Shawn Smucker – Building a Life Out of Words

Recently I was lucky enough to receive an opportunity to read an advanced copy of Shawn Smucker’s ebook, Building a Life Out of Words, releasing today.  I connected with Shawn on Twitter while laboriously growing my community of writers and am daily inspired by his musings on writing and life in general.

Shawn’s ebook chronicles his first year trying to make a living as a writer.  Words and the construction of sentences seem effortless to him; his writing and fantastic life observations pull you in the second you start his story.  Within the words, Shawn shares a year of struggles, uncertainty and the importance of blind faith and courage.

I myself am not a person of faith and find it amazingly hard to have blind faith in anything.  I’ve been asked recently to have blind faith in someone and Shawn’s ebook fell into my lap at an apropos time.  His story will give you hope, convince you to try traveling the road less followed and make you believe that, even when you cant see the end of the road, things might just wind up okay after all.

As a writer trying to still get my writing feet under me, I found Shawn’s book inspirational and timely.  But Shawn’s story is about something bigger than just the writing.  Anyone and everyone will find a fantastic

message about life and living in Building a Life Out of Words.

Shawn blogs (almost) daily at He is currently traveling the country for four months with his wife and four children in a big, blue bus named Willie, looking for service opportunities as well as other writers to meet up with. You can find him on Facebook (Shawn Smucker, Writer) and Twitter (@shawnsmucker)  His ebook can be found at

favorite 5 of the week

These are from last week:

1. Jayhawks go to the Final 4…duh!

2. Three days in the office without bosses.

3.  Lots of writing on a Saturday

4. Getting an opportunity to help a fellow writer promote his new ebook (look for Monday’s post for more info).

5. A Sunday morning run on the levee with the husband.  Between him and D, I’ve found two unexpected partners in running crime and I’m super stoked about this!

the path

I love Joseph Gordon Levitt and anything he does.  So its no surprise I love his online art collaboration called Hit Record (found at  Yesterday he posted looking for collaboration submissions for a Little Red Riding project he is putting together. Something representing or talking about the feminist themes in the story.  I’m trying to get better at participating in anything and everything I can…and at writing things more off the cuff.  So here’s my submission:

The Path

Don’t stray from the path. Follow your role.  Be a girl. Know your place. Get married. Have babies.  If you wander too far, all you’ll find is trouble. The wolf might give chase …and then what?

I choose to wander.  I’d rather be hunted everyday than only play on the path.  The chase keeps me alive.

where am i? is it 2012? cheeseburger?

The main thing to know for today’s asylum story is my boss is easily confused.

Our servers went down today…or something like that they thought. We have a pretty stellar IT team and they are never sure on most days, but we knew we couldn’t access email or any internal drives along with internet access for a while. At one point I could see them jacking with things in the corner. They seemed to be just giggling a bunch of cords which I’m pretty sure wasn’t going to do any good…but you know I’m not IT, so what do I know.

I poked around with some offline stuff and eventually saw my email load back up so I went back to business as usual.

About 45 minutes later my boss frantically ran into my office doorway and this happened:

Boss: Are people working on stuff?

Me (in my head): What the hell is she talking about? We pay people until 5…so yes, I hope they are working on stuff.

Me (actually): Silent stare

Boss: Are we back up?

Me: Uh, Ive been back up for about 45 minutes.

I then get the look, the ‘I think Im confused but look constipated’ look…for about 10 seconds. I never know what to say when that happens. I also really, really don’t know why she couldn’t check her computer to see that we were back online. She eventually wandered off as quickly as she had appeared.

And so it goes….ketchup.

favorite 5 of the week

I owe you guys this last week’s:

1. Laughing until I cried in yoga class.  Just FYI fellas – even if you are a yoga fanatic, please just wear regular sports, working out shorts and not those yoga bloomer-diaper looking things.  They make us ladies laugh (and snort)…a lot.

2. A massage.

3. The husband doing the bi-weekly grocery store run without me.  Pretty stoked I wont see the inside of a grocery store for a whole month and the mickey mouse shaped cheese slices are awesome.

4. A Thursday night chat with my niece.  She can’t talk yet, but certainly knows there is someone on the other end of the phone and knows how to jabber.  She’s part Hampton…of course she has the gift of gab.

5. The Arboretum with the boys and the Baileys on Sunday morning.  That’s how we worship.

i bought you a schnitzel

The building I work in resides in old people land. High noon seems to be their active time of day and so when I run lunch time errands I often have run-ins with lots of them.

Today I wandered to Hy-Vee.  I sat across a light from a little old lady who could barely see over the steering wheel.  She had her left turn signal on which meant she would need to yield to me as I went straight through the light first.  The light turned green and before I knew it she hit the gas so fast she burned rubber and turned left in front of me.

I ended my trip standing in line behind another elderly lady who had just pulled her phone out.  While she loaded items onto the conveyor she screamed this this message into the phone: “Mark, I just bought you a schnitzel.  You can eat it today or take it home.  You don’t have to pay me back.”  I couldn’t help but wonder if Mark would be excited or confused by said schnitzel.