Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Julie and Julia vs. Candie and Vivatera

Here's to a New Year...

I was watching Julie and Julia, which I really liked by the way, and I got inspired by some of the things in it, mostly that the main girl "Julie" an aspiring writer, had a blog and wrote some very interesting stuff that people liked.

I am not "Julie" and I don't particularly have anything interesting to say. But as part of my resolutions this year, I have decided to keep up on my blog. There are a few reasons for this.

1. I'm funny!

2. I need motivation to finish some of the major things that I have been doing lately.

3. Regardless of who reads this, and I have very few, I need to get my name out there. It won't be long before I will... and let me explain.

Back in 2006 I got an idea for a book. I wrote out a timeline, some character sketches, a few chapters and then I had a baby and didn't touch anything for about eighteen months. In October 2007 I hosted a book club where we read "Twilight." In the event of this action I decided to start writing on my book again. I was inspired by the sheer simplicity of the book and thought "If I had written this book I would've done so many things differently." Instead of eating my words, I put my words into action and continued on my book. I fell in love with the characters and creating. July 31st 2008 I finished my book. January 2009 I finished my rewrite of my book, in the summer of 2009 I had my book edited, then read it out loud and rewrote it some more... and finally... I am rewriting it again.

So it would be something to write a book, but when you have to rewrite a book 5 times you start to loose your mind. I'm doing a final draft and am not touching it. I'm designing it to sell on Amazon.com as a print-on-demand, but I also have an idea.

As a member of Goodreads.com, I see how fast word travels about books. So I'm going to do an experiment and set up my book on Goodreads, and put it as a book I'm reading... and I want to see where it travels. This is also a good tactic to sell my book to publishers. I tried (and am still trying) to sell my book, the olde fashioned way, but with the networking we have now, is that necessary? I'd love to have someone buy it and mangle it into a beautiful piece of art, but these first editions will be much more personal - my gift to you.

I have a goal of 3 months. Think I can do it? I want to do it before my sister-in-law Kris has her baby, but that is unrealistic, so I will set it at March 31st to have it marketed on Amazon. This is nothing like the year JuliePowell spent cooking with Julia Child, this is a much more realistic goal for me. I had a goal of writing a book, now I want to share my book.

So wish me luck!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sore Winner! Version 2

Mia and I played Wii sports and I realized something...
  • Mia: Mom you are sooooo losing.
  • Mia: I am so winning you.
  • Mia: I love strikes! Just love, love strikes.
  • Mia: In your face! All over the place!
  • Mia: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
  • Mia: I love love winning, especially winning you Mom.
  • Mia: You missed!!
  • Mia: Stri ee i ee ike!! In the Face mommy. In Your Face!
  • Mia: (victory dance with a lot of shaking her booty) Yes! Thank you!
  • Mia: I rock at Bowling!
Sound familiar - I didn't ever know that my competitive gaming was hereditary. Yikes!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rejection Collection

This isn't a pity party and I don't ask for words of encouragement, I just wanted to share with you some of the responses I have gotten from agents and publishers since I started submitting in September.

I've done as Shannon Hale told us at our workshop and saved every rejection I get. I've only really received 8 real No Thank Yous, and I thought I might share my misery.

Foundry: I found your material interesting, unfortunately I've decided that this project is not right for me. I'm sorry I can't respond with good news, but I'm sure you will find the right representation.

- And she addressed me by my name and signed it. This was one of the better ones.

Nelson Literary Agency: Dear Author: Thank you so much for sending the Nelson Literary Agency your query. We'd like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and unfortunately, this project is not right for us.

- It sounds like something I heard on the Simpson's - Dear Baby, Welcome to Dumpsville, population YOU!

Paradigm: Thanks for letting me take a look at the opening to THE VIVATERA. I'm afraid this isn't right for me, so I have to pass on requesting more material; but I want to wish you luck in finding a good home for your novel. Thank you for the opportunity to review.

- He did wish me luck, how nice...

Fox Literary: Unfortunately, this doesn't sound right for me.

- Okay....?

Writers House: ... at 144,000, your word count is pretty high. You should try and get it as close to 100,000 words as possible. A high word count could seriously impact you finding an agent willing to take on when a lot of work will need to be done.

