Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Me no likey...

In November I joined a 'club' with thousands of other anxious wanna be authors.  We all tried to write 50,000 words in one month.  And I can say that I wrote over 50,000!

But I don't really like to make goals.
Well, I don't like to make goals in January.  It always made more sense to me to make goals in the fall before school starts.   The smell of the schools floor cleaner always made me heady with great ambitions like a 4.0 and dating the quarterback/star forward/hunk.

I do like to make lists.  
I write to-do lists and shopping lists and books-I've-read lists.  I've made a list of chores each child can accomplish, what my own chores are daily and what we are eating for the month. 

I've made a list of the stories I've written and stories I've started and ideas for other stories. 
Those stories and ideas are sitting in my jump drive waiting to be finished or sent to a publisher.  But they are not sitting quietly.  They keep reminding me they are waiting.  But what do I do with all of them?  I have two that needed edited, one that is in rough draft and two short stories that need tweaked.  And that is just the ones that are close to the finish line.  There are 5-8 other stories that have been started or are in outline form. It's overwhelming!

So, dare I say it?  I need a goal.  Not a list.  A goal.

I learned in November that a goal/deadline is a great motivator.  I have heard many talks and read many books about goals and have actually made a few myself.  But until November, I have not FELT the way I did when the word count came back over 50K.

I want to FEEL it this year!  I want to feel what it is like to:
Have a book accepted by a publisher
Have a Christmas story published
Have a book published
And travel to another continent to research a book

I was browsing Tristi Pinkston's blog and she has sent out a challenge.  Check it here: Gearing Up for the New Year ...

Now I need to set the smaller goals that will take me in the direction I want to go:
I will write at least two hours everyday or average 5,000 words a week.
I will submit 2 stories by March.
I'll start with these two.  I made add more as I go.  But I will get three stories out this year.

Phew!  I can check that off the 'to do' list! :)
I now believe that because I have lists instead of goals I don't stick to the monthly menu, I averaged a B+ and never dated the quarterback.  
But I did marry a hunk!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Story: Santa's Gift Card

Here is the story I wrote for the contest. The story is based on a true experience in my extended family.
 I didn't win but now my story is out in the universe!
 I really want to make this story better so please leave comments and ideas!  THANK YOU in advance!
  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas was not on my mind when I decided I needed to go back to college to get a better job. I applied for financial help and received a grant to college in another state. Jennifer and I prayed about our decision and knew it was the right one.

The move was hard. It was hard to leave family and friends. But the move was harder on us financially. We moved during the summer to get settled before I started school. I also had to start over with a new job. We watched our small savings dwindle. Jennifer and I looked over our finances when school started and I needed to buy textbooks. We decided we would need to drop our cell phone, internet and cable service. We would barely have enough money for food and diapers. We knew we were in the right place doing the right thing, it was just going to be tight.

A few weeks before Christmas my company downsized and I lost my job. I went home to tell my wife. She was putting in a pizza when the phone rang. I watched Jennifer paint Jordan's hand red and press it to a paper wreath while I listened to her end the conversation.

"Yes, I had heard the Wallace's baby was still in NICU." She painted Jordan's other hand green and pressed it to the paper. "We'll be happy to bring in a dinner." She hung up and looked at me. I nodded. Jennifer packed up our pizza, garlic bread and salad and left. We ate Jordan's favorite dinner when she got back: PB&J. Over dinner, Jennifer told of the Wallace's bare apartment.

I looked at our own little tree. We bought it when we were first married. It had one present under it. At Enrichment, Jennifer had made an etching on glass of the temple we were sealed in. I looked at Jordan. I knew he wouldn't know if he got anything for Christmas. But at two-years-old he made the best car sounds a father could hope for.

I looked around our little one room apartment. Jennifer and Jordan had colored Christmas and Nativity scenes and hung them around the living room. Paper snowflakes adorned the windows. I went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. It looked like we had a choice of PB&J or tomato soup for Christmas dinner. If the food lasted that long.

That night, I decided it was time to swallow my pride and talk to our bishop. Jennifer had loving suggested I make an appointment with him but I said no, we are fine. I called the bishop's secretary. He told me the bishop could see me tonight.

