Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sabbath Sounds

A Love so Great



"Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us — even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will."

Joseph B. Wirthlin - 2007 Oct. Gen. Conf


There are many times in my life when I have unintentionally hurt someone. And yet, they forgive me. I feel as if I don't deserve their kindness afterward.

I think about how this applies to my Father in Heaven. I have to admit that I've fumbled so hard, long and deep. I felt darkness at every turn and it was frightening. I knew I had hurt Him with one wrong choice that grew wider as it went.

The time finally came when I was able to pray without shame and I was immediately enveloped with the burning strength of the Spirit.


I wept.

He never gave up on me even during those lonely, dark times.

He loves me. He loves me no matter how far I've strayed. He loves me no matter my weaknesses. He loves me no matter my shames. He loves me no matter what. For that, I am forever grateful.

How as Heavenly Father's love changed you?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Speak out Saturdays

For my Saturdays I am going to post issues that we face today. Sometimes I'll have information that will help. Here's an opportunity to speak out. This day is for you to share thoughts, experiences--anything--with the topic. If you have ANY idea of what you'd like me to address for my Saturdays, please leave them in this post!

Sexting







Dreadful.
Degrading. Disturbing.

It wasn't too long ago that the high school in my rural city was rampant with sexting teens. . That is sending self-nude pictures and the use of obscenity. Of course, as you can probably tell, I am against that. What I find more disturbing are the adults that think its cute.

It is illegal. A crime. It can result in state felony charges. I
ncluding obscenity. In the United States, it is illegal to carry lewd pictures of minors. I Utah, it can result in state felony charges. See what your state has to say here.

A Handout from my teen's school:



Teen Sexting Tips

It's Illegal: Don't take or send nude or sexually suggestive photos of yourself or anyone else. If you do, even if they're of you or you pass along someone else's--you could be charged with producing or distributing child pornography. If you keep them on your computer or phone you could be charged with possession. If they go to someone in another state (and that happens really easily), it is a federal offense.

Non-legal Consequences: Then there's the emotional (and reputation) damage that can come from having intimate photos of yourself go to a friend who can become an ex-friend and send it to everyone you know. Not only can they be sent around; they can be distributed and archives online for people to search for pretty much forever.

Not Just on Phones: Sexting can be done on any media-sharing device or technology--including email and the Web. Teens have been convicted for child porn distribution for emailing sexually explicit photos of each other.

Many Causes: In some cases, kids are responding to peer pressure in a form of cyber bullying or pressure from a boyfriends or girlfriend (thy break up, and sometimes those photos get sent around out of revenge.) Sometimes it's impulsive behavior, flirting or even black mail. It is always a bad idea.

Parents: Talk with your kids about sexting in a relaxed setting. Ask them what they know about it (they may not have heard of the term, so "naked photo-sharing" works, too). Express how you feel in a controversial, no n-confrontation away. A two-way dialog can go a long way toward helping your kids understand how to minimize legal, social and reputation risks.

The bottom line: Stay alert when using digital medial. People aren't' always who they seem to be, even in real life, and sometimes they change and do mean things. Critical thinking about what awe upload well as download is the best protection.



Parents:
  • If your children have sent any nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves, make sure they stop immediately. Explain that they're at risk if been charged with producing and distributing child pornography. If they've received a nude or semi-nude photo, make sure they haven't sent it to anyone else.
  • Either way, the next most important hing is to have a good talk. Stay calm, be supportive and learn as much as you can about the situation. for example, see if it was impulsive behavior, teen 'romance' thing or form of harassment.
  • Consider talking with other teens and parents involved, based on what you've learned.
  • Some experts advise that you report the photo to your local police, but consider that, while intending to protect your child, you could incriminate another--and possibly your own child. That's why it's usually good to talk to the kids and their parents first. If malice or criminal intent is involved, you may want to consult a lawyer, the police, or other experts on the law in your jurisdiction, but be aware of the possibility that child pornography charges could be filed against anyone involved.
Teens:

  • If a sexting photo arrives on your phone, first, do not send it to anyone else (this could be considered distribution of child pornography). Second: talk to a parent or trusted adult. Tell them the full story so they know how to support you. And don't freak out if that adult decide to talk with the parents of others involved--that could be the best way to keep all yo you from getting into serious trouble.
  • If the picture is from a friend or someone you know, then someone needs to talk to that friend so that he or she knows sexting is against the law. You 're actually doing the friend a big favor because of the serious trouble that can happen if they police get involved.
  • IF the photos keep coming, you and a parent might have to speak with your friend's parents, school authorities or the police.


