Yesterday while walking to church I passed by the wagon next to our shed behind the store. I sighed while passing by. The wagon marks the end of an era. The kids haven’t played in that thing for years. With my baby nearly eight years old I’m not totally surprised. So it was that on my way to church I determined to pass the wagon to a family with small children. It’s still in great shape and in need of some use.
So today, the kids came home from school, ate their second lunch (they insist on second lunch after school which leads me to wonder what the heck our cafeteria is serving), and when out to play. A couple of hours later I decided to do something super amazing (and don’t laugh, because I felt so smart and accomplished when I was done) But I determined to change the doorknob on my back door.
I bought the doorknob a long time ago. I’ve asked my dear darling husband to switch out the doorknobs because that’s his job. I married him so I didn’t have to do things like set my alarm clock, figure out why my computer’s beeping at me, unclog drains, and switch out doorknobs. These tasks are decidedly his, not mine.
I spent an absurd amount of money on the doorknob. He wasn’t too thrilled about the expense for a single rounded out piece of metal. I assumed he’d change it out immediately so as not to allow that money to go to waste. Today I finally realized that the task remained undone.
I don’t nag–stop laughing; I don’t! Honestly nothing in the world bugs me more than naggy spouses, and I say spouses because men nag as much as women do. Since I don’t nag and the task remained undone, I decided to do it myself.
Well I am proud to say that in spite of some drawn out cussing, several putting it together and pulling it apart again scenarios, it locks and closes and opens as it should. I just wanted to bust with pride over my accomplishment so I looked around to tell someone and found that my boys were across the street. I shouted over for them to come look how cool their mom was, and then really looked at what they were doing.
They were playing in the wagon. And they found a five inch caterpillar that was seriously the creepiest looking insect I’ve ever seen, and were driving the caterpillar around in the wagon. It was like they’d eavesdropped on my thoughts from yesterday and were determined to prove that, yes, they do still use it and no I shouldn’t be giving it away.
It’s been three years since they’ve even looked at it. Someone once told me that we have a cosmic sense of thought. That a thought exists in the air waiting for a person, or several people, to pluck it and make use of it. This explains why in my store, everyone in town decides to grill hamburgers on the same night and we end up running out of buns. It explains why in the same year, three nearly identical movies are released without having any knowledge of eachother.
It makes the necessity of finishing my book ideas faster that much more dire.
The idea of the wagon was in the air, waiting for acknowledgement. So we’re keeping the wagon. After all, I’d hate to see the caterpillar lose his ride.
I like old music and by old I mean the kind of music my parents, grandparents and even some my great grandparents listened to. I like new music as well, but some days nothing will fit my soul half so well as a good old classic tune. I love the song What a Difference a Day Made. I like all the versions of it through the years, but I love the Sinatra version best (hey, it’s Frank . . . what more need be said?)
This last wednesday I was privileged to meet with a couple of editors who were in every way awesome. Even if ultimately they don’t sign me on, man I loved chit chatting with them. I loved having someone be excited with me about the projects I’m working on and talking to me like I was a human. I loved just having my well of confidence filled a little.
And they like the same kinds of books I like. I have to say . . . I love people who love books; and I really love people who love the kind of books I love. It makes for some well thought conversation.
After lunch with Kirk and Angela (yes Jeff, I know I owe you big time) I went with Stephanie Fowers and Candace Salima to see Becoming Jane. WOOHOO! what a great movie! Yes, it is horribly historically inaccurate, and they were far too heavy handed with creative license, but still beautiful and I cried like an idiot (so I cried like *myself* is what that means)
First off I’ll tell you what Becoming Jane got wrong, not because it affected the movie all that much but because it bugs me when movie people do things wrong on purpose that would take no effort or extra thought to do right. And doing it right would actually improve the script because it made them look smarter.
So far as I know from various biographies, Jane was never–for even a minute–engaged to a Mr. Wisley. She was however engaged to a Mr Bigg-Wither for a whole day. She didn’t love him and thought better of accepting the proposal even if he was a man of good fortune. Lefroy was a real character in Jane’s life, however I think the film makers would have been better off using the far more mysterious romance of Jane’s when she met that man on the coast. He promised he would come back and find her and her family, but later Jane received news that he’d died. Whether or not there was a real fabulous romance with the man at the sea is totally unknown, but I think it would have been a fun story if you’re going to spin a tale of her life.