"Welcome, Brother Whitlock!" Bishop Draper shook my hand and motioned for me to sit in the chair across from him at his desk. "What can I do for you? Or sometimes I like to ask, what can the Lord do for you?"

"Well, Bishop, I came today because there is too much month at the end of my money. Our cupboards are bare and I have no job." I tried to smile.

Bishop Draper sat back in his chair, steepled his fingers under his chin and looked at me. He asked about Jordan and our medical bills. He asked me about school, my skills and previous jobs. His next question surprised me.

"Have you been paying your tithing?" he asked, quietly.

"Yes!" I replied, emphatically. It was always the first check written after I got paid.

He nodded and smiled.

"Then all will be well, Brother Whitlock. All will be well." He stood and walked around the desk to me. "Do you have enough faith?"

I hesitated while I thought about his question. I slowly nodded.

Bishop Draper extended his hand to me and I stood up to shake it.

He put a hand on my shoulder. "The Lord knows your needs. He loves you."

As I drove home, I wondered what I would tell my wife over another PB&J dinner. There was a knock on the door. One of the local youth held out a manila envelope, requesting a small donation to help a local family who lost their husband and baby to a house fire. The rest of the family were living with grandparents until they could get on their own feet again. I put all the money in the envelope I had on me: $1. Now I had no money for a toy car, but I knew I had given the widows mite.

The next day, I grabbed the mail. I had sent my resume to several organizations and was waiting for a phone call or a letter. All I found was the usual credit card applications and last minute Christmas shopping ads. I threw the mail on the table. A red envelope caught my eye. I picked it up and looked at the return address. "Santa Claus, North Pole." I looked at the postmark. "North Pole."

"Jennifer! We got a letter from Santa!" I opened the letter with Jennifer looking over my shoulder. The letter told us that Santa has helpers around the world who gave to those in need. One such helper wanted to help us. Jennifer and I looked at the gift card in her hand with big eyes. Arms around each other and tears flowing down our cheeks, we knelt in humble prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for his tender mercies.

We bundled Jordan up and went Christmas shopping. We bought Jordan a ball and a toy car. I bought Jennifer perfume and she bought me a robe. She said she was tired of seeing my holey pajamas. We also bought food for our cupboards and Christmas dinner.

When we checked out we were surprised to see the amount of money left on the card. Our Santa Helper had given us enough money to cover our purchases and more. Jennifer and I looked at each other and smiled. We took our purchases to the car and went back inside.

We went to the card aisle and found a big card with Santa on it. We went home and found the address of a family who needed a Santa Helper. We put the gift card inside the card and mailed it the next day. Now we were one of Santa's Helpers.

The feeling of this Christmas are indescribable on all levels. The joy of giving and receiving this season will not be forgotten.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.   
Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

what books are on your bedside table?

Here is my stack of books:

East of Eden
 by John Steinbeck (I'm returning this to the library after only reading 1/4.  I don't like it)
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
5 minute Feng Shui by Jane Garton (my DS6 carried this little book around.  Then gave it to me to read)
Forever Kate by Cheri J. Crane
Brisinger by Christopher Paolini (how is the title pronounced?)
Writing Popular Fiction by Dean R. Koontz
Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress

I wonder if I will finish any of the above mentioned books this weekend?  I have no major plans for the next few days.  Will my family let me cozy up in a quilt and read and nap over the next few days?  Ah, dreaming....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Story Contest


Do you want to read some new Christmas stories no one has read yet? Then hop on over to ldspublisher.blogspot.com for a Christmas story contest.

There are 24 stories you can vote on. 15 stories are from published authors and 9 are from unpublished authors.
My story is under the 'unpublished' author section! So make sure to read and vote on those stories! :)
I can't tell you which one is mine, but it will still be fun to read some new Christmas stories.

The rules for voting are on her blog but I'll also post them here:

Voting Rules:
VOTE any time from 12:01 a.m. on December 14th through 11:59 p.m. on December 20th. Time stamp on the voting comment determines whether or not your vote will count.

Anyone who visits this blog may vote.

You may make all the comments you like, but VOTING COMMENTS must clearly indicate that it is a vote. (Ex: I'm voting for this one...)

You may vote twice in each category: Published and Unpublished. You may only vote once per story. We're on the honor system here.

