Friday, April 29, 2011

Happiness Multiplied

For the past few weeks, I've gotten to Friday and felt completely drained. My blog posts went from "Happy Monday!" to "I hate everything, and I must be the most terrible person ever." So this week I am determined to change that. How? By talking about of my favorite things that happened this week.

1. Meeting new people.
You know how every once in a great while you meet someone who is like minded? Someone who you make an instant connection with because you can completely relate to everything their going through? Well, before I joined Twitter last week, that happened to me maybe ten times. Now its pretty much daily. It's amazing to have this technology at our finger tips that can allow us to reach anyone in the world, and I completely love it!

2. Motivation.
When I started my current work in progress, I stopped after about 25,000 words. Why? Because I was discouraged. I had no support and the internal editor in my head was telling me I was awful and I should just give up. I quit for about two months. No writing at all. Then mid March I just picked it up again. I was still thinking about the story line and I just couldn't let it go. I was doing well when I started this blog, and I am so glad I did. Because I have been discouraged time and again. I never knew what kinds of motivation lay at my fingertips, now I'm nearly at 50,000 words, wahoo!

3. Good books.
I have probably told you this every day, but I love to read. I was looking at my book list, which was growing dismally short, and I was getting a little worried. That is until I found a bunch of cool authors who I am totally stoked to read. Now my list is about twenty miles long, but it feels good. I hate not having anything to read!

4. Finding myself.
I said before that starting a blog feels like coming out of the closet, and I feel that way more than ever now. In the short month that I've been "out there" my life has changed. I feel like I'm finding what I really should be doing in life, and what's better than that?

So there you have it, and you know what? That list was very therapeutic. Carpe Diem everyone, Carpe diem.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Music and all it's wonderful power

For me music has always been a source of inspiration. My mother is a wonderful singer and I once hoped to excel in the art as well. Unfortunately, I didn't get those genes. I once fancied myself a bit of a dancer, but I never really did well. So today, I use music to help me get inspiration to write. I don't have a favorite band. As they say in Ever After "I could no sooner pick a favorite star from the sky." Plus my tastes are constantly changing.

Today I thought I would share a few songs that seem to be impacting me the most right now. The ones that make me really feel, so that I can convey that emotion to the page.

1. Love scenes - Joe Gillette "You and I"

No, you haven't ever heard of him, why, you ask? Well he is friend of a friend that is extremely talented, but not yet recorded. Let's get him there by watching his You Tube video! It's worth the watch -trust me - although half the views are probably mine. I choose this song because it bring to rememberance the sweet things about love.

2. Action/adventure - Adele "Rolling in the deep"

I know, everyone likes this song right now, but it really gets my blood pumping for those "I can't hardly breath" action scenes.

3. Sad scenes - Jose Gonzalez "Down the line"

His soulful guitar and rough voice lend to the perfect tear jerking atmosphere. Sometimes I can hardly write when this song comes on, but I take a moment to listen and soak up the feeling so I can transfer that to the page.

4. Traveling scenes - The paper raincoat "Brooklyn Blurs"

This song came from the same soundtrack as the previous one, but it has such a feeling of motion that you can roll right a long with the sound.

5. Celebration scene - Lee DeWyze "Sweet Serendipity"

This song mirrors the feeling of just scraping by, and yet being elated. some of the lyrics will do the writing for me "I'm always landing on my feet, in the nick of time, and by the skin of my teeth." Well, you get the gist.

There you have it, five songs that are my muse. Look them up if you haven't heard them. Maybe it will get your motor running.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Ideas, new directions

When I started this blog I had intended it to simply be a place to vent my feelings about writing. I also hoped it would be a good tool to help me become a better writer, whilst learning more about other writers and their struggles.

It hasn't taken long to figure out that I still have a lot to learn. There are places I would like to take this blog, but I can't go there without your help. I feel almost as if the majority of my post have been more like complaints, and no one likes a downer.

Therefore, if I am to improve, how can I do this without you? You are the reason I am even here.

