Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

2009 . . . here at last! I have soooo been waiting for 2008 to be over! Honestly, as bad as the economy and all that was getting, I'm trying to be positive and think - it can only get better from here, right?

So with a new year comes those always interesting resolutions. Personally, I've decided that I'm going to be less specific and more realistic about mine. For example, instead of saying I'm going to lose a certain amount of weight, I'm going with (resolution #6 in a long list) cut down on soda and junk food consumption, thereby living a healthier lifestyle. Another example, instead of saying I am going to finish X number of manuscripts, I'm going with (resolution #2 in said list) keep writing.

So here's to being realistic, happy and most of all, seeing the positive side of things. Happy New Year to everyone! Hopefully we all have a great 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Lot of Words

Happy Holidays!

So my holiday lesson has been mostly about chicken pox. So Elise had chicken pox and got over it just in time for our family party on Christmas Eve. She's been such a trooper, no fussing, no crying, no scratching! If ever there was a time for a kid to get chicken pox I suppose that 6-7 month old time frame is ideal. Her sister, however, suddenly had spots last night. But they look different and are in different places. We're keeping our fingers crossed that its just an allergic reaction and will go away. Bring on the Benadryl!

In other news, I finished my third manuscript. A different main character and I found that the first two manuscripts have been great background help in developing this third manuscript. Now I am just going through and doing my edits, trying to keep myself from adding more to the storyline. Beefing up existing is one thing, adding more is a complete other issue and that is what I've found myself guilty of time and again. My goal is to keep it around 110,000 words. Yeah, I know, that's a lot of words. I've still got a LOOOONG ways to go to get myself down to that, but at this point I'd settle for 120,000.

And just a question for anyone - if anyone is out there . . . SpongeBob: Love or Hate?

Okay, well happy rest of the holidays to everyone! I'm off to chase away the wind monster that is outside Peyton's window.


Have a great day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Days and Chicken Pox

In light of my mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee ... I thought I'd pop in with some general updates ... It's been snowing pretty consistently on/off for about a week now, so I guess it is really safe to say that winter is upon us. Thanks to an extended maternity leave in the middle of the year, my three weeks of vacation has granted me extra time off now, so I've got some extra mommy-kid time. I have to say, that is awesome! I really miss the girls when I go off to work every day and this is great. It's also great to hear when our 3 year old tells me that she loves to stay at home instead of going to pre-school or to her grandparents' house.

On another note, the baby has chicken pox. At 7 months, she hasn't been vaccinated yet, and then when my husband went to give her a bath, he freaked out about all the spots that she had. We had a quick trip to the dr. who told us that what she had could possibly be chicken pox. Or not. What does that even mean? It would be nice to have a better answer, I mean, isn't that one of the many reasons we pay for their services? I don't really want to hear "well, it could be, but I'm not sure, so just keep an eye on her. If it is then do this and this, if not then don't worry." I could have just sent a picture from my cell phone and probably got the same answer. If they offered that service. Which actually ... hmmm that sounds like a good business idea....

Anyway ... back to the snow ... here's a couple pictures of Peyton enjoying the snow! Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

I know, I know ... I'm trying to be better about the whole blogging thing, but things have been crazy!! In all my purging and end of year clean up I stumbled on an email that was forwarded to me and I thought it was important enough to share.
* * * * * *
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked."It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Swimming Pools and Diving Boards


Secondly - did everyone go out and vote yesterday? Remember - you can't complain if you didn't make your voice heard. Okay, off my soapbox now and we're moving on. . .

I was driving home the other day and I had an epiphany. I called my sister and said something along the lines of "I know you've read all of my first manuscript and are working on reading my second, but I think these are things that are not meant to be published." Needless to say, she went on a rant about my leaving her hanging (even though she hasn't even read all the second one yet, so she doesn't even know if I've left her hanging).

So, yes, I'm done with two manuscripts. But they were more historical references for me for my future adventures with these characters. Like, I've designed the pool, laid out the tile/cement - whatever it is that you lay the bottoms/sides of pools with, built the diving board, and are now just about to leap on in. Except. . . I've been hanging halfway off the diving board for the last year, you know, even before it was built, because I now know what happened before what I started writing about a year ago. . . hmmm, did that even make any sense? lack of sleep must be wearing on me. . .

With two manuscripts under my belt now, I'm feeling pretty good, even if I only have a pile of rejection letters and two fans to show for it. My goal now is to be able to tell the stories I started out telling a year ago, now that I've built my diving board and swimming pool.

That's the update for now! Have a happy happy day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two Minutes

So I have had something running in my head since ... well since before I woke up this morning. You know that feeling, when you're half awake and half asleep and arguing with the alarm clock because you absolutely DO NOT want to get up and ruin whatever is running in your head? Well that was my morning. And then, I get into the office and I have been on the phone non-stop. I haven't even had time to get it the brain buzz on paper yet! Just thought I'd swing by and say that... maybe it will turn into something. Maybe not. Okay, need to make the most of this two minute break! Have a good day!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Happy October, everyone!

