Monday, September 24, 2012

My 6 month Hiatus




I have a surprise for you! I am going on a 6 month hiatus until my baby is born, possibly longer. I know you will miss me. Very, very much. Because I love you and don't want you to feel bereft of my presence, I am leaving something of myself behind.

I am uploading my very first novel: mistakes and all. You get to see how far I've come in my writing. You know, before I knew that adverbs and info dumping and flowery descriptions are every agent's and publishers nightmares? I was only 17.

As you venture into my High Fantasy Action Romance, TRAGIC INNOCENCE, you will find another Easter Egg to unearth.

PS--I've changed my website to ElizabethMueller.com.

Have fun! *kisses*

Monday, September 10, 2012

Perceptive Readers

This post is based off of last week's thoughts, but on the other side of the pages. Have you ever, as a reader, stopped, put your book down, and think, "This sounds like something that actually happened to the author." Or, "There's no way the author could have known that unless s/he experienced that" because you went through it first hand and felt the familiar emotion play out within you?

As a reader, a lot of the times, things jump out at me. For example, Cindy Hogan's Watched. A young girl witnesses a murder through an unusual way in a bathroom stall. As soon as I reached that part, a thought hit me, and I had the feeling the author experienced that same unusual way the heroine in the bathroom had (I am not referring to murder, either!). Because the author and I are friends, I was free to ask if this was the case. She confirmed.

I've had several incidences where, as I read books, a hard realization occurred: "This must have happened to the author in real life." And it turns out that it had happened in real life to the authors; some of the instances have made me sad, knowing this good friend endured such tragedy.

There are undeniable philosophical truths that many writers use in their works and it may strike the reader in the heart. Some dark truths can be woven into books that the writer would never dare discuss with anyone, but it is there in the book.

As a writer, for example, the theme in my novel, Rock Star, is similar to my own life. I have endured many tragedies, indulged in my emotions during my low points--even sabotaged good things that came into my life because I felt I didn't deserve them, yet, I have felt the goodness of it that helped change my life around. I am not quite sure what truths readers may pick up and think, "Aha! It seems the author may have experienced this exact thing." (Though I've never once been a famous rock star in my life!) I do wonder what truths my readers pick up on as they read my work?

Have you ever had that feeling, as a reader, that you knew the writer experienced the exact same thing you had just read?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Living the Pages

We are what we write. I believe that our fears, desires, our subconscious rises from the figurative grave to haunt our dreams every night. We are the sum of our beliefs that reveal themselves every night. Just as that is so, it manifests in our writing.

My brother pointed out the other day that my themes and stories are dark. Dark? I wondered. Well, I confess that I am drawn to Gothic stuff though I don't wear black lipstick. My stories are dark, yes, they are. They are not dark like Anne Rice's vampire writings, though.

My experiences, beliefs, and views are expressed through every book I write. Yes, they have dark themes in there. War. Death. Demons. Abuse . . . With it come love, forgiveness, self-discovery, strength--everything an antitheses of its opposite because that is what I've endured as a child and young adult as well as now.





Have you read my bio? I write what means most to me. I am an advocate for those who feel lost and lonely and hated. Why? Because I've endured those uglies off and on throughout and my desire to help others not feel that way is strong.

Remember Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles? That was her way of questioning God's existence. She struggled for 38 years and lived her doubt through her characters. Have you wondered why she has decided to move on from her dark themes? It's because she has found light and her spirit is now filled. Curious, isn't it, how a writer's work can change with their belief system. No, not really curious. Writers are people too and our actions are revealed through our works just like any other person.

Have you found that your actions (writing, hobbies, life) manifest your belief system? Think about it for awhile. I'd love to hear what you have discovered about yourself.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Author Platform?

I'm not sure if I've already blogged about this, but it's been bouncing around in my brain for the longest time and I can't remember anymore if I have or not.

As a published author, we are all pushed to come up with a platform. That word, to me, is abstract that I still have a hard time defining it, but this post isn't going to preach what a platform should or shouldn't be. I want to write about how I lost myself as a published author.

Okay, so at writers conferences, it gets beaten into our heads (poor things are already overrun by countless other subjects) that we need to find a way to appeal to our audience. What this is saying is that I need to define who I am as a public figure.