I need to know what you would like to hear. Inspiring stories? Book Reviews? My crazy opinions? Snippets of creative stories? I want to know it all!

Please, be brutally honest! What do you absolutely hate about what you have read? And what can I do to change that? Blogs should be a place for everyday people to find a common ground and relate to each other. So give me your opinion!

If you don't want to post your thoughts in a public forum, you may e-mail me at

I really want to learn from you. That is the whole point, it won't be a journey if I don't grow. Thanks for your help, and thanks for even taking the time to read. You have no idea how my heart fills with joy to know that people out there actually care.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The infernal book list

I'm sure you've all seen it, it has plagued the walls of Facebook for sometime now. It has brought on bragging airs and dismal looks. It has made your heart glow and made you want to rip it up in the same moment. It is the top 100 book list.

They lure you in by saying most have only read six (a complete and utter lie for any high school graduate) so that you think if you've read twenty-four of the books you've done pretty well. That is, until you see that one friend who has supposedly read eighty of them. Then you feel like, even though you are an avid reader, you have somehow failed yourself.

It's as if only these 100 books will ever matter, and if you dare read anything else your doomed. Well I have news, and maybe I'm the first one to say it (but probably not) I don't want to read every book on that list!

A few years back I had several people tell me to read Wuthering Heights. "You've read Jane Eyre," they said, "this was by her sister." "You're a hopeless romantic," they said, "this will tear at your heart strings." So I read it, and I hated every minute of it. Why did I torture myself and read to the end? Well because I wanted to know the end, but that didn't make me like it anymore.

"It's a classic!" those people shouted. "You're not allowed to hate the classics!" Well guess what, I don't care! Why am I going to torture myself by dragging through a hundred classics that I don't even enjoy?

Granted, there a few I would truly like to read, little women, for example. But I must ask, what is so wrong with simply reading books I enjoy? There is a treasure trove of brilliant unknown books out there, and if I like it, I'm going to read it.

So what if I never read The Republic of Plato? Am I really ruined as a writer or a person if I don't?

Maybe I'm just ranting. Maybe I should at least attempt Plato. But if I'm not enjoying it I'm going to stop.

For today, I'm going to continue reading the latest Jame Patterson novel. I'm going to eat some more Easter candy and I'm going to read every last indulgent line. And I'm not going to feel guilty, not even one little bit.

What are you're thoughts? Should a book be read just because it's a classic? Or should we broaden our horizons?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring again

I don't know about everyone else but I had a fantastic weekend! Here is a list a few of the more exciting things that happened.

1. I met Marie Osmond.
2. I got a date with the hubby.
3. I bought a whole outfit at Nordstrom rack for $50.00.
4. I stuffed my face.
5. My kids had an excellent Easter egg hunt.
6. I ate candy until I was sick.

Since I am still coming off of this high, I thought I would share one fun thought about spring/Easter.

It came to my realization this weekend that spring/Easter is all about second chances. I hate winter, I hate how everything dies and it's cold and icky for months. But spring reminds me that there is a cycle to life in which that ugly yellow lawn and that bare aspen tree become something beautiful once again. It fills me with hope for the good things to come in the rest of the year. A reminder that each day is new and we can always start again.

On a side note, here is an incredibly cute picture of my daughter -
Happy Spring!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeding the soil

Last night I attended my first meeting with the Utah League of writers (bet you didn't know writers are in league with each other) and it was really informative and great to meet other writers in the same area.

It's funny how you can feel like you are a writer (which I say - as long as your writing, you are) yet really know very little about the writing community. I am just starting to learn about what's out there in the writer world and it's a little overwhelming.

There are thousands of people out there, if not hundreds of thousands of people, who are writing novels. Many of those are writing in the same genre that you are, and so few even get a real break when it comes to book sales.

It's all very discouraging.

I've asked myself before, is it really even worth it to continue on? Now I'm asking it again.