- I thought that was thoughtful to give me some advice on the word count - so I decided to take it off the query.

PMA: Thanks you for your recent query letter and your interest in PMA. We are always eager to hear from writers who are serious about the business of writing; unfortunately, we do not feel that PMA is the right company to represent you.

- Notice my book is not mentioned anywhere and mentioned themselves. They didn't even read it, jerkface. I guess I'm just not SERIOUS about the business of writing.

Larson Pomada: Thanks, but not my thing.

- No letter or nothing... got to love that.
- But the one I received on Saturday was I think the most honest. The hard part about it was they had the entire manuscript. I always knew they would say no because Shadow Mountain is a division of Deseret Book and my book has Tattoos in it and I can't take that out. It is a vital part of the story. So the blow wasn't so bad, I kinda knew already.

Shadow Mountain: We are always pleased to see new ideas, and we have now completed our review of this material. It is obvious you have invested a considerable amount of time and energy into this project. Our publishing schedule is quite competitive, however, and as we look carefully at all the issues involved in publication, we are forced to be extremely selective in our publishing decisions. I am sorry to inform you we are not in a position to pursue this project with you.

I think this was the most honest response out of t
hem all, I could be wrong though - maybe it's just not their thing. Some of the rejections came with hardly any material sent to them, Shadow Mountain had everything, and I felt like they really read it. I just need to get my book through the door and I know whoever finds it will love it. I'm not good at querying I guess and should work on that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blood or Grass

Mia drew a beautiful flower for me. She wanted to color it...

Mia: Mommy? Which color do you like better - the color of Blood or the color of Grass?

Mom: I like the color of Grass.

Mia: Well... I can't find the green color...

Mom: Okay, I'd like the color of Blood.

Mia: Oh good. I knew you'd pick that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Our Halloween was uneventful, but we have great pictures...

Here we are at the Witches in Gardner Village

Mia liked the Witches

Julia wasn't sure...

The kids liked climbing on everything, that was what they liked most. I liked the Sugar Cookies the most - Thanks Grandma!

Our Costumes...

Julia at ARUP's Halloween Parade

Sisterly Love

Here's Gretal

My SASSY Witch - so true...

This is our Trunk or Treat

Ben is a robot, pretty clever.

Jan is a SLAM DUNK!

Julia couldn't wait to open her candy. She got to one car and sat down to eat!

Here is Gretal, looking for the CANDY HOUSE!

I'm Katniss Everdeen - from the book the Hunger Games, don't worry your not the only one that doesn't know who I am, but if you do, I think I did a good job. You can see the Mockingjay pin on my shirt and my hair is in a braid and everything! And LOVE MY BOOTS!! My new favorite thing in the whole world!! People though I was something from Star Trek or Robin Hood.
Come on -- READ A BOOK!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Last Dispensation of the Fullnesss of Times... DING!

First thing, I need to apologize to my Relief Society. I tried to listen, I promise.

Sunday was very nice all around. It was a gorgeous day. I had a good time. I hadn't been to church in a few weeks, with Conference and illness and such. It was nice to see my friends and get a chance to talk.

I have been attending the Marital and Family Relations class - which was all about Finance and Balancing a Budget, which I totally needed - and then went to the RS room. I usually like to sit more toward the back. That way I don't have to be asked to do anything, and I mentioned this to my friend Andrea, but there wasn't room in the back, so we moved to the second row. Nobody sat on the front row, of course, so we had a great view of our RS Presidency.

First thing Andrea got asked to say the closing prayer and read something for the class. WAHOO! I escaped it! But that was not what turned everything to bad.

To be honest, I don't even remember what the lesson was on besides, "THE LAST DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES." When the teacher said this for the first time, I turned to Andrea and said, "During Conference we play a little game and every time they say that I make a little DING! sound to see how many times they say it." We both did a little giggle, but went on. When someone said it again, I just took my little finger and made a checkmark in the air and mouthed "DING!" and we thought it was funny.

But I don't know what it is about that phrase - once it is uttered it must be repeated and repeated. And it was starting to really get funny. I trid keeping track, but lost count.

