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Biographies & Memoirs - Memoirs Parenting & Families - Family Relationships

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Shoot the Arrows: Essays from Mom on Taking an Honest Shot at Life

ISBN: 9781634896542
Binding: Paperback
Author: Sally Vardaman
Pages: 148
Trim: 5.25 x 8 inches
Published: 11/01/2023

"Perhaps there is no manual for a life well-lived, but Shoot the Arrows certainly makes its mark." - Rachel Guvenc, Managing Editor, Water Stone Review

Shoot the Arrows is a collection of essays about wisdom and how it's won. In these love letters to her grown children, Sally Vardaman tackles emotionally complex life struggles such as overcoming neediness, facing addiction, and learning to tell the truth.

"These essays strip bare her life and share her revelations about achieving, grieving, regretting, forgiveness, loving, failing, and fresh starts, suggesting that our story - the good, the bad, and the ugly - is a redemptive work of art. And we are the ones who hold the brush. These are the truths children need to hear." - Jonathan Odell, author of The Healing

Advocating a growth mindset of personal revision rather than moralism, these essays are about self-reflection, truth and love as the foundations of interpersonal strength.

This book is a path to:

  • understand the lies of perfectionism and anxiety,
  • embrace the freedom comes from honesty and self-acceptance,
  • find clarity in the things you can't control,
  • face fear and shame to avoid being paralyzed by them.

This volume is a mother's invitation to self-love for anyone in the process of growing up.


Sally Vardaman is a writer who believes in the power of stories to make us think, question our assumptions, and help us connect with each other despite our differences. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, she lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her three children.