Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writerly Wednedays

Believe in Yourself



(photo found on Bing)



Did you ever notice that getting to your destination is a whole lot longer than arriving back home? Whether its by plane, car or foot. Have you ever wondered why?

I thought about that as I walked over to a friend's house. It took longer arriving there than getting back home. How is that if its the same exact number of steps?

I believe it's all in in the mind. A person has a certain mindset of anticipation as s/he travels to the place. Anticipation is like suspense. Suspense makes things edgier and a bit harder to bear. We are yet empty, waiting to be filled.

Once we arrive, we can relax.

The journey home is shorter, I believe, because we are no longer hit with the feeling of expectation. We are filled with what we had set out to do. Yes, even if its from a dentists chair (Bleh!). Our minds no longer dwell on the suspense so the traveling time seems much shorter.

I'm wondering how I could apply this writing.

At first, it starts out as something whimsical. A word here. A word there. Then a poem, maybe? Or a short story? A book . . . Then sometime along the way, we decide to we want to be published. From the starting point, the pathway seems long and impossible. Even trying.

There are constant road blocks. Nay sayers. Rejections. Sharing with others. Critiques. Editing. Revamping. Learning curves. Applications. Finding a good critique group. Finding worthwhile writing friends. Being able to attend writing conferences. There is much more that should be added, but that would make this post way too long! ;)

I can see how writers become so very needy after all this!

I understand that some of the things I've mentioned wouldn't be considered road blocks, such as giving or receiving a critique. I feel it all depends on which stage of writing we're at.

I attribute our readiness to our thoughts. The mind is a powerful thing. We can make it happen or not. We can let others drag us down with their critiques or let it build us. We can say it's their loss when a certain agent rejects us. We can use our growing pains to reach out and help newer writers, even older ones who still face doubt.

I feel that now is the time for writers. Karen told me that when she started out, she hardly knew any writers. There are so many now. Have you noticed? I have!

I believe that the Lord is inspiring an army of us to take the lead and become what the world needs--published authors. Trust yourself in your abilities and believe that you are meant to write, no matter the nay sayers and rejections and discouragement.

What stage in writing are you at? How have you overcome some hurdles in your writing career?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Too Me Tuesdays

Stay-at-home MoM





I grew up wanting to be a mom who stayed home with her kids. Just like my mom. I loved it when she was there as I came home from school. It was always a comfort to hear her washing dishes, making dinner, cleaning house.

There was a huge gap of emptiness when both of my parents left us alone. Well, it was fun at first. The whole house to ourselves while we ravaged it like savages? Then it would get too quiet.

I married believing I would stay home with my babies. No. To my disbelief, I didn't. I went back to work after my first baby was 3 months old. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Most of my paycheck went to child care and eventually, we felt it was best for me to stay home on kid later.






I have to admit that we don't have nice boats, four-wheelers, snowmobiles, fancy cars, fancy furniture. We have none of those things. We have what we need. We don't starve. We are happy. It is a struggle sometime, but the price is so little compared to what it does for our family!!

I'm so happy being home with my kids. I love their little quirks, their little smiles and habits. I've never once regretted being home with them.

What are your views on mothers staying home with their kids?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Impromptu Mondays

I'm Prompt U!

Childhood Dreams






Think of what you wanted to be while growing up. If you woke up tomorrow morning as that thing, what would it be and what would you do?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sabbath Sounds

“New Era Poster,” New Era, Nov. 2002, 19




Photography by Kelly Larsen. Idea by Amy Washburn

Discover the Beauty Within
Real sparkle is not something you put on. It comes from the heart. (See 1 Sam. 16:7.)

Gospel topic: individual worth

I've noticed, and it's because of the media, that people obsess with beautiful, thin, popular. Of course the media would glamorize it. It sells.

It's hammered into our heads from the very start. We are all submerged into a world of contradiction, but we tend to sway to what's easier.

So how do I get away from this close-minded thinking?

It was only last week that I felt the pain at its harshest. If I am so busy comparing myself, how can I appreciate what's in my heart? If I don't appreciate what's in my heart, then I'm not good company. Just a high-maintenance mess.

