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Well . . . He Did What I asked . . .

I was at World Fantasy in San Jose over the weekend and had an excellent time with old friends and new friends alike. I had great roommates: Stacy Whitman and Heidi Summers, and great hang out buddies: Rob Wells, Marion Jensen, Josh Perkey, Joshua Bilmes, Dan Wells, Eric Stone, Lee Modesitt and his lovely daughter Catherine Modesitt, and some guy named Nick–who was hilarious.

The weekend wasn’t much for furthering my career as a writer, but it *was* great fun. Guy Gavriel Kay watched the Yankees stomp the Phillies with me and he bought Catherine and me chocolate-covered strawberries. He is a complete keeper. Not only am I a huge fan of his books, but I get to be a huge fan of the man. It constantly amazes me how wonderful these famous authors are. How Lee Modesitt befriended me even back when I had little to offer as an author. Good people are in the writing world folks–some seriously good people.

I did get to help a few of my friends meet agents and get business cards and make acquaintances that will help their careers so the weekend was definitely worth experiencing. Even though it meant leaving Mr. Wright in charge of Halloween.

The boys all fared well enough for face painting in spite of everything and the house wasn’t in near the disarray I’d imagined I’d return home to. But I did ask Mr. Wright to start a pagemaker document for the relief society christmas dinner. That way I could get the times and dates entered, print up the invitations, and send them off to my relief society president without delay.

When I opened the document this morning this is what I found:

We’re going to eat, drink, and be merry. No men are invited so we’re having Chip and Dale Dancers coming. Bring your dollar bills and a side dish! Love, the Relieved Society

Good thing I looked before I printed. I am sure Mr. Wright thinks he’s amusing. I know I think he is.

Here are some pictures from the con:

world fantasy 2009

world fantasy 2009

pimping the new dan wells book

pimping the new dan wells book

Jules, Rob, and Nick

Jules, Rob, and Nick

Blog Awards and MEME

Josi Kilpack chose me and four other bloggers for this blog award—which was very sweet since she said so many nice things about me and she’s got it all backwards. SHE is the one who is always listening to me. I find it amazing that she is such a great friend and that I really can tell her everything. So the deal is since she tagged me, I get to answer all her questions and then tag some others.
Now, on to the questions.
1. Where is your cell phone?…. I don’t know. It was in my purse the last time I saw it this morning, but we went hiking and I’m out of town and honestly, dealing with a phone while out of town seems lame so I never bothered with it again today. The battery needs charged. Dang. I hope my agent didn’t try calling . . .
2. Your hair? …… Is like it always is–one braid to the left of my face and the rest all tied up in back and spilling over with a stick hair clip thingy.
3. Your mother? …… Is a saint for taking on the challenges of raising my teenager. She deserves flowers and chocolate every day.
4. Your father?….. Is the other saint for being willing to take on the challenges of raising my teenager. He deserves books and back rubs every day (not that I’m giving these things out, mind you. In fact I fully plan on stealing several of his books next time I see him.) Even though my daughter’s pretty easy to take care of, they have gone above the call of duty and I can never repay them for this.
5. Your favorite food? …… thai–at that little thai place I went with all the LTUE people. DANG that was awesome eating. Let’s go again, okay guys?
6. Your dream last night?…. Mind your own business! Okay just kidding, I don’t remember my dream. I remember waking up feeling disturbed but had no idea why.
7. Your favorite drink?…. Dr. Pepper baby!
8. Your dream/goal? …. To find success in every aspect of my life–family, writing . . .
9. What room are you in? …… my sis in law’s guest room. Guys are playing wii in the other room and I am supposed to be writing. Slacker.
10. Your hobby? …. hobby? people have time for those things? Really?
11. Your fear? ….. failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?… happy healthy and on the new york times best sellers list after having just won the Newbery.
13. Where were you last night?…..At my sis in law’s house. she is an excellent hostess. We’re here doing halloween party stuff which I will blog about and post pictures for some time in december (since I’m flaky and behind on everything) What? You think Halloween pictures in December is a dumb idea?
14. Something you aren’t?….. sated . . . ever.
15. Muffins? …..raspberry lemon
16. Wish list item? …… A huge contract! Please Santa! PLEASE!!!!
17. Where did you grow up?…… Salt Lake City
18. Last thing you did?…… laughed until I cried while Mr. Wright read a spooky story during our Halloween dinner. The story wasn’t really funny, but Mr. Wright IS really funny. I love how he makes our kids laugh.
19. What are you wearing? …… red shirt. red fuzzy socks, blue jeans. I know. No black. Is anyone else as surprised as I am?
20. Your TV? ….. usually off. I am not a tv watcher only because I know I have no self control. If the tv goes on–my eyes widen and my brain shuts down as I plant myself in front of it.
21. Your pets? ……… 2 dogs–Shadow–black lab, hound mix and Copper–chow. We’re down to one fish. I’m hoping to kill him off so I can revamp the fish tank.
22. Your friends? …… Everywhere. I once had someone ask me one of those psychological test questions where they said, “You look around you. How many trees do you see?” The girl I was with who was also answering those questions said, “Two. Off in the distance.”
My answer was, “I see a whole forest.”
The trees were supposed to represent how many close, personal, sacrifice-everything-for friends you felt you had. Whether those little psych tests have meaning or not–that answer is 100% true.
23. Your life?…… pretty awesome. I am so grateful for each day, for my family, for everything.
24. Your mood? …. content.
25. Missing someone? ….. every day.
26. Vehicle? ……Honda. Grey. Boring.
27. Something you’re not wearing? …… LOL
28. Your favorite store? …….these questions keep going!!!!!! Home Depot
29. Your favorite color? …… Black
30. When was the last time you laughed? …… laughed all night tonight.
31. Last time you cried? …..On the way home from St George when we left our daughter after a short visit.
32. Your best friend?…… My husband. I’d be lost without him. Literally. I have no directional skills. But beyond that–he is everything great in my life.
33. One place that I go over and over? ……. Crazy. Kids are usually driving.
34. One person who emails me regularly?…….Josi. We’re planning a book tour and it requires a lot of communication. I love emails from Josi
35. Favorite place to eat? ……. anywhere I’m not cooking.
If you’re someone I tagged, be sure to tell me so I can read your answers.
And I am tagging Karen Hoover, Jaime Thelar, Janet Davis, Alice Beesely, Janette Rallison. These ladies are getting tagged simply because I love them and want to know more about them.

A Note On Dating

Prom 1988

Prom 1988

Mr. Wright and I just passed our 17th wedding anniversary. It’s been 21 years since our first date. It’s hard to believe we’re that old. The man is a total punk. He teases, tickles, does butterfly kisses on the kids’ cheeks so they giggle in church when we’re supposed to be quiet. He is altogether infuriating. He is amazing.

It’s no secret the kids would choose him over me if given the choice. I don’t blame them. I’d choose him too. I think back to the person I was when he met me. I was wretchedly ugly–too skinny, too pale, no sense of how to present myself, and I had no confidence. In the time we dated he changed all that. Not that he changed how I looked, but how I saw myself. And by seeing myself through his eyes, I found I was someone worthwhile. And then he left for his mission for our church.

2 years.

He told my grandmother before she died that he was going to treat me so good that while he was gone on his mission, no one else would be able to compare. And he fairly well did it. There were a few guys who ranked pretty high, but in the end, it all came back to Mr. Wright. It’s amazing what a girl can learn in two years.

  1. Some guys are physically deformed in a way that is not readily apparent. Though they appear to have only two hands–they really have four or more.
  2. Dating during poverty ridden college years could be viewed the same as going to a soup kitchen–the company might not be great but you got fed, so who can complain?
  3. One small argument with your boyfriend on a mission in a foreign country through mail takes months and is exhausting.
  4. Learning how to stand on your own is imperative if you ever want to stand with someone else by your side.
  5. Never give your phone number to people you don’t want calling you.
  6. A pretty face gets boring if nothing intelligent ever comes out of it.
  7. You can recover from tripping over love. Falling in love is forever.
  8. If someone asks you to marry them and the word, “NO!” screams inside your head, do not allow the word, “Yes.” to fall out of your mouth.
  9. Looks Nice and Nice Looking do not exactly mean the same thing. (see number one about the hands)
  10. The marriage decision is the one and only time where you have the right to make a totally selfish choice.

