Thursday, September 30, 2010


Tamara's post on Tuesday made me think that would be a great contest. Tamara's right, the formula to writing a book is simple, write wonderful sentences. I'm positive that you all have some extremely wonderful sentences. You might as well get praise for your witty talents. So put your best sentence in a comment below. You can enter 3 times. We will pick our favorites and have them up on a blog post next week for everyone to vote on. The prize is secret (meaning we haven't yet figured it out!!) but we will tell you next week. So bombard us with your brilliant sentences!!!


Contest ends October 12 by 12:00am.

Sentences can be any kind of thought as long as they are original work: entries will be counted in this post only.

We will award 3 winners a 5 page critique provided by more than one Mormon Mommy Writer!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

That Darn Voice!!!

Voice. That ever illusive, I-know-it-when-I-read-it voice. We talk a lot about voice, about what it means, how to develop it, release it, expose it like a da Vinci sculpture (I can't find the exact quote, but he's supposed to have said when asked how he carved such remarkable figures into stone, "I simply reveal what was already there.")

Sometimes I have it. In some of my works it sings out, surprising me and everyone else like Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream". The package is less than ideal, being a rough draft and all, but when the pages are pulled back, a big reveal happens. I sit back and wonder at it, thinking "That was in there the whole time?"

But when us newbies ask other, more established writers how to find that ephemeral thing, or even ask agents and editors what they mean by voice, we get a bunch of blah, blah, blah answers. By this I mean we can't understand them because it's like trying to describe the color blue to someone who's never seen it. You know it and mark it in your memory when you see it, but you can't turn around and describe it to someone else.

Through my tiny bit of study, these are the things I've come up with for find a writing voice:
1. Read everything you can, from picture books to how to retile the bathroom floor. As you do, you'll discover there are words and phrases and sentences that appeal to you, that call out, that SING. Study those things. Dissect them, shake their little froggy legs until you've figured out what it is about those sentences that you like.
2. Write lots of different things. Write poems (that you will burn so your children will never be embarrassed reading them later). Write picture books. Write whole chapters to novels you will never finish. Write a how-to pamphlet to show the best way to bathe a pig. Write until you find that little gem glowing somewhere in your work, then...
3. Reveal your voice to yourself by dissecting and identifying what aspects of your writing shines, sings, PERFORMS for you. As you take those bits and pieces and analyze them, you will see the patterns of your own "voice", so you can duplicate it again and again.

This sounds like a lot of hard work. And it is. But isn't our work, aren't our novels, aren't WE important enough to take the time to really know what our voice is?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Easy as 1, 2, 3 . . .

by Tamara Passey

I was thinking the other day (hold your comments :), about my own little writing formula. I was trying to break down the mammoth task of crafting a novel into digestible, doable steps. And just for stopping by the blog today - you get my new novel-writing recipe for free:

Step 1. Come up with one awesome, attention-getting, thought-provoking sentence.
Step 2. Repeat 10,000* times.

*Amount may vary depending on genre, publisher's preference or an author's ability to remain seated at the keyboard. Substitutions are allowed, except for the awesome part - that is pretty much mandatory if you want anyone to read and buy your book.

There you have it. I know not all sentences can be as gripping as the ones we use for our hooks or our endings, but you get the idea. Of course I 'm having a little fun here, but sometimes when I get just a smidge overwhelmed by my outline and my plot points and all the loose ends I have running around without any characters to come along and tie them, I take deep breaths and repeat the aforementioned formula to remind myself that I can take the writing one step at a time.

Have a great writing day!
Do you have any writing formulas you use?

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's a Big World

I've been thinking a lot recently about art, writing, and music and how they are deeply intertwined. Many writers are artists and musicians are writers and artists connect with music. The creative areas sometimes seem to meld together, a photograph can inspire writing or and artist can use music to set the tone for their work. It's a big creative world out there, it seems that once your bitten by the creative bug it's easy and enjoyable to find any outlet possible for that creativity. I've also found that developing one enhances another.

I personally love music. I'm not much of musician, I was in band in high school but I prefer to think of myself more as a music buff. I find that when I open my mind to the music and explore it that I have an easier time writing. I also enjoy photography, I love that I can tell a story with only photos and then I can challenge myself to put it to words. My husband is an artist, frequently when he is working on his art he has music playing in the background.

What other hobbies do you have that tie into your writing or help develop your writing talents?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review: The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan


I would leave it at that because that's how I felt after the experience of reading this wonderful novel.

Deception. Intrigue. Love.

A lovely princess dares defy the laws of the kingdom by a single act. From there, it's a wild roller coaster ride. No, it's not a pretty princess book. By far, but there is a true love story hidden within these pages.

I literally gripped the book and chewed my nails and held my breath as I read.

I groaned, angry with the author regarding the huge tangled mess he weaves in the tale, because I am so in love with his characters.

It was the hope of justice that drove me.

Though there are many uncommon names, a few which are hard to pronounce, I was able to stay on task with the storyline without missing a beat. I forgave this first-time author's grammatical quirks because of how well the story is shared.

J. Lloyd Morgan is masterful at luring the reader with his lovable characters. So much that it wasn't hard to forge a connection immediately. I mourned the losses of those who could not survive. The author is in full control, no matter the feeling of the mire he throws in (though it's disheartening). He knows what he is doing.

I wish I could let slip more detail, but the story must be tasted with your own eyes.

I recommend this book!

Click here to add to your library. Special edition (autographed with the prologue to the next book) available here.

The author has thoughtfully compiled a page for a behind-the-scenes-fun once you are done reading!

Enjoy the trailer! ;)

Brigham City Temple Progress:

They have put down the sand which goes under the concrete foundation.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bunch of Babies!!

My kids were watching a tv show the other day where the characters were trapped in a small unairconditioned room.  Living in Phoenix, AZ my daughter was relating to the feelings of extreme heat these characters were experiencing...until they said it was 103 degrees.  My daughter looked at the screen and said outloud, "103?  What a bunch of babies!"

She was immediately pulled out of the story and no longer felt the sympathy for the characters that was needed to carry the storyline. So the question is to quantitate or not to quantitate. 

Quantitative - of or pertaining to the describing or measuring of quantity.

We have to beware of the fact that when we give a quantitative amount we are telling not showing.  The problem with that comes when we associate the measure with an opinion.  Like the show that said extreme heat was 103 degrees.  The problem comes when others don't share the same opinion.  The show could have kept showing the heat and everyone would be able to relate to it, but as soon as they slapped a number on it, they lost part of their audience.  Now sometimes you may feel this is a suitable risk to get across your point, but do think about what readers you may be losing when you use a quantitative instead of keeping the amount vague. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Waiting Game

I don't know about you, but I hate waiting. HATE IT. So impatient.

It's tripping me up bad, because I want my novel to be written NOW!!!!!!! But no, I have to let it sit, I have to let it percolate through the little gray cells until the story gels. I hate waiting. Have I mentioned I hate waiting?

We are also waiting to hear back on a job interview from last week. My hubby's been out of work for over a month now, and I'm seriously wondering if I can stand to see the man retire. But that's a waiting game, too. And I'm not enjoying that wait, either. If it wouldn't bring an automatic "no" from the company, I'd go to their front doors and be like that old Mervyn's commercial with the lady at the door saying, "Open. Open. Open."

Then there's the part of the waiting game in publishing that falls between the major peaks, like getting an agent or selling to a publisher, or having a release day. Not that I've experienced any of those. But still. Have I mentioned I hate waiting?


Monday, September 20, 2010

It's the Obedience that Counts

Yesterday was our Stake Conference. Our stake boundries are quite large with several wards have to drive quite a ways to attend conference. They decided to try webcasting our stake conference to relieve the strain of travelling to the stake center. The thing about technology is that well it is a wonderful thing it is also a frustrating thing. When you need it to work it never seems to want to cooperate.

This time the sound was being obstinate. After stuggling with it for an hour and missing half the conference they decided to send us home. It seemed to be a waste to go to the church building which is still a drive. I got to thinking however, regardless of the outcome, it is never a waste to be obedient.

Obedience, even when it's difficult, is always the right choice. Showing up the stake conference and staying until we were told to go home showed that we had faith in the Lord and that we were willing to be obedient.

Sometimes I feel like that in writing. Though I love it and get great satisfaction from writing it can be a struggle. It's difficult to set aside that time everyday to write. Sometimes it's simply an exercise in obedience. When it's difficult to write I have to remind myself that I've felt inspired to do so and there is a reason for that and I need to be obedient to listen to that impression.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Success in Writing

by Elizabeth Mueller

Sometime ago I posted about success in the home. Today will be briefly mentioned on writing.

I know of a few authors that do it for the pure joy of writing. There are others who measure their success by dollars. For me, it all started out with the feeling of escapism. How I can fly to different lands and meet peoples from any era of time--imagined or otherwise.

My goal is to say that I did it. I did it! I know how my example of pursuing my dreams will effect my children. That to me is success.

What is success to you? Do you fear it?

Temple Progress:

*They are ready to start putting in foundation forms for the concrete.

*my source is from my Relief Society e-mail newsletter

Friday, September 17, 2010

Writing Tools

By. Amber Lynae
We all know that times are changing.  The challenges we face when trying to write are different than they were years ago.  Therefore, we need to approach our writing with a toolbox full of tools to combat our modern day challenges.  I was reading over at Market my Words, Shelli made a list of some writing tools she could not write without. 

I had not heard of these tools on her list and I thought I would share with you.  For her full list, follow the link above.

1: Write or Die  this writing tool can be used online(free) or the desktop($10) version.   It is a taskmaster that keeps you writing. You set a word count or a time goal, and if you don't keep writing there are consequences.  The consequence mode and grace period are also set by you.  Then you get writing to avoid the reminder, the loud noise, or the erasing of your words.  As long as you keep writing you are golden.

2: Tweetdeck a centralized home base for all your social networking sites. The site says that tweetdeck is your personal real-time browser, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Buzz and more.  I guess the concept it one place less time.

3: Freedom is a tool that would be extremely helpful and frustrating to me.  I am easily distracted by the call of the internet.  So Freedom would be very helpful if you are like me.  The site says Freedom  is a simple productivity application that locks you away from the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom frees you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create. At the end of your offline period, Freedom allows you back on the internet. 

These are only part of the list of writing tools listed by Shelli.  For the rest visit Market my Words

What are the most important Writing Tools in your toolbox?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Husbands Are the Best!!!

I know Jenni recently did an ode to husbands but I really must talk about how awesome mine is!  Some of you may know I've been struggling with a middle grade fantasy novel for about 3 years now.  I finally set it aside for the past year much to my husband's disappointment.  He loves the story so much he can't stop thinking about it.  He keeps threatening to write the book himself and I keep telling him no because I'm so afraid he'll do it better than me!!  LOL!  But finally last night he says, "So can we talk about your book yet?"  (I've been too discouraged to even talk about it for so long.)  I'm working on my inner writing team and being open to my stories and allowing myself to be more positive about writing.  So I said sure.  I grabbed a pen and a paper and my husband proceeded to give me exactly what I've been looking for to help this story.  He laid out the world building points that had been getting me stuck and together we outlined a whole book and this time it has a plot!!  I've been needing a way to simplify the story and make it feel accomplishable and in one night my hubby did that for me!!  Now that I know what he's got I'm not letting him off that easy, he has to help me write it now.  And we were worried we couldn't find a way to have dates without it cost money.  Now we will go to our own little world and write the story together. 

Moral of the story, listen to our husbands and those around us, they may just have the very thoughts our own brain couldn't come up with!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rereading Favorites

When I was younger, I used to reread my favorites over and over. Each time I loved following the same well worn path. It gave me security, and I could visit with beloved characters in their worlds again.
As I've gotten older, I've done that a lot less. A lot. Some of it has to do with just not having the time. Some of it is boredom. As I have matured, I found that there was enough repetition in life, I didn't need to make it worse by rereading books I'd read a million times.
I've watched my kids do that, though. My 14 year old has reread Harry Potter so many times I've lost count. This summer she read them backward, starting with no. 7, just so she could say she'd read them backward and forward. She just started rereading the Fablehaven series because she's finally getting to read no. 5, and wanted to be back in that world before she got to it.
And my 11 year old, when he gets bored, goes to his favorites, the Leven Thumps series. He'll even read them late at night, with only the light of the hall to see. I scold him about this constantly, but really, I can't get too mad. That was me not so long ago. Okay, it was a long time ago, but still, I remember.
So the other day one of my favorites came back to me after I loaned it out. (It was gone for years, but that's another story.) One that I had actually purchased, and reread many times. And I thought, "What the hey. I'll reread it."
I fell in love with it all over again. This particular writer, Robin McKinley, writes very differently from me. Dialogue is much more infrequent, while description and internal thoughts can go on for pages. And her paragraphs are huge. But her ability to weave the reader into a magical world can challenge anyone else out there.
Now that I'm more into the writing thing, I did examine her mechanics a bit, and even though I could see some things that are big no-nos today as I struggle to get published, her lyrical prose swept me away again. And by the end, even though I knew what happened, I was caught up in the story, my mind following the struggles of the heroine, and stayed up late just to finish it. I couldn't put it down.
I have others that I have purchased and refuse to give up because I love them so much. What are your rereadables?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

by Tamara Passey

I’m doing something I don’t normally do. Okay, I’m doing a few things I don’t normally do. The first: I’m rewriting my first draft. The second? I’m asking for opinions. Sure, I ask for opinions on my clothes, hair, cooking, etc. On my writing? That’s harder to do. But this rewriting business is tough stuff. I knew when I was plowing through the rough draft I was leaving myself a few dilemmas to solve. So here I am. I have some decisions to make and I’m enlisting your help.

I want to know what you think about the format I currently have with two main characters and switching POV–every chapter. The first chapter is from Angela’s POV and the second chapter is from Mark’s POV, etc. I happen to like “seeing” or “hearing” both sides of a romance. I like, as a reader, knowing what is going on in each character’s mind – especially when the other characters are not aware of it. It is challenging to write this way for a few reasons, one being the time-line of the narrative. So – I am wondering what you think. Do you like novels with one POV? Do you like multiple POV’s? And can anyone think of a double main character novel they liked? Or didn’t like? Don't hold back. I need all the help I can get. (But you already knew that!)

Thanks & Have a great writing day!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I've been working really hard all week on a narrative for my English class. This narrative is about a particular event in my life that has shaped much of what I do and write. I thought I'd share an excerpt with you. It may seem that this starts in the middle of something, it does. While I can get personal there are things that I write about that lead up to this point that I'd rather not be posted on the web. I'll give you the short of it - when I was a teenager I ran away from home, the gospel, and everything that was good for me. This is the point at which I decide to come home. Enjoy.

Home (excerpt)
by Sugoi Harris

I began hating myself. Mirrors were my enemy, I didn’t like the person I’d become but I didn’t know how to change. Desperate for something, I moved again. Another family took me in to their litter of strays, spaying me and filling my food dish.
I think that’s how it started. I began to change. Like water on a hot day the hate and pain evaporated. I began to realize something was missing. A sink hole had formed in my soul and it needed to be filled. Sitting at the bottom of this hole I thought about the mess I had made of myself. I couldn’t scratch my way to the surface, I was stuck.
Despair overwhelmed me as I contemplated on where I was really going. I felt dirty, unworthy of anything. Just as the black hole was overwhelming me I saw a point of light. I had a thought or rather I heard a voice that wasn’t my own. Your Father loves you, He will always love you, and He wants you home. As though it was real I felt the warmth of his arms encircle me. I think I always knew that truth. Though I had hated the restrictions my parents put on me I understood that in removing their bands I had only created my own tighter ones. They did love me and they would always want me home. Just like that I was the prodigal daughter returned home again.
That evening I called my father. “Daddy I want to come home.” That was all I said, like something from a country song. I could hear the tears of joy in his voice as he welcomed me back. Salty tears ran rivers down my own face as I fell into a corner, relief washing me clean again.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are you Successful?

by Elizabeth Mueller

This idea struck me and I feel I needed to write this.

What is success? A boat? 2 RVs in your driveway? A finished book? A published book? Your children graduating from high school? Waking up in the morning from a good night's sleep?

There are many ideas of success--depending on what our goals are. And they are all dependent upon our individual needs.

So, what is it?

For me, material things can get in the way of a vision that should start from the home. Something that is clouded over through the world's point of view.

I had a friend over a few weeks ago and the topic arose. She knew of my doubts and she reassured me. She pointed out the painting of the temple on my wall. How my husband and I held each other while we visited. How respectful my children were. She pointed out how she felt the presence of the Lord in our home. She said nothing else should matter beyond that because that was success to her.

How much she put things into perspective for me. Those are the things I ought to bear in mind at all times.

Temple Progress:

They continue to dig down and the trucks continue to haul away the dirt.

Friday, September 10, 2010


By. Amber Lynae

For the past couple of months-
1- Escaping my pillow has been a lot harder.
2- Focusing on my WIP has been completely impossible.
3- Reading blogs has been minimal. 
4- Writing blog posts has been just as minimal.

You may wonder why I am struggling so much (Or you may not).  But what it comes down to is simple fact that the first trimester of pregnancy has stolen away my ability to accomplish anything.  Everything seems impossible.  I am not yet through the worst of it, but I hope the 2nd trimester will be more productive for me.

Do any of you have advice about focusing and writing while pregnant?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Can't Have Success Unless You Tri!

No I didn't have a typo in the title, I spelled "try" with an "i" in honor of the mini triathlon I participated in last Saturday.  I learned alot by challenging myself physically in doing something I never thought I could. 

Some people wonder why I decided to do a triathlon.  Heck, on Saturday, I was really questioning that decision.  But I made the decision because I had an epiphany.  (I hate when that happens because then I have to act on it!)  My epiphany was that as people we sometimes stereotype ourselves.  We give ourselves a label, like being shy, or lazy, or uncreative.  We give ourselves these labels so we don't have to try something outside of our comfort zone.  Afterall, why would we want to do that?  We might actually *gasp* learn something!  (said with much sarcasm)  We box ourselves into our own perceptions that many times aren't even true.  I have a friend that always tells me how shy she is.  I've got to tell you, the girl is about as shy as Oprah!!  Maybe she used to be shy as a kid, but she isn't in anyway what I would classify as shy now.  But she percieves herself that way.  I began to ask myself what labels I've given myself.  The biggest one that stood out in my mind is that I labeled myself as lazy.  I don't like to clean my house, I don't always push myself to my limits especially in my writing, and I'm the furthest thing from being an athletic person.  If someone says let's go for a walk I reach for the car keys. 

So my next question was how do we break out of our own boxes and away from the labels we saddled ourselves with?  (And this was the epiphany that got me into trouble)  I realized that we had to do something to prove to ourselves that we don't fit that label.  I asked myself, "What is something a lazy person would never do?"  The answer I came up with was a triathlon.  (I mean seriously why couldn't my brain have came up with something like walking  daily, or cleaning my house.)  Now of course I was in no shape to do an olympic triathlon but my sister in law had done a sprint triathlon and suddenly I was thinking it was doable.  (Dang people having to be good examples!) 

I began training during the summer. (Again, not my smartest move living in Phoenix and all)  I didn't have alot of time to train having four kids and lots of other obligations, but I did make sure I did something at least 5 days a week.  Sometimes that didn't happen, but I truly did all I could.  When it came time for the race it was very evident that I wasn't the most fit person there, but I knew I did all I could.  I had to psyche myself up for the race and the thing I kept thinking was "keep moving".  I made the decision before the race that I wouldn't be giving up.  I would keep my body moving unless I was scraped off the asphalt and carried into an ambulance. 

This thinking got me through the triathlon.  I didn't run the whole time during the 5K, but I kept one foot in front of the other.  The bike ride was a 4mile loop that we did 3 times.  Two miles of it was uphill and two miles was downhill, and after the first time downhill, I was addicted.  The uphill was worth it just to feel the rush of the downhill.  My time on the bike was pitiful but I never once stopped that bike.  (Mostly because it had these things called toe clips and I was afraid if I took my feet out I'd never get them in again!!)  My body continued to move forward  even when it was time for the 400 meter swim.  This was the portion I wasn't worried about because I learned in my 5am swim practices from high school that I can swim in my sleep.  This skill finally came in handy!!  I dragged my sweaty, smelly body to the first pool lane and threw myself into the cold water.  I was hoping for a Percy Jackson type moment where I would suddenly be revealed as a daughter of Posiden and grow gills or something.  Ok, so that didn't happen but I did feel good knowing this part was something I knew without a doubt I could do.  My family had come to cheer to me on and my husband was taking pictures as I swam.  On my last time through the lanes, I couldn't resist smiling right at the camera as I came up for breath one time. (See ridiculous picture above.)  I was almost done and the feeling was amazing. 

When I stumbled across that finish line I felt relief and a bit woozy.  It was like I was in a fog, but the smile wouldn't leave my face.  So what if I finished last in my age group, I was so happy that I finished.  My husband kept looking at me funny afterwards and I couldn't figure out what he was thinking until he said, "You did it.  I feel disappointed in myself because I didn't even try. You are so much better than me, you are the greatest person in whole world, I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."  (Ok so he never said the italicized portion but I thought it was implied.) 

I thought about what he said and realized that's why it felt so good.  Because I tried.  Writing is like this, how many people talk about stories they have in their head, but never try to write them down?  How many of us have books written but think it's too hard to get published so we don't try?  How many of us think we can't do justice to the story in our head so we think, "Why bother?"  If we try we may or may not succeed, but if we don't try, we DEFINATELY won't succeed.  Wouldn't we rather take our chances and try, than be disappointed in ourselves because we didn't?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Ugly Truth

I am lazy. Yep. There it is. My big secret.

Why the big confession? Because up until now, I have written things that didn't take much in the way of imagination. I adore fantasy and magic, and I wanted to write it, but when I had to stop and do all the world building, magic system planning, name creation, etc., I stopped. I got frustrated because I wasn't writing, I was doing backstory. And more backstory. And more backstory.

So for a while now, I've been writing things that had nothing to do with my first love, because it was too hard for my lazy behind. I wouldn't do outlines for the same reason, declaring myself a "pantser", with nothing but scorn for those poor slobs still stuck in the outlining stage.

Yeah. Well. All that running away, avoiding the truth, all so I could enable myself. But I found that the path that led me to was not the path I wanted to be on. The writing and critiquing pals it led me to were great; funny, kind, good writers and great critiquers. But I came to realize something. I didn't have a passion for what I was reading and writing like they did. The spark wasn't there. And frankly, it was in a genre that wasn't that uplifting. And I was having a hard time reconciling that with what my faith says I should be cultivating in what I read and write.

So though it is wrenching, I am shifting my genre and pulling on my mucking boots. I'm committed to getting down and dirty, struggling with the slippery pig that is a manuscript in progress, and hopefully, one day, have it all clean and purty and bathed in buttermilk at the county fair.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One of Those Days!

So. Part of my morning routine includes reading the daily post at MMW. When I tuned in today, it took me a minute but I quickly realized it was Tuesday NOT Monday. And instead of reading the post - I needed to be writing it! Aaaaah! No worries. I signed in and started a new post, then I tried to "return to list of posts" to pull up a draft. Only you may know that they put that little link right below the "Publish Post" button. So, yes. I published an empty post. No title or anything. *Big Sigh*

What do Monday holidays do to you? All day yesterday felt like Saturday around here. I hope you got to enjoy the weekend and that your Tuesday-that-feels-an-awful-lot-like-Monday is going better than mine! 


Monday, September 6, 2010

Failed Already

Two weeks ago I wrote about my goal to not delete for a month. I did it, I deleted. It's more difficult than I thought it would be to not delete. It's impulsive, I'm finding that I have to retrain myself to just leave it be. I think as writers we want to make anything that isn't our best disappear.

I saw an amusing character on Grey's Anatomy. He was a writer that was so disappointed in his work that he printed the entire book and ate it. Of course that's the stupidest thing you could do but I understand that feeling. There are times that I look at what I wrote and am embarrassed by it, I want to lock it in the deepest darkest safe I can find and never look at it again. It's a good thing, in that case, that we can revise and edit and make it better.

So, this is a new week and I'm starting again. No more deleting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yes, You, as a Writer

by Elizabeth Mueller

How far that little candle throws his beams!

So shines a good deed
in a naughty world.