For the longest time I've done that. I've tried to fit myself to what I should be like whenever I step into "author mode" whether it be online or in person.

It's to the point that I've lost myself. I feel like a teenager all over again trying to discover just who it is I am and I have not been happy. Why not just be me? Why not blog about things that I enjoy rather than trying to come up with something savvy that would appeal to readers or writers? Just be me.

That's one of the BIGGEST reasons why my blogging has slowed to a near stop, because I feel like I am not being honest with you, with myself, for recreating something that wasn't me to begin with. I will just be me.

Welcome to Elizabeth Mueller, mother of 4 with one on the way. Wife of 17 years of marriage who thought she wouldn't make it past the first year due to hardships. Abused child who overcame the uglies and reinvented who she was to survive in a fast-paced world. Mormon girl who hasn't always been a Mormon. Published author who often questions herself if this is still the right career for her because the support system seems to have disintegrated from under her feet and I'm not referring to the RoCkIn' hubby who hopes I'd strike gold in this rush.

Welcome to me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Become a Character in my Next Book!

The best part of writing are my readers. Seriously. I know I've been on the other side of the fence where I've read businesses claiming their appreciation for their customers, where authors say they love their readers. You know what? It is true. So. True.

Where is a book without a reader? Nowhere.

I am happy to share with you the FuNtAsTiC opportunity to become a character in my upcoming book, Darkspell's sequel, Darkwraith.

Thanks to the Karen Hoover-inspired guru, meet Become the Character--where YOU will be written into the story.

Welcome Darkwraith...






Intrigued? Please click here for further information!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Everything is harder when I'm...

Pregnant! Yep, I'm a few months pregnant and Baby is due February 15. Yay!

This can be frustrating, yet refreshing. I have to admit that I am totally BURNT out from marketing along with other heartbreaking hurtles. My priorities have shifted and the balance has tipped to family now. I do revisit my writing when I feel in the mood--which has been slim at best.

Isn't that sad? I've had so many ideas to throw into Darkspell's sequel, but I don't find myself readily whipping my laptop out to incorporate those brilliant ideas. I have, though, jotted them down so that I wouldn't forget. Whew...  Funny thing is that when I do write in my book, I feel refreshed and wonder why I took so long to get to it. Every time, never fails.

What challenges do you face from the things you really enjoy?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Photographer sues Blogger--YIKES!

Please read this >article< if you post photos on your blog! I tend to use Googled photos though I always link to the site, but I'm not taking any more chances and am combing through my posts (YIKES! so many...) to remove every one of them.

I still need to find out where to find photos that are safe to use without repercussions. If you have such an one, please post the link in the comments!

Good luck if you do use photos that are copyright-possible and let the ErAsInG begin! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

baby steps



It's amazing what turns life takes us, and we are left with a choice. There are so many things I've been faced with the past several months that I feel lost in the woods. For starters, traditional versus non in the publishing world. I've seen first hand many things authors enduring things that make me balk and weep for them when it comes to traditional. True, that option does give you a marketing buffer compared to the non, but is it really worth all your hard work when you get only cents per book (practically, c'mon exaggeration was invented for a purpose)?

I'm not quite sure if self quite fits my needs; I still have a lot of "growing up to do" where it concerns which to choose. I almost feel like Alice in Wonderland, faced with a road in which I need to choose. However, unlike Alice I know which NOT to choose. So perhaps that narrows it down a bit.

It still does not make it any easier.

For now, I'm sticking with hauling tail in just writing. Marketing Darkspell has grown more difficult since I have no other books out, but I'm like a dormant volcano waiting for its time.

How's your journey? Has it become more confusing the further you travel, or clearer?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crazy Author Giving away 1000 signed Books? What?!

Yes, it's true, my friends! Kevin McGill, author of Nikolas and Company is giving away 1,000 signed copies to kids 9-18 years of age (adults a free e-book) who loves merpeople, different worlds, and adventure.




He's cool enough he's even made the news!



For your FREE copy, click here!

Read what I think of this book.
Thanks for entering and have a great day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book Review: Blood and Snow by RaShelle Workman



"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White."