I’m glad I made a selfish choice in getting married to Mr. Wright. Even when he’s annoying, I’m grateful he’s annoying me rather than some other less deserving female. He puts up with a lot from me. And I’m glad to say that after 17 years, he’s still likes me for reasons I still don’t understand. So I guess we’ll keep each other.

Keep Moving Forward

My teenage daughter surprised me a few months ago. She went home from our store (where we rent dvd’s too) with a few movies: Juno, Sidney White, and Meet The Robinsons.

I had nothing pressing to do and knew that Juno had some pretty grown up themes and figured I ought to watch it with her in case she had any questions. We ended up pulling an all day movie fest watching all three movies. I hadn’t seen any of them and it was fun to hang out with her and watch movies until our eyes got sore. (loved Juno BTW. It’s a little irreverent, but I loved it)

It surprised me to hear my teenager’s favorite movie in the world was Meet the Robinsons. It further surprised me to see her eyes mist over at the end. I mean, the show was cute, endearing, and I truly enjoyed it, but until her declaration and verge-of-tears reaction over the film, I hadn’t looked much deeper than the surface.

The story revolves around a very central theme: Keep Moving Forward.

Such a positive approach to life. In the movie our little boy-genius-orphan, Lewis, makes many mistakes, but he learns to keep moving forward–that those mistakes will build him into the man he was meant to be.  Is the concept of growth and stumbling blocks oversimplified in this movie? Of course.

But such growth really isn’t the kind of concept that bears complicating. The simplicity of the message to keep moving forward is part of what makes it efficient and beautiful.

I finished my first book and hid it away on the harddrive of an old 8088 because I was afraid to keep moving forward. My husband shoved me out of my comfort zone and into the dark and disturbing world of submitting manuscripts, because I simply refused to go out on my own. Did I make mistakes? Of course. I freely admit, I’m published by an unexplainable comedy of errors. Little twists and turns of fate. Every twist and turn, making me the person I am.

Had I not stumbled forward, I would have lived in that place called regret. Always wondering what I might have accomplished if I’d only picked myself up and dusted myself off when things didn’t go the way I wanted. Always wondering, and in that wondering, consistently feeding off heaping portions of dissatisfaction. The movie Meet the Robinsons ends with a song that spoke to my soul. Because even as we stumble through our lives and trip over our own mistakes–aren’t there millions of tiny moments that bring joy as we journey through our lives and become the people we’re meant to be?

Sitting on a couch all day on a Saturday afternoon with my daughter who sometimes seems to understand so much more in the world than I do is definitely one of those little wonders.

“Little Wonders”

Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in,
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain

Let it slide,
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine
Until you feel it all around you
And i don’t mind
If it’s me you need to turn to
We’ll get by,
It’s the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away some how
But i can not forget
The way i feel right now

In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours, still remain,
Still remain
These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders still remain
–Rob Thomas 

Things I’ve done

This was a fun meme I found on Josi Kilpack’s blog. Since I am a horriffic Josi Kilpack worshipper, I  am doing a repeat here on my blog. I hit 57, 000  words on my work in progress and then wound up feeling SICK, I decided to avoid said work in progress and mess with my blog instead. My head feels too icky to be creative and I fear anything I might write in my book might end up being badly embarrassing.

Feel free to copy it and use it if you like (After all, I did). You highlight those things you’ve done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (I’m sure singing in my car  doesn’t count . . .)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Been to the top of a lighthouse
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (But I waved at the statue as I sailed by on the staten island ferry)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (But I know a girl named mona, another girl named Lisa, and I dated someone from france . . .)
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (sssshhhhhh!!!! I still feel guilty)
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Ran a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (but I sell Amish Caramel in my store)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (Playing American Idle with my sis in law likely doesn’t count, but man was that mortifying)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China (I broke my grandmother’s china plate once)
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia (But I wrote to my best friend when she was in Lithuania, and Lithuania is really close to Russia . . . isn’t it?)
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (But I buy them faithfully every year.)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (I’ll never understand people who jump out of perfectly good airplanes)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (my kids say I run one though)
67. Eaten New England clam chowder in New England 
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (it was a book my mom gave me called The Dancing Man, and don’t go telling me books don’t count)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (ick!)
72. Pieced a quilt (yeah, won’t be doing that again any time soon)
73. Stood in Times Square (sigh . . . good times)

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (so not my fault)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (every day I don’t kill my children . . .)

