Katherine Center in 1972

1973 • From the beginning: a well-behaved rule-follower with a hearty appreciation for trouble.

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And food.

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1975 • Me with my cowgirl mom on our family’s Texas ranch.

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1977 • Kindergarten.  I remember learning to read and thinking, “This is so hard.”


1979 • Sisters. I’m the one missing a tooth and thinking deep thoughts.

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1979 • With my fabulous grandmother, who I adored.

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1980 • Yes, that’s ketchup down the front of my dress. One of my signature moves.

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1981 • Out at the ranch.

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1984 • Middle school. Enough said. Fast-forward.

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1987 • The Sylvia Plath-slash-Molly Ringwald year.

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1992 • Vassar College. By far The Best Photo of Me Ever Taken.

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1993 • Kind of a tough guy.

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1994 • Won the Vassar College Fiction Prize and got Distinction on my thesis, a novella (here, with my beloved teacher Beverly Coyle).
That was some LIPSTICK, huh?

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1994 • Met this terrifically kind-hearted guy (& married him few years later). Also: Got a fellowship to the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, and moved home to Texas.

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2003 • Did some very impressive creative work that year.

(2004 • Wrote a novel.  Don’t have any photos, but it bears mentioning.  Had, “Sell novel!” on to-do list, but then . . .)


2005 • . . . made another very high caliber baby instead.


2006 • First attempt at an author photo.

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2007 • Second attempt.* When I got home, I had so much make-up on, my kids said, “Mama! What happened to your face?!”

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2013 • Every year, I go on a Girls’ Weekend with my mom and sisters.


2014 • This is where the magic happens*.  #LuckySofa!  *The magic also happens in the bubble bath.


2010 • This is how I write. Type it all in, print it all out, then scribble the heck all over it.


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2013 • Sometimes when I have a long way to go on a book, I make a color chart, just for fun.
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2013 • I do a lot of mama-stuff, but I do plenty of authorly things, too. Like school book fairs–

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–and speaking at luncheons–

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–and drinking fancy coffees—



–and painting words from my books on friends’ bodies (that’s Jenny Lawson, by the way)–

–and, every now and then going to a fancy People Magazine book party on a rooftop in New York.
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But mostly I  goof around at home, and I just keep trying like heck to make the most of my one sweet, ordinary, utterly magical life.

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*Author photo by Brett Chisholm.

Cafe photo by Karen Walrond.

Photo of Jenny Lawson by Jenny Lawson.