Who Will It Be?

About Me

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I am a native North Dakotan, a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a YA writer. My first book, The Predicteds, is due out from Sourcebooks Fire in September. I'm represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group. When I'm not writing or teaching writing, I'm an avid reader and an enthusiastic listener of podcasts (especially podcasts about books). I'm a fan of taking long walks on sunny days, browsing through the library on Saturday afternoons, and watching embarrassingly bad TV at any time. My favorite color is lunch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crisis Mode

I'm really bad in emergencies. I'm the person who starts running around in circles and asking irrelevant questions about family history of heat rash while someone bleeds to death in front of me. Case in point: I once came upon a woman having a seizure in the parking lot of my favorite burrito joint. Instead of calling 911 immediately, I ran inside the burrito store and told my husband--and fifteen burrito patrons--that I was intending to call 911. (I did make the call and the paramedics arrived and she was fine, by the way).

So tonight I'm returning home from a walk with my husband when my neighbor yells for me to come and help her. Her sweet little girl had fallen off a chair and cut her finger very badly. Her two other little girls were understandably quite upset. My neighbor asked me to sit with the kids while she rode in the ambulance and met her husband at the hospital. While we waited for the paramedics, my job was to hold a dishtowel on this poor little thing's mangled finger. As soon as I saw the blood, I thought I was going to faint. But this kid is five and managed not to even cry really. She even told me--in great detail--how it all happened. By the time she left in the ambulance, I needed a Xanax. (Think of her poor mom!)

All I can say is thank goodness I'm a real doctor and not a medical doctor! (Credit for that line goes to my friend Rulon Wood who taught me that PhDs are way better degrees than MDs).

(Even though we're all completely useless for the most part.)

(Unless Jane Eyre severs her finger).

Tonight's coveted courage award goes to my five-year-old neighbor, her twin sister, and their little baby sister, all of whom handled themselves with grace and good sense. Let's hope they all grow up to be doctors! I'll stick to PhDing.


  1. Well, I'm hoping you never get a terminal paper cut then. Has anybody ever gotten one of those?

  2. My 80+ year old neighbor called me over once as her husband had fallen down. Turns out, he was completely passed out and wouldn't come to. I had to dial 911 and perform the steps they told me to until the paramedics arrived. Meanwhile, she was talking to me about their dish pattern and that she was thinking about having a garage sale. Seriously. And I couldn't stop staring at his long yellowed toenails. Awful. Anyway, I SUCK at emergencies, too. Good for you for being strong for the 5-year-old and helping out even though it was hard. :)