Do you have teenagers? What do you think about checking up on them? What if they were sexting? That kids will be kids, right? What do you think?

Information provided by safeteens.com


Follower Friday Guest is Jaime Theler!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Follower Fridays

In honor of YOU!!

Okay, I've stolen this idea from Jackee (she does
what's called Search and Find Fridays), wove it with Jonathan's suggestion and Elizabethized it.

I will choose ONE of my followers and turn you into a fairy, merperson, goblin, vampire . . . along with something--anything--taken from your user *profile description and tag you the next day.

Muaha--muahahahahaaaa! >D

It would be fun for you to guess who it is I've chosen. You never know when you'll be next!


She is a mother of 3 beautiful kidlets, has written 2 LDS non-fiction books, and the first on her list of blogs that she follows is Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author.

Who Am I?
Answer to be announced Saturday!

*If anyone has any qualms about me drawing you, please let me know!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays

This is the day I will post thought-provoking things. Things that weigh heavily on me or that I feel needs addressing in some way.



In Honor of little Daxton.

Born July 25, 2006, Daxton Matthew Eberle was called back home to our Heavenly Father on March 23, 2008. He was a wonderful, fun loving little soul that loved to dance, loved to eat crackers, and loved his daddy.

It was a tragic accident. One in which happens quite common. More common than what we'd like to think. They are the ones that happen when we back up in the driveway in our vehicles and miss seeing the precious little soul darting behind us.

OC Register reports 116 children die every year this way. Here are a few tips I found on the Christensen Law Firm's site:

Primary Children’s Medical Center offers the following tips to help prevent a driveway accident:

• Teach your children not to play around vehicles, even when they are parked in the driveway or garage.
• If you have backup cameras or sensor devices in your vehicle, use them when you back out of your driveway.
• Check your driveway and around your vehicle before starting the ignition.
• When someone is leaving your driveway, make sure your children are supervised.
• Reduce your blind spots by adjusting your side mirrors.

I didn't know who Daxton was. But when I first read the anonymous article in the news paper about a child being run over and then a week later read Daxton's obituary, there was NO doubt in my heart that it was the very same.

I prayed. I cried. I fasted. This March 23 will be his 2nd in Heaven.

It is my plea and hope that we keep our eyes open and spread the awareness for our precious little ones at play. Even for those who have no kids, because your neighbors might.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writerly Wednedays

Networking, Part 1

I have dubbed my Wednesdays for writing. Anything writing. Muahahahahah! >)

I do post over at MMW on this day, that's why they are the same post. I know, I know... I'm such a cheater, but you love me anyway! ;)



I've been hit with the strength of love over the LTU&E weekend. Everyone from illustrious artist Nathan Hale, Hollywood special effects wizard Marty Brenneis, amazing author Brandon Sanderson, crazy cool James Dashner, the new J.K. Rowling Karen E. Hoover, warrior writer David J. West--and many more along with on-the-way-to-be-published little ole me--shared the spirit of brotherhood.

It was A-mazing.

The panelists shared with us their sacred passions as their followers (a potpourri of published & aspiring authors, along with young fans) cheered them on.

I've been thinking.

Q: What do you think makes LDS conferences different from others?

A:
The authors there truly reach out and CARE about the aspirations of children, mothers, fathers, students and you! At least that's been my experience.

There is no doubt the feeling of oneness there. There is no doubt the feeling of strength there. There is no doubt the feeling of the Spirit there.

Which faith you are doesn't matter, either--you are and do feel equal to the authors. They feel like real people and nothing like demigods.

Here is a passage quoted from the Ensign (I have color-coded keywords):

"When we understand our relationship to God, we also understand our relationship to one another. All men and women on this earth are the offspring of God, spirit brothers and sisters. What a powerful idea! No wonder God’s Only Begotten Son commanded us to love one another. If only we could do so!"

You will definitely taste this at any LDS writers conferences. No gospel is preached there--the only thing that is shared is the religion of writing.

"What a different world it would be if brotherly and sisterly love and unselfish assistance could transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color. Such love would not erase all differences of opinion and action, but it would encourage each of us to focus our opposition on actions rather than actors."
"Brigham Young gave us some practical advice on how to do this. “The difference between God and the Devil,” he said, “is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 69). In that contrast we have an important example of the reality of “opposition in all things” (2 Ne. 2:11)."

"Remember, our Savior, Jesus Christ, always builds us up and never tears us down. We should apply the power of that example in the ways we use our time, including our recreation and diversions."

Including our writing!!