EVERY THOUSAND YEARS THE VAMPIRE QUEEN SELECTS A NEW BODY, ALWAYS THE FAIREST IN THE LAND, AND THIS TIME SHE'S CHOSEN SNOW WHITE.


Snow white lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her dad, stepmother, and her cat, Gatsby. Her entire life she's been teased for her fairy tale name, and the fact that her seven best friends happen to be guys whose names begin with the same letters as the seven dwarves.


Blood and Snow starts with the instantaneous lure with charmingly dynamic characters. The story is fun, smart, and romantic. Just the way I like it. I enjoyed Workman's writing style and our heroine's bestfriend-voice feel. Great job! There are certain parts that felt a bit inconsistent to me: the house next door to Snow is a mansion on a huge piece of land while hers is small--unless they're out in the country, but I didn't get that feel; her parents are away at St. Barts while their home has mismatched furniture as if they live on a low income. Being a novellette, there are a few elements (hottie Chace for example) that were covered only once, but since it's part of an ongoing series, I have that to look forward to hook me further. Kudos to the author!


I'm excited to read more of the Blood and Snow series!


visit Rashelle Workman's website.
Purchase Blood and Snow here!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Trouble in Paradise


I had posted a review for Kevin McGill's amazing book a week ago and was surprised by the backstage hits it got. Here I haven't been blogging, and you have been showing love for me? I find that extremely humbling...

Let me share with you some crazy things that have been going on.

First, I've lost sight of why I started to blog. It became a task as I scrambled my brain, trying to think of things I think you'd like to see. I started comparing myself to the great Elana Johnson and how full of useful writerly and authorly info is always packed on there. I tried to keep up with her by posting like stuff, but it soon wore me. How destructive is it for me to compare myself?

I've taken workshops on how to be an effective writer and how to make my blog appealing to readers. I soon felt inadequate and unworthy (yes, silly to say, but true) to continue posting at all.

Guess what? I was trying way too hard and becoming something I was not.

Being a published author has done some crazy things to my brain. I no longer think of my blog as my personal backyard, but as a place I must appear gracious, graceful, and polite but also as a pubic relations representing yours truly. I've most certainly lost sight of myself here on the web. These wild ideas have taken me far offshore from where I want to be. My lack of confidence has created a huge mental block that tells me "I can't." I literally feel blinded from being able to function as I once had before I was published, and it always leaves me feel for wanting and always lacking.

I want to have fun and make it simple, heart-felt, and helpful. Where have I gone wrong?

I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. I'm gathering my broken courage streamed across the web so that I may return with confidence in my ability to blog without losing myself in the fluff of author politics (oh boy, what was I thinking!?!)

How do you go about reinventing yourself if you ever have? Please share with me your thoughts so that I can know where I can begin...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Altercation YA Thriller by Tamara Hart Heiner


  My review for Book 1, Perilous:
As a huge fan of YA, but having never read a thriller, I was excited when the author asked me to review her book. I read the synopsis and thought, hmm, I've watched detective shows, I think this one will be just as good. Even better . . . 
Guess what?
I’ve never read a book that had my adrenaline pumping so hard and for so long! She succeeded in appealing to my reader’s eyes for a whole new genre world.
Young and carefree and daring, four teenaged girls accidentally witness a robbery while waiting for their ride home at the mall.
Detective Carl Hamilton is devastated when he finds a girl’s body. Now, where are the other three?



Author Tamara Hart Heiner couldn't let it end like that, she continues with Book 2, Altercation:


Amazon blurb:
The FBI promises Jacinta Rivera and her friends that they are safe. Jaci wants desperately to believe them but weeks of hiding from their kidnapper, alias "The Hand", have left her wary. Hidden from the public eye in an FBI safe house, Jaci must reconcile both her father's mysterious disappearance and the murder of her best friend. A betrayal lands Jaci back in the grasp of The Hand, shattering her ability to trust, and leaving her to wonder if she will ever piece together her broken life.

The sequel, Altercation, became just as dangerously scary as its counterpart, Perilous. With the criminals at large, I can't blame our heroine, Jacinta, from holding onto her fear as she struggles to trust the FBI--or anyone for that matter. There are so many twists and turns, I didn't see things come up that had me wonder what would happen next and how the girls would squeeze out of certain conundrums. It ended nicely, I'd love to see how Heiner plans to continue Jaci's journey to healing from such a tragedy!

