Kristen Ott Hogan

Writer @ Work

“There are no longer problems of the spirit. Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.”

-William Faulkner

Autobiography of My Face

This unflattering photo of me was taken in 2009 about a month after surgery on my jaw that changed my appearance so drastically that some of my friends did not recognize me. (Clearly, I was still recovering…

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In Defense of Sam

During the Christmas holidays every year, my family watches the epic trilogy of The Lord of the Rings. It’s tradition, you see, and even though my husband and oldest son groaned when I brought it up last…

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For My Missionary Son

Today, you are boarding a plane to Texas where you will spend the next two years preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Afterwards, you plan to attend college in a distant town. The time has come for…

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During These Coronial Times

I woke up one morning one week into the coronavirus quarantine and wondered if I’d been wrong about it, if it really was the crisis everyone believed it to be. The 5.7 earthquake from the day before…

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Taming the Deer

There is something in the way my daughter cuts across the soccer field after another game that makes me afraid.  Her body sags with defeat even though her team won the game. “Good job.” I hug her.…

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Statistically Speaking

We hear the question often. What are the odds? What are the chances? It’s a question of probability, of likelihood. What are the odds of winning big in a Las Vegas casino? What are the odds of…

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Third Grade Cinderella

I once bribed two girls to be my friends. It all started when I made the colossal mistake of inviting that girl Kim to play with us at recess. Julie and I had been best friends since…

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The Reason Why

The mother is heroic at the viewing. She comforts the disheveled tweens who swell in mass to the casket’s edge. She thanks them for being a good friend to her son. She hugs each mourner in their…

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The Sound of Seagulls

*Some names have been changed The evening we met Hilda was gray and full of shadows. Her hands were thrust deep into the pockets of an ankle-length trench coat, as she stepped onto the cobblestone street. We…

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Beauty for Ashes

I’d jammed my day with tasks, every minute accounted for and assigned a purpose. My checklist included a trip to the orthodontist, scrubbing the shower, reading with the kids, writing in the morning and again in the…

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A writer’s life or children?

Before I started having children, I attended a writer’s workshop in Salt Lake City.  Five hundred dollars to attend classes and panels discussions, meet editors and agents. I remember one such panel vividly, five or six successful…

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