Easiest way to read and vote:To read the stories by Published Authors, click THIS Link, read the stories and vote for two.

To read the stories by Unpublished Authors, click on THIS Link, read the stories and vote for two.

You MAY vote for yourself.

You can vote by whatever criteria you want, just don't make it a popularity contest.

All stories have been posted anonymously. You may take credit for your story after the winners have been announced.

Authors, please let your friends know that you've entered this contest and encourage them to come vote, but don't tell them which story is yours.

We want the stories to win on merit, not the popularity of the author.
Due to the previously mentioned personal issue, I will announce the winners on Monday, December 22nd. I will post comments on the stories beginning December 22nd and continue until I've commented on every story.

Then I will take a break until the new year.Good luck everyone!LDSP

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twas the last good nights sleep

by Kim Golling

 

Twas the Night before inauguration, when all through the White House

Not a President or an Elect was sleeping, not even a gray haired mouse.

 

The Speeches were done, laid by the chimney with care

In hopes that ‘St. Nick’s Proofreading & Editing’ soon would be there

 

The Cabinet Members were nestled all snug with the Feds

While visions of Grandeur danced in their heads

 

And Mrs. “O” in her Armani and Mr. “O” with his cigs

Had just settled back to enjoy more Bush digs

 

When somewhere between the West Wing and the East

There arouse such a clatter, a big bang at the least

 

Away went the Secret Service to see what’s the buzz

Called out the National Guard and woke up the fuzz

 

The Moon shimmered somewhat, but dimmed by the smog

That’s what the environmentalists said, but it was really just fog

 

When what to the wondering eye should appear

But a van driving up, lights off and in low gear

 

With a little old driver so sly and so slick

I knew it was the editing services of little old St. Nick’s

 

More wicked and evil their courses they came

Mr. “O” whistled and chortled then called them by name

 

Reverend Wright, good to see you, help Miss Streisand from the van

Mayor Daley, Good Ol’ Tony, please help if you can

 

There was Ayer and George Clooney, even Oprah joined the crew

“Quick, down the tunnel, Whoopi, hurry, you too!”

 

The raucous that was caused earlier was just a sly scheme

To distract the police squads and the whole Secret Service Team

 

And then in a pounding, you could hear them all run

Down the corridor, up the passageway, happy he’d won

 

They made their way past the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room and West Wing

Past many other rooms of Blue, Red, even Green

 

A stack full of papers they clutched tight to their breast

They must get this done there was no time to rest

 

Mr. “O”’s eyes how they crinkled, his smirk ever so daring

His cheeks how they raised as he smiled, his teeth baring

 

His dull little mouth was drawn tight in a kink

As the cigarette butts in the ashtray were starting to stink

 

The end of a cigarette held tight in his lips

And the smoke it encircled him as he stood hands on hips

 

He had an announcement “I’m in quite a pinch”

For a moment he looked stunningly like the Grinch

 

A wink of his eye and a nod of his head

Soon gave me that sinking, horrible feeling of dread

 

They spoke many words as they shuffled his speech to eliminate all flaw

Many promises, lower taxes, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah

 

And reaching to shake hands to all who helped out

Giving a nod, he thanked all and slept well, no doubt

 

But to those who stand stunned at the majority of the nation

Don’t be glum, don’t turn the dial, don’t change the station

 

It’s only four years to endure the pain and to suffer

We’ve had harder times, really much tougher

 

But as we bid farewell to President George W. Bush

Store your food, save your money, buy more guns, save your own tush

 

As we exclaim ere we hide in our cellar

Merry Christmas to all, 2012 will be stellar!

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Books and Toys and Chocolate


Have you been to visit Pleasant Grove's newest book/toy/candy store? If not, you really should stop by and browse their great selections of all the above merchandise. And while you are there, you can by me some gourmet TAFFY CANDY! :)




Provident Book & Humdinger Toys announces its amazing Refer-a-Friend Gift Certificate! Sign up on our website to get an instant coupon for use in the store. Then tell all your friends about it and you'll be entered to WIN a $50 In-Store Gift Certificate!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Quotable Monday


Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.  Lenore Hershey

Friday, December 5, 2008

Contest time

Suzanne Reese just published her first novel!