Guess what? Tamara Hart Heiner is holding a contest!
Every day she will select a single person from a Blog Tour Participant's blog comments on the day of posting. 

The winner (chosen at random) will either get an ecopy of Perilous or Altercation. There must be at least 10 comments under the post in order to generate enough numbers for winning!

Wait! There's more:
Leaving a comment will enter you in her prize drawings (listed below). For every task completed you will earn an entry point:

+1 for every comment
+1 if you follow Heiner's blog
+1 for ever Tweet or Facebook mention of this tour. NOTE: You can either add every point you've done and send it to the author, or include her twitter name (@tamaraheiner) and/or Facebook (Tamara Hart Heiner) so she could tally it up for you!

Please be sure to leave a COMMENT in order to enter to win!

PrIzEs:
3rd prize: 50-page critique of your project of your a writer -OR- a $5 Amazon Gift Card
2nd prize: lot of five YA books
1st prize: $20 Amazon gift card

Visit the author!


Wheeee! Good luck!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Review: Nikolas and Company, The Merman and the Moon Forgotten by Kevin McGill




Nothing is what it seems. Merpeople riding carriages and waltzing about on land with automaton legs, cities crying out to their stewards of impending dangers while a dangerous virus hits the countryside where the ill are sent to places for organ harvesting. This is the world where 14 year-old Nick lives and all he wants to do is go back to the moon.

I have to admit, before I could snuggle up under my blankies with this fantastical book, my son beat me to it. He read it in a single day and raved. I had to see what was up.

Kevin McGill has a refreshingly fresh perspective in world-building and I enjoyed the depths he took his character development as well. I enjoyed the jaunty dialogue the characters shared as well as the dark villains that had hunted poor Nick.

This is a quick read that had me wanting more.
Want to hold paperback copy in your hungry little hands? Click here to purchase your very own copy!

I wish I had McGill's budget! Can you believe he launched a copy of his book into space? Watch this video for a surprise at the end.


Win a Kindle Fire, click here to enter!

Stock Kevin McGill on Twitter.
See what the author is up to on his blog.
Why not FaceBook?


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Beginning of My End, yet, the End of My Beginning...

I haven't been true to my blog for the longest time and I apologize to you.


Sadly, I've been stretched so far, so tight, and for so long that I am breaking apart. I had actually thought I found my platform for blogging--it should be the same as my books. My books are to help inspire and strengthen my readers because it's my passion to help others know that there is always hope in any darkness found in life--if I could find it, so can you.


A friend of mine helped me realize that I should be applying the same basis to my blog, which, shameful enough, I haven't. She gave me many ideas on how to make it so and it's a huge undertaking for my fragile state of mind.


Fragile state of mind? Really, me?


Well, yes.


For me, being a published author takes a LOT of guts. Not only do I write, but I must edit. And network. And help other authors by critiquing. And then book signing. Then public appearances. Also being tough when it comes to loud opinions about my book that aren't too nice as well. Oh, so many facets behind the doors that aspiring authors may be so blissfully unaware of . . .  I must be doing this for the love of writing, not for the money of writing because that is slow-going, too.


I need a desperate vacation from blogland, though I admit I've been flaky in this for the past several months and I'm sorry for that. What I'm going to do over the next several months is catch up with my writing career (I'm not exaggerating when I say there are SO many books to write with SO little time), and I also need space to think of revamping my blog altogether.


I seriously want to personalize and apply my true platform--the basis of my books--to my blog. The color scheme and column space will change, too. I want it to be personal, you know, like you're visiting an honest friend's blog who isn't ashamed to share her heart with you, that kind of thing--I'm not ashamed even now to share my heart with you, but I need to liken my blog to my heart even now.


If you'd really like to keep up with me, I'd love to see you on Facebook where I'm constantly updating my wall with current events, you're welcome to fan me to keep up with my latest work on my upcoming books.


If you're interested in reading some of my books FREE, click here (the springboard of my books before they launch into the world).


