Monday, June 27, 2011

Feel-Good Moments are the Best

Like most things, a writer's world is full of ups and downs. When a friend comes along to sweeten the pot by giving me an award just to say she cares and wishes me all the best, those are the moments that keep us going. Brenda Sills just awarded me the Sweet Blog Award. Yipee! Brenda has a great blog already and she just started. Check it out at

Now I get to tell you 7 random things about myself: (Gulp! Feeling exposed.)

1. Get ready to ooh and aah. Soooo cute. I just had grandbabies number 12 and 13 within 24 hours of each other. Grandmothering is the best. The oldest is only six. We had four boys born in the same year! And my youngest of six children just graduated from HS so we're not through yet! (Sorry--I couldn't get the picture to turn.)

2. Best weight-loss tip: long hours of physical labor. I learned to use power tools that I never imagined using while building our house. Wish the weight would have stayed off once life returned to normal. Here's the mosaic tile mural I created on a wet bar backsplash. I cut all the pieces with a tile saw.

3. My passion for writing exploded once we were settled in our new home. Finding a great critique group made all the difference in the world. Before that, music composition was how I spent my free time. I took a music composition class for non-majors at BYU (very intimidating). From then on it was learn by trail and error. Several of my works have been performed in our church choir, among other places. Music (many kinds) brings me joy.

4. I had a double wedding (technically back-to-back) with my sister who is one year and one day older than I. We never forget one another's anniversary or birthday.

5. I graduated from BYU with a BS in Clothing and Textiles. They don't even have that major listed today. Yes, I can sew but I don't do it much anymore. Moving on to other things.

6. I don't watch much TV but we do get Netflix movies. One TV show I like is Chopped. I've entered a few cooking contests and won a laptop computer when they were brand new. It was a tiny thing that printed on a roll of tape. The model was outdated by the time it arrived in the mail. The recipe was a cookie using Triscuit crackers. I was this close *pressing fingers together* to winning the grand prize of $10,000. Oh well! 

7. I've traveled to 15 countries. 11 of them were in a single trip with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when my husband sang with them. We spent our thirtieth anniversary in Italy with my sister and brother-in-law (mentioned above). I'd love to write a story set in Florence or Venice sometime.

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me better. Thanks again to Brenda Sills. She got me a couple new followers. Now it's time to pass this award along to five blogging buddies who's blogs you'll want to check out and follow:
Rebecca Clayson -
Tamara Passey -
Carolyn Frank -
Congratulations, Friends!
To claim your award:
1. Copy and paste the award to your blog. 
2. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
3. Share seven random facts about yourself.
4. Pass the award along to 5 deserving blogging buddies.
5. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Love-Hate Thing

Computers drive me crazy sometimes. And yet I don’t think I’d be a writer without them. I realize there are benefits to writing long-hand, but revisions would become a nightmare. I would get writer’s cramp for sure! Yes, I’m thankful for the dang things. I just hate learning how to fix things the hard way.
Current problem: I can’t comment on my own blog and some other (but not all) blogs. It’s been reported that some haven’t been able to comment on mine but a few comments have appeared. I am anonymous! What’s the deal? Anybody have ideas for me? We tried clearing the history cache without seeing a change. Help!

Monday, June 13, 2011

True Emotion

  This promises to be a momentous week for me and my family. Grandbabies number twelve and thirteen are scheduled to arrive. Separate sets of parents—not twins. Talk about excitement! I can almost smell sweet baby scents and practically feel buttery, soft skin under my fingers by just thinking about it. These events will encompass a gamut of emotions from the wonder of holding a sweet bundle in my arms to the sorrow of letting one of them return to his Heavenly Father. That’s right. One of these grandsons has a serious heart condition that would require multiple surgeries to prolong his chance for more time on this earth. Emotions I’ve never experienced will likely course through my body within the next few weeks.
  Two choices were presented to the couple once the diagnosis was made and after much pondering and prayer, they have elected not to go through with the first surgery. Human judgments have and will be passed on them for this course of action. It’s part of what people do because emotion drives them. In the end, the only factors of importance deal with coming to the same peaceful conclusion between husband, wife, and God. All other emotions that might be hurled at them are legitimate feelings even while the choice is not for others to make. When faced with the same situation a different time, there could be an equally right, opposite conclusion.
  Just as there are no blanket judgments right for any given situation, there are no emotions that can be easily dismissed without a catalyst or cause. This is as true in real life as it is for our fictional characters. Characters should feel real emotions—good and bad, proper or not—according to their personalities and experiences. Writers strive for readers to feel an emotional connection with their characters. Readers will pass judgment as to whether this was accomplished based on their own frame of reference and experience. This may be why I connect to a character that you do not and vice versa. We don’t all love the same books or characters, but the overall popular ones are those characters who show emotion that rings true with each reaction.
  I can’t help but think that each of our emotional experiences not only helps us feel deeper empathy for real life people but can help us connect with fictional characters we read about or bring to life through our written words.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Milestones--Are You Graduating?

  My baby graduated from High School and LDS Seminary this past week. Another milestone in the journey. Hoorah! A proud moment indeed for all concerned. I'm sure you can relate.
  Soon he will be off to college and I will graduate into the realm of old people--empty nesters. Whoa. I'm not quite ready to call myself old, even if I'm a grandma, my body has it's own complaints, and grey hairs are springing up. But it got me thinking: What am I really graduating from? Can I say that I have passed a milestone of my own? Have I continued learning and refining my writing craft, followed through with some goals?
  I doubt any of us can say we are hundred percenters. It's a process. It takes continual (but not constant) effort. We don't want to burn out, we want to shine. Take it one milestone at a time. My next writing goal is to get something ready to send off to the LUW contest. What milestones are you reaching?