Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Awed Inspiration

I've been mulling over a few ways on how to relate writing in conjunction with the General Relief Society Meeting on September 26th. So many wonderful things were mentioned that left me breathless.

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President, said that the reason for Relief Society is to teach us our responsibility in womanhood and motherhood in the Lord's plan. We can help and organize works when and where needed to build stronger sisters!

Silvia H. Allred, First Counselor, mentioned that we can enrich homes and strengthen lives and bond friendships with everyone we meet.

Barbara Thompson, Second Counselor, felt strongly how we should stand for truth and righteousness. To let our voices be heard as sisters in Zion.

President Henry B. Eyring expressed in awe the charity that fills every sister in the Relief Society. He wants us to cherish and watch for one another.

Every single one of their gentle teachings urges us to become better daughters of our Heavenly Father as it applies to our everyday lives. I feel with all of my heart, that every one of those principles mentioned above, can be just as easily applied to our writing.

We build stronger sisters with our writing. We enrich homes with our writing. We let our voices be heard with our writing. We cherish and watch for one another with our writing.

I am very grateful to be part of the Lord's plan and for the opportunity be be a part of Mormon Mommy Writers. It humbles me that I would be taken under their wing to share my experiences as well as my testimony in so many small ways. I look forward to the day when I become a published author so that I can spread my joy in the wonderful ways of fiction as our Christine just has!

"Never suppress a generous thought."
Can anyone tell me who quoted that and what does it mean to you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finding the Time

These days the mormon mommy is over-worked and over-stressed. With schedules packed full of preschool co-op, volunteering at the school, cleaning, shopping, scrapbooking, service projects, callings, reading scriptures, exercise, writing in journals, hubby time and on and on.... how do we ever find time (and, more specifically, a certain time every day) to write?

While we are all at different stages in life, with little kids or grown ones, we all have busy schedules with deadlines to meet. In this economy many of us have "other" jobs to help with supporting the family. These are busy, busy times.

There is always something in my life that has DEADLINE written across it. There is always some pressing issue that takes precedence over my writing goals. I am not an organized person that follows a schedule every day. I just try to get everything done that needs to be done, and so my writing time often gets pushed aside. I know it's said you have to make time to write... but how do YOU do that?

Please share with me some tips that have worked for you. How do you make time for writing amidst all of the chaos of life?

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Become a Super Star

Recently I was feeling a bit unnerved and unsatisfied with my blogging, Facebook and twitter efforts. I was feeling that people could not relate to me. It felt as though all my efforts seemed for not. People dismissed my efforts as "too much". Taking the easy road was safer and easier. I was getting discouraged because my goal wasn't to turn people off of self progression and improvement. It was to inspire others and motivate them to be come better. My idea was that if a 33 year old woman with 5 kids+1 on the way can stay at home (living off 1 income in California) home school, run an efficient home, write books and be creative then you can too! Our possibilities are endless.
I spoke to my Guru Life Coach Father and wise sister about the matter. They said that when someone calls you "CRAZY" or "You are soooo LUCKY {like I am not sacrificing the fancy cars, vacations, large home, eating out, kids in a zillion activities, kudos from a boss or paycheck, being able to run errands all of the time (AKA spending money) etc., etc., etc.} they are really saying that you are a super star. I sacrifice a heck of a lot to stay home and even more to home school. I am not lucky!!! I make it happen and each and everyone can make our goals and dreams happen. We can all be super stars. It takes three things:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Excuse Me While I Toot

Toot my own horn, that is. It's official. I can finally announce that my book, The Keeper of the Crystor, has been accepted for publication by Valor Publishing Group. The release date is scheduled for May 12th, 2010.

After weeks and weeks of edits and rewrites, I had the privilege of signing my contract yesterday. It's been a long and weary road, but the result is worth every late night and rewritten scene. And it just proves that if you work long and hard enough, anyone can be published. I'm a 47 year old, overweight woman with no formal education past high school. All my writing education has been from reading books, online classes and writer's conferences. I was determined not to let anything stand in my way and now I can say I did it. WOOO HOOO! Can't wait to hold my book in my hands and flip through the pages.

