3 Day Quote Challenge

Many thanks to Lindsay Nell of Home, Hugs and Huskies for nominating me to take part in the 3 Day Quote Challenge. (What’s a community without a chain letter or two?)


Storytelling has been part of humanity since the beginning of language. From oral histories handed down before the development of written language (still a big part of most families around the world), to scary tales around a campfire, to scifi and fantasy, fables and fairy tales, romance, adventure, and mysteries, we seem to have a genetic need for stories.

Each kind of story has its own purpose. Some end with a moral, some with a twist, some with an inspiration or call to action. We’re happy if they just entertain us, but if they touch us more deeply, they become part of who we are.

My favorite stories changed me. Whether it was my literary introduction to science fiction with Rusty’s Space Ship by Evelyn Sibley Lampman or  J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram, these books, and many others, have stayed with me.

To honor the stories that are part of who I am, my theme for this challenge is Wisdom from Fiction.

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Kindly respond. Kindly.

There is a different attitude here. Commenters are kind. Not everybody comments; even I don’t comment on every post I read — there simply isn’t time. But apparently there’s time for a little magic. This is a story about being saved by that magic.

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Jangle All the Way

“Can you say your little poem for me?” Grandma Ranscht, Grandma Jenkins, Aunt Sis, and Aunt Dorrie at least twice each. In the last hour.

Of course I could say my little poem for them. Did they think I was stupid? Hadn’t I been saying my little poem on command for the last week? Just because I was only two-and-a-half, didn’t mean I didn’t know what was at stake here.

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Introduction to Infinity

Isn’t it cute? A vintage 1950’s Tommee Tippee sipper cup exactly like the one my mother said was mine. Not my older sister’s. Not my baby sister’s. Mine. The one I drank from even after I didn’t use the mouthpiece anymore. The only one Mom ever offered me.

The one I couldn’t look at because it scared me to death.

Infinity Cup
The innocent sipper.

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The Horror!

I was going to be a parent. I was ready. (It’s so cute that I thought that.)

Parenting is hard. Single parenting can be torture. We make mistakes.  We have no idea what we’re doing. We’re sure we’ve ruined our kid’s life — or kids’ lives — because:

“No one taught me how to be a parent!” Every first-time parent.

Maybe you just weren’t paying attention.

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By the time I was in high school, I believed I would never have children. Why? No idea. But by the time I entered college (an era when over-population of the planet was a growing and alarming concern) I had decided I would never have children.

I trundled through life for the next 10 years content with my career, independence, and unencumbered lifestyle. I had friends, relationships, wine and cheese tasting parties… what more could I possibly need?

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Enhanced by Robert P. Beus and S.T. Ranscht

Some might call this shameless self-promotion, but until we sign an agent, who else is there to do this dirty job? Tomorrow, it’s back to the fun stuff! I promise.

Why was I going to apologize? Robb and I wrote Enhanced so we could work together to create a story we could share with people like us — people like you. We’re proud of what we’ve written. We believe it’ll stick with readers like good books do, and we dare to hope it can be a beacon for kids — and adults — who feel like they’re outside the mainstream.

So without apology, I want to tell you about it. But not about our “writing process” — in the name of all that’s holy, not the “writing process”! (…unless you ask…)

Since the beginning of language, there have been storytellers.

“Hey, do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard.” The 11th Doctor

Have we got a story for you!

“All I read is young adult science fiction, so when I tell you I’ve never read this story before, you know it’s original!” Jessica Watterson of The Sandra Dijkstra and Associates Literary Agency talking about Enhanced

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The Dog

Dogs always terrified me. They’re loud and unpredictable. They’ll jump on you with their mouths wide open, their tongues hanging out, and their savage flesh-ripping teeth coming right for your face. If you’re five, Marsha Gumber’s aggressive little mutt might cut you off from your house and bark and bark and bark while blood runs from the scrape on your knee to the edge of your lacy chartreuse ankle sock. Maybe you’ll cry. In your heart you’ll know that a dog will never be your best friend.

So how did I end up with a dog?

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Comfortable Chaos

I know a thing or two about chaos.

I was a Licensed Child Care Provider. For more than 22 years, as a single parent, I spent-12-hours-a-day-5-days-a-week-raising-6-to-9-children-who-had-other-parents,-while-home-schooling-my-son-and-costuming-3-musicals-a-year-with-65-to-73-kids-in-each-show-for-a-nationwide-children’s-theater-company,-after-the-other-kids-went-home-and-on-weekends,-living-too-many-days-with-never-enough-hours-in-any-of-them-so-I-could-sleep-only-5-and-1/2-hours-a-night-for-117-years.

I lived in a circus — a three-ring, never ending circus.

Deep breath.

Deep, cleansing breath.

Sometimes I’d stop the minivan at the signal half a mile from home, close my eyes, and think, “Please let the light stay red so I can take a nap.”

Ten seconds later, the light always turned green.

Yeah, I know a thing or two about chaos.

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