Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season...

to share some things I didn't expect to hear or say this Christmas season.

****

Me: Mia, don't spit on the Temple Grounds.

Mia: But when I see a dry place I just need to get it wet.

****

Mia: But I really want a Rapunzel Tower for Christmas.

Me: But it is so expensive.

Mia: But I asked Santa to make it and Santa will get it for me.

Me: Well, let me explain something about Santa. Santa has to have a job too. He can't just give stuff away all the time. He has to make money too and I can't afford for Santa to get that for you.

****

Me: Julia! It's time to get up.

Julia: No mom. It's time to get down.

****

Mia: Mom, if we go somewhere for Christmas, does Santa still come to our house?

Mom: No. If he knows where you are sleeping, I'm sure he will know where to take the presents.

Mia: Oh Mom, you are always thinking aren't you.

Mom: I guess so. That's what a brain does. It thinks.

Mia: But not if you have a brain transplant.

Mom: Well, yes, I guess you might stop thinking if you consider having one of those.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hard Hat Area... Extreme Caution!!

My Blog is Currently Under Construction -

but won't it be just

FABULOUS?

I'll have something new very soon...

Like how my daughter wanted to play HOME ALONE and boobie trapped my entire house...

ah yah... didn't go over too well...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Crackers...

Merry Christmas everyone! Thought I might share a few things to start off the season right...

The other night my husband and I were having a gentle discussion about finances and Christmas spending. We were both trying to reason with each other. I can't say it was an argument when my 7 yr. old Mia turns to us and says:

Mia: You guys need to stop fighting. I don't like Step-mothers.

********

Mia was being particularly "Full of It" and with Christmas coming, it's always nice to get out the threats of Santa Claus's naughty list.

Me: Do you need me to call Santa and tell him all about you hitting your sister.

Mia: Mom, you can't call Santa. He's long distance. You don't even know the number.

Mom: Yes, but I'm sure he has a Facebook page and can look up and see all the things I posted that were about you being naughty.

Mia: Well, you will just have to de-friend him.

***********

We set up the Christmas tree on Saturday along with all other Christmasy decorations. The best thing though so far is the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set. BEST THING EVER INVENTED! I can let them play and never have to worry about it getting broken. The girls were so excited to get it out and start playing.

We have lots of other Little People Play Sets and Julia grabbed some of the others and Kevin began teasing the girls telling them the story of Baby Jesus - how Joseph drove a tracker to Bethlehem and the dinosaurs were in the stable and the three kings came riding on an elephant, a unicorn, and a tiger bringing presents of a basket of fruit, a stroller, and a pet giraffe.

Julia thought it was hilarious, but Mia took it very seriously:

Mia: Daddy, why would you tease us about Jesus? He wouldn't want a stroller for Christmas.

Daddy: What would he want then?

Mia: I don't know... Scriptures?


Happy Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Honey Hot Dogs

I went to Costco yesterday to stock up some seriously needed supplies. I mean, where else can you buy one package of TP that consists of 80 rolls? I had my wonderful 3 yr old with me, who kept putting stuff in the cart that I immediately had to return.

Well, while I was there she saw Hot Dogs. This girl can down hot dogs. She likes them cold, right out of the fridge. I found super cheap packages for a buck the other day and bought a couple which she ate all of them. One night she kept getting up and sneaking them to bed. So I know if you were me you are thinking the same thing. I looked at this package of hot dogs - 2 packages of 42 hot dogs. 84!! PERFECT!! She'd down that in a couple weeks right? So I splurged on the mega massive package of ground up pork parts that I know I or my husband will never eat.

I gave her one last night and didn't think much about it. This morning when I was getting her breakfast I noticed it on the counter with two bites out of it. So I just trashed it.

Tonight I tried the same thing. This was our conversation.

Jules: Mom, it's too hot!

Me: I just got it out of the fridge, it's not too hot. It's totally cold.

Jules: Mom, it has honey in it.

Me: No it doesn't.

Jules: Yes it does Mom. I don't like Honey in my Hot dogs.

Me: It's not a honey hot dog.

Jules: Yes...It... is!!

Me: If you are trying to pull a fast one on me- forget it. I invented that.

Jules: I'm not pulling anything! I'm not fast Mom. I'm slow! I like the REAL hot dogs not honey hot dogs. Humphf...

Me: Would you like to show me the REAL hot dogs?

Jules: No. But could I have some grapes... Please.....

Needless to say, now I have 82 Hot Dogs in my freezer waiting for summer to come... BBQ at my house in 8 months... Whoo Hoo!!

...ah that girl...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nod to NaNoWriMo!

