Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello out there

Alright I'm just going to throw this out to the big wide blogosphere:

Does anybody miss us?

Just wondering.

Maybe I should ask the right question: