myth. You might be in one of those tunnels now.

But don’t jump.

You’ll be glad you didn’t. Because you never know where that last foot is before you break out into light again  and have a view of something magnificent. You simply don’t know. Wouldn’t it be tragic if you jumped too soon?

Stay the course, my friends, in whatever your endeavors are at this time. Something great is waiting on the other side of dark. Trust the engineer. I believe this.


Comic Con 2014 report

Attending Comic Con 2014 turned out to be a marvelous investment of time. My kids have all wanted to go since last year’s event and have been pestering me to make sure it happened, so when I was given the opportunity to be a presenter, have a booth, AND attend, all my previous arguments over how Salt Lake is so far away melted, and we loaded up the car and went.

I asked my friends on Facebook if I should dress up in a costume or go as a serious, professional author. One of my friends, Bruce Eschler, said that I should dress up as Jane Austen. That way I could go in costume AND be a professional author.

Does it surprise anyone that I actually own a regency gown? No? And this is why I love you people. So I dressed up as Jane and took her on a tour of Comic Con. Jane had many experiences:

Being abducted by a mad man in a blue box would certainly be traumatizing enough for any upstanding British author, but then to be dropped into a sea of fifty thousand science fiction and fantasy fans? Let’s just say that poor Jane felt a tad bit overwhelmed.


But she made friends fast and managed to snag herself a badge so she didn’t get kicked out. She especially enjoyed the princess party with kindred spirits!


Things were going well enough until she ran into a little Troll Trouble.


She wanted to go home after that, and some kid in a contraption called a Delorean offered her a ride home, but she ended up in some place called Hill Valley where things felt as dangerous as they did with the troll. That will simply not do at all.



And then she met a cheeky little fellow who referred to her as his “precious.” Oh the mortification of it all!


She was able to speak on a few writing panels discussing things like creating strong women in fiction, writing for youth, and making time in life for creativity and art. She had to work with the very incredible distraction of the emergency alert telling everyone to exit the building  because some prankster pulled the fire alarm. But the distraction proved to be a wonderful real-life example of working through, and around, distractions. She loved the metaphor of it all. She met up with some lovely people, but ultimately decided she might be better off in her own time. The mad man in the blue box was too busy to give her a lift back to her home, but he introduced her to a lovely weeping angel who offered to send her back in time.


Comic Con was a blast. So many people had elaborate costumes that were simply stunning (such as the weeping angel). And it really was great to reconnect with so many of my friends and meet readers. My booth was great! I was able to do some magic tricks and sign a lot of books (which is always nice). And even better, my kids were able to have a FABULOUS time wandering the floor and seeing the sights. We had a blast, spent a lot, and went home exhausted. We are definitely going next year!

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Like a Girl

I am a huge fan of smart marketing. It might have something to do with the fact that my original career goal was to be a top ad exec making pivotal, culture-changing commercials for Coke and Nike. I ended up choosing a different career path, but the interest in advertising is still there, which might explain why I loved this ad so much:

I am a girl and have often been tossed to and fro in trying to figure out what being a girl means. I know I’m not alone in this. It’s been a problem since The Woman Question became a “thing” in Victorian-era England. Society is tough on little girls trying to figure out who they are. Strangely, the phrase, “You hit like a girl,” is used as an insult typically directed to boys. Society is a tough on little boys too. The phrase “man up” also comes to mind.

Here’s the thing, men and women are different. I’ve taken biology, and I’ve seen a man naked. I know what I’m talking about. But different does not have to mean something derogatory. Different does not mean less than. When I was little, my mom always used to say cheesy little things like, “I love you all the same.” I swore I would never say that to my kids, at least until I had kids and then I found myself parroting the phrase that had always grated on me as a child. The truth is that I don’t love them all the same. I can’t. They are all different–three kids who are totally independent, different people. I use this phrase because it’s the one they will understand. What I mean is, I love them all equally. I love McKenna for her strength and tenacity, Merrik for his humor and compassion, Chandler for his quiet steadiness and resolve. I love them all equally but differently. And that’s okay.

So back to being a girl and smart marketing. I love this ad because it gives a glimpse into what we, as girls, evolve into as we become women. Not all of us. Certainly not. But enough of us grow and lose that empowerment to land a solid kick, to fight for our dreams, to run without faltering. We give in to the idea that our physical traits are the ones that matter. This myth is perpetuated at every check stand counter littered with beauty magazines dedicated to losing weight and getting a guy. This ad is different. Sure, it’s marketing, and I am well aware that the advertisers are trying to peddle a product. I just love that they were smart about it! I love that they saw the problem in a woman’s self-image and figured out a way to market a product to girls without making the problem worse.

This ad is a nice reminder to remember the girl we were before we let others impose opinions on us. I love that they asked the girl toward the end if she would do it differently and she responded that, “I would run like myself.” There is power in being who we are without fear of censure. I’m glad they let her try again. Yeah. I’m a firm believer in second chances. It’s okay to need second chances and third and fourth chances too. Whoever you are . . . be you. Run like you. Fight like YOU.

Chasing Madness

My son wanted to go to his friend’s house which is on the other side of the city. He doesn’t ask this favor very often so it’s a no-brainer. I grab Mr. Wright, figuring we can use the time out to run other errands, grab my purse and we head out. We drop Smerks at his friend’s, and Mr. Wright takes a back way out of the neighborhood. In front of us, a car drives off the side of the road. At first, we think he’s a teenager just screwing around, but he comes dangerously close to a few intense drops on that side of the road, and we’re shaking our heads wondering how this kid ever got hold of his parents’ car keys.

He acts weird when we get to the red stoplight, braking, lurching forward, braking again, like he’ not sure what he’s supposed to be doing. His head is lolled to the side as if he’s been drugged and he can’t hold it up. I frown and say, “I think something’s wrong with him.” Mr. Wright agrees. He makes the turn but turns into the outside lane of traffic, slamming into the cement meridian and losing control of the vehicle. Smoke and the acrid smell of burning rubber fill the space between our vehicles. Yep. The guy has definitely got something wrong with him.  I grab my phone and dial 911. In my panic, I confess it takes a few seconds to figure out how to use my phone. I’ve never been good in a crisis situation.

The driver regains control of his car though I have NO idea how. I’m now shouting directions to the 911 dispatch officer while Mr. Wright gives pursuit. We chase him through the city. I have no idea what his destination might have been as he takes a rather circuitous route. He’s weaving all over the place, into oncoming traffic and all the way back to the other side of the road where cars are parked near businesses. At one point a truck on the side of the road opened his door and the driver appeared as though he was getting out. The drunk driver veered straight toward that open door.

It’s an awful thing to think you might be forced to watch someone die and be incapable of doing anything to stop it. Life passes before your eyes–not yours, but the stranger’s life–the faceless, nameless person who has no idea they’re in danger. Maybe it’s just because I’m a writer, but I imagine this stranger with a family, a wife, children, a dog. And I imagine him not coming home. I imagine school plays, graduations, and weddings never attended. And I can’t fix it. I can’t stop it. I can only watch and scream at dispatch to hurry the officers faster to us.

The drunk driver veered back into the wrong side of the road (where luckily, no one else was driving). The man in the truck lives and will likely never know.

He turns down one street, and onto another, zigging and zagging, his head always lolling in a way that feels maddening. Kids shoot out across the road on their bikes. You can see they timed the traffic so they know where they can shoot the gap. But they didn’t time for a driver like this guy. It’s like he’s trying to hit them as he follows them across lanes to the other side of the road. I think I scream. Babies. He’s going to kill a child–SOMEONE’S BABY. And we’re following so close, we’re going to get sucked into the wreckage. I send out a prayer while begging dispatch to hurry with the police. The driver somehow misses the kids. Seriously. I have no idea how.  The driver finally stops at a red light and slumps over his steering wheel. I think maybe he’s passed out. I hope he’s passed out. He sits through the red light and when it turns green, he sits through that too. I’m more calm now as I update dispatch on our location.

When the light turns red again, he lifts his head as though not sure how he got there. Then he lurches into traffic even though his light is red, manages to not hit anything and disappears around the corner. I think we might have lost him. We can’t go through the red light too because hello??? Traffic! When we’re finally able to make the turn, there is a squad car up the road at the other light. Our drunk driver has made another left hand turn, but the police have spotted him and join the chase. They’re able to pull him over within a couple blocks.

Dispatch tells us to pull in behind the police and be ready to give an eyewitness statement. We watch as they take him through a battery of sobriety tests–all of which he appears to be failing epically. Obviously he’s arrested. We fill out our reports and we go home on an adrenaline high. I hug my kids a little tighter.