Here's a little description from the back of the book.

The Keeper of the Crystor is a tale of magic, mystery and forbidden love.

Kira Edwards thought she knew everything about her best friend, Lydia, until a brutal attack during a photo shoot leaves Lydia seriously injured and the two of them stranded on a secluded mountain. When Lydia refuses to let Kira go for help, Lydia is forced to reveal the fact that she’s from another world—a world filled with powerful magic and evil forces. Kira soon discovers Lydia’s sister, Shandira, is behind the attack and seeks to take Lydia’s life.

To make things worse, Lydia summons her brother, Octavion, who blames Kira for the attack, almost killing her. When she volunteers to accept a healing charm, risking her life to heal Lydia, he finds himself not only fighting his primal hunger, but his unbridled feelings for Kira. The decision to stand by her friend, even though the world around her is falling apart, helps Kira embrace her inner strength, bringing her the confidence she needs to stand up to the forces that seek to destroy them all.

Her quick witted sense of humor makes a wonderful contrast to Octavion’s explosive temper, causing both to give in to their only common emotion…love. Will that love be enough to suppress Octavion’s fierce desire to take her life? Or will Kira be able to tame the wild beast that lives within his heart?

Thanks for letting me toot, guys. I feel much better....LOL

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review and Author Interview

I'm so excited because H.B. Moore chose our blog to be one of the stops for her Alma blog tour!!

This book is awesome!! It's the 2nd in her Prophets of the Book of Mormon series. The first book is Abinidi, I highly recommend that book as well.

I really enjoyed reading this book and imagining what Alma's life might have been like. There were a couple of things that I had never imagined that way, but she transported me into her imagination and I loved it. I love these books, they help me to see the prophets as the real people that they were. It makes their accomplishments that much more extraordinary. The characters in these stories really come to life and make you care for the plight of the Nephites. I definately recommend that everyone read these books!!

The summary from the back of ALMA is:

King Noah is thundering with rage. The former high priest Alma has vanished from the city of Nephi, and every night more of his believers manage to escape. The king blames Amulon and threatens certain punishment unless Amulon recaptures Alma - a seemingly impossible task. But Amulon has a plan. An equally valuable prisoner is at his fingertips: Noah's wife, Maia, whose newfound faith means bitter humiliation for the king and an opportunity for Amulon to sieze power.

I also took this time to ask Heather a few questions:

1. When writing about the prophets of the Book of Mormon, what is your favorite part?
My favorite part is learning more about the culture, religious beliefs, and political infrastructure that surrounded the various time periods of each prophet. It gives a lot of credence to the motivations that the prophets seemed to have and makes developing their characters very interesting.

2. What is the most daunting part?
The most daunting part about writing a novel based on historical figures is to find the balance between making the story compelling, fresh, and interesting, along with living up to the general perception of the readers—so that the reader will be accepting and find the plot and characterizations plausible. I once had a man tell me at a book signing that he wouldn’t read my books because he didn’t want me to ruin his perception of the Book of Mormon. Yet, I’ve also had many people say that they imagined Nephi, et al, very close to how I wrote them. It’s impossible to make everyone excited about a re-telling of the prophets’ stories, and I don’t expect to. By the way, that man’s wife bought one of my books, so the verdict is still out. Although it’s not my intention to recast the prophets into “Heather Moore’s” vision, but to bring together research from scholarly experts, the scriptures, and some creative storytelling.

3. There are a few of us that write on this blog who are having what a lot of what people call writer's block. The flow of words that we once enjoyed freely have suddenly dried up. Do you have any experience with this phenomenon, and what would your advice be?
I once read a quote by Barbara Kingsolver that basically said she didn’t have time for writer’s block because she had children. After laughing, I thought a lot about it. Writer’s block is only a luxury when you don’t have a deadline. But once you do have a deadline (self-imposed or otherwise), you have to find a way to work through it—immediately. Some of the things I do when I feel “stuck” (which is OFTEN), is to hit the research—this sparks new ideas. Or read through a scene or two that you’ve already written. Write out of order—maybe you know what happens at the end, but not in the middle. So . . . write the ending. But number one on my list is: Tell myself that I’m choosing path A, and I can always go back and change it later. Very rarely have I gone back to change a decision. Other times that I’ve felt my writing isn’t flowing as fast as I want, I read a book, watch a movie, or jot down various scenarios. It often gets the creative juices moving again. You might consider writing in a different genre, or trying a short story. But when it comes down to it, you just have to sit down and write. You need to learn how to be a finisher. A surgeon wouldn’t show up in the operating room and declare that today he doesn’t feel like working, so it will just have to wait until he’s more inspired. Writing is definitely more about perspiration than inspiration—even in my genre!