Again, thank you for following me, for your support and many wonderful comments. *HUGS*

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: Defenders of the Covenant by Angie Lofthouse



Earth has seen it's last days of true freedom. Freedom that gives humanity the right for individuality. That is, until the invaders destroy all. Meet Hannah, a caring friend whose concern for McKenzie leads her into the above world where they live. Along with the girls, Derek and Jeremy follow. They face many horrors as they strive for truth and above all, free will.

This book is based off of the Latter-Day Saint faith and how it is put to the test. Being of this faith and having come across certain things in this book that I felt were intimately personal, I couldn't keep reading. I've always enjoyed Angie Lofthouse's work, as she's a fabulous story teller with plot twisting turns and colorful characters that make me wish they were real!

Find Defenders of the Covenant on Amazon.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Review: Million Dollar Diva by Tristi Pinkston



Million Dollar Diva is an easy to understand read. It provides helpful ways on how to streamline your debt, how to augment what income you already have, and helpful apps to go along with this program.

Tristi coauthors this little book with financial planners Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap. You get to eavesdrop into their private conversations with Tristi Pinkston as she figures out how to whittled down her debt. Brett explains in basic terms options that are easy to understand and empowers the reader with confidence.

There are many fabulous tips in here that have me excited for trying; I look forward to weeding the debt from my cash garden using them.

Aren't we all searching for ways to live smarter?
I recommend this book!

click on book for official website!



Monday, May 7, 2012

BiRtHdAy PaRtY and A to Z Reflection

SpEcIaL AnNoUnCeMeNt:


What do Rob Pattinson and I have in common? May 13--wOoOot!
In honors of this great day, please drop by my fanpage Author Elizabeth Mueller for a FREE copy of Darkspell YA Paranormal Romance! Happy Weekend! *hugs*






I apologize for missing May 7th date. This challenge has been a challenge for me. Last year was much easier because I wasn't just yet published. Being a published author takes a whole lot of focus.

It was nice meeting new people and having great visitors on my blog.

I found that I had more hits on my blog last year with my writing theme compared to my Utah theme. I wanted to try something different (Utah as compared to writing), but I know what I could do next year--something that draws fire from my heart, my talents and skills.


What about you, how did you enjoy the challenge?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Co-Author Interview with Wendy Swore and Rita J. Webb



Welcome authors Wendy Swore and Rita J. Webb to my blog today! Thank you for taking your time to answer my many questions. I've always found co-authoring fascinating and for the few times I've done it, I found it fulfilling and as wonderful as you both have said it is.

I have discovered that many writers are afraid of co-authoring only because they have never attempted it. It does sound a bit complicated, but with the insight you've provided, I hope to shed light on the adventure and perhaps encourage any writer out there to try it, it isn't as scary as you think!

Without further ado, here I go . . .

Welcome to Utah's A-Z!




Did you enjoy my A-Z Tour de Utah?  You can indulge your Utah hunger and get a FREE The 101 Best Things to See in Utah ebook just by clicking here.

Remember to join us May 7th. Let us know what was the best/worst thing you did/n't enjoy about the A-Z April Blogging Challenge.


Happy Blogging!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for ...

Zion National Park!




Why did the mountain lion cross the chasm? To eat the photographer on the other side! Hahaha! The photo inspired that cheesy joke.
I've been to  Zion National Park only once--when I was 18. It was spectacular and magical. I'd love to go back with a pad of paper and pen record the sights, sounds and feel in poetry and story form!

Woohoo! Congratulations for sticking with me throughout the entire alphabet. It's been fun and hectic in one! Remember to post your overall thoughts and feelings about the A-Z April Challenge 2012 May 7th!

What nature thing do you find inspiring?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for ...


Yuba Lake and treasure hunting!

There are many  gorgeous camping spots here in Utah, you'd have no problem camp-hoping around!
Besides fishing, boating, sailing, you can visit The Little Saraha Sand Dunes Recreation Area as well as the Pony  Express National Historic Trail. This, I think would interest the kids: like hunting for shells, you can find semi-precious stones on Topaz Mountains and then go for a ride through Loop National Scenic Byway.