Can't you feel the changes in the air? I love it! The season for scarves and sweaters is coming / here - depending on the time of day, you know, since this is Utah we're living in. Freezing in the morning, sweltering by noon, raining like a flood at 3:00 pm and then hot at night. You just never know!

Well, we did get childcare worked out -for anyone who was interested, but it sure is expensive when you're not family! The girls are excited for the new pre-school / daycare setup and we'll have to see how it all works out. In the midst of all of this, I've had to try to organize an office move at work and get everyone in my group across the building with their things. It was crazy! But now, sitting in my nice new digs... life's looking pretty good.

So my sister, my adorable little (but bigger than me) sister, came to me and said, you should "write a story from [so and so]'s persepective" and I turned to her and said, but I already started from this other character's. She said, I don't want to read about that. I want to read this. So, being that she's my sister and currently my biggest fan and not because I pay her to be, I thought, huh, that could be fun. So as I've been working to finish my second manuscript (nope, no takers on the first yet, but still have a few queries out there, we'll see - thinking positive), when I need a distraction I've started on the stories of a couple other characters. And well, who would have thunk I had such funny people talking in my head?

OK, that's it for now. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dory the Fish

Ok, I'm back now. Kind of. We're currently suffering some crisis on the childcare front - so I'm a little stressed out.

Any who - I'm just about finished with my second manuscript and feeling pretty good about it, as a rough draft anyway. My sister hasn't finished reading what she has yet, so I'm still waiting for that review. And the crappy economy is really taking a bite out of this road to publishing adventure for me. With publishers purchasing so far in advance (similar to the way movie production companies buy scripts), they can go several months - possibly up to a year, without buying anything and still have new books coming out for up to two years out! Doesn't help on the patience front, but what do you do, right? .....

**Deep Breath** and ... (to be heard in the voice of Dory the fish) Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing....

And honestly, there is something to be said about the satisfaction of finishing a manuscript. My first completed manuscript comes in at 529 pages. My current one - unfinished - is at 566. What can I tell you, my characters have a lot to say. I've been trying to keep myself motivated, and that sense of accomplishment is a great feeling.

Okay, that's it for now, I think. Oh, wait, one more thing. Rejection is a lot easier to handle if you have someone or something to blame, so I suppose the current state of the economy is my scapegoat. At least there's a positive thing about it. I guess.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Easy In...

So by now many of you may have heard that Lauren Conrad from The Hills got a 3-book deal from HarperCollins. After a long ranting /venting session about this with someone near and dear to me who I know will not hold it against me that at one time I was a fan of this show (lasted about six episodes), I think John Green was able to sum it up best here.
This is one of those things that makes you want to give up your dreams and runaway to Hollywood and (in the words of J.T.) "...get into second rate acting as a stepping ladder to your book deal..."

Oh well, back to my non-celebutante (though still thoroughly fulfilling -have you met my kids?) life...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Have you ever noticed how often life gets in the way? Not necessarily in a bad way, there are some things that just cannot go on a backburner. When you have got family coming into town, a house to clean, a blessing to plan, plus the normal day-to-day stuff.... I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Who said a vacation day from work is really a vacation?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Something in Common

As my first manuscript is out there in the world of submission slush piles (hopefully not - I'm hoping that it could be open and happy on someone's desk about to be replied to with a big smiley face) ... I am almost done with my second manuscript. No one has read this one yet and last night was the first time I parted with a portion of it -- three chapters to my sister.

I didn't tell her about my writing for a long time, and when I did she was really skeptical that I would write anything she'd even be slightly interested in reading. I surprised her and in turn her support and interest and excitement over my work was somewhat of a surprise to me. We've never had much in common. She's always been so much younger than me that we were in separate worlds - in such different places in our lives. As she's grown older, we've found that we have a lot of similar interests. I love that I can bounce ideas off of her and that she's been the inspiration for some of my work - though she may not know it.

We used to fight a lot and argue over stupid things, like all sisters, but now we understand each other better, I think. I've done my best to guide her where possible, and though she may not realize, she's been somewhat of a beacon of light for me too. I appreciate her a lot more now, for who she is, what she's done and what she will accomplish in her life. The one thing that I know we do have in common is the will to keep trying.

Although I have included some good thoughts and a little cheese today, I'd like to close with some parting words from the one, the only Hannah Montana, "Life's what you make it So let's make it rock."

...... I'll be back when I've finished laughing at how big of a cheeseball I really am.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glass Half...???