Then dear Sis. Cooper, who was sitting right behind us, responded to a question and repeated it 5 times! Andrea and I both lost it. I had to hold in the laughter, which was so painful the back of my head hurt. I put my head down to cover my face from the RS PRES, who might have thought I was out of line and tears... YES! tears of laughter came streaming down my face. I really struggled to compose myself, but they just kept saying it. And our poor teacher Sis. Lewis saw my face and was touch, because she saw the tears and thought I was feeling the spirit. In her testimony alone she said it 4 times!

To add to it, it was warm in the room and Andrea had a little notepad she was using to fan yourself. During some point toward the end of the lesson she smacked herself across the face. I almost had to be excused.

Needless to say, I learned MY lesson and won't sit in the front anymore.

But, now I pass it on to you and see if you can get through "THE LAST DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES" without hearing a "DING!" at the end.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My funny Julia

Jokes are completely lost on a two year old.

Mia: Knock Knock Jules...

Julia: Come in.

Mia: No Jules, You're supposed to say, "Who's there?"

Julia: Okay.

Mia: Knock Knock

Julia: Come in to my house.

Mia: (yelling) No Jules, Knock! Knock!

Julia: (yelling back) Come in!


I took Mia to the doctor yesterday.

Mia: Mommy, I just don't want to get a shot.

Mommy: I don't think they will give you a shot.

Julia: And Bears...

Mommy: Bears?

Julia: Bear don't want to get shot either.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Little Pony

Mia was up with a fever and in the morning her throat was all swollen.

Mommy: Mia are you okay? You sound a little hoarse.

Mia: Actually, I think I sound a little Pony.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conversations with my Girls!

While riding home from work -

Julia: Momma, the Sun is looking at me.

I look back at her and the sun is shining at her through the window.

Mommy: Sorry that the Sun is looking at you.

Julia: Yeah, I like the Stars and the Moon. Can you get the Moon to look at me?

Mommy: I'll see what I can do.


Mia: Did you know that aglets are important?

Dad: A what?

Mia: an Aglet.

Mom: An anklet?

Mia: NO! An A-g-let!

Mom: An Aglet? What's an aglet?

Mia: Sheesh! It's the tip of a shoelace!

Candie gets on dictionary.com -


[ag-lit] –noun
1. a metal tag or sheath at the end of a lace used for tying, as of a shoelace.

Mom: Where did you learn that?

Mia: Phineas and Ferb Mom! Geeze!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Writers with Writers

We had a fabulous time at the writer's workshop. I have to thank Wendy Christianson for telling me about it and coming. It was nice to know someone there.

The Workshop was held on August 28th at the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. There was at least 30 writers and illustrators that participated. After the first hour of meet and great in the theater they split us up into groups of about 25 and were paired with authors: Dan Webb, Bree Despain, Sydney Salter, and Shannon Hale. We got to ask questions which was so awesome. Then they split us more pairing us with to authors for our Manuscript critique: Dan Wells and Shannon Hale - can you BELIEVE my luck? The authors went through our first page and gave some advice. I got so nervous reading my first page to Shannon Hale I started stumbling over the words. It was so much worse than reading out loud in 7th grade English. But my critique was pretty positive. They did give a few good pointers, which I followed.

After lunch they had book signing and I stayed around to Chat with Shannon - I didn't care about getting anything signed, I just wanted to talk with her. I didn't want to regret anything. Turns out we have a lot in common, even my friend Wendy went to college with her. But she was very encouraging and I'm excited about actually doing this.

I do feel like I am applying for a new job... which I guess I am, but at a more tender scale.

Here are some authors I met - Don't know the guy in pink in the front, Sydney Salter, Wendy Toliver, Dan Wells, Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George (The Red Head)

Brandon Mull was on the other side. He's like 7 feet tall!!

Totally worth it!! Next year my goal it to BE one of the authors invited!
Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Mommy: I going to go take a shower. I'm all stinky and dirty.

Later -

Julia came up and patted my bum.

Julia: You still poopy Mama?

Mommy: What? oh... no honey. I'm not stinky anymore.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Day!

My Mia started Kindergarten this August. Everyday I ask her what did you learn in school and she tells me, "I don't really what to tell you."

Here she is in front of Stansbury Elementary, the same school her daddy Kevin went to school.

And here is Derek Walbom, a freind and neighbor in her class... and if you knew Christian Walbom he is his son, which helps explain the mohawk.