At Topaz Mountain: I'm interested in taking my family  there, because imagine all the treasures  you could find? Check this site out for one persons's findings.

Location: just east of I-15, about 110 miles south of Salt Lake City

Have  you ever gone treasure hunting?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for ...



Xterra Utah Off-Road Triathlon (2012)!

The first time I'd ever heard of a Triathlon, I wondered what it was. It sounded sporty. It is something sporty! It all began in 1996 in Maui as Aquaterra. It's like a marathon but involving 3 different activities: swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. Whew!

You may enroll in the Championship race, or just for the  Xterra experience!

Have you ever been in a Triathlon?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for ... Watched Series Virtual Book Tour!









What a book!

Book Review: Protected by Cindy Hogan

Sequel to Watched, Cindy Hogan out does herself. Again.

Fifteen year-old Christy Hadden hates life back home. At her school trip in
Washington, D.C., she had a glimpse at  what it felt like to belong--until the murder. Now in Montana, she slips back into the little nobody she feels she is until Alex--the love of her life--finds her. And so does the danger...

Hogan is extremely creative and a goddess of character creation as she  whips up many  well-rounded profiles as  well as personalities for Christy when she is swept into the FBI's  Witness Protection Program.

I loved learning with Christy as she fought for reformation to fit the character of a snobby cheerleader way out in Florida--far from the cozy comfort of her home, but I felt as if she submitted emotionally to this a bit easily in regards to her former life. Though Cindy Hogan mentions Christy's mourning after the fact, I  would've loved to have felt a bit of Christy's mourning for the sudden loss of her family soon after she  was taken into safety.

It feels as if I'm missing something  when it comes to a very particular set of black-ops FBI agents who are the parents of an important character. They feel out of place since they let their distaste for Christy  sway their attitude  toward her. I could only hope that the author has done this quite intentionally for the next book's  twist.

This story kept me turning the pages as I became fascinated by the turn of events as  well as Christy's transformation into Michele, and  later Ari. It's because of authors like Cindy Hogan that I couldn't put the book down!

Read my review  on Hogan's first book in the  Watched Series here--you don't  want to miss it!

Purchase Protected here!
See what virtual tour Sarra's thoughts were on Hogan's Protected:
http://sarracannon.com/2012/04/introducing-protected-watched-series-book-two-by-cindy-m-hogan/ 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for ...




Valleys in Utah!

*Enjoy the tour!



Love Utah . . .


If lived in Utah, what would you do?


*photos have been removed

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for ...



Uinta Moutains!

Admittedly so, the  Uinta sunsets are breathtaking . . .


Fantasy forest. Have you  seen Disney's Sleeping Beauty, the forest she lives in reminds me of the one you  see below. There are many flat rock cliffs and platforms with trees growing everywhere.

I love driving through this range to step off for a breath full of gorgeous view.


*photos have been removed

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for ...




Timinogos Cave!

This wondrous cave is located in Utah, 92 American Fork--number, (801) 756-5238 if you're ever interested in a cave  tour. Sorry, no spelunking allowed! But  satisfy your adventurous  tooth witthe 1.5 mile hike up  the steep 1000 feet  of elevation to  its  entrance!


I found  this awesome blogger's full safari report on  Timpinogos cave. She braved the steeps, lost  a runaway water bottle all while with   two kids and a baby pack--whew! (I've done  that  climb with a baby pack and some kiddles  too,  it's scary stuff.) I wonder if  they'll ever put  up a railing or if anyone has ever fallen off  to their deaths? *shiver*

Okay, I just  did some digging and  there have been quite a few accidents. I would close  this place down nd build a safety rail, putting up a warning before the hike doesn't  do it  for me--it's  just  not worth a person's life!


What  dangerous fun have you done?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for ...



Saltair!

I've always   been fascinated with this   building. It dates  back all the way to the year of our Lord 1100, located within the heart of the Great  Salt Lake. Kidding, it was  completed by the Los Angeles and  Salt Lake RailRoad as  a resort! It was  glorious  and beautiful and full of awe. Everyone west of New York traveled and  stayed at this  place. It burned in April 22, 1925, but rebuilt and never the  same. The Great Depression   saw to that.

