Monday, December 14, 2009

Note To Self



(Sometimes I just have remind myself)

Hi self. I see you’ve been having a difficult time lately, not with just writing, but with everything that you are doing. I just wanted to remind you of some lessons you have learned, because it seems like you forget them and have to relearn them. I hope this will help.

1. Remember why you started writing. Was it for the competition? For the praise? Or was is just because it was fun and you enjoyed it? Don’t write for the wrong reasons. It will make you miserable.

2. Sometimes people will get mad at you for reasons you don't understand at the moment. But it would really help if you wouldn’t mess with those buttons on Blogger and Twitter that erase peoples’ comments and block people off the account. I know you were curious about what the buttons would do, but now that you know… Just don’t do it! (Sorry I erased some of your comments and if you were removed from twitter, I’m adding you back. I was just trying to figure out what the button meant. Yeah, I know now.)

3. Remember the things that make you happy. Cleaning the house while blasting the radio and singing off key to your favorite songs. The scent of fresh cut oranges. The pitter-patter of rain on a hot pavement. The laughter of your kids.

4. Relish in the accomplishments of others…without comparing yourself. Remember the feeling of how wonderful it is to have a friend sincerely be happy for something you have accomplished. Now give that back to others.

5. You will never be the skinniest girl in the neighborhood. I’m sorry to inform you, you just won’t. As long as you are healthy and happy, it doesn’t matter that you are the average weight for your size. Being super thin will not make you happier or make people like you more. You are okay, just the size you are.

6. Which brings me to #6. It is okay not to be popular. You would think after all these years you would have learned this. There is something special in each person. Some are the life of the party while other’s make friends easily and some people can do that cool Lord of the Dance thing. You are different with different talents that are important to who you are. Don’t be someone you aren’t. Just be yourself. Friends will find you, lives will be touched. Just enjoy the bumpy ride.

7. Let go of pride. Pride has only brought you misery and unhappiness. Let it go. It will try to find you and latch on to your hopes and dreams, causing them to crumble and fail. Don’t give in to it. Remember there are better things in store if you let your pride go.

8. Last but not least. Remember who you are and remember the destination. It is so easy to forget. Just keep your eye on the goal.

Self, if you take these lessons into your life you will find you are not constantly making these same mistakes over and over. You are a great girl, with tons of potential. I believe in you.

I just want to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am taking a break from blogging/twittering/facebooking/…. To spend time with the people that matter most to me, my family. I hope the New Year treats everyone kindly and that you are all safe during these holiday seasons. Thank you for following my blog, it means a lot to me.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tag Your It!

Oh my gosh, I’ve totally been Tagged!

First, I want to thank Mary for giving me this awesome opportunity. I really, really love her blog and you can find it HERE.

Second, I have to tag two other bloggers to share their experiences about writing. So I’ve chosen Patti & Anna. They are both excellent bloggers (and honestly - I love their blogs too)! All three are writers and you should check them out. =)

So here we go:

1. What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
The last thing I wrote was a chapter in my new book, Incognito Burrito and Other Things I did on my Trip to Mexico. It’s so funny. The first thing that I still have was called Monkey Business. It wasn’t well written (I was just learning the craft) and I still cry when I have to think about looking at it. It was that frightening.

2. Write poetry?
I had to write poetry for one of my college classes. Although I did okay on the grade, I realized poetry was a lot harder to write than I thought and I don’t enjoy it very much. So…No.

3. Angsty poetry?
Maybe.

4. Favorite genre of writing?
YA. It’s fun to write and people keep telling me I have the voice. I keep telling them, “Whatever.”

5. Most annoying character you've ever created?
Most annoying? Wow, I don’t know. Let me create one now. j/k Can’t think of any.

6. Best Plot you've ever created?
The one I’m working on now.

7. Coolest Plot twist you've ever created?
Best Plot twist? The one where the guy sees dead people…oh wait, that wasn’t me at all. Shoot! That would have been so cool.

