Thursday, January 31, 2008
Let me go back a little. Last year we received the game Cranium Whoonu for Christmas. One night when my step-kids were visiting, we pulled the game out to play it. Players are given cards that list random things such as pickles, bookstores, and yellow. In each round one player is the subject. Every other player picks the card from their hand they think the subject will choose as his favorite thing.
So we were playing this game and my oldest daughter was the subject. Each player chose a card, confident that we know her well. Imagine our surprise when things such as books, chocolate and teddy bears were revealed first. We watched with baited breath as she turned over the last card, the one she had chosen as her favorite.
"Super Bowl Sunday" What? My husband and I looked at her. "Since when do you like football?"
She returned our look of puzzlement. "Football?" Now we're all confused, but she clears it up quickly. "I thought it meant ice cream."
So a new family tradition was born. Every Super Bowl Sunday we stock up on ice cream and toppings. The kids are allowed to make a Super Bowl Sunday, having as much ice cream as they want. As far as I'm concerned, that's better than football any day. And those of you who prefer ice cream to football, feel free to drop in this weekend for a "super bowl sunday"!
An unbroken chain from the past into the future, this is the story of six men. Each a man of determination. Each a man of hidden strength. And each a man of his time. They were . . . the Madigan men."
This book reads is like a collection of six short stories all connected by father-son relationships. Each generation deals with different issues ranging from differences of religion, progress, and rebellious children. Each man realizes his faith is what helps him get through his trials.
I enjoyed the stories in this book and found it interesting to read the different challenges each man faced. I thought the author, Judy C. Olsen, focused on some of the real issues in each time period. The characters were well-developed and the writing was easy to read. There were times when I was a little disappointed that each segment was so short and wished the author had developed each man's story into it's own book. This is definitely a book I will recommend to others.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
"This must be some sort of jest," she said in disbelief.
"It is no jest," her father said. "You will go to the palace tomorrow before sundown with your decision."
...Sam leaned against a tall stone building for support. The wall felt cool against her forehead. It wouldn't be a difficult decision. It wasn't much of a decision at all. Alma seemed kind. Not that she believed such a thing was possible. How could any man who served the king be kind?
"It is a time of pleasure and luxury—if you belong to the inner circle of King Noah and his decadent priests. It is a time of servitude and deprivation if you don't. And if you dare to believe the bold words of the prophet Abinadi, it is a time to fear for your very life.
In Desire of Our Hearts, LDS author Sariah S. Wilson weaves an intricate, suspenseful, and romantic narrative. Set against the backdrop of the Book of Mormon account of Alma's conversion and breathtaking escape as he leads a band of courageous believers toward religious freedom, this familar and beloved story is brimming with all the elements needed to make it a spiritual odyssey and a tender and timeless love story. "
I enjoyed reading this well written book. There were lots of different layers to the plot and enough action to keep the story moving. It was interesting seeing the familiar Book of Mormon story happen through the eyes of Sam and Alma. My fourteen year old daughter has also picked it up and can't put it down.
This book was different than books I usually read. I found the story interesting and the author made the "computer speak" easy enough for even me to understand. I liked the main character and thought there were good descriptions to help me picture this alternate world. The one thing that drove me crazy was the lack of chapters. I like having a good place to stop and do something else for awhile.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Even though I'm getting lots done, I still struggle with feeling like I don't do enough. When I get caught up in a book, whether I am writing it or reading it, other things tend to get left behind. I always wanted to be the kind of homemaker who without fail provides nutritious and delicious meals for her family every night. The other day I made a nice meal and one of the kids asked what the special occasion was. I try to feed my family a balanced and varied diet, but we do end up eating the same old dishes more often than I'd like.
Then there are all the projects I've planned for myself. Last weekend we finally got the Roman blinds I made hung in the windows. Once I figure out what sort of valance I want to go with them, and get it made, I'll post pictures. But the fabric for the blinds sat around the sewing room for months before I got to it, so I wouldn't count on a valance anytime soon. I also need to get to work on the quilt I'm making for my step-son and his fiance. The wedding isn't until June, but June will be here before I know it.
All the different aspects of my life will continue to compete for attention, and I'll continue to get things done bit by bit. The trick is trying to balance the right amount of cooking, sewing, family time, community involvement, church work and writing. Sometimes it seems like the writing should really come last on the list, but there is that nudging voice that won't let me do that. It's good to have a family who is so supportive me. And even if we eat the same thing every night for the next year and the window treatments never get done, they think it is great that I take the time to put my stories on paper.