Thank you Heather for allowing our blog to be part of the Alma blog tour and for you words of wisdom!!! Everyone be sure to learn more about H.B. Moore at Also check out her blog on our blog links below "My Writer's Lair".

Thursday, September 24, 2009


This week, I've learned a few lessons on goals that I thought I'd share. I know you are all probably much better goal makers and keepers than I am, but some lessons bear repeating.

1. Don't make goals so unattainable that you are discouraged before you even begin. For example, if you write 500 words a day and you make a goal to try to write 5,000 words a day, that might be a discouraging goal--one you might want to give up on before you even tried. For me, I made a goal to give up chocolate for a week. This might not sound hard to a lot of people, but an hour after I made the goal I was trying to find a way around it. For me, chocolate is one of my food groups. A better goal would have been to limit my chocolate intake.

2. When making a goal also plan a way achieve it. For example, one of my goals is to have a cleaner house, but I never set aside a time to make that happen. I falsely assume that just by making the goal, my brain power alone will clean the house. So what I need to do is schedule in a time when I can accomplish this goal. I have discovered that ignoring it, waiting for it to clean itself, or waiting for the faeries to do it, do not work.

3. Tell someone or many someones your goal. By telling people you are holding yourself accountable for it.

4. Praise yourself when you accomplish your goal.

5. Don't be too hard on yourself when you have setbacks.

Now I will proceed to do number 4. I just finished a book. It really is a feeling of accomplishment. I know that I am not quite done, I still have editing to do, but I am proud of myself. :) Now, if only I can get my house clean.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Fly Away Tent

We were well prepared as we went camping for the weekend. We had our little old fashioned camper's stove. Pots and pans. A cooler filled with food for at least two days. The drive was lovely and we found a very beautiful spot in the wild woods in the mountains. After setting everything up, the clouds blew in. Cold rain gathered, wanting to show off their torrents.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay the night. The little tent couldn't hold out the rain. So we gathered our things and packed our kids and belongings and left in the dark.

I was sad.

The next day we set up the tent in the backyard (a stand alone kind) to dry off. Later, a very strong wind storm came our way. Guess what? The wind had blown it away during the night. Oh no! Do you know what the worst part of it was? It was my friend's tent!

I prayed and felt the reassurance of the Spirit. We drove around and searched high and low. Far and wide. Over and yonder. No luck.

What did the Spirit mean? :(

What could we do? It isn't my tent and I am sure that it holds lots of wonderful memories for my friend. My hubby decided to look one more time. After much searching, he found it! Guess where it was? In our back door neighbor's yard! Can you believe that?

You know, this reminds me of Moses and the Israelites who wondered in the wilderness for 40 years. They began to complain and the Lord sent poisonous snakes for their ingratitude. The Lord instructed Moses to make a brazen snake and hoist it for all too look upon. Most of the people believed a simple glance at the brazen serpent would not heal them.

I almost felt like the wicked Israelites, searching farther than necessary for the answer to my prayers. The tent was in the next yard over rather than several blocks down.

I think I am trying to hard with my writing. I feel as if I am searching for answers that I already know. Why am I searching beyond, as if there lies some golden calf awaiting my discovery? I need to be content with what I have.

Prioritize rather than frantically try to juggle and meet everything at once. It is a work in progress. Something that I am currently working on. Though my creative side has refused to cooperate, I need to nurture the other aspects of writing and do my best in reaching out to others as well.

