Splintered Mess

When I mix up my right and left hands, we all chuckle. When I mix up the brake and gas pedals while parking, someone loses their cool. More accurately, that someone losing their cool is me: I’m pounding my steering wheel with both fists, swearing and half-hissing half-wailing because I’ve hit the gas while trying to hit the brake, and all because I thought my Honda…

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Friday Five

This week, I'm reviving the Friday Five where I briefly detail five things I've learned about life this week. 1. We learn to laugh in stages. I didn't know this was part of human development, but we actually don't laugh all at once! Right now, when I tickle George's belly, he gives off a couple grunts. He's not at the "peals of laughter" stage. It's hilarious…

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Cave

I surface. I blink in the watery, clear light of autumn. I cradle a small warm bundle of life in my arms and hear him cry for attention, love, and food. The reason for my long absence from this blog was the birth of my son, George Liam Stephens. He arrived early on August 1st, and my life has turned head over heels: In love. In…

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The Moment: Launching FORECAST

The candles glowed on the tables, the voices of the guests rose and fell in excited conversation and laughter, and I sat a few feet away, gripping a glass of cold root beer for strength to face what I had worked so long to achieve. It's happened. I've officially finished my second novel. The wax seal has been formed by this crowd of people coming together…

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Play Nice With Your Siblings

I wrote a guest post that Forever Young Adult picked up for their SmartyPants column. Since I have two twin siblings at the core of my new novel, Forecast, I thought an exploration of other sibling relationships in young adult literature would be fun. I picked two of my favorites: Katniss and Prim from The Hunger Games trilogy and Sam and Patrick from The Perks of…

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Warm Rain

The downpour struck fast and without warning. The rain streaks looked like steady shoots of water from the sky. On the inside of the house, the rainfall looked like a little 2-year-old who went from happy to distraught in  a few minutes. My husband and I were spending the day with my cousin’s family: mommy, daddy, and three kidlets. As parents-to-be, James and I have a…

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Lullaby

Sleep, little child, and dream for me Dream me a white-plumed apple tree All a-bloom in the early spring Dream me a song to sing -“Apple Tree,” Songs from Dreamland From lullabies to We-Sing videos, I spent hours and hours of my childhood singing. I never forgot what I sang. There was collection of lullabies called Songs from Dreamland that my parents played on a cassette…

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Trust

It was one of those synchronistic moments—she and I had chosen a long list of exactly the same presentations to attend as part of our freshman orientation, but then it surpassed a funny coincidence. We couldn’t stop talking. She asked me about my family, and though I answered with the usual bits of info (number of my siblings and their ages), she immediately told me about…

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Worth

“For gosh sakes, treat them better than they deserve! Who would ever escape misery, otherwise?” -Hamlet (liberally paraphrased by Elise Stephens)   I have begun the most demanding creative project of my life. Growing a little human being inside of me is a harrowing, mystical, and unparalleled experience. I am a mother. I will raise another life to the light. I am flat on my back,…

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Strange Beauty

On the back of my laptop is an orange oblong sticker that reads, Beauty will save the world. It’s no coincidence that my favorite fairy tale of all time is Beauty and the Beast. A young girl enters a dark stone castle in order to save her father, and through the power of her friendship, shreds the spell that enshrouded the selfish heart of a prince…

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