#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Mother & David had once been young lovers.
They had walked at twilight on the beach,
went to plays & the symphony,
& then it became a convenience,
but that must have been when they didn’t know
if Patrick would live or die.
They had floated in a Purgatory of sorts—
his life, her life, their lives,
incongruously equal.

The glory of God was intelligence,
& such shone in David,
I’d thought him my own personal god—
a father without a daughter,
a son, raised by humble ones,
& a heavenly spirit who edified all
he came in contact with.

Mother would surely go to the celestial kingdom,
where she would be exalted & placed
on the path to eternal progression.
David would remain in the terrestrial kingdom—
in the presence of the Man
whose torn flesh & spilt blood
had saved us.
God had been the fundraiser,
but Jesus had ponied up the ransom.

Caitlin wept,
yet she had never known him.
Mother, who had known him intimately,
was stoic & had,
in her own way,
given birth to his grief.

I was like a ghost whisperer,
asking my father to accept the gospel in the next life
so that Mother would have to be sealed to him,
thus unsealing her from David.

Book Review: Thank You, Omu!


As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:

Thank you, Omu, is a story about a single, grandmotherly lady with a giving heart, though I’m afraid this book might teach my child that it is acceptable for random strangers (after all, Omu refers to her visitors as Ms. Police Officer, Mr. Hot Dog Vendor, etc.) to just show up at one’s door, unannounced and asking for free food.  Lucky for Omu that in a Capra-esque way, they return her generosity tenfold.  

However, the story would’ve been more believable had it centered on Omu’s apartment neighbors rather than nameless strangers.  

The illustrations aren’t that great, yet I liked them.  The inside of the book is printed with a birds-eye view of the city; the collaging medium using newspapers (in part) fit the big city vibe, though some of the cutouts (like the faceless people in the bus) seemed thrown in to fill space.  Some finer detail work would’ve added depth and interest–like a title on the book Omu was reading. The colors are muted and the paper almost has a recycled feel, the look making me think of brown paper bags–as humble and heartwarming as Omu’s stew.  

I didn’t like the font changing back and forth; font should always be kept plain when it’s part of the text.  (However, when it’s part of the art, anything goes.) Furthermore, I didn’t care for the giant “Knock” words as they came across as loud banging rather than polite knocking.

I’m glad the author included a policewoman but not a woman construction worker in the attempt to be politically correct at the expense of believability.  

What I got from this story is that food, made with love–including self-love–brings people together.  It was almost a Biblical allegory in that there was no way Omu made that much stew for herself yet had enough to feed everyone who came.

This was a nice effort, and one I will read to my daughter again.  Also check out the author’s website–very sleek and comprehensive.  

The little thank you card at the end was perfect–it brought me back to the days when my parents and I would invite the Mormon missionaries over for dinner, and they’d always leave one as a surprise.

Don’t let thank you cards become a thing of the past.

My note to the author:  “A thick red stew” was repeated so much, I wish the recipe had been included.  Little extras like that are like a lagniappe, and such would be a great addition to your site.

Suggested activity:  Go over the list of vocations mentioned in the book.  Ask what a cop does, a baker, a mayor, etc. Convey to your child that by working, we make the world work.  As a child, I loved dreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up, which was everything from a “beauty shopper” (i.e. beautician) to a chocolate cake baker.  Let your child dream and imagine, showing them that working with your hands as well as your mind can help solve at least one of the world’s problems somewhere, and that a trade school certification is just as honorable as a college degree.


Writer’s Digest November Poem-a-Day 2017 Challenge #23. Theme: Preface

Today being Thanksgiving (or Turkey Day, if you hate the history behind the holiday), I say, I am grateful for everything I have, while realizing that it’s okay to want more, because if none of us ever wanted more than what we have, we would stop trying, perhaps even losing what we already have in the process.

This is where my “thought of the day” ends and my prompt begins.

*Btw, a preface is a preliminary statement in a book by the book’s author or editor, setting forth its purpose and scope, expressing acknowledgment of assistance from others, etc.  (Source:  dictionary.com)


Preface to Because of Mindy Wiley

I came up with the idea of writing a book for former Mormons (not ex-Mormons, as the term ex- has a negative connotation) when I left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Let me “preface this preface” by saying that I do not hate my ex—I simply realized we could not peacefully cohabitate, but rather, coexist. (I’m just glad no children were born of our union, as that would’ve complicated things.)

My motivation in writing this book was to show (never tell) that one could divorce a Church–even all churches–and remain married to God. I decided to reveal that truth through the eyes of Katryn Nolan, who “comes of age” after she does something she’d sworn she’d never do after being fed false information (i.e. “fake news”) fed to her by the “worthy.”

Because of Mindy Wiley (https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/) neither promotes nor endorses Mormonism—it is simply one person’s experience in it, told through the eyes of a young girl.

