Friday, July 4, 2014

Janna launched a new blog in June 2014.
You can find her at Woman, Determined.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

After much contemplation I've decided to step away from Something She Wrote indefinitely. I have reasons, good reasons, and while it's not quite fair to have been so big on keeping it real but not expose my thinking to you now, I'll simply say that it's time for me to take the quiet path for a while.

I'll be leaving the blog public, so there's access to the archives. A lot of stuff, when I look back through my blogging history, embarrasses me, but there are some quality posts, too.

Maybe there's room for a resurrection in the future.

But either way, this doesn't mean I'm giving up on writing. It's just I'm both reconfiguring and rerouting my path.

I don't want to lose touch entirely, so if you'd like, e-mail me once in a while, and I promise I'll reply. Or, you can find me on Facebook.

Thank you all for everything. This blog and its readers--you who I have connected with--have been a defining part of me for four and a half years.

Thank you.

Love and best wishes always,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Writing on Thursday


CAST OF CHARACTERS: Three moms, three daughters, bound by the past, friendship and DNA; struggling with change, doubt and misunderstanding.

STORYLINE: The daughters are teenagers in their senior year of high school, and this means it's time for the annual show. It's the mothers' job to create and execute the musical revue, one that will both honor their girls, and please the ranks of their private prep school.

But when everyone should be working together, relishing this special stage in life, the plot thickens with secrets, rebellion, and the sound of little more than dischord.

Will the show go on? And at what expense?
REVIEW: Two thumbs up. THE MOTHER DAUGHTER REVIEW is a well-written, clear story about the dynamics of relationship, the reality of life, and the power of forgiveness.

CREDITS: Natalie Wexler is a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, the American Scholar, the Gettysburg Review, and other publications, and she is a reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. She wrote the award-winning historical novel, A MORE OBEDIENT WIFE. THE MOTHER DAUGHTER REVIEW is her second book. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband.

THE MOTHER DAUGHTER SHOW was published by Fuze Publishing LLC, and I received my review copy from Goldberg McDuffie Communications.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

After a While
by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writing on Thursday

A Poem

Over the weekend my daughters and I went into an antiques store. While they looked at dated dolls, I picked up a crusty orange-bound, red-spined book. I'm always picking up books. Something about this one, as with so many, just caught my eye.

I flipped to its center, and this was what I read. It's simply titled SEVEN, for it's the seventh entry.

We touch.
You can't do more when crossing streets
with mannequins in windows looking back.

I try to match your step--
that way I'm sure of staying close.
You smell like love.
That must be so
for what I smell is dear to me and new.

And so a little walk through town
becomes a journey
a love vacation from ourselves
but with ourselves.

Everything you say is funny
               or beautiful.

Sometimes I forget that old material can be so current. That something written decades ago can touch me today. Until there it is in front of me.

In this poem I recognize something I've never had, but I also (hopelessly, romantically) read my future.

So I bought the book.

LISTEN TO THE WARM by Rod McKuen , copyright 1967.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday


Here's a truth. I'm struggling with faith in myself as a writer.

Sure, I blog three times a week, am consistent with the small projects I'm part of (see sidebar) and freelance jobbies here or there, and keep an eye on the larger intended projects, like my books.

But I'll feel the drive and find the zone for only a couple days at a time, then too quickly lose momentum. I'm lacking discipline. I get too caught up in my day-to-day, finding a dozen things to do instead of sit down and WRITE. There's been too much gook in my personal life to pull away and WRITE. Sometimes the blogging feels like a chore, even.

What I want to know is, what does this mean? Is it just a phase? (Please let it be a phase.) How can I be a writer if I'm not writing? Is it fair to go easy on myself--because it's not like I haven't had a lot of life happening (divorce and a move being the biggies, plus other tasty stuffs)--or am I just falling on that as an excuse?

I've got to snap out of it. I have to find my groove. I want to write again. I want my days to be filled with words and bursting with creativity.

Do you have any advice or encouragement?

What do you do when you don't believe in yourself (even though you know you should)?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

It has been said that we need just three things in life: Something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love.
Do you agree? Would you trade out one thing for another?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Writing on Thursday

Holiday Haiku

Turkey, stuffing, yum.
I can't wait for deviled eggs.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Leave your own holiday haiku as a comment.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

Life is short and life is fragile.

It isn't too soon to make a decision.
It isn't too late to make a change.

Say what you need to say.
Do what you want to do.

Life doesn't wait. We shouldn't either.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

We can't change what we don't confront.
Is there something in life you're not confronting?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.
Are you pursuing life?
Tell me how.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

Dark Driving

It was getting to be evening. Eight-thirty or nine or so, I don't much remember, because time wasn't on my mind.

What I do remember is that I was nestled in dark, driving on a two-lane country highway. It was a straight stretch, nothing curvy or hilly or difficult to navigate. No cars around.

Which was why I followed the impulse and took my glasses off.

The road blurred; I could see only that it was illuminated by my headlights.

First there was discomfort. This isn't what good, safe drivers do. This doesn't keep me aware, ready for one of those populous deer, or some other animal, or a parked and watching police officer who catches me crossing over the center line.