Well here we are in November! I still have green leaves on my trees and my roses are still blooming, but other than that I'm liking it so far. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and even though I love warm, I feel the need to crush some leaves. I MUST CRUNCH!!!

But with November comes NaNoWriMo! That is right! National Novel Writing Month. I signed up for it last year and didn't finish, but it started my vampire novel, which is now in the second draft stage. So I decided to again attempt it. This year I will be working on my second in the Everstar series. I so far have called it THE CONJECTRIX, but when all is said and done who knows what it will be called.

The point is of course, to complete a novel, or a first draft of a novel, that can be polish over the following months. Any one that has written a novel knows that it is never the first draft that gets sold. The point is to get the story down in writing. My goal will not be to complete it. Heavens... my first draft of Vivatera was 144,000 words. So my goal is 50, 000 - that is around 250 pages, which to be honest, will take me half way.

So this is my encouragement to you - I am a mother of two very active girls, I work full time, I have my daughter's 7th birthday party, I have my trip to Florida to see Harry Potter, I have my trip to Logan for Thanksgiving, and I teach in church. What am I doing writing a novel?

....I don't know.... but I'm excited to start!

WISH ME LUCK!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Inspirational Writing Speed Bump

Ever since my book became public a lot of people ask me how my writing is going, specifically how my 2nd book of my continuing series is coming. I think it is only fair to tell you -It's not... well not yet.

I did something stupid and ruined my story. Let me explain. I am stuck in the middle of a story. I once took some advice suggesting to have a side project when you are writing so you can redirect your thoughts and have better clarity of your vision when you return. Well, this side project started becoming my main project. I am talking about THE SULFA REACTION - my hypochondriac vampire story, a satirical look at vampire fiction.

In the creation of story I always have a rough idea of where I'm going, but I never know how to get there. But I really felt the pressure of finishing this project mostly to move on to what I felt more motivated to write. I thought of just quitting Sulfa and coming back to it later, but I am only a few chapters away from finishing - how could I stop? I wrote up a timeline - a good idea for any writing project - I was heading toward the finish line at a nice Sunday drive pace when I hit some inspiration speed bump within a chapter and in a few sentences ruined my timeline.

This is what I call - a Happy Accident - one of those inspirational moments when your characters take over and you just need to be there as the hands that tell what they need to say. This happened all the time in Vivatera: Zander for example was not in my original story and now I can't imagine it without him. So when I made this decision in Sulfa, I knew that this was going to ruin everything that I had an idea for, but only to make it better. So I had to reformulate my ending and am nearing the wrap-up, but it has taken the wind out of me and taken some time to regroup.

So in short, during these writing months, before girls camp season starts (as I call it), I expect to be done with Sulfa by the end of October, devote November (National Write a Novel Month) to my second Everstar novel and see where it leads from there.

You know, I just thought about something. A lot of people aspire to write A book, as in one book like the great J.D. Salinger. But once you write a book, you write multiple books, never just one. Writing multiple books seems like a lot of words and completely overwhelming, but completely realistic, and once you write A book who could never think about not writing another.

But one thing you should consider - living in a world that you created sometimes is a better and happier experience than the one you are actually in. I tell myself that every day when I look in my laundry room. That is my inspiration to finish.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bagpipes are Beautiful!

I got a treat while visiting my In-Law's in beautiful North Logan Utah. Kevin's sister had the previlige of spending 2 years of her life in Scotland and while there she met a family - The Cruickshank's - now come on, can you think of a better Scottish name?

They were so delightful. When I first met them I really had to turn up my hearing. It was English they were speaking, but it was so low and grumbly it took me a minute to catch on. And we got a private bagpipe concert. Can you believe that they take them everywhere. I was super impressed.

Here are some things I learns about Scots -
  • My Mother-in-law's house is HUGE! They couldn't get over how big and wonderful it is.
  • When in Utah, Scots put ice in their Bagpipes. You heard it right. Ruaridh (Pronounced Rory) brought them with him and the dry air here will actually make the pipes shrink.
  • When listening to the bagpipes - cover your ears. Ruaridh played for us and they are LOUD!!! But the droning can be muffled out when you cover your ears. Not that it's awful or anything.
  • When about to play the bagpipes don't tell your neighbors what is about to happen. It's best to have all the heads out the windows and doors wondering what in the world the Thomases are doing now?
  • Every Scot has a connection to Rob Roy or Harry Potter. Dave Cruickshank was in the movie Rob Roy and you can see him for about 5 seconds. JK Rowling lived not far from there home in Scotland when writing her books and they claim she took their last name for Hermione's cat - Crookshanks.
  • Scots like Muse. So do I.
  • Scots - well, the Cruickshank's were not so familiar with horses. It was rather funny watching Gary ride that horse.
  • The Cruickshank's couldn't get enough of the blue sky.
It was a pleasant experience and I can't wait to become better acquainted.