Do you feel as if you are trying too hard? How do you simplify an already complicated thing such as writing and everything that it implies?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun Ideas For Starting Your Own Blog

When you finally finish that book/novel/etc. your next step will be to find an agent and then a publishing company! Publishers want you to come ready made with a following (aka: hundreds to thousands who follow what you are doing on line. Be it through blogs, web pages, Facebook, twitter, MySpace etc.). A blog is a perfect place to start. Here are some suggestions on writing your own blog, while you document your writing journey:

  1. Come up with a fun catchy name or use your own name (if available) or made up location/land/ planet/ etc. for your blog.

  2. If you find pictures of your desired location of your setting then post them on your blog and write a little snippet about your imaginary location.

  3. Where to begin? Begin today and on what you are doing now. Introduce yourself and spread the word through friends and family about your new blog!

  4. Do the same for characters, style of dress, time period, homes,etc. Get your prospective readers excited about your book before it even comes out.

  5. Do book reviews on video (or write a short synopsis if you don't feel comfortable is the best way to captivate your audience) about a recent book you liked or even disliked. People want to know what the "real world" thinks of books and not just a possibly phony survey.

  6. Post a competition or raffle with prizes of some kind. Every one loves the chance to win something and get interactive with blog writers.

  7. Make a play list for fun. Readers/bloggers want to know what music you are interested in. My daughter started a playlist for different parts of her book. It helps the reader re-live the book through the writers perspective and it's fun :)

  8. Post pictures of your trials, tribulations as well as elations and successes. Remember that a picture paints a thousand words!!!

  9. If you like roll acting your book scenarios (to enable you write a situation just exactly right) then post pictures or videos on what you did that helped you write. I remember an author tel me that he got all twisted up under his desk to help him describe his character being stuck in a small cramped space. Pictures of videos of different scenarios and what you did to write them would not only inspire but entertain your readers.

  10. Up date as much as possible. If once a week works for you, then start there. If daily or 3x a week works, then go for it! Just start somewhere and don't get discouraged. Have fun! You may gain followers slowly but when your book comes out people will be dieing to see how you did it!

If you have any suggestions on some fun ways to spice up or begin your writing journey through a blog then let us know!!!! Have Fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Woman, the Ultimate Creation

I've recently been reading, "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" by John & Stasi Eldridge. I picked it up thinking I would enjoy a little light reading, but have been totally engulfed by its uplifting and positive references to what a woman is all about. I want to share a little bit of it with you here, in reference to the creation of Eve.

"It is nearing the end of the sixth day, the end of the Creator's great labor, as Adam steps forth, the image of God, the triumph of his work. He alone is pronounced the son of God. Nothing in creation even comes close. Truly, the masterpiece seems complete. And yet, the Master says that something is not good, not right. Something is missing . . . and that something is Eve.

"She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch.

"Given the way creation unfolds, how it builds to ever higher and higher works of art, can there be any doubt that Eve is the crown of creation? Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree. She is God's final touch, his piece de resistance. She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill.

"Think of it. The world is young and completely unstained. Adam is yet in his innocence and full of glory. He walks with God. Nothing stands between them. They share something none of us has ever known, only longed for: an unbroken friendship, untouched by sin. Yet something is not good? Something is missing? What could it possibly be? Eve. Woman. Femininity. Wow. Talk about significant."

I can't tell you what comfort this gave me when I read it. I, Christine Bryant, have worth. I am a woman and am held in high esteem by my Father in Heaven.

This week, when you look in the mirror every morning--hair all askew, no makeup and sporting those worn out pjs and slippers--say to yourself, "I am the crown of creation, God's final touch in creating the world. I am beautiful and I matter." And then believe it.

Friday, September 18, 2009


It still surprises me how many writers don't know about National Novel Writing Month. It starts in November and goes for the full month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It sounds crazy, I know, but it is very vital in teaching us to just write!! I've only attempted Nanowrimo twice and I didn't finish either time, but I did enjoy the freedom to write, write, write, and to give myself permission to not edit. It is fun and exciting. This year, I would really like to attempt it again. Imean, it's not like I have any current writing projects that would get in the way. The only problem is that I have no ideas for a new story, so I am using morning writing and writing excercises to prompt a story idea for November. Here is the link to learn more about Nanowrimo. Who wants to join me? Do you already have an idea of what you're going to write? Do you outline before? How do you prepare?

