Monday, November 8, 2010

Once Upon a Surrogate--The Stork's Helpers ( A book review)

YAY! I'm FINALLY posting the review of "The Stork's Helpers"....


AND you lucky people get to see another VIDEO of my promoting a much wonderful children's book. You are so lucky...

Thanks Jill for writing this book again. (And for asking me to do the synopsis!) That made me feel GREAT!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video Book Review Defensive Tactics By Steve Westover

So I've been doing some reading lately...And YES, I know this review is a bit late but I have had TONS of things going on in my life, namely, jobs, resumes, kids, potty-training, hubby working out of town...*sigh* But no time is good like the present for a book review right? Click play on my very FIRST video REVIEW! (I am so excited!) If this works out, I might do more video reviews...Sometimes it is easier to talk about a book that you read then to write about it, ya know?

Great suspense book and a REAL page turner! Thanks Steve for writing such a GREAT book! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Leaning into the Curves--A book review

I recently had the opportunity to read a book entitled: Leaning into the Curves.
I was impressed with the humor in the book at the very beginning because let's face it when life throws you lemons, it is WAY better to laugh then to cry. ;)

Basically the book starts out when Molly's husband Hank, retires. He didn't really have any plans for retirement besides to just relax and explore his town and varying towns around him.
  Molly has plans of her own though. While she is trying to adjust to Hank being at home, he buys a motorcycle! You will laugh and cry when you read this book! This book is all about retirement and the unexpected twists life can throw at you and how Molly handles the sudden curves and twists in her life.

Don't take my word for it though!
Here's the blurb on the back of the book:

"Molly is happy with her life the way it is, taking the classes she loves and performing with the Fiddling Finleys. But everything changes when her husband, Hank, retires. She's still trying to adjust to this new phase of life when he brings home a Honda Gold Wing--even though he knows she hates motorcycles! Things go from bad to worse when he joins the Temple Riders Association, a "mormon motorcycle gang" that combines road trips with temple work.
  Faced with the prospect of being left behind when Hank rides with his new friends, Molly starts making some changes of her own."
  "Leaning into the Curves offers a delightful view of a little known group of faithful Latter Day Saints. Full of appealing characters and unexpected turns it gives a new twist to what life can be like after a "certain age"!"

There you have it my friends! I think this is a very delightful read for the summer!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Worst First Date!

This is based upon my memory of an experience. The basic gist of the memory is right. Whether I got all the facts straight still remains a mystery. And yes, Marshall was definitely stuck up. And Yes, I wrote in third person because I'm a dork. It was somewhat easier. Ok? Not sure if Marshall was the guy's name or not. But he definitely came from the expensive side of town and he was driving a sports car. :))

     Back in the day, before Facebook and Twitter, there was a local chat program called "Chat City" and "Gaso-line." There was a lovely young girl named Alexes, who with her friend Sarah, decided to chat and flirt online with guys their own ages. It was all shameless flirting and batting of eyelashes. Sometimes they exchanged phone numbers with the boys, sometimes they didn't. Alexes spotted a guy online that was really pretty cute. His name was Marshall Fields.*  Alexes and Marshall chatted for a while and then one evening, Marshall typed at her: "You wanna go out sometime?"
Alexes quickly typed back her heart thumping wildly. "Sure. Where do you want to go?"
"Movies sound good. And then maybe something to eat. So we can, ya know, talk about the movie."
"Okay. Sounds great. When are you picking me up?"
"Friday night. 7 o' clock."
"Talk to you later then. Marshall."
Alexes giggled. She had already seen a picture of Marshall online. He looked incredible. She was so excited.
Friday night came quickly. Alexes dressed in her favorite jeans and top and opened the front door when the doorbell rang.
"Hi there. I'm Marshall."
After the nervous greetings were out in the open, they walked outside to his car.
"Freak. You have a red sports car?"
"Yeah, that's my ride. Sweet isn't it?"
    Alexes got inside the leather interior. The car smelled so nice. Like the new car smell scent. It smelled very nice. And so did Marshall. He managed to wear her favorite cologne--Polo, and he drove Okay.

