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What I Don't Know

Pinch me, please. Is this really my life?

Recently I attended the Chanticleer Author Conference where I rubbed shoulders with best-selling author Robert Dugoni and dozens of other rising stars. Dozens. You know, like eggs. Fragile. Organic. Free-range. Fresh. Good eggs. A few bad… or at least not so great. The crazy thing is that I was there. Me. Kayce Dee Stevens Hughlett, Oklahoma-born daughter of a truck driver and an Avon lady.

Neither of my parents read much more than the morning paper or the Readers Digest magazine that resided in their bathroom. Although reading was encouraged, it certainly wasn’t modeled and any passion for writing was red-marked out of me by teachers before I reached middle school.

At least that’s what I thought.

But there I was on a panel with a professor from Pennsylvania and his co-author wife, a multi-published gentleman who writes political thrillers, and an unassuming, award-winning author who uses a pseudonym. Our moderator was a scholar with a twinkle in his eye and a sly sense of humor. Again I say, “Pinch me.”

Near the end of our panel discussion, an audience member posed this question to the group: As an author, what do you wish you’d known sooner?  I froze. Nothing. Nada. Zip… [as Daisy would say]. I shook my head and sat back to listen to my wise colleagues’ answers. Then something stirred inside me and I reached for the microphone.

“I’d have to say, I’ve been well served by what I don’t know.” Question marks appeared on people’s brows and the ballroom seemed to get noticeably quiet for a moment. My personal truth showed up and, on some level, the audience felt it. One person even tweeted it. Ha ha. The big time, right?

Yes, I’ve been well served by what I don’t know.

If I’d known (or paid attention to) all of the “should dos” of writing, I’d have given up eons ago or never even began. Even now I wrestle with the notion of trying to list the prescribed "shoulds," but I choose not to give them power. You see, the shoulds live in our heads and we have a choice about how we respond. After all, who makes the rules? (I credit this motto to one of the kindest, truest men I know; an octogenarian who lives on a farm in Eastern Washington).

If I’d followed the “rules” for book writing, there would be no books by Kayce Stevens Hughlett. Period. My inner critic would have won. Instead, I’m living this whacky, wonderful life where I get to speak on panels and share with authors and every day peeps about creating outside the box. My shell has cracked. The former accountant has turned into an author and the Oklahoma good girl is taking big risks. No one is more surprised than me. Like I said… Pinch me, please. 

Live it to Give it invitation: 

Where do your own shoulds or have tos get in the way of living your best life? 

What if instead of reacting and chasing each rabbit down the hole, you took a moment to pause, breathe, and respond from the heart? 

What if you allowed your personal truth to shine through and allowed "knowing" to come from inside you?

Today's invitation: Ponder this. 


Blue: a novel is available at, or your favorite independent bookseller. Released September 10, 2015!! 

"And Daisy dreams in shades of blue about the fantastical world of Tausi in which creatures talk about philosophy and an evil master is plotting her demise. Is she having a near death experience? Or is she really dreaming? Where is she?" ~ Chanticleer Book Reviews

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