Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Since I'm leaving town tomorrow, this will probably be my only post this week. In honor of Turkey Day, I thought I'd make a list of writing related things that I am thankful for:

I'm thankful for writing. It is such a fun and fulfilling part of my life.
I'm thankful for notebooks and gel pens.
I'm thankful for daydreaming.
I'm thankful for a supportive spouse who also happens to be a computer genius and a wonderful proof-reader, who watches the little ones whenever I want to go off and do some conference or just go write by myself.
I'm thankful for supportive kids who read my stuff.
I'm thankful for an amazing writer, brilliant critiquer, and best friend who lives right up the road from me.
I'm thankful for the support of my extended family.
I'm thankful for our computers, printer, etc. despite the fact that they often give me grief.
I'm thankful for this great writing community I have found online.
I'm thankful for blogger and a free blog.
I'm thankful that a dozen of my stories have been published. That has been so rewarding.
I'm thankful for my involvement in Mindflights.
I'm thankful for my 87(!) followers.
I'm thankful for fun characters and exciting plots.
I'm thankful for great books.
And, since I firmly believe in giving thanks in all things:
I'm thankful for rejection letters. It means I'm actually trying, plus rejections have taught me a lot.
I'm thankful for all the things that take time away from writing, because I have a wonderful, full life.
I'm thankful for the hunger that keeps driving me forward.
I'm thankful for the experiences, good and bad, that lend depth to my writing.
And finally:
I'm thankful for my Father in Heaven, who blessed me with this desire and talent.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just a quick note

Stolen Christmas is now available for order or CreateSpace! Order soon to get it in time for Christmas. It's just chock full of great Christmas stories.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stolen Christmas now available for pre-order!

If you love Christmas stories like I do, then don't miss this. Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season is now available for pre-order here. It will be available on Amazon and CreateSpace by Saturday the 21st.

Here's the blurb:

What happens when you're so poor you have to steal your Christmas presents? Have you ever taken a punch in the face as your Christmas gift to the girl you love? Or saved Christmas while hunting were-weevils?

These award-winning Christmas stories are the best of the best from the LDS Publisher Christmas Story Contests. From Christmases past, to present, to future; from sweet and inspirational, to zany and delightful-there's a story for everyone in this eclectic collection.

Seventeen stories to celebrate the season, from Sarah M. Eden, Tristi Pinkston, Joyce DiPastena, Christine Thackeray, Don Carey, and more.

Sounds fun, huh? My story, "Shepherds and Kings," is inside! 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Great Things

I have a few great things to talk about today. My short story "Highway Songs" was accepted for publication in the December issue of Residential Aliens. That's great. My Christmas story, "Shepherds and Kings," will soon be released in the collection Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season. That's also great. I can't wait. This will bring my total published stories to an even dozen!

I am up to 85 followers! That's really great!

I also got some great awards. Diana at Writing Roller Coasters passed along another Heartfelt Award. Thanks, Diana. (What a cute picture, eh?)

And Michelle at The Surly Writer awarded me A Lovely Blog. (Another cool picture). Her blog is lovely, too.

But the great things I really want to talk about have to do with this post over at LDSPublisher's blog. Her suggestions for greatness include, write a lot, write well, write honestly, and write about great things. Great ideas, all. I've been thinking about the Great Things we can write about. What are they? Some that I thought of (in broad terms) are:


This is no comprehensive list of "great things." What are your ideas on the subject?

Monday, November 9, 2009

How 'Bout Some Inspiration?

Here is a video my husband put together. It's a time lapse of clouds over Mt. Loafer, as viewed from the writing chair. The music is "Teeming Autumn" by David Tolk, whose music never fails to inspire me. Enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

6th Grade Writing Time

Today I had a blast volunteering in my 11 year old's sixth grade class during their literacy and writing time. I helped them with the final proofread and edit of their Halloween stories. Oh, my. It was so much fun! The stories were so cute, funny, scary, creative, imaginative... They must have had a great time writing them. I certainly enjoyed reading them and marveling at their unfettered creativity. I wish I could just let my imagination go like that. I am getting better at it, actually. I was impressed with the kids' vivid descriptions and clever dialogue.

Those who were ready came back to the table where I was sitting and I read their stories aloud with them, circling any errors and making sure they understood what was wrong. Most of the problems I saw had to do with proper punctuation in dialogue. There sure is a lot to remember when punctuating dialogue. New paragraph for new speaker, punctuation inside the quotation marks, how to properly handle dialogue tags. No wonder they have a hard time with it. Overall, though, I thought they had done a great job. I can't wait to go back next time. I go the first Friday of every month. I almost hate to admit it, but this is so much more fun than reviewing alphabet sounds with the kindergartners. Not that I don't love teaching kids to read, too. Seeing them blossom into little writers is just so cool! One girl who wasn't quite finished bemoaned the fact that she didn't know where to go with the story. Oh, I hear you on that one! I won't say whose story was the best, but let's just say that I may have been more partial to one of them over the others. You'll never guess whose.