Some pics from CONduit. I only regret I don’t have a picture of Sandra Taylor with her really great braided bun. Dang I wish I knew how she did that! Picture one is me with Lee Modesitt. The second is Bob Defendi, Howard Taylor and Dan Willis. Those three are good for keeping me laughing. Sorry the picture is blurry . . . I was laughing while taking it, and well, you know how it is.
I’ve been an irresponsible blogger. I spent a week on a family vacation to Disneyland (which was delightful in every way) then followed that up by one day at home to do laundry, spend ten hours organizing my store for the holiday weekend, and read the 1024 emails that awaited my response (this number does NOT include the 478 spam messages). I left the next afternoon to the conduit science fiction and fantasy convention in Salt Lake.
These are all just excuses of course, but I think they’re goods ones so I stand by to defend them with vigor. Conduit was great. I enjoy those associations I’ve made in the writing and art community and am grateful to know such talented people. I was privileged to enjoy a sneak peek at Sandra Taylor’s children’s book (which I will be blogging about when it’s officially released), and a sneak peek at L.E. Modesitt’s short story, The Difference (which is a brilliantly fun story), and Kevin Wasden gave me a wicked cool sketch book that is a sampling of his work (did I mention how talented that man is?). I was also privileged to dine with such talent as Dave Wolverton (and his kids), James Dashner, Eric Swedin,
I am not a huge fan of the month of May. My birthday and mother’s day fall in there somewhere and it’s the month where all the snow has melted and the upcoming yardwork reveals itself to be a task too difficult (by June, I usually give up doing anything extraordinary in the yard and therefore cheer up quite a bit).
Â I turned 35 on Mother’s Day. I know, I know . . . it isn’t that old, but having a birthday on Mother’s day is never something I look forward to. It makes the day that much busier, that much more difficult to sort out. For years, I hated mother’s day because I couldn’t have children. Now that I have three, I hate it because I worry over not being a good enough mother to deserve them. And the birthday thing? I’m not bugged by getting old. I’m bugged that I’m not in shape, but age has nothing to do with my laziness.
This year a few things happened that made May a little nicer. My sister in law showed up and planned a dual surprise bday party for my husband and I (his birthday is towards the end of April). The day was fun. The kids had a great time taping crepe paper and balloons all over the place and were genuinely excited to surprise us. It was a blast! They are such good kids and their aunt is such an incredible person that I feel blessed in every way to have them in my life.
For mother’s day, my own mom and dad, along with my brother, his wife, and their three kids came to my house for the weekend. It’s easier to stop brooding over all the ways I fall short as a mother when I am running around being the hostess. I can see the value of having guests for the day and might have to make it an annual event.
The last thing that will make this May a tolerable month is Disneyland. I am going to make magic with the mouse! We leave on thursday as I soon as I clock out of eBay. I’m excited to go since I haven’t been there with the new Pirates ride and since they revamped Space Mountain. Nothing in the world is better than Disneyland to make May a little less despicable. I have heard from Kevin Wasden that New Orleans Square no longer serves fried cheesecake because it was too fattening. (Too fattening??? Isn’t that the point of going to Disneyland–to over indulge??? Sigh.) But i’ve forgiven them and I’m going anyway.
I am on the last few chapters of my newest novel. I’m excited to have it done since I really need to work on my non fiction. I’m also excited to have it done so I can hand it over to Kevin Wasden and watch him turn it into something cool visually. If you haven’t already, check out his website: http://www.splintered-mind.com/365/
Â I have a list soooo immensely huge of projects to write that I could live to be 100 years old and still not have enough time to get it all finished. I’d better to live to be one hundred or I will be seriously put out.
In other news I watched the PBS broadcast on Mormons yesterday and really enjoyed it. Since I am a Mormon, I am always curious what other people perceive us to be. When I lived in Boston for that short spurt between high school and college, anytime anyone heard I was from Utah, I invariable got the look where they squint one eye and pucker their lips, screwing their faces up like they’d eaten two or three lemons at once. “Utah!” they’d belt out. “Utah???”
When I’d confirm that yes, indeed, I was from Utah, the next question always came after, “So . . . you one of them Mormons?” (imagine the word Mormon being said without the “r”, and the first “O” dragged out a little and you’ll have the accent down pretty well.)
“Yes, I am.”
“So how many wives has your husband got?”
“I’m only eighteen!” I filled my voice with all the scandal I felt. Hello? Who wants to be married at eighteen???
“But don’t they marry you off when you’re thirteen or something like that.”
And so I would educate them. (Mormons live in monogamous marraiges and my dad was begging me to wait until I was thirty and had a masters degree before I got married)
Anyway, I really liked the PBS broadcast. It was nice to see a documentary done that was so neutral–reporting facts but not getting emotional about those facts. The people they interviewed were interesting, both the “for” and “against.” If you want to watch you can go to: http://www.pbs.org/mormons/view/
You can actually view the whole thing online. When you’re done with all the windows in part one, click over to the tab that says part two just to the right of the part one tab. That will open a new page to view.
Just to set things straight though on day two stuff . . . Mormon women DO have a lot expected of them, but I am treated like a queen in my home, not a servant. How a woman is treated usually has very little to do with the religion and everything to do with the man and whether or not that man was raised to treat women right.
I should call and thank my mother in law.
I am a little slow on this, but want to introduce a few things that I believe to be totally wicked cool. First is Precision Editing Group http://precisioneditinggroup.com/
This is a group of professional writers who can help to polish up that manuscript you’ve tucked away in the your sock drawer, so that it’s ready for submission. This group has also started a blog, whose purpose is to give help with writing. Every day a new listing will be posted that is geared specifically to writing. check out the blog at: http://writingonthewallblog.blogspot.com/
Another cool thing is the planet. Yes Earth, since Earth is cool, but this is a web-based planet called Writers In Heels. It’s a place where you can read the most current blogs from some of your favorite female authors (not that I ever wear heels any more, but if I could . . .). You should check that out too: http://www.writersinheels.com/
Keep in mind you can’t leave comments on the planet, you have to click on the actual blog to leave a comment.
I love the planet. If I could choose a group of women to hang out with on any planet, these women would be there. It’s kind of like the game where you pretend you’re stuck on a desert isle and you can only bring one thing, and you have to decide what you’d bring. I’d take these guys any day. There have been some rough spots in my career as a writer, and these ladies have been there to help me through all of it. Their advice, friendship, and unwavering support even when I start cussing and throwing tantrums is astounding. Every writer needs a good support group. And every girl needs a few good gal-pals no matter what her occupation.
Someone in my psych class in college once did one of those games where they ask questions and you answer them. The answers are supposed to be symbolic of something else entirely. One of the questions was, “You’re standing in the middle of a field and off in the distance around you, you see trees. How many trees do you see?”
I was one of the few that said I saw a whole forest encircling me. Most everyone else saw one tree or just a couple. The symbolism of the trees was, “How many friends do you believe you have, that are true?”
Whether this little psych test is baloney or not . . . I do believe I have a forest of friends around me. And I know they’ve always got my back.