Here is a picture of the lovely family -

Ruaridh, Bridgett - Dave's mother, Cheryl, Dave, and Lisa...


And here's Gary on the horse. Gittee Up!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smiles and Phuggles

Here are some conversations I have had with my Mia lately...

.....................................................

I was downstairs helping Mia clean her room and I started hucking stuffed animals on her bed and Mia starts yelling at me...

Mia: Whoa whoa whoa Mom. What are you doing?

Me: Your animals all need to go on your bed so we can sort them.

Mia: but don't throw them Mom.

Mom: Why not?

Mia: We don't throw things with smiles.

Me: With smiles?

Mia: Yes, don't throw anything with a smile.

Me: Why not?

Mia: Just don't. Because it might make them sad and it would make me sad if they lose their smiles and get frowny.

Me: Okay, sorry, I won't throw anything with smiles.

................................................................

Mia bought a new penguin - I know... another one! She was trying to come up with a name for it and she likes to name penguins with a "P" so I tried to help.

Me: Penelope, Putrences, Petunia...

Mia: Mom, those are dumb. How about Parker?

Me: Now that's a dumb name. Does it have to start with a P?

Mia: I like the P names Mom. How about Peeper?

Me: Fine. (I looked at the penguin again, with his big, enormous eyes and fat head) How about naming him Fugly.

Mia: Mom, that doesn't start with a P.

Me: It does if you spell it with a PH.

Mia: Mom, you're a genius. But let's name him Phuggles, cause Fugly is dumb.

Me: Phuggles it is.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Writing Rodeo Round-up

I attend the League of Utah Writer Annual Conference Round-up yesterday and I have to tell you - I was nervous, but I had a great time. If you can imagine the scene... Me, alone, in a room with tons of tables, a lot of talking with friends, and I have to go sit somewhere there amongst the talking/writing elite. Yeah, my stomach was already a wreck from nerves and lack of sleep. But to give a good idea of things that went on I'll share what I learned.

I learned a few things:
  • I am just as nerdy as all these other geeks that live in their head too much.
  • I met some wonderful writers whom I am actually very excited to read more from, even though I have NEVER read any women's fiction. It feels good to have writers read your stuff, because they have love for you at all and form no biased opinions. :)
  • A few posts ago I talked about attending a letter query writing class and some guy chatting with me like he was the coolest guy there like he knew his stuff? Well, I ate lunch with him and attended his class, and actually found out that he did know his stuff, and did know what he was talking about. Who knew?
  • There are also some very strange people and some very normal people who write. I felt like one of the young ones and I attracted attention; maybe because of my long blonde hair or maybe for being one of the saner ones.
  • I didn't feel so stupid for being an Indie Writer. People thought I was so cool for having my book on Amazon.
And I schmoozed with some people:
  • There was an editor from Covenant you seemed really interested in my work - too bad Covenant doesn't publish Fantasy or Vampire Satire.
  • A met some cool published authors, that I've never read, but might now that I have met them.
  • James Dashner, though still nerdy, is actually a lot funnier and cooler than my original impression at the Writer's Workshop last year.
And most exciting news:
  • I met with an agent who thought my stuff sounded fun and interesting and asked me to send it to her in New York. She might have thought I was some spastic cow talking my nervous head off about nothing, but she seemed amused. She seems really fun and everyone cross your fingers about this. I made myself so sick all day over this...
and... DRUMROLL.......
  • I got an Honorable Mention for my Everstar Manuscript in the age 14-17 category - which is out of the entire state and nearly 100 entries. Basically you are looking at the FIFTH PLACE WINNER!!! with no money prize... YIPPEE!!!!
It was a great experience. I'm more excited than even to start writing again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BIG 100!!!!!

I made it!! My 100th Blog!! In celebration I wanted to smack you all in the Face with this ENORMOUS PIE this lady - let's name her Luetta - is holding. I love this picture.
I hope I'm related to her somewhere...

I haven't blogged in a while, not because I lack interesting things to say, but I lack time.
I have many time wasters.