8. How often do you get writer's block?
Once a week, at least. Then I stare and stare at my computer screen and snack on chocolate (or wheat crackers if I’m being good) until something pops into my mind.

9. Write fan fiction?
I never have.

10. Do you type or write by hand?
On my lappy. I love that thing.

11. Do you save everything you write?
Always, unless I accidentally erase it. It’s fun to look back and see if I’ve made any improvements. Plus it gives me a good laugh when I’m feeling low.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?
Yes. I have this great piece about a human stuck in the middle of the Elf and Vampire wars. It would be so cool to pick it up, but vampires are so not “it” anymore. Maybe I’ll change them to Mutant Pickles.

13. What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
My Fav? You sure like to ask the hard questions don’t you? Um…the first chapter of the book I’m working on now. I’ve had a few authors and cool writing people who have reviewed and critiqued it. It has been well received (best feeling ever). Take that Mutant Pickle -Elf war book!
14. What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written?
Incognito B. It’s the first humorous YA book I’ve written and people seem to like it.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Oh please, romance? Every book has to have a little spark of romance and as for angsty teen drama – always.

16. What's your favorite setting for your characters?
High school, because there are so many embarrassing memories that I can pull from. Like that one time…hey, wait a minute. You thought I was going to tell you that embarrassing story didn’t you? Yeah, you’ll have to wait for the book.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Right now I am only working on one project, because I have a deadline. Usually I choose two so I don’t get burned out on the first one, but time is a tickin’.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Only in my dreams. I have a ton of them. I really liked that big one that sits on my nightstand with the ruffles and the bells and stuff. j/k - I haven’t entered many contests, maybe two. I hate the anxiety of waiting to hear the winners. Plus then there is all the crying and pulling out of hair. It’s so sad.

19. What are your five favorite words?
Serious? Okay here they are:

1. Yes
2. Contract (hee hee, I love THAT one!)
3. Awesomeness
4. Shoe-a- licious
5. Chocolate (I need to change that one someday. I keep gaining weight when I hear it.)


20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?
In my first book, I wrote a character named (Oh my gosh, I forgot – Let’s call her…Towel) Towel. She experienced a lot of the same types of things I experienced as a teen, so it was easy to write about her, but let’s face it, made up people are so much more fun to write about. Especially if they are always saying stupid things. I love that!

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?
Everywhere. I especially like the ones that come from riding on public transit. There are so many interesting people on that thing. Have you been on public transit lately? We should talk…

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?
No, I can never remember the endings.

23. Do you favor happy endings?
Totally! I hate tragedies (except Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog – that was some amazing writing).

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, Love that spell checker. Love it!

25. Does music help you write?
Only before I write. It can help inspire a thought or an emotion, but once I open the lappy, I need silence.

26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.

“Tabby!” I seized the tampon out of her hand and shoved it into my pocket as heat crept up my face. “He’s not deaf.” (I love that part! It always makes me laugh. Tampons. So funny).

Monday, November 30, 2009

But it Might Be Yes


It was a sunny day as I sat on the front porch with my big sister.

I was about thirteen or fourteen, which meant she was around twenty-four. If I remember right, we were both going through difficult times in our lives.

She gave me some words of advice that for some reason have stuck with me.
She told me:

1. Stop sitting like that. It’s not lady like

2. Don’t worry if you haven’t matured as quickly as your friends, your time will come.

3. What can it hurt? The worst they can say is no.


Guess what? She was right.

It wasn’t polite to sit like that, although I still do when I’m hanging out in the comfort of my own home, drinking a cup of hot cocoa.

Maturity hit. So did the crazy emotions that came with it, but they’ve settled down a bit.

And to my surprise - The worse they said was no.

I feel like I am coming to a crossroad in my life. School is almost over, I have my name in a couple of books.

It feels good to accomplish what I have set out to do. But now it is time to make new goals, step forward to the future.

New goals are not only exciting, but can be filled with rejection.

It’s funny that what was true so long ago is still true today. I just have to keep moving forward and remember:

What can it hurt? The worst they can say is no.