Today I found out the driver has a previous DUI with homicide. He’s already killed someone with his lolling head and his stupidity of getting behind the wheel when drunk. How does he still have a car after killing someone? How does his conscience allow him to be stupid all over again after already costing a life? I have no answers. The whole thing was madness.

So . . . anything exciting happen with everyone else?

The Story of Us

This is a long story. My twenty-first wedding anniversary was a month ago. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. We’ve been married 21 years. But we’ve been together 25. A quarter of a century has passed since my first date with Mr. Wright. The story should be long, I suppose, since it represents such a long period of time. I met my husband for the very first time two weeks after my fifteenth birthday. I went to the high school yearbook stomp even though I wasn’t technically  “in” high school yet. Our school kept the ninth grade in the middle school. Turns out that no one actually dances at a yearbook stomp. They sign yearbooks. Go figure. It was a sad realization to my wanting-to-dance, fifteen-year-old self.

To get over my grief, I signed yearbooks. Oh sure, I didn’t actually know any of the people whose books I signed. But it was a big high school. They probably didn’t know I didn’t know them. I signed a yearbook for one Scott Wright. I went home and didn’t think about it again.

I met him again on the first day of school my sophomore year. Neither of us remembered the yearbook incident. It was pretty much not memorable. Strangers float in and out of our lives every day. Why focus on any one stranger? It was French class where we became non-strangers. He asked me to move up a desk, and we spent the school year laughing at jokes, becoming excellent friends, and *not* learning the French language. At the end of the year, Mr. Wright asked me to prom. I wore a fancy dress, had my hair done up cute, and felt beautiful for the first time in my life.

He asked if he could kiss me goodnight.

I told him no.

I had my reasons. They were valid reasons, too. I wasn’t a jerk about it. I explained those reasons to him, and to his credit, he took it pretty well. Then, I went inside my house and wept the tears that only a teenage girl falling for a boy could muster. I knew he would never talk to me again. I just knew the kiss was the deal-breaker.

He called the next afternoon to see if I wanted to go to a movie.

And the friendship continued. We did everything together, from taking cooking classes that didn’t do me any good, to him teaching me how to change a tire, to me opening up and sharing my dark and dreary poetry with another person. I admit it now. I was a terrible poet. THAT should have been the deal-breaker. We had water fights–the epic kind, cake fights, ice fights, and even a few real fights. Together, we learned about religion, the environment, and debated the finer points of sunrises and sunsets. We spent hours playing King’s Quest.

We climbed trees, and mountains, and Life together.

One day I kissed him . . . my choice–he’d never approached the issue again. I kissed him, because whenever I looked at him, I couldn’t imagine a day of my life without him. We discovered I’d been the flirty, bossy girl  signing his yearbook. And then he left to serve a two year mission for our church. It was a long two years. And I, being young and foolish, assumed all boys were like that boy and began dating others. LOTS of others. None were like that boy. Which is not to say they were all bad. Some were quite wonderful. Some were kind, some were short-tempered, some were funny, some were quiet, some were respectful, some were creeps. Some were creepers. Some were just good guys that I am still grateful to have had the chance to know. But none were that boy.

I once read an advertisement for Nike–one that talked about a girl growing up. One of the lines in the ad was: I fell in love . . . I fell in love . . .  I fell in love. Then I really fell in love. I did it backwards. I really fell in love the first time around which made the other fall-in-loves somewhat less than what they could have been. Apologies are probably necessary. While he was gone, we both grew. Differently. But still growing. We stretched, reached, and became. He came home, and in spite of all my detours during his absence, his coming home was a homecoming for me as well.

So we got married. We discovered that water fights were more fun than the real fights, that dancing was a sore topic and that taking dancing lessons together would not keep us married. We found that all these years later, we are still Friends which made marriage that much better, that much easier. We learned that he’s a creep when he’s hungry,  I’m a creep when I’m tired, and that we’re the definition of pure evil when he’s hungry and I’m tired at the same time. We discovered that we are genetic super heroes. If we had known that our three kids would all turn out this fabulous, we would have had a dozen. We’ve hiked mountains, swam in oceans, walked over deserts. We’ve caught frogs, colds, and subway trains. We’ve missed deadlines, flights, and Each Other when we’re apart. We’ve opened businesses, closed businesses, moved into houses and out of houses, packed in and out of hotel rooms all over the world. We’ve boarded airplanes, cruise ships, sail boats, ferries, taxi cabs, limos, scooters, subway trains, cross country trains, Disneyland rides, four wheelers, and tandem bikes. We’ve watched fish die, turtles die, dogs die, People die. We hold each other a little tighter when we lose people, some part of us afraid of losing each other. We’ve fought, faded, forgotten, and flared up again. We’ve cried, yelled, whispered, sung to babies, scolded babies, laughed at babies. We’ve laughed. We laugh a lot. I tell him all the time that he stopped being funny over a decade ago, but it isn’t true. He’s hilarious.