Here are some stupid things I've done lately:
  • I got Braces. My good friend Dave McDonough (Shameless plug) is an Orthodontist and talked me into a fabulous smile. He screwed a screw in the top of my mouth to hide all the good stuff going on inside. It's a pretty tricky trick, and creeps people out, but no one knows my secret...
  • I wrote a book - but that's old news. The publishing of it has kind of taken my out of the water for the moment. And I swear... everyday I feel like I want to change it again... but the whole reason I did it was so I didn't have to think about it again, but everyone that has read it wants to know when book 2 is coming. Well, I'm on chapter 7 there, so.... take a guess.
  • I also have my Book Release Party coming up. You have to read my book to come, because there might be spoilers... and Q&A about all things Naomi. Should be fun. And CRAZY!!
  • I had a mountain - NO JOKE - of laundry to do, and that had to be done. Now I have over two hundred pairs of socks in a basket in my living room. I'm very proud.
  • I'm trying to finish my other book before September 18th. The reason- I'm meeting with an agent, who looks pretty cool. My Vivatera, being complete could be nice, or stupid, and I don't know which yet, but my vampire novel is a clincher!! If I have that done, just even my rough draft, I think I could talk her into that.
  • Girls camp... Phew... over... and still running out of breath..
  • ... the biggest time consumer of all - MOCKINGJAY!! MOCKINGJAY!! MOCKINGJAY!! I had to read the Hunger Games Series again, and Mockingjay, I felt was a very well rounded, besides totally tripping me out read. I was sucked in immediately, like the others, and it tricked me, like the others, and killed so many people that I never got attached to them. This is all with revealing anything. But I FINALLY understand WHY it's called PANEM... that Suzanne Collins is so stinkin' clever.
With everything in my life taking off, it's hard to stay focused, but all is well here and I will hear from you all soon, I'm sure.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Divide

We had so much fun up at the Divide I thought I would share some pictures that I really liked.

My nixie-pixie Jules...


The Treasure Cove...


This is what I get for telling Mia the purpose of camping is to get muddy and wet.


Yes... Muddy and Wet...

The Big Bonfire. We started a huge fire to burn lots of the left-over trailer and turns of stock-piled wood. I figured out where Kevin got his Pyro-gene from... hmmm......




Two troublemakers...
Three trouble makers

Our Unicorn...

Julia named her Wenna...

My Jules ahead of the pack...


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Potty Juice

A brief conversation with my 3 yr old-

(I walked into the bathroom to find pee spots all over the seat and the toilet not flushed.)

Me: Jules, come here. This is so disgusting. You need to flush.

Jules: I didn't go potty mama.

Me: Mia's not here and I know Daddy didn't do this.

Jules: I DID-ENT GO POT-TY.

Me: Then what is all this?

Jules: Juice.

Me: Juice? What juice?

(I looked to see she had a cup in her hand.)

Me: Did you drink my Pineapple Crush?

Jules: I was just borrowing it. And it was in here and I wanted it in my cup so I dumped it in the toilet.

Me: You dumped my drink in the toilet?

Jules: I got it from my room and I scooped it out of the potty.

Me: Oh Jules... that's so gross... Don't drink that or I may never kiss you again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction

Mia had Acting Camp this week where she was in Peter Pan. It basically is a crash course on a kids play with a performance on Friday night. So what really did you expect - BROADWAY? The problem with having you kid in a kid's play is actually having to watch a kid's play.

Mia was very funny and knew the lines better than some of the other kids. In one part she had to tell someone their line. That's my smarty-pants girl alright?

But the best part was Mia's Wardrobe Malfunction. She was a polar bear lost kid and always had to move the hat to stay on.

I captured it for you all.



video

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good Parenting...

Thought I would share with you my musical family and how AWESOME parenting can be...

video


video

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Query Worry

On Thursday I went to my League of Utah Writers Chapter meeting. I was very excited to learn all I could about Query letter writing since I absolutely SUCK at them. I get trapped with knowing too much about the story and tend to ramble a bit... like I am doing now.

I was nervous. I had only been to one other meeting and that was in December. I didn't know anyone, so I sat on the back row- dead middle, comfortable enough for me and still an able seat to participate; far enough from the creepy, homeless writer in the front corner and not near the LOST IN THEIR OWN FANTASY crowd in the center. I felt safe in the back, where I feel free enough to do my own thing if it gets boring... much like church.

Not 5 minutes after the meeting started some stragglers filled in the back seats, one sitting one chair away from me. A little later I heard noises in the hallway and leaned my head to look, only to see this guy staring at me - like eye to eye contact and he didn't flinch away, like I do most of the time when someone catches me looking a them. What do you do? I just smiles and whispered a "Hi," and went back to listening. But the rest of the time I felt awkward, like this stranger was eying me. But if you looked over the crowd, pickings were slim on a pretty face, not saying too much about myself, but everyone else in the room. I was one of the youngest, and as far as I could tell, the only blond.

During the course of this presentation, this guy would make comments like the "No-It-All" in the class. I found it rather irritating.