Thanks T.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Accents in Writing

If you have ever read a book with a character who has a thick accent, you know...it's hard to read.

Use accents sparingly and if you do, remember to only pepper a character's accent in the writing so it is easy to stay focused on the story.

That being said, half my book happens in Mexico. So I give you my friends a tribute to accents and EspaƱol.



I love those singing vegetables! Love them!

So what are your thoughts on accents in writing?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

School Time Song Madness

(to be sung with the melody Winter Wonderland)

Sittin’ here,
Doing homework.

Two more papers,
Needin’ research.

A difficult time,
I’m writing in rhythm,

I hope my teachers,
Give me lots of time.

I hope my teachers,
Give me lots of time.

(If you sing this in the bathroom, it echoes throughout the house and scared little animals away. I know, I’ve tried it. j/k…it scares big animals away too.)

Okay, so here I am writing not one, but two research papers while my precious piece of creative work hangs out, tucked away in the files of my computer. I feel sick (not with the swine flu, just creative writing deprive-ativity – see when you write you can make up awesomely awesome words and pretend they mean something).

Someday I will get back to my wonderful piece of work (at least my mom thinks it’s wonderful. Again, j/k. My mom has only read the first chapter, she thinks its brilliant. I love that woman.)

Augh, I’ve gotten silly. Okay, I’m going back to work on my research paper. If you want something not so silly, you can check out my post on my group blog (CLiCK HeRE). If you want silly…try to sing that song in the bathroom and count how many animals you can scare away. Let me know if it worked, it might make my creative mind feel better. =)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Here We Go #2

Yeah, I’m going to need to change that title to something good.
So anyway, the second question on my writer’s list of questions is, “Are you equally good at telling stories as you are as writing them?”

Haa haaa haa haa, mwa haa haa. Hee hee. I’m sorry. Let me dab that tear from my eye. Hee heee. Can’t stop laughing.


I used to act in high school and I did all the funny roles. There was something about losing yourself in someone else’s character that took the edge off of being on stage. Plus the physical humor, so funny. At the time, that seemed so easy.

When you write something, it’s a little bit different. As you stand in front of an audience, you worry about what the audience is thinking. Are they going to like whats been written? Will one of those great big canes appear from air and yank you off the stage?

I once stood in front of a crowd of writing peers, getting ready to be judged for a humorous piece of work. It was supposed to be one of those stories that had a twist at the end that would send everyone into fits of laughter.

It didn’t quite turn out the way I had imagined. I said my funny line and paused, waiting for a laugh. My mouth went dry and my eyes started to water. I realized I was having a hard time breathing, but I couldn’t just go sit down in the middle of my piece. So I kept going.

I rushed back to my seat the first moment I could. My face felt hot and I just wanted to leave. My friend leaned over and said, “We couldn’t hear you very well.”

“Oh.”

So my answer is no. I don’t tell stories as well as I write. Maybe someday with lots of practice or maybe a microphone - possibly both.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cats, Superheroes and Boxes, oh my!


What should I be for Halloween? I have been pondering that all morning long.

When I was little, I was always a cat. I loved them and I had the costume available at any dress-up moment (a black leotard and kitty ears wrapped around a headband – ingenious).

Middle school was an awkward age, because you not only had to impress your peers, but you had to impress yourself (I don’t know who was harder to impress!). One year, I dressed up like a punk person (pink spiked hair, little glowing lights all over my costume – I can’t remember why we added the lights – but it was enlightening).

High school was completely different. Most people didn’t dress up, unless they had the exact “right” costume. Many times the boys would find their mother’s best Sunday dress and wig and go as the neighborhood PTA president (she was so spunky with those homemade cookies- you could have homemade cookies at school back then). The girls like put their hair walls up even higher and sprayed them all types of funky colors, add a few plastic bracelets and – Bam! 80s rock star. I’d just pull out those kitty ears and wear them with my normal clothes. You couldn’t go wrong that way. Especially if that way cute guy was walking down the hall, you could just slip those ears off and act like you were too, too cool for a Halloween costume.

