UNITED States – One Fat Pet Tweet at a Time

fat pet
#fatpet on Twitter

The other day #fatpet was trending on Twitter. So was #blackfamilythanksgiving .

Fresh off the heels of terrorist attacks in Paris and Tunisia and Lebanon and Israel and Baghdad, I was more than grateful for the lightness these threads provided. Yes, scrolling through countless tweets was a sweet diversion, but it quickly became more than that as I giggled over post after post, most of which I could relate to from my own life. I had a light bulb moment. Yes, we are spread out across this nation, we have different struggles, dreams and fears, but these Twitter threads illustrated how much we still have in common.

And it hit me. I knew in that moment what I value most about the United States of America –  it’s the united part. What unites us? Well, that’s a beautiful complication. Our innovative spirit? Freedom of speech? Our belief in the American dream? Freedom of religion? Our rich diversity?  Our unwillingness to quit? Yes, those are common strings that bind us, but they only begin to scratch the surface.

wing detail
Crow’s Wing Detail by Jennifer Hotes

Recently, KUOW did a story about the crows of Seattle. Here’s the link in case you’d like to read it. Every evening at sunset,  tens of thousands of crows take to the skies and fly north. Observing this, the reporter became obsessed with finding out where they gathered and why. After a harried drive through the city, she followed the crows to a cemetery in a northern suburb. The crows clustered across the grounds of Calvary Cemetery. The strongest birds perched in the treetops overhead, standing guard. The rest of the crows sat on the grass, arranging themselves so that the younger, smaller birds were surrounded, protected by the others. As the sun sunk into the Olympic mountains, all of the crows stood facing the same direction as a community. Their instincts led them to this place, where they stood a better chance of surviving the night against predator attacks. United.

Jenn TweetAs I read this story, the hair stood up on my arms. These crows are smart. They know there is safety in community. By instinct, they know to protect the frail, the young and the old. At night they stand together. Safe from the coyotes and raccoons and raptors that probably detest this unity because it makes killing all the tougher.

There are global predators that wish to do harm to America, obliterate our way of life. Can we stand united against them? Or will we continue to allow our mainstream media and political leaders to fracture us? Pit you against me? Us against them? Him against her? Or should we take a lesson from the crows and unite. Can we agree to protect our most vulnerable? Can we view our differences as a blessing? Can we seek to find our commonalities and rejoice in them?

So, if your social media threads of late have left you feeling angry, frustrated, scared, and maybe even invisible, I suggest you unplug for a couple days. Connect with people in real life. Look for the good your neighbors are doing right now, then roll up your sleeves and join them. Live your truth and value the person next to you who has their own take on the world. Relish the differences and find the common threads. Gather at sunset and face the same way. United.



HUMAN SOFTWAREThe recent opening of Amazon.com’s first brick-and-mortar bookstore, Amazon Books, has filled my Facebook timeline with alarm, indignation and bitterness. Many swear this single act will be the final nail in the indie bookstore coffin. There’s ire directed at Amazon for being insensitive to the damage they’ve already done to indie bookstores with their wholesale buying/price cutting tactics. And once again people are talking about the paper-thin profit margins of regular bookstores.

People, get a grip. Amazon opened a bookstore. Not a meth lab or a casino or a porn shop. They sell (gasp!) books.  Yes, I realize indie bookstores can’t compete with Amazon’s wholesale prices, but GAWD, it’s one bookstore.  Today when most of our waking hours are stuck behind a screen, it’s refreshing to have one more way to engage people in some old-fashioned page turning.

PollyannaAs to the argument that Amazon.com has killed the indie bookstore, well call me Polyanna, but I see it as an opportunity to become better indie bookstores. Listen, I love reading mysteries, but I will never write like Hitchcock or Connelly or Jance or Christie. I’m me. I won’t apologize for my perspective, my visual prose, my multi-cultural characters or my obsession with addition history to my stories.

Amazon.com has forced indie bookstores to look at themselves differently, too. And the successful ones are evolving at lightening speed. Instead of fixating on the places where Amazon chops them at the knees (market reach, pricing, to name a few) successful indie bookstores are taking a close look at what they already deliver better that Amazon can’t. An intimate vibe. Helpful staff. Sense of community. Author showcase space. Access to indie books.

