Monday, August 30, 2010


     One of the things I hate most about myself is how afraid I am of most things. And of course I'm not talking about heights or spiders (although the latter one does creep me out). Rather that I'm afraid of taking risks, of looking stupid, and of stepping out of my comfort zone- which is basically the organized little world encompassing mainly me and my family.  Let me tell you, it sucks to be afraid all the time. And again, I'm not talking about fear of natural disasters or death by lightening strike or anything like that. Let me give an example: I've thought a lot about going to a writer's conference. I've heard how great they are and how beneficial they are to writers and how much I could learn and who I could meet etc. But the thought of going to one all by myself, knowing absolutely no one, and having to meet and greet and mingle and even more scary- pitch my book to an agent or editor- freaks the crap right out of me. In fact, there are two conferences coming up in October- one in Kalispell, and one in Park City, UT. I know I could make the arrangements to go, but I can't quite make up my mind to do it. Why? FEAR. Except that when I talk myself out of it of course I don't acknowledge that excuse. Instead I blame my not going on the cost, the driving, having to get a babysitter for my kids. When really, the main thing holding me back is the fear that I'll sit there like a doofus and be too scared to go up to anyone and talk to them. Or that I'll freeze up when I'm faced with an agent and end up stuttering out something like,"uh yeah... my books about this girl... she's a daydreamer... yeah and she uh, ends up in medieval times... uh huh."
     Really brilliant.
     I know what I have to do is just force myself. Like the jazz classes I'm about to take. I debated back and forth about taking them but everytime I watch So You Think You Can Dance, I just feel the urge to be dancing again. So I signed up. Now I can't stop it from constantly gnawing on my brain. Will I be good enough? Will I be able to keep up? Will I look like a fool? Will I be so bad that they'll move me down to the beginner class?
     So what's the point of all this? Well, there is no point. Except maybe one day I can look back and read this and (hopefully) think- man was I dumb to be so afraid of that! Or maybe even- man, I am so glad I'm not afraid of everything anymore!
     I can't wait for that day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Michael Buble

     W.O.W. (And if anyone doesn't know how that's pronounced, it's wuh-ow-wuh).
     Michael Buble's concert last night was AMAZING! Just totally awesome and worth every penny I must say.
     I have to admit, I was a little worried that it wouldn't be that great. Now, I've been a Michael Buble fan since his second CD. So that's been like, four years now or so. I love his music and his voice. But I didn't know what his concert would be like. You know, maybe he would just sit there and sing and it would be kind of boring.

     Can I just say, NOT AT ALL. He was incredible. Not only does he have an amazing voice (duh) but he was a great entertainer too. He danced around, came down the aisles into the audience, and he was HILARIOUS! No joke. So funny. He made jokes about himself, his fiancee, Tiger Woods, Twilight, you name it. I was laughing so hard I was crying. And let me tell you, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. I found myself smiling most of the time, except when he sang slow songs and then I was just mesmerized. Completely without thought. Seriously.
     He was... amazing, tremendous, incredible, awesome, stupendous, remarkable, wonderful, marvelous. Best concert ever! (Even better than 'N Sync!)
     I took this when he was making his way down the aisle back to the stage. We had floor seats, row 23, and were lucky to be close to the end so I could snap this one. He's singing there, not smiling funny. I only wish my camera was better so my pics turned out better. Ah well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Forgot one...

     Another great series: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. They're called City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.
     Just thought I'd mention them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Great YA Books

     So I've been reading A TON of Young Adult books lately- you know, immersing myself in my genre and getting to know what teens like, etc. Anyway, I thought I'd post a list of books that I have loved in case anyone is looking for good books to read. The great thing about teen books are that they're quick and easy reads, have funny characters and great stories, and they're pretty clean- usually. So here's the ones I've loved and liked. I won't mention the ones I didn't care for so much cause there have been a few of those too.

Anything by Meg Cabot- The Princess Diaries, Avalon High (those are the ones I've read so far- she's written like 90 books! Oh to be Meg Cabot)
Stephenie Meyer- The Twilight Saga (duh)
Suzanne Collins- The Hunger Games, Catching Fire
Ally Carter- The Gallagher Girls series: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Aprilynne Pike- Wings
Rick Riordan- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (all five)
Alyson Noel- Evermore, Blue Moon
Kelley Armstrong- The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning
Maggie Stiefvater- Shiver

     Those are all I can think of right now. Thanks to my local library for having them and then I loved them all so much that I went out and bought them. No joke. (Except for The Princess Diaries series because there's more than 10 and I've read them just this past week and I so can't afford that many books at once!)
     Anyway, hope all you book lovers out there try some of these out because they really are great. And nothing is better for an author than word of mouth.