Some of my favorite moments with him were the times he wasn’t aware I was watching–the times in the morning when he would take the baby feeding so I could sleep a little longer, where I crept out and peeked around the corner to watch my husband with our little girl–to find him balancing a baby, a bottle, and the scriptures while he read out loud to her. He never misses moments to teach the kids, conjugating verbs, explaining an electrical box, helping them understand directions and maps, being the example of picking up litter and recycling, being the example of being a good human by saying please and thank you and holding open doors and putting away chairs, by pitching in when there’s work to be done. He teaches them to love by loving them. The highest compliment given was by our middle son when he said, “I can’t wait to be a dad, so I can joke around with my kids like this.”

We’ve been sick, healthy, sad, happy, depressed, stressed, excited, elated; we’ve battled diseases and monsters under the beds. We’ve discussed politics, religion, science, literature, and anything else that might give us a good debate. We’ve fought, made up, gone to bed mad, stayed up late talking. We’ve dreamed dreams, fought for dreams, let some dreams die, fought harder for others. We’ve grown up and grown older together. We’ve laughed some more. We’ve even danced–in spite of it not being his favorite thing ever.

Have our lives been perfect? Is every day perfect?    No.     But every day has been perfectly us. The most perfect part?

We’re not done yet.

I’m looking forward to another quarter of a century.

Love you Käre, harifrån till evighet. Jag är lycklig at du är min. Jag älskar dig varje dag.

Prom "Forever Young" 1988

Prom “Forever Young”

New York, Battery Park 2013

New York, Battery Park




Ring Out Wild Bells

I decided to start the year with a january Blog Hop giveaway. So read to the bottom if you want to participate.

I love the poem by Tennyson: Ring Out Wild Bells. Love it. It’s been put to music in the LDS hymn book, and it’s haunting and beautiful and feels full of promise all at the same time. The song gives me chills. I was disappointed we didn’t sing it on new Year’s Day in Sacrament meeting, but maybe next year.

With two books coming out within the next three months, I have been insanely busy. This means I haven’t blogged very much, which is probably a relief to everyone because then they don’t have to hear me whining over edits, over the fact that every time I think I’ve uncovered the secrets of the comma I realize I haven’t uncovered anything at all, over the fact that my kitchen counters are never clear, over the fact that Mother Nature is a real slacker with the whole winter thing.

I’m really glad I spared you all of that whining. Lucky you guys!

But since it is tradition that I start the year by looking back at the previous year, I’d decided I’d better write *something*. I had things I wanted to do last year, and things that actually were achieved.

Writing. I had tons of writing goals. Long term . . . short term. I wanted to write three books. I wrote two and three quarters. I would have made this goal except the year ended with all kinds of stuff getting piled on me at once and honestly . . . I have three kids who need to know they’re loved. I had to put something aside, and the work in progress was that something. It’s mostly done . . . which feels quite the same as mostly dead. I will pick that up again in another week or two. The two books that did find their way to completion are also the two coming out in the next few months. Olivia (which is part of the series written with Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, and Annette Lyon) is coming out in February. And Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words (Loving that title!) is coming out in March. The book that is mostly done is called Capes and Curls. It’s a fairytale retelling featuring Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. It’s been a fun write, and I cannot wait to go back to it.

I wanted to read 70 books and I read 78. One of these days maybe I will be as well read as Jessica Day George. But probably not. That girl is a machine! I fell in love with Jim Butcher’s writing over the year and ended the year with James Dashner’s Death Cure. It was an epic ending to the series. It was fitting and believably human. I genuinely loved it. if you haven’t read it–then a pox upon your head. Dashner did a great job and Death Cure was a great book to end my reading year. Thanks James.