Here is a scripture that comes to mind:

34 The light of the body is the aeye: therefore when thine eye is bsingle, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of cdarkness.

Do I want to be filled with darkness because I don't appreciate my worth? I know that I have beauty inside. That is what really counts. Not physical beauty--that only takes you so far, but inner beauty takes you all the way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Speak out Saturdays

Are We Losing Humanity?



Imagine your buddies calling you up to go to a football game. You load the truck with chips, dip, a cooler full of pop and friends. You laugh and joke and chat about which team will win and who will end up having to pay for dinner.

You pull up to the parking lot and bring out your folding chairs as you wait for the sky to darken. The screen flickers on and you see Zac Efron biting on his mouth guard while Robert Pattinson stretches on the field. Tom Cruise pulls the helmet over his hair and Johnny Depp winks at cheerleaders Drew Berrymore, Jennifer Aniston, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Wait a minute! What is wrong here? Is this for real? What ever happened to real football players?




My sister is taking Creative Arts at U of U and has shared with me the dying art of . . . art. Plays? Operas? Museums? What are those? What about studying literature in schools? The instructor has many friends who own businesses and they say that interviewees speak in slang. What? Is that what we're heading toward?

What about debate teams in High School? Remember those? and studying Shakespeare? learning how to write poetry?

Because of budget cuts, schools are suffering loss of art programs like music, pottery, workshop. Did you know that on a higher level, colleges are cutting out humanities due to these cuts? We are losing our culture as mankind!

This is an excerpt from the NY Times:
"An increasingly large concern among many business leaders, engineers, doctors and other specialists, is that teaching "humanities" is a waste of time and money. These critics claim that instruction in courses like history, art, philosophy, literature, religion and languages do not prepare students for the workforce and therefore are worthless to the economy."




Imagine a class full of graduating doctors, engineers, lawyers and such that have never heard of Shakespeare. They don't know how to write books. They don't know about Moby Dick and may ask if that's a name of a contraceptive.

I may be exaggerating, but I think you understand where I am going with this. It frightens me what our nation is doing to our young people. (And removing the science program would make a wonderful Saturday topic, right?)




I've collected a few comments found on BBC News's debate if Story Telling is a dying art:

Story-telling isn't exactly a dying art. It is simply being transformed into tv and radio programs. Oral history and literature is also being immensely collected and published so that the stories are not lost. Examples of folklorists who are ensuring that the next generation will read the old fireside stories are Dr. Ezekiel Alembi, Ruth Finnegan, Roger Abrahams, Taban lo liyong, Oyekan Owomoyela, Harold Courlander to mention but a few. Through story-telling, diasporic Africans are beginning to know more about the jubilations, tribulations, trepidations and cultural heritage of their African forebears. Yoruba stories such Ijapa/Ajapa are also found in Costa Rica, Cuba and Brazil. The famous Anansi/Anancy of Ghana is called Bra Takuma (after his son, Ntikuma) in Jamaica. There are Gullah griots in Sea Island and Sapelo, in South Carolina who tell their stories very much like the Mande speaking Djeli.
Sitsofe Kwaku Agbemenu, New York, USA


I think we have become more concerned about other issues in life. Villagers are too hungry to listen to long stories. City dwellers are addicted to their television sets. Western influence no doubt is gradually overshadowing African tradition.It will take a miracle to revive them.
Jude Ehi, Canada



Is technological sophistication giving way to barbaric humanity? What are we left with if a horrid disease wipes out all of Hollywood and any movie producing studio worldwide?


Why not? Humanity is a waste of being, is it not?

Friday guest is Kim Coates!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Follower Fridays

Who am I?



She is a wonderful mother of a 3 and 1 1/2 year old children. She loves to digital scrapbook. She has a passion for writing and is working on her first novel. She's also looking join a critique group.

Can you guess who she is?



Answer to be announced Saturday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays

Most Popular?






I've been letting something consume me lately. I've forgotten why I started blogging.

In the beginning, I did it for myself. I enjoyed it. It was sweet, nice . . . me. But lately, I've been thinking of ways I could write for you. I lost myself in it. I became a slave to writing things that I thought might appeal to you.



