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Lemon Drop Falls

When Mom died, Morgan promised she’d take care of her dad and siblings. So now she sacrifices everything—soccer, free time, even friendships. Dad’s too lost in grief and work to notice. With junior high starting in a week, and her anxiety disorder ramping up, Morgan’s Fill-In-For-Mom plan is the only thing keeping the family from chaos, and Morgan from a breakdown.


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To Further complicate things...

When Dad insists on the family’s regular camping trip before school starts, Morgan knows he’ll handle this like he’s handled everything since Mom died—throw some sleeping bags and oatmeal in the van and hope for the best. As usual, it’s Morgan’s job to plan for success. But when her daredevil siblings combined with Dad's "talk therapy" attempts spiral Morgan's anxiety into a panic attack, Dad treats her like she's broken. Desperate to prove she's strong enough to fill in for Mom, Morgan solo hikes a flooding canyon trail, which leaves her literally fighting for survival.

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Lemon Drop Falls

was featured in the 2019 Pitch Wars showcase, mentored by Nicole Panteleakos, author of PLANET EARTH IS BLUE.  This is an #OwnVoices piece, featuring a main character dealing with personal loss, while navigating a childhood anxiety disorder very similar to my the author. The heartfelt narrative is told in dual timelines like THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, with the tender familial relationships of CATERPILLAR SUMMER.

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Capitol Reef Setting

The gorgeous red rocks of Utah are a part of my family's everyday life. Our trips to Capitol Reef are among our most treasured memories. The photo just above is of my husband playing with two of my daughters in Morgan's second waterfall. These are of me in that same waterfall, and in my rainbow hammock, swinging in the shade of a cottonwood tree. It is like paradise, when it's not attempting to flash flood, that is...

Inspiration for Lemon Drop Falls

I nearly died of a pulmonary embolism six years ago. My eleven-year-old daughter at the time dealt with serious anxiety about my illness. In wondering about how my family might have healed if they had needed to carry on without me, Morgan and her hiking family came to life on the page.