Deborah Anderson

Deborah Anderson has written for Focus on the Family, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and numerous other publications. She is a member of SCBWI, TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW. Married 30 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. Deborah recently completed a supernatural suspense novel. You can contact Deborah at: Visit her at

Diary of A Crazy Writer


I love going to a bookstore, don’t you?

Between that and the library, well, I could easily spend a day in either one of them.

I recently visited Books-A-Million while my husband headed over to a nearby Office Max. Once inside, a friendly clerk led me to the reference section, and I eagerly followed, looking forward to perusing their how-to books on writing.

A short while later, my husband’s voice drifted across the aisle. “Gloria.”

Do you remember the old K-Mart commercial, when the guy was looking for his wife in the store? Well, that’s when my husband started calling me Gloria, but he does this only when we’re shopping.

I wonder why.

By the time he reached me, I had five books stacked on the floor. Of course, I needed every one of them.

“Doing any good?” he said.

I pointed to my pile, pulled another one from the shelf, and cracked it open.

“Okay, I’m going to look for some pottery books.”

“Just hang on a second. After I finish with this one, I’m done.”

After reading the back cover blurb, I attempted to check out the opening pages, but the font was too small. I slammed it shut. Even if ophthalmologists produced quadfocals, I still wouldn’t be able to read the blasted thing.

I picked up my selections. Where had my little dumpling gone?

Oh, yes, something about pottery.

I strolled down a few aisles, lugging my newfound treasures in my arms, and called out for him. “Honey?”

As I turned a corner, I came upon a man, but it wasn’t my beloved. He cast me an I’m-not-your-honey glance.

I winced. “Sorry.”

Judging by his attitude, I think the little booger thought I was trying to hit on him.

I wouldn’t call out for my husband anymore—obviously not a good idea.

After roaming the far side of the store, I spotted him. “Any luck?”

He held up a children’s book. “No, but I found this—for the kids at church.”

“You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. That’s so nice of you.”

And it was. I hadn’t thought about buying books for the kids.

“What about the pottery books?”

“I haven’t seen any.”

“I’ll find some.”

“Deb, they don’t have them. I looked.”

The poor man can’t see his socks in the drawer when he’s looking right at them, either.

I waved my hand, like a Price Is Right model when displaying valuable prizes. “Have you seen the size of this place? They’ll have something.”

I flagged down another friendly clerk who showed us to the right section.

I plucked a book from the shelf. “What about this one?”

He took a quick glance at the cover. “No.”

I continued searching, setting aside my books.

He grabbed a book, studied it for a few seconds, and closed it. “This is what I’m looking for.”

“You haven’t even looked at the rest of these.”

“Don’t need to.”

That’s the difference between him and me. The man knows what he’s looking for, finds it, and then he’s done.


Not so much. Part of the thrill is investigating everything I see.

“You ready to go?” he said. “Got everything you need?”

I didn’t really need anything, but who could turn down a good book on writing?

My husband could, that’s who.

“Yes, I’m ready.”

He eyed the books in my arms. “Here, let me carry those for you.”

Did I mention he’s chivalrous too?

Since he had only a couple of his own, I gave him a few of mine.

We headed to the front of the store.

When we neared the checkout counter, tons of books sat on display, all of them priced at fabulous bargains. Don’t look, Deb.

I looked.

A giant hardcover book, with FBI written on the cover, sat on a table in front of me.

I dropped my purse on the floor, set my other books down, and inspected the contents. Very interesting.

“I thought you were done.”

“Yeah, but look at this.” I held the book up so he could examine the cover.

“Why would you want a book about the FBI?”

Good question. Why would I?

“For writing. It would be great research for a mystery or something.”

He shrugged. “It’s only $12.99. Go ahead and get it.”

Guilt, along with a dose of foolishness consumed me. I’d never written a mystery. “No, I think I’ll pass.”

We set our books on the checkout counter, and the clerk greeted us with a friendly smile. “How are you folks today?”

I smiled back. “Great, thank you.”

He addressed my husband. “Would you like an extra discount, sir? If you purchase one of our cards—”

“Talk to her.” My husband crooked his finger in my direction.

“No, thanks,” I said.

The clerk nodded. “No problem.”

Excitement flowed through my veins. I couldn’t wait to read my new books.

The clerk rang up our purchase. “That’ll be one hundred eighty dollars and—”

“What?” The room suddenly spun around me. “Are you sure that’s right?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Why is it so hot in here?

“I mean, you don’t discount the retail price at the register?”

“No, but if you purchase the card I offered—”

I didn’t want the card.

And I no longer wanted the books, but how could I tell him that?

Spit it out, Anderson. If you don’t, you’re going to be sorry.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve made a huge mistake. I didn’t realize they would be so expensive.”

“You don’t want them?”


He remained cordial, but I sensed I had upset him. “I apologize, sir.”

“It’s okay.”

He deducted each one, set them on the counter behind him, and gave us a new total.

Regret filled me as I eyed the books. I should have at least written down the titles.

Should I ask him?


I should have bought a book on self-control.

It’s just that I love writing, love reading anything I can get my hands on when it comes to this craft. It’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, which I also enjoy doing.

But I’ve already taken several writing courses, not to mention the numerous books I’ve purchased, so why do I want more?

Because I seek knowledge.

In some ways this is a good thing. If I ever come to the point where I think I’ve arrived, well, then I’m really in trouble.

No matter what, I’ll continue to study this craft—I can always learn something new—but I’ll take a different approach in the future.

I’ll have my husband put a leash on me the next time we go to the bookstore.


Chicken Soup For The Soul: The gift of Christmas