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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cute Craft or Book Desecration? You Be the Judge

The Book Wreath
I made this a few months ago, but didn't get around to hanging it up until yesterday (story of my life). I admit I had mixed feelings when making it. On the one hand, it's a cute and practically free craft project. Just some cardboard, hot glue, and an old book. On the other hand, I tore apart a book (two, actually) to make it! I used The Veils of Azlaroc by Fred Saberhagen and when that was gone, I used The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. They were both second hand books that I admit I never read.

It does go with the bookish theme of the wall above my bed:

That cute little girl helped me make it at a mother/daughter activity at church. She was glad I finally decided to hang it up.

So, what do you think? Would you make a wall hanging out of an old book? Are there certain books you'd object to being used in this manner? Do you think this will be the only good use for print books after ebooks take over the world?

Personally, I don't believe print books will ever go away. At least, I hope they won't. But I do think the wreath turned out pretty cute despite my lack of crafting ability.

Anyway, I hope you all have a very happy and prosperous 2012 filled with lots of great books, hopefully some written by you!

P.S. Looking at the labels on my last few posts, I realized how long it's been since "writing" was one of them. I'll be rectifying that!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas Books

We always get books for Christmas. Each person gets one (or maybe two), but we all read all the books eventually. (For me, it can take a long time to get to all of them. I don't read as fast or as much as I used to.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share the books we got this Christmas, in case your looking for some good reading.

I got Blood Sword by Terry W. Ervin II and Become by Ali Cross.

My husband got Psion Gamma by Jacob Gowen and The Death Cure by James Dashner.

Son #1 (age 18)  got The Missionary Reference Library. (He'll be going on a mission for the LDS church soon, so he needs those.)

Son #2 (age 16) got Variant by Robison Wells.

Son #3 (age 13) got Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. (I admit, I probably won't read that one.)

Son #4 (age 11) got Guardians of the Hidden Scepter by Frank L. Cole

Daughter (age 7) got Silverlicious by Victoria Kann

Son #5 (age 4) got Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long, Illustrated by David Shannon.

We also got Teachings of President Thomas S. Monson and a Christmas storybook, The Little Christmas Tree, from family.

I can't wait to read these!

How about you? Did you get any good books for Christmas?

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Gift to You

May you all be blessed with peace and joy this Christmas Day and always. Here is a gift from me to you. A short Christmas story I wrote. Hope you enjoy!

 The Wandering Star

When our Father in Heaven named the stars and set them in their places, he took little Astrael in his arms and said, "I have a special spot for you."
Astrael twinkled with excitement. What special place did the Father have in mind for him? Surely it must be somewhere very important and grand. Astrael puffed out his chest and shined his brightest and hurried off to his assigned spot in the heavens.
But when Astrael looked down, he found he was shining on a drab little spot of earth. A tiny nothing of a place where no one of consequence had ever set foot. He dimmed a little in annoyance. This wasn't such a special spot. Heavenly Father must have made some mistake.
Astrael ought to have kings and queens looking up at him in wonder and delight. He ought to be inspiring poets and painters and dazzling the eyes of star struck lovebirds. The more he looked down on his boring, unimportant patch of earth, the angrier he grew, until finally Astrael had had enough. He left the spot that God had chosen for him and set off across the wide universe to find his own place. Someplace that a star such as himself deserved.
But Astrael soon learned that the universe can be a cold and unforgiving place. He passed through nebulas so thick he couldn't light his own way and skirted the edges of supernovas that left him singed around the edges. Once he was nearly eaten by a hungry black hole. Through all of his wanderings, he could not find a place to shine. Bigger stars shoved him out the way. Brighter stars turned up their noses. Nowhere was there a truly special spot to shine over.
At last, cold and lonely, bruised and tattered, with his light all but spent, Astrael huddled in a dark corner of the universe and wept.
"Astrael? Astrael?"
The lonely little star lifted his head.
"Come back to me, my dear Astrael." Heavenly Father's voice drifted across the vastness of space. Astrael looked at his faded and broken self in shame. Would God be very angry with him? Slowly, he made his way back to God's throne with his head bent low, almost too dim to see.
Heavenly Father took the little star into his arms once more. "Poor little Astrael. You do look a bit worse for the wear, don't you?"
Astrael could only nod.
"Are you ready to shine in the place where I put you?"
"Yes, Father," Astrael whispered. "But there's not much left of me to shine."
"Don't worry, dear one. I will give you light enough when you need it."
So Astrael settled again in his own spot. It didn't look any more important than it had before, but Astrael was finished wandering. This was his place, the one that God had chosen just for him and he would be content with it.
But what was this? Something was happening down there. Astrael bent closer and watched a man lead his pregnant wife into a tiny stable.
"It is time," Father in Heaven whispered.
Astrael drew in his breath as the source of all light flowed into him, replacing what he'd lost when he wandered. Beside him, the Heavenly Choir burst forth in praise, and at last Astrael understood the purpose that God had intended for him all along.
His heart overflowed with joy, and little Astrael bloomed into brilliant radiance.