Ten minutes from my house is one of these success stories, Third Place Books. Enter their doors any day of the week and you will find a bustling, thriving bookstore. With a schedule packed with author signings and special events, there is a steady parade of foot traffic at Third Place Books. Patrons come to engage with authors, sip coffee, buy books, print indie books on demand and find gifts.  By focusing on what makes them special, Third Place Books has become the heart of their community. What’s more? They support indie authors (not always the case with bottom-line obsessed bookstores). In fact, their espresso book printing service can print a book for you in thirty short minutes. Mindblowing, right? Yeah, even if Amazon.com had drone service, they couldn’t compete with THAT!

favicon.icoNeed another example of how competition with Amazon.com has made indies stronger? Take a look at the new trend, specialty bookstores, and you’ll understand. Book Larder in Seattle, Washington specializes in cookbooks. They offer cooking classes, and they sell cooking stuff. Their schedule of events keeps a steady flow of foot traffic coming into the store. The cooking lessons themselves bring addition revenue and book sales. Genius. They’ve made themselves relevant to their customer base and are thriving as a result. Another Seattle-based specialty bookshop is Seattle Mystery Bookstore. Their events calendar is a who’s-who list of modern mystery bestsellers. Because mystery readers shop here, the authors come, sign books and connect with readers. Everybody wins.

In other corners of my city, indie bookshops are staffed with bookaholics –  smart savvy consumers of books, they help readers discover new favorites. These vital people and places will never be retail dodos. As long as they do what they do best, they’ll never be rendered obsolete by Amazon.com. As long as they continue to push and evolve, they will be successful and relevant.  And better.

Go Visit a Cemetery!

The Deathbed grave referenced in my first book. It resides in Bayview Cemetery, Bellingham, Washington.

I’ve been obsessed with cemeteries since I was a child. It all began when my mom, needing to attend night classes for her Master’s program, hired an unusual babysitter. The lady was nice enough, but she happened to be the daughter of a cemetery caretaker. Yes. Our sitter lived in a graveyard.

On that cold autumn afternoon, darkness descended before my brother and I had so much as swallowed down a decent after school snack. Cozy in the caretaker’s cabin, we started in on our homework when the babysitter encouraged (okay, maybe pushed) us out the front door. “Go get some fresh air before supper.”

I clung to my big brother’s arm, looking at the gray tombstones through my fingers. “What’re we supposed to do out here?” I asked.

“Well, how about hide-and-seek?” she offered. “My brother and I spent hours playing that out here when we were kids.”

That was a long night. And, toward bedtime, I was grateful to see the beam of mom’s headlights flash through the front window. I had nightmares after that. Well, in truth, I’ve always had nightmares. But after that experience, graveyards burrowed under my skin. My new two-headed fascination and phobia began.

FullSizeRenderFast-forward to 2015. Traveling through London with my family, I stumbled across a book, HAUNTED LONDON. During an hour of down-time in the hotel, I read it cover to cover. Inside the author mentioned a place called, “Crossbones Cemetery.” A quick Google search and I found out it was a stone’s throw away from our hotel. I was determined to see it myself. Click here to book a haunted London walking tour!

IMG_6289The Crossbones Cemetery holds somewhere around 14,000 women and their children. There are no gravemarkers and prayers were never uttered over any of the bones within the property grounds. These were London’s castaways. Women of the night or Churchill’s geese for the orange hoods and white cloaks they were required to wear, these women were seen as too steeped in sin to warrant niceties like church rites and grave markers. That was 200 years ago.

Modern Londoners are atoning for the mistakes of their forefathers. On numerous occasions, developers have attempted to morph the property into a parking lot or other profit-churning venture. It’s always been fought and defeated. And now, well, what’s happening leaves me speechless.

IMG_6299Londoners come together once a month at Crossbones Cemetery. After uncovering the names of the women and children, they write those names on pieces of ribbon and tie them onto the surrounding fence. Slowly, they are remembering the dead, honoring their lives and reclaiming those lost souls.

As I tied our flower offering to the fence, I stood in awe. There was an overwhelming sense of peace at Crossbones. And love. And forgiveness.

This week, not because it’s Halloween, but because history lives and breathes in these sacred spaces, walk a cemetery. Take a photo. Tidy the leaves off a grave. And maybe utter a name etched into a tombstone. Who knows what this simple act will do for you or the person buried beneath your feet?

Baby, Get Your Smile On!

JOY! copy
A quick sketch of one of my favorite smilers, my daughter Bryn.