Then it started to feel fake, you know? Where did I go? I'm having to start all over again. With myself. Priorities. First it's the Lord. Then my family. Then everything writerly. Things will fall into place if I only remember this every single time!



What things take over in your life? How do you stop, pull out, and start all over?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Writerly Wednedays

Book Launch




From left to right:
Sheila, Michelle, Tristi, Shanda, Daron, Kim, Karen, Hillary










Karen Hoover's first baby, The Sapphire Flute!

She did so wonderfully playing the real thing with Paulette!










They played "Watermark" by Enya. It was so beautiful! *Sigh...


Daron Fraley, The Thorn (Book One, the Chronicles of Gan)
one proud daddy of his newborn baby book ;)




Michelle Ashman Bell, and Summer in Paris!
Congratulations! :D






Last, but never least, Tristi Pinkston with her way-out FUN Secret Sisters!

Here are a fun shots I got with a few of the coolest authors hanging there! :D





That's me with Suzette Saxton! (can you see Karen in the background, left?)












Elana Johnson
, she's such a cool friend.












Jenn Johansson
, the girl with the prettiest smile! :)













I had so MUCH fun! I really love love love coming to writerly gatherings, it's like a family reunion every time!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Too Me Tuesdays

Abby Annis has tagged me! (How sweet, thank you!) The rules say that I need to complete the sentences and tag three people.

Ready???

I like a nice quiet house.
I like a nicely made bed.
I like to make friends.
I like to sleep in.
I like to read.
I like to draw, sing, dance, hike.
I like to watch the sun set.
I like brownies--yummy! :)
I like waking up in the mornings, knowing my husband has the day off. *Sigh...
I like when my kids don't fight.
I like going to writers conferences and book launches--they are SO fun!
I like to feel sore after a good work out.

I love to write.

Today was very productive. Did dishes and wrote over 3,000 words! Whoohoo! (Monday)

I hate daylight savings time. Really--especially the spring time one. It's been such a hard adjustment for everyone I know.
I hate being rushed or late, I want to be there to see it as it unfolds.
I hate when my day escapes me when I haven't quiet set my priorities.
I hate feeling angry or sad.
I hate cleaning the bathroom--I just have my kids do it! Muahahahhaha >D
I hate when people judge others and leave it at that.
I hate the kids complain and say it's all my fault, especially when I didn't do anything.
I hate rumors.

I (secretly) like feeling important. :D

I love thunderstorms. (Yes, just like Abby!!)

I tag:

Stephanie Chery

Michelle Teacress

Pendragon at 700blankpages

:)

PS--I took last week off from the internet and really loved it. I wrote very close to 8,000 words in between family, house, and church and no Sundays. As I came online (Monday), I felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia when I saw that many of my friends had left comments on my blog! I felt so warm and special and loved.

Then I felt torn.

I was actually thinking of cutting my bloggie time down to thrice a week so that I have more me-writerly time. I've prayed about it. I think that's what I really should be doing, because the sooner I get my baby out into the real world, the better!

I still haven't quite decided which days, but I will let what posts I've written roll out (all the way up to April 6th) and then I'll go to the new schedule.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Impromptu Mondays

I'm Prompt U!!
(Hi! I'm back--I missed you guys!)


Character for the Day





If you step into any fictional novel, which character would you be?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Writerly Wednedays


Networking--LINKS!
(I know I said I was going unplugged, but I promised to have this posted this coming Wednesday and it's already scheduled to post, I'm not online--enjoy!)



Links for Conferences
:


There are many, MANY conferences available for writers. I have been where I felt like a grunt. A nothing. As if the writers hosting the conference were divas. It was horrible. How would you know which conferences are the good ones and will actually help you GROW and not feel like it's the impossible dream???

I am still learning where to find them, but I know of a stalwartly trusted source that will always provide those worthwhile ones to attend. It is Valor Publishing Group. Click here to find out which conferences are worth your salt!

Because ALL writers are worth it!!

Before I go on, I need to mention Nichole's post in her blog about networking. She has some helpful links for you! Come by and read it. So very important! :)


Links for Writers Groups:

ANWA
: a wonderful network of LDS mothers who care for each other and nurture one another

Romance Writers of America: Romance Writers of America. It helps hone your interest through networking and support as a writer, especially in the Romance genre.