I wanted to get into shape. But one ACL snap and torn meniscus later, I am just grateful to be walking. I’ve come to the point that I can walk without a limp most of the time. I still struggle on stairs. I can do them, but sometimes if my knee is really hurting, it’s slow going. A rather severe depression overcame me at the time I injured my knee. It’s strange how a physical ailment can have such an emotional impact. I’m clawing my way out of it. Some days are great and there’s no pain at all. Others are less than great. It is the way of things.

I wanted my kids to be safe and happy. They are that for certain. I’m so grateful for the joy those three kids give me. I love listening to them laugh and hearing their ideas. I love the way they see the world and the fact that they aren’t afraid to share their thoughts with Mr. Wright and me. I love their jokes and hard work, and the way they care about others. Families are important things. And not every day is perfect in any family, but every day is worth experiencing because they are there: parents, siblings, in laws, nieces, nephews, children, spouses. I’m glad for the people in my life.

It was a good year. I was able to do some cool things and spend time with cool people. I’m glad to have another year at my disposal. Maybe I’ll get three books written this year . . .

I wish all of you a great New Year. May you accomplish your goals and be happy. As a way to kick off the year, I’m joining

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer in a blog hop giveaway for a young adult novel. I have in my possession a hardback copy of James Dasher’s Scorch Trials. To qualify for the giveaway, either follow my blog *or* follow me on Twitter and leave a comment on this post. That’s it. If you already follow both, then just leave a comment and tell me you’re awesome. And make sure to go to the blog hop link to view all the other blogs giving away YA books so you can have chances to win other way cool books by way cool authors. The giveaway runs from January 27th to 31st US only entries please.


I’m revising. Last night I tore through thirty pages of edits and feel good with the progress made on my manuscript. I’m hoping to be done tonight. Hoping–but not holding my breath.

A long time ago, when I was doing a book signing for my first book, I met another author–Carole Warburton. She was with a bigger publisher (the one I’m now with), and I was in awe of her. She gave me some advice, advice that is useful every day in my career.

She taught me about edits.

“Edits aren’t evil,” she’d said. “Edits are a chance to prove you can do it better.”

So when it comes time to do an edit on a book I’ve written, I repeat her words in my mind. Edits are a chance to prove I can do it better. I love a challenge. Of course I can do it better! Just watch and see.

I only wish I could manipulate my reality the same way I manipulate my written world.  I wish I had a delete button when I say something completely stupid. I wish I could rearrange parts of my day so they fit better and accomplish more, the same way I rearrange paragraphs on a page.

In reality, just like with writing, of course I can do better when I don’t get it right. Of course I can be more patient. Of course I can speak words of compassion, love, and respect. I can edit my  future, but that doesn’t delete the deeds of the past. It’s vexing–this reality thing.

The important thing is knowing where we can do better and working towards that. Thanks Carole. The advice is useful all these years later.

Cross My Heart actually has a book launch date–November 4th! It’ll be food, fun, and prizes so be there! The address and details will come in the next few days. Sorry about the delay on that. I’m heading to California to do  a book signing at the Disneyland Hotel and we’re making a family trip out of it so it’s been tough to get all the scheduling to work out. Thanks for being patient with me.

As a child, every memorial day centered on the town of Oak City where my grandfather was buried. It was the town my father, aunts, and uncles had grown up. It was the town my grandma had spent the majority of her adult life. For them it was home.

For me . . . it was home too. Though I didn’t live there (not yet) and only visited a handful of times every year. For me, Oak City was the place of four wheelers and frog catching. It was getting lost in fields of rye grass taller than me. It was the candy store, the camp fires, the moon rising over the mountains,  taking walks without anyone worrying over where I’d gone and when I’d be back. It was childhood freedom.

And it was the cemetery.

We always went to the cemetery. We’d walk with grandma, taking our place in the family pilgrimage to the edge of town. Grandma always shed tears at the graveside of my grandfather. I hadn’t known him. He’d died before I was born. But I knew her, loved her, wanted to be everything she was, and if grandma was sad, then the moment needed to be respected. But I was young, and had never lost anyone I’d loved. The sadness was hard to understand even while it was being respected. I had no attachment to any of the people under the grass and stone markers. Memorial Day was festive, bright, and filled with flowers. The tears didn’t make sense.

Until later.

When it was me standing at Grandma’s graveside, when one of the biggest reasons Oak City felt like home was gone.