For once I am really looking inside myself and asking, can I handle the pressure? I'm just one person, who has never really been that successful at anything. What makes me think it will be different this time around?

Then this morning I got up and checked Facebook as I always do. Here, a friend reminded me of something we had talked about the other day. It was an article he wrote about the law of the Harvest.

Of course everyone has heard, you reap what you sow, and everyone knows that means your going to get what you plant. But the thing he said that really struck me was this, you reap what you sow in a different season.

So right now I'm in the spring of my writing career. I'm just starting to plant the seeds. Fall is long way off, and in that time I have to weed, and water, and weed, and water some more. Then, if I've put in the work, I will see some results. I can't guarantee I'll get a bumper crop, some of that is out of my control. But I can say that I will at least see some sprouting.

How can I succeed if I don't try? That's what I have to tell myself over and over, because if I stop then I will have failed. I will have never even given my seeds a chance.

This is my resolution. I am planting my seeds and working for my harvest, and I hope you'll join me. Let's not be among those sitting lawn chairs hoping something miraculous will happen. Instead, let us have hope that our work will someday bear fruit.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Christmas Kidney Beans

The other day a friend of mine was asking me if I had read any good books lately. I told her of a few I had been reading to which she responded "You know, I wish I enjoyed reading like you do. I have the desire, but I just can't get into it. Do you know what I'm saying?" I laughed and said "I know exactly what your saying. I would love to sew, but that's probably never going to happen."

I should tell you that I made an awful attempt a couple years ago. I was pregnant with my second child and knowing it was going to be a girl, I thought it would be so great to be crafty. I wanted to pass that skill onto her. It was Christmas time which made me think of my Christmas stocking growing up. My mother had bought simple stockings for us and sewed all of our names into them.

Wouldn't it be great, though, if I made the stockings myself? I looked up a pattern, bought the materials and got to work. The whole time I thought of my eighth grade sewing teacher. She would often tell me I was beyond help, and she would grade all my assignments quite low, and she generally made me feel like I would never sew again if she had a say in it.

"This would show her!" My mind raved. "I would make these stocking and proudly display them in my home!" Then everyone would come and say, "Where on earth did you get those adorable stockings?!" to which I would smugly reply, "I made them myself." Then that person would ohh and ahh and ask for the pattern.

Well, I took the time and finally finished! And ... they came out looking more like kidney beans then stockings.

This taught me a lesson though. Even though I had already suspected I was terrible sower, I was glad I tried. It made me realize that my talents lay elsewhere.

It helped me to take a step back, look at my life, and say, what else haven't I tried? Which eventually lead to me writing this book.

Writing suits my life so well, because I constantly have crazy stories going through my head. Although I would say my first attempts at novels were coming out more like kidney beans, I felt there was still hope. I got to about 20,000 words in ten other novels that I started but didn't get any further on.

I didn't give up, though, and that's the key. I found an idea that suited my writing style and matched what I enjoyed reading. So maybe sometime in the distant future I will try sowing again. Maybe I will make something I can proudly put my name to. For now, though, I think I'll stick to writing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excitement to the nth degree.

I often take my kids to the library. We go because the play area gives them a chance to interact with other children.

Well, today they discovered something wonderful. The library has books too! I have been trying to guide them in that direction for a long time, but all I got were looks like - this toy dinosaur is way cooler than a book - so I gave up.

I figured we had enough books at home, and we spent enough time reading that they were satisfied with just going to the library to play. Today, however, (to my joy) they started bringing me books they were interested in. The girl brought me the book "Meat Eating Dinosaurs" and the boy choose "The Berenstain Bears family vacation." interesting choices to say the least, but hey, there only one and three.

So I read a little, and they played a little. When the time came to go I asked, "Should we take these books home?" To which the boy replied "No we have to leave it here mom." I laughed as the boy volunteered to put the books back.

Oh well, at least it's a step in the right direction.

