Showing posts from 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. …

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

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....

Christmas Story Contest

Do you want to read some new Christmas stories no one has read yet? Then hop on over to 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 t…
Twas the last good nights sleepby Kim GollingTwas the Night before inauguration, when all through the White HouseNot a President or an Elect was sleeping, not even a gray haired mouse.The Speeches were done, laid by the chimney with careIn hopes that ‘St. Nick’s Proofreading & Editing’ soon would be thereThe Cabinet Members were nestled all snug with the FedsWhile visions of Grandeur danced in their headsAnd Mrs. “O” in her Armani and Mr. “O” with his cigsHad just settled back to enjoy more Bush digsWhen somewhere between the West Wing and the EastThere arouse such a clatter, a big bang at the leastAway went the Secret Service to see what’s the buzzCalled out the National Guard and woke up the fuzzThe Moon shimmered somewhat, but dimmed by the smogThat’s what the environmentalists said, but it was really just fogWhen what to the wondering eye should appearBut a van driving up, lights off and in low gearWith a little old driver so sly and so slickI knew it was the editing services …

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! :)

Refer-A-Friend Gift Certificate

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!

Quotable Monday

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

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?)

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'…

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

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 NaNoWriMosuperstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They wal…

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."

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 B…
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 @ 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!

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 w…

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 u…

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)

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 Provi…

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  New & Updated Coupon!

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??

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 …

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 pe…


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!

What if...

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?

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?"


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 NinetendoDS 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 wh…
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.
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 thro…

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 smil…

Shout Out!

This is a shout out to the universe!

So I'd better get to work!