Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Okay, looks like it's my turn. Seven things about me? Here goes:
1. I love a good adrenaline rush. I love to go rappelling as fast as I can down big cliffs. I love to go rock climbing and even enjoy Jeep'n (the kind where you get a wheel off the ground because the rock obstacle is so steep you feel like you're flipping over and you have to hit the gas before you roll). I enjoy water skiing and motorcycles ....
2. I've always wanted to drive a race car. One day I will go to race car driving school and go fast!
3. I hate roller coasters and most amusement park rides. There's something in my equilibrium that says go on a roller coaster and expect a migraine for the next four weeks. I've tried over and over again to convince my equilibrium that it can be different, but so far we haven't come to an agreement.
4. I'm allergic to milk proteins. It's not the sugars that bother me, but the proteins. If I drink milk, I don't breathe, but I do sneak a little ice cream now and then.
5. I don't have any pets. We used to have horses and had a dog once, but we have no pets now and I see none in the future. I'm quite content with this arrangement.
6. I love to travel! Oh, not anywhere cold, though. Give me a beach or a tropical climate and I'm happy as can be. I love to swim, snorkel, go boating, lounge in the sand, walk the beach, and drink fresh, chilled coconuts from the shell.
7. I'm writing a New York Times best-selling novel. Yes, it's true. I'm working on a novel to rival the DaVinci Code. Oh, and my children say I'm the most positive-thinking person they know. So with that in mind, New York Times, here I come!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Stephanie Black at Six LDS Writers and A Frog Blog tagged the Ink Ladies in a seven-things-about-me game. Here's mine. I'm excited to hear the other Ink Ladies' responses as well.
1. I'm an awful cook. I have messed up rice krispy treats and those cookies that people give you with all the ingredients mixed together and all you have to do is add an egg and butter.
2. I have naturally curly hair, which I hate. So, I do everything I can to straighten it.
3. I speak Spanish fluently, but have done an awful job of teaching it to my kids. I'm quite ashamed of it, actually. And I hope to do better. I would love my kids to be bilingual, but it's up to me and I need to do better.
4. I'm a Democrat, but for some reason I love to listen to conservative radio. I don't know why; I don't agree with a lot of what they say. But, I have to listen. I don't listen to the crazies like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, but to the sane ones like Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham, and Dennis Prager.
5. I don't buy DVD's. I've bought a couple for my kids, but I don't buy any for myself. Unless you count the Abs of Steel one that I don't use anymore. As far as movies go, I've never bought a movie DVD for myself. I'm too cheap. I prefer to rent them or get them from the library. I just can't justify the expense; I probably won't watch them again.
6. I love being pregnant. It is my absolute favorite time. I miss being pregnant all the time when I'm not which is most of the time. I love the extra eating and the huge belly. I love maternity clothes. I love the amazing feeling inside of me. And, most of all, I love the extra eating. I only have three kids; and I think it will probably only be one more for me. I will be really, really sad after that.
7. I love to watch Charlie Brown shows with my kids.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I’ve always kind of wondered why I never really knew how many books starting-out authors (those of us who don't hit the big time right out of the gate, anyway) are selling these days.
I think I know now.
Sure there’s the whole thing about how it varies from author to author and from genre to genre and from publishing house to publishing house. But I think the reason really boils down to the fact that authors guard this information dearly because of The Terrible Two.
And by that I mean the two possible reactions that follow an author's disclosure of how much he/she is selling.
The Terrible Two:
1) If the person asking discovers that the number is lower than she expected, an awkward flow of, “Well, at least you’re doing what you love” and "Well, maybe someday you'll hit it really big like (insert name of latest literary phenom)," ensues and doesn't end soon enough for either party.
2) If the person asking discovers that the number is higher than he expected, he starts to think, "Hmm, I bet I could write a memoir/short story/picture book in my free time and bring in a few Benajmins," and then asks the author for help writing/editing/cover-lettering/agent-hunting, etc.
Just about every author I know has been a party to both of The Terrible Two at some time or another. Have you?