"Consider the themes of the books, magazines, movies, television, and music we make popular by our patronage."

And not to mention by our authorship in those medias, right?

"Do the purposes and actions portrayed in our chosen entertainment build up or tear down the children of God? During my lifetime I have seen a strong trend to displace what builds up and dignifies the children of God with portrayals and performances that are depressing, demeaning, and destructive.

The powerful idea in this example is that whatever builds people up serves the cause of the Master, and whatever tears people down serves the cause of the adversary. We support one cause or the other every day by our patronage."

Or authorship.

"This should remind us of our responsibility and motivate us toward fulfilling it in a way that would be pleasing to Him whose suffering offers us hope and whose example should give us direction." Powerful Ideas, November 1995 Ensign. Elder Dallin H. Oaks Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

We, as the guardians of the written word, are dubbed with the authority to lead our readers to building of their hearts, strengthening their spirits, and inspiring their integrity.

I want to share with you that I have no doubt that if you feel the power of gravity pulling your hand to word, that it is the Lord who is behind it. Please don't let the whispers of discouragement stop you, but remember the feelings of flight when you write!

What are your experiences with writing conferences? Have you ever been to one where you felt like the one outside looking in?


Stay tuned to next week's Wednesday post, Valor Publishing Group's Blog Tour for author Karen E. Hoover's debut novel, The Sapphire Flute :)

Watch for Networking, part 2 on March 10!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too Me Tuesdays

Every Tuesday I will post something CRAZY (or not) about me!

Ahem... here I gooo!

Today is is the first day to enter for Brigham City Fine Art Center contest, Up a Tree.

The first thing that popped into my head was the picture you see here. A merfairy is serenaded by a tree fairy. I finished this piece back in November of 2009.

Ugh... The medium I used was pastel, color pencil, and charcoal. The finished product looks more like a diorama to me. I really aught to practice with oils. I've heard that oils are very forgiving. I am going to teach myself to use watercolor, too.

LOL


*Sigh. I want to try everything but don't have the money for it all.

Okay, here is another picture I drew with graphite pencil for Up a Tree. I just barely got this laptop and can't find any kind of photoshop anywhere and I am frustrated. Don't all computers come with some kind of photoshop?

Sorry to expose you to something so ugly. You know, being an artist, you don't want to show off your best in its worst stages!!!


Wish me luck in the contest!





What kind of ambitions do you have other than writing?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whoops! Blogfest: Breaktime Woes

Laurel Garver is hosting a Whoops! Blogfest at Laurel's Leaves! Make sure you read the entries for good laughing fun.

A-hem... This is something I'm writing right here, right now. Please forgive my first draft mistakes and have fun!!



I didn't know how much longer I could stare at my computer. Take one more call. Even the seat, as cushiony as it was, burned my backside.

"That's it, I'm taking a break!" I turned to Cheryl expectantly only to find her holding her hand up while she spoke into her headset. "No, I don't want to wait for you!"

But it was too late. The router patched me through to my next call. I frowned and slumped in my seat. I read off the computer screen as the caller made his order. I was eternally grateful to click my phone off and slam my headset down.

"Break time." I turned and found Cheryl's cubicle empty. I'll wait for you in the bathroom. Maybe we'll run into John this time? Her note read.

John. Like the hottest guy on my shift. I whirled around and darted through the narrow space that separated the cubicles from the operators and closed my eyes from the head rush.

"I shouldn't have gotten up so quick." A roll of dizzying nothingness hit me and I staggered to the restrooms. I pushed through the door and went straight to the mirrors and plucked at a gray hair. I heard someone clear her throat and sigh.

"Whoa, Cheryl, are you feeling okay? Your voice sounds really scratchy. Never mind. I'm so glad, I've waited to take a break since seven, can you believe that! My butt is on fire and I couldn't find a comfortable position any more. Did you see John? I wonder if we'll catch him out in the break room, what do you think?"

Then I thought of the caller I had just hung up with. "Can you believe how dumb men are? I mean, really, why would anyone want to buy that shoe finder. A shoe finder? I swear, the things As Seen on TV comes up with these days." I let out a loud laugh and wondered why she didn't laugh with me. I shrugged as I found another strand of gray.

"And not to mention the guy who ordered cream for balding heads, you know? The one where they can color their hair at the same time?" I swore as I plucked out three more hairs. "Why can't they invent something like that for women? I have more white hair than I have numbers in my bra!"

The toilet flushed.

"It's about time. I was wondering what you ate this morning--cuz man!" I waved the air and whooped, though I knew she couldn't see me, "you made it stink in here, girl!" I threw my head back and began to laugh. The laugh she found very annoying.