Monday, August 16, 2010


     So I've been reading The Princess Diaries books, and I'll freely admit they're awesome. No really. They're some of the most hilarious books I've ever read and I'd recommend them to anyone. Except maybe males who don't want to delve into the psyche of a fourteen-year-old girl. I can totally relate to them though having been a 14-year-old at one time, even though I never found out I was a princess, lived in NYC, or dated my best friends brother.
     Oh wait, I did do that last one.
     Moving on...
     One thing that Princess Mia strives for through all the books is 'self-actualization', which means realizing ones full potential. So in my own quest for self-actualization, I feel I need to admit something to world.
     I have written a novel, and it is a teen romance.
     Ok, maybe that doesn't seem like such a big deal to admit, but I have been reticent until now to label my novel in such a way. Honestly- I was embarrassed by the word 'romance'. When I think of romance novels, I picture those books that all have the same covers of a man showing his well-musceled chest bending over a woman with long flowing hair and a gown that is in danger of falling off. Now, I have never read a romance novel- Never. So how, one might ask, do I know what their covers look like? Well it's simple: I spend an alarming amount of time either in a library or a book store- so it's impossible not to pass the romance section. To prove this point, last week alone I was at my local Crossfield library four times and the nearest Indigo once. Not to mention that every time I go to Walmart or Superstore, I browse their book selection.
     Anyway... what I'm trying to say is, yes, I have written a romance. And not one with heaving bosoms or throbbing manhoods (sorry mom). Trust me- that stuff is not in my book. In fact, even the kissing scenes in my book made me giggle and blush like a 14-yr-old so I don't think it would be even possible for me to move on to anything racier.
     But my novel is a romance for the simple fact that my main character meets an incredibly hot and awesome man, and spends the book falling in love with him. That is the main theme, interspersed with sword-fighting, snobby ladies-in-waiting, a skanky boss, a creepy dude, and an even creepier Duke.
     So the point of all this is- I have written a teen romance. And I think it's awesome. And I hope one day people will read it, no matter what label it's given. But I will no longer hide what it is, or be embarrassed by it.
     Self-actualization- here I come!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What Have I Gotten Myself Into???

     So I've finished writing my first book which takes place during Medieval Times. Now I'm onto book #2 which takes place in the year 1781 at the very end of the American Revolution. And all I can say is...
     What Have I Gotten Myself Into???
     Here's the thing- I'm Canadian. I never studied the American Revolution in school. Sure, I did do two years of High School in Connecticut and during that time I took a US History Class. But we started at Reconstruction. For all you Canadians out there- that means the end of the Civil War. Almost a whole century later!!! So I know ZIP about the American Revolution. Basically, all my knowledge comes from the movie The Patriot. Yikes.
     This leaves me in a bit of a fix. Especially since getting a hold of books about this topic is very difficult here in Canada. The tiny Crossfield library has next to nothing, and neither does the local Indigo. My brother- who lives in the prime area of Pennsylvania- was kind enough to lend me a book called 1777, about the beginning of the war. Unfortunately, it's kind of the wrong year for my book. So I'm left with reading everything I can over the internet (thank you Wikipedia). The problem with that is that I barely retain any information so I find myself reading and re-reading and re-reading. Which takes a lot of time. And even with all that- I still make mistakes.
     For example, I had written a scene a couple of days ago where the main guy mentions how hard it would be to find a couple of swords. Last night, right before bed, I had this epiphany: The British soldiers have swords right on their uniforms! And this guy talking is- yep- a British soldier. So he's saying he could never find a sword when he's wearing one right at his waist!!!
     D'oh. So I had some changes to do. At 11pm. Right when I had just gone to bed. So up I went, in my undies, to sit at the computer and change the glaring mistake I had made. Then I went back to bed only to get up about two minutes later to make more fixes. 
     I just hope I know what I'm doing. Because I want to be accurate. I don't want to make hugely obvious mistakes about that time period, thereby making me look like a complete idiot, thereby insuring that not one person will want to publish and/or read this book.
     What have I gotten myself into?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Indoor Girl

     So I went camping this weekend. And it totally reinforced a fact that I've always known but never really wanted to be true: that I'm an indoor girl.
     I don't know what movie I heard that from but it's always stuck with me. The main guy in the movie says it to the girl, like, "you're kind of an indoor girl" in an almost derogatory way and I've never forgotten it. Clearly because it totally describes me. If I had to choose between, 1) spending a weekend in a tent on an uncomfortable air mattress in the freezing cold and having to walk a mile to pee in a stinky outhouse with a mystery brown splotch on its floor or 2) spending a weekend in a warm hotel with a shower, tv, and bathroom just steps away and restaurants to eat in and shopping...
   Well I'd choose 2. All the way. No question. Done.
   Not that camping this past weekend didn't have its highlights, because it did. Sitting around the campfire, swimming in the lake, lounging at the beach... But as it started to rain on saturday evening, I soon caved to the insistently growing need to be warm and sleep in my own bed instead of shivering all night long and listening to coyotes howl away seemingly steps from my flimsy fabric domain.
     So even though I've tried to ignore the signs, to hide the fact from everyone I know, to delude myself, I'm finally coming clean.
     I'm an indoor girl. And I'm proud.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Girls Weekend