Patience has been working with me and against me these last few weeks. I've already blogged about waiting and the virtue that patience is a couple of times. The next thing to determine is whether I am an optimist or a pessimist. I have received responses to half of my queries. Yes, exactly half. And herein lies my dilemma...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


To define a word depends much on one's personality and relationship to life, others and oneself. Some people may say that all you need is a dictionary to define a word, but I would beg to differ. Case in point:

The meaning of the phrase "to be supportive" is a huge matter of semantics. I have learned this through experience. For some people, "to be supportive" means running (whether physically or virtually) to your side and gasping and sighing with you and offering a shoulder (again, physical or virtual) to cry on if needed. For others, "to be supportive" means looking you square in the face and saying "well, at least they didn't just come out and say 'you suck'." Personally, I have found it is good to have an equal balance of these two kinds of support in your life. One to let you have your moment to wallow and the other to pull you back to reality. Sometimes being blunt hurts, but it's like ripping off a band-aid: once the initial sting is gone, you can move on with your day.

According to Webster's rejection is defined as: the action of rejecting; the state of being rejected. I, however, have decided that rejection is really defined as motivation in it's rawest form. I spent my fair share of time hearing I wasn't good enough, smart enough, fast enough, strong enough. The only one that I may admit to being true, maybe, is that I'm not tall enough... but that's a topic for another blog. Now that I have been rejected several times, and I'm sure several times more to come, I've decided that it is serving its purpose to make me better. Being told no just makes me want to say, "You wanna bet?" Every "no" is taking me one step closer to the eventual "yes" that, unfortunately, involves a good deal of waiting. (See my thoughts on waiting from Aug 08.)

The dictionary definition of a word is perfectly valid in most circumstances. Unfortunately, there is an entire gray area, life, that the words and their dictionary definitions may not really work for. Because of this, I'm starting my own dictionary.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thoughts to Share

So here goes. This is my first blog as I try to turn a new leaf and join the world of bloggers. I don't have a great deal of deep thoughts to share today, just a couple things that made me go... hmmmm.... I thought I'd share:

Firstly, Failure is one of the greatest forms of inspiration. Leigh Mitchell Hodges once said, "Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success." For some that early morning hour is just that, a short amount of time before things fall into place. For others, that early morning hour seems to stretch out for ages and you just have to remember that it is only a matter of time before dawn will break and everything will be okay.

Secondly, is waiting. The adage goes, 'patience is a virtue.' I have learned that it is a virtue that comes and goes depending on the situation and all people possess it to some degree. Being patient really doesn't make waiting any easier though, even if all you're waiting for is bad news. Even if what is happening falls into the realm of 'prepare for the worst, hope for the best.'
You know, it reminds me of being a little kid and going to Disneyland for the first time. That giddy feeling of excitement in your stomach, though you're not sure if you're excited happy or excited nervous or maybe, just maybe, you could be excited scared. (That last one could just be me, scared to death my first time on Space Mountain - something about rocketing around in the pitch black darkness...) So you stay up late and get up early. You're dressed and ready before your parents can yell at you to hurry up. And then you get there only to wait. Hurry up to wait in line. Run to the next ride, hurrying to wait again. As though the sooner you get in line, the faster the line's going to move. Yeah, right. That's what it feels like. Hurrying to wait.

Yeah. It sucks.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've come to find that maybe I'm not so good at this whole blogging thing... I'm going to have to work on it. Three posts in three months... Today is the day...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Next Step

So my first manuscript is on its editing adventure... hopefully I won't get ripped to shreds, but we'll see. Meanwhile.. I have already written about 250 pages for the second manuscript in the series... mind you I didn't intend for this to be a series, but I couldn't help falling a little in love with my main characters. The voices in my head keep telling me more little secrets that just make me want to keep going. So we'll see how far this goes.... Secondly... I have started another project that I am very excited for... maybe I'll say more on this later... but for now that's my update.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Catching Up

So a few months back I received an email from a long time friend. We go all the way back--elementary school... Anyway, she just made a comment that has stuck with me ever since I received that email--it went something like this: "It has only taken me 27 years, but I think I have found it"
The 'It' being referred to would be... in answer to the universally asked question: What do you want to do/be when you grow up?
I was so excited for her, but at the same time, I started to wonder about myself. Isn't this always the situation to instigate self reflection?
It occurred to me, not too long after these conversations, the one with my friend via email and the one with myself in my head, that it had been staring me in the face for years, I just hadn't done anything about it.
I wanted to write!
I used to write a lot. All the time, but it has been almost ten years since I had written anything. Not so much because I didn't want to or didn't have inspirations...but life just got in the way. After a couple long talks, this time out loud with my oldest friend and another with my husband, and much self reflection, I had to start chasing the dream I didn't realize was there.
So this is where my journey began... Working full time, a toddler at home and another baby on the way, sleep was suddenly at the bottom of my list...eight months later, adding a newborn to the mix. This bug bit me and I haven't stopped since. I have since finished my first manuscript and have several other projects I am working on at the same time.
Hey- if I'm going to be awake with a baby anyway, I might as well be working toward something...
I have no idea what, if anything, will come of this, but only time will tell...