The fourth and last book in the Out of Jerusalem series,
The first chapter takes us two years later where Nephi has scouted out a stone quarry where they can find the materials required to build a temple. The news of the temple creates a great degree of new resentment between the brothers, but much of it is kept in control until Lehi dies of old age. It is at that moment where Laman makes his move to try to take control over the family. Heather has shown the bitterness and anger that bubbles over in Laman so believably, that I truly can understand how it all might have happened.
The story follows Nephi fleeing with his family into the wilderness and the heartbreak over the ones he had to leave behind. Throughout the book I found myself impatient to turn each page to find out what happens next. I felt the pain and hope of each of the characters and loved the action sequences. I loved it. I’d give it twenty out of ten stars if I could. I came away feeling excited about the scriptures and feeling like I know the people who played such important roles in the history of these people.
One of my favorite facets of Heather’s writing, is that she includes so much from the female perspective. I can really relate to these women as they move through courtship, motherhood, and trying to keep the men from killing eachother. Heather has captured the human element that is timeless, regardless of technology, geography, or race. She has made these people real to me because of how relatable they were to my own life. I cannot rave enough about this book and recommend it to anyone of everyone, male or female. If you want a satisfying read, this is the book to add to your library.
My favorite line in the book: “The writings of Isaiah are straightforward compared to females.”
Rae turns twelve today. I swear every time I blink, she gets older. I love the process. I love watching her become a young woman, and I love that she values value (if that makes any sense) She picks out clothes that are modest. She strives always to do the right thing. She and I have a great time being together and she really is the light of my life. That’s why I feel a little sad to see her twelve today.
I miss the three year old who told me Jesus lived in Disneyland because she figured He belonged in the happiest place on earth. I miss the six year old who took the flashlight that reflected constellations on the ceiling and spent an entire evening showing her baby brothers the universe. I miss the seven year old that learned to run the store even if she had to stand on a crate to reach the register. I miss her impatient sighs when people would hesitate to give her a credit card to run through, as she tells them in a very bossy impertinent tone, “I know what I’m doing.”
And I don’t miss it because today isn’t great. Today *is* great. I miss it because it’s gone. And because in a few short years she’ll go off to college and the ride of raising my little girl will be over.
But friday, we’re doing the full on birthday party with a dozen other little girls, popcorn, movies and a sleepover. I must be out of my mind to think I want that much estrogen flowing under one roof, but it’s twelve . . . it’s the brink of teenagerhood. I can’t let it happen without a splash.
And as for blinking–I’ve decided to duct tape my eyes open. No more blinking for me. I don’t want to miss a minute of it.
|You Are 24% Evil|
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
This is totally not true. I know I’m way more evil than this. They just didn’t ask the right questions like:
Have you ever been kicked out of a restaurant, or a hotel, or a movie theater, or a casino . . . for various miscreant behavior? Have you ever tripped a kid rolling around on those sneaker skates? (okay I haven’t done that, but I’ve always wanted to) Have you ever told your grandmother that you’d pawn anything she left you in her will because you really do just despise her that much? Have you ever told a guy how evil you think your supervisor is just to find out she’s his mother? Have you ever cussed at the other drivers on the road? Have you ever dug up a redwood seedling from the Redwood forest in California? (Okay I haven’t done that either, but I seriously dreamt I did last night. I woke up feeling so guilty for stealing a tree!)
I used to tell people I always wear black because it matches my soul, but no one ever believed me. Maybe I’m really not that evil. Ah well . . . I couldn’t stand to be more evil than I am right now. I feel a constant barrage of guilt over the little issues I do have.
To take your own quiz to see how evil you are go here: http://www.blogthings.com/howevilareyouquiz/
I am reminded of the time when I watched the Truman Show with Jim Carey (brilliant film btw) . There were t-shirts and pins and advertisements everywhere with the question, “How will it end?” throught that movie.
Miss Rowling has created a true life how will it end scenario. Everyone wants to know. The end is here, the one we both long for and despise at the same time. We long for it because we WANT TO KNOW! We despise it because that means it’s all over and we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.
