Killing My Darlings

Lori Volkman

Look what I’m doing. I’m writing my book. Really.

But first let me say thank you for all of your support at the Military Blog competition. I did not come home with the award but I connected with writers, editors, and military supporters that were more than worth the trip. In one short week I made it to meetings on Capitol Hill, the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Pentagon. I met with a movie producer, a NY Times editor, a real Tuskegee Airman, the head of the First Lady’s program Joining Forces, the founder of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, and a retired Army General who served with Elvis. I’ll be sharing stories of those experiences in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I’m asking for your help. I’ve taken a short leave of absence from blogging this month to travel, read, and talk to people about what it would take to get these stories you’ve all enjoyed for the past year into a book. I’m preparing an official proposal, and one of the most daunting tasks so far has been reading through all of those emotional stories again. I have to organize my posts into a chapter outline, and I have to decide what goes in and what stays out. But I love them all so much that  I just can’t bear to, as my SpouseBUZZ editor over at says, “kill my darlings.”

So I need you to be my editors.

I’d like to know which posts were the most touching or memorable. I want to understand what it was about particular stories that made you laugh out loud, cry, or seethe. I want to hear about why you shared it with a friend. It’s always amazing to me when I discover that my favorites are not yours.

Everyone who contributes will be included in the thankyous in my book once it’s published.

Finally, I have another exciting announcement. Our whole family recently sat down with CBS reporter Barry Peterson to talk about our military family experience after homecoming. I’ve just learned that the program is scheduled to air May 20th. I hope you’ll all tune in to “meet” me, Husband, The Preschooler, and Sweet Pea. We will be on the CBS Evening News, Sunday night edition. In most cities it’s on in the half hour before 60 minutes, which is 6:00. My local listings say it comes on here in the Portland area at 6:30.

And yes. Of course I wore my SPANX for the interview. So yeah. I’ll have to write that story, too …


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shari, from Healthy Homefront
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 14:56:05


    I’m a tad late on this comment … I know! But I figured better late than never. First off, it was an honor to meet YOU at the conference in D.C., and I had much fun (although apparently, not as much fun as you!). Your blog is a recent discovery of mine, so not sure I can chime in as to my favorite post; however, I wanted to congratulate you on your book! Best of luck with it, and I’ll look forward to seeing it in print someday soon.



  2. Kelly
    May 24, 2012 @ 09:14:59

    How to pick your NCAA bracket like a girl … and costumes for guinea pigs. 🙂


  3. MaryAnn Gentry
    May 20, 2012 @ 19:38:46

    Off the top of my head and as a mom I have to vote for “fark” and also the boogar crusted granola bar 😉


  4. Angie Martinez
    May 19, 2012 @ 20:40:41

    Lori, Have you thought about an intro? Sometimes starting at the beginning (ie first blog entry) isn’t really the start. What do you think about a prologue about you, what your blog is about that draws people in and grabs their attention? Gives them a peek at the truth of what deployment can be like? For me, that is Fish (or shark) Infested Waters. It tells the reader some of your background and is compelling in its honesty. I think it’s a winning beginning. Congratulations on taking the leap – hopefully the water for the next several months are only inhabited by Nemo and other friendly fish.


  5. John Erickson
    May 18, 2012 @ 13:42:21

    I don’t feel like I’ve been around here long enough to recommend anything, so I’ll pass my vote onto wiser, more experienced folk. Though my offer still stands, proof-reading at popular prices. (I’ve heard “free” is REAL popular, though I would never think to insult you by refusing huge cash sums. 😉 )


    • Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
      May 18, 2012 @ 16:55:19

      I am nowhere close to proof-reading needs just yet. But never negotiate with a lawyer, John. You just offered to do it for free. I accept. That’s a contract.


      • John Erickson
        May 19, 2012 @ 16:29:48

        Not a problem. My going rate has always been 10% of a month’s salary. Since I currently earn, before AND after tax, exactly …. well, zip, zilch, and nada, in that precise order, I can even offer you a discounted rate of 5% of my monthly salary. 😉
        Besides, I may need your legal expertise someday. Or maybe some of your husband’s expertise with things that go “BOOM!” in the night……


  6. twinkletoes
    May 18, 2012 @ 09:59:17

    the fark and poop stories…cause you gotta make sure you get a good laugh in there…oh and the taco/eating the grocery cashier for lunch stories too. Love you LorLor


    • Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
      May 18, 2012 @ 16:52:35

      Fark and poop are clear but the others are not. (1) Taco eating … you mean rounding the bend at Taco Bell and bursting into tears at my cleaning lady? (2) The grocery cashier … you mean when I ripped the pen off the electronic signature after he commented on my “time of the month” products? Love you to, Sarah.


  7. chambanachik
    May 17, 2012 @ 22:49:11

    Include “Salty”- because we’ve all been there in one form or another.

    Congrats on so much success. I bet it feels wonderful!


  8. Sofia Solis
    May 17, 2012 @ 19:28:16

    I have a few favorites, I’ll list them below.
    My husband is now home but I have to tell you that when I finally found you last year I was immensely relieved! My husband is IRR and I dont’ know one other military wife in my area. During his entire deployment I felt crazy and alone… until I found your blog. You have a gift of verbalizing so much that I was going through… it’s like you were in my head. My husband’s deployment coincided with your husband’s mobilization (your husband came home just a little sooner than mine) so it’s lik eI was walking in your footsteps. I look forward to your “reintegration” posts…. Its been tougher than I expected. Although I do hope it hasn’t been so for you.

    My favorite blogs so far:
    Salty (read it, cried, sent it to friends to help them “understand”)
    Rookie Mistakes
    Real Cycles of Deployment

    Thank you!
    Best of wishes to you and your family as you write this book.


  9. Amy
    May 17, 2012 @ 18:58:33

    The produce story, HANDS DOWN. I prefer my name in bold. 😉


  10. John Morris Benson
    May 17, 2012 @ 17:57:11

    Keep the pace but take some rest too. Remember from physics that energy is neither created nor destroyed – it just changes systems.
    In the past few months I have found out: There is more to writing a book than just writing a book. Mine was published today. Now I have to do some of the things you have already done, but I’m not into doing too much traveling. My feet are walking in cyberspace right now and fiction is far different from what you have written. I’ll be following you (well on line I mean).


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