Finally we get to a time in the class to share our query letters within groups. I knew before he did it that this guy was going to skooch next to me and ask, "So, do you have a letter you wanted to share?"

After the presenter was done I knew what I needed to do with my letter, so I said, "You know, I do, but I don't think I want to share it anymore." So I found a few people that did have a letter to share and he followed me to that group.

After hearing some of these queries I noticed that this guy I guess, was someone of "Importance" in my chapter. I guess he had published stuff, but I didn't know who he was. He "Allowed" others to comment before he went into his deep philosophy about the letter style. My job, I felt, was to go back and reassure the writer that their stuff isn't bad, but it needs shape- that I liked the style of writing, but just lost the point of it. I think it is so easy to pick out what others need to do - but you can't see it for yourself. This guy agreed with my every point.

Anyway, when we were all done and everyone was packing up to leave, this guy was still sitting by me. So... BRAVE ME... I turned over to him and said as nice as I could, "Am I supposed to know who you are?"

He introduced himself, but funny thing, I don't remember his name, David something... which is a shame since I would love to look at his stuff - and told me his pen name also... which sadly I can't remember either. He stated after that, "You know, I could still help you with your query?"

"No, I think I got it," and I walked out the door.

So here is the question: "Where should I sit next time? Should I chance it with the homeless weirdo or the Fantasy Pack?" I think I will sit on the left side by the HOPELESS ROMANCE WRITING HOUSEWIVES, don't you think?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Updates

Here are some pictures to update people about us... thought they are nothing special, I think they are fun.


Here is Mia and her friend Deryck at the Kindergarten Fieldtrip to Discovery Gateway.

Mia and her friends: Kim, Deryck, Craig, and Althea.

Mia loves - LOVES penguins. We made it over to the Aquarium when they opened the penguin exhibit and Mia went straight to the "Penguin Experts" and told them all she knew about penguins, and charmed the pants right off them.

More of the Penguins.

This might be sisterly love... but I doubt it. You decided.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cookie Recession


Consumers beware... I have a major complaint about these so called "Mint Oreo Fudge Cremes."

Here's the complaint:

I was in our grocery store the other day and saw this beautiful box with Oreo cookies being drizzled with chocolate and the word MINT on the top. YUM!! Three of my favorite things. I have lately been an Oreo fan, since they started smothering them with chocolate. I remember a brief period in my life where I played checkers with Oreos, just like the commercial suggested to do and didn't want to touch them for a while, but smothered - especially minty smothered yumminess brought me back to heaven.

I remarked to my daughter in my compulsive nature. "Oh look, they brought back the covered Oreos. It doesn't get much better than smothered Oreos." She quickly said, "Yes it does." She doesn't like chocolate if anyone in the world didn't know.

I couldn't even wait for the ride home to have one of these - I opened them in the car.

And I immediately thought - "Oreo must be being hit by this Recession." The cookies were have the size of what they should be. They twisted off half of the cookie with the cream and dipped it. No sandwich. It can't be called an OREO if it's not a sandwich. I believe it was the Greek Gods that actually created the sandwich - and called it an "OREO" it was the Earl of Sandwich that made it popular. If I have my history right.

It was also very devious of the Oreo people to make the box so big, if you have half the cookie you expect and still only get sixteen cookies!!

To be fair - it does show a picture of an open-face cookie getting gooed by chocolate and in very thin, small, curvy letters reads: "A Crispy Chocolate Cookie Topped with Unmistakable Oreo Mint Creme, Covered in Fudge." This is all Oreo Lawyer covers for RIP OFF!!

I don't like that they used the word "Unmistakable" but it clearly was "Mistakable."

But I did eat all the cookies and dip them with milk and enjoyed the flavor and I might buy them again if they go on sale...

FIE YOU OREO GODS FOR MAKING YOUR COOKIES SO DARN GOOD!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comandments?

Mia: Mom, I really like Jesus, but does he have to have so many commandments?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Get Thee Hence!

Mia leaned over to me today in church...

Mia: Mom, Jesus said, "Get Thee Hence..."

Mom: Yes, and what did that mean?

Mia: It means "Get the Heck out of here!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stupid Gravity!

Julia just spilled a raspberry shake on my new carpet. I kinda got mad... and Mia came to her defense.

Mia: It's wasn't her fault Mom, it was gravity. Gravity is to blame. She was just walking down the stairs when gravity pulled the shake right on the ground. Stupid gravity always making a mess of things.

New Carpet

It's in and AWESOME!!!

Everyone is invited over for a CARPET PARTY!!!