    The thing that Marshall did the entire night, that bugged Alexes a TON, was talk about himself. Alexes asked all the questions, and Marshall was content to answer them and expound on them. As long as he was talking about his beloved sports car, he was just fine. After the movie and the dinner, Marshall drove Alexes home in silence. She has run out of questions to ask him and quite frankly was starting to feel uncomfortable.
When they arrived at Alexes' house, he asked her if he could see her again.
   Alexes nodded and replied, "Whatever. I'll call you."
And she never did. Who wants to be stuck on another date with a guy who is so stuck on himself?
Not Alexes. :)))

*Marshall may or may not be his name. I'm not sure. But the name sounds conceited to me so that's the name I gave him. :) The picture is just for eye candy. Picture obtained through Google images. Thanks Google!
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What books did I get at the Writer's conference?

Just a little video I made while waiting to leave for one of the days at the conference!
Happy writing!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Am NOT a Serial Killer--A review.

  This review is the same review I posted on Good Reads.

Wow. Simply put, Wow.
If you like suspense, if you like horror in any way, you will LOVE this book! This book kept me guessing the whole time.

First off, we have our main character, John Wayne Cleaver, a 15 year old boy, fighting off serial killer urges. He has a therapist, Dr. Neblin that he sees, to talk out his thoughts. John also has a set of rules that he follows, trying to fight off the killing urges.

But it is hard. His mother is a mortician. She prepares dead bodies all the time. At first, John helped, but not anymore. Mom forbade him to come in.

John shovels snow across the street for his neighbors. Nobody could have guessed. Not even me. Not in my wildest dreams.

I am going to leave you with a quote from the book. (The book is told in first person by John himself.

"Still, speculation was common and the theories grew wilder with time: maybe it was a drifter or a thrill killer;maybe it was a hit man harvesting organs for the black market; maybe it was a devilish cult that used the victims in unspeakable rituals. People wanted the explanation to be as big and flashy as the killings themselves, but the truth was far more terrifying: true terror doesn't come from giant monsters but from small, innocent-looking people. People like Mr. Crowley. People like me. You'll never see us coming."

If that doesn't want make you want to rush out and get the book, I don't know what will. Except it is very very good. All of the sudden, I am glad I don't live in Orem UT, anywhere near the author. Does Dan have a demon that he battles inside himself? Oooh. Crazy. I can't WAIT to get my hands on his second book. Oh, yes, I said it, this book is BOOK one in a trilogy. YES! YES! YES!!!!

Nobody is safe now.

Bwa! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Added note:  Dan Wells also won an award at the Whitney awards that I attended. I also got to talk to his wife and sister-in-law, Erin.  Every one should ignore their dishes in the sink like I did, and go ahead and read this book. Now if you will excuse me, I have some dishes to wash now. :)
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Monday, April 26, 2010

UPDATE: Writer's conference--What I learned!

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...
Image via Wikipedia

I had the opportunity of attending the LDStorymaker's WRITER'S conference this weekend. And just so you are wondering, it's not just for LDS writers. It is for everyone who likes to write. You don't even have to strictly write for LDS people. Just have an insane LOVE for writing.  I actually learned a TON this year.

And you know what? I took my camera, and did not take it out the whole weekend again. I was too busy meeting people,  chatting, and taking notes to worry about a picture. Sorry.

Here is a summary of what I learned: It can be summed up in TWO words.

JUST WRITE.  Okay, I have a bit more to say.

  • Keep on practicing your craft. 
  • Networking. Very important. You never know who you might meet in the future that might be interested in your writing.
  • Don't make excuses for your writing. Just DO it.
There you have it. That's what I learned from this fabulous conference this year! Now I am back to my writing and reading. . .
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I might have the workings of a novel here!

