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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tidbits of Awesome

I have some really cool stuff to share today!

First off, my fellow Utah author, Michael Young had  short story published over at Mindflights, and you don't want to miss it. Dynamic Duos is a delight. A retiring superhero is auctioning off his powers. You never know what might happen... Go check it out! I laughed out loud reading this story. It will make you smile. I promise.

Another awesome tidbit: My friend Tristi Pinkston has a new book coming out! Book 2 of her Secret Sisters Mysteries Series, "Dearly Departed," will be out in January. I am way excited. I read the first book, "Secret Sisters" a few weeks ago, as a reward to myself for finishing my novella. It was a wonderful treat. Relief Society President, Ida Mae Babbitt and her counselors want to do what's best for the sisters in their ward, but their methods are a little...unconventional. Soon, they have a full-blown mystery on their hands. As a member of a Relief Society Presidency myself, I could totally relate to Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy. The book had just the right amount of humor, suspense, inspiration, and even a little romance. I especially enjoyed the Secret Sisters antics in the DMV and the fancy french restaurant. This is a fun read, and now I am stoked that the second book is coming!

Here's something even better! To celebrate the release of "Dearly Departed," Tristi is hosting an amazing contest for the month of December on her blog, with prizes every day, plus a first place prize basket and a grand prize that are unbelievable! Check out her blog for all the info on the Merry Month of Miracles. You won't want to miss out.

Stay tuned! I have more Christmas treats to share with you this week, and next week, I may just host a Christmas giveaway of my own...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

I just looked over my post from Thanksgiving last year (to make sure I wasn't going to be endlessly repeating myself) and realized that since this time last year I have gained 200 followers! That's a reason to be thankful. I do appreciate all you followers and those of you who stop by to leave comments.

I'm also thankful for the chance to share my thoughts and feelings with you, and to have some understanding company on this writing journey. It's not unlike the journey the pilgrims made, is it? We set off for an unknown world, encounter storms, disappointments, hard work that doesn't always pay off. And yet, there always seems to be something to be thankful for.

Today, I am thankful for the joy and satisfaction I feel as I continue to use and improve my talents. I am thankful for the chance to share them. I'm thankful for all the stories growing inside me, just waiting to be told. And I'm thankful for all of you.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Putting Their Heart Into It

One Day More
Last weekend, I went to see my oldest son in the high school's production of Les Miserables. It was incredible! Really, I can't think of enough superlatives for it. I cried through the whole thing. Now, I admit, it's not that hard to make me cry, but there were grown men in the audience in tears too. They got a standing ovation, and they deserved it.

Jean Valjean
I was stunned at how moving a performance a seventeen year old could give as Jean Valjean. Ditto Javert (wish we'd gotten a picture of him). Really, the entire cast did a fantastic job.

They performed with such passion and intensity that I forgot I was sitting in a high school auditorium, forgot these were kids that I know, kids that I go to church with. I felt like I was right there. The put their whole hearts into this play and it paid off. I don't think I could have been more impressed if I had seen a full-scale Broadway production.

Greatness isn't measured by the size of the audience, but by the passion of the performance.

This is my boy (a student at the barricade). "Drink with me..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Widow's Mite--A Christmas Story Review

Yes, I do love me some Christmas stories, so when Christina Dymock offered me the chance to read and review her Christmas booklet, The Widow's Mite, I jumped all over that.

This delightful and touching Christmas tale brings us the story of Carol, a young widow with two small sons, who has just enough to provide Christmas for her boys, but no more. When she meets up with an old roommate in even more desperate circumstances than herself, she knows she has to help. Although Carol busies herself with organizing the school's sub-for-Santa project in behalf of her friend, she still feels empty and wonders how she can bring the Christmas spirit back into her life. Could there be more that she needs to give when she barely has enough for herself? Carol learns a beautiful lesson about love, service, and the ultimate gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. This little story is sure to bring the warmth of the Christmas season into your heart.

The Widow's Mite is published by Cedar Fort, and would make a wonderful addition to your Christmas story collection. (You do have one of those, right?) It would also make a great gift for neighbors, friends, family, visiting teachers, etc. The book is available in stores or on Amazon. If it's not available at you local bookstore, you can ask them to order it for you.

Visit the author on her blogs: My Amateur Adventures and Kids-able Treats

Thank you, Christina, for giving me the opportunity to review this heart-warming Christmas story!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the booklet to review. This did not affect my opinion of it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


You probably know how much I love Christmas stories. When LDS Publisher didn't hold her Christmas story contest this summer, I was disappointed. This week she announced that she's holding the Christmas story contest now. Yeah! I'm excited to enter.

The contest runs from Now until Dec. 18, and reader voting will be from Dec. 20-24. What a fun addition to the Christmas season!

So go ahead and give it a try. Writing Christmas stories is fun. All the details can be found here.

Good luck to all who enter!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why I Love My Internal Editor

I know everyone has a different writing method that works best for them. I often hear people recommend turning off the internal editor and getting out the words as fast as you can. First drafts are supposed to be terrible. That's what revising is for, right? Well, that sounds good, but it doesn't work for me. At all. That's one reason I won't participate in Nanowrimo. I just don't see the point in spewing out a bunch of bad writing. It feels like a waste of time to me. Isn't it better to get right the first time? Close to right, anyway? I still have to do revising, of course.

I've noticed while typing up my novella that the pages I wrote faster than normal in October are, well, in need of more editing than usual. That annoys me. It's not terrible, but it's not quite as good as usual. So, I'm keeping my internal editor turned on. I edit as I go, and I like that! (I am an editor too after all.) Sure I write slower than some. First drafts don't come pouring out of me in a flood. But I bet if we all added up the time it takes to get to a polished manuscript, it probably comes out the same.

The internal critic, though? That's another matter entirely!

Friday, November 5, 2010

In the Doldrums

Yeah, kind of like that.
Ever since I finished my project last week, I've been a bit of a slump. I have that feeling. You know the one. The "Why am I even wasting my time on this? Nobody wants to read my fiction. I should quit writing. I suck." Yeah, I hate that feeling.

Maybe it's because I had a rejection letter waiting for me first thing the morning after I finished, "Renegade." Nothing like a rejection to take the wind right out of your sails.

Maybe it's because now I have to type the thing and I really hate typing. My fingers fumble all over the keyboard. I make a million mistakes. It takes forever! I can't type "couldn't" right to save my life. (I didn't type it right just now.) I always type "about" instead of "above," though I am making progress. I typed "abouve" yesterday. Closer.

Maybe it's because I want so bad to get into an anthology I submitted "Consecrated" to that it's starting to drive me crazy. (What happened to submit and forget? I don't know. It isn't working in this case. I'm even dreaming about the darn submission!)

I think the most likely reason though is that I'm not actually writing. It makes me feel all edgy and out of sorts when I'm not putting pen to paper every day.

There. That's more like it.
Not to fear. I am going to start a new novella soon. It'll be the third and final in this series of novellas that all go together (Consecrated, Renegade, and the new one--Refuge.) Fortunately, that slumpy feeling always passes. Just writing this post has made me happier.

What do you do when you're in a slump? I know it happens to everyone.