Becka asked me post some pictures. I really don't think it wil excited anyone but Becka, but I think it's stinkin' cool!!!



My downstairs. You can see Kevin already moved in his guitar and amp.


The hallway to Mia's Pink room. ooooooohhhhhh!!!


My family room. The hole at the end of the room is where the built-in media shelves are going.


If cat's could swear just guess what my cat just said...


While I was taking pictures the girls where playing orphanage. What does that tell you about my parenting.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Traditions

Yesterday I had my family over and got to thinking about some of our family traditions...

Our Easter Toast
I remember the conversation that led to this tradition. Every year my mother would buy Marshmellow peeps and I couldn't tell you why. I think Marshmellow Peeps are the nastiest idea of candy ever invented - this coming from a girl who loves sugar. I remember questioning who was going to eat them. I hope I'm not wrong in this, but I think it was my brother Nathan who said "Let's have a toast. To Easter!" So we all toasted with him, bit off the heads of out Marshmellow Peep and threw the rest behind us. Hence, the beginning of our Peeps Toast.

The Easter Ninja
My sister Becka always insisted that we color eggs though none of us ever wanted to. But we would start and have a lot of fun. One year when I was a teenager we got so in to coloring that we colored the ones that weren't boiled also. Now we had a problem - which ones were which? There really wasn't a way to tell so what were we going to do with them. That's when we decided to throw them at my brother Josh, who was very nimble and quick and said he would be the Easter Ninja. He also had my brother Adam's kitana sword and would swing at the flying eggs.

We have a little song about the Easter Ninja:

I'm the Easter Ninja
I've come to steal your Eggs.
I'm the Easter Ninja
I'm popular at kegs.

When I was a kid this song was hilarious...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Deadline approaching.....

Well, I've been very busy, but I thought some of you might like to know where I came with my goal of finishing rewriting my book by the end of March.
  • Last week, Kris had her baby on the 22nd... even though my goal was the 31st, I was excited to hear it- and little baby Britta looks so cute.
  • I'm Stake Camp Director also, and we had our Camp Kick-off this week- other headache, but everything went so well. Phew.....
  • And I've been scrabbling to finish my basement for the carpet installer that came on Saturday- that was another distraction.
But I'm happy to report...

Well..... I DID IT!!!

I'm Finished... all but the spell checking, some grammatical errors fixes and unfortunately so of the characters names are going to change, but what do you guys know, since many of you have never read it. I thought I might share with you some information and a brief plot to get you all excited.

Title: The Vivatera (or Life Stone)
Genre: Young Adult- Teen Fantasy
Pages: 510
Word Count: 129,020

Plot: NAOMI EVERSTAR would like to be ordinary, though she knows deep down she is different. Her world is very isolated. She has no family and spent the tender years growing up in seclusion with an old gypsy woman, MALINDRA, who took Naomi on as her own before her ill-fated murder when Naomi was only eleven. Now seventeen she lives with a widower FERREL BUCKLINGDOWN and his son ZANDER, whom she protects from his abusive father on a farm in the small insignificant town of Sharlot.


There are differences about Naomi that she never considers: her luck, her balance, her understanding of animals, her love of trees, and most peculiar, her ability to heal herself and others.


But there is a secret about her. Ever since Naomi can remember she has hidden her secret - a mark on the nape of her neck like a burn or brand, shaped like a star that shimmers when it's touched. Malindra told her it was sacred and to cover it at all times, but she never got the chance to tell Naomi its true meaning. Naomi does cover it with a silk scarf given to her by her loving guardian, though she hides it more for her security then discover.


The direction of her life takes a dangerous turn when she spots a girl in town revealing the same mark on her neck as her own, and before she can reach her she is quickly kidnapped away. Suddenly her life is in danger without understanding why and her mark has everything to do with it. Her adventure begins here and her real identity is about to unravel.


...I know.... and that's just the 1st and 2nd chapter...

Friday, March 12, 2010

One of Those Days

Kevin got an iTouch for his birthday. He's so excited and he has been playing with it all week. Today, while I was at work, I got a message from him - he's figured out how to text my phone using it. I thought it was funny, so I will share.

So I dropped off Mia, but we forgot her glasses and show & tell. I
went back to the school and took them to her. Mrs. Thacker says "One
of those days, huh?"
After texting you, I took a "quick" shower that ran a bit long. I saw
the time and threw on my clothes and drove over to the school still
dripping wet. Too late. Mrs. Thacker had already taken Mia back into
the classroom. So I walk around to the office and they call Mia down.
The secretaries were all very friendly and helpful.
Mia and I go to the 1 by 1 (711) and get her a slurpee. Yummy! When we're
climbing back into the car I look at my sleeve and notice that my
shirt is inside out. One of those days. Sigh.