The purpose of this project was to show the world that we must have faith in the message, not in the messengers, which are subject to change, sin, and disappoint. It is to show the world that grace is amazing indeed, for it is limitless in its ability to blot out any sin (save for “denying the Holy Ghost”—the meaning of which is explored in this novel).

Throughout the writing process, I learned more about what I believed (and what I did not). I never questioned God, but I questioned what God was. For me, He is a mysterious and unfathomable entity–a God who cannot be contained in a body of flesh and bones (as the LDS believe). He is an omnipresent being, who manifests Himself in a myriad of ways–just as He sent His son to the world in a way that we could understand.

I wrote this novel over a decade ago. It has endured numerous revisions.  Some of the hardness has softened over time, as well as some of the more sensual aspects. It has been the inspiration for numerous other works (personally, I think it would make a great series for HBO, like “Big Love”). From my early twenties to my mid-thirties, it has been like a friend I visit every now and again.

When it’s finally published, it will be reflective of who I am at that time. It’s an ambitious project (at over two-hundred-thousand words), but one day, I will be able to pay an editor to help me usher in its final incarnation.

I thank all the people, both living and dead, who contributed to this project in ways they may never know. I thank all of those who have read it as a reader (rather than an editor) when this book was still in its second trimester. But mostly, I thank my Creator for this gift I have—this gift I open every day.

The birth of Because of Mindy Wiley may come five years from now, or ten years from now–who knows? Though it is set just before The New Millennium, it is timeless in its portrayal of the degradation of a non-traditional American family in the Deep South. It is the culmination of everything I have ever believed–of true life experiences and those conceived in the fertile garden of my wild imagination.

It is but a glimpse into the soul of its originator.

I pray, whether you like it or hate it, that some part of it will always stay with you.

Sarah Richards


#Fiction Fridays: #Micropoetry Based on the Book

Every day, I post 3 tweets:  a #novelines tweet (a line from my novel; any good piece of writing has quotable quotes), a #140story tweet, or a #micropoetry tweet, that is pulled from, or based on my novel, “Because of Mindy Wiley”.  https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/.  I post these under my fictional character account, https://twitter.com/KatrynNolan.  Every week, on “Fiction Friday”, I will be blogging 5-10 of my best tweets.


My goal is to gain a significant number of followers so that maybe an agent or publisher will take a chance on my book–all part of building my author’s platform.

I have to say that tweeting my book (rather than blogging it) has helped me scrutinize the work in a new way.  Words like really, very, that, and just are getting the strike, and if there is a place where one word can be used instead of two, I do.  (Contractions don’t count.)

My goal is that by the time I have tweeted through the entire 210K words (which I figured will be about 5 years), I will have trimmed at least 10,000 words from the final product.  If I haven’t found a traditional publisher in a reasonable amount of time (to be determined), I will be ready to self-publish it through createspace.com (an Amazon affiliate).  Once I have tweeted through the entire book, I will start all over again with new tweets.

I have to say, I have hit my blogging stride by having “feature days”, like #Micropoetry Mondays, #Fiction Fridays, and the midweek Writers Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt.  However, I will still have the occasional “special feature”, or oddball post, as I will never quite be a “hard-theme” blog that only posts on writing.


“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  (Exodus 20:3)

David was my temple,
and at his altar,
I worshipped–
for he was neither spirit nor stone,
but warm flesh,
and a heart deceitful above all things.

In His Name,
much evil had been done.
In the name of love,
such had been done with me.

Twas when I became a Saint,
I learned that the glory of God
is intelligence,
for He knew all there was to know.

1999 was the summer of love,
the spring of a new life,
the autumn of my girlhood,
and the winter of my childhood.

I was harvested from the sand
by God, to become a star,
only to fall from Heaven once more.

Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest Challenge #21. Theme: “What you are” or “What you are not”

Reflections, Saint Patrick's Day.JPG

I Am, and I Am Not

I am a square,
but yet I’m well-rounded.

I am white,
but I love black humor.

I am even-tempered,
but oddly creative.

My name means “Princess”,
yet I live the life of a pauper.

I am thirty-three,
but I feel twenty-two.

I am always under pressure,
but a diamond I am not.

I am a poetess,
but I speak plainly.

I am an open book,
but I cast not my pearls before swine.

I am a student,
but am not a scholar.

I believe in protecting the innocent,
but punishing the guilty.

I do not paint by the numbers,
but live by the letter.

I was born in the Eighties,
but am sometimes nostalgic for the Fifties.

I am a Virgo,
but my memory escapes me.

I am Sunday’s child,
but am not always good and blithe.

I have the heart of a Christian,
but the mind of a skeptic.

I am a woman,
yet I worship the Savior, who came to us a Man.

I was LDS,
but still I cross my arms when I say grace.

I have a child,
but the child I was still lives within me.

I have a husband,
but he is not my master.

I am who I am,
but who I am not,
is equally me.