I smile easily, without any hesitation. I have crinkles on either side of my mouth from forty-six years worth of grinning. I laugh too loud and giggle until tears spill from the corners of my eyes. Some say that smiling is a superpower. Funny though. On a recent trip to London I found myself trying to refrain from smiling as I took my daily run around Hyde Park each morning. In Seattle, runners smile at one another and say, “Hi!” as they pass. Not in London. Runners pass without so much as a nod. It was the first time I ever wondered if my easy smile was a weakness. I’ll never think that again after watching this TED talk. :) My smiles are visual trick-or-treats for myself and others. Two thousand chocolate bars without all the calories to be exact. Find out what I’m talking about by checking this out.

Watch the video here and get your smile on!

Be Careful What You Wish For!

black-cab-in-londonWe jumped in the cab at the foot of London’s shiny new landmark, The Shard. Excited to see the hotel we’d call home for the last leg of our stay, we barely noticed the luggage that totterer and shimmied at our feet as we crossed the Thames. As we drove, my family and I agreed, the Shangra-La had been posh in every way. But it was too perfect somehow.  The Shard was merely a glass and metal picture frame, perfect for viewing the historic city from a lofty height but not for experiencing it. Yes, we filled our lungs with smells as we explored the city during the day, filled our stomachs with pub food. We savored old churches and visits to countless museums. But at night, we fell asleep to the twinkle of the London skyline from 46 stories above the bustle, grit and character. We were ready for a change. As the cab neared the corner of Kensington Gardens, we pulled to the curb at the foot of a pink-brick hotel that throbbed with authenticity.

There was an inevitable mix-up during check-in, but after a time, we were given keys to a suite with two adjoining rooms at the back corner of the property. We turned the key and as the door creaked open, the kids buzzed past, ran up the steps to check out room number one, then whizzed past again to see room number two. “This one is ours!” they shouted. I climbed the steps to see a room decorated in black, white and silver and flooded with natural light that came from a generous bank of windows.

Color palette of our room

My husband and I smiled and settled our things into our room-by-default. We set our luggage down below an oil-painting of twenty or so dogs, hungry ribby dogs. The rest of our room was painted in the same palette of browns, tans and grays. Two small windows and one lamp gave the room a tobacco-stained haze. Giggles from next as the kids set up house kept us from insisting they trade.

The location was ideal, within walking distance to our favorite London pub, The Britannia, we all went to bed feeling fat and happy.

Somewhere past midnight, I woke to the feeling of a cold hand gripping mine, which dangled out from beneath the duvet. It was the cold that made me tuck my hand into the blankets again. Two times more I would wake before morning light to a soft, “Mama.” The second cry caused me to walk the hall and steps up to check the kids next door. They were sound asleep. I smiled at the light they left on in the bathroom and the door they left ajar. I don’t think I was meant to know that they still needed/wanted a nightlight. I returned to bed and tucked the blankets around my ears, then slept once again.

The days after that were busy with plays, museums, trips to every H&M my tween could locate on Google maps. Every night I woke to the quiet, “Mama.” Once, I opened my eyes to see a little girl in a flouncy white dress standing near my side of the bed. She was watching me sleep with a tiny smile etched across her face. I  smiled back at her. You see, I’m no stranger to ghosts and hotels. Click here to see my post about the ghost writer I had on book two.

steve-donna-o-meara-ghost-in-the-hall-at-the-hawthorne-hotel-one-of-america-s-most-hauntedHalf-asleep, I whispered, “I know you’re interested in me because I’m a mom, but, please stop running back and forth in the hallway. You’ll wake up the kids.” Yes, the little girl spirit had been trailing behind me since we’d checked in. I asked her not to follow me into the bathroom, “That’s just plain rude,” I said. And thankfully, she obeyed.

The day of our departure, I did a thorough check of both rooms in search of  forgotten items. As I zipped my daughter’s bag shut, I bit my tongue. You see, we have a couple rules when we travel. Rule 1: Never use the ghost app in a hotel room we have to sleep in. Rule 2: Never talk about any “spirit” activity in the room until we’re checked out and away from the property. I knew the rules, but we were basically checked out. The cab would be here soon. I blurted out, “Have you guys had any ghost stuff happen to you?” There wide eyes and pink cheeks confirmed the truth.

“There’s a white light that follows you everywhere, Mom,” said my teen. “It’s not a bad energy, but it’s always there, like a blur, no matter where you go.”

Then my youngest child confessed, “One night, I woke up and there was a little girl standing over me. She was watching me and sister sleep,” She glanced at the bathroom door, “And there’s a mean woman in the bathroom.”