From 1963 to 1986, the Great  Salt lake rose 20 feet! This  submerged   Saltair under 4 feet of water.

Several years  ago, I used to go dancing there. It was such a fabulous  experience! You could go out onto the pier and hear the water lapping underneath.  So romantic.

Do you have old buildings  in your  state that have  survived di sasters and you find mysterious?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for ...





Refuge, the Bear  River Migratory Bird  Refuge that is!

There  are more than 200 species of birds that visit this 74,000 acres of land. Lucky them, don't you think? (Imagine if the government set aside that much land to house people who are under  duress? To keep them safe and comfortable and happy?) I think we need a National Human  Refuge! Hahaha!

Interesting to learn that these wetlands are drying up because of the surplus of vegetation called Phragmites. It is a common  reed. When I hear  the word  reed, I think of the Nile  River and wonder  if the Ancient Egyptians had a Phragmite problem that drove their  birds away?

 Interesting, isn't it?

Like the Phragmites, is there too much of a good thing going on in your  life that is sucking out the life of you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for ...



Quilting!

Was very popular as well as a necessity for early Utah settlers. The women would  quilt and mend clothes as they traveled west to Utah. They used  quilts as cushions for the wagon drivers, to cover up when cold, comfort, and dust control.

"As the journey plodded on  quilts were needed for far more serious purposes than simply comfort and dust control. In some cases they became targets for arrows when they were hung on the exposed side of the wagons for protection during Indian attacks."*

I never knew that, did you?

What artsy stuff does your state's history have?
*=http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/pioneer.htm

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for ...



Pine trees! Namely the blue spruce, Utah's state tree.

In 1933, this magnificent tree was chose as our state tree by Utah State Legislature. This tree grows wild in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains (they love 6,000 to 9,000 feet elevation climates) and can be transplanted successfully into your yard in these surrounding areas.

The needles are silvery blue. They can grow as tall as 18 to 21 meters high tall!
Utah has a national champion in Ashley National Forest. It is 186 inches in circumference, 122 feet tall, and the crown spread of 36 feet!


It's no wonder this tree was assigned as Utah's State Tree!



What's your state tree?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for ...



Old Ephraim!

Story goes that a near 10 foot bear terrorized the country side, feasting  on livestock. He was a whopping 1,100 pounds!

In 1913,  Old Ephraim took a liking to  Frank Clark's sheep  over a stretch  of 10 summers! Frank had found where this grizzly bear wallowed and laid a trap there, however, the bear picked it up and set it aside without setting it  off.

Finally, Frank had a lucky break and tricked the bear after a decade  of trap-setting. He had set a trap in the bear's newest wallow, and the bear failed to see it. That's when it met it's doom with a terrified Frank who  carried his trusty rifle.

Frank regretted ever killing this great bear--it was the last  of its kind to ever roam Utah.

Here's  Old Ephraim's skull at USU Merrill Library.


I've been to  the grave site (top right image), and the estimated place where the grizzle bear was felled. I shiver thinking about what Frank Clark faced those many years and especially the night the bear was killed.


What grizzly animal stories does your state have?
Story of  Old Ephraim found here

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for ...



Natural hot springs!
This heated water comes from the ground's crust. People have always gathered around  and taken  advantage of these oases since before the Vikings.

Clothing is optional.  NOT in Utah, but always be careful if you're bringing the kiddles along anyway!
I've passed several  natural hot springs here in  my state, but have  never had the true desire to dip into something that might house single-celled organisms. *Shiver*

Yes, that's a bathtub there. There are many images of Cyrstal Hot Springs of people inside this very tub. It's a popular one!




Have you been  to a  natural hot spring? Share your experience!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for ...


Mountain biking!

One of the first things I noticed about Utah when I first  moved here are the  mountain bikers. They love their long distances up lonely  mountain roads.

There ain't no  mountain high enough or ledge low enough from these super-bikers! Look at 'em  go!


Utahns love their bikes so much,  most cities have commissioned bike paths!


I have a confession: I don't know how to ride a bike! Silly, isn't it?

If you had a  mountain bike and in an area with views like Utah, how far would you travel?

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for ...


La Sal Mountain Loop!


This mountain range stretches from the Colorado River al the way to southern Utah in Moab.