That brings me to a question. I must first preface it by saying that I read to my kids and I let my kids see me read, in hopes that they will pick it up. But I wondered if anyone does anything fun to help their kids enjoy books? Is there something out there to help them get more excited about learning to read? Because I feel like I'm on the right track, but I also think there must be more that one could do to inspire a great mind. Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Battling the dark days

In the writing world there is a term for the days in which you simply have no desire to write. This term is called the dark days. It is all too appropriate as it often comes hand in hand with a dark a mood.

Yesterday I was having one of them.

In a miraculous turn of events, both my kids slept for three hours yesterday. You would think this would give me ample time to write, but I simply couldn't get into it. I wrote a little, hoping that some writing would help improve the mood, but it didn't.

So, I played The Sims instead.

Yes, it was awful of me, but everyone needs a break, right? Well, it came to a point where I thought surely the kids would awaken, so I stopped playing and listened at their doors. To my surprise, they still slept.

You would think that after having some leisure time I would be completely ready to write. So naturally, I surfed the internet. I checked Facebook, a few times. I looked at a few blogs. Then finally I came to this article.

I was saved! It gave me just the boost I needed to get back to my book and write to my heart's content. Only, that was the same moment the kids woke up.

I guess you can't win them all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Warriors

Good Monday everyone! I feel totally refreshed from a great weekend with good weather (finally!) even though I am now sunburned. Yup, it only takes me and hour of sitting in a lawn chair (in 60 degree weather) to become crispy red, that's how pale I am.

On my honeymoon to San Deigo my husband and I, being the brilliant newlyweds we were, didn't pack any sunscreen and I spent the entire vacation looking like a lobster, whilst my husband looked like he had the perfect surfer-dude tan. Some people just get all the luck I guess, and unfortunately my children inherited my skin color (sorry kids!)

Now that I'm a little older, with a little more wisdom (and a lot more sunscreen) I have learned a few things. One of those things is that life shouldn't always be rushed.

So I will tell you now, that I won't ever write on the weekends. Last week I was writing so much, there were constantly words going through my head, which made it really hard to sleep. This weekend I emptied my head. So here you have me writing about nothing.

But I think that's good in a way, because now I can pick up my book and look at it with fresh eyes. I think if I just wrote and wrote and wrote, eventually it would start looking something like this:

Person A: "You know, this has been a great adventure and all, but I'm pretty tired."

Person B: "Your right, let's call it quits."

And then you'll never know if they ever made it to their destination to stop the bad guys from doing whatever terrible thing it was they were planning, because I simply couldn't think anymore.

So thank you for letting me take few days off so I could not have a total meltdown.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spiting into the wind

Starting a blog kind of feels like I'm coming out of the closet. It's almost as if I've had all these thoughts and feelings hiding in me and now I'm saying "Look out world, here I am!"

To tell you the truth I feel little embarrassed.

It's scary in the same way as having a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of a crowded mall. Everyone's seen everything you've been trying so hard to cover up.

Yet, I've been the one to put it all out there. That makes it as exciting as finding out you've won an award for something you thought was totally awful.

Okay, so maybe I'm rambling, but this is what I feel today. I guess I'm just telling everyone to buckle up, because who knows what's going to fall out of my brain and end up on this page.

I can see this blog becoming so much more then just my journey about writing a book, because, well let's face it, it's a slow process that always isn't very exciting. I see this blog as simply a way for me to write and to enjoy writing and hopefully improve my skill.

I'll still talk about my book because that is the original idea of this blog, but how much more can I really say without posting the entire book on here? Although, once I feel comfortable, I will post a place where you can get a sample of a few chapters. Because I need the feedback, because it is my hope to someday to be published.

I don't expect my book to take off like a shot, very few authors do, but I simply want to have someone read and say they enjoyed falling into my world for a short amount of time.

So I hope you'll still come. I hope you'll still enjoy my rantings (however pointless) and I hope you laugh along with me and my crazy up and down journey as I write a book.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

Every child is asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Which really means, how on earth are you going to make a living when you have to pay the bills?

