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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Things A-Comin'

Here I am posting late on Friday night again. Would have posted earlier but my internet connection went down all day.

Anyway, I have lots to be excited about right now. Next weekend is the LDS Storymakers writers conference in Salt Lake City. Yes! I can't wait to see my friends there. I am really looking forward to it. Especially after the great time I had last year. (I sure hope it can live up to my expectations...)

Another thing to look forward to is the big, fabulous blog contest I'm holding! I'll announce all the details next week. It's gonna be fun! I promise.

There are a couple of other things that I am super-excited about. Like jumping up and down and screaming excited about. But I'm not telling yet. So, stay tuned! =)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Random Memory

When I was in high school, I worked at Blockbuster Video. This was about 1988. Actually when I started it was Major Video. They were later bought by Blockbuster. Anyway, when I started they were running a promotion where if you brought back your video the next day, you got a dollar off your next rental. Woohoo. They called it the One Night Stand. My first night, they handed me a button to wear that said, "Ask me about the One Night Stand." Did I mention this was in Vegas? You can imagine how my first night on the job went. After that I refused to wear the button anymore. I have to admit, I'm a little sad watching all the Blockbusters go out of business. Another little piece of my past fading away. But, hey. Netflix is my new best friend.

What does this have to do with writing. Nothing. But it's a good story, don't you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lots to Think About

A few days ago, I attended the Write Here in Ephraim writing conference. Ephraim is a little town in central Utah (my favorite kind of town). It's about as far from me as Salt Lake City is, and the drive is way more pleasant. I had a great time. I got to see some old friends and meet some new ones and meet some of my online buddies in person for the first time. I love that! (No, I didn't have a camera with me. Bummer.)

The classes were VERY informative and gave me a lot to think about. Jewel Adam's class on publishing e-books has my mind churning with all sorts of possibilities. Rachelle Christensen's class on blog tours inspired a great idea for a contest. Except, now I wonder if it is such a great idea...I'm mulling it over. (So, stay tuned. I may be holding a fun contest in the near future!) Julie Coulter Bellon inspired me with her presentation on making time for our talents. She's written eight novels in just 15 minutes a day! Amazing lady.

I've got all sorts of questions rattling in my brain now about e-books and traditional publishers and markets and marketing and just what I want to achieve with my own writing. I'm a bit unsettled, actually.

But, I have started brainstorming a new novel! The processes is rather like falling in love. Fun, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Regardless of the answers I come up with to all my new questions, the creating, the writing, the imagining--that's what really matters.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Check out my Guest Post

I'm guest blogging over at the amazing Tristi Pinkston's blog today. I discuss what it takes to be a successful writer. Check it out!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who's At the Door? by Dan Harrington: A Review

Today, I'm shaking things up a bit and reviewing some non-fiction. Who's at the Door? by Dan Harrington.

I was born and raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons). In fact, my family have been members all the way back to the beginnings of the church. I've known all about our beliefs and doctrines well, forever. It's a part of who I am. So I've always been curious about what it's like to be an investigator of the church--to learn about it as an adult. Conversely, I never had the opportunity to serve a mission as a young adult. Young ladies can serve at age 21, and by the time I turned 21, I was already married and expecting my first baby. So I also don't really know what it's like to be a full-time missionary, either.

Who's At the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries by Dan Harrington gave me a chance to find out.

From the back of the book:

Right now, thousands of people across the world are meeting with the more than 50,000 Latter-day Saint missionaries. You've seen these young "elders" on the streets, in your neighborhood, and even outside your home. But have you ever wondered who they are? Dan Harrington did. Who's at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries is one man's experience with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Maine. Not just another tale of conversion, this book is about seeing life from a new perspective, gaining respect for another faith, and finding friends in unlikely places. Find out who's at the door and what can happen when you open it.

I found this book compelling, beautifully written and quite poignant. In fact, I had a hard time putting it down. I read it in one day. Kind of amazing for me!

My favorite quote from the book is this:

People come in, make their mark, and leave. It doesn't matter if they're a missionary or not. In recording these events, I wonder if that's why writing has always meant so much to me. In a changing world where people disappear like smoke in the wind, writing can make a moment last. It offers a time to ponder and reflect and a chance to hold onto things that possess a special meaning for us.

I think that's just what Dan's book does so well. It captures a moment that he experienced and then lets the reader experience it as well. He does an excellent job drawing the reader in. This is a great book for people of any faith, or none at all, who are curious about Mormon missionaries or investigators or who just want to look at life from a different perspective for a while.

Visit Dan Harrington's blog for more information and links to order the book.

*I received a free copy of the book to review. That in no way influenced my opinion.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Fair Volunteer

It's time for the spring book fair down at the elementary school. It's pretty much the only PTA activity that I volunteer to help with anymore. I went a little crazy this time and volunteered to work two afternoon shifts this week, 3.5 hours apiece. No biggie. It's easy and I enjoy being there, surrounded by books and people who want to read them. I'll probably even get some of my revising done. I just didn't think about what I am going to do with my two little ones (age 6 and 3) for those 3.5 hours. I don't want to find a babysitter for them. So, I'm heading down there today with a bag of books, paper, crayons, puzzles and toys and hoping for the best. Wish me luck.

Also, seven hours at the book fair is going to take a chunk out of my blogging time. I won't get to read as many blogs this week as I'd like. Come to think of it, I didn't last week either. Life comes up and, frankly, blogging is lower down the list. So forgive me. I'll be visiting blogs as best I can. As always, I appreciate those of you who stop by to read and comment on mine!

And stay tuned: I'll soon be posting a review of Dan Harrington's Who's at the Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries, plus I'm going to a writing conference this Saturday, and I'll let you know all about that too.

Until then, I'll see you around!