Once college started, it was the thing to dress up again. But the hard part was being able to pay for the costume (poor college students, you know). I think that one year I dressed up as a box and the next year a potato farmer (I was going to school in Idaho, we had lots of potatoes in the fridge).

Now I am an adult with kiddos myself. I’ve been pondering what I should dress up like this year. A few years ago, I was a vampire, but those plastic vampire teeth made it hard to close my mouth and I drooled down my chin (plus I couldn’t enunciate my words and scared away some kids with the drool thing). So the vampire thing is out.

I love superheroes, so I think I may have to go as one I’ve made up, like Super Laundry Girl or The Amazing Cereal Pourer Woman. My superhero power would be pouring cereal on villains – topping them with a drizzle of milk. Just think - the cereal would solidify in a crunchy, stiff mold of cereal-ness. Nabbed ya supervillain! So cool.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where did it go?


So, I've spent most of my morning looking for my memory stick/flashdrive - or should I say Lifeline.


I can't find it anywhere. I usually keep it hooked to one of those neck-badge thingies so I can find it easily, but alas, nowhere.


It has all my critiques on it for critique group tonight, homework, and yes, even my calorie counter.


Why oh why didn't I load it onto my computer?!


That's it, I need to start making backups of both my computer files and my flashdrive files. I have learned my lesson.


p.s. if you haven't seen me around lately, I've been mad at my blogger site. We are almost on speaking terms. Almost. Stinkin' blogger site fight. When will it behave?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

AWESOMENESS


Okay, if you haven't been to Elana Johnson's Blog site today, you need to.



She has a wonderful post about awesome awesomeness. Something we need to be reminded of.


Thanks Elana, you made my day! =)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So here we go - My writing experience #1


I was very flattered to receive an email from an author who thought I should join a site that displayed the work of other artists. And by the way, thank you. =)


Being a college student, raising my cute kids, and keeping up with my blogging all while trying to write, has proven to be quite time consuming. So instead of posting on that site, I think I will post here on the blog, since…I already have my blog going and enjoy it. So for the next few weeks (or here and there – if I get my research papers for school done), I will answer some questions that have popped up along my way.

I will call it…So, here we go – my writing experience.

What made you decide to write?

I guess I am a strange duck when it comes to writing. Most of my writing buddies and people in my critique groups have known they wanted to write since they were young. (I mean real young - baby young – okay, maybe not that young).

In school, I never studied for English, it just always came easy to me. But I never thought anything of it, because I was going to be a mathematician or an actress, whichever thing panned out first.

The mathematician planned died out in the 9th grade when I failed Geometry. My teacher wasn’t that good of a teacher and there was this cute guy that sat in front of me. It totally distracted me.

The actress thing fizzled when I started my college years and realized there were some things I didn’t feel comfortable doing, even if I was acting. So that went out the window.

It wasn’t until I was reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyers that I thought, “Hey, I could totally do this!” I mean, not with vampires and twinkly skin or anything, but just write.

It’s true that I had started writing once in high school and then once when I was pregnant with my first baby, and then once….you get the picture.

So I this time took up the pen (or keyboard) and began seriously writing.

I went to conferences, joined a few critique groups, joined a league of writers (which always reminds me of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog for some reason), and snuck in some writing courses in college (which I totally passed with A’s! Whoop!)

Plus I really enjoy it. The best feeling is when you’ve written something that other people really like. (And when they laugh at all the funny parts - that’s the best!)

There is something inside of me that comes alive when I start to create a world on paper, something that keeps me writing and longing for more time to write.

I would love nothing more to make a living at this and feel like one day I will. *fingers and a couple of toes crossed*

So I guess that is why I started writing. Because I love it. =)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanks

My dear friend L.T. has awarded me the :






Thank you so much L.T. You have been one of my dearest friends, even when all you had to be was a s.i.l. You have listened to my doubts, sang with me in bathrooms (some of which have been scary to clean), and made "burritos" so much more fun and silly. You are one of the most sincere people I have ever met.