Also, since I'm needing writing exercises, I want each of you to write a noun and a verb in the comment section. Then I will write them on separate pieces of paper and randomly choose out one of each when I get stuck. I will then try to incorporate those words into a sentence, or if I'm lucky, into a whole paragraph or story. Feel free to do the same! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Resume for Heaven

I often think of the day when Christ comes again. The peace that will fill the earth. The love that will fill our hearts. The righteousness that will fill every living thing. The joy that will burst out in chorus from the hearts of those who have long awaited this glorious day!

I reflect upon my life now and wonder if I am pleasing the Lord. Am I doing the things He wants me to do? Am I following His commandments accordingly? Am I worthy to live with Him again?

I know that I am a beloved daughter of His. I feel it everyday in the little things I do. I feel it when privileges to serve others arise and warm me as the Spirit touches my heart. I feel it when my kids come home and show me just how much they missed being with me.

Yet, as these things fill me, I can't help but wonder if there is anything more I can do? I cringe to think if I am lacking in any way. Perhaps one way I know that I can extend myself is to share what the Lord has given me?

I love to nurture others from parenting tips to writing to friendships. I did not have the opportunity to serve a mission and it saddens me. I wish that I had, yet, I can still now, right?

I reach out to others in every way I can.

I think that being a writer is so solitary that we yearn--crave--for others who share our gift, so that we could relate our special experiences with them. I understand that some of us are fortunate enough to be surrounded with them. Yet, there are many of us who float alone among normal people like small islands of confusion.

I believe reaching out to others--whether it be writing wonderful stories or cultivating other writers--will help us grow closer to Heavenly Father. He will bless us through our efforts and strengthen our weaknesses. As I do this, I hope it means that I will become a better writer and that, maybe, I can influence others for the better with the written word?

In what way and how do you nurture others with your writing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wing it or Ring it?

I've got a goal to be done with a round of edits on my book by November, but I'm at one of those places where I'm battling myself in getting it done.

I guess right now the mindset I'm fighting with is, I've become a much better writer since I started this project, and to bring it up to the level I want it to be at I'd have to completely re-write it again. I'm not willing to do that at this point as I have several other projects waiting, and I want to move on to one of those. However, I committed to myself that I would get this one done first. But since I've been struggling over it I actually haven't even looked at it in a couple of weeks.

Now as I'm writing this post I'm thinking that I should maybe change my goal and move on to something else and not work on this until I can feel excited about it again... if I'm not excited about it, why would the reader be? And I can't give my work the attention it deserves when we're not getting along. Then again, if we only wrote when we were excited about writing, we would never finish anything!

I need your help. What do you think I should do?

Monday, September 14, 2009

4 Steps to Getting Out of Bed

Some days do you find it hard to get out of bed and get on with the day?

I did today! I can hardly sleep at night anymore with this big belly (I still have 2 more months left to go) and I have to fight feelings of inadequacy (as a mother of soon to be 6, homeschooling and still being creative and my books) daily.

Here are 3 little ways that seem to help me! If you have any suggestions on what works for getting you out of a funk, let us know :)

  1. Prayer: Start off with a prayer (family prayers help tremendously too)
  2. Scriptures: Read a page at least of scripture and take a moment to analyse it and really soak it in (doing this with my kids really helps me get into it when conversation is going back and forth. Even a simple discussion with a toddler helps)
  3. Testimony: Share your testimony with someone, (your children, family, friend, parents, sister, etc.). It can be short and sweet like today I shared my testimony of the spirit, after we scripture study and prayers. I wanted them to know how to recognize the spirit.
  4. Charity: Help someone! Helping your children counts too! Make sure you count that! It's important to realize that helping our family/children and even making a lunch for our husbands counts as service.

Just knowing that I can make a difference in the world, no matter how small, helps me get out of bed and repeat it all over again!