On my way back to the airport, my lovely hostess asked me how I felt Harry Potter would end. She wanted to know my opinion as an author. How would I end it. Well I’m not JK Rowling (my bank account reminds me of this every day), but I gave her my thoughts anyway. Now I’ll share them with you: I believe Snape is good. Jeff Savage assured me that dumbledore never begs and so was asking Severus for a favor not asking him to spare Dumbledore’s life.
So I believe Snape really killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore told him he had to. I believe Snape is an amazingly deep and comples character who is at the core good. I believe Harry is a Horcrux and will have to make the ultimate decision as to whether or not to sacrifice himself for the good of his friends and family and wizarding community or to try to beat the odds. I personally think he will choose to sacrifice himself. Harry is, after all, the ultimate in hero.
My husband thinks Tonks will die. She could. I don’t personally think any of the main three kids will die except Harry, but I think Harry will be able to be able to not stay dead. He’s a wizard and he has had a lot of death in his life. I think He’ll get to stay the boy who lived. I’d love to see Snape be the professor of the dark arts class finally. Snape’s had a rough life and I think he deserves a break. I think Neville will end up as headmaster and Harry will be an auror like he wants.
Anybody else want to venture a guess??
I returned home late last night from North Carolina where I did a youth conference. It was supposed to be a three stake youth conference, but ended up being four stakes which was just plain cool. I loved how green it is back east, and in some ways dreaded coming home to the brown of the west, but since my family was in the west, I didn’t hesitate to get on the plane. I think I’ll go back sometime with Scott so we can go to Myrtle Beach. The sweet woman (Karen) who drove me back to the airport told me it was a tragedy to come all that way and not see it. She also suggested Atlantis Island in the caribbean for a vacation with the kids. I think I’ll start saving the pennies since that looks awesome! I tried collard greens and hush puppies for the first time. I loved the hush puppies, and my hostess was kind enough to give me a mix so I could make them at home for my family (though I doubt I’ll share) and I wasn’t so in love with collard greens. They taste like an odd mix of spinach and asparagus. They were okay, but not my favorite thing ever.
The conference was perfect. The kids were so full of energy and excitement and everything I’d prepared as the keynote speaker went flawlessly. I did have to do some last minute editing out of several prepared pages due to time constraints but all in all I think it went well. It was a great spiritual high to be there with the youth and to hear their testimonies. My voice still hurts from speaking for seven hours on the second day, but it’ll heal fast enough.
I came home to a PILE of email stacked in my inbox(1022). I did a mass delete for the sake of sanity.
I just feel great about the conference because I’d never spoken to such a large group before (I think 400 was the maximum I’ve spoken to) I thought for some reason that such a large group would be harder to be in front of, but it wasn’t. The kids fed off eachother’s energy and if anything, it was easier. On the last day I instructed the stage hand to keep the spotlight off so I could really see the kids. My presentation was on the Savior.
Looking down at all those kids as they wiped tears from their eyes proved that the youth of our nation are not all rebellious angst ridden gang members and criminals. I thought about it a lot on my flight home. These are some great kids! And kids like this are the majority, not the minority. Kids that have hope in their hearts for the future, kids who are capable of taking this nation to great places . . . Kids who have the light of Christ in their eyes burning so brightly, you can feel the warmth of it.
Youth Conference rocked–and to the girls from the Alistair clan . . . Thanks for letting me join you for lunch. I had a blast.
Now I’m home, and it’s back to writing for me! Hap . . . I’ve missed you buddy!
I recently had an agent request a partial manuscript off of my query. This is a nice validation that the query itself does not suck. I’ve had several nibbles on this query and so have high hopes of things working together for a happy ending. Why I’m writing about this particular query is because, as I was addressing the envelope, I noticed the address–Long Hill Road.