Now I have to pick some awesome people to pass this cool award to.

First I want to award this to Allyson Condie. She is an amazing woman and a great writer. She is always happy, (she has a great smile too.) I love her blog, she always has something thoughtful to put on her post.

The second is Shari Bird, because not only do I think she is a wonderful person, I kind of stalk her blog. I first met Shari at the BYU writer's conference for young.... (oh the title is so long). I liked her right away. She is real genuine person. She speaks from the heart.

The third is Linda. Linda is in my awesome critique group and I don't give her enough thanks for all she does for me. She has listened to me rant, given me brownies when my stomach was growling (They were delish by the way), and I am always amazed how driven she is for the cause of child abuse. I really admire her. (She has two blogs, here is the other).

What great women! I look up to them all so much! =)

Okay for the questions, here is a little about me. =)


1. Where is your cell phone? They're hanging with my keys. I hope they are playing well together.

2. Your hair? Needs to be cut. I’m getting one tomorrow (a cut that is), I hope it turns out cute.

3. Your mother? Love her.

4. Your father? Love him.

5. Your favorite food? It keeps changing. I thought I loved one thing, and then another yummy thing gets put on my plate.

6. Your dream last night? I can’t remember. I must have slept really well last night.

7. Your favorite drink? Water. Zero taste, zeros calories. Excellent

8. Your dream/goal? To finish school, publish a book, be a great wife/mother.

9. What room are you in? Kitchen, it’s near the food. =)

10. Your hobby? Eating. It’s fun, it’s delish, now if only I liked to cook.

11. Your fear? The dark and scary noises. Those things should not be put together, I tell ya.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Reading my published book on my couch with my family and a hot cup of chocolate milk in my hand. While sitting under my bachelor degree that is hanging on the wall. Perfect.

13. Where were you last night? Here at home with my family and a warm cup of hot chocolate.
My favorite place. (something about that awesome family and hot chocolate.)

14. Something you aren't? Outgoing. So if you say hi to me and I run to hid. Don’t take it personal.

15. Muffins? Chocolate, chocolate chip muffins. Um, um good.

16. Wish list item? Please see question #8.

17. Where did you grow up? In a white house on the corner. We use to get phone calls asking us if we lived in the White House. Then the caller would ask for the President. Silly prank calls.

18. Last thing you did? Thought about cleaning the house and doing my homework.

19. What are you wearing? My skinny jeans! !!! Whoop!

20. Your TV? Neglected. Poor thing.

21. Your pets? 1 fish. He is cute. He swims, he eats. It’s all good.

22. Your friends? I love them.

23. Your life? ROCKS!

24. Your mood? Happy.

25. Missing someone? OH My gosh. I hope not, let me count.

26. Vehicle? A wicked mini-van. You should see me rock out in that thing when I pick up my kids. They get so embarrassed. Hee hee.

27. Something you're not wearing? Hum… I’m so cold, I think I’m wearing everything.

28. Your favorite store? Barnes and Noble, I love the smell of a new book. They should make air fresheners that scent.

29. Your favorite color? Green. Sometimes yellow. Once in a while I really like white….Oh, and black is good…I also really like deep red…and then there’s…

30. When was the last time you laughed? Really hard? Last night when my hubby and I were looking at movie trailers. There are some awfully funny movies out there.

31. Last time you cried? Saturday, when I found out I could put on my skinny jeans. They were tears of joy.

32. Your best friend? My hubby. Words can’t express how much I like him. Oh and love him. He is amazing.

33. One place that I go over and over? My laundry room, there always seems to be things to do in that room. Folding, sorting, stuff like that.

34. One person who emails me regularly? L.T. I love her emails!



Thanks everyone. =)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yes, I was a Beauty Pageant Drop-out


I was about seventeen or eighteen when I decided it would be a good idea to be in a beauty pageant. My mom drove me to the orientation where a gorgeous tanned, skinny, blond gal came out in a beaded gown (the tan was fake and the hair was dyed – at least that’s what I kept telling myself).

