Monday, December 17, 2012


I’m not a parent, but you don’t have to be in order to feel utterly crushed by what happened at Sandy Hook last week—the loss of twenty bright lights who will never get to become their adult selves.  Musicians, maybe.  Doctors.  Teachers.  Innovators.  Artists.  Twenty lives that never got to see the world through adult eyes.  Even the adults in the massacre were painfully young; twenty-seven, I think, is barely enough time to really even take a deep breath.
I’m not a fan of guns; if I’m to be honest, I hate guns.  I have always respected the right of my more outdoorsy friends to hunt.  But I have never fired a gun myself.  I hate the look of guns.  I literally feel my stomach turn over and goose bumps break out when I have to pass by the guns in Walmart to get to the exercise equipment.  I do not understand why, in Missouri, I may soon be unable to buy pseudoephedrine over the counter at that same neighborhood Walmart (in an effort to curb criminal activity), but I can buy a gun.  I still respect my outdoorsy friends’ right to hunt.  But I also respect the right of all the bright lights in this world to grow big enough to see the world through adult eyes.  And I’m sorry, but I think one of those rights trumps the other.

I also can’t ignore the fact that even the perpetrators of mass shootings were once potential bright lights themselves.  We really know so little about the mind.  And as a society, we are still failing the mentally ill in so many ways, as this heart-wrenching firsthand account explains.
The past few days, I’ve caught myself staring at the sparkling Christmas decorations that hang in my neighborhood, getting absolutely lost in thoughts about all the bright lights in the world that need to be protected, honored, allowed to become their very best selves. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


This girl is brilliant.  Seriously.

I'm in complete awe of people who can cram an entire book into a three-minute pop song.  And Kacey Musgraves does that beautifully here.

As a single girl in the Ozarks, I also have to say I relate to this one on a personal level.  I adore my area of the country, but I'd be lying if I said that certain area events (remember Sarah Ockler?) and attitudes didn't just embarrass me down to my toes. 


...How about you?  What songs have you sworn told your own story?

Monday, December 3, 2012


I dig Christmas.  I love the smell of pine and little white lights and decorating the house and wrapping gifts.  I love carols and stockings and made-for-TV holiday flicks and carving the roast beast.
Jake and I both also love absurdly dorky Christmas sweaters...This year, I have to admit, our sweaters are awesome in their badness...

If Thanksgiving is the holiday to pause and let yourself truly feel all that you have to be grateful for, then Christmas, I’ve always figured, is the holiday to do something to show the people in your life how important they are to you—and it never has to involve spending a ton of money.  It’s a card filled with well-wishes; it’s an unexpected plate of homemade cookies; it’s taking a moment to share a cup of cocoa and a long talk at a kitchen table; it’s making plans for a new year together, while tingling with excitement.

…Since 2010, when A BLUE SO DARK released, I've always included my readers on my gratitude list.  And they're right at the top of my list again this year; they've been so incredible as I made my announcements regarding my forthcoming books (a YA, FERAL, and a middle grade, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY).  In all honesty, connecting with and getting to know my readers has become every bit as enjoyable to me as actually writing my books.

As I wrap up the year, my thoughts keep turning back toward my readers, and about how I can do more to show my gratitude, especially as my two books in development near publication—how I can connect with them even more in the future.  For those of you who haven’t yet, please do sign up for my mailing list, to keep in touch with all these new ideas.

Here’s wishing all of you a pleasant end to ’12, and here’s hoping that ’13 brings growth, comfort, pleasant surprises, and the kind of exciting developments that make your heart feel like it’s about to bust right out of your chest!
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