Here is a link to her blog if you want to win Amazon $$ (and who doesn't want to buy a book?)

http://chocolatedaydreams.blogspot.com/2008/12/contest-contest-contest.html

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Review


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I finally got my copy of this book from the library.  I was anxious to read this much heralded lecture.  
My first impression: I was surprised at the smallness of the book. 
My second impression: book filled with fun stories that didn't change my life.

I did love reading about his childhood dreams and how they came true.  All of us have childhood dreams.  Being a writer was the only one I could remember.  Maybe I will go back to my journals I kept when I was young and see if I wrote dreams.

I did pick up a few ideas from the book:

If there is an elephant in the room, introduce it.  You can't ignore an elephant or sickness that is looming in the room.

Keep teaching and pushing your children.  Teach them the fundamentals.  For me, I want to make sure my children understand the fundamentals of the gospel: Prayer and scriptures.

Fundamentals in home life means everyone pitches in with chores, cooking, etc and learning and serving.

And lastly, If you don't understand something,  be willing to admit it and keep trying until you do understand.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Random Book Quote







Here is this week's random passage from the most current book by the side of my bed:

"I tried to remember if I had any meds in my bag.  I might have something in my small bag. But I would have to get some strength in my limbs to get up and unzip the bag.  I would have to find more strength to search the dark recesses for the green bottle.  Just thinking about getting to my bag took the little strength I  had to keep my eyes open. 

I fell asleep again.

I woke sweat drenched. My sheet was wet. My eyes were crusted.  I couldn't open them.  I listened to the sounds of the hut.  Father was not snoring.  It didn't sound like he was around.  The heat in the hut was oppressive.  My throat ached. I needed to get to water.  I thought of the creek behind Old Man Hattie's hut. "

Last week's random book passage: 

"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch

Monday, December 1, 2008

I wrote a novel in under 30 days

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

In 2007, we had over 100,000 participants. More than 15,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.


I wrote 50,497 words from November 4-30!  

I did it! Yeah! I did it!  

It was  fun and hard and exasperating but I buckled down and wrote a novel! :)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Book Quote

Guess the book!

"I live in the computer age and I love it here!  I have long embraced pixels, multi-screen work stations and the information superhighway. I really can picture a paperless world. 

And yet, I grew up in a very different place.

When I was born in 1960, paper was where great knowledge was recorded.  in my house, all through the 1960s and 1970s, our family worshipped the World Book Encyclopedia---the photos, the maps, the flags of different countries, the handy sidebars revealing each state's population, motto and average elevation."

LAST WEEK'S BOOK WAS:
ABINADI by H.B. MOORE

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight Movie Previews WARNING

When is it appropriate to show previews of rated 'R' movies before 'PG13' movies? Apparently if the movie business is marketing to teens.

The first preview that is shown before the "Twilight" is called... I don't want to give the movie any free publicity but it is rated 'R' and it is SCARY!! It is about a girl who had a twin brother. You'll know the preview when a little boy hits the babysitter hard in the face with a book or something.

The young teenagers I was with all screamed during the preview and talked about how scary it was at least 3-4 that night. Many wished they would have covered their eyes. It did lead to a good discussion on the topic of why the prophets counsel us not to watch rated 'R' shows and being careful with 'PG13' movies as well. The images that are in the girls heads from the preview left an lasting impression. A few even voiced concerns about having nightmares.

If you are taking a young teenager BEWARE! I don't know how to avoid the previews except to get to the movie late or cover your eyes. We saw 5 previews before "Twilight" started. 3 of the 5 are rated 'R' movies! It's getting harder to protect ourselves and our children. I am going to talk to the manager of our theater. I would urge everyone with young teens to talk to the managers of theaters about the previews. It may not change Hollywood, but it we can change our neighborhoods!

Friday, November 21, 2008



Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Contest Time! I need your help!


This is part of an email I'll be sending out to my friends. Since we're all friends here, please consider yourself invited to spread the word and win prizes! Send a message to five friends, or post something on your blog, and I'll enter you to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Just copy me or send the link to: contest @ suzannevreese.com. Even bigger prizes are available if you actually read the book and recommend it! Finally, one last favor to take note of: if you've decided to buy the book (just cause you love me or whatever) please do it ON DECEMBER 11 FROM AMAZON!

