Monday, December 28, 2009

Year in Review

In looking over my resolutions from last year, I did pretty well at predicting what I'd be able to accomplish in 2009. My youngest child is potty-trained, I took a family relationships course with my husband, I finished my third book and am thinking about a fourth, I've spent this Christmas season belting out the soprano lines of carols I would never have dreamed of singing in the past, I finally mastered "Caribbean Blue" on the harp, I had a garden going all year, I cut back on my outside commitments (sorry PTA and piano students!), and I learned to express my inner thoughts so well that I've irritated everyone around me.

One thing I didn't do was keep up the weekly book reviews on my book review blog. I love my book review blog, but it conflicted with one of my other goals - to do less and be more.

This year, I have one resolution. I want to obtain and maintain a change of heart. In the last few months I've realized that I judge other people too harshly. I need to look at the good in everyone and trust that everyone is doing the best they can. I need to feed and nurture and encourage instead of criticize. I need to love people as they are, not wish they were different. This is what I resolve to do in 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

As Seen on "Mormon Mommy Writers"

I am very happy to share that I've been invited to be a weekly blogger on "Mormon Mommy Writers," one of my favorite blogs. I'll be posting on Tuesdays. Check it out:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Earthcrosser Ready for Readers

I now have my post-apocalyptic science fiction novel ready for test readers. Please let me know if you'll have time between now and mid-January to read and make a few comments on a 250 page book written for 11-13 year old readers. It is sort of like "Little House on the Prairie," except with ICBM's and deadly bio-weapons (that would have kept Ma and Pa busy!), and should appeal to readers who enjoyed Lois Lowry's "The Giver" and Margaret Peterson Haddix's "Among the Hidden."

Leave a comment if you'd like to volunteer!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Caroling Party

Caroling party! Next Wednesday, my place. Let me know if you want to come and I'll give you the details.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas at the Post Office

"The line is out the door," a grey-haired woman with sparkly, Christmas ornament earrings warned me as I pulled my four-year old from the car in the post office parking lot.

"Oh, I'm just dropping this off," I smiled and showed her my package, complete with shipping label paid for on the internet and printed out the night before. I know I could call the postal worker and have them come pick up the package, but that would mean I'd need to know when I would be at home. Besides, I have an aversion to telephones.

So there I was, dropping off the package at the post office. My son and I went through the front doors, and sure enough, the line stretched out into the lobby. A shorter line stood in front of the automatic postal machine, the one that can print shipping labels if you swipe your credit card. I'd never seen a line for that dreadfully slow machine, not ever! This was serious.

I towed my son past the line, straight to the package receptacle in the wall by the letter slot. "Here, do you want to put it in?" I put the box in my son's hands. "Here, put it in. It's going to eat it!" I said with gusto as I pulled down the handle to open the package receptacle.

"Well, I hope not!" chuckled a man standing behind me with three large boxes in his arms.

I grinned at him, then encouraged my son, "Put it in."

My son lifted the box high over his head and tipped it into the receptacle. I let the door swing back up as I made a big slurping sound and then a gulp. "Yum!"

Everyone in line laughed. I smiled at them, then chased after my son as he dashed for the lobby doors.

As I buckled my son back in the car I thought sadly of the day soon to come when I'd no longer have a little child to run errands with me. I could never have gotten all those people to laugh by myself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gummi Bear Castle

Each year on Thanksgiving weekend, we make a gingerbread creation. Here's this year's entry: The Gummi Bear Castle.

We made the windows by cutting holes in the pieces of cookie dough, then filling them with crushed hard candies. In the oven, the crushed candy melts and turns into a colored window pane.

My daughter, the gingerbread architect, drew up the plans for the castle. She helped me put it together, then all the children decorated it the next day.

Welcome to the Gummi Bear Castle!

My son had the idea to have one of the bears on the battlements look through a telescope.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So That's the Problem!

I finished revising my book again, then set it aside for a week. At first I had a hard time bringing myself to read it, afraid of what I might find. But once I picked it up and started going, it was great! I've heard authors lament that they can't enjoy their own books. Not my experience. I forgot I'd written it. I forgot I was reading. I became totally absorbed in the story.

And then I got to the ending.


This revision was supposed to repair the ending, but somehow I still dropped the ball and it rolled away somewhere. The ending left me completely flat. What happened? What went wrong?

After scratching my head for a few days, I decided to make a chart. I took a piece of poster board, named the twelve most important story threads along the top, and then jotted the chapter numbers down the side. Skimming through the book, I followed each thread, chapter by chapter. And lo...

Of the twelve major story threads, five are left with NO ENDING. Not just left unresolved. Left OUT! Completely unmentioned in the final chapters. And of those five dangling threads, three are important relationships between the main character and other major characters in the book. Now I don't want everything tied up neat with a bow, but I do need to at least give a hint of some level of resolution or some new direction for each of these threads.

I meant to re-submit this book before the end of the year, but it is more important to GET IT RIGHT! Back to work.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Harp Template

I've had several requests by e-mail for plans for my harp. Sadly, I don't have detailed plans drawn up. But I laid out the one drawing I did and put an inch ruler down beside it to show the scale. Here it is - good luck!