I have to say the guy they have playing Lefroy is almost as delightful as our Colin Firth (sigh . . . Colin Firth . . . I digress) And I think Anne was a lovely Jane. Her English accent seemed to stumble a little, but I thought she played Jane delightfully and I cannot imagine anyone doing much better. Maggie Smith is a wonderful actress and played the part of the crusty old aunt very well. One thing about choosing Lefroy is you do get to see Jane and her sister at a time in their lives when so much was before them and so much taken away. Cassandra’s plight is as sad as Jane’s.
It’s interesting how desperately I want this movie to be true, how much I want Jane to have felt love and passion as deeply as she’s made me feel through her novels. The idea of someone dying, having never known the intensity of true love, is wrong on every level. And Jane, who inspires dreams of love more than two hundred years later, deserves to have been thoroughly loved herself.
I once heard the words, “she fell in love . . . she fell in love . . . she fell in love . . . then she met HIM and she really fell in love.” I hope that depicts every young girl’s life. To fall in love several times throughout youth is a wonderful thing and far more wonderful to *really* fall in love.
I digress again. The point is: the meeting with Angela and Kirk was great. The movie was great. Being with good friends was great. And going home to the man I *really* fell in love with was great too.
See what a difference a day can make?
Okay, now I’m done whining and have a real report to offer on the LDSBA. Basically this is my chance to name drop and be excited over all the cool friends I have. First off the Whitney Award booth was stunning. The award itself is a thing to desire. It’s a beautiful book that opens and closes and would look so pretty with my name on it. I have no intentions of being available for the committee next year. You can only be on the committee if you haven’t had a book out in the year of the award. I plan on having at least two books out next year.
I loved seeing everyone that had book signings this year, Annette Lyon, Stephanie Fowers, Michele Holmes, Anne Bradshaw, Rachel Nunes, Kay Lynn Mangum, and Brandon Mull.
I loved getting to give hugs to all the above authors as well as Jeffrey Savage, James Dashner Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, BJ Rowley, Sherry Miller, Marcia McClure, Tristi Pinkston, Robison Wells, Julie Bellon, Candace Salima, and Crystal Liechty.
I found some really exciting things up and coming for the LDS market. Liz Lemon Swindle is still my favorite artist and her booth along with the Greg Olsen booth was like breathing peace. I am one of those evil-enviers who wish they could paint (I can play hang man) Wish they were born with vocal talent (I sing in the shower, but I’m not any good at it) Wish they could play the piano (I pay for my daughter’s piano lessons) Wish they could . . . wish they could . . . wish they could . . .
But even though I am an evil envier, I really really love those who can do these things. I’m a sucker for artistic people. Scott’s teased me before that I’d fall in love with anyone no matter who he was if he could sing and play the piano well enough (it’s not true . . . Mr Darcy didn’t do either and I’m madly in love with him . . . of course, Darcy can dance . . .). The LDSBA is a place of artistry–a place where the best of the musicians, artists, writers, actors etc gather. It’s awesome. I loved hugging all my storymaker friends and getting to chat with them and just loved being there where the arts are celebrated.
If you haven’t had a chance to nominate a Whitney book yet . . . you’d better get reading and get voting!
I’ve spent the last several days at the LDSBA, which is the booksellers convention for LDS books music dvd’s and random knick knacks and art. It’s a really cool convention and as a store owner, I love it. As an author, I confess it feels a little like high school. And you have to remember I never fared all that well in high school. I still really ought to seek therapy for the scarring high school left on me.
I remember once when I was in high school a girl named Robin entered the talent show. She had a voice that sent chills down one’s spine it was so beautiful. And she played the guitar. The girl had absolute talent, but it was high school–and high school is the fifth realm of that hot place (I’m trying to keep my g-rating on my blog). Everyone in the audience cat called, and laughed, and talked right through her entire performance. I remember feeling so horrible as I watched Robin pluck the strings of her guitar and sing her heart out in spite of the cacophonous noise erupting all around her. I wonder if she went home and cried. I would have. I actually did cry and it wasn’t even me it happened to.
As a writer, you’re putting yourself on the stage when you know every member of the audience has a rotting tomato ready to throw. But every audience member has a rose to throw too. Whether you get the tomato or the rose isn’t based entirely on how well you perform, but on the editor’s life experience, and on whether or not they got stuck in traffic on their way to work. It’s based on whether or not the audience is talking over your performance. Sometimes you can be brilliant and no one notices.