It made me chuckle. Publishing *is* a long road and sometimes it certainly seems up hill–where your muscles are shaking with exhaustion and the next step seems too impossible to take, and then downhill again–where you think maybe the climb was better than plummeting to the earth like a dumb bird overtaken by gravity.
How well I remember the days before publication where my daughter quipped that the words on the screen of my computer were not a real book. I nearly sent her to an orphanage that day. I thought things would be easier once I was published–once I had a “real” book in my hands. They aren’t easier, but I don’t regret it. Uphill or down, no matter how long the road . . . I’m glad to be on it.
Mt youngest, Bing, got his tonsils out on Tuesday. He ‘s running around the house playing star wars games with his brother and a couple of friends acting as though nothing happened at all. He’s mad because I won’t let him eat popcorn, but he ought to be happy I’m negligent enough to let them have friends over.
How he has so much energy just after surgery baffles me. I didn’t have surgery and I’m exhausted. Does this mean I’m old?
Don’t answer that.
When he’s sad and needs me like he was and did yesterday, I get to cuddle him and hold him and he lets me. It’s becoming more rare that my kids let me hold them just for the sake of holding them. With Bing being my youngest and almost eight years old, they’ve grown to the point where mom is an afterthought. And when they’re sick and I’m at their beck and call, I remember how much I liked having my mom at my beck and call.
I know I’ve said I never write poetry for public viewing since I believe my poetry to be a personal outlet, but this one I wrote made me laugh so hard I have to share. (and no, it doesn’t rhyme. I have no idea how iambic pentameter works)
I cut my finger and it hurt
and needed a band-aid
I waited for a kiss and a cuddle
And that band-aid all day
It never happened.
When my tummy grumbled
and made terrible noises
I waited for someone
to fix me a balanced lunch
I got a bag of Cheetos and a can of Sprite
When I felt alone and outcast
From everyone else in the neighborhood
I waited for a pep talk
On how to be happy being me.
But then I found myself frowning at the TV watching Oprah
And that’s when I realized . . .
I’m the mom!
Sigh. If I could go back in time to spend a moment with any one woman . . . Jane Austen would be that woman. I’d give her a big hug and thank her for giving me Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, Emma and Mr Knightly, and all the others. And then I’d slap her for giving me such false expectations as to the inner workings of courtship. And then I’d hug her for writing the world’s finest literary accomplishment. And then I’d hug her a little tighter and tell her she changed the world.
I worry about her sometimes. Did she know what she’d done to the world with her books? Or was she more like me–worrying about ever becoming something in regard to this love affair with the pen. I worry about whether or not she died feeling successful. Because she was successful. She was iconic in every way, but does she know that?
Jane Austen has been the friend to comfort me on many an otherwise lonely night. When I do something stupid (which is all the time), I remember the sage words: “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?” She is the muse on my writing desk (I have a Jane Austen action figure). She is the sigh of contentment when the book finally closes.
I recently read Shannon Hale’s novel Austenland and am still laughing at the comment when someone asks what her character, Jane, was doing in Austenland. Her reply was, “If you were a woman, all I’d have to do is say, ‘Colin Firth in a wet shirt,’ and you’d understand.’ Although that wasn’t EXACTLY what was said in the book and I am far too tired to go and look it up, it was close to that. Yes, Shannon, I understand. ~sigh~ Colin Firth in a wet shirt . . .
I’ll be the first in line to see the movie, Becoming Jane.
I decided to write and share some excellent news from a writer friend of mine, Jeff Savage. I am pleased to announce that Shadow Mountain has accepted his series: Farworld. Farworld is a five book series; each of the first four books will be named after the four elements. So the first book will be called Farworld Book 1: Water.
Jeff is an amazing sort of person. He and his wife Jen are the world’s most amazing couple and I am proud to call them friends so it is with great happiness that I declare, “Sometimes great things happen to great people!” I’ve had the privilege of reading Farworld and can only pay Jeff the highest, yet most seemingly odd, compliment an author can get from another writer: I both hate and love him for how great that book is. Truly the story will be a bright gem in Shadow Mountain’s publishing crown.