Footsteps.

"Dang, girl--," I spun around, tears smearing my cheap mascara from too much laughing. I stared in startled confusion at the tall figure with the seagreen eyes, 5 o'clock shadow and a square jaw. "John?" I choked out, stumbling back to the sink behind me.

"Why, Summer, I didn't know you had a thing for the men's restrooms."

Impromptu Mondays

I'm Prompt U!

The Time Machine




Okay. Mondays. I will assign my every Monday with a writing prompt. (I couldn't help but steal this idea from Lisa!)

It would be waaaay fun to write your thoughts in the comments below! Have fun!!!

When would you go if you had a time machine? Why?

Sunshine Award



The SuNsHiNe AwArD!!! Paulette was so sweet to have awarded this to me!!

I am awarding this blog to Jenni, Karen, Lisa, Shooting Stars, Kasie, Lizzie, Lori, Ali, Amber Lynae, Terresa, and Dianna!


Here are the "official" rules to accept the award:

◦Put the logo on your blog in your post.
◦Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
◦Link the nominees within your post.
◦Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
◦Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.


Thank you, Paulette!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sabbath Sounds

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Are you LDS?

It doesn't matter to me. Something that I feel I should have mentioned LONG ago is that even if I dig deep into my thoughts about spirituality, it is my every intention to provide a safe environment for every walks of faith. They all do something for us. Make us happier, stronger, better people.

Every Sunday I will post something uplifting. Something thought-provoking. I will also share with you how that thing has applied to me--whether or not I was able to live up to that standard. I will call this time "Sabbath Sounds".

I hope that you enjoy your Sundays with me!

"Mormanad," New Era, July 1986


Photography by Grant Heaton

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

Gospel topic: individual worth

I am a middle child. A survivor. I had to take what was given to me and that was that. Sometimes I had to create my own happiness when there was nothing around me but sorrow. I knew I was different because of the way the kids in school treated me. They tripped me in the halls. They swore at me. They excluded me. It made me sad. I cried very often.

But it taught me. It taught me to never behave the same way with others.

I root for the underdog.

At jobs, church, or social setting, I step out of my comfort zone and welcome the newcomer. I introduce myself and sit by them. I reach out to others and help them feel welcome. I know how it feels to be left out and would never want anyone to feel unloved.

How are you your own kind of beautiful?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You are NOT Alone


Strong, tall, and alone

Waves of growth beat and shape me

Into someone new



The conference is around the corner. Do you know what this means? Hours and hours of nonstop fun. What kind of fun do writers love? Networking. Writing advice. Book signings. Laughing about the voices in our heads. Q and A panels. Notebooks and pens. Introductions. Pitches. Contracts. And much, much more.



Do we sound like a bunch of geeks or what?



I love being a writer. I love connecting with them. I love being surrounded by “my own kind”. I feel right at home with the aspiring as well as the published . . . The editors, agents and publishers. How cool is that?



Nonstop highs for a few days straight.



Then we pack up and go home to the far reaches of the land. Not many of us are lucky enough to stay in the middle of it all. Our writing kin can only be reached through the space of computer land. Soon, the waves seem to rise and rise and rise until despair is all we have left.



How many of us feel separated from other writers? At every turn we find our ordinary lives mundane compared to the shiny world of writerland.



I know I do. A lot of the time. I feel like something inside me has shriveled and died and the weight of this awfulness darkens my entire soul. I reach out and try to strengthen the bonds of friendship made and feel drowned by my own efforts. I find that the more I think about my loneliness, the louder it becomes. It gets in the way. It smothers my normal side of life.


I think the writer is a funny creature. We yearn for writerly companionship, yet, we require solace for our creating—at least most of us do. Push and pull. Up and down. All around—eep!



Despite of all the awkward moments of connecting, and the loneliness we may face after the golden gates have closed behind us, I know we can still find love and acceptance by our kin (other writers).



The best way to combat this is to seek out our flock. They are everywhere. From Facebook, to Twitter, to ANWA, to Authonomy—and especially in the small crevices of life scribbling away. I think it is important to still connect with others, even if they are in the first steps of their journey.



They think like writers, right?



Imaginary characters chattering away. Plots plodding down the doors to our psyche. Settings unfurling into grand vistas.



We are truth seekers. We are quest takers. We are soldiers in the war of words. We are chosen to be the voice of the silent ones. Wow . . . it is no wonder life feels lonely when we are out of our element. It is a wonder the race of writers is still powerful and fighting and ferociously alive.