She began to tell us the wonderful benefits of being in a pageant, including scholarships and travel. But there was a catch.

“You need to be prepared with your talent,” the shiny toothed girl said as she smoothed her beaded dress with the palms of her hand. She flipped her hair to the side of her head as she looked directly at me. Her eyes burned into mine. I tried to glare back, but she suspected someting about me I didn’t want anyone to know. I had no talent.

I mean, didn’t they know who I was? I was no talent girl.

I scanned the room looking for any other girls with no talent. There was a girl in the corner clutching onto a tap shoes, another with some kind of large, brass hoops and a small poodle near her feet. I was doomed.

Needless to say, I never went back to the pageant pre-Vaseline- tooth shining (yes, they really do put Vaseline on their teeth. At least they did back then. Maybe they use something different now like wood floor vanish. I’m not certain).

For years I had been told that everyone had a talent, but I couldn’t figure out what mine was. I tried voice lessons, dance classes, public speaking (not my favorite), but I didn’t enjoy most of them or was told I was terrible at what I was trying (that’s right voice lesson teacher, I’m talking to you - “class was interesting.” Whatever).

Then a magical thing happened, I started writing. I wasn’t good, but I was having fun. I worked and worked on my craft and suddenly I realized, “Hey, I have a talent.” But that wasn’t all I realized.

As I worked with others around me, I could see the hidden talents they had, not in extravagant display, but talents that came from them just being them.

I have a very good friend who makes friends easily (and keeps them) she is sincere with every word she says and is always complementing others.
I have another friend who helps others without a second thought (things I would be too afraid of doing). She is not afraid to stop by and see how you are doing, just because she had a whim.
Another good friend can make anyone around them feel at ease (not many people can do that). She is a pro at laughing easy and not judging stupid things that come out of one’s mouth (yeah, that happens to me all the time – the stupid things coming out of my mouth thing. I need my mouth and brain to meet sometime and work that one out). Yes, these are all hidden talents.

Talents don’t have to be something that is set on an easel or displayed on stage, sometimes they are quiet talents that are less noticeable, but talents nonetheless.

So when people tell me they don’t have a talent I laugh and say, “Ha ha! But you do, you just don’t see it yet my friend.”
And then I try to sing to them. That usually changes their hearts to believe... or they run away with strange frightened looks on their faces. I think its from the change of heart.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Titles and The Books they Come From

I’ve been sitting her typing nothing for twenty minutes. So I got to thinking, does a title of a book mean that much to the content of a book? Possibly. I mean, what if:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was Chuck and his Culinary Assembly Plan, or even better… Chocolate and the Charlie Factory

The Twilight Saga was changed to The Very Sparkly Vegetarian Vampire Series

The Lord of the Rings was Circular Metal Devices of Theocrats and the Short Men who Love Them

A Christmas Carol was changed to Scary Christmas Stories for the Whole Family (ooooh, that sounds so scary)

The Lost Symbol was changed to The Lost Contact on Floor (That’s the most terrifying title of all! No I don’t wear contacts, but have had friends freak out at the store before. I still shiver at the thought.)

I guess that is why titles can change before they are published. That way the reader will (hopefully) be caught by the title of a book and pluck it off the shelf to take home. I mean, would you really want to read The Little Boy with Some Lightening Scar on His Head? Just not as catchy as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Well...now that I read it again....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Choices, Kernals of Corn, and Slowing Down

So…everything is based on choices. That is good… and bad…and sometimes not so pretty.

I’ve made some pretty stupid choices in my life. Like that one time I tried to beat the bus home from school. A sharp corner was coming up and I ended up face down with my knee (leg, ankle) covered in blood. I still have the scars on my knee to prove it.

Or that one time I got a kernel of corn in my eye (a whole kernel of corn…and let me tell you! It hurt!) I tried to get it out with my shirt instead or taking the time to take off my gloves and get it out with my finger. Yeah, I flashed everybody there. It’s a running joke now. I don’t have corn at family functions anymore. It’s way too embarrassing.