90. Sat on a jury (but I want to!)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Lips, Writing on the Wall, Whitney Awards, and the writing4kids blog

First off, let me tell you: NEVER get your lips tattooed. All that color that made me look like a harlot the first day had flaked off by the end of the fourth day. Now my lips are these pale, barely pink things that still hurt, but have nothing to show for it. My sis in law who got her eyes done is deliriously happy with hers and I wish I had followed her example when choosing how best to spend my gift certificate.

Second: Yesterday was my day to scribble over at the wall.

And today I got kudos for my post from Jon Bard over at http://write4kids.com/blog. In case you aren’t aware, Jon keeps his finger on the pulse of the children’s literature market and does a pretty swanky job of it. He’s the editor of the Children’s Book Insider. Jon rocks and the fact that he liked what I wrote yesterday only improves that opinion. 🙂

And hey! This means I’m on You Tube!  I tried to embed it here, but you all know how useless I am with technology so here’s the link:


Third: The Whitney awards is doing a fundraising auction! I stole this from Josi Kilpack’s blog (forgive me Josi!)
 The Whitney Award Benefit Auction is being held through the month of November. Items are added to the auction daily and all funds go to support The Whitney Award which is a reader based award for LDS writers. If you have been considering getting an edit, now might be a great time to do it (just in time for Christmas 🙂 and so far the prices are great. Here’s the link: http://www.whitneybenefitauction.com/servlet/StoreFront








You Know how I work for eBay? Well I went and checked stocks today (as I do daily) and about had a heart attack! Stocks are under thirteen dollars! Are you kidding me??? eBay is a totally solid company which makes money EVERY quarter! What are investors thinking? This only goes to further prove that too many idiots control the monetary system.

eBay rocks! Do your Christmas shopping there. You can bid on the edit from Precision Editing Group for your favorite writer. That’s a gift that will bring a grin to any writer’s face.

Have a great week everyone. I’m working like a crazy woman on my work in progress and have now reached 37000 words! Woohoo. So don’t feel bad if I am totally quiet on the internet.



I picked a bad week to quit cussing

First of all, Michael Crichton died November 4th at the age of 66 from cancer. So sad that his death was glossed over by the major news of the presidential election. I am a big fan of his writing. I always found myself being able to see things from a different point of view–one I’d never considered before–after reading his books.

Some quotes I like by Mr. Crichton: “If you don’t know your family’s history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree”

and my favorite: “In science, consensus is irrelevant.”

One of my favorite articles he’d written can be found at: http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-ourenvironmentalfuture.html

In fact . . . this article holds one of the base points for the book I am currently writing. We lost an interesting thinker on election day. I, for one, will miss his viewpoints and opinions.

Next on my list for reasons I picked a bad week to quit cussing . . . I did something incredibly vain. Though I take little responsibility for the actual fault. The blame goes to my sister in law who wanted to surprise me with a really cool gift for my birthday. She convinced my mom and my sister to go in on it with her. They paid for a gift certificate for me to get permanent makeup. More specifically, I got my lips tattooed.



Seriously, I am not kidding. It was unprecedented pain, like a million tiny razor blades churning my lips into raw hamburger. I had a “block” for the pain, but whatever they use for those blocks is not the same stuff dentists use because it had worn off in ten minutes. The other hour and forty minutes was spent with my fists clenched tightly at my middle and tears running out the corners of my eyes. I would have stopped the whole procedure halfway through, got off the table, and walked away forever, except then I’d look like some half baked mutant.

The technician person kept telling me I was almost done. I finally stopped her mid-sentence and told her she was a horrific liar.

When they handed me the mirror at the end, I almost laughed and cried all at once. I looked like Goldie Hawn in the First Wives Club when she had her collagen injection on her lips. I looked absurd, and swollen, and I confess I had the thought that it was no less than I deserved after doing something so frivolous and vain.

