Kerry Reichs's 5 things I'd Tell The Teen Me

Our guest today: Kerry Reichs Why we love her: We love her quick-witted and insightful writing!

Her latest: What You Wish For

The scoop on it: Having a baby is . . . complicated.

Dimple knows. She's a successful actress who is turning forty—though her agent and her resume insist she's only thirty-six—and she figures it's now or never. Certainly it's not a good time for an intriguing director to show up at her door with a great script.

Eva, fabulous agent to the stars, doesn't want kids—and never wanted kids. Why is her decision so damned hard for everyone else to accept?

When Maryn was undergoing treatment for cancer, she and her husband both agreed to have embryos frozen. But that was way before their divorce and her remission—and now she's single and childless, and caught in the middle of a controversy she never saw coming.

The traditional and nontraditional couples desperate for a baby . . . the adoptive parents . . . the single mom . . . the two who want nothing to do with parenthood. . . . This is a thoroughly modern story of the pursuit of family in all its forms—and of five very different ways of getting there.

Our thoughts: We loved it! Kerry writes characters that are likable and easy to relate to.

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Leave a comment to be entered to win-we'll choose the winners on Sunday July 15th after 3pm PST.

Fun Fact: Kerry practiced law in Washington DC for six years before she took a sabbatical to write a novel.

Where you can read more about Kerry: Her website,  Facebook or Twitter.


It’s hard to limit myself to five – my teen self needed lots of help – but hopefully things like wearing sunscreen, exercising, and not getting into paneled vans with strangers fall under the universal “Don’t be an idiot” rule, and need not be repeated.  So I offer my top five below.  And listen kiddo, sometimes the life we planned for ourselves isn't the life we end up living. But that doesn't mean it's not going to be great.

1. Don’t be afraid of risk.  Think bigger.  Take more chances . . . unless it involves hitchhiking, an asymmetrical haircut, having unprotected sex, or trying crack.  College?  Go out of state.  The spontaneous cross-country road trip?  Take it.  When your friend cancels on that trip to Europe?  Go alone.  In fact, do lots of stuff alone.  It teaches self-reliance.  When you waver over quitting the law firm to write a novel, DO IT.  If you open yourself to opportunity, fortuities will land on your shoulders like a flock of birds. Trust yourself, and work really hard.  You can succeed at anything. The only thing holding you back is you.

2.  Don't care so much about what other people think. It isn’t personal and it’s not about you. People don’t think about you as much as you think about you.  They are thinking about themselves. It’s the human condition. Don’t agonize over repeating that outfit, because no one remembers what you wore yesterday, much less two weeks ago (even if it was a god-awful aqua prairie skirt and ruffle shirt).  They’re too busy worrying whether their Guess denim mini makes their butt look big (spoiler alert: it does).  People are more insecure than they seem. Don't be intimidated by them.  Confidence is the sexiest thing, so walk out everyday like the Queen of Sheba, even if you’re wearing a prairie skirt.  And buy nice shoes, it helps.

3. You can’t change a person or a situation, only the way you respond to it. Words can’t be unsaid.  It may feel like an injustice not to speak, especially when you’re angry, or someone has treated you badly, but there’s rarely an upside to lashing out. When it comes to harsh or unkind words, especially with regard to family, you’ll be glad you held your tongue.  Nurture instead.  People are mean when they’re hurt or scared.  Forgiveness doesn’t cost you a thing, but harboring will give you an ulcer.  Forgive and move on.

4.  Hang on to the people you care about, shed the ones that make you feel bad. Your strongest friendships will be tested by time and distance – work hard to maintain them. People can't read your mind. They have no idea whether you’re scared or nervous, or whether you like them or hate them, unless you let them in on what you're thinking. Let them in. But cut the chaff once in a while. You don’t have to be liked by everyone.  If a relationship is a drain, downgrade it to a friendly acquaintance.  Completely dump the ones that make you feel bad.  Even the super hot drummer.  Don’t burn bridges (you’re going to live in some pretty small towns); just ease away gently.

5.  Write thank you notes.   Trust me on this.  It teaches gratitude and leaves a good impression.  People will appreciate and remember a handwritten note after a loss or victory, encouragement in times of need, the occasional unexpected card to thank them for being a friend.  When computers take over the world, don’t lose the fine art of the personally penned letter.

Teen Kerry probably won’t listen anyway, because, well, she’s a teen. But just in case, she can’t stop dancing to Adam Ant for a second, I’ll end with this:  Don't take everything so seriously. Things all work out in the end. If they haven’t worked out, it isn’t the end.

Thanks Kerry! xoxo, L&L