Or even last week when I sat by Jesus on the trax train (it was late and he kept yelling, “I’m Jesus….You know what I mean?” – actually he sat behind me, throwing up his hands as he yelled…and he smelled funny, like my brother’s friend Rob - so ….maybe I can’t take credit for that one).

I find myself faced with many decisions through the day: should I do a load of laundry today or twelve loads on Saturday? (I have this love/hate thing for laundry. I love it when it's done. I hate it when it's not. ) Should I spend my free time studying or writing? And what about blogging, should I tweet or blog? Arrgh *fists up in the air, my teeth grinding* There are so many choices!

But some choices are easy to make.

My daughter has had a rough year. Last night I got an email from her teacher with some concerns. As I lay in bed thinking (it was a long night. Note to self - never read emails from school teachers right before bedtime), I realized some of my wants would have to be put aside for something better. Instead of finishing my book in three months and querying my gay-not-gay agent (there is another hilarious story there, but I’ll save it for another post), I may have to slow down. All things in good time. Right?

I do love writing. I love the feeling of creating something. But, I love my daughter more. This choice is just too easy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Music & Writing

I love music. It has the power to motivate, move, and inspire. I think that is why so many writers listen to music while they write.

Music reminds us of past events that have taken place,
Of people who have come in and out of our lives,
People we love, people we don't,
Of our regrets and our triumphs.

It can inspire us to move faster when we are slow,
Or slow down when we are going too fast.
It can even turn a sour mood into a sweet one.

Music is a great power.

I am most touched when a singer performs from the heart.

Perhaps this is why writing and music are so closely linked together, because much of it comes from the heart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Movies, Fake Smiles, and One Rolling Eye

We both sat, fidgeting in our theater seats waiting for the lights to turn up.

Neither of us wanting to talk first. It wasn’t that the movie was bad, bad. Only a little bad. Some people loved it, I could tell, because they were clapping. What was wrong with them?

“So, what did you think of the movie?” I asked.

“It was good.”

We both nodded heads in unison, but I could tell she didn’t mean it by the way she smiled that fake smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

“Yeah, good.”

We were still nodding heads, expecting something more to happen.

“I…um…” Should I be honest or tell a blatant lie. “I found it a little fake. It pulled me out of the movie a few times.” I looked down at my feet.

“Yeah,” she said.

“And the plot holes.” I made a face, that one face with the grimace while one of my eyes rolls way back into my head (and that’s a hard thing to do). I also throw my hands up in the air for extra dramatic effect.

“I know, did you see the surprise ending that wasn’t a surprise at all?”

Yes! She really does agree with me. I knew we were kindred spirits.

“What about that guy screaming in the water? That was hilarious. How fake was that? Who screams in water?” I threw my head back, letting the laughter roll out. A lot of laughter, maybe too much.

Yes, I believe movies may never be the same for me. Plot holes are bigger, the bad writing is worse. Throw in an unbelievable character and BAM - bad movie. (You’ve gotta go to those movies with a good friend, because that makes it all worth it, especially if you can critique it together and laugh at all the goofy parts) (Thanks L.T. for going with me! You ROCK!)

But I have to admit, the love story was a hoot.

“I’ve loved you all this time,” girl says to boy. “If it weren’t for those mind controlling thingies that made me kill that entire country and make me hate you for a half a decade, we could still be together.” Wind blows through girl’s hair, even though they are not outside.

“It’s okay, I still love you…even though you tried to kill me with your awesome high heel shoes and you have some computer virus in your head that will make you attack me at any minute now…I will take you back. I will fix you, because even the thought of me can make you come out of mind controlled…control.” Boy swings his long hair behind his shoulder. He looks longingly into the camera before smiling his brilliant smile and giving the audience two thumbs up. “Besides, look at my awesome muscles. Now what kind of girl can resist that?” His eyebrow raises (Only one. You know. For dramatic effect).

