Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Happy Friday, dear readers! We’ve made it to the end of another week.

Last week’s exercise definitely struck a chord with people-seems almost everyone has a bus story, whether they’re willing to share it publicly or not. And I loved all of your stories! Thanks so much for participating.

For my own part, I will tell you about my best experience on the bus and my worst.

I take the bus everywhere, and because I’m a kickboxer, I’m usually carrying a gigantic duffel bag full of equipment. This bag can get quite heavy, and it’s cumbersome to maneuver through the aisle without whacking someone in the head. One day I was making my way to the back of a crowded bus, holding my bag in front of me, when the bus driver made a sudden stop. The bag swung backward, and its momentum and weight threatened to knock me over. I was halfway up the stairs at the back of the bus, and I can only imagine what would have happened if I’d been allowed to fall. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would have been seriously hurt.

Suddenly, this young Asian girl reached out and grabbed my bag. Her hold on the canvas stopped its swing and let me regain my balance. This may not seem like much to people from smaller communities, but in my city, people do their very best to ignore everyone else on the bus. If someone’s in trouble, most avert their eyes–even saying hello seems to be a no-no. So when this girl decided to help me, she was going against the status quo, and I’ve never forgotten that. I thanked her at the time, but years later it still makes a big impression on me. It was a perfectly beautiful act of kindness from a stranger, and on the off-chance she may ever read this, I’d like to thank her again with all my heart.


A blind woman with a seeing eye dog once got onto my bus in the morning. On that particular day, the priority seating at the front of the bus was crowded with the able-bodied: middle-aged men and women, mostly–none of them incapable of standing or moving to the back. Still, they sat there and gaped as this poor woman groped her way around, hoping to find a place to sit.

From my seat near the back, I watched this scene in horror. I could not believe that no one was willing to give up their place for this woman and her dog. I remember how helpless I felt–my own seat was too far back to be of use to her. Finally, the bus driver intervened, a thing that seldom happens.

“Would everyone please move back?” he snarled. Those closest to the woman reluctantly vacated their bench so she could sit down. It was one of the saddest statements on humanity I’d ever seen, and it’s stayed with me a long time, too.

Now for today’s exercise! Most people have a connection to music. Tell me a story about a song that has meaning for you. It can be any song–maybe the first one you learned the words to, a lullaby your mom used to get you to sleep, your first dance, your first guitar solo, your wedding song, anything.

What does the song mean to you? How do you feel when you hear it now? What memory does it invoke?

Tell me a story about music, and as always…have FUN!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for reading. Hopefully this blog will look a lot more professional come Monday!

Thanks to your support, A Life Less Ordinary has won another blog award. I’ll tell you more about that next week. xoxo

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Lisa

    My music story may be misconstrued as slightly morbid. The very first time I heard the song “Long Night” by Rawlins Cross, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1V7key8xo0
    (a St John’s Newfoundland Celtic band) I decided then and there that when I died I wanted the song played at my memorial service. The song is paradoxically haunting yet upbeat and energetic, and was actually written “as a eulogy for the great Newfoundland fiddler and raconteur, Emile Benoit.”

    To me Long Night signifies the endlessness and finality that death brings to those left behind:
    Death is a mighty uniter
    The defeat that comes to every fighter
    Live on! The dawn will be brighter
    Live on! Live on! Live on!

    …and also the infinite possibilities and immeasurable strength of unconditional love:
    Love is a mighty uniter
    The night can only make it tighter
    Love on! The dawn will be brighter
    Love on! Love on! Love on!

    To this day each time I hear the song I get chills because it moves me to no end. My wish for it to be played at my funeral is still as strong as it was the first time I heard it seventeen years ago.

  2. Kim

    I have to think longer about the song, but just wanted to say the blog looks amazing!!

  3. Story Teller

    Thanks, Kim! @ Lisa, that was a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thanks so much for participating. I don’t think it’s morbid at all…many people have their funeral songs picked out well in advance.

  4. kungfusinger

    My favorite song is the first song my husband ever sang to me. We had been dating about a month, he put on this song and we slow danced as he looked into my eyes and sang along. It was the moment that I knew I was helplessly head over heels in love with him.

    Like I am by Rascall Flatts

    Lying here with you
    I watch you while you sleep
    The dawn is closing in
    With every breath you breathe

    I can feel the change
    The change you’ve made in me
    But will I ever see
    All the things you see in me

    When you say that I’m one of a kind
    Baby, I don’t see it but you believe
    That I’m so strong and true, I promise you
    I’ll try to be that kind of man
    Because you love me like I am

    When it comes to love
    I may not know the rules
    But there’s one thing I know
    My heart belongs to you, just you

    You show me you love me
    With a fire that burns deep inside

    I’ll never understand
    I don’t think I’ll ever understand
    Why you love me
    Why you love me just like I am

    PS. The blog looks great

  5. Story Teller

    Hello kungfusinger,

    Thanks for participating! Who knew my cousin was so romantic? 😉 It’s amazing how music can intensify feelings of love. From now on, whenever you hear this song, you will think of him. And that’s pretty cool.

    Glad you like the new design!


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