Misty Wagner

I write, I blog, I compulsively snap photos, I cook, I pretend to craft & I attempt to structure a chaotic life that is controlled by the storm driven waves of my adopted daughter's emotional disability...


Something you may not know is that I graduated, from high school, as salutatorian- but only because I was in a graduating class of two... 

Best, Worst and WTF Moments from the 2014 Golden Globe Awards

Amy, Tina, Joaquin, Melissa, JLD, Leo, Julia, Meryl, Bryan, Diddy, Taylor, Robin, Bono and Matthew "all right all right all right" McConaughey. Last night was a party for me and a few of my best friends. And by best friends I mean Twitter, because watching an awards show is only fun if you can hashtag it with the rest of the binge-watchers of the world. Live television is social, and during the Golden Globes we are united in our dislike of Ryan Seacrest, our exuberance for all things Meryl Streep and our nostalgia for the days when U2 were rockstars. ...more
"outrageously creepy and inappropriate" is absolutely correct... SO unbelievably gross... It was ...more

Hate Letter Sent to Mother of Autistic Child

While the intent of Laughing Mom is to take a lighthearted break from the challenges of parenting, every now and again I come across a current event piece that just can't go by unnoticed. I suspect my Canadian readers will already have seen this as it has been getting a lot of press this side of the border. Imagine: You are the mother of 13-year-old Maxwell. He enjoys visiting his grandmother and jumping on her trampoline. One day, you receive this (anonymous) letter in the mail. ...more
Oh my gosh. I am mortified... You hear about things like this, but you always imagine them some ...more

'Glee' Returns: Who Will Be "The New Rachel"?

Glee started the new season at NYADA with Kate Hudson playing crazy teacher Cassandra July who instantly takes a disliking to Rachel. I have to say that Cassandra may be one of my favorite characters, I thought that maybe she was going to be Sue 2.0 but Kate really made the character her own. I'm looking forward to next week when we find out more about Cassandra (apparently she really is crazy). It also looks like Rachel may have found a new crush in Brody Weston (played by the delicious Dean Geyer...can we say yum!) Ugh I already have a crush on him!...more
I felt nervous as well, BUT was less enthusiastic about the episode. It felt stale over fresh... ...more

Do Readers Need Closure?

I really do believe closure is important to readers. When I close a book I don't need everything to be tied up in a neat bow but I do like to believe that the characters are where they need to be. It may not always be a place I like, or that the characters like, but it needs to be the right place. Gayle Forman's novel, Where She Went, was really about Adam's search for closure. He desperately needed it. ...more
Some times they do... either because I love them or because it seems they need more. I do find ...more

Creating Art Out of Loss

Some of the most beautiful pieces of art come out of loss and grief. Some people use words, while others use paint or clay to create their masterpieces. Adam and Mia channeled their grief into music. As much as Gayle Forman's novel, Where She Went, was about the two of them, it was also about being able to find beauty again after loss. ...more
VERY much so... I write my best and seem to take my best photographs when I am deeply in touch ...more

In Defense of the 'Unladylike' Christian Woman

A few months ago I wrote a couple of blogs about men, women, sex, marriage, masturbation, infidelity and Christianity. They were widely read, my blog stats were happy to report. I received some great feedback, too. And a half-joking guarantee I’d never be invited to speak in church in any of the southernmost states of the U.S.A. And that’s quite okay.And then, there was this - emailed directly to me, not left as a comment on the blog:Dear Jo,...more
BWAHAHAHA because nothing identifies with youth more than a pastor who says "damn." Oh my gosh. ...more

The Cost of Fame

One of the things Adam Wilde struggles with in Gayle Forman's Where She Went is the isolation that results from his rise to fame. Adam is already struggling with loss and grief when the band makes it big. It can even be said Adam's loss and grief is what drives the band's material. Grief can be isolating by itself but now that Adam's famous, everyone wants a piece of him....more
To some degrees I have loved the idea of being known enough that I can help others. In regards ...more

This is Your Brain on Music

Music is almost its own character in Gayle Forman's Where She Went. Not only are Adam and Mia both musicians, music was what brought them together. It was important to their relationship with each other, but it was also an integral part of who they were individually. Music was part of them. ...more
So much so. i can't function without it and I hear it everywhere, even when it isn't playing... ...more

Noticing the Extraordinary Universe

There are times when we take a step back from our lives and really look around us. When we do, we notice things -- really notice things -- and that changes how we see everything. Noticing those things can change our world. In John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel's father shares his observations about the universe and life. ...more
The details. The trillions of poetic details that occur simply by living...    Can we really ...more

Why Do We Write?

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars made me think a lot about memories and why we feel the need to write. I think if you ask most bloggers -- especially those that blog about their lives and families -- they'll tell you that they write to remember. By capturing our lives in print and images online, we preserve memories so that one day we can take them out and try them on again. We can see where those moments still fit and where they bust at the seams. ...more
To preserve at times, and maybe to hope that I may have some fragment of something that could ...more