Saturday, May 28, 2011

Selling Happy

 I’m not a newcomer to this whole blogging thing. My first attempt came during a summer course during my year in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Southern Oregon University. Basically, the blog was a requirement for an ed tech class we all had to take. But I wanted to keep it going, chronicle one of the most important years of my life and the lives of my 80 some cohort members. I had grand, sparkly, twirly plans about writing witticisms on the struggles of student teaching, our triumphs, our darkest hours, the unbreakable friendships we’d forge.

It lasted all of two posts. It turns out student teaching really is a struggle, and it really cuts into your blogging time.

My next attempt was perhaps more humble. I decided to do an experiment in gratitude, inspired by Henry B. Eyring’s conference talk about recognizing the hand of the Lord in our lives each day. I thought, what a better way to do this than to share with the online world the things I am most grateful for every day.

It lasted all of two weeks.

It isn’t that I’m not grateful for the amazing blessings in my life. It’s just that when I write about myself, I go back and read it and think, “Wow, Kelli. You sound totally lame.”

And Mormon. In my senior year of college, I took a poetry class from Lawson Inada, then poet laureate of Oregon. It was not so much a class as us getting together for 4 hours a week to talk about ourselves and maybe read some poems. One time, Lawson looked around the room and asked, “Is anybody in here like, a Mormon?” I slowly raised my hand, in that room full of atheists and recovering Catholics, and he beamed at me and cried out, “I knew it!”

That was the year I “became” LDS (or Mormon, but I prefer LDS. Teachers have a thing for acronyms), which we’ll get to later. After my conversion, I found that writing was more difficult. As a writer, I was trained to write things that were “real,” i.e. gritty, vulgar at times, bittersweet (if sweet at all). Not many happy endings. The best story I wrote ended with one cowboy going off to kill another cowboy’s cattle in an act of revenge.

I was taught, basically, that happy didn’t sell. Real people weren’t happy. Real people were fighting with their significant others, getting drunk, dropping F-bombs like raindrops in Portland, having elicit sex, killing their neighbor’s cattle, and generally giving up on life. Real readers wanted to read about real people.

Well, I happen to know that there are approximately 13 million real people out there who, if you ask around about them, seem to be pretty happy. Not perfect, just happy. I know I am. So that’s what this blog is about; telling real stories that are, on the whole, happy. We are going to sell some happy.

Hopefully, I’ll still be here after two weeks.


  1. Yeah! Happy people are 'real' people, too! =)

  2. Just cruising randomly on facebook and saw your blog. Oh....sweet Kelli, you are the perfect person to spread some happiness around! There is so much "God good" in this world and we need each other to remind us of it on a regular basis. When it is all said and done....Love Wins!

  3. Oh, sweet Mrs. Meadows, I appreciate that so much!