Left temporarily in charge of the Bureau, Grant must react when the first dam is attacked. He faces the unthinkable task of mitigating the massive flood roaring down the Colorado. The flood will eventually threaten the mighty Hoover Dam, and if Hoover fails, the other dams downstream will fall like dominos.
Working with the FBI, Grant uses his engineering skills, river knowledge, and plenty of gut instinct in an attempt to outmaneuver the terrorist. The chase will lead all the way downstream to the Gulf of California in a cat and mouse game where the stakes are high and the potential for destruction is enormous."It was interesting for me to read some of the history of the dams along the Colorado River and the affect they have had on the area and the people who live there, and I'll sure pay more attention to the area the next time I go through. This was an exciting story that kept me riveted until the final page. Grant was easy to relate to as he had to work around his bosses and others to get the job done, but I wish some of the other characters had been developed better. I'd recommend this as a good action filled book.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I really enjoyed this book. The story moved along at a good pace and the characters were believable. It's interesting to read some of the interesting facts about the temple and how life in Salt Lake was in the 1800's.
This book by Phyllis Gunderson was an easy, enjoyable read. By far my favorite part of the book was the main character. I loved how she was portrayed as quirky and opinionated. As I read the book, I wished there were more to the story. It seemed like the plot could have been developed much more.
Friday, January 25, 2008
- Abramson, Traci Hunter - Freefall
- Abramson, Traci Hunter - Royal Target
- Adams, J. - The Journey
- Adams, Katherine - Never Again
- Allen, N.C. - Isabelle Webb: The Legend of the Jewel
- Anderson, C.B. - The Secret Mission: Book of Mormon Sleuth #5
- Angeline, Connie - Mended Hearts
- Arnold, JoAnn - Prince Etcheon and the Secret of the Ancient
- Ashley, Amanda - Dead Perfect
- Ashley, Amanda - Night's Master
- Autrey, Clover - Upon Eagle's Light
- Beattie, Bryce - Oasis
- Beck, Glenn - The Christmas Sweater
- Bell, Michele Ashman - The Butterfly Box 1: A Modest Proposal
- Bellon, Julie Coulter - All's Fair
- Black, Stephanie - Fool Me Twice
- Borrowman, Jerry - Home Again at Last
- Buttimore, Anna Jones - Easterfield
- Cannon, A.E. - The Loser's Guide to Life and Love: a Novel
- Card, Orson Scott - Ender in Exile
- Card, Orson Scott - Intergalactic Medicine Show
- Card, Orson Scott - Keeper of Dreams
- Card, Orson Scott - Stone Father
- Condie, Ally - Freshman for President
- Condie, Allyson Braithwaite - Reuinion
- Cratty, Nancy - Silhouette
- Dashner, James - The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters
- Daybell, Chad - The Celestial City
- Dickson, Darnell - Small Town, Big Dreams
- Edwards, Wendie L - He is Coming (vol 8)
- Edwards, Wendie L. - United We Stand
- Ellis, LaRene R. - Stones' Quest: Redemption of the Curse
- Esseltine, Chris - Caleb's Quest
- Evans, Richard Paul - Grace
- Farland, David - The Wyrmling Horde
- Feehan, Christine - Dark Curse
- Feehan, Christine - Turbulent Sea
- Ferrell, James L. - The Holy Secret
- Fogg, K.L. - Diamondback Cave
- Free, W. Dave - Jee's Bones
- Free, W. Dave - Journey of the Heart
- Gallacher, Marcie & Robinson, Kerry - A Banner is Unfurled 3:Glory from on High
- George, Jessica Day - Dragon Flight
- George, Jessica Day - Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
- Gilchrist, Jeri - Shadow of the Crown
- Gooch-Anderson, Stacy - The Santa Letters
- Green, Betsy Brannon - Above and Beyond
- Grey, Sandra - Traitor
- Guymon, Shannon - Taking Chances
- Hale, Shannon - Rapunzel's Revenge
- Hallstrom, Angela - Bound on Earth
- Hansen, Green, and Bell - The Spirit of Christmas
- Hansen, Jennie - The Ruby
- Hardman, Christy - Against the Giant
- Hardman, Christy and Porter, Phil - Santa's Secret
- Hatch, Donna - The Stranger She Married