Copyright 2010 Angie Lofthouse
All rights reserved

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks so much to all of you who entered and helped promote my giveaway of Danyelle's Leafty's books (not to mention the Butterfinger Jingles). The lucky, lucky winner (you are going to love these!) is:

Melissa J. Cunningham!!!!

Congrats, Melissa. Catspell, Firespell, and Applespell will soon be coming your way.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Into the Holiday Spirit

Nativity scene on the reflecting pond at Temple Square

Hi! Just checking in. I've been working hard getting ready for Christmas and enjoying some of our favorite traditions. Last Saturday, we went to see the lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. They're so beautiful! By random chance, we walked into the Assembly Hall just in time to hear our very own high school choir perform. It was awesome.

Also saw this bagpipe-playin' Santa:

Haven't done much writing, but that was a conscious choice on my part. Now that my shopping is mostly done, I hope to do a little more writing this week. We'll see how that goes. Writing will become a top priority again after Christmas.

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season also!

* Don't forget, you have until Friday to enter my Fairy Godmother Dilemma Giveaway. Three e-books, plus a bag of candy! *

Friday, December 2, 2011

Giveaway Time!

I promised you a Christmas giveaway, and here it is! Books make great gifts, don't you think? Today I want to recommend some that I think would make a fantastic gift for a fairy tale lover (or anyone who likes to read).

My sweet friend (and fantastic writer), Danyelle Leafty, is down and out with kidney stones! Yikes. I cannot even imagine how painful that must be. I want to support her and give her a boost by letting you know about the eBooks she has available. She did a guest post here a few months ago about fairy tales as part of her blog tour for her fairy tale series, The Fairy Godmother Dilemma.

The first three books in the series, Catspell, Firespell, and Applespell are now available for Kindle and Nook! These are charming, fun, delightful books. I love fairy tales and Danyelle can spin a fairy tale like no one else. Her writing style is beautiful and her characters are real and engaging people.

So I'm giving away a copy of each of the the three books! Plus, (as if that weren't good enough by itself), I'll also through in a bag of my all time favorite Christmas candy, Butterfinger Jingles. Mmmmm. Books and chocolate. You can't beat that!

Here are the rules: (And forgive me if I have a few more than usual this time.)

1. Leave a comment on this post recommending a book that would make a great Christmas gift.
2. Go here and like Danyelle's author page.*
3. Go here and like my author page (or just use the gadget at right).*
4. Promote this contest somewhere (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 

*If you don't use Facebook, you can still enter. Instead of liking the pages, just post a link to this contest, and to Danyelle's books on Twitter, your blog or some other form of social media (even email).*

Good luck! This contest will run through Friday, Dec. 16, and I'll announce the winner on Dec. 17.

Check out these other blogs featuring Danyelle and her books!
Andrea Pearson Books 
Anne Bradshaw's Place Diana's Amazing Book Adventures - Giveaway!
Christine Fonseca, Author - Giveaway!
Roots in Myth - Giveaway!
Robin Weeks - Giveaway!
An Author Incognito
Janette Rallison's Blog - Giveaway!