NAME: Susan Lyman

BIRTHDAY: Nov. 6, 1949

MARITAL STATUS: In evolution between single and married.

EDUCATION: B.A., University of Utah, English; Journalism minor.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Technical writer for Thiokol; Feature writer, Network Magazine; Feature writer, Deseret News

CHILDREN: John (10), Maggie (7)

FAVORITE BOOK: "Gift From the Sea"

FAVORITE MOVIE: "Gone With the Wind"

GOAL: To write a screenplay called "Gift from the Wind."

FAVORITE FOOD: Mashed potatoes with fresh peas stirred into them (children, do not try this at home).

QUOTE: "I hope I never do or say anything to disgust my mother or Karen Shepherd."


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter on behalf of Susan Lyman, a friend and colleague at the Deseret News.

Susan has worked very hard at our company, often rooting out stories that others have glossed over. We refer to her as the Coping Editor, since many of her features deal with the bewitched, bothered and bewildered of the planet. She may be the most empathetic soul here, and her knack for seeing life through another's eyes makes her invaluable at the newspaper and in the community.

I've heard co-workers call her "sensitive," "spontaneous" and "Suzie Queue."

Now, let me tell you about Susan.

She sits at the word processor, typing 80 words a minute or talking on the phone at 90. Quite often she lets out a charming laugh, somewhat reminiscent of the Good Witch of the North.

Like Oscar Wilde, her writing is usually superb, but her conversation is often better. She has an ear for offbeat sentences spoken at dinner tables, church services and garage sales, and she can recreate entire episodes from her past with frightening accuracy. She comes to the world each day with fresh eyes. Life amuses and surprises her.

And, in the end, it is that lightness of spirit that tempers her stories about people in turmoil and transition. I don't want to put too fine a point on this, but she reminds me a bit of Dickens and Dickinson; she can lay her buoyant mind over a heavy heart and produce memorable writing. Her journalism never sinks under its own weight.

I highly recommend her for whatever post you are offering. Beware, however, she does not do windows and will not brew the coffee.


Jerry Johnston

Deseret News columnist