I couldn't even see the numbers on the speedometer, my vision is that bad.

But then came liberation. Liberation. I felt it from my hands, as they held the wheel, to my feet, near the pedals.

Because I knew where I was going. And I trusted myself, and I trusted what is bigger than me. I trusted the moment. It came to me that nothing bad was going to happen.

Actually, something good happened.

I gave up control.

And that gave me a great peace, just driving in the dark.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

But the point is to live.
The Myth of Sisyphus
I want to live how my heart and soul are happiest, I think that's the point.
I want to live honestly and authentically.
I want to be fully aware of myself, but more aware of others.
I want to mind my path, but be open to detour.
I want to be moral, but not innocent.
I want to freely give, without being frivolous.
I want.
I need.
But, whatever, the point is to live.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writing on Thursday

I write a column for the Children's Miracle Network of Greater Kansas City newsletter. This is what appears in the October issue.
“In everything give thanks.”
I’ve a blue and rustic wooden sign emblazoned with those words. In everything, it says.
We give thanks for the good of life, don’t we? The things that bring us joy. For what we want and have attained, for things that make us look and feel great. For doing well. For that which makes us laugh, what makes our hearts love, our spirits grow.
But give thanks for adversity? For disappointment? For sickness, loss, fear, heartache?
Well, yes. We should. Because it’s the adversity that makes us stronger. Disappointment pushes us forward. Loss leads to cherished memories. Heartache redirects to healing, and loving again.
It’s all of what makes us who we are.
We should be thankful for everything.
I stand by these words, even with the gamut of emotion and change in my life the last couple years.
I am thankful.
Are you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

Newly divorced mom, writer, daughter, sister, friend
seeks reflection, determination, small bits of courage,
acceptance of life (and years) past,
willingness for the future,
relaxed expectations, self-confidence,
good intention, creation, growth of spirit, fun,
understanding, love,
and happiness.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Writing on Thursday

I need to take some time off from Something She Wrote. A month to start, maybe.

Thanks for understanding.

Be good, be well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

You know what's real about life? Its unpredictability. The ins and outs, the surprises. The way we expect or want one thing and end up with its opposite.

But you know what else? Even in its unpredictability, life (and all its parts) means something significant.

These day-to-day things we go through, the good and bad, the comfortable and unsettling, it all works together to create a larger plan. We can't know it, that plan, but we have to trust it. We have to believe in it. To do anything else would be unproductive. To do anything else would give disappointment too much power.

So we hold our heads up and we live life.

And that's all I've got today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
Indian proverb

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writing on Thursday

Whatcha Readin'

I got tired of serious fiction.

I'd been reading too much of the literary fiction, and yes, women's fiction, and I needed a break. So I read a cute little (very thick) political romantic comedy from Kristin Gore. (Al Gore's daughter is seriously smart and seriously witty.) I liked it quite a bit, even if I couldn't get too enthralled in the White House details.

Now I'm reading the Stephanie Plum series from Janet Evanovich. It's about time, really. And I'm loving the books.

Evanovich is so cool. She's smart and hilarious, her stories are fast-paced, and she really knows how to draw you in. Her characters rock. They're relatable and LOL entertaining, even if the predicaments we find them in are pretty unlikely heaped on top of more unlikely. Tension is great, the suspense, all of it.

Have you read any of the Plum series? Who are your favorite characters?

If you're a writer, have you read Evanovich's book on the craft, HOW I WRITE? I read it last year, and it's a good companion to all the standards, ON WRITING and BIRD BY BIRD, etc., (just with a different flavor). Check it out if you haven't.

Tell me, what are you reading these days?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

Open Letter

To Whom It May Concern,

I am tired.

I’m tired of the lip. I’m tired of the emotional immaturity, and of the arrogance. I’m tired of shouldering all the blame when very little of it is mine.

I’m nearly tired of holding it all in.

It could be that someday I’ll let it out. I mean largely let it out, to everyone around, not just my selected few. I could tell the truth. Explain to them the you you really are, instead of the you you want them to see.

For now I'm bigger than that. I am.

It's just I had to say this here, because I’m tired. And you know I think things out. I write them out. And I keep it real.

Are you keeping it real?


Today's comments have been disabled.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

It's the Climb

I know it's cheating, borrowing someone else's words. But these are so apropos. I want you to read them and pretend they're from me today. (Full credit given below.)

I can almost see it

That dream I'm dreaming, but
There's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it
Every step I'm takin'
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin'
But I gotta keep tryin'
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I'm not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most
I've just gotta keep goin', and
I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, cause

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

Keep on movin'
Keep climbin'
Keep the faith baby
It's all about, it's all about
The climb

Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa...

THE CLIMB lyrics by Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe, performed by Miley Cyrus.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.
Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

You Are Here
photo from
Here is a moment. Right now. Today.
Do you recognize all it has to offer?
Sometimes I blow right by them, the moments. Sometimes I get so caught up in what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or in what I want by next month, or year, that I forget to focus on today. I lose my right now. I overlook the little things, the simple joy of being in an instant.
I don't want it to be that way. I want to focus on my right now. I want to experience my here.
I'm learning.
I'm going to mind the moments.
Are you?