Mama Knows Best: Silas House

With Mother's Day coming up, we thought it would be fun to ask our writers, friends, and favorite Kentuckians to share the best advice their own mothers ever gave them.

via SilasHouse.com
Writer, musician, and activist Silas House's mama passed along the most timeless advice of all. Silas told us:
She told me to treat others as I'd want to be treated. The Golden Rule.

It doesn't get any simpler or more true than that.

{Thanks so much to Silas for sharing with us!}

Mama Knows Best: Robyn Peterman-Zahn

With Mother's Day coming up, we thought it would be fun to ask our writers, friends, and favorite Kentuckians to share the best advice their own mothers ever gave them.



Author, actress, and Lexington native Robyn Peterman-Zahn shared her mama's fantastic advice:

My Mom is the most amazing woman I know and I'm so very grateful she is mine. Here's some of her sage advice: "If you're going to lie, you'd better be really smart because the truth is a whole lot easier to remember than a lie!" Ironically, I make a living making up stories...
Robyn makes up stories in her series of sassy, funny paranormal novels, Fashionably Dead. I'd say she proved her mama right in the best possible way!
{Thanks to Robyn for sharing her mama's best advice!}

Mama Knows Best: Julie Wilson

With Mother's Day coming up, we thought it would be fun to ask our writers, friends, and favorite Kentuckians to share the best advice their own mothers ever gave them.

Image via Lexington Herald-Leader
Julie Wilson, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Lexington-based Story Magazine, shared some great advice. Julie is smart, hard-working, and all-around awesome. Did I mention that she recently interviewed The Coolest Kentuckian, Johnny Depp, for Story's Hunter S. Thompson issue? That fact alone makes her my Kentucky Writer Girl Crush.

Here's the sage advice Julie passed along to us:
"My mother told me to never settle. No matter how outlandish my dream might seem to others, I should always go for it. I know my Mom would be proud of me for not giving up." 
 Julie was recently named Business Owner of the Year by the Lexington chapter of NAWBO, was the subject of a KET documentary, and can't keep Story's Gonzo swag on the shelves. That's all pretty impressive for a business that's barely two years old! I'd say her mama's excellent advice paid off!!


{Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous advice with us, Julie!}

{Follow Your Dreams Friday} Megan Whitmer, Author of Between

This is one of my very favorite posts from the HerKentucky archives, as it's an awesome story of a dream come true. Early last year, HerKentucky writer Megan Whitmer learned that her novel Between was being published! I thought we'd revisit the post because Between is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com! Have a great weekend, and remember to follow your dreams! -- HCW




As many of you know from my very first post here on HerKentucky, I've been working on a young adult novel, BETWEEN, for about two years. I wrote it, then re-wrote it, re-wrote it, and re-wrote it again. I'm talking major, beginning-to-end rewrites, not including all the minor revisions I made on those drafts along the way.


Many times, usually about halfway through a rewrite when I realized I had written myself into a corner and couldn't find a way to make my plot work, I thought about giving up on it.

I'm glad I didn't.




I decided pretty early in life that I was going to write books. I gave up on that dream several times as I got older. Writing was always something I enjoyed, but I quit looking at it as something I would seriously pursue. I didn't even really understand how a person got a book published, and when I started looking into it, the whole process seemed so big and terrifying that it just felt too far out of reach for a girl from a tiny town in Kentucky with no publishing connections and no idea of where to start.

One day, I'm going to sit down with my daughters and tell them that. I'm going to explain how I almost let my silly fear of the unknown keep me from doing the one thing I'd known I wanted to do since I was old enough to make up stories. Some dreams might actually be a bit out of reach. (For instance, my goal of marrying Prince Harry is probably not going to happen and might even be slightly creepy at this point. And also I married a pretty stellar fella already.) But other dreams only seem out of reach because you're told that they're impractical, or that they're the kinds of dreams only certain people get to have.

I'm so thankful that I have the kind of family who never said, "This is ridiculous. Grow up."