Hi friends--It's been roughly *grumbling under my breath*  weeks, months since my last posting. I have gotten quite into the Cluttered Brain blog if you hadn't noticed. But I have also been reading. I recently finished Band Of Sisters by Annette Lyon. My review of her book can be found here. And whenever I read I get inspired to write some more. I swear reading is good for the writer's soul. It is true what they say you know. Every good writer needs to read. And not just romance or just fantasy, but a variety of books. You have to embrace all genres of writing to be able to develop your own style, in my opinion.

With that being said, I have some ideas for my next novel I would like to pursue. I know, who says I have time to write a novel when I have a 2 year old loose in the house? Well, I'm gonna give it a try.

However I have a list of questions that I need some help with. I hope you can help me.
  • How much information if any can a husband who works for the FBI disclose to his wife? Or should he disclose anything to his wife?
  • How long should one wait when a loved one, say their husband, wait before contacting authority?
  • Is it bad that most of the characters you create tend to resemble your own characteristics and hobbies?
  • What are some habits and flaws that you find interesting in people? (That would you would like to see in a story.)
That's about it for now. I am in the brainstorming process.
Setting: Present day New York.

 Main character is 34 year old Rachel White-Marshall who does not get along with her mother-in-law at all. Her husband's mother never liked her from the beginning even when they were dating. Anyway, Rachel's husband Mark age 36, is a FBI agent currently involved in a high profile case. The problem comes up when Mark was supposed to be home at a certain time and never showed. He is not answering his cell phone (we find out why later) and Rachel cannot get a hold of him. It has been about 12 hours since Rachel has spoken to her husband. She does not know what to do.

The couple has three children, Tracey age 11, Shane age 9, and Betsy Rose age 2.

The plot thickens as she tries to get answers to where her husband is locates and no one will tell her. Mark's mother does not help at all and keeps criticizing Rachel for being so full of worry and thinks she should just drop the whole problem. Linda Vance-Marshall, Mark's mom, believes Rachel is trying to get media attention and Mark is just doing his job. However, she still works in the FBI and knows some information about the whereabouts of her son. She refuses to discuss with her daughter-in-law because she wants their relationship to end.

Does this sound like a story you would want to read? Does this sound like something you have read before in the past? (I hope NOT!)

Anything you contribute to the working of my novel will be credited in the publishing if the book of course!
Thank YOU in advance for helping a fellow writer out. You are too kind.

If you have any place websites and suggestions of people I can go to for research about the inner-workings of the FBI please let me know. Thanks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Submission UPDATE!

 "Writing is a release of a part of my soul." I'd like to take credit for that quote but I'm not. A fellow writer friend and tweep of mine--Bookmom2000, tweeted something like that to me the other day. And I wholeheartedly agree! Thanks Bookmom2000,  for reminding me!

I took a leap this week and submitted my first article to Mormon Mommy Blogs!
It took me great effort to decide whether I wanted to be a regular contributor on MMB. I mean did I have what it takes to submit a piece of my soul every month? YES! Yes, I do. And I will.
I can't wait until my first article is published on MMB. With time and effort it will be. I wrote my first article on gratitude. I won't share until it is actually published on MMB. No peeking here. :) You have to wait like I do. 

And now to the meatier part of my post. How I feel about myself when I am writing.

I feel rather rejuvenated when it comes to writing. I have been around the old blog for a while reading a bunch of wonderful blogs and thinking to myself, "I can write too. I should start submitting articles instead of just blogging." Not that anything is wrong with blogging, blogging is a great outlet for me to allow my creative juices to start flowing.

  I am not going to be complacent anymore when it comes to writing. Like the tweets I see from authors every now and then that say, "Don't bother me, #amwriting" That's where I am right now. I am not going to work on novel type stuff--well from time to time I might, but I am going to focus more on the short stories and article submissions. It is easier for me right now to edit the short story and articles I am going to be turning into magazines and other successful publishers that are interested in my writing. 