I really think I'm on to something with this. Or maybe after midnight I start to think I'm a lot smarter than I really am. Let me know what you think. (About my theory, not about how the passage of midnight affects my ability to gauge my smartness.)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
I think the best instructions we can ever receive come from these one on one chats with people who've tasted success, lived it. Now, I won't say I totally neglected everyone else in the house. I looked up from time to time to make sure there were snacks on the table.
You see, I've struggled with a bit of the plot I've written for my novel-in-progress and so I asked for some advice, and he gave it freely. Wow! Am I ever ready to get moving on my book now, and I have been, which explains why I've missed a couple of weeks on my blog.
Bestselling novels in the mainstream market have several things in common, some of which I neglected when plotting, but have since revised. They have a conflict with nationwide or worldwide consequences. That means, that whatever is happening in your book better affect a lot more people than the immediate characters. They must also have a political angle.
Political? At first I cringed. I don't like politics ... but I've been studying them, and guess what, my plot is stronger than ever. I've introduced more subplots that keep my story moving and I've created a conflict that has been on the front page of every major newspaper.
All in all, I believe I received some spectacular directions for my writing, and I'm following them. David Farland emails a daily writing column to anyone wanting to further their writing. It's full of some of the same advice he gave me that night and so much more. If you're interested in receiving his emails, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.40 to Autism Speaks for each time this video is viewed. The funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have a moment, please visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along to your friends and family. They are aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Congratulations to the 2007 Whitney Awards Finalists!
The Whitney Awards were created by LDStorymakers, Inc., an author's guild, to recognize the best fiction written by LDS authors.
The award winners will be announced at the Whitney Gala on March 22, 2008, in Sandy, Utah. Tickets are available here. They are limited in number, so if you want to be there, don't delay in purchasing your ticket.
Awards will be given in five genre categories, and in two overall categories.
BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR:
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George; Out of Jerusalem, Vol. 4: Land of Inheritance, by Heather Moore; On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell; The Operative, by Willard Boyd Gardner; and Upon the Mountains, by Gale Sears.
BEST NOVEL BY A NEW AUTHOR:
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George; Wet Desert, by Gary Hansen; Counting Stars, by Michele Holmes; Beyond the Horizon, by Judy C. Olsen; and On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell.
BEST ROMANCE / WOMEN’S FICTION:
Counting Stars, by Michele Holmes; Desire of Our Hearts, by Sariah Wilson; Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer; The Independence Club, by Rachel Ann Nunes; and Loyalty's Web, by Joyce DiPastena.
BEST MYSTERY / SUSPENSE:
The Deep End, by Traci Hunter Abramson; Grave Secrets, by Marlene Austen; Hazardous Duty, by Betsy Brannon Green; The Operative, by Willard Boyd Gardner; and Sheep's Clothing, by Josi Kilpack.
BEST YOUNG ADULT / CHILDRENS:
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, by Brandon Sanderson; Bullies in the Headlights, by Matthew Buckley; First Day, by Allyson B. Condie; How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend, by Janette Rallison; and Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, Book II), by Brandon Mull.
BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION:
Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale; Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George; Hunting Gideon, by Jessica Draper; The Lights of Mahonri Moriancumer, by Phyllis Gunderson; and The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book II), by Brandon Sanderson.
Beyond the Horizon, by Judy C. Olsen; Out of Jerusalem, Vol. 4: Land of Inheritance, by Heather Moore; On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell; Spires of Stone, by Annette Lyon; and Upon the Mountains, by Gale Sears.
Also on the gala evening's list of events is the presentation of LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS to authors Jennie Hansen, Dean Hughes, and Anita Stansfield.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
- I am grateful for the restored gospel and my testimony of it. (I almost feel like there should be a "duh!" at the end of that one.)
- I am grateful for my family. (Another given, especially since they seem to get offended if you don't mention them. ;-)
- I am grateful to be home again after several trips in recent months.
- I am also grateful to have been able to take the trips.
- With my family.
- And that we arrived safely. Sometimes we weren't quite sure if we would...like the time on New Years when we were somewhere in Kansas or Missouri or something and the gas level on our car dropped pretty drastically. We managed to run out of gas just as we were reaching an exit with a service station, and coasted on up to the pump. Yeah, I'm grateful. Very.