This morning, I gave my six-year-old a really long, thought-out speech about how I had wanted to be an author ever since I was a little girl and it's important to never give up on what you want in life. She looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, my dream is to make toys and houses for all my Little Pet Shop animals."

I nodded, hugged her, and told her to go after it.

HerKentucky Welcomes Glenda McCoy!

HerKentucky is thrilled to welcome Glenda McCoy to our writing staff!



 I first met Glenda when we were both in school in Lexington. As you do these days, I "re-met" her via social media. Glenda is so smart and creative, and her love for Kentucky shines through in so many ways. I mean, she takes pictures like this:


Glenda is an Ashland native and an alumna of the University of Kentucky. She spends her days in Frankfort, making the world a better place at the Kentucky Commission on Women.  She and her husband live on a Clark County farm and have an adorable toddler daughter.

A Dream Come True

As many of you know from my very first post here on Her Kentucky, I've been working on a young adult novel, BETWEEN, for about two years. I wrote it, then re-wrote it, re-wrote it, and re-wrote it again. I'm talking major, beginning-to-end rewrites, not including all the minor revisions I made on those drafts along the way.

Many times, usually about halfway through a rewrite when I realized I had written myself into a corner and couldn't find a way to make my plot work, I thought about giving up on it. 

I'm glad I didn't.


I decided pretty early in life that I was going to write books. I gave up on that dream several times as I got older. Writing was always something I enjoyed, but I quit looking at it as something I would seriously pursue. I didn't even really understand how a person got a book published, and when I started looking into it, the whole process seemed so big and terrifying that it just felt too far out of reach for a girl from a tiny town in Kentucky with no publishing connections and no idea of where to start.

One day, I'm going to sit down with my daughters and tell them that. I'm going to explain how I almost let my silly fear of the unknown keep me from doing the one thing I'd known I wanted to do since I was old enough to make up stories. Some dreams might actually be a bit out of reach. (For instance, my goal of marrying Prince Harry is probably not going to happen and might even be slightly creepy at this point. And also I married a pretty stellar fella already.) But other dreams only seem out of reach because you're told that they're impractical, or that they're the kinds of dreams only certain people get to have. 

I'm so thankful that I have the kind of family who never said, "This is ridiculous. Grow up." 

This morning, I gave my six-year-old a really long, thought-out speech about how I had wanted to be an author ever since I was a little girl and it's important to never give up on what you want in life. She looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, my dream is to make toys and houses for all my Little Pet Shop animals."

I nodded, hugged her, and told her to go after it.

No matter what, I want her to know she can be whatever she wants to be. Even a Littlest Pet Shop toy and house designer.

NaNoWriMo

November means a lot of things.

Basketball season begins. Football season gets interesting. The world is divided into those folks who decorate for the holidays before Thanksgiving, and those who don't.

For some reason, November's internet brings a plethora of memes. For the guys, there's No-Shave November and its weak cousin Movember. For the Facebook crowd, there's Thirty Days of Thankful. And, for the writers among us, there's NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month, despite it's horrid acronym, is a writing project that operates under a very simple idea. You have thirty days to write a book. Don't take forever, don't overthink it. Get it done. Get out of your head and write. 

The HerKentucky writing team were all over the place when asked if they were participating this year.  Megan W just finished a round of revisions on her existing book and is, as my granny would say, "wore plum out" with writing. Sarah's undertaking a November challenge of her own -- she's slowing down, taking control of her days, and "Saying No in November." Lydia is knee-deep in big life changes. So, in short, a lot of us just don't have time right now.

Emily and I are both writing in November. Emily tells me she's a "NaNoWriMo rebel", as she's writing non-fiction rather than a true novel. I have a good outline from the idea I developed while attending the Southern Festival of Books; I don't know if it'll take off into a full-size novel by December 1, but I'm certainly giving it a try!

What about y'all? Anybody else doing NaNoWriMo? Or No-Shave November? Or some awesome November meme I don't even know about?