Writing is high school gym all over again–the picking of teams. It’s the silent praying. “Pick me! Pick me! Please let them see me!” And then the prayer, “Please let me not mess it up if they do pick me!”
Jennifer Savage (Jeff Savage’s wife) had me listen to a song called High School Never Ends. It’s true, especially if you dare to pull yourself up on the stage knowing it might not be roses, but hoping it will be.
Here’s my prayer: “Pick me! Pick me! Please see me! And please let me not mess it up if they do!”
|You Are a Club Sandwich|
You dream big. You think big. And you eat big.
Some people consider you high maintenance, but you just know what you want… and when you want it.Your best friend: The Tuna Fish SandwichYour mortal enemy: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
I find this odd since I am not really all that fond of tuna fish anything and I really like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But you know what they say–keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Maybe I’m all about strategm and didn’t even know it. Find out your own flavor at: http://www.blogthings.com/whatkindofsandwichareyouquiz/
I’ve become addicted to Derren Brown recently. He’s the star of a show called Mind Control. I watched an episode while at my brother’s house and looked him up on the internet, only to be delighted to find, I can view a lot of his programs via the net (I don’t have access to TV at home)
Before bed my husband and I watched a few segments, one of which was where Derren pretended to be a palm reader. He had several people in a room and asked them to trace their hands and put an object of theirs along with the tracing into a folder. He collected the folders later on and left them for a couple of hours while he went and “read” the information located in the folders. When he reemerged he put the folders on the table for the participants to take their folders and to go and read the personality description. He told them to not share their assessment with anyone else since it was personal. After the participants read their assessment, they were interviewed on how accurate the assessment was. It was a fairly unanimous vote that he was over 80%, and in most cases 95%, accurate.
In most of the interviews, the people couldn’t believe Derren could identify their insecurities so well. How could he describe them just from “reading” their hand trace and a personal object???
One girl in particular spoke of how she couldn’t understand how Derren knew she wanted to write a book. She couldn’t believe he knew she’d started a book but had never finished it. She couldn’t believe he knew that her fondest dream was to complete the book.
After all was said and done he asked them to read each other’s assessments. At this time, they discovered they’d been hoodwinked. Derren revealed himself to be a fraud. He explained that their letters of assessment were all identical. He also explained that he’d done this in four other countries and had the same results. Everyone believed he’d been spot on. Everyone believed he’d tapped into their spirits and knew their secret failings, and abilities, their hopes, their dreams, their personalities.
Personally, I am fascinated by Derren and repulsed at the same time. He’s a jerk, no doubt about it. He seems to delight in messing in the inner workings of other people’s minds and makes no apologies for it. He’s a jerk, but I like him. What would that say about my personality I wonder?
Isn’t it interesting that in every letter– received by every participant, there is a paragraph dedicated to the desire to write, but never finishing a book? I know I joke that everyone in the world wants to write a book, but I was only joking.
Yet the fact is . . . Derren wouldn’t have included the information if it was not a common thread linking people together like beads on a necklace.
Humanity is linked by their frailties, their shortcomings, and their hope for the future. And they are linked by the desire to be heard. Isn’t that what writing is? A way to be heard–and not heard just for today, but for years and years to come.
Some of the participants expressed feeling used and their disappointment was tangible even in a recording. They thought they’d found someone who finally understood them. And then the rug was pulled out from under them and they were exactly as they were before.
But should they be disappointed?
Sure, Derren discovered nothing about them, but they discovered something about eachother. They discovered that we really are all alike. My insecurities mirror your insecurities. Your hopes and dreams and abilities mirror mine. And so it is that the world is full of people who understand us exactly as we are, because they are exactly as we are.
I bet even the hypnotist fits in with the rest of humanity, whether he likes it or not.
Rhonda Hinrichsen has tagged me. I figured since we’re doing a whole blog on me and I love the Simpson’s, I’d put my picture of what I’d look like if I was a Simpson’s character:
Four things about me
4 Jobs I have had
1. Author (by and large my coolest career move.)
2. eBay Investigator (one that sounds cool, but sucks rocks)
3. optician (Think greasy people . . . enough said)
4. waitress (think greasy food, and me dropping an entire tray of greasy food on a customer . . . enough said)
4 Movies I would watch over and over (I can’t believe we’re limited to only four!)
1. Pride and Prejudice A&E version (dang that Colin Firth is adorable)
3. The Tenth Kingdom
4. The Mummy Returns
4 Places I have lived
1.California: I still remember the sound of the guns cocking when the police surrounded the bank that seemed to get robbed a few times a month.