See my website for a preview or more info!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Abinadi by H.B. Moore


Abinadi by  H.B. Moore

I was in bed reading and 3/4 of the way through
Abinadi when I decided I should go to sleep.  It's probably 11-11:30 PM, I thought to myself.  I put the shut the book and looked at the clock.  
It was 1 AM.  
I couldn't put the book down!  I needed to know what would happen to Abinadi, Raquel, and Alma. 

Heather Moore has taken a small but significant scripture story from the Book of Mormon and enlarged it to a rich scriptural novel.

The story begins with a young Abinadi who has a small crush on a local girl who happens to be the daughter of a high priest in King Noah's court. 
King Noah is an adulterous, greedy whoremonger who bullies his court and people.  He doesn't like being told he is sinning.  He doesn't like being told he and his people must repent.  And when Adinadi starts preaching about sin and repentance, King Noah doesn't like him.

One of King Noah's high priests, Alma, learned the gospel while he was young.  He struggles with what is right and wrong but gives in to the carnal temptations of the court. When Abinadi preaches to King Noah and his priests, Alma knows the prophet is speaking the truth and tries to stop his death.  But King Noah will have both men killed.  Alma must run for his life.

Heather has added a couple of fillers for this lean scripture story.  She filled out Abinadi's life with a mother, wife and baby. Abinadi's wife, Raquel, is the only child of a wealthy couple. Her father is Amulon, high priest to King Noah.  There are also other religious leaders like Gideon, who have wives and families.  Their fictional parts in the book help bring real emotion to the story.

Heather's attention to detail is woven well throughout her book.  Reading about the food, clothing, customs and ceremonies in Abinadi's time brought richness to her story.  The historical details helped move the story along and make it realistic without taking me out of the story.

Abinadi is a book everyone will want to buy for their personal libraries.  A book that can be read again and again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Book

Today is Random Book Day. 

I randomly pick a passage or quote from a book I am reading.  And you try and guess the book!

'Her mother was sorting through her things.  She held up a set iridescent quetzel feathers. "Wear these in your hair with your turquoise and red tunic.  Wrap it tightly so your figure shows."

Raquel opened her mouth but was too surprised at her mother's words to answer.  Her mother wanted her to impress the king!  Raquel looked at her mother's face.  Itzel wore a tight, pinched look---very task-oriented.  She showed no emotion in preparing her daughter for this event.  It was simply a duty.

Angle flamed in Raquel's chest; she felt betrayed.  Her parents feared the invitation from the king, and now her mother seemed to accept it---embrace it even.  That meant that her father had ordered it so.  Hopelessness descended on her as her mother started combing through Raquels' tangles.  Soon her hair would shine like cooper.  Suddenly she had the urge to run from the room and cut off all her hair.  Surely the king would lose his interest then.'



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Books and Looks

Here is a shout out to all the wonderful people I meet down at the new bookstore, Provident Book in PG!

I spent large chunks of my Saturday hobnobbing with some of Utah's author. Local authors. One from Orem, one from Lehi, another from Sandy, all close enough to be my friend. Not that I am lacking in friends; they probably aren't either. But after I talked to a few of them I felt I could be friends with them. Besides being down-to-earth, fun and helpful, they didn't laugh when I said I wrote a book.So this is a plug for all the authors today who didn't laugh at me!
Buy their books!

Michele Bell Ashman
A Modest Proposal
The Spirit of Christmas
Perfect Timing
A Candle in the Window

Heather B. Moore (or H.B. Moore)
The Out of Jerusalem series (4 books)
Abinadi

Tristi Pinkston
Season of Sacrifice
Strength to Endure
Nothing to Regret

And I will put a plug in for the store because they didn't boot me out when they saw me again. And again. And again. I know the owners/managers at Provident Book would love for you to buy ALL these books at their bookstore. Don't forget to look at the toys and games.Go on! Go look!

Here are some links:
http://www.providentbook.blogspot.com/
http://www.micheleashmanbell.com/
http://www.hbmoore.com/
http://www.tristipinkston.com/

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New LDS bookstore in Pleasant Grove!!!

Don't forget to visit the new LDS bookstore on state street in Pleasant Grove (near the PG rodeo grounds).