- Haws, Annette - Waiting for the Light to Change
- Haydon, Elizabeth - The Dragon's Lair
- Henham, R.D. - Red Dragon Codex
- Heuston, Kimberley - The Book of Jude
- Hindmarsh, Ted - Elf and the Magic Windows
- Hughes, Dean - Promise's to Keep: Diane's Story
- Hunter, J. Michael - Flashback
- Jovan, Moriah - The Proviso
- Kent, Steven L - The Clone Elite
- Kilpack, Josi - Her Good Name
- Kurland, Lynn - The Mage's Daughter
- Kurland, Lynn - With Every Breath
- Landon, Kristen - Life in the Pit
- Lewis, L.C. - Free Men and Dreamers (vol 2): Twilight's Last Gleaming
- Lindsay, Bruce - The Hometown Weekly: Good News for a Change
- Littke, Lael; Anderson, Nancy; Morris, Carroll Hofeling - Surprise Packages (vol. 3)
- Luke, Gregg - Do No Harm
- Lundberg, Gary and Joy - Meeting Amazing Grace
- Mace, Aubrey - Spare Change
- Marcum, Robert - Mary and Joseph
- McCloud, Susan Evans - Throstleford
- McClure, Marcia Lynn - The Highwayman of Tanglewood
- McClure, Marcia Lynn - The Prairie Prince
- McClure, Marcia Lynn - The Whispered Kiss
- McKendry, Kristen - Promise of Spring
- Meyer, Stephenie - Breaking Dawn
- Meyer, Stephenie - The Host
- Miller, Barbara - The Lost Verses
- Mills, Tanya Parker - The Reckoning
- Moore, H.B. - Aninadi
- Mull, Brandon - Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague
- Norton, Tamra - Make Me a Home
- Novak, Brenda - Watch Me
- Novak, Brenda - Stop Me
- Novak, Brenda - Trust Me
- Nunes, Rachel Ann - The Eyes of a Stranger
- Nunes, Rachel Ann - Fields of Home
- O'Brien, Sonia - Epicenter
- Owen, James A. - The Indigo King
- Owen, James A. - The Search for the Red Dragon
- Perry, Anne - A Christmas Grace
- Perry, Anne - Buckingham Palace Gardens
- Pinkston, Tristi - Season of Sacrifice
- Potter, Leora - Lost Luke
- Potter, Leora - Runaway Amanda
- Poulson, Clair M. - Don't Cry Wolf
- Reese, Suzanne V. - Where Hearts Prosper
- Reid, Pamela Carrington - Shades of Gray
- Roulstone, Tom - Last Wish: Passage of Promise
- Sanderson, Brandon - Alcatraz vs the Scrivener's Bones
- Sanderson, Brandon - Mistborn 3: Hero of Ages
- Savage, J. Scott - Farworld: Waterkeep
- Skye, Obert - Pillage
- Skye, Obert - Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
- Sorenson, Toni - Master
- Stansfield, Anita - Emma: Woman of Faith
- Stansfield, Anita - Promise of Zion
- Stansfield, Anita - The Sound of Rain
- Stewart, Chris - Clear as the Moon
- Stewart, Chris - From the End of Heaven Vol.5: The Great and Terrible
- Stewart, Chris - the God of War
- Talley, Rebecca Cornish - Heaven Scent
- Thackeray, Christine - The Crayon Messages: a visiting teaching adventure
- Thayne, RaeAnne - A Merger...or Marriage?
- Thayne, RaeAnne - A Soldier's Secret
- Thayne, RaeAnne - His Second-Chance Family
- Thompson, Eldon - The Divine Talisman
- Tippetts, E.M. - Time and Eternity
- Vandagriff, G.G. - The Arthurian Omen
- Weyland, Jack - As Always, Dave
- Williams, Carol Lynch - Pretty Like Us
- Willis, Dan - Dragonlance: The Survivors
- Wilson, Sariah S. - Servant to a King
- Winegar, Tracy - Keeping Keller
- Winters, Rebecca - The Vow
- Woodbury, Eugene - Angel Falling Softly
- Woolley, David G. - Day of Remembrance
- Wright, Jason F. - Recovering Charles
- Yates, Alma J. - Finding Dad
- Youngblood, Jennifer & Poole, Sandra - Stoney Creek, Alabama
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most."
Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star - "At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists- a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper- to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear?"
I read Fablehaven, the first book in the series, so I would understand the second book, Rise of the Evening Star. I really enjoyed both books. Brandon Mull described the mystical world of Fablehaven so well, I could picture all the creatures and the magical setting they live in. I thought he created great characters and I could see how the two children learned from their experiences, growing as characters. I'm looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out.