My answers as a child were always varied - astronaut, singer, teacher, actress, scientist, chef, artist, archeologist, etc. Even though (to tell you the truth) my heart wasn't really into any of those things.

The only thing I knew for certain, was that I wanted to be was a mother. It's interesting to think back to what my view of motherhood was then. I thought that when I was a mother I would let my kids eat ice cream whenever they felt like it, and I would never make them do any chores, and they would get an allowance just because. Ha! What a dream world that was. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked - my point here is that I never imagined I would enjoy spending parts of my day writing.

When I was sophomore in high school I had never picked up a book just to enjoy reading. I had only read because I had to for an assignment, or because my friend wanted me to read with them, or something. It wasn't until a friend in my math class started ignoring me so she could read Harry Potter (thanks Sarah) that I even considered reading as an enjoyable activity.

Of course, once I was hooked, I had to find out what other books where out there. But, I still didn't enjoy writing. My family often made fun of me because I am a horrible speller. I've improved over the years, but I used to think writing was about spelling alone. It wasn't until I had an incredible English teacher my senior year that I saw writing in my future.

The first day of class he made us all write a few paragraphs about our writing style. I, thinking the paper would be for his eyes only, wrote about my lack of confidence in my skills. It was then that he got up in front of the class and read all of our little notes to everyone. I was mortified. Even though he didn't name names, except in joking, I was so embarrassed to have my little paper read aloud.

The teacher had poked fun at some of the kids spelling and grammatical errors, and I was terrified about what he would say to my own humble admission. To my surprise, this teacher read my note with such care, and never even looked my way. I breathed a sigh of relief. Little did I know that he had set a pattern that day. A pattern that he would keep the whole semester. He made me feel as if I had something worth writing.

That effected me so deeply that here I am today, attempting to write a book. It has become, to me, something that helps me stay grounded. It release the stresses of my day and brings me full circle to remember who I am.

I'm sharing this with you mostly to remind myself. Sometimes we need to go back and look at those places in our lives where we felt a stirring inside us. Then the question has to be asked, do I feel that now? If not, go back to your roots, find what makes you happy and live it.

It shouldn't be superficial or material, that kind of happiness is temporary. It should be something that you enjoyed living every day. I'm not saying you should quit your job, or travel the world to find yourself. All I'm saying is that everyone should take a few moments in there day and figure out what makes them tick.

I don't mean to say that I have all the answers, because I certainly don't. All I am saying is that writing makes me happy. I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to be a mom and to write, neither of which are perfect, but which ultimately bring me moments of joy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No takers, eh?

So no one wants to know the books mentioned in the pervious post? Well, maybe it is a little too hard. So I am going to give fairly obvious hints for each book and the first one to guess all five will win $10 to Burger King. Wahoo for free lunch!

1. This series of books also involves Centaurs, a pen sword, and some lightning.

2. This book has poachers, underground living, and electric fences.

3. In this book we are introduced to a heavenly lion, a goat boy and a talking beaver.

4. Patronus

5. Think two minds in one body.

Pick a little, talk a little.

Firstly, let me say thank you to everyone who supported me yesterday. I feel invigorated and encouraged to continue on writing. It truly means something to me to have all of your support.

Well, today I promised we would have little fun, so I thought we could play a game. I have chosen five different popular books (or series of books) and taken a Chapter heading or a snip-it of the book and it is your job to guess which book it comes from. I have mentioned a few of the books on this blog before, but not all of them.

1. "I drive my dog into a tree"

2. "It must be strong, whatever they shot into me, because it's a full day before I come to."

3. "Back on this side of the door."

4. "Flight of the fat lady."

5. "We thought of my memories, the pretty ones."

So there you have it, this is pretty tough - so there may be a little prize if anyone can get all five!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tell me, please.

Okay, so maybe it's time to tell you what my book is about, so you can ask yourself if it is book you will really enjoy or not. Well, I want to share that with you. I want you to feel like you are in a little secret.