Provident Book, 661 W State 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FarWorld by J. Scott Savage


"Take courage-the magic is already inside you"

How many times do we wonder if we have what it takes to move forward, to conquer fears, to do a really hard task? 

Marcus and Kyja are finding out in Mr. Savages book, "FarWorld: Book One" and they must find their own magic. Is the magic strength, brilliant ideas, bravery, compassion or is it really magic? 

Mr. Savages book is a fun, intense, fast-moving fantasy. I had to keep reading because of the twists and turns the story takes. The book is good, clean reading with humor and lessons throughout.

I enjoyed watching Marcus and Kyja grow and learn and come to terms with what they thought were their weaknesses. 

The book is obvious in pointing out black and white, good and bad, scary and safe.  I will admit, the bad guys made me nervous!  How do two thirteen year-old kids stay out of the clutches of evil and save their two worlds?  

We won't know until the NEXT book comes out!  Are you done writing Book Two, Mr. Savage??

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New LDS bookstore in Pleasant Grove!!!

New LDS Bookstore Opening in Pleasant Grove UT

The following message was sent to me by a reader and since I'm all about promoting LDS books, I decided I would post it here. I may regret this if I get bombarded with everyone who wants to promote their business, but I'm taking a chance and hoping it won't get out of hand.

Dear LDS Publisher,

I know you don't usually do advertisements like this, but I thought perhaps you would make an exception in this case. 

There is a new independent LDS bookstore opening this weekend, November 8th, in Pleasant Grove, Utah. It's called Provident Book, and it's located at 661 W State, Pleasant Grove. It's just north of the PG Rodeo Grounds and in the same strip of shops as Timpanogos Cyclery. 

As I'm sure you're aware, it's been a long time since there was an independent bookstore in this area and we're excited to be opening it. We hope your readers that are local to us will come by for a visit and will support us in our efforts to make books by smaller presses readily available to the public. Of course, we'll carry books from the "big guys" as well. 

To celebrate our Grand Opening, we will have over 30 authors there signing books throughout the day. They will include David G. Woolley, H.B. Moore, Rachel Ann Nunes, Jennie Hansen, Michelle Ashman Bell, N.C. Allen, Julie Coulter Bellon, Tristi Pinkston, and Angela Hallstrom—just to mention a few. You can find a full list and the schedule here

Our store will also carry a fabulous line of toys and games for all ages, LDS CDs and DVDs, and lots more. For a sneak peek, you can visit my personal blog. You'll also find a printable coupon for 25% off any one item there. 

I hope all your readers in the Utah County area will come by and visit—and bring their Christmas shopping list. You will be amazed by what we have!

Thanks (in advance) for helping us spread the word.

Karlene Browning, Asst. Manager
Provident Book/Humdinger Toys

P.S. LDSP—if you come to the store and reveal your true identity, I'll give you an extra discount. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Book Review






"Dollmage" by Martine Leavitt

My DD and I loved "Keturah and Lord Death" by this same author.  Her storytelling draws you into the story and keeps you there, rooting for the hero only for the story to take a different path.


"Dollmage" is no different. Strictly fantasy, this story is about the storyteller of the village, the Dollmage.  She is growing old and must have a successor.  She predicts that on a certain day, the new dollmage will be born.  And on that day, four children are born: two girls and two boys. She picks one girl over the other because of her pride has been hurt.  
The dollmage gives dolls that will bring comfort, peace, and tell of future promises.

As in any village, there are certain laws and expectations.  This village is no different.  Promises are kept and very rarely broken because it is punishable by death.  But who is to say that a promise given because another is extorted is a promise?

The dollmage's story was hard to hear: her pettiness and pride and the ripple effect they have on the entire village.

Interesting story.  I would recommend this book for old teens.

NEXT REVIEW: FARWORLD


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update

I could spend all day updating my blog!  
Time spent well and wasted.
Looking at all the backgrounds and widgets and specials I can add! 
And Murphy's Law takes it hold: I have to look through everything before I go back to the first one I looked at and liked the best!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What if...

YAWN!