We are survivors. Drivers. Thrivers.



Do you have moments when you feel compellingly alone? Disconnected from the world of writers? How do you deal with your ‘down’ times?


PS--I was going to have this post until Friday, but I have felt the urging to post it sooner than that. I hope that this has helped others. Please remember if anything else, that you are NOT alone. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and reach out. Let's meet halfway! ;)


(Nikki, Jenni, Paul Genesse, and me: the photo, an example of authors in every walk of writerhood)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ideas for Acts of Service


I'd like to think of the entire month of February in honor of LOVE (because of Valentine's day). Here is a list of wonderful ways to show kindness to others (a handout given to me from church!)

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom,that ye may learn that when ye are nin the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Mossiah 2:17

* Send a note of cheer or thanks in the email
* Take in your neighbor's trash can, mail or newspapers
* Give someone a smile! it can go a long way!
* Wink!
* Visit the elderly or homebound
* Cook a meal
* Visit someone who is sick. Send them a "care" package
* Send flowers anonymously to cheer someone up
* Pray to someone in need
* Watch someone's children
* Lend a listening ear and an understanding heart!
* Compliment someone
* Share a scripture
* Share a talent you have with someone, like giving a free hair cut
* Offer a ride
* Give a call to someone
* Leave a note of appreciation on a doorstep, on a pillow, or in a lunchbox
* "Phantom" someone with goodies
* Shovel snow
* Rake leaves
* Keep an eye out for neighbors children and property
* Pray for someone
* Sit with an ill person to give their caretaker a break
* Put someone in need's name on the prayer roll
* Weed a neighbor's garden
* Share vegetables or flowers from your garden
* Snowblow the neighborhood sidewalks so the kids can get to school safely
* Watch out for other's "breaking points" and offer to help with children, etc
* Leave anonymous gifts, money, etc. for someone in need
* Speak well of others. Pass on only good information. Never gossip
* Stop to visit with someone
* Say "HI" to someone who looks like they need a friend
* Leave a poem on someone's desk, bed or pillow, or something to uplift them
* Just show up at someone's door if you know there is a need you may be able to help with
* Help fix someone's broken down vehicle
* Make someone's bed
* Clean up after dinner for mom
* Read a story to a child or a younger sibling
* Do a family member's chores for them
* Put coins in expired parking meters for people so the y don't get a ticket
* Nominate someone for an award, like KSL's "Teacher Feature" (OR a Blog award!)
* Clean the house while Mom is gone

I've added my own here:

* Be someone's writing mentor
* Help critique someone's WIP and be honest
* Make it a point to leave a comment when you visit someone's Blog ;)


What are some of your favorite acts of service?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hip, Hip--Hooray!



H
ip, Hip--Hooray!

Hip, Hip--Hooray!

What is just as cool as finding out you are the next to be published?? Why a close friend, of course!!

Andrea Pearson has worked hard to this point and now can let loose the laces and breathe.

Congratulations, Andrea--I am so proud of you!!!



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love at First Sight Kiss


Hello everyone! Do you have your bowl of popcorn before you? I think you should--get ready to read hours of smooching fun in honor of Valentine's Day! Thanks to Courtney Reese's Love at First Sight Kiss Blogfest, I get to share a scene from my "Tender Cupid Love" YA urban fantasy novel! I had the FUNNEST time writing it! Here Eros (Cupid), is sitting across from Angie and she can't stay quiet and all he wants to do is show her his influence as the god of love (and she doesn't know who he is).

Okay, enough said, here is the kissing scene!

“Do girls always talk so much?”

Angie’s mouth fell open. A slow blush crept across her cheeks. She tore her eyes away from his powerful gaze. Tears brimming.


“I like it when girls are soft. When they are breathless.”

She shrugged and dropped her face until her hair covered her eyes.

“Here, let me show you.”

Angie shrugged again and rolled her lips between her teeth. What an idiot she was. Of course it would be too wonderful to be real to have some gorgeous Greek hunk to want her. Even as a simple friend.

The cushion beside her depressed and she lost her balance with a shriek.
She gazed up into an endless pool of ocean green framed by dark cattail lashes. His smooth and flawless skin screamed out to her. His long hair soft wisps around his face.

“W-what?” she stammered.

Eros pressed a finger to her lips as he glided his other thumb over the corner of her mouth. His hands felt soft and feathery against her face. His breath a soft puff of heavenly breeze.

Angie forgot how to breathe. She forgot how to kiss. She even forgot how to close her eyes. Too stunned to do so, she watched Eros with rapt fascination as his long lashes swept shut, the delicious corner of his mouth visible to her greedy stare.

