Well…here it is at last! Books & Coffee is now the JustKem blog! It’s been a long and winding path, but here we are! In case you didn't know, Books & Coffee was a blog that I started back in 2017 because I needed to put words on the page and I needed to have an audience to whom I could be accountable. I had a burning desire to build bridges with my words, so I threw up a hail Mary in hopes that somebody out there would hear me.Read More
Two years ago this month, the world turned upside down! We were afraid to go outside, so we turned to our technology to fill the void where people once were. Athough it was a precarious time, we made the best of it. Now here we are, 100 episodes later.Read More
It’s 3 am and I’m wide awake. I don’t know why, but I just can’t sleep. So I opened my laptap and stumbled upon a digital journal entry from January, 2014:Read More
Hey Girl is all about positivity, encouragement and sisterhood. We're here to cheer you on and we encourage you to do the same! Check out the Hey Girl High 5 list and offer your support to these small businesses. They deserve it!Read More
Ladies! This Saturday we're talking about our bodies--if you or someone you know is approaching mid-life, you know that hormones are a beast, but Dr. McMillan is here to help us! Join us for real talk this week.Read More
Hey Girl Couples Show Part II
Last night I had dinner with a woman whose 9-year-old niece has a best-seller on Amazon! As I listened in polite amazement I was thinking back over the past 20 years of my own life and wondering where did I go wrong? How many TV shows did I watch instead of sitting down to write? How many dishes did I wash instead of sitting down to write? How many papers did I grade instead of sitting down to write? How many days did I spend doubting instead of sitting and writing? What did this little girl figure out in her few short years that I haven’t yet in my long life? And here I am at the end of another year with an unfinished manuscript on my night stand. What is wrong with me if a 9-year-old can write a best-seller and I can’t even finish a manuscript? It’s easy to get discouraged, isn’t it?Read More
Hey Girl Meets Chef Mommy!
In this episode Kem talks to YouTube sensation, Heather Martin, also known as "Chef Mommy' about vegan cooking and how to survive with kids who are allergic to everything!
“At its most basic we are only discussing a learned skill, but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style…but…we are also talking about magic.” Stephen King, On WritingRead More
Not Your Average Pastor’s Wife, Part 2
Kem and Kim talk to Tanzy Chandler, a pastor's wife who doesn't fit the mold--and she's okay with that.
Like every student who drifts into the writing center uncertain about the outcome, at times I too have wondered “what am I doing here?” But, I’m here to write. While providing you with writing help I’ll also practice my own writing process, because I really do believe that if we stick with it, eventually a tiny window will open and the light will shine in.Read More
You might think that because I know what you should do to improve your writing skills and reach your goals, I must be already improving my own skills and reaching my own goals, right? Wrong. The reality is, developing writers aren’t the only ones who struggle. All of us have to make a daily decision–are we going to push through what’s hard, or break out before the breakthrough because we have to go to work, or go to class, or just…go? Writing is a process that involves the writer and the writing.Read More
I made the mistake of listening to an old voice message today, from someone I thought was a friend. She was responding to a question I had asked in a previous message—a simple request, but it would have required two things: (1) her vested interest in my well-being and (2) her willingness to vouch for my ability. Her response was wordy, but it can be easily summed: no. She was not for me. What surprised me most is that in the past I had supported her, vouched for her, even promoted her. I mean, I wasn’t asking for money or a co-sign on a car loan. It was merely a request to say in public “this is a person you should know; she has potential.”Read More
Recently my daughter was inducted into the National Honor Society, a prestigious organization, in existence since 1921, that recognizes the achievements of young people who have excelled in scholarship, service, leadership, and character. It was a very big deal that she was chosen. She worked hard to submit the requisite materials and, in general, she has worked hard over the years to be the type of individual worthy of this honor. However, my daughter is my husband’s child, which means that she is also known for her wise cracks and silliness in spite of her serious aspirations.Read More
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers and many of his stories have been made into wildly popular movies and television series. If anyone is familiar with success, it’s Stephen King! Yet, “Stevie” King was also the child of a single mom who worked for less than minimum wages just to make ends meet. By his senior year of high school he was bagging loose fabric at a factory everyday after school and eating cereal for dinner every night. He also had a high school teacher who condemned his work. King says she made him feel ashamed and shame was a feeling with which he became most familiar:Read More
Yesterday I invited you to take up your pen and write, or re-write your story. Today, Tanzy shares her re-vision. Read on!Read More
For Part 1 of this story go to Prisoner in Paradise.
Prisoner in Paradise, Part 2: Princess Diaries
“I find myself in this place so often it’s becoming redundant. I wonder if this will be the door that opens all of the other doors that have been, thus far, closed to me. No. Locked. Here I am again, trudging through this labyrinth of entanglements, bumping into one dead end after another.Read More
Once upon a time a peasant girl met a handsome prince who swept her off her feet and carried her away to his magical kingdom to live “happily ever after.” There he provided her with “everything she could ever want”–a gorgeous castle, fancy clothes, servants and chariots. Eventually, she even gave birth to two beautiful children.Read More
It was like a dream, Malea wasn’t sure if this was really happening–sirens and EMTs and flashing lights and people in white shirts running back and forth across her lawn. She stood on her front porch watching everything as if it were a television show. She had tried to call her husband, but couldn’t reach him. She glanced at her watch, 5:15.Read More