2. Salt lake
4 TV shows I love to watch (I don’t watch TV anymore with everything going on in life. So sad, since I loved TV. All these shows are ones I used to love watching and would watch all day if I could)
2. The Simpsons
4. Night Court
4 Places I have been on vacation
1.Hawaii which is my absolute number one best vacation ever
3.Writer’s cruise to Mexico
4.Disneyland (which I swear gets better every time I go!)
4 of my favorite foods
1. Chicken Makhani
2. Butternut squash soup with pinenuts
3. Mud Pie
4. Anything Scott makes, so I don’t have to cook dinner!
4 Places I would rather be right now
1. Hawaii–I’ll take the Hilton Waikaloa village any day over a crummy day of dealing with ticked off intellectual property owners at eBay.
4. Anywhere. My goal is to go everywhere and see everything. I’d really love to go to southern
4 Mistakes I have made
1. When I lied to Grandma when she asked me if I’d read the book of Mormon (this is especially bad since I had *just* been baptized) Dang I still feel guilty since I never fessed up the truth. (I’ve since read the book more times than I can even count anymore so I’m hoping that makes up for the lie in some small way)
2. Yeah right . . . like I’m going to post THAT on my blog!!
3. Taking math in any form in college since I failed it every time, and lowered an otherwise fabulous GPA
4. I think that’s enough confession for one go round, don’t you? I mean, after all . . . I’m an LDS author, and can’t afford the bribes I’d have to pay if any further secrets got out. Use your imagination . . . if it was a stupid thing to do, chances are—I did.
I’m adding a category dedicated to my family of bookworms (sorry, the rule of four must come to an end here! What am I, if not a rulebreaker anyway??)
4 (or however many I want to put right now) Books I love to read (and this is in no particular order)
1. Pride and Prejudice—Jane Austen
2. Dune—Frank Herbert
3. Princess Bride—William Goldman
4. To Kill A Mockingbird—Harper Lee
5. Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card
6. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—Douglas Adams
7. Oh the Places You’ll Go—Dr. Seuss
8. Anything by Jeffrey Savage
9. Anything by Josi Kilpack
10. The Alchemist by Michael Scott
11. Any of the Harry Potter books.
12. Anything By Robert Jordan
13. The Book of Mormon
14. Witch Of Black Bird Pond—Elizabeth Speare
15. Twilight—Stephanie Meyer
16. Anything By Janette Rallison
17.Book four of the Out of Jerusalem Series by Heather Moore
18.House on the Hill by Annette Lyon
Yesterday I had to work in the office for eBay. Not usually a fun thing (and no exception yesterday). I make a point of walking on my breaks. I used the weight room in the winter, but it seems pretty lame to get on a treadmill to walk when it’s nice outside. It rained during my break and the walk was like stepping into a time machine and being carried back twenty years. I had on my mp3 player, listening to the song, Somebody by Depeche Mode.
I love summer rain . . . you know the kind–where it’s so warm, it feels like steam from a warm bath. Where the sunlight filters through the clouds, illuminating the water droplets so they look like crystals falling from the sky.
Summer rain will always remind me of being fifteen years old at Juc’s house. Juc, Garrett, Cindy and I went out to have a water fight in the rain (we were young teens so naturally this sounded like fun). We danced that day. Danced, laughed, and were soaked to the skin by warm summer rain. This was the summer before Garrett took his dad’s gun into the mountains and put a bullet in his head.
People always talk about the end of innocence like it’s a date on a calendar you can circle and say, “Yep, that’s it! That’s the date my innocence came to an end.” Maybe for some people it is. For me it wasn’t any one day; it was gradual, edging further into knowledge a little bit at a time. But that day was one I remember with perfect clarity as being totally innocent . . . totally perfect.
I watched my daughter with her friends at her slumber party. I accompanied them to night games in the park and listened to the laughing and the sheer joy of their voices. I loved watching and listening to the giggles. I love that my boys went out in the summer rain a few days ago to float the paper they’d folded into tidy little boats. I loved that all three of my kids came in from the rain soaked to the skin, a little muddy, and absolutely beaming. I love that they’re there, in the midst of innocence. I hope they get to stay there for at least as long as I had been allowed to.
Yesterday’s walk reminded me of my own innocence. And in my young heart–beating inside my middle aged body–I was dancing.