She heard Eros smile.

“Soft. Breathless. Can you feel yourself?”

“Huh?”

Eros pulled away, his hands tangling in her hair. “I like it when girls listen to my touch.” He ran his knuckles across her cheekbone. Angie leaned into his caress. “I like it when girls listen to my breath.” He hovered over her ear and she shuddered with pleasure. “I like it when girls listen to my kiss . . .” He brushed his lips across her cheek until he met the corner of her mouth.

Angie squeaked as Eros pulled away, replaced by a sudden cruel cold whoosh.
She blinked many times and found him sitting across from her, his eyes half-closed as he watched her. “Why did you stop?”

“I only wanted to show you what I like.”

“You did?” Angie sighed, trying so hard to still her wild heart. “So you liked it?”

She couldn’t help how he could like her.




Okay, I cheated. That was their very first kiss. Cupid was only showing off because he could, but it was here that he realized he is truly in love with her:



“Oh, Eros . . . Why do you have to be so handsome?”

His smile toppled to one side and he walked closer to her, the roses lifting to her hands. “I picked these for you this morning after you—.”

“Be quiet. I don’t want to ever talk about that again.” She reached for the roses and brought them to her nose. “Wow, they smell like familiar—like honey.” Her voice choked when she looked at his mouth.

Eros felt his cheeks turn hot. He loved the way her eyes caressed his face. He ran his tongue across his lips. He wanted her to be soft and breathless. It twined in his blood and he obeyed his urgency.

He moved closer to Angie and touched her cheek. His thumb glided across her skin as he lowered his face to hers.

“Soft and breathless, Angie, remember?”

Angie squeaked when her lips parted.

Eros felt her rise to the balls of her feet and lean into him. Her warmth magnetized his yearning and he moaned. A low sigh he shared alone with her. He glided his lips over hers. A small moment of friction that sent him hurtling into centuries past. The kiss. Strong and potent.

Unlike anything he had ever had in a very long, long time.





(If you haven't read my Kiss scene from Sherrinda's Blogfest, click here to read more on kissing. And here for the NO kiss scene by our Frankie. Thank you, guys!)
Comments, suggestions, thoughts--you name it!--are always welcome here! You can become my follower--I love seen faces and making friends. Don't be shy!

XOXOX
;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hi everyone!



I want to wish you a very





Happy Valentine's Day!!





What are you doing this special day? (I spent my time far away from mine here at LTUE, but don't worry, he'll make it up to me.) Muahahahah! >)

Friday, February 12, 2010

My New Blog Challenge

I've just created a new clip-art blog! Do you see that little fairy on the left of my blog? That's the new portal! The idea just hit me one day and I almost literally felt that little light bulb click on. Have you ever had that happen to you? I am so THRILLED about this and hope that you find it helpful for anything you may want.

I've drawn pages and pages of fairies for my girls to color along with dragons and mermaids. I have an Easter coloring book along with a Christmas one, too. Those I haven't scanned in yet, but I will post those (especially with Easter coming up) soon!

I am running a challenge for my followers! If you could invite a friend to my new blog and become a follower there, too, I will take the first 20 commented requests (of art) and post your ideas there.

Come by and check it out! :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What are You Waiting For?


You have a long stretch of uninterrupted writing time. You sit down, take a deep breath, and dive in. With one stroke of the key, a glide of the pen on paper, you bring to life characters hidden deep in your psyche. They grow, flourish and at last, take on a life of their very own. Sometimes they dictate the path of your story. Even develop their own minds and make choices that surprise you as the writer!

On a grander scale, our muse inspires our notions. The way our thoughts fall onto the blank screen. The way the words glide across, filling the void with life. We go wherever it leads us.



That is how I feel with the genre I choose. Once upon a time, I started out with high fantasy. I love creating my own worlds. Setting up my own trends along with laws and government and peoples. I invent names of species of animals, color of the sky and number of moons come night. I thought I’d never stray from the magic of ‘from the seat-of-my-pants creation’! Ever.

Well, that all changed when my muse inspired me to write urban fantasy. Not exactly something I can create straight from scratch, but I still don’t have to be correct with all the rules. All I have to do is mention a generalized area and throw in my fantasy element.



Well, one day, my muse decided to take it a step further and throw a banana in my makings.

One day as I was on my way home, I heard to a beautiful piece of heavy metal music. A story unfurled its might wings and took flight. Rock Star. As soon as I got home, I whipped out my computer and recorded my first contemporary novel. Not one ounce of fantasy.