They all lined up before entering. Julia lined up right with them. It nearly broke her heart when I pulled her out of the line. She slunk her shoulders back and put her head down like Charlie Brown. It was so sad.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Cover Take 2!

Sorry to keep boring everyone with my stupid book, but I'm so sick of it, I just want it to be done. Here is the cover... take two. I had to try and make my niece older. I think I got it pretty good, without making her look like a heroine addict. I'm getting ready to sell it on Amazon.com. I'll let everyone know when I have a release.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Cover take 1

Here is my first attempt at my book cover. I'm trying to gear this more as a teen novel then a juvenile. But if I want boys to read it, I might need to change it. It is made long for the jacket cover. Maybe I'll write a little blurb on the other side and make it look totally official. And yes, that is my beautiful niece Lily posing as the heroine Naomi. I'm still sticking with my goal of having the final edit done on Friday. After that I will be formating it for sale through Amazon.com. But more on that later. Love to know what you all think.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Midnight Madness! HP style!

-The HP6 midnight crew with our awesome shirts! The girls got Wonder Witch Love Potion shirts and the boys got Weasley Wizard Wheezes shirts.-

I love my dorky side. I lot of people might think I am eccentric, making shirts and getting tickets for the midnight show for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and everything, but it really was an awesome experience. My friend Ken told me he was afraid he might look dorky wearing his Weasley shirt, but all of that was laid to rest when he arrived and saw all the FREAKS. And that is what the experience is about... being a part of the FREAK SHOW!

We saw -
  • The Whomping Willow (a guy with tree branches tied to his arms and he went around whomping people, including some of our party)
  • The Golden Snitch (a guy painted gold)
  • The Owl lady (YES! She had a REAL OWL. I have no idea what she did with it while watching the movie)
  • Gandalf, Bilbo, and Frodo Baggins
  • 2 Jedi Knights (and they fought with their light sabers)
  • numerous school girls - (with very short skirts I might add)
  • and Dobby - the house elf... he was so cute.
It took me 2 days to recover my sleep, but it was worth it! I'll be doing it again for New Moon. Save the date!
One side of the theater. The Family!

The other side. The friends and Co-workers!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Christmas in July!!

It's coming... I'm sooooo excited!! This is a picture of my background. Julia saw it and was excited too!

Julia: Mama... iz Harry Podder! Izz Harry Podder!!

Mom: Do you know who's next to him?

Julia: Izz Santa!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Early Riser

4:00 am...
Julia comes walking in our bedroom.
Julia: Come on Mommy. Get up! Get your Ipod, your keys mama. I get your purse.

I woke up and looked at her. She had dressed herself with the clothes I had set out for her, but she was wearing Mia's skirt. She had even changed her pull-up and put on her shoes.

Me: Jules, it's really early. You need to go lay down.

Julia: No mama, I go to crass. You go to work. Get your Ipod mama.

I got up and got her a drink put on some cartoons for her and went back to bed.

4:15 am...
Julia: I want Goofy Baby, mama.

4:35 am...
Julia: I no watch manny, I watch Goofy baby.

4:55 am...
Julia: I go potty mama. I watch Mickey mama.

5:00 am...
Alarm clock goes off.

5:10 am...
Julia: no sleep mama. Come on get up. I watch Goofy Baby.

5:20 am...
I get up.

Julia: you up mama. I help you. You want make-up on you.

I dress and get ready for work. Julia tries to help me.

6:00 am...
I wake up Mia and get her dressed.

6:15 am...
I'm ready to leave for work and I go get Julia.

........She's sound asleep on the living room floor.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

Mia is the second on the right. Thought is was so funny to see them in the cap and gowns. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

There was a little house... in the middle of the woods...

So I got a hair-brained idea about trying to get my kids outside more. I think it started when I told Mia I was getting rid of her TV and she hugged it and cried. My great plan comes first with a magical-in-the-woods-old grandma-hidden-princess cottage, and I was on the hunt. I finally found something I was happy with and when I brought it home Kevin looked at the instructions and said, "What did you get me in to?" The Instruction book said that 2 adults could do put it together in 3 hours. 2 adults plus Mia add an hour... 2 adults add Julia - 10 hours later... The instruction manual lists 70 different phases of construction and 7 different bags of hardware...