Links for Networking:


Authonomy.com: A wonderful site where it unearths new talent. You can submit your unpublished, or self-published works for others to read and help you grow. You create your own site to host your WIPs.

Blogger: A site where you can share thoughts, photos, ideas! The more blogs you follow, the more you are spotted by others!

Facebook: a wonderful place where you can find long lost friends, make new ones and post thoughts and ideas and even 'advertise' your personal blog post.

Goodreads: A place where you can find book recommendations from friends, keep track of what you've read and what you'd like to read, create a book club and discuss your favorite books.

LDStorymakers: This is a place where published authors hang. If you are LDS, you may apply within!

LDS Publisher
: A wonderful place for networking, contests, author booksignings and launch parties--explore it!

LiveJournal: you can blog about anything you want here. It provides software, email and websites.

NaNoWriMo: or National Novel Writing Month. It a non-profit organization holding a creative writing project once a year during the month of November. They have forums where other writers can connect!

Scribblerati:
social network for writes and illustrators. I've just joined it and it's a great way to get to know other artists like you!

Twitter:
A place where you can find and make friends and show your recent blog posts.

Yalitchat:
It is an online community where you can "write, read and live YA." ;D


I know there is a wealth of information out there. Which ones are the ones you depend on for your writerly passions??

Monday, March 15, 2010

Impromptu Mondays

Birds of a Feather Flock Together!
A post about book launches and writer conferences--A Writer's Reunion!





This is a wee bit different than my other Monday posts. (Sorry, creative writers, but I'll give you your prompt next week!)



My friend, Amber, and I were chatting on Facebook about the book launch this Thursday. She said something that lit a light bulb in my head. She said (sorry, I can't quote her, but I can
paraphrase!), "I love writer's conferences, they are like a family reunion."



So well said, Amber!



LTUE was so fun. I met friends that I've made over Facebook and old ones from last year's
LDStorymakers Writers Conference. We were all very happy to see each other again and even for the first time. We spent time at lunch. Mingling and mixing from class to class. Expanding the circle of friends. Dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, Los Hermanos.


In fact, I felt as if a huge hand reached in and ripped me out a few days after the conference ended. :(



There is that special connection meeting with other people who obey the voices in their heads! I just love them!



How do you feel about book launches, writers conferences and author signings?

I'm going to join L.T. Elliot in her unplugged week!

No online playing for me until Monday. I'll surely miss your fun comments and wonderful blogs.

I need to haul tail in my current WIP--it's almost done. Almost isn't good enough for me and I don't want to keep the publisher waiting too much longer!

XoXoXo

Until then . . .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sabbath Sounds

“Mormonad,” New Era, Feb. 1990, 7

Photography by Jed Clark

Differences Can Be Appealing
All of us are needed to make life delicious. (See Rom. 12:5.)

Gospel topics: individual worth, self-esteem, tolerance, values


I've always asked myself this question: How many times have doubted myself because I compared myself to someone else?

This is my answer: A lot of the time.

I know it's not something that I should do at all. I know I would find it disturbing if my little girl compared herself to a friend. It would break my heart because I know what precious things lie in her.

So why do I do this? I know that if it hurts me when I only imagine my children doing it, how much more it hurts Heavenly Father?

"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else."
Kim Coates quoted Judy Garland on Sometimes Hard, But Oh-So Worth It.

Oh, how true.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Speak out Saturdays

Judging Others

(photo by Joy Erickson)


My first job. I was excited and scared. I started with the mind to do my best and shine. As I stepped through the doors and tied on my apron, several of the coworkers warned me about the night shift-supervisor.


"She's a monster," a girl said as she formed claws in front of her, baring her teeth.


She wasn't working that night. I was holding my breath with anticipation and wondering how awful she was. One thing was for sure, I was determined to find out for myself.


The next evening, I met her. A petite gal with a pleasant face. A pleasant enough voice. And her personality?


Well . . .



She was very nice. I really liked her.



"Well?" the same girl asked me later on, glancing over her shoulder. "She's a witch, isn't she?"