And I here thought I’d never see the day that I’d write a book that didn’t contain a shred of reality.

For this purpose, I feel that it is wise to accept every opportunity that comes our way. If there is a workshop that offers how to write mystery, take it. A class that teaches the art of spicing up a love scene between two characters, try it. What about a conference that deals solely with fantasy or science fiction? What then?

No? Fantasy isn’t for you? But what if one of these days—as it was with mine—your muse inspires you with a story so powerful you know you must take the chance and write it all down—and it is fantasy? If your characters can come to life and take the story away from you, and if your muse gives you what it wants when it wants, you might never know what may be next.

Romance. Mystery. Fantasy. Science Fiction . . .


Here is your chance to give your muse something to sink her teeth into. LTUE. It "is a 3-day symposium with panels, workshops, presentations and papers on writing, art, literature, media, science on aspects of speculative fiction". Honored guests author Brandon Sanderson, special effects Marty Brenneis, artist Nathan Hale, and many more will all be there! A mighty feast for your muse to devour and it is all for FREE! You never know. You may be the very next author who creates the next greatest fantasy novel ever.

Have you ever been to a place your muse has boldly taken you where you’ve never gone before? If so, tell me more, I want to hear all about it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Character Craze!


This is the thing. In real life, we think as we speak, right? (Maybe?) Well, when we write, we can't do this:

I stumbled up them stairs and crashed head first into the thingie. "Dagnabit!" I busted out, cradling my noggin, "Ma, why'd you leave Joelynn's toy there?" I glared at her all ugly like and she stared at me all cock-eyed. "Ain't funny, Ma!"

Okay, I think you've got the point. That, my dear, is real life. Don't we all think the way we speak? Our speech is as good as our thoughts, right? No? Maybe? There is a difference, however, when we put our 'thinking caps' on and write intelligibly:

I stumbled up the stairs and crashed head first into the banister. "Dagnabit!" I cried out, cradling my head, "Ma, why'd you leave Joelynn's toy there?" I glared at her when she gave me a teasing wink. "Ain't funny, Ma!"

For my WIP, I am writing 3rd person. He loves to party, drink and do all sorts of naughty things. You can imagine his way of thinking and speaking. I am wondering how do I separate my voice from his when I write? (Especially when he is drunk):

Mirah. Her face was in a tight pinch, her glasses flipped up to the crown of her head. Through the small window of groupies, Moggie saw her haul something over them with a low grunt.

“Oh s*!” Moggie shouted, but he couldn’t move or get away. The girls were heavy on him. “Move!” he roared. But just as he managed to pry one girl off, down it came. Icy. Wet. Everywhere. The girls bounced away with a chorus of shrieks.

“Get out of my room, Moggie!” Mirah’s turned red. She dropped the bucket on his head and it made a hollow sound as it bounced away.


Okay, the 'narration' is me talking and telling the story, but Moggie can NOT possibly think that clearly because he is dead drunk. I've had people tell me that I need to stay true to their character.

If I am going to write a YA of a high school girl who uses lots of slang--I know I can't use slang as I write the book, But! I can't use big words unless she is an honor student or something. Can you see how this is a bit contradictory?

Eek!!

Oh, and to use contractions. On one of my novels (that I've rewritten), I contracted every word in the story outside of dialogue because the POV was a 17 year old girl and it became most distracting.

*Sigh*

Where do you draw the line and how do you balance out this little problem? Is it even a problem for you? I would LOVE to hear from you!

PS--If you really like all this rock star talk, you've GOT to visit Nikki's post on them! It is hilarious and oh-so-true!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My blog is Over the Top! :)

Thank you, Kasie, for giving me this award! She had mentioned just how crazy she is, maybe I am just as crazy? LOL. (I am very excited to meet you in real life, too--it'll be chaotic, won't it?)

;)



Rules: Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? Crazy
Your Hair? Black
Your Mother? Tired
Your Father? Weird
Your Favorite Food? Brownies
Your Dream Last Night? Forgot
Your Favorite Drink? Smoothie
Your Dream/Goal? Published
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Working
Your Fear? Failure
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Published
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren't? Weak
Muffins? Yes
Wish List Item? Logcabin
Where Did You Grow Up? City
Last Thing You Did? Blogged
What Are You Wearing? Dress
Your TV? Big
Your Pets? Cat
Friends? Virtual
Your Life? Satisfying
Your Mood? Thoughtful
Missing Someone? Always
Vehicle? Durango
Something You Aren't Wearing? Makeup
Your Favorite Store? Bookstore
Your Favorite Color? Black
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
Last Time You Cried? Yesterday
Your Best Friend? Mike (hubby)
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Facebook
Facebook? Many
Favorite Place To Eat? Italian


Here are my Crazy FiVe!
  1. Jenni James
  2. Ali Cross
  3. Christine Bryant
  4. Courtney Reese
  5. Elana Johnson

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Sweet and Tender Love (Like NO Other)

This will be a short and simple post.

