Kayce Stevens Hughlett

Self-Help, Literature & Fiction

Author Profile

Kayce Stevens Hughlett

Kayce Stevens Hughlett is a soulful and spirited woman. In her roles as life coach, writer, speaker, and ponderer extraordinaire, she invites individuals and groups to playfully and fearlessly cross thresholds toward authentic living. Kayce is a published author, long-time blogger, and contributor to several collections and online publications. Her 2012 book, As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life, is a lyrical and lucid treasure that invites readers to new awakenings throughout the year. Her novel, Blue, is scheduled to release September 10, 2015. Learn more about her creative coaching, ponderings, and personalized Parisian adventures at www.liveittogiveit.me.

Books

Blue: A Novel

Literature & Fiction

One insecure perfectionist. One guilt-ridden artist. One child-woman who talks to peacocks. A trio of complex heroines on separate journeys toward a single intertwined truth.Imagine living exclusively for others and waking up one day with a chance to start over. The terrifying new beginning reeks of abandonment and betrayal. The choice for Seattle resident Monica lingers between now and then. . .them and her. Izabel's idyllic existence on Orcas Island is turned upside down during the birth of a friend's child. Suddenly, pain rips through her own body, and life as she knows it shifts, hinting at a forgotten past and propelling her toward an uncertain future. On another island, young Daisy awakens surrounded by infinite shades of blue. Is she dreaming or has she stepped through the portal into a fantastical land where animals spout philosophy and a gruesome monster plots her destruction? Blue - a subtle psychological mind-bender where each heroine is her own worst enemy. Eccentric. Loveable. Unforgettable.

Book Bubbles from Blue: A Novel

What not to wear over the age of ___?!?!

I spent the morning on FB catching up with one of my favorite women's groups. Today the topic was the multitude of articles written about what a woman should and should not wear after the age of 30, 40, 50. Can you hear the outrage? Seriously! Everything from what age to cut off our flowing locks to the length of skirt and style of shoes. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I hadn't even sorted out who I was until... well, maybe now. So, I couldn't help but think of Izabel, an approaching 40 woman, and her carefree sense of style. My words of advice? Wear whatever you damn well please... Don't be a 'fraidy cat Monica ;) (character from BLUE)

Squirmy Under the Sheets

So what happens when an author has a spouse that mainly listens to audio books and her book isn't on audio yet? No question. She reads it to him personally, of course. Now imagine the moment when one of the typically mild-mannered characters flies into a rage and threatens to permanently maim her current love interest by ... um ... "cutting his f*cking balls off". Can you see the real life husband squirming underneath the bed sheets while said author inhabits the rage of her character? LOL This was a recent scene at my house. I'd love to include more of the excerpt, but it gives away too much of the intricate story details. I guess maybe you'll have to read it yourself ... or I could come over and read it to you ;)

On Birthing Books

People keep asking me what I'm up to now that Blue: a novel’s book launch is "over/done/finished." Guess what? It's just beginning! These past few weeks and months have been a whirlwind of activity and emotion, so I've been taking some time for R

How Does Truth Arrive?

Last week, my publisher sent me an advance review of BLUE. The reader was offended that circumstances changed quickly for these "characters lacking any depth" when "nothing happened for so long." Well... I don't know about the reviewer's life, but my life (and very likely yours) holds many of those wild moments where "truth" shifts faster than wind blowing across the Oklahoma plains and the people we once upon a time saw as dull or insignificant come to hold deep pools of wisdom. Looking back on those moments, I see that what seemed like "nothing" in the past was actually the slow working of time preparing me for here and now. (btw - I'd love to hear your insights.)

Blue. Moon. Magic.

I'm in the midst of book publishing mania. Advance reader copies are distributed, reviews are beginning to come in, and buzz is rising. Daily, friends send me photos of peacocks or Blue sightings from around the globe. I feel a bit like Izabel in this passage. The sound of drums is rising. She knows something new is on the horizon, but can't quite name what it is. It's heady stuff! And then... for her... for me... the moon rises out of the ocean from beneath the deep blue sea. This coming Saturday, July 31, 2015 is a Full Blue Moon. It feels like magic. Something giant on the horizon, rising out of the ashes where I've lain in a writer's heap dreaming of something like this to happen. It's big. It's beautiful. It's la bella luna and she is BLUE!