It turned out that the supervisor followed rules and didn't allow anyone to break them. As simple as that. I got along well with her. In fact, so well, that the others thought she was playing favorites. They had her pegged and didn't care to see past their judgment of her. I was so grateful that I had not listened to them, giving this gal a chance.


Judging others. Listening to rumors. Choices.



This brings to mind something that is circuiting right now. There are words. Words tossed into the writers' world about a certain publisher. The one that doesn't let writers have friends? The one that wants to sever them from the Mormon community? The one that is out to get us?


I am clearly aware of the facts of the particular situation that led up to these speculations. For those who it directly affected, my heart truly goes out to them. For those who are resentful and freely share their feelings about the publisher in a wrongful manner, I would think that it is degrading to everyone involved.



This can apply to anything in our lives:
Moroni 10:4:
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.


I know how it looks. How it must feel and how it seems. But I really feel that before we say words, strong words that destroy, we ought to prayerfully consider those things.



Valor Publishing Group is powerful opportunity for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints to bridge themselves into the national market. It is a wonderful opportunity for those who do not belong to the church to submit clean manuscripts.


If these allegations are weighing you down regarding your decision of whether to submit to them or not, pray.
Heavenly Father never leads us astray.


Gossip hurts. Gossip is cancer. Gossip kills.



Follower Friday Guest is Amber Lynae!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follower Fridays


One moment she can be a french maid and the next, a trophy wife. She loves to paint the rooms in her house and if you look in her favorite books list, the first one listed is Gone with the Wind.

Who Am I?
Answer to be announced Saturday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays

I am Drowning!



Lately, a priority shift has thrown me.

I have a good friend who is a wonderful mom. She has more than six kids and is a wonderful writer. She can edit during the day and free write when they all in bed at night.

I really admire and look up to her. I tried her way. I crashed and burned. I am not her. I can't be her. I am me.

There are things I've noticed slipping as I did those things (editing during the day rather than night...) I know I can still stop what I am doing and attend to the needs of my kids as they need me, but I really expect more from . . . me.



Yes, I am there for them. I talk to them about any pressures. I make sure I lead by example. Not do as I say and not as I do type thing. I teach them spiritual things. Temporal things. All things. We have scripture study every morning, family home evening, prayer . . .

But I have fallen short. I am not there for their interests.

My son is recent WeBeLos. But I haven't cracked open the book to read and help him with his goals like I used to. My daughter is very needy. She loves to read with me. She loves it when I make up stories about her and Prince Spicy. My other daughter needs me with her Personal Progress. And maybe just to hang out with her and read while she reads. My little boy needs me to be insistent when it comes to learning speech words for preschool.

It's the little things, you know? Those are the most important things. And I've been failing them. All because I've decided to emulate that good friend. I am not her. I am me. I need to press the reset button and start all over again.

I need to give myself permission to know that it's okay to be me.


Life is too sacred. Too precious. Too fleeting to let Goliaths take
control of ourselves. I need to remember that all the time so that I won't forget.


How do you do it? How do you meet your family's needs without leaving out the little things?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writerly Wednedays

Networking, part 2



Remember those dark, empty, forlorn days when we obsessively checked our mail box or e-mail for that one letter? How many of us have gray hair from then?? :D How much darker it would have been without the loving support of our friends--especially that of our writerly friends!

Writerly friends? They are wonderful people who understand our crazed mania for the written word, wouldn't you agree? ;)

I've searched for inspiring articles to share with you about friendships, and just how powerful they can be (friends, not articles though articles can be just as powerful!). A great writer is someone who once stood on the shoulders of another great writer.

Here is the part of the article I found in the Ensign that applies to us needy writers:
"When she arrived in the San Francisco Bay area, she was alone and needed to establish herself in a social circle. She weighed her options: meet friends as she had during school—at bars—or go back to church and meet friends there.

"
April chose church. It was not easy. She still thought the Church crowd was stale and even odd, but she felt an inner pull to reconnect with the Spirit. She gave herself six months to find friends, and if unsuccessful, she would return to the scene she felt more accustomed to."

How many of us have felt that way in the world of writers as we tried to break into it? Or even during the process of finding our place in it?