Today–twenty years later from that time I’d been forced to say goodbye, the tears felt fresh, the wound felt new instead of scabbed and scarred over with time. My aunt had bought little plant markers for when someone plants a garden patch so they remember where they put everything. She’d also bought a ton of flowers ready for planting. She put every child, grandchild, and great grandchild along with their respective spouses that had all blossomed under the love of my grandparents on those markers and placed the markers in the flower pots.

I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight.

Grandma would have loved it.

So on this day where we honor our dead, I just want to say hello to my grandmother. Hello, and I still miss you every day.

Oh for the love of . . .

. . . my kids.

Mr. Wright is out of town tonight, so it’s just the Wright brothers and me.  Already we’ve argued about what will be on the television while I make dinner. The argument was over whether we’d watch the Disney Channel or Unwrapped on the food channel. I lost.

So guess what we’re watching . . .

Yep. Unwrapped on the food channel. I swear these children are not mine. Why would they want to learn something on TV when they can have mindless entertainment? So, instead of a silly but fun show about teenage wizards, we’re learning about how the PEZ dispenser came into being and about some odd new pancake product called Batter Blaster.

The elder Wright Brother wants Batter Blaster bad. He is our family pancake maker and the Batter Blaster apparently is the newest rage in pancake making. I hadn’t made my first pancake until I was in college, and here is my ten year old, scoping out new ways to fine tune his breakfast making experiences.

The younger Wright brother has determined he wants an edible bouquet instead of cake for his birthday because it’s healthier (fruit instead of pastries), and he no longer drinks soda pop because he thinks soda pop is bad for you. Honestly! I did not teach them any of this. They are totally on their own when it comes to this total weirdness. I now get lectures about my Dr. Pepper habits.

The kids teach me a lot as we move through our time together, but I’ve taught them some pretty valuable things too, such as:

  • How to cuss in traffic
  • How to brush teeth
  • How to critique the dialogue in movies out loud in the theater
  • How to throw tantrums
  • How to read
  • How to irritate people with semantics
  • How to pick up litter
  • How to be a sore loser at Monopoly (which I refuse to play with them anymore because they gang up on me)

As you can see from the list, some of the stuff they learned from me is actually useful. I miss the daughter a lot and, in spite of teaching mostly less than useful life skills, still wish she was around for me to teach. She’ll be home for the summer in just two and a half months. Yay! This whole child rearing business is one well worth taking on.

Oh and I finished writing the manuscript, Spell Check, last month and have already started my new WIP tentatively called Dream Writers. I’m into it nearly fifty pages and so far loving the manuscript.

The top ten worst phrases I have heard as a mother

My kids have said some great things over the years. Things that make me laugh, things that make me cringe, and things that have actually made me cry. So here is my top ten list so far of the worst things my kids have uttered out loud and on purpose.

  1. “Mommy! The kitchen’s on fire!”
  2. “I don’t see why you’re mad; It’s not like it’s a *real* book.” (this said when I was preparing my first manuscript for the editor and had lost fifteen pages)
  3. “I’m going to my friend’s house for dinner. Her mom makes GOOD food.”
  4. “But Daddy doesn’t do it like that!”
  5. (during scripture study) “If all those people only eat milk and honey, they are going to get scurvy and die due to improper diets! You’d think God would know better about nutrition.”
  6. (child pointing to a quote by Colonel Sanders in KFC that has the word “damn” in it) “Look! There’s the word Mom uses!”
  7. “Mommy! Look! I cut my own hair!”
  8. “So you mean like it’s hard for you to hear why you shouldn’t swear?”(also during scripture study when I was explaining why Nephi’s brothers were mad, because it’s always hard to hear about the things you do wrong.)
  9. “The backyard’s on fire!” (notice how fire and my cursing seem to be thematic at my house?)
  10. “I’m ready to go.”

The last one seems tame compared to the rest, but it’s the one that gave me tears. It is what my daughter said after we’d packed up the car with her belongings to move her to St George to live with my parents so she can go to the school of her choice. She was ready to go. I am not ready to let her go.

She’s been gone for a few weeks and I miss the sound of her piano practice, and her coming in to my room to plop down on my bed and just hang out with me when she comes home from school. I miss the giggling between her and her brothers as they play.

The best thing I’ve heard? Last night she called and, in a teary sort of voice,  told me she missed me.

It’s nice to know.