Roots

You can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can't take Oklahoma out of the girl. Writing fiction is an eye-opening process. My novel BLUE is a book sandwiched in between two memoir-ish endeavors on my part (As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life and the in-process travel memoir, An Accidental Pilgrim). Still, the reader who observes closely will find hints of my story throughout BLUE. Yes, I used to play pinball and eat chili dogs (we called them coneys) down on the Strip at Oklahoma State University. Did I sneak into the presidential suite of the Sig Alph house? I'm not a kiss and tell sort of girl, so some things will remain a discreet mystery. ;)

Pushing through Publication

I remember hearing/reading something where Elizabeth Gilbert said having her novel, "A Signature of All Things" out in the world was much more vulnerable and revealing than her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," because she kept bumping up against the hidden meaning and stories inside the novel that she hadn't realized were there. My novel, BLUE hasn't even released yet and I'm bumping up against those funny metaphors and meaning. I keep feeling like I'm in the midst of childbirth and can't quite find my breath. A dear friend wisely reminded me that's why we need doulas. Bingo! Light bulb moment: One of my main characters, Izabel, is a doula. Fascinating. Then I remembered that Izabel nearly gets flattened by emotion and physical pain in the midst of a delivery. Oh my "It's always hardest before the beauty arrives."

Beginning "Blue"

I decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in October, 2012 – maybe 2 – 3 weeks before it began. I bought a couple of books about how to write novels, written by people who had done NaNoWriMo. They asked questions like 'What kind of stories do you like? Don’t like?'To begin, I made these lists. I knew this book was going to be about relationships because I like stories with relationships and I like stories that have a little bit of suspense. As far as The absolute beginning. I literally woke up on Nov 1 and had these images in my head. I had no idea where it was going but the scene was there, waiting for me.

Colorful Characters

The month before I started to write "Blue," I attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat in California. My mind wasn't always silent and I found that certain people pricked my interest in fascinating ways. There was one woman in the group who reminded me of a jellybean store, because she dressed in every wild color imaginable. She also stepped in front of me numerous times to commandeer the coat hook or shoe rack spot I was reaching for. I found her both interesting and irritating. The image of her colorful attire stayed with me, as did the irritation even though we never spoke a word to each other. Somehow she ultimately became Ms. Tisha, the brash connecting link for two of Blue's main characters. I wonder... would you stay in Ms. Tisha's class after an intro like that? Does Monica?

Cheerios, anyone?

This tiny excerpt always makes me smile, because it's one of those moments crafted after real life. In my initial draft of Blue, I had Roy passing out after the baby was born. My editor and I both agreed that was a bit cliché, so I began to ponder how we could make Roy a bit more original. Then I remembered a scene from the birth of my first child. My water broke in the middle of the night (almost 3 weeks before the due date). I was anxious to get to the hospital and couldn't figure out where my husband had disappeared to. I found him in the kitchen with a large bowl of cereal. "What?" he said sheepishly. "This could take a long time. I might get hungry." Oh sweet man, you're lucky you lived through that night. 20 years later, however, it came in handy. {smile}

As I Lay Pondering

Self-Help

Released in January 2012, this fresh and innovative daybook by Kayce S. Hughlett hints of a memoir, reads as a guidebook, and resonates with the human experience. Each of the 366 daily entries conjures the ineffable with soulful specifics—some tiny and concrete, others dreamily unreal—always seamlessly present. It is no heavy-handed moral guide to self-improvement; rather it is an invitation into the bigness of life. Filled with inspiration, personal reflections, and simple activities to deepen the pathway to presence, it is the ideal companion for any transformational journey.