Thanks for sharing Kev...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the Oscar goes to....ME!

I'm so excited. I just made a movie for girl's camp and I just had to share.

Just imagine a deep voice over "...In a World..." kinda of stuff and you've got it.
video

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

...just sleeping... a tribute

(My Mom's Family - Mom, Sharon, Jim, Ed,
My Grandparents Wendall and Marjorie holding Dennis)

My Grandma Carbine's Funeral was really special. Is it strange to say I had a good time? I felt touched at times, the song we sang was BEAUTIFUL and could only have been pulled off because of the angels that sang with us on the back row - NO JOKE! But I'm not a crier. After the service I turned to Kevin and said, "I think I'm broken." All my cousins were crying and I tried, forgive me Grandma, I really tried. I just couldn't be sad.

I personally think Grandma is much happier dead than alive and I can't blame her for that. She was stuck with us for 27 years without Grandpa and I think she was always mad about that. She had a stubbornness about her, which is one reason I think she hung around so long also. I see the same stubbornness in my mother, my brother, and my sister. Not me though, I have the passive "Let's deal with it when it falls" attitude, or more like "When things fall, let's walk around them" attitude. That sounds more like me.

But I did want to share something that I thought was so cute that happened at my Grandma's Viewing.

I took my two girls to see her. I didn't want them at the funeral, I wanted to enjoy myself, is that weird? I thought it was something they should see and remember, like I remember my own Grandpa's viewing when I was seven. Mia really didn't want to go. She was rather spooked and thought it was creepy. She was mad I made her put on a dress and holds a tight grudge at such things, and constantly complained that it wasn't going to be fun because there were no toys there. True there weren't toys there, Thank You Heaven for that!

Julia however thought it was neat. She liked going over to the casket and looking. She's not very morbid and was thinking about it a lot. One of those times I walked over with her and talked to her about it and this is what she said:

Julia: Mom, I think Grandma is sleeping.

Me: No, I don't think she's sleeping. She died. She's living with Heavenly Father now.

Julia: No, I think she's sleeping. We need to wake her up.

Me: No, I don't think we should wake her up.

Julia: Yes, I think I will wake her up.

Then she proceeded to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I thought it was so cute I didn't stop her.

Later on she was shushing Mia in her sassy way saying, "Don't wake Grandma. She's with Heavenly Father."

I think my Grandparents were laughing behind the veil at those two.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Potty Scooper

Mia: Mom, do you know where the potty scooper is?

Mom: I have no idea what you are talking about.

Mia: Remember when I dropped my Backyardagans spoon in the toilet and we had to scoop it out with one of your big scooping spoons?

Mom: (laughing)

Dad: When was this? Did you drop something in the toilet?

Mia: No Dad! This was when I was four.

Mom: It's true. Wow! Good memory.

Dad: But what do you need to scoop out?

Mia: My Strawberry Shortcake is in my drink.

Dad: How did it get in there?

Mia: She accidentally got dropped in.

Mom: Accidentally?

Mia: By my hand...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

V Day Traditions

Happy V Day! Really, and that's not my cynical self telling you to enjoy the day, even though I don't.

Growing up I always hated the holiday. It always made me feel bad as a teen; and why would I intentionally look forward to the disappointment of finding that I'm not loved by anyone or that no guy could fulfill my fantastic imagination. So I made a decision to not care... and it made everything so much easier. If any of you know me, I'm not the Luvie-dovie type, so it didn't matter. I'm more the Dress like a Pirate type on Valentine's day.

Well, when I got married I told Kevin I didn't want anything. Boy, he lucked out, right? Instead I told him I wanted a HOMEMADE Card. I didn't give him any rules and over the years I have received some rather "Interesting" cards.

Who can forget my "Die Candie Die" card - when you look inside it read: "But don't die for a really longer time, cause I'll miss you."

Or my "Bunnies in the Furnace" card, with a bunny made from construction paper surrounded by Brimstone!

Well, here is this year's card:
This is based on a song called "Skullcrusher Mountain" about a mad scientist who kidnaps a girl and tries to impress her by making her a bunch of things like a half-pony half-monkey monster.

This lyric reads:
Picture the two of us alone inside my golden submarine
While up above the waves my doomsday squad ignites the atmosphere
And all the fools who live their foolish lives may find it quite explosive
Well, it won't mean half as much to me if I don't have you here


Isn't that romantic? Can you see Kevin and I in the Golden Submarine?

I think it's my favorite card so far.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Lesson Over Lunch

Mia, Julia, and I had lunch today at Chickfila - love that place - and here was our conversation.