Today I look better (less like a harlot, and more like a child playing with mommy’s lipstick) The  jury is still out on whether or not I am glad I did this. My advice to anyone thinking about it is, “Pay the extra money and go somewhere that will knock you out first.”  I do believe I will be happy with it in a couple of weeks, after I’m all healed and not having to put on lipstick to go out. I’ll let you know.

In consolation to all this, I wrote 2000 words yesterday. This equates to 8 pages in a 12 pt font, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman. Not bad for a day’s work.

Parent Teacher Conferences

I love going to parent teacher conference for my daughter, Rae. It’s just an awe inspiring moment to sit at the desk and have the teacher tell you how brilliant your child is. It’s amazing to look over the paper they slide under you nose and see nothing but A’s. Not even one A- in all her years of junior high. I am busting my buttons with pride over that.

Going for the boys, Murky and Bing, is not always so neat.

For Murky, they show me his test scores (which are fabulous) and tell me how smart he is. And then they tell me he doesn’t follow directions, he doesn’t pay attention . . . his mind wanders a lot and he spends more time doodling and making up stories than he does working on assignments. They tell me this as though I wasn’t already aware. Hello! He’s my kid. I live with him. I am WELL aware of the fact that he has a tendency to tune people out and daydream. They say this as though I am not the woman who spends a whole day coaxing him to clean his room, as though I never have to hide all the coloring books, sketch pads, and how to draw books just so he can focus on putting his star wars toys away.

Bing is another story altogether. They show me his test scores, tell me he’s brilliant, and then tell me that he has trouble with teasing and talking too much and blah blah blah. They tell me all this as though I am not aware that this child is a tremendous tease. I am WELL aware of this fact. He’s my kid. I live with him. I break up the fights that erupt due to his teasing. I am the one who has to stand in between him and his sister as they are trying to claw each other’s eyes out.

Yesterday was different. Both boys received lots of praise from the teachers. Bing’s teacher didn’t mention once that he was a tease. Murky’s teacher didn’t say that Murky has no ability to focus. The thing I dread all year wasn’t so bad this time around. AND all three kids were given high praise for their creative talents, their abilities to tell stories, their abilities to be unique in a fun and cool way. All of their teachers told me my kids have what it takes to be authors someday.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I just realized I DO have dominant genes!!! Sometimes I worry that those kids inherited every Wright trait in the world without leaving any room for the Peterson.

Parent teacher conference didn’t suck rocks this time around. Did you hear that huge sigh of relief?

Struck by The Lightning Thief

I admit I am arrogant enough to say I write great books. But every now and again, I run across an author that turns me ten shades of green (the envy kind).

My middle son wasn’t fond of books. His dyslexia put him behind in the reading area for a long time. We led him to graphic novels, which he seemed to do better with and every month he became a stronger reader, but he still didn’t enjoy reading. It was a source of agony to me, a writer, to have a child who doesn’t love reading like I love reading.

I decided to start reading aloud with him to help him along in school last year and we picked up the Lightning Thief (yes, I know we’re behind the times and should have done this three years ago). Most of our out-loud reading involved only one chapter a day. Time is a commodity and my voice doesn’t hold out for too long.


Then one day he came home, found the book, and begged for three chapters. He said, “Please.” He offered to mop the kitchen floor, clean his room, and go to boy scouts without complaint.

A chapter for each “chore” and he used the word please.

This is nothing short of miraculous. When we finished the third chapter (this is after chores were done and after dinner), he scampered to bed with the words, “You’re the best mom! Tomorrow we can do four chapters. I’ll even clean the bathrooms so you have more time.”

I was all astonishment. My child was doing chores and loving reading. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Something as miraculous as this needed to be shared, so I wrote the author, Rick Riordan, to let him know how fantastic he is. And do you know what? He was as kind and funny and gracious as an author ever could be. I hope when I write books cool enough to be chore-worthy, that I can behave like Rick.


Your Aura is Violet
Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.
And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don’t always use it!The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say

Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony

Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach

Whether it be true or not . ..  I love the picture.

To take your own quiz: http://www.blogthings.com/whatcolorisyourauraquiz