Book Bubbles from As I Lay Pondering

On God

First of all, I wish there was magic to correct the formatting in my excerpt. I realize it looks wonky, but it's currently out of my control. I'll chalk it up to one more lesson in letting go of perfection. Second, I never ceased to be amazed at the way the Universe does indeed come together in incredible ways. Launching my first novel, BLUE has been a magical testimony to both having the power to make things happen (like completing a book and putting it out into the world) and having control over absolutely nothing (like the 110 books that mysteriously released a full month before publication date). Third, I adore how "As I Lay Pondering" continues to speak to myself and others in profound and precise ways. This world is truly a beautiful place to be!

Cycling Through Life

It's July 12 again and "As I Pondering" released over three years ago. I'm not clear on when I wrote this original entry: "Cycles of Shedding," but today as I read the words, they rise up and meet me exactly where I am. I am shedding again. Making way for new life. My second book, "Blue: a novel" will release on September 10 and I am scared. It's a new birth in a new genre with a new path. It feels exciting and terrifying. All sort of 'what ifs' buzz through my brain. Some days I think I won't last through the process... and then I read my own words written in a time where life was truly excruciating and challenging: "Feeling the pain in messy and loud ways has been essential to arrive at the place of birth and new life." I've been here before. I've cycled through. I've risen above. I think I'm ready.

What is 'Perfection' anyway?

Today, I'm pondering perfection. The kind people at Bublish say my formatting is "off" and will reflect poorly on my words. I get it. I hate typos and bad formats. I also think we waste a lot of time trying to reach perfection... These words from a woman who spent decades working toward that unattainable goal. I have a few choices. I can publish my words as they are – with imperfections - and hope they reach someone who may need to hear this message today. I can fret over the format (which I've tried to fix every time I bublish), spend several hours trying to correct the "drop cap" at the beginning and the subsequent page numbers that are wonky. The likelihood of this happening any time soon is slim. I have other things I'd rather do, like snuggle with my cat and celebrate a friend's birthday. Seeking perfection here means another week will go by with no "Bubble." My third choice is to accept the "imperfections." I am aware of them. I don't like them, but I don't want fixing them to take precedence over my ultimate goal which is sharing the beauty of life - flaws and all. (Btw - the actual book is lovely... maybe even perfect :-)

Freedom from Loss

Grief is a tough topic that most people choose to avoid at all costs. When my father died just after my 19th birthday, I remember going home from college, attending the funeral, and then returning back to school. Little was said of this huge loss in our family and the impact we would feel over the coming days, months, and years. Over time, I became "filled to the brim" with all sorts of feelings that were either considered "inappropriate" or "too much" or not discussed at all. It left little room for the authentic joy I knew was missing in my life. What a beautiful day when I discovered the freedom of naming emotions, feeling them, then letting them go! "As I Lay Pondering" was a pivotal part of this naming and releasing. My hope is that this daily book will help others discover their own "empty and fill" cycles and find personal freedom. Namaste.

Meeting my Inner Poet

I believe there is magic in the written word and power in putting our dreams and wishes onto paper. As a young woman, I dreamed of going to Paris. Then I married, began a career, divorced, remarried and had children. Life did its thing of marching by through days, months, and years. In my late forties with children nearly grown, I joined a class called "Awakening the Creative Spirit." It was in that class that I wrote this poem about my Inner Poet… still never having been to France. Less than one year later, serendipity greeted me and I found myself on an airplane to Paris. When I landed, I knew I had returned home to greet the woman with tipped beret and all-knowing smile.

On great desire...

Every now and then, I pull out the letter to see exactly what Mrs. Peck said about me. The words still warm my heart. Amidst the praises of being a "sweet child," "alert" and "one any parent could be proud of," My teacher wrote this: "Yes, she is quite right I DO LOVE HER and it has been such a pleasure to have her in class," (and this is my favorite part)… "She is most interesting to me." Perhaps that's my greatest desire… to be most interesting to someone who loves me. What is yours?

On soul stirrings...

The publication of "As I Lay Pondering" was the first stage of a giant dream I didn't even know I was following until I was more than halfway there. Writing is in my soul and sharing it with others is life-giving. Today… I'm working on a new book - a novel called, "Blue" - and it's like "Pondering" is getting her long-awaited little sister. I'm not sure we're ever really complete, but following our soul stirrings will lead the pathway toward our destination.

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