Oh! My teeth feel like they have fur growing on them.  How awful!  And my breath is as strong as a dragon's!  I need to find suitable sticks to scrap my teeth.
What is that nasty frog doing on my bed again?
Did he, did I feel him kiss me? Ugh!
How many times do I need to throw him out the window for him to get the point? 
The moat is out THERE!
I need to get up and catch him...
I can't move very well.  I feel stiff like a gingerbread cookie. 
And I am hungry!
Where is the bell to ring for my lady's in waiting?
Where are my fairies?
What room am I in?
Why am I in the north tower?
What is going on here?
Get a grip, Aurora.
Why is that frog looking at me?  
Were the fairies telling the truth about kissing frogs?
No.  Snow White kissed one and got a wart on her lip.  No she kissed a dwarf.
This frog looks intelligent.  Maybe I...
What am I thinking?

Monday, October 13, 2008

What if...

What if I asked you to finish a paragraph from 'what if'?

Try it!  You will be surprised at the story that will come out of your head.

Here we go...

"What if your character was Sleeping Beauty but it wasn't Prince Charming who woke her up?"


Monday, October 6, 2008

Writing


I love to write.  It may not be good or change the world but I get such a lift from writing!  When I turn off my computer for the day I feel recharged.  The mommy juice is full again!  My family should be grateful I take time to write.  Alas, it also means many things fall by the wayside like a clean house.  But who cares when mommy is happy!
I have a hard time on Mondays though.  The kids and I have decided we will not play computers, XBox or Ninetendo DS on Mondays.  (They are at school right now and Zach is watching cartoons so don't tell them what I am doing right now...on Monday!)  
I have been editing my first book and finding problems or places that need some meat on the bones.  I've been writing down blurbs in my notebook that need fixed. On Sundays and Mondays I just write in my notebook and try and 'feed' my story.  And the time away gives me a break from the story itself which can be very good.
I've noticed with this story I get more in depth writing down when I sit down and have pen met paper.  
I guess I'd better mind myself and get off the computer.  I'm looking forward to writing today instead of typing! I'm getting butterflies thinking about it! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I felt small enough to fit inside the pothole I was on.
I shivered.
The road was littered with debris- a brown shoe, pair of glasses, road map, backpack, a white sheet.
I turned my head away when my eyes fell on the white sheet.
I heard no noise except my labor breathing.
No one came for me.
I was alone.
I wanted mom.
I pulled my legs in closer to my chest and wrapped my arms around them.
I rested my head on my knees and watched drops ripple on the pavement.
The glare of the lights didn’t touch me but I saw their reflection in the rain: blue, white, red, blue, white, red.
“Cassidy?”
The word suddenly exploded with all the noise and pain I had been holding away.
“Mom?” I screamed hysterically.
“Cassidy?” Mom’s hysteria climbed. “Where’s my daughter?”
“We’ve accounted for everyone,” was the answer.
“My daughter was in the car with her dad!” Mom screamed.
I watched long inhuman shadows fall across me and move on. I heard my name again and again.
I screamed in answer.
“Cassidy?” I filtered Mom’s voice through the chaos.
“Mom! Please!”
“Here! I found her!”
I closed my eyes and let go.
I was safe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Book #1


I am not sure how I want to run this blog so I'm just going to write pieces of my first book and see how it looks in print!


I could see them all around me, their faces stunned.
My confession sickened them; it sickened me.
I dropped the rock.
No on would want me now. No sphere was bold enough to draw me into its residence.  
I felt a hand on my arm but when I turned it was no one. Just a breeze glancing against my skin.
I bent down to my pack like a rheumatoid victim, slowly, not allowing my joints to fully bend. I connected the pack around my waist and started off in the direction I hoped was home.
"You are nothing!" The hiss took flight and stabbed me. My steps halted.
"You have and always will be in the shadows."
I raised my eyebrows in surprise.  "That was impressive, Alyson." I said
"What?" 
I twisted my upper body to look at her.  My lower body slowly caught up.
"That sentence sounded literary."
"I, what??"  She glared and I smiled.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shout Out!

This is a shout out to the universe!
I AM WRITING A BOOK!
NO!
TWO BOOKS!
NO!
THREE BOOKS!
YES! THREE BOOKS!
AND THEY WILL BE PUBLISHED! AND!
ONE WILL GET THE NEWBERRY!!


So I'd better get to work!