- I am grateful for dancing. I don't think I'd really danced since I quit going to the singles' dances when...well, when I quit being single. Yesterday at a company dinner there was a dance floor and a paid DJ, but few people were dancing. So several of the wives went out and danced (minus the husbands, although a couple of them did venture out for short spurts). Was it fun! So I am grateful that I did that. Dancing was not on my to-do list for my day (or my week...or my life...) but I am glad that I did.
- Speaking of being grateful for dancing, I am grateful for those little opportunities that come up to visit, to help, to play, to enjoy...those little things that aren't planned, but that really make life something special.
- I am grateful for the two people who have entered our contest so far.
- I am grateful for the MANY MORE people who will enter (subtle hint)!
- I'm grateful for chocolate.
- And, I am grateful for many other blessings, some too sacred or personal to mention, and all of them too many to number.
Happy New Year, everyone! We have much to be grateful for!
Friday, January 4, 2008
There was a woman walking past who smiled and said 'hello' to him. He giggled and hid his face in my legs, then wandered closer to her. When she smiled at him again, he ran back over and giggled and hid himself in my legs.
She told me how cute he was before she wandered down the aisle. When Griff saw her walking away, he went toddling off after her, waving his arm and calling out. She didn't hear him so he got right up to her legs before she noticed and when she did, well! It was like the Lord himself was smiling down at Griff the way he reacted! He was smiling and laughing and just so happy to be smiled at!
He talked and smiled at a few other people until two aisles later, he found another woman looking at the spices. She told me how cute Griff was, walking around like he was and then smiled at him. He went right up to her and reached out for the can of garlic salt she was holding. She shook it at him and then handed it over and he started shaking it and laughing with her and shaking it some more because he could tell that was impressing her. He had her eating out of his hand in mere moments and he was milking it.
He had interactions like those all over the store, with men and women -- pretty much anyone who crossed his path. It was so neat to watch how much joy he took in everything, in the people around him, in a display with balloons on it, in the brightly colored cereal boxes. That kind of joy is contagious and when I left the store, I felt so uplifted. I am so blessed to have such a great and beautiful family and doubly blessed that I am able to realize this so I can enjoy every moment with them.
Side Note: I also made an excellent joke at the store that I'm very proud of. Scott had put two pies in our cart, but then, at the checkstand, changed his mind and asked the cashier to put them back. I told the cashier that Scott had,"Pie-ers remorse!" Ha ha! Good one, Crystal.
1. I will not apologize for crying at that McDonald's commercial where the inner-city girl gets a job as a cashier and then works her way up to big-wig executive.
2. I will not pretend I actually like collard greens. The charade is over, my friends.
3. I will not say yes when I really should say no.
4. I will not look at fashion magazine covers and believe the women featured on them actually look like that in real life.
5. I will not feel weird singing in my car at a stoplight.
6. I will not scream “I blame the government!” every time I get my cell phone bill. Not that I’ve ever done that. But this is definitely not the year to start.
Happy New Year everyone! Hope it's a great one.
p.s. You can make it even better by entering our contest. A free book just for guessing which one of us received which weird gift…hmm…I’d enter if I was allowed!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I'm starting out the year with slightly scratched corneas, but I expect the situation to get better, eventually. I just need to rest my eyes, which means, of course, not working on the computer. I'll go take a nap when I'm finished here.
American Night Writers Association (aka ANWA) is holding a writers conference on March 1. I'm the web mistress, and I overdid it yesterday working on the event's webpage. Because our web host changed their platform recently (I know this makes no sense to a lot of you, but bear with me!), there were a lot of little differences to contend with, and installing the page and making sure it worked right took far longer than it should have. Now I'm paying the consequences of drying out my eyes with too many computer hours. Boo hoo, right?
At any rate, this is a wonderful conference with terrific speakers, charging barely enough to cover costs so that the average person can attend. If you're an author, you can take part in the book signing at a minimal cost, too. Please consider attending. I'd be so grateful, and will feel that the sacrifice of my vision meant something. Really! I mean it! Come see us in lovely Gilbert, Arizona, on March 1.