This is certainly one of the more edgy LDS novels I've read. I enjoyed the writing style and found the author, Coke Newell, did a wonderful job painting pictures with his descriptions and made the characters came alive for me. If you are looking for squeeky clean LDS writing, this one does contain some mild language.
"A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death mission...to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians.
Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them!...by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness."
This book reminded me a little of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The author, Brandon Sanderson, spent a lot of time talking to the reader, which I found distracting. The plot was interesting and I loved the quirky characters.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
When the list of finalist came out last week, I immediately started tracking down the books so I could read as many of them as possible before attending the banquet in March. Now I have to read all the books before Feb 20th. From the list of nominees, I have already read five of them, that leaves 21 books to read in the next month (26 if I want to read the first books in a series so the nominated books make sense). It's a good thing I'm a very fast reader. I'm still working on finding copies of all the books. The local library system has quite a few of them, I own a some, and I received one email with a complete book, so I'm well on my way.
I have my work cut out for me but I'm so excited to be given the opportunity to vote with the Academy. I believe the Whitney Awards will provide a great boost to LDS fiction, providing a way to honor the best in LDS fiction and giving the rest of us something to aim for. I can't wait to finish this year's list, so I can start reading and nominating books for the 2008 Whitney Awards.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Compared to the things I usually post about, this one is a little off topic, but I wanted to share this new line of dresses with you. I know some of my readers have kids the right age to be interested in this.
Swing for Prom is a new line of modest formal dresses designed by a friend of mine. Her philosophy as stated on the website: At Swing Gowns we feel that women can look beautiful and glamorous and still be modest. All of our gowns can be worn over an average bra. We don't compromise on quality with our materials, fit, design or embellishment. Our gowns are designed to enhance the beauty of the wearer, not overpower her.
One thing I love about these dresses is the quality of the design and materials. Every dress is made from 100% silk, and embellishments include glass beads and Swarovski crystals. Nothing beats the way silk drapes and moves.
Michelle and I both spent years sewing custom gowns for clients. While I moved on to writing, she has moved on to designing her own line of dresses. I'm excited to see her finally realize her dream. Swing on over and have a look. I think they're beautiful and I wish her luck on her newest adventure.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
One of my children is quite smart and hardly brings any home which only drives the other two children crazy, especially when he gets the best grades of the three. Another one can't quite see the importance of homework, although that's improving. It's a constant struggle to make sure it gets done. Then there is the other child who takes it all very seriously. The hours of homework brought home every night drive us all crazy. When the fatigue takes over, there are tears shed over how hard it is and how long it takes, and really she does little else from the time she gets home until the time she goes to bed. Despite all the frustration, the grades are excellent, but she works hard for every percentage point.
I often wonder how much is really accomplished by the mountains of homework brought home. Besides having to carry so much weight in the backpack every day, much of it seems like busy work. Tonight it's science. The worksheet is six pages long and even I'm struggling to find the answers in the textbook. She'll go to bed far later than normal and will suffer for it tomorrow. I worry about her as she gets older and the homework gets more intense. At what point will she end up making herself sick or giving up on good grades entirely?
I guess she'll get through it, but her memories of high school are largely going to be recollections of homework and stress. As a mother, I need to figure out some way to help her work faster, and learn which things have to take priority. More importantly, I need to be there when the mountain of homework is just too much to deal with and she needs a shoulder to lean on. Sometimes it's all I can do.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Embroidery/sewing patterns and books are another thing I collect. I love to sit and look at as I imagine all the beautiful things I can make to beautify my home or give as gifts. Someday I'll get more of them done, but for now I just dream of the day when I can get to them. (I'm beginning to see a pattern here - both collections are books.)
This year I want to start a new collection. I've set a goal to submit my writing more often, and like all writers, I expect to get my fair share of rejections. In years past, I've submitted my work, but I've never saved the rejections. Now I will consider a collection of rejections as a badge of honor showing how much I've been working.