"April began attending a young single adult ward, sitting on the back row and sneaking out after sacrament meeting. She gradually stayed for all meetings. Almost six months to the day after deciding to come back to church, she realized she felt comfortable there, she had made several good friends, and most important, she was feeling the Spirit again and gaining a testimony of the gospel. She decided to stay."

We can apply April's experience in finding her social life to ours as writers with other writers. Mingling. Sharing. Growing. The best way to do this is to go to conferences.

Be witty. Be resilient. Be bold.

"“Thank goodness I chose the Church,” April says. “It’s made all the difference. I’ve been able to make lots of friends, and that’s helped me get my life back on track and going in the right direction. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and although I have many good friends who aren’t LDS, I still need to have the influence of my friends who are.”"

Heavenly Father wants us to reach out to others. To influence them so that they feel uplifted, loved, cherished. Think about it. Would you be where you are without the support of good friends? How about good writing pals?

On the other side of the book cover ;), is our writing doing the same? Uplifting our readers? Loving our readers? Cherishing our readers?

"As a young single Church member myself, I have often been struck by the power my friends and associates have to influence the choices I make—large and small. Most often I’ve been struck by how that power can be wielded for good. I have been impressed again and again as I’ve watched individuals and groups make good decisions—and as my friends have helped me make good choices too."

Ah, the powerful influence of networking . . .

"Surrounding ourselves by good people is a principle most of us have been taught since our youth, but finding good associates—especially when we are establishing our own lives away from our parents—can be challenging. Several young single adults have shared their ideas with me about where and how to cultivate good associates."

You can also say this about writing. Surround ourselves by writing people. I know that some of us live in islands of normal people--c'mon, you've got to admit that writers are nuts, aren't we? The voices in our heads never cease! ;) But that's the beauty of the internet! We can connect with writers in Germany if we wanted! Join online writers groups . . . Heaven's the limit! ;)

"Good associates may not ultimately share all our values or beliefs, but they will understand them, respect them, and help us honor them. True friends never ask us to be less than we should be, and they consistently help us to be better. These are the friendships we should honor and treasure."

Oh how true this is! It doesn't matter where their faith is founded so long as they "never ask us to be less than we should be, and . . . consistently help us to be better." And, of course, the same applies to us on how we influence others. ;)

Okay, I thought this would be a wonderful thing to read and think about how we could apply this to ourselves as well.


"The Marks of a True Friend

The scriptures provide the surest guide to finding and being true friends:

Bear one another’s burdens.

“Ye are … willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8–9).

Share testimony with each other.

“Stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in” (Mosiah 18:9).

Love unceasingly.

“A friend loveth at all times” (Prov. 17:17).

Be a good influence.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17).

Be loyal.

“Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands” (D&C 121:9).

Give of yourself.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)."In Good Company, Lisa Ann Jackson, October 2003 Ensign

I find this a very exciting time to becoming an author. We are signing ourselves into God's army as we bravely march into the lone and dreary wilderness.

Tell me how you've reached to others with their writing. How does it make you feel when you know that you are making a difference in their lives?

For my March 17 post, I will provide as many connections to writers as I possibly can come up with!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Awards

I've been awarded a few awards the past week and here they are:


Shannon dubbed me with this wonderful award and I really loved the way she did it. She is so very thoughtful and kind!! Thank you! ;)

I will pass the torch to 10 thoughtful, warmhearted, kind bloggie pals now!

1. Ali Cross--for her dedication to helping me succeed with my current WIP, her friendship and love of having friends!

2. Christine Bryant--for being there for me when I feel down. What a true and loyal friend!

3. Karen Hoover--for taking a leap into the unknown and willing to be my friend without getting to know me first. You have a big heart, Kay!

4. Shari Bird--for your powerful presence and love for me as a person and writer.

5. Shanna Blythe--for your courage, faith and strength in following your dreams.

6. L.T. Elliot--for your never ending cheering and uplifting support as a fierce friend.

7. Shannon ODonnell--for being so thoughtful and willing to share what she has so trustingly. It is such an honor to be your friend. Thank you for sharing with Levi, too!

8. Jenni James--for being so down-to-earth, friendly, compassionate, spiritual, achiever . . . and rockin' mommy!

9. Elizabeth--for her valiance in believing in others even when they do not. You really should visit her blog, she is awesome!