In the summer of 1776, Spanish missionary and explorer  Silvestre Velez de Escalante thought that these snow-capped mountains were a strange thing to behold in the summer. He called the Sierra  La Sal  means Salt Mountains in English.

To put things into perspective, here's a satellite's view of the range.



Do you enjoy hiking, picnicking, mountain climbing, fishing, hunting or off-roading?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for ...



Killdeer!

Okay, why is the  killdeer called  killdeer? Because when scientists first heard its call, it sounded like it was saying, "killdeer." Funny, isn't it?

These birds nest flat on the ground! Imagine that? I wonder how they survive predators. I found this clip on youtube, do you think  its defensive tactics work  very well? After a long display of "broken" wing tricks, if the predator doesn't leave, it flies away. Me thinks, what about them eggies?





What sort of cool birds live in your area?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for ...


Jazz--Utah's beloved basketball team!

I'm not big into sports, but I've learned something very fascinating about  Jazz! Did you know that they began in 1974 as the New Orleans  Jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana? They decided to move to Utah in '79 after five seasons. It's a mystery to me of the whys, but these guys are amazing, because they've built themselves up from nothing to strong!

What is your state's beloved sports team? Do you know their history?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for ...


Island. Yes, there  is an  island  in Utah's Great Salt Lake. Surprise!

Home, home on the range . . . Yes, antelope do roam here  in this  little palm-tree paradise.
In 1845, John Fremont and Kit Carson discovered this lone  island as they explored the Great Salt Lake.



These, along with several others, have been spotted on thiisland: Bison, antelope, coyotes, mule dear, and the jack rabbit.

One of my favorite things about this lovely piece of land are the beaches--wading beaches. You can bring your little ones (as young as 18 months!) here and let them wade  in the water that gradually lends  into the huge lake.  It  is SO gradual, that there  is no threat of undertows or sudden drops. The only thing   is that the water  is saturated with salt and brine  shrimp. :P


Have you been on an  island before? What was  it  like?

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for ...



Heritage in Utah!

Utah  is rich  with  many different cultures. It all started with  people looking for a new, but safe  home for religious freedom. Th ey staked their little metaphorical flags  here, bringing with  them  their European cultures as they integrated with   the native denizens.

They celebrate early traditions from city to towns across the state and  hold pageants, plays and other events that share  Utah's   heritage as well as culture.

Utah  loves its  historical buildings; many of which    have been turned to bed and breakfasts or museums.



 A bit of  history:
"Believing the Mormons were rebelling against the laws of the United States, President James Buchanan dispatched 3,500 troops, nearly one third of the entire U.S. Army, to suppress the rumored rebellion in Utah. Buchanan believed that Democrats and Republicans, Northerners and Southerners, could unite in an attempt to restore order to Utah, and he could thus divert attention away from the crisis over slavery and the tensions between the North and South." ~utahvalley.com


What kind of  history does your state share?






Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for ...


Geology of Utah!

One of my most favorite science studies is  geology! If I  grew up to be a  geologist, I'd want to live in Utah--I'm halfway there (but I'd rather be a writer). Utah has an interesting  and wide array of land formations that would keep one busy.


The color scales on the right of the image show the ages of rockscapes in Utah. I find it wild and intriguing ! We are actually planning  on touring  many parts of Utah as a family soon. It'll rock! (Don't you love puns?)

Here is a short clip of several of the same parks that have different personalities from one spot to another:




Crazy, isn't it?

Click here for  Goblin Valley  gallery.

Location: just about anywhere in Utah!

How does nature lure you to explore?






Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for ...

Flaming Gorge!

This beautiful lake is 80 miles long, would take you about 2 days straight to explore the entire perimeter if by boat and weather. It's a fabulous place  for people who love camping in tents.

So the child in me asks, "Why is  Flaming Gorge called  flaming gorge?" Well, it dates back to 1869 when John Wesley Powell and his 9 men had decided to explore the Green and Colorado Rivers. After seeing the sun reflecting off  the red rocks, they named it.

I want to see it  for myself!

Location: 6 miles East of Manila, Utah on the Utah/Wyoming border.

What kind of magnificent camping spots have you been to?