And then there is one collection I plan to get rid of. Every time I read one of my manuscripts, I find a wonderful array of grammar mistakes, over-used words, adverbs, and all those other mistakes that make writing weak. I'm slowly weeding out the offenders and hope to whittle that collection down to nothing at all. That's one collection I'll be glad to get rid of. Of all my collections, this one I'd be glad to see disappear.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Best Novel of the Year
by Jessica Day George
Out of Jerusalem, Vol. 4: Land of Inheritance
by Heather Moore
On the Road to Heaven
by Coke Newell
by Willard Boyd Gardner
Upon the Mountains
by Gale Sears
Best Novel by New Author
by Jessica Day George
by Gary Hansen
by Michele Holmes
Beyond the Horizon
by Judy C. Olsen
On the Road to Heaven
by Coke Newell
by Michele Holmes
Desire of Our Hearts
by Sariah Wilson
by Stephenie Meyer
The Independence Club
by Rachel Ann Nunes
by Joyce DiPastena
The Deep End
by Traci Hunter Abramson
by Marlene Austen
by Betsy Brannon Green
by Willard Boyd Gardner
by Josi Kilpack
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians
by Brandon Sanderson
Bullies in the Headlights
by Matthew Buckley
by Allyson B. Condie
How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend
by Janette Rallison
Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, Book II)
by Brandon Mull
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale
by Jessica Day George
by Jessica Draper
The Lights of Mahonri Moriancumer
by Phyllis Gunderson
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book II)
by Brandon Sanderson
Beyond the Horizon
by Judy C. Olsen
Out of Jerusalem, Vol. 4: Land of Inheritance
by Heather Moore
On the Road to Heaven
by Coke Newell
Spires of Stone
by Annette Lyon
Upon the Mountains
by Gale Sears
Friday, January 11, 2008
The other awesome thing about the internet is meeting people. On October 10th, I was reading a blog by Connie Hall titled "Skeletons in the Closet". In it she tells about a reunion she attended for a great grandfather that came to America from France in the 1700's. As I read her story, the name of the grandfather sounded familiar to me. I quickly pulled out my own genealogical records and looked up the name. Sure enough, they matched. I contacted her and through a series of emails, we discovered that we both descended from the same man and are distant cousins. What are the odds we would end up attending the same writer's conference last year and would both be writers?
I have been searching for an exchange student who lived with my family in 1989.Since we lost touch I do the occasional internet search, but I never get anywhere. Having just her name and knowing that she is from Denmark just didn't give me enough to go on. Yesterday I was doing some time wasting to give my brain a break from the writing, so I went to my Facebook page and caught up with things that are going on among my friends. I decided to do a search for this girl. I've done this many times in the past, but usually only get two people who come up with a similar name. Neither of them ever look right, but yesterday a name came up that was exactly right. I emailed her asking if she had ever lived in Alberta as an exchange student. This morning there was an email waiting for me. It is her! I am so excited to get in touch with someone I consider a long, lost sister. I can't wait to see what kind of things she has been up to in the last decade.
I'm grateful for the technology that makes it possible for me to connect with people and now I'm excited to use the same technology to catch up with a lost and found friend who lives halfway around the world.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I tend to be a solitary person to begin with. I like time to myself and long for those rare moments when there is no one else in the house. For as long as I can remember, I have been shy and don't usually make friends easily. My closest girlfriend passed away almost two years ago, and I don't have that kind of close connection with anyone else. I can go days where the most meaningful phone call is from a telemarketer and the only adult I speak to is my husband. Sometimes I wish I had a job in the real world just for the human interaction, or that I had numerous girlfriends who called every week. But most of the time, I love the solitude. Just to be clear, I'm not looking for sympathy. I like my life.
Many of the writers I talk to are solitary people. Writing lends itself to this. It's hard to get those great ideas on paper when there are too many distractions. But this lifestyle does tend to present problems. Lately, I haven't turned on the television or radio, read a newspaper, or talked to anyone about anything. I've just been too busy. This isolation can be harmful to the writing life. Most of my ideas come from the world around me and the things I hear and see. I love to take the time to wander in the city and watch people, or keep up on the latest news stories. I like to listen to people talk so I can write more realistic dialogue. Unfortunately, I haven't made the time for these things lately.
As with everything, being a writer requires balance. Solitude is good. It gives me time to think and formulate characters, plot lines and settings. But I believe too much solitude can sap even the most creative of spirits. This is something I need to work on. I need to step out of my shell and past the shyness to establish new friendships. I need to make the time to keep up on the news and time to go out and people watch. I need to balance the need for quiet, alone time, with the need to get out and experience life. Only then will the ideas flow again, and my writing will come alive.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Tonight I spent some time reading the beginnings of the novel I started working on in November. Because lots of life happened during December, I haven't looked at the story for over a month. This is the book I want to work on for the BIAM, but before I can actually add more to it I have to remember how the story was unfolding in the first place. I did start with an outline for this one, but it didn't take me long to deviate so far from it, that referring back to it is no help at all. Anyway, I was quite pleased with what I read. I always worry when I write something so fast that I will just be making extra work for myself in the long run.