Here are some pictures to help illustrate...
The box barely opened and all there was inside was lumber. But I cleared my huge stick pile and all the wild animals and not to mention the centipedes all were very upset.

This was when we realized our mistake. We should have just bought the girls a box.

I'm trying to sort the lumber. Everything was marked P6, P7, Q4, O2, N1, R17, etc... there were about 40 different sizes to sort through.
Progress. This was before Kevin realized her used the wrong size of screw and had to rescrew every side piece.

When the roof started coming together we couldn't get the girls out. Julia could see her daddy through the roof.

And finally we finished around 10 pm. This is the next day and the kids wouldn't stay out.

Here Mia is looking through the bay window... that's right, real style...
...and here is the breakfast bar, or what I call -the first thing to break. What would make it more perfect... We just need a witch to move in and we're set.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Girl-illas in the Mist

Mia thought I was pure magic. I was spraying our deck and the sunlight created rainbows.
Mia was absolutely enchanted...
...then she took the hose from me and started a water fight.

Julia was not excited about the water... and she stripped off her clothes in the house sometime... before the water fight broke out...
sigh - She does that a lot...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Conversations with Mia

A Tongan Singles Branch just moved into our Ward building and there was a girl with the coolest wavy curls with a blond streak in the front.

Mia: Mom, look at her hair!

Mom: Wow! It's so pretty.

Mia: Yeah, like a skunk pretty.


Later while making dinner I tried to talk to Mia about people and how we should always be nice.

Mia: Mom, the Skunk girl was really big.

Mom: She's just made different then us.

Mia: Yeah, people are made different. Some are big and squishy and some are skinny and heartless.

Mom: Did you say "Heartless?"

Mia: Yeah, it's pretty sad.

Half-Blog Prince

Getting go excited....


Monday, May 4, 2009

Where's the ROCKBAND When You Need One?

We were singing "Songs for Swingin' House Mothers" when we decided we really needed to get out and play "Rock Band." This is why...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Itsy Vs. Foo Foo

Here is Julia's version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider"

-Izztee bee Spiiidur -- up wadder spouwt
-pickinn' up da feeedl miice and boppinin on da head
-Down camm da faerree and say
-no no don't do dat izztee spidur
-I turn yoo to a goon

- Poof! Goon!

-Then Izztee bee Spiidur -- up spouwt again...

Yay!! Me!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Tale of a Tail-less cat

So Marduk, our overly-friendly, tree-climbing, brainless, tall-less cat ran away on Saturday before the snow storm. TO his credit, it was a Lovely day on Saturday and we were all outside, so when he didn't come home, I wasn't too worried.

But when the storm came, I did get worried, it was a really bad storm which snowed a lot. We had 3 days of storms and I figured, stupid cat froze to death while climbing a tree he couldn't get down.

We went to the shelter... not there. We went to the Humane Society... nope!

So I figured.... no more cat... best of luck to you... Murphy was super happy loving me again, but he's so so so stinky...

...well, I got a call tonight from a neighbor, a couple that live on Mock Orange behind me about kiddy-corner. YES! They had Marduk and were loving him to pieces. They had a tail-less cat themselves named buster and were wondering what to call her?

Wait! What? Her?
I said his name was Marduk and she told me what a strange name for a girl. This lady's daughter was a vet tech who came and checked out the cat for them and confirmed, SURPRISE IT'S A GIRL!!!

So now I have m kitty back, but I guess I better rename ....um...her? Get those ideas to me, I need them. We'll have a small contest or I will end up naming her Griselda.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

... well, back to Square One.

The Agency who inquired on my stuff turned out to be "Questionable." So I decided against it. Shucks! And I know you were all excited. But I want to work with someone who I can trust. It took me long enough to create the darn thing... it contains part of my soul. I can't sell my soul to the devil now can I?

So the search continues...

Wish Me Luck!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dancing Queens!

This was Sunday morning when I tried to get my girls dressed. This is very typical for them to stall. I turned on some music and they pranced on my bed like they were born in the 70's.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Presented by....

Mia: Mom, who is "Carl's Jr." presented by?

Mom: What? Presented by?

Mia: Yes! Presented by, Mom.

Mom: Oh... I get it! Green Burrito, I guess.

Mia: Thought so!