10. Andrea Pearson--for following her heart! She is a caring friend who'se there when I need her!


_________________________________




David at Nephite Blood, Spartan Heart, awarded me the Creative Writer Blogger Award!

Thank you!



I am to write six lies and one truth.
Hmmmm, this is going to be FUN! Wheeeeee!




1. I used to be a fashion model where I grew up. Life got too fast for me, especially when my agent wanted more than my business. I quit and moved to Utah and settled down.

2. I've just joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

3. I attended University at El Paso and graduated with Bachelors in Business.

4. For my honeymoon, we stayed in Hawaii for a week. We snorkeled, bungee jumped, and skinny dipped at night!

5. I was dating five guys during my college years, and all of them asked me to marry them.

6. I've written a novel of 87,917 words under two weeks.

7. I hate to read.



I give this fun award to my bloggie friends: Christine at Day Dreamer, Amber Lynae at Seriously Amber Lynae, and Carol from Carol's Prints!


(Now onto the regular programming: Karen E. Hoover's press release with Valor on Too Me Tuesday.)

Too Me Tuesdays


VALOR PUBLISHING GROUP TOUTS OWN 'J.K. ROWLING' WITH RELEASE OF KAREN E. HOOVER'S, THE WOLFCHILD SAGA: THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE



Today at 1:11pm
VALOR PUBLISHING GROUP TOUTS OWN 'J.K. ROWLING' WITH RELEASE OF KAREN E. HOOVER'S, THE WOLFCHILD SAGA: THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE



CONTACT INFORMATION:

Justin Anderson
Phone: 801-455-2824
Email: justin (at) valorpublishinggroup (dot) com
www.valorpublishinggroup.com


6 March 2010, Orem, UT -- Valor Publishing Group announces the release of Karen E. Hoover's highly anticipated book, "The Wolfchild Saga: The Sapphire Flute." The young adult fantasy has already created a wave of interest in national blogging circuits, earning a modest Hoover the title of The New J.K. Rowling by Valor Publishing Group president, Candace E. Salima, who reaffirms her belief in the series' big screen possibilities, saying it has the potential to rival the Harry Potter series. "It is that good and we are so proud of Karen."


"The Sapphire Flute" - the first in seven of Karen E. Hoover's books in The Wolfchild Saga - takes readers on an unexpected and exciting journey through the eyes of two young heroines, Ember, a shape-shifter of secret origins and Kayla, a gifted musician who is the guardian of the precious flute. The girls' journeys are set on a collision course as they face difficult paths and discover their destinies are shaped by the Keepers who preside and maintain order in their world of magic.


"Hoover is very talented when it comes to bringing life to her characters, like a puppeteer to the marionette," says popular blogger, Elizabeth Mueller. "Karen has a vivid imagination and it is not difficult to follow the artistic weave of her words."


Karen E. Hoover resides in Utah with her husband and two sons. She will be signing copies of her first release at The Gateway Barnes & Noble in Salt Lake City, March 16, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Pre-orders are being taken on the Valor Publishing Group website at http://valorpublishinggroup.com .


For interviews or to book speaking engagements with Karen E. Hoover, please contact her publicist, Justin Anderson: justin (at) valorpublishinggroup (dot) com or call him at 801-455-2824.



(okay, I couldn't resist! I am flabbergasted, pleased and honored that Valor would quote lil ole me!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Impromptu Mondays

I'm Prompt U

Writer's Wish




If what you wrote came to life, what would you write about?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sabbath Sounds

Two-Faced


"Mormonad," New Era, Jan. 1990


Photography by Craig Dimond

Don’t Be Two-Faced

To fit in, we sometimes put on false faces, pretending to go along with the crowd. Wear those faces too often, and we may forget who we really are. (See 1 Thes. 5:22.)

Gospel topics: honesty, self-esteem


I know that is how most kids survive these days. What am I talking about? Back in my day, too! I always had a smile on my face, even if I was dying inside.

I know that it is human nature to behave this way. Why do you think we do this? I think it's a defense mechanism. I think, for the most part, we behave differently so as to protect ourselves because people judge.

And that hurts.