Mia: Look at my straw Mom. They have cool bendy straws and you don't get one.

Me: Nope, I get a boring grown-up straw.

Mia: Cause, you're a boring grown-up.

Me: Thanks. I'm just saying that I have to get the adult meal, cause I'm not a kid.

Mia: But, your a Child of God.

Me: (laugh) Yes, but that doesn't mean I can get a Kid's meal.

Mia: Maybe you should talk to Heavenly Father about that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

January Book Club Review

As part of my blogging this year, I thought I would give you a quick book review on my Bookclub book. This idea helps me - again - finish something that I have not been doing.

Each year my friends and I get together and select 11 books we will read during the year. It was sorta my brainchild, so I usually organize it. However, I never get around to finishing - or even beginning - our book club book, until after the month is over. And I can't figure why; it's not like I don't have the time - while working full time, mothering my 2 girls, teaching Relief Society, working with my Camp committee, as I'm Stake Camp Director, or writing and editing a book in my "SPARE" time, and still manage to shower in there somewhere. And I all know you wonder how I keep my house so sparkling... Enough griping - I FINISHED THE BOOK THIS MONTH and I'd like you to hear what I have to say...


HOOT by Carl Hiaasen

First, I guess there is a movie about this, but I haven't seen it. About a boy, Roy, with his friend Beatrice and Mullet Fingers (Yes, you read that right), try to save protected burrowing Owls from getting smothered by the construction of a Mother Paula's American Pancake House.

  • I really was delighted with this book. It is simple reading - you could finish it in an afternoon, I imagine - and the idea is predictable, but that isn't the point: what is delightful about it was the way it was written. The author has a great crafting of words. He conveyed a visual image in simplicity - using zipped and trudge as examples. I love it when the crafting is good. I liked really reading it.
  • And it was really funny. I was sitting in te U hospital cafeteria and I started laughing outloud at what I had just read. People thought I was nuts...
  • I like the relationship of the Eberhardt family. There was a layer of trust that the parents had and Roy didn't ever want to lose that trust. He honored his parents and didn't like the idea of disappointing them Ah... if all parenting sounded this simple.
  • I also, liked the message. There are dozens of enviromental stories out there, telling you this and that about saving... whatever... but this wasn't heavy and it didn't go out to take over your way of thinking, it more stated, that with small actions, you can make a big differance. And that can go with anything.
I recommend it. And it makes me want to read more from this author - He wrotes things for adults too. Just sayin...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Snack Troll Returns

The other morning I woke up to my two girls sitting in front of the television with a big box of candy and tons of wrappers all over the ground.

The "Big Box of Candy" is placed above my sink high out of reach of these two monkeys, meant to "Reward" those that clean or be nice. In the past, when Mia was younger, we had who we called "THE SNACK TROLL" who guard the snacks and we had to ask permission to have any snacks. I hadn't thought of him for a while now, forgetting how fun it was to have a troll in our home.

So when I asked, "How did you get the candy down?" I wasn't expecting to hear from Mia, my 6 yr old...

"I moved over the stool and stood on the counter, but I had to get on my tippy-toes to reach the box and almost dropped it."

"But who said you could have some?"

"Well, I asked the Snack Troll - in my mind - and he said I could have some."

"I didn't know he was around."

"Yeah, he's back from visiting his cousin The Garbage Troll."

"And where does the Garbage Troll live?"

"In our basement with all the trash."

Couldn't argue with that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a quick update..

I fell like I'm going crazy. I haven't done much since my sister - bless her - has come into town. I've been partying a lot.

Her is an update on my book progress. My word count - which I am trying to get down to a reasonable reading count has gone back up. I got it down to 131,510 from 144,000. Good job for me. Well, now it's up again to 131,554!!

Not much of an improvement, but not too bad. Of course I've only got to chapter 14 out of 50. and this month is going by really quickly. Well, back to work...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Listening to the sound... of Razzberries pssttt.....

Here is my first blog of this year - so far I love 2010. 2009 is way in the past. And to make you all jealous - I'm eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Christmas Tree...

I bought Kevin a sound effects machine for Christmas. Unfortunately it came from England and arrived 2 days after Christmas. We have had a blast with it. I've never enjoyed Harry Potter 6 so much than watching it with the sound machine.

Examples:

Harry and Ginny Kiss - Whistle
Ron says anything - waw wah
Draco and Harry duel - Window Crashing
Ron and Lavendar - Gun shot
Harry uses the Felix Felisus - Light bulb

It's been so much fun.

Here is a video of the girls enjoying the sound machine.... They crack me up.

video