Daryn Kagan, GA

Premium Writer

You might remember Daryn from her more than twelve years as an anchor on CNN. Today, her syndicated column, “What’s Possible” runs in newspapers across the country. She is also a contributor to national platforms like “CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley” and she has published two books, with her latest book being “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts on Losing A Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.” Daryn lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, daughter, and Little Sister from the Big Brother Big Sister program; her two-year-old rescue hound dog and six chickens complete the family.

As a Story Terrace writer, Daryn interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Birthday Cake Dare

This was a risk worth taking. Or so I thought.

Moments before my little sister’s first birthday party, my brother and I found ourselves in our family’s dining room.


Just he, me, and the cake. A two-tiered sugary treasure adorned with pink-haired little girls, all sculpted out of a frosting tube. That’s where he came up with the dare.

“The pink icing has a special feel to it,” he pointed out getting super close to the cake. “You should touch it.”

Touch the cake? Dare to even slightly mar my precious baby sister’s celebration? My almost eight-year-old brain started doing instant calculations. My brother was nine and creator of all that was cool. Surely, he was just letting me in important information. Still, I knew there was something naughty about what he was suggesting. After all, why was he whispering? And as the middle child, I was supposed to be the good girl.

I got closer and closer to the cake and pulled back.

“Go ahead, touch it,” he encouraged.

Big brother magic won out. As I delicately went to give the lightest of feather touches to the pink icing, I suddenly felt a force from behind cramming my hand into the side of the cake.

My brother doubled over in laughter. I’d fallen for his prank.

Our father walked in the room just as I was dislodging my hand. “What’s going on here?” he boomed, looking over at my hand full of frosting and cake. “Daryn! Why did you ruin your baby sister’s cake?” he demanded to know.

“But, but,” I protested.

My father grabbed his camera and snapped a photo that has lived in family lore ever since. You might see a big smile on my face. I see my body leaning into my little sister, as I cringe inside. I hated to ruin her birthday. She’s been my baby since the day she was born.

That crazy dare planted me right in the place where I’ve spent most of my life. In the middle. The middle child in the middle of taking big chances and doing what’s right.

I figure that’s how many stories unfold. With the dare to take a chance. Sometimes, that will leave your hand smashed into the cake. Sometimes, it will take you to a place beyond the incredible you imagined. Mash it all together for the messy story that is life.

Get in touch today to work with Daryn!