Change things up if the above 4 don't seem to help. Read from the Old Testament or even try your hand at Revelations for a change. Share your testimony with your parents or grandparents in a letter and tell them how they have inspired you. Make your favorite dessert and deliver it to someone you feel needs a boost as well!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Blogger -- Rebecca J. Carlson

Small Things With Great Love

I used to dream of writing a great book. I wanted to be like Madeline L'Engle or Gail Carson Levine and win the Newbery with my first novel.

That ambition served me to a point. I worked hard, learned the craft, and demanded quality writing from myself. But aspiring to glory had a high cost.

When I think I have to be a great writer, it splits my artist's soul into two parts, one part pretending that I am great and the other part afraid that I'm no good at all. The higher my false image of my greatness, the deeper becomes my fear.

How can I write anything honestly while I suffer from this double-vision? It makes it hard to see my work clearly and to take comments from readers. Sometimes I can't get a single sentence down on the paper because I feel it has to be brilliant the first time it comes out. Even worse, this fear and this pretense makes it hard to enjoy reading because I compare myself to the other writer, trying to prove I'm better but afraid I'm not.

So I no longer want to write a great book. As Mother Teresa said, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

My new goal - to write a small book with great love. If I write a book not because I have to prove anything, but as an act of love and sharing, then all the fear and pretense go away. I can enjoy writing, enjoy reading what I write, enjoy reading what other people write, and celebrate everyone's success as we use the divine spark of creativity that is in us. Because of all the wonderful books I've read, and all the time and love the writers put in to creating them, I want to give too. I want to write my own small books with great love.

-Rebecca J. Carlson

Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest Blogger--Sarah M. Eden

Sarah is in my ANWA writer's group that meets once a month. She gave a great lesson about self-publishing and I asked if she could guest blog it for us. She has self-published about 9? books. You can find her books on I have read "Seeking Persephone" that was nominated for a Whitney Award. I couldn't put the book down. I definately recommend her books. She also has good news. Because her self-published book was nominated for a Whitney Award, she was able to meet someone that introduced her to an editor, who just bought a new manuscript of hers. I will be sure to update you on when her new book will be out. So when it comes to self-publishing, Sarah knows her stuff. For more info check out her website at

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing:
the ultimate literary smack-down

In this corner, the odds-on favorite and reigning heavy-weight champion of the literary world, Traditional “Big Guns” Publishing. “Big Guns” looks confident and strong, boasting an impressive arsenal of industry weaponry:
Established relationships with distributors, retailers, reviewers and prestigious publications
In-house publicity, marketing, design and editing staff
The financial resources to completely fund the release of new titles
Lower creation costs
Higher profile and visibility
Total Street Cred

In the other corner, our under-dog and the publishing method voted “Most Likely to be Shoved into a Locker,” Self- “I Get No Respect” Publishing. S-P has a few unexpected strengths hidden in its scrawny limbs:
Complete author control of design, editing and final product
Newer technologies to keep the costs lower – Print-on-demand, e-books
Faster turn-over time
An excellent fit for works with a limited audience (family histories, cookbooks, poetry, etc.)
Absolutely no authors are ever cruelly rejected by a self-publisher

This is shaping up to be the match of the century. Of course, no commentary would be complete without a little suspense thrown in to heighten the drama. Just for kicks, let's examine the weaknesses of self-publishing. After all, what's the point of having such an obvious underdog if we can't rub a little salt into its fresh, painful wounds?Self- “I Get No Respect” Publishing continues to jump into the ring time and time again despite some obvious drawbacks to its role in the industry.

Books that are self-published are almost immediately dismissed and nearly always looked down on by the members of the “Big Guns” entourage.
Without professional editors/designers/marketers, self-published books often look “amateurish” and will inevitably have more typos, some snarky and up-tight reviewers will take exception to this – not that the announcer knows personally
Price is always higher per unit and often makes retail sales unprofitable if not impossible
Sales of self-published books do count as a previous sales record for an author and can be detrimental to an author's attempts to eventually defect to the “Big Guns” side of the arena
Constant abandonment by fans and supporters who know that any real career advancement lies with the champ
Self-published authors spend long hours devising clever ways to make them appear traditionally published without having to resort to actually lying about it.