Only, I have one problem with doing that. Can you imagine spending weeks typing word after word (I'm up to 30,000 - by the way) and then saying in two sentences or less, what all those words are really about?

Here's a prime example - Shannon Hale over at
Posted this plot summary in August last year
"After meeting once, two teenagers decide to get married (even though their families want to kill each other) with fatal results."

Does this really sum up the beauty, tragedy, and painful memory that is Romeo and Juliet? No.

Suppose I were to tell you that my story is about a young girl who grows up in a strange heretical type of society, only to discover she holds some sort of power over the ground she stands on, which, in turn, will probably mean war for the entire world she knows. Would I really feel like that summary does justice to my story?

No, I don't feel that way, but this is what you want to know - isn't it? Well, there it is, I've laid it all out on the table. So, the question begs, if you had read that plot summary would you be intrigued?

I seriously want to know.

I may still continue writing if I don't have a single response, but I think it would be that much harder.

If you think I am completely off my rocker, please tell me, so I can stop wasting my time.

Maybe I'm fishing for compliments, but I hope you feel free enough to share your thoughts with me. That is the whole point of this blog. Its a place for me to spill my thoughts and hope that I get a little bounce back.

Next post, I promise I won't brood so much. I want this to be fun place as well. A place where people who may or may not like to write would like to come read. Because, even if my idea sucks (and you tell me so) I'm still going to write. Yes, I am that persitantly bull headed. So please, lay a bushel of thorns at my feet, or give me a rose - I don't care, I just want to know.


Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm sorry, what was the question?

When it comes to writing a book every writer asks themselves, would anybody really read this? As much as we would like to think we are only writing for ourselves, we can't help but have a secret desire to become the J.K. Rowling's and Stephenie Meyer's of the world.

So I have to ask, what do you think makes a great story? What is your favorite story and why?

For me, I love a story that involves adventure, romance, and little mystery. I would say I've enjoyed other books that don't have all these elements, but my favorite books involve all three. Percy Jackson, Maximum Ride, and Hunger Games -- there all wildly popular, but why?

Is it only that these stories involve adventure, romance, and mystery?

I think not, there must be more to it. What is it about the writers of these books that makes us want to wait up until midnight just to find out what Harry, Edward, and Katniss will do next?

I will be the first to admit, I have no hope of reaching the same height of those authors I have mentioned. But, I also have the hope to work towards that goal. I expect to be criticized, I expect that what I write won't be everyone's cup of tea. But I would still like to know, what is it that people really want from a book?

Give me your ideas, because even though I can't please everyone, a good writer should be able to take comments and use them in their work. Perhaps, one day, you will get the chance to read my book, then you can say, "I gave her that idea!" And who doesn't want that?


Friday, April 8, 2011

Good morning, sir.

Greetings reader!
I am sitting at my computer this morning for one reason, and one reason alone. I had this ingenious, totally original, ground breaking idea - to start a blog. (I know, I know, you wish you had thought of it first.) Not just any blog, mind you, but a blog about my journey to (hopefully) write a book.

Now that you all are captivated by my astounding intellect to think of such a thing as no one has ever dared think of before (winky emoticon) -let me just say, that you are welcome.

This is going to be a place where I will share the thoughts, feelings, and struggles, of the life of an average person who simply has the desire to one day be deemed a writer. My only hope is that you will share this journey with me and help me to become the writer I know is just itching to crawl out from under my skin.

There will be days when you will like to come and bask in the glory of my writing, and there will be days when you will despise the very keyboard I pound each word so thoughtfully out of. Let us hope, that today is the day that you are feeling generous - but even if you are not, I still hope you shall return.

I promise to not always be so overly dramatic, and cheesily sarcastic. But I do promise to always be myself and never put on a guise to mislead you into thinking I am something greater than I truly am. I am simply a girl, with an idea. An idea that I pray will, one day, be a book. This is my journey. All I ask is for your companionship along the way.

With all sincerity,