I put myself out there. I'm always myself. I had a friend of mine tell me one time that she thought I was sarcastic because I put so much energy into a "Hi, how are you?" It took her a while to realize that that is the way I am.

I'm genuine. Open. Honest.

I have to be honest with you, it hurt me when she said that, but she's a close friend and I knew she wasn't being cruel. But if she thought that, how many people think that?

You know what? It doesn't really matter.

How do you feel about hiding or showing your true self?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Speak out Saturdays

Controversy in the YA market . . .




I was going to post on how we are losing our humanity today, but I'll push it off for next Saturday. Sorry . . .

I feel that this is more important!

Shanna posted someone's review on Hush Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick. I feel it is urgent that you read.

Please leave your thoughts here, I'd love to know what you think about it!

Follower Friday Guest is Jeannie Campbell!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Follower Fridays

Can you guess who this is?




Therapist by day, writer by night. She has two blogs and loves 80s music.


Who Am I?
HINT: she is one of my followers!

Answer to be announced Saturday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays

There's no Tomorrow





Life is like a small flame in the sea of darkness. A puff of air can make it go away.
Will I shine brightly or dimly? Will I share light or will I reflect dark?

I know I am only one person. But even the smallest of pebbles create lasting effects in a smooth pond.




What would you do if you found out you had very little time left?




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sapphire Flute--A Review




The first time I saw the book cover, I was thrilled with the bright animation and the emotional portrayal depicted. I thought the wolf was something to be feared, as the girls on the cover are staring at it. So I wondered what the significance of the wolf was. The picture portrays each character in her own right, but not a summary of any scene.

It is a story that brings to life two girls whose destinies are shaped and led by the Guardians who watch over their world and keep order to all magic.
Poor little Shandae—given the name of Ember to protect her from the forces that seek to destroy her—is thrown into the depths of peril from the moment she is born. Evil haunts her for the very power she later learns she possesses. Good fights to keep her under strict protection, as well as the order of wolves--the Bendanatu--do. They teach her the ways of her true blood.
Kayla is a talented musician that manipulates magic with the sounds of her flute. She enamors an entire kingdom with her skill. The king seeks her favor, and charges her to guard a very special and powerful keystone of blue magic—the Sapphire Flute.

The first part of this story is not filled with breakneck speeds of action, in your face terror or spine chilling fear. But please don't let this catch you with your book down. Remember, it is important, being the first book of SEVEN, to build the foundation of a world from its political organization, its secrets and most importantly, its magic. This book is a step to a bigger, richer world where the author promises not to disappoint a read filled with passion, excitement and even loss.

Karen E. Hoover is very talented when it comes to bringing life to her characters, like a puppeteer to the marionette. She has a vivid imagination; it is not difficult to follow the artistic weave of her words. I was there when Ember fought for her right of passage with such moving passion that I wept. I could taste the sweet feel of the sapphire flute's touch as Kayla battled against the nefarious C’Tan. The sense to tip the world back into harmonic balance is so well written that I wish I could leap right into the pages to assist their cause.
Be one of the first readers to add a copy to your library of reads!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Too Me Tuesdays

Author or Not?

It was shortly after I returned from a writer's conference that I felt it would be okay to call myself author. It pulled me out of my sleep at 2 am.

I am not published. Yet. I've been a fanatical addict of the art ever since I can remember. Let me see, uh . . . I started writing when I was 10. I wrote short stories in 5th grade. My first full blown novel was started in '91.

I finished it in '99.

It's called Tragic Innocence
: 224,892 words. Fantasy. It is about an elfin girl who learns that she had unknowingly betrayed her people in the worst possible way. She embarks on a quest to right the wrong and falls in love along the way.

Along the same lines but on a different note:
I remember how I would flush and shake my head when people would coo over my artwork in elementary school and say that I was an artist. I felt that I didn't deserve that title. Nope. Not me.

Until later.

I am an artist. I don't get paid for my art. But I am an artist.
Can I call myself an author, though I'm not published?

Should I? Should I? Should I?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Impromptu Mondays

I'm Prompt U!

Mirror Mirror . . .




You've received an anonymous gift through the mail and it turns out to be a mirror. It can lead you into any novel written by any author in any time frame. Which book would you choose and what would you take with you?