So, fight fans, grab your soda and popcorn and that enormous foam finger that seems such an essential part of any sporting event and settle-in for the end-all grudge match. Who will be crowned the winner, and who will walk away in defeat?

-- "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." -Lord Byron

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trusting the Lord

I've been thinking on how to write this post for over two weeks. I have had several things happen to me during the past three weeks which have funneled my mindset to putting my faith a little more in my Heavenly Father.

What if I get rejected by an agent? Or by a senior editor that requests unagented manuscripts? What then? I tremble with the thought!

I know this for sure--if it is rejected, it is not meant to be. My Father in Heaven has something else in mind. And that something else is always better. He knows what is best for me.

Just as with everyday life, when we find ourselves drowning in our dregs, what better cure than service? This can be applied to our writing.

For now, I have lost my muse. She has gone on a long vacation. I prayed about it. I have fasted over it. I have asked for Priesthood blessings.

I received an answer.

I can help others with their writing and finish my editing course. It's okay to set aside my creating for now, though it makes my heart drop. I must trust the Lord and follow Him.

I know He as something in mind for me.

How do you cope with rejection? Muse negligence? Even required rewrites!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rah, Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah! Keep Writing!

Over Labor day weekend I was able to spend some time with my brother and sisters who live in the area. While we had a lot of fun swimming and barbequeing, we had a lot of time to chit chat as well. Each of them asked me seperately about my writing, and my current WIP. They showed a lot of interest in it, and talking to them about it got me thrilled about it again. It was exciting to be able to update them on all the progress I've made since the last time we talked. It made me realize that talking to people who show interest in my writing can be a great motivator!
So keep writing! Just a page a day can make all the difference. Or a paragraph. Or a sentence. Just get it out there!
Don't we all need our own cheerleading squad? Who makes up your personal support team?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm HERE!!!!

Howdy everybody! And thank you for your patience with me!

I'm here. My wonderful hubby and I just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on Wednesday--the same day we were up in Utah house hunting and stumbled across our dream home! Yay! Hopefully it all works out, because this home is in the beautiful Pleasant Grove area--with an awesome temple just a few minutes away! YAY! To be this close to a temple is surreal! I'm just freaking out excited actually!
The Lord is just too darn good to us.
I'm back in Farmington, NM now, and my hubby, Mark, heads back up to Utah (provo) monday. He starts as an Air Force recruiter this next week at BYU. I will be moving up with the kids in October, after the first quarter of school is over here. Eventually we'll all be able to be a happy family again. Just wanted to give an update of my life and to let you all know, I'm breathing and alive--i think! ACK! It's just been crazy here! But look! I can post! Life IS Good! LOL!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Waiting is the Worst

I finished my latest bout of editing on my novel last Saturday and sent it off to my prospective editor. Now I find myself with little ambition to return to the computer. I've tried several different things, but find myself thinking and wondering how my manuscript is being received. I can't seem to get my mind off it. I don't want to move on to book two until I know that book one is okay and I can't get enthused about starting something else. I'm bored!

So, tell me what you would do in this situation. I could use some ideas.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Hug a writer. Buy a book. Nathan Bransford declared it Writer Appreciation week this week, and quite frankly if Nathan Bransford says it, it must be. My purchases this week were: "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins and "A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray. Haven't started either of them because I'm using them as my reward for finishing my WIP. I'm just 6,000 words away. Must. Finish.

And to all you writers out there: I appreciate you. (Now, write more so I have good things to read.) :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guest Blogger--Melissa Mitchell

I am a 29 year old stay at home mama to 4 crazy kids. I'm married to a super hunky fabulous husband, and I like to write. No, wait, love it. I'm not published, I don't have a hidden novel I've written under my bed, I just like to write blogs. I must not be getting enough laughs at home, because I love to write my crazy stories and have my virtual friends respond to them. You can catch me at

