Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Back

Okay, I haven't posted here for a while, because, quite frankly, I didn't think anyone was reading, but I was encouraged to discover that Janet K. Jensen posted my book review on her blog, so I guess I'll keep on keepin' on. I have family members and friends who do wonderful, cute blogs all about their families, and I could do something more like that, I guess, and at least get my family to read, but I want to keep this on a more professional level and concentrate on writing. Coming up with new things to post all the time is the challenge of that, however. Who knew you could get writer's block on a blog?

The book review thing seems to work, and I do read enough to keep that up. I, like so many others, got swept up in the "Twilight" series, and Stephenie's adult novel, "The Host." I went to see the movie, "Twilight," yesterday. I liked it, and thought it followed the story pretty well. I have to admit some professional jealousy at Ms. Meyer's Cinderella success story, however. For most of us, it simply doesn't happen that quickly or easily. I, too, live in the Phoenix area and would love to take her to lunch and pick her brain. Whatdya say, Steph? It's on me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Book Review

Janet Kay Jensen was a presenter at the Cedar Fort Writer's Conference. Her book, "Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys" is a fun and entertaining story about two people with conflicting lifestyles who meet at medical school and fall in love, but go their separate ways. She is a polygamist and returns to her community to practice medicine, which gives an interesting look at that belief system. He is a Mormon and moves to Kentucky to set up a small practice. They never forget each other, though, and the story takes you through their ups and downs , wondering if they'll get back together.

For those who still believe that Mormons are polygamists, this book addresses those issues and differences in an informative yet entertaining way. And for anyone else, it's simply a fun read.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Divided We Fall

I recently forwarded a political e-mail which caused a maelstrom from people I love and care deeply about. I couldn't help but think, if this campaign has polarized my family so completely, what is it doing to our nation? We're supposed to be "one nation, under God." Yes, I said it, "under God." I'm an American citizen and the First Amendment applies. We are a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles. You don't have to believe in God to enjoy the freedoms these principles assure, and that many have fought and died for, but you ought to at least respect the rights of those who do.

"Indivisible." That's the next word in our Pledge of Allegiance. That's what we were after 9/11. That's the common goal of burning patriotism and love of God and country. "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." -Alexis de Tocqueville

Whatever the outcome of this campaign, it is my sincere hope and prayer that America will reunite in solidarity and love for all that is good and right.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Room for Two"

I read Abel Keogh's book "Room for Two" about his comeback from the traumatic experience of having his wife kill herself while she was seven months pregnant with their daughter. I found it to be a poignant and heart-rending tale. From the first paragraph I got the impression he didn't get along with his wife, so I was surprised to find how deeply in love he was with her. It's a courageous story full of wonderful descriptions. I would have enjoyed even more details about some of the people and experiences he had, and his family members, but would definitely recommend this book. And don't worry, it has a happy ending.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Getting Started

Have you ever had an idea and thought it would make a good story, but end up staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen? Or don't even make it that far because you're paralyzed with the fear that you won't be able to properly translate to a page the thoughts in your head? One of the ideas that most helps me start writing was from a book called "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, in which she says we have to give ourselves permission to write a "@#$%%* first draft" (loosely translated to "crappy first draft").

Ms. Lamott points out that every writer who sits down to type isn't in a euphoric state where words flow effortlessly onto the page. Most of us are full of self-doubt and fear, so it's important to just start typing and get something down. We can always go back and fix it later. In fact, a friend of hers put it this way, "...the first draft is the down draft. You just get it down. The second draft is the up draft -- you fix it up." So just get started! "Begin, the rest is easy." (That's what my mom used to tell me. I don't know where the original quote comes from.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Idea

I'll share how the idea for my novel, "Forgotten Love," came about. I got to know my husband in college because it wasn't safe not to. He and his friends were quite the pranksters and it was safer to be on their good side.

He hates this part, but I never considered him for a romantic interest, we were just friends. He was much too wild for my tastes, and besides, I was writing to a missionary. But, he happens to be an excellent dancer, and we started entering disco contests together and my interest grew. Little did I know, he had designs on me all along, but he used to tell me, "You're so close to worthless it scares me to death." So I honestly believed that if either of us was to start liking the other, it would be me.

But "alls well that ends well," and we got married. I've always made up stories in my head to pass the time when I had nothing else to occupy my mind, and the first part of our marriage I commuted from Ogden to Salt Lake to work, which gave me plenty of time to think.

Considering the complexity of our courtship, one of the questions I asked myself was, "If I were to lose my memory then meet my husband again, would I be instantly in love, or would he have to woo me all over again?"

Thus, around this question I created a scenario that turned into a story and eventually ended up as a novel, "Forgotten Love." You'll have to read it to find out the answer!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Birth of a Novel.

Through much external pressure, I've finally been convinced of the value of blogging and the necessity of my joining one of this centuries greatest communication tools. So here is my first entry. I hope that someone, somewhere may possibly read it. This is my first baby step to getting my own website (and truthfully, for others of you from a more advanced generation who might be as frightened as I was, it wasn't hard at all.)

My novel, "Forgotten Love," published by Cedar Fort came out in April 2007. Now, I have to admit that the experience was a bit like building a tree house. You know the old story of how exciting it is to anticipate, collect materials, start building and chatter with your buddies about all the great times you're going to have when it's finished, then when it's done, you never go up there again.

This was my first novel, so getting it accepted was the thrill of a lifetime. The fun of e-mailing back and forth to editors, publicists and the like was intoxicating. And the sheer elation I felt when I finally saw the cover and it all became a reality was the most excitement I've experienced in a long time.

Then when the book finally came, it was great and all, but truthfully, not as thrilling as the steps getting to that point. Dumb, huh? But now I had to get out of my comfort zone from behind my computer and go to work. I lined up book signings and even a tv appearance on Good Day Arizona. They went okay, but unless your name is Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling, book signings aren't as glamorous as they're made out to be in the movies. I felt more like Nicolas Cage's assistant in "National Treasure 2."

So when the initial hubbub died down and I'd given away copies to most my family and friends, I retreated back behind my computer to work on my next novel and pretty much gave up. Then I attended the Author's Appreciation Dinner at Cedar Fort, and subsequently, the Writer's Conference held there this past Saturday (June 7th), and I've had new hope and enthusiasm pumped into my veins. Thus, this Blog and soon to come, my own website.

Was anyone else's experience like mine? Or did you all hit the ground running?