     I haven't really mentioned my girls trip last weekend, but it was great! We shopped, shopped, and shopped some more. Oh- and ate so much that I felt stuffed most of the time. And there were movies too- lots of movies. It's nice to have some time away, to get a break from diapers and crying and "mooooom, mooooom!" over and over. I find that it's good to miss my family- it helps to not take them for granted. And it's great to come home and have Avery run at me with her arms out. Soooo cute!
     Anyway, the highlights of the trip for me were probably all the food and movies. Shopping at Target too- I love that place. We tried some new restaurants- a BBQ place, a Mexican place (yum) and a Mongolian Grill called HuHot. So delish! That was probably my favorite. In fact, I ate so much good food that I barely ate any of the many treats that I bought. Now they're sitting in my cupboard, waiting for the weekend when I can devour them all. Ahhh Milky Way bars- stop calling my name.
     We saw a movie each night which was great because I rarely get to go to the movies. I love it. There's something so exciting about getting the ticket, the popcorn, and then waiting in anticipation for the movie to begin. One of my roommates at BYU said once that she'd get so distracted by the previews that she'd forget what movie she was seeing and then she'd get excited all over again when the movie started. I feel that exact same way.
     Charlie St. Cloud was the first one we saw. Helloooo Zac Efron! My husband always bugs me that I have a crush on him and I totally didn't. After seeing that movie though... The best part was when Emily blurted out "WOW!" Hilarious. The next night we saw Salt- a typical Angelina Jolie movie. Then on sunday night we saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Loved it! So it was kinda cheesy and it won't win an Oscar, but the guy is just so charmingly nerdy, and I love anything to do with magic, that I laughed out loud and had a great time.
     We went to this huge antique place which smelled like dust and mold and had all this junk that I wouldn't pay 25 cents for, let alone the ridiculous prices they were demanding. They had these medieval helmets that were over a hundred bucks so I didn't buy one, but we had fun trying them on. I'm going to attempt to post a pic of me wearing one. Do you think it's the kind of helmet Lord Alric would wear or what? It's not quite how I imagined it but close.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


   Not only did I have to deal with sick kids yesterday, but I got my fifth rejection. I know 'they' say that rejection doesn't mean much, that you have to have a thick skin to be a part of this business, and that pretty much all writers received tons of rejections before their first novel was published.
   That doesn't stop it from stinging just a little bit.
   No one likes to be rejected. I watched the Bachelorette finale last night and was thinking about how people who go on that show barely know the Bachelor/Bachelorette who they are fighting to win in the end. And yet, they still feel hurt and disappointed when they are rejected and kicked off the show.
   This isn't that much different. Agents know me not at all, and at most they've read the first chapter or two of my book, but I'm still being rejected for whatever reason. I think that's the hardest part- that I don't know the reason. It could be my title, my word count, the synopsis in my query letter, or the query letter as a whole. It could be my credentials (or lack thereof) or the fact that I either didn't include personal information about them or that I did and it seems like I'm brown-nosing. Or maybe they make it past all that and it's my book after all- at least the first 5-10 pages which is the most I'm allowed to send.
   That is what makes this business- and rejections- tough. Because if I knew what was wrong, what I had to fix or work on, then I would do it 100 percent. But I get no feedback whatsoever and therefore have to keep on like I am and hope that I just haven't found the right person yet and that they are out there somehwere, just waiting for a book like mine.
   I hope I don't sound whiny. I realize that agents are inundated with hundreds, sometimes thousands of query letters and that there is no possible way they can spend time giving feedback to each one. I'm just commenting on the difficulty of it all and how, no matter what anyone says, rejections still sting.
   All writers say don't give up. I'm not giving up. Because deep down I believe in my book. I love my book. I'm passionate about it and I want other people to read it and love it like I do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Welcome Home

   So I got back from my girls weekend last night. It was a great weekend but I was pretty tired so I went to bed early. Luckily I did because starting at 2 am my oldest daughter Jade started throwing up. Then went Logan, then Avery. Welcome home to me.

While I had a few moments of quiet in the shower I came up with this:

Ode to Barf
You woke me up a little past two
Your hair and shirt all covered in goo
I changed your sheets, you had a shower
I wished your room smelled like a flower
I wore my shirt just like a scarf
So I wouldn't get sick from your barf
Your brother and sister joined right in
I got no sleep from all the din 
I wish the sickness would say goodbye
So I could just lay down and die

   What my poem lacks in wit, it makes up for in complete honesty. It's like I'm being punished for having a weekend away from my kids. What's up with that??? All I can do is hope and pray that my poor kids will get better soon- for their benefit as well as mine.