Sometimes I want to Punch People in the Face
Particularly when I am shopping. Shopping at WalMart, of course. The place I dread going, but always end up there at least once a week. Oh WalMart, I just can't quit you, with your low low prices and parking lot solicitations. (Hey, you wanna buy some tamales? Who goes to WalMart to buy tamales in the parking lot?)
Yesterday, while on my 21st diaper change, I realized the older babies were out of diapers. After securing a babysitter, I went to the store, that's right, all by myself. I am such a big girl. Of course I could never just walk away with diapers, there are so many things I need to buy. It was time for me to get some clinical strength deo for my BO (which was previously mentioned here, and is in no way a personal reflection on my rapidly decaying body, but moreso a way to blame my children for anything that is wrong with me-aren't I the best mom?)
I waited in an unbelievably long line to buy my super saver items, during which a group of young men cut in line right in front of me (I think they were the guys trying to sell me the tamales) during which I told them that was my mind. Of course I just sat there fuming and bought myself a Reese's...see how good I am at dealing with anger?
Anyway. I get up to the checker, and find out why the line is moving soooo slowly. The cashier, oh, let's call her Shannon* has been inspecting each product that happens to cross her path. I'm doing alright with her slow, methodical and maddening method, until she picks up the deodorant. She scans it, stops, looks at me and says, "That is expensive deodorant." She stands there, staring at me like I'm crazy. I say quickly, "I know. That's okay." She continues, "Wow. reallyexpensive. For deodorant?" The man behind me in line clears his throat, as she continues to hold the deodorant, nodding her head in disbelief. "Yes. That's okay." She looks at me for another 30 seconds, and I am wondering if she is going to let me buy the deodorant, obviously I am going to need to clear my 'larger' purchases with her. I wait for 10 more minutes while she scans my remaining 5 items, and then go to pay for my purchases. Like an idiot, I use a credit card, so she will have to check my ID. She looks at the picture on my driver's license, looks at me, looks back at the license, looks at me again, and says, "Wow. You look different." Thank you, Shannon. I do realize that I am here with no makeup on and sopping wet hair, buying ridiculously expensive deodorant to cover up my stinky mommy smell, that I have put on a few lbs in the past few years, and that one day I may well be pretty again, but for the time being I have four children- three of them ages two and under-waiting for me at home, and if you don't give me my dang groceries I am going to go mama bear on your you know what and you will be sorry you ever messed with me.
Of course, that was just what I said in my mind. Instead, I left with a stupid smile on my face telling her to have a nice day. I think I have anger management issues.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Return to Innocence...

Remember the first time you ever finished your first paragraph? Page? Chapter? Novel? How exciting it was to create such a fantastic world of wonderful characters that meant everything to you?

Now with so many voices pulling you left and right from alpha readers, editors, form letters of rejection, so on and so forth, the art may feel a little tarnished. Maybe? Just a little?

Be honest.

Personally, I believe I have hit a speed bump. The little writer in me has tasted the 'real world' of writing and now she feels timid. She has lost her way and needs to be reminded the very reason why she started writing way back when.

This has never happened to me (and I have been writing for over ten years!). I've had many blessings, prayed many times, fasted. Read many books in between. You name it. I know the magic is still flowing around in there somewhere, I can sense its taunting presence. But lately, it has been very hard for me to recapture it and forge it into a single word!

I believe my muses have packed up their bags and gone on vacation! No! Don't leave me!

Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with the void? What did you do to recapture your magic?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Original or Rewrite?

Ever notice how all romance stories have the same plot? Okay, okay, I know... not ALL of them. But a lot of them do.

Let me illustrate: Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy has secret that he doesn't know how to tell girl without her getting mad at him, so he doesn't tell her. Girl finds out boy's secret inadvertantly and gets mad at him. Boy begs for forgiveness. They live happily ever after.

Here are a few examples: You've Got Mail, Hitch, My Super Ex-Girlfirend, While you were Sleeping (okay, in those two it's the girl who has the secret), A Walk in the Clouds, and High School Musical to name just a few.

Do you think plots in general are overdone? Or do you think good stories should be written and rewritten as long as people keep enjoying them? What about you? Do you enjoy rewrites of the same version of a story? Or do you think every plot should be an original artistic creation? And if so, how do you go about creating a story that's completely original?


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