|1. What did Annie desire? Did she know what she wanted in the beginning of the book? How did she come to recognize what truly mattered in her life or did she? Does fame lead to fulfillment?
2. Can you name a current desire in your life? What strategies are in place to move toward your goal? Is desire the longing for a past pleasure or does the Proverb 13:19 that Annie references, “Desire realized is sweet to the soul,” say it best? Did Annie find her sweetness to the soul?
3. “Honesty without sensitivity is just plain rude. A person can be rude, even to herself, you know.” What does Kari hope to accomplish by telling this to her cousin, Annie? Have you ever been rude to yourself, saying things you wouldn’t say even to your worst enemy? What kind of harm can that bring to our spirits? How did Annie’s lack of confidence affect her efforts to build a bestseller? Does the study Annie mentions about how praise for effort versus skill affected children’s grades speak to how we can encourage each other?
4. Annie says: “They’re my best friends. They’ve prayed and stayed with me through whines and dines. Maybe Bette’s right. Maybe this idea came as divine intervention just when I needed it to stop those harpies.” Do you have negative voices like harpies suggesting there are dreams you can’t pursue or shouldn’t? How do you silence them? How do your friends help you silence them? Do you think the ideas
to help Annie’s book become a bestseller were Divinely inspired? Why or why not?
5. Kari recounts a way to evaluate decisions using a clock face. Some decisions are really, really smart (at 12 o’clock) but some are really, really dumb (at 11:59). We can’t always know until we look back through time whether a decision was a wise one or not. Have you ever done something your
friends/family thought was 11:59 but it turned out to be a 12 o’clock? What made the difference?
6. Throughout the book Annie receives emails from reading fans. What did the emails say about Annie’s writing that Annie overlooked as she worked on her revisions for Irving? Was she writing the wrong kinds of books or was she truly with the wrong publisher?
7. How well did Annie deal with her ex-husband’s demands? Could having a clearer understanding of her desires have kept her from marrying him in the first place? Did she learn anything that helped her resolve her issues with Jaime? With Irving?