~William Shakespeare

I feel it is our charge as followers of Christ to be the light unto the world. The books in Heaven waiting to be told is one way of sharing our love of our Father in Heaven.

Temple Progress:

They are working on the hole for the underground parking. I see trucks hauling away all the fill.

photo of candle found here

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just Beyond my Reach

By. Amber Lynae

So last week I had an interesting dream. It got me thinking about the fear that holds us back from our dreams.  There will always be something holding us back.  Sometimes we settle for less than we want because it is the safer road and our dreams remain forever just beyond our reach.

On to the quickly written scene from my dream. (Sorry for any typos).

My hand pushed the vouchers into the safety of my pocket.  They were mine, and no one else would take them from me.  I waited impatiently for my chance to cash them in.  For once in my life, I was going to have enough money to quiet the fears.  Curiosity- and maybe a little greed- led me to pick up some of the discarded slips of paper on the floor.  These papers each had value once, but now they were all worthless.  All of them stamped with big red letters. R-E-D-E-E-M-E-D.  

Butterflies filled my stomach when I thought about the vouchers in  my pocket waiting to be redeemed.  So what if one of them was only worth ten dollars.  Its companion more than made up for it.  One hundred and thirty eight thousand dollars.   I couldn't believe my luck; it almost made up for the fact that I had to wait in this small redemption center that was only slightly better than a road side gas station.

I tripped forward because the jerk behind me has no boundaries and possibly many diseases.  When I glared over my shoulder I noticed the gun in his hand.  My face grew hot and my heart beat so hard I knew he could hear it.  He would take my money if he knew.  I couldn't let that happen. I pull out the ten dollar voucher and look at it, and try to play this off.  

"Ten dollars isn't worth this wait," I said to him.  

He looked at me as if he suspects my act.  "Didn't you just have a lot more vouchers?"

I point to the floor, "Those weren't mine, I was just browsing the redeemed slips on the floor."  He looked like he was buying into it.  It was mostly true.  I just left out the information about the extra voucher in my pocket. 

I went through the entire redemption process for ten dollars.  The big ticket would have to wait for later, for a safer time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spouse Appreciation Day

Hi guys! Today I'm covering quick for Nikki who is insanely busy. I thought I'd drop in and say a quick howdy!
It's my anniversary today, so I won't stay long... My hubby and I are celebrating 15 years together. And it got me thinking, many people congratulate me on my writing successes, but few take the time to congratulate my hubby on the hours of support he gives me. --Not to mention the daily encouragement and endless love to reach for my dreams.
So go ahead, hug your spouse today, and tell him, thank you. They're pretty darn amazing, aren't they?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Your Life in Your Writing

bu Megan Oliphant

Now I'm not talking using an experience verbatim (though that can work sometimes, too). I mean how often do you take some experience from your life, mix it up a little, interject it into the life of one of your characters, and POOF! You have a part of you left in your story.

Example: (and yes, truth is stranger than fiction sometimes) It's April, and cold. A stinging breeze whips over the mourners at the graveside of my grandmother. Someone in the large group of relatives hands out pale blue ballons to all the grandchildren and great grandchildren, to be released after the closing prayer. We stand there, the wind twisting and banging balloons together as we huddle under the warmed tent, the noise of them so loud I can't hear the bishop or my grandfather as they speak.
My one year old thinks it's a game, and even though my husband and I pass him back and forth to keep him out of range, he succeeds time and again in grabbing the strings and squealing his delight. My three year old keeps asking, "Mommy, I can take it home, right? I love balloons. I can take it home, right?"

Eventually the service is over, and we stumble out, tripping on the fake grass carpet laid under the chairs. Shuffling to a clearish spot in the pine tree studded cemetery, we release our balloons in a ragged bunch, as some people don't hear the announcement to let them go.

The balloons bang into the sudden snowflakes that have appeared, and the wind, with a whistling laugh, sweeps the balloons into the waiting arms of the pine trees, popping them and leaving their carcasses like droopy Christmas decorations.

Totally true story. Needless to say, this little scene has made it into one of my novels, changed up a bit.

So here's your question: Do you separate your life from your fiction, or do scenes like this work their way in to writing?


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