It is of a testimony that was born March 28th, 2009. Do you remember that day? The day when millions of our beloved young women gathered to partake of Heavenly Father's love? It was the General Young Women Meeting.

As I had signed up for a ticket to attend, I found myself surrounded by thousands of young women. Their singing was beyond anything I've ever experienced. Powerful. Uplifting. Pure. I felt Heavenly Father's love pouring down on them. I literally felt His love for them! I openly wept as I basked in the glow of the Spirit.

Yes, He loves them!




It was only today that my 13 year-old daughter had to make a choice. Should she go along with the youth to do baptisms for the dead or stay? She was faced with this because she had just recently injured her foot and she feared the sting of the chlorinated water and watchful eyes.

As she presented her dilemma to our Father in Heaven, and as she began her prayer, I received another testimony so strongly that it took me back to the 28th of March. With tears streaming down my cheeks and as she closed her prayer, I gazed at my beautiful daughter.

I felt Heavenly Father's love for her. He truly loves her.


I know He loves you, too. Of that, I have absolutely no doubt. When have you felt the Lord's love the strongest?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fight Scene BlogFest

In honor of Mireyah Wolfe's Fight Scene BlogFest! (Here's one for you, David!)




One of many fight scenes in Chengral (historical/sci-fi/romance):

(it is in its first draft, please forgive the errors!) I hope you enjoy reading it. *Crossing fingers!


“Chengral!” Halla cried out, writhing against the binds, her body exposed withing the warmth of the ember’s glow.


Chengral reached to her and was about to adjust her ripped clothing when he heard the heated shouts behind him.


“Look out!” Halla screamed. Two men flashed their swords and charged, their mouths wide with roars. “Chengral!” Halla shrieked. She dropped her head down and away, shrinking.


Chengral covered her with his body and blocked the attack with his arm, metal connecting bone. He howled, but lifted his leg at the same time. The movement a mere flash that sent the assailant several lengths away. The man barely cleared the fire pit.


The other man lunged, the point of his sword sinking into Chengral’s back. He snarled from the blazing agony. He was at a disadvantage—his other hand bound and, still, he possessed no weapon. Again, the man stabbed him and leaped away from Chengral’s mighty kicks.


Halla shouted to the man and he shook his head and yelled back at her. She jutted her chin and spat on the ground at him, her magnificent eyes on fire.


Chengral turned from Halla, gauging the man as he shifted with many small steps closer to them, his sword lifting. Chengral closed his eyes and listened to him. His breath, his proximity, his technique. Then he opened his eyes and lifted his foot from the ground, a graceful arc in the air. The man dodged it, leering as he swung his sword. Chengral found leverage in the momentum of his swinging leg and lifted his body into the air, his other leg lashing out.


With the powerful impact of Chengral’s secondary kick to his sword arm's unprotected shoulder, the man shrieked. The sword flew from his grasp—barely grazing Chengral’s first leg. The man spun in the air several times and crashed against the large stones surrounding the fire pit.


Chengral landed with his feet planted firmly in the soil, now facing Halla whose eyes were wide and worshipful. Her eyes swam with crowding tears as they held his, her mouth parted and body trembling. Her chest rose up and down with her violent breaths and she dropped her head against his chest, sobs coming loud and fast.


He pressed her head against him and kissed the top of her head.

Lovely Blog Award

On January 6th, 2010, a close friend of mine awarded me this:




I was flabbergasted when Ali Cross awarded the Lovely Blog Award to me! ME? ME?? Wow... I've always wanted to make an impression on others for good. This took me completely off guard and made me teary eyed. Ali, thank you!

The rules to issuing the Lovely Blog Award is that I need to link to the person who gave me the award and pass the award on to ten blogs that I've most recently discovered. I need to let them know that I chose them . . .


  1. Kim Coates
  2. Rebecca J. Carlson
  3. David J. West
  4. Melissa J. Cunningham
  5. Kimberly Job
  6. Angie Lofthouse
  7. Amber Lynae
  8. Jaime Theler
  9. Pendragon Inman
  10. L.T. Elliot


What awards have you won and for what merit--whether in cyberspace or in real life?
It's lovely being recognized, pass the torch!