  This decade will be a different decade for me as a writer. I will submit. I will probably get some rejection letters. I will probably get a few acceptances. But overall, for me as a writer, it will be a good experience for me I think.

How do you as a writer get through life? How do you go about challenging yourself?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Uh-oh, I might be in trouble.

People have started following here as well? Uh-oh. I have a confession. I haven't been writing on a daily basis like I know I should. I blog and stuff, but does that count?
I have been super impressed with Wordpress blog lately. So impressed in fact I have started yet another blog. *sigh* If you want to check it out, it's HERE.

I know I should be writing. I missed the deadline for the short story contest. I said I was going to do it too. It is just that life got in the way of my writing. (It does that sometimes you know.)

People are wondering HOW I can keep up with all my blogs? Hmm. I don't keep ALL of them updated EVERY day. Just when I feel like it. I have MY main blog, My cluttered brain blog, AND I think my vlogging mama wordpress blog is gonna get updated more too.

So, about this writer blog, I still LOVE to write. I've even been checking out stuff in magazines that have short story contests and such. I'll do it. I will. But for now, well, today, I am going to update the blogs. AND clean of course.

Don't get rid of me yet. I won't let you down. I will post an excerpt from my novel I wrote from Nanowrimo sometime, OK? Just so you can get a dose of my writing skills.

What are you writing riight now? How do YOU find the time to write?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why I write.

(Isn't Calvin a riot? Leave it to him to use big words to make his report longer. Jeez.)

Today I am feeling quite introspective lately. I have read some people's blogs and they are amazing. These bloggers are writing about WHY they write. I have had this post in me for a while but its been caged inside me. It's time to let it out. Here it goes.


I write because I can. I crave challenges. Writing is hard. There is almost always discipline involved. (Like turning off my Tweetdeck.) *smile* This past year for the first time I entered Naniwrimo. Naniwrimo is an organization that helps writers kick their butt into gear. For the month of November you pledge to write 50,000 words. It is a little undaunting when you think about it. But I did it! I wrote another novel! The crazy thing to me is I want to write more.

I am in no way a perfect writer. I am learning like the rest of you. But I enjoy writing. It allows me to put my true feelings on paper. I can post feelings I am having through characters on paper and no one has to know its me. There is a quintessential joy in writing for me. I feel so good when I finish a story. And when I read back at what I wrote I remember the feelings of my characters and it feels so good. I am so glad I was given this gift of wanting to write. It has helped me a great deal in my own life.

I used to write in a journal when I was younger. Since I have grown older, I feel like I haven't got the time for it anymore. I could blame it on the social media sites I have recently joined. But that is not truly fair. It's me. If I want to write so bad, I need to do it. I have a laptop and lots of fresh ideas, I just need to do it.

I'm probably not really into it that much sometimes because I'm in the editing phase. UGH! Why edit? For one reason, you do NOT want to submit dirt to a publishing company. You want to come off as polished as you can. I will follow my advice and edit this week. It might feel like pulling of a bandaid that has been on for a while, but eventually I will feel better.

I must remember why I write. Maybe this post will help me remember.
I write because it helps me alleviate the burdens I have.
I write because I have characters inside my head that want to come out.
I write first and foremost for me.
Someday I might become a published author. Maybe I won't. But if I don't try and get my words out there I will regret it.

I am so glad for writers conferences as well. Without LDStorymakers, I am afraid I would be lost. They provide such support to me in my writings. It's not always easy but when you sit down and actually pour your feelings and stories on people you are breathing life into your characters.

I am grateful for writing. I plan on doing more with my writing this next week. If that means Tweetdeck must be shut off, then so be it.

My goal for this week is to get the short story out of my mind and onto the computer. No more procrastinating. Check back in next Saturday to see if I accomplished my goal. Hope I have good news to report. ;)

Anyone else feel the same away about writing? Care to share?

And as always, Thanks for reading!