“Oh,” cute girl throws hand onto forehead, overwhelmed by boyfriend’s wonderful act of forgiveness (or did his awesome muscles made her light-headed? I’m not sure), “Carry me, because I feel weak in your presence.”

Boy scoops girl into arms and carries her to fighter ship, where she is now strong enough to shoot up bad guys with a vengeance.

Now THAT is writing. Although, I don’t think it was supposed to be funny.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To you...My Teethy, Smiling Friend

I know that you mean well.

And the brushing, that's okay too. But when you use that long metal thing in the cracks, well...not so cool.

So here's to you my dentist friend. May you forever have white teeth and sticker prizes for those of us who accidentally kick you when you are fishing around in our mouths (that only happened once...okay twice).

This song's for you. (please click on purple line, because I can't quit figure out how to put the actual video on and my computer genius son is at camp this week.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Howdy Pilgrim. Can I get ‘cha a spoonful of Hot Chocolaty fudge for you and Your Horse There?

I am stressed. I don’t think there is enough chocolate in the world to help me out. Even after making a pot of hot fudge for ice cream and licking the bowl, I’m still stressed.

I have finals in one and a half weeks, not to mention the two presentations for two classes (have you heard me talk in front of people? Yikes.)

My oldest is leaving for scout camp tomorrow (at 4 a.m.) and all I can think about is the bears and all those boys sitting around the fire starving (they’re fishing. I’m going to pray for lots of fish, and no bears!)

To top it off, my neighbor just brought me over a post card that says, “You have jury duty” the same week as my finals.

So I’m trying to decide if I support my constitutional rights (which are awesome) or my grades (which may get me kicked out of the program if I miss my finals). I’m thinking of missing them both and going on a shopping spree. I’ve been looking for a great pair of boots anyway. But would that make me more stressed? Awesome boots and a warrant on my head.

Hey, that makes me sound like an old western outlaw…

“Carolyn V. The most wanted, boot shopping, collage failing outlaw in the West.”

Did they have chocolate in the Old West? Guess that won’t work.

Well, hopefully I won’t be stressed next week and I will have a great post, or an awesome pair of boots, only time will tell.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This is Scary

Well, after much thought, I've decided to start my own blog. I've been in a blog with a group of awesome writers, but they all have their own blogs, so I decided...now's the time.

I write much differently than I really am. I'm not funny at all, I'm really quiet, and I worry (ask my kids, they agree).

Is anyone going to read my blog, is anyone going to follow, am I going to offend everyone? (see all the worrying here? I'm a worrier.)

As writers, we are supposed to have very thick skins, but unfortunately, I was born with a thin skin and take things to heart much too often (but I hold it inside so nobody can see it).

Right now in my life, I am very busy. I'm going to school (I'm the oldest in my classes and feel a little ...well...not smart.) I would really like to hold my degree in my hand and say, "I's smarts now. See?" *waving degree in hand, as I scratch my messy hair* I'll have six more classes after summer term is over (will it ever end????).

I would love to be a published author some day. I've got a couple of jokes being published in Member's Mirth, thanks to my friend Nichole Giles (Nichole, tell me if that titles wrong), and next year I have a small story being published in Tender Mercies by Judy Olsen, about how found out about our oldest son's autism. Although I'm going to be in those books, I would love to have my very own book out with my very own name on the title. That would be so sweet!

I write YA, because that is my voice and I love it. I'm working on a story now that is being well received by other writers and friends. That has been the best part of this whole writing journey-having people like what I'm creating (plus it gives me a little validation for spending all those hours on my lappy - love ya lappy).

I'm usually a very private person. If I read one of your posts that touch or inspire me, I will only leave a short message, because there are no words to describe the feelings I want to share. So, if you've gotten a short message from me, it's because I loved your post (oh, or writing a research paper...they take so much time!).

So, anyways, that's me. I hope you don't mind me sharing, after all, I thought you should get to know me a little. Thanks! Can't wait to start this.

Oh, plus I love chocolate. But most of you probably already know that. hee hee hee