Because I am studying the book Hooked right now, I really focused on the beginning of my book. The first chapter of the current novel is good as far as hooks go, but of course it can be made better. I really want to work on it and make it stronger, because if the first line and paragraph and chapter don't draw the reader in, it doesn't matter how well-written the rest of the book is or how compelling the story is, the reader will never read far enough to appreciate it. I do believe the story I'm writing is compelling, so I want the reader to get caught up in it right from the first sentence.
On top of the BIAM challenge, I want to get this first chapter polished so I can enter it in the LDStorymakers "First Chapter" contest this March. The contest is valuable especially because the entry is returned with feedback from the judges. So I have my work cut out for me, but I do think I am finally getting back in the groove.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Today was the kid's first day back at school after the Christmas holidays. I planned on being very organized today and getting all sorts of things done, including some real work on my project for the BIAM challenge. Of course, several things got in my way, including my own tendency to be distracted by the slightest thing. I always get to the end of the day and realize that I did get quite a bit done, but a good portion of what I did wasn't planned in the first place. There is always tomorrow, and if I can focus a little more each day on the highest priority things on my list, someday I may actually be the organized person I like to pretend I am.
Meanwhile, I'm really falling behind on Tristi's challenge. I finally made a list of my writing goals for the year and posted them in a prominent place in the office so I have to read them every day. This year will be full of hard work but by the end of the year I hope I have some positive results to show for it.
As for old habits, here I am posting my Monday ramblings in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. If I could just change that one habit...watch for Tuesday's post to actually be posted on Tuesday. One can always hope, anyway. (I just checked this post and the blogger clock has it posted at 11:55 pm, even though all the clocks in the house say it is 12:10 am. I'm going with the blogger clock...then I can pretend I did get to bed before midnight.)
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
I finally pulled out the novel I'm writing so I can start working on Tristi's BIAM challenge. Because I haven't looked at it since November, I had to back track a little and re-read a chapter or two. This project has caused me to really examine POV. When I started this book during Tristi's first challenge last fall, I wrote it in third person. Every sentence was a struggle and I soon grew frustrated with my lack of progress. After several thousand words, I stopped and did some brainstorming. The story idea still seemed good, but it just wasn't working. Putting aside every word I had already written, I started from scratch for NaNo and changed the point-of-view entirely. Now the book is written in first person and the story is flowing easily. Several people have told me how difficult it is to write or read a story in first person, but that is what seems to be working right now.
It is an interesting exercise to take a story and re-write it using different POVs. I find it fascinating how the emphasis of the story changes depending on which character is telling it. This is a skill I'm still learning and experimenting with. I think my book is better now that I have gone to first person, but until I give it to my readers, I won't know for sure. That's the great thing about being a writer...playing with the words until they tell exactly the story I want to tell.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
So I am falling behind in Tristi's BIAM before it really gets going. I can't wait for the kids go back to school on Monday and we get back into a routine. I love the holidays and doing extra things with the kids, but I also like the predictability of school days. It has been nice having the extra help at home. The kids play together well and entertain the kids I babysit. Because of this I have been able to get three roman blinds made for the living room and a valance almost done for the family room. I've had the fabric for a long time, so it is about time I got them done. Now I am just crossing my fingers and hoping they look good.
Even though I haven't spent much time writing or even checking my mail, I have had lots of time to think about my goals for the year and come up with new ideas. Now I just have to get them down on paper.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Well, last year life moved on as it always does. I finally stretched myself and pursued my writing dream in earnest. In March, I attended the LDStorymakers conference for the first time and felt like I had finally met a group of people who I understood. I finished my first novel and started my second. The greatest thing about last year had to be all the things I learned, and that is what I am looking forward to in the new year.
I am going to apply even more effort to writing and am starting out by participating in Tristi's Book in a Month challenge. This is just what I need to get back into the swing of things after taking plenty of time off in December. The holidays have been busy. Between an unexpected trip to Phoenix and a round of the flu going through the family, I've spent very little time on the computer in the last month. So now the holidays are over, and I need to get back to work. For Tristi's challenge I am going to continue working on the novel I started in November. It is at 51,000 words and I want to get it to 85,000 by the end of the month.
As for the rest of the year, I plan on learning and growing in every area of my life. I always tell my kids that if I learn one thing during a day it is a good day. So this year, I plan on making every day a good day.