“Oh, yeah!” interrupted the teen. “She’s horrible. That’s why I never showered here.” She scratched her head and shivered.

On the drive to the airport we exchanged stories, shocked at how they intersected. We were all grateful to be away from the historic hotel and eager to sleep in our own beds that night.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.11.44 AMWe never seek this out, but it happens to us. I guess if we had read all the Travelocity reviews before we’d booked, we would’ve known what we were getting in to. The title of one is, “Not as good as we thought and possibly haunted.”

If you’re a thrill-seeker, check this link to find the five most haunted hotels in London.

#FreakyFriday – Reinventing the Horror Genre

Meet Horror Author, Alex Kimmell

author-pic-w-text-e1429318472641Alex Kimmell lives in Rhode Island with his family and two dogs. The Idea of North was released in September 2015 to wide acclaim. His previous books The Key to Everything and A Chorus of Wolves are Amazon bestsellers and his short fiction has appeared in publications by Dynatox Ministries, Black Lantern Press, Front Row Lit, Canyon Voices, Wordcount Podcast and Dumb White Husband. alexkimmell.com.


The Idea of North

tIoN-FINAL-HR-CoverWhen piano prodigy, Dalton Beaufort, plays his music people die.

Devastation is all that remains as storms of unprecedented size rage across the country side.
An elite group of storm trackers catch on camera a strange shape at the base of the largest tornado ever recorded.

Uncanny haunted melodies play upon the gales as whirlwinds churn and blow the world away.
Dalton must do everything in his power to discover what links him to the mysterious tempests, and avoid traveling along the path of a grim family tradition.

After all, death and music run in the family.

What Readers Are Saying

“Alex Kimmell’s stories just get better and better. I got an advanced review copy of The Idea of North a while back. Given his description, I really didn’t know what to expect. That’s good. When I’m reading, I like not knowing what to expect. That edgy feeling continued as the story unfolded. The writing is sharp and straight forward. Alex can turn a phrase and paint a word picture without falling into sounding too writerly. This is a haunting story that will keep you up wondering what dark path the author will lead you down. No spoilers. Just read it, and watch the sky.”

A Final Note

 As a kid, I loved Steven Spielberg’s movies. He was the first movie-maker I’d known to create authentic families, lull me into the normalcy of daily life and then unravel it all, making their slow destruction all the more horrifying.
Kimmell is the literary equivalent of Spielberg. As I read his books, I’m both cringing and holding my breath to see how fate will crack and crumble his characters. And I love every minute of it.

On a Collision Course with Fate in One Juicy #YARead

Cassidy is on a a collision course with fate. She already knows she only has seven weeks left of this life– seven weeks to fix the soul of a guy named Riley. But, what if healing his dead places also means hurting him?

There are high stakes in today’s featured book, Seven Weeks to Forever, stakes that kept me reading well into the wee hours until I saw how this juicy story ended.

Meet Jennifer Farwell

61iD8yDz-KL._UX250_Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents’ freshly painted white walls. When she’s not writing novels, she can be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book. Her love of storytelling led to completing a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts degree in English, both from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.

Find her on Twitter @jennfarwell.

Seven Weeks to Forever

24432178Cassidy Jordan knows she’ll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can’t wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what’s waiting for her in The Life-After–the place most mistakenly call “the afterlife.” Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. By the time she finds him, though, she has only seven weeks to help him. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she’ll never see The Life-After or this life again.

But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn’t dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. When Cassidy realizes she’s falling for Riley, she’s faced with a choice: give him the life he’s meant for and leave when it’s time, or give up eternity for the true love she’s never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.

What Readers and Critics Are Saying

“Farwell writes with verve…Appealing characters and a warm, sparkly love story tinged with wish fulfillment.” –Kirkus Reviews

“I loved the characters of Cassidy and Riley as well as Cassidy’s spiritual guide Noah…I really liked it and highly recommend the novel to fans of Young Adult and paranormal!” -Meredith Schorr, author of How Do You Know?, Blogger Girl, A State of Jane, and Just Friends with Benefits

“I was unable to put this book down until I finished it…I really loved this book! There were so many components to the story…Love (past and present), Life, and The Life After…and they all flowed perfectly to make for a wonderful book.” -Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat

“I’ve never read a book with this kind of plot line before, it was captivating! I thought I had this book figured out, but I was pleasantly surprised at the twist. Very good romance read!” -J.C. Hannigan, author of the Collide series

“This book reminds you that often times in love and life you have to make choices and sacrifices, but there isn’t much that is more powerful than first love.” -Sammi Robin, author of So Many Frogs…Not Enough Prozac and contributing writer to The Blow-Off and YoungHollywood.com

“Jennifer Farwell’s young adult romantic paranormal fantasy, Seven Weeks to Forever, is a powerful and moving sweet romance…Once I began this compelling fantasy, I didn’t want to stop until I had finished the story.” -Readers’ Favorite

“The connection she has with Riley is just so real, so beautifully told…I got completely lost in the story.” -M’s Bookshelf

“There is a roller coaster of emotions through the story which Farwell portrays beautifully…I couldn’t wait to reach the end…” -A Novel Thought




Hilarious Award-Winning Memoir

Meet Stephanie Yuhas

71U0mOkCmmL._UX250_-1Award-winning Stephanie Yuhas is a writer, producer, and professional goofball, with a BFA in animation from The University of the Arts. She lives near Philadelphia, where she and her partner, Matt Conant, run Cinevore Studios.

Stephanie is also the founder of Project Twenty1, a nonprofit organization that runs the 21-Day Filmmaking Competition and Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival.

Find her on Twitter @stephanieyuhas


American Goulash

518sDVgrziL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A Coming-of-Age Memoir… American Goulash is a story about a nerd girl jousting with her Transylvanian family on the battlefields of suburban New Jersey for a chance to grow up authentically awkward and live a so-called normal American life. Whether casting off old-world wives’ tales or turning to art to cope with her immigrant family’s general zaniness, Stephanie valiantly finds her own way through adolescence in this heartwarming, hilarious soon-to-be classic.

What Readers Are Saying

Winner, 2015 Nancy Pearl Award for Best Memoir – PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association)
Nick on Amazon.com gave American Goulash five stars. Here’s what he said:
“Not everybody would would see growing up in a dysfunctional, superstitious Transylvanian family to be an enticing premise for a memoir, but then again, not everybody had the childhood Stephanie Yuhas had. And, sure, many would probably approach writing such accounts with a “woe-is-me-see-what-I-had-to-go-through” type of attitude, but Yuhas relates her stories with such a witty charm, that it’s hard not to want to know what could possibly happen next. Yuhas’s childhood tales are peculiar, entertaining, and often very hilarious; and Yuhas tells them in a way that’s so simple and friendly, that’s it’s almost as if she’s recounting these memories directly to you, probably over a pleasant drink (anything but Black Russians, though).
“American Goulash” is a charming coming-of-age story. Following Yuhas from her early childhood to her late teen years, the book not only tells the story of a girl just trying to live a normal life, but it also tells an interesting and empowering tale about finding out who you are and learning to live as that person. It’s also, oddly, a tale about optimism and perseverance, as Yuhas relates her tales of moving on to become an artist. They’re all themes and ideas many of us can relate and respond to and Yuhas tackles them brilliantly.
“American Goulash” is a fun book and it’s hard not to come away a little inspired from it. Yuhas is a gifted storyteller. Now we just need to wait for volume two…”
On Amazon.com thisgirl gave five stars and raved:
“American Goulash” is a captivating memoir that will have you hooked from the start. Yuhas’s bold and honest writing style, combined with her unique sense of humor, makes this a book that readers of all ages and walks of life will certainly enjoy. It chronicles her struggle to remain loyal to her, more than slightly, dysfunctional family, who fled their homeland in search of the American Dream yet still clutches desperately onto their old world ways and superstitions. While searching for her own place in a world where she fiercely wants to belong but is simultaneously being constantly bombarded by her overly protective family about her new country’s hidden horrors. Whether you’re a teen struggling to fit in, an immigrant looking for their place in a new, strange world, an adult searching to find their niche in a cynical society, or just someone who has always felt disconnected in general; every reader will be able to identify with Stephanie’s story. Everyone wants to belong, and Yuhas’s writing style draws the reader into her story in a way that makes you feel like you’re experiencing it alongside her. Even in the most difficult of times, Yuhas’s strength and perseverance endure. Throughout the most discouraging of anecdotes in her story, Stephanie intensely clings to her hope refusing to accept defeat.This novel leaves the reader feeling empowered and ready to face whatever life may throw their way. I look forward to Yuhas’s future novels, and expect that we will see many more successes in her future.


american-goulash-cherylstyle-HIf the post made you curious about American Goulash, I’ve got a little bonus! Here’s a recipe (which means I just figured out your dinner tonight). You’re welcome. :)

Believing in Bigfoot – It’s a Metaphor

JC-MillerMeet JC Miller

JC (Jeanne) holds an MA in education and is a founding member of JAM, an editorial-consultation team. An avid reader and table tennis enthusiast, JC resides in Northern California.

Visit her website at jcmillerwriter.com.

Believing in Bigfoot

Front Cover DISPLAYReeling from his failed comeback and ruined marriage, washed-out actor Ian James (née Isaac Janowitz) flees Los Angeles for a two-week respite in Northern California’s remote Marble Mountains—Bigfoot country. His time alone in the wilderness begins to peel away the layers of his Hollywood persona. After a fateful meeting with a beguiling woman, Ian begins to question his heart. In a moment of clarity, Isaac ditches his publicist and finds himself in Redding, living with invisibility at the Vagabond Motel.

Professor Ruth Hill is burnt out teaching photography at Redding’s Shasta College, eager for her upcoming retirement. But for unexplained reasons, despite weekly therapy sessions, her panic attacks have escalated. Her artistic slump persists. Looking back, she regrets a life without risk; looking forward, she dreads a meaningless future. Going over her proof sheets one morning, she stumbles upon a series of striking thumbnails, reigniting her passion and creativity.

Readers will root for Isaac and Ruth as they grapple with their chance encounter on the mountain and search for meaning in their repellent, yet intense attraction. Their paths do cross again, but when confronted with the possibility of enduring love, Ruth’s cynicism creeps in; Isaac’s self-defeating beliefs take hold. For these two damaged souls, it just may be too late.

What Readers Are Saying

Bigfoot closeup
Do they ever find the elusive Bigfoot? Maybe love is easier to find.

Bookworm on Amazon.com gave the novel five-stars and said this:

Believing in Bigfoot is a great read. It is the kind of book you want to curl up with and not stop until it is done and then you are sorry that it is over. The characters are compelling, the story interesting and the settings lovely. I highly recommend it.”
on Amazon.com gave the novel five-stars and said this:

“I love Believing in Bigfoot. I’ve read it twice. JC Miller has the knack of digging down into real human emotions in her novels (I’ve read them all). She shows us ourselves through her characters, and we aren’t always pretty and perfect. Miller’s characters are humanly flawed like we are, and (hopefully) at the end of our stories, we’ll find hope, just as Isaac and Ruth do, even in the face of their failed dreams.”

#MondayBlogs – Caskets from Costco

Meet Kelly Wilson

kelly-wilson-headshotAs my totes full of notebooks suggest, I’ve been writing since I was a child. I was an Army Brat, and also a shy kid, so I read and wrote a lot.

When I was in college, writing became more of a chore, a necessity to succeed in my classes. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I came back to my passion for writing. My son and I had almost lost our lives, and writing helped me work through the trauma associated with that experience.

Once I started writing again, I couldn’t stop. I often have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to write down a random thought that later turns into a story, or an outline for a book I’m thinking of finishing. I don’t sleep until whatever it is on my mind is written down.

I also found that I enjoyed writing children’s stories, and I became curious about how the publishing industry worked. Creating and submitting stories opened the gates in my brain to more stories, and now I find that I enjoy all different kinds of writing, including grants, children’s stories, magazine articles, poetry, and books of different genres.

Connect with me at www.wilsonwrites.com.


Caskets from Costco

51gb-0LxEqL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_For twenty years, author Kelly Wilson marched through the stages of grief in a straight line, convinced she would soon be done with it. She was totally deluded. Instead, her grief journey resembled a roller coaster. She needed to get to the end of it, and she had no sense of direction. Caskets From Costco is a funny book about grief that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.


What Readers Are Saying

EJ Essic on Amazon.com gave Caskets from Costco five-stars!

“Wilson is a master at carrying us right along withy her on her journey. Caskets from Costco is about a serious subject, but told with a viewpoint that had me laughing even as I was shaking my head in dismay. It is rare to find a writer who can make me laugh even as she deals with the serious business of resolving painful issues. This is a book for anyone who has ever felt the grief and anger of loss or betrayal. Wilson’s sense of humor and down to earth approach to dealing with the messy stuff of life leaves the reader (me, anyway) with a feeling that no matter what we may face, there is a way to view the situation that will allow us to move beyond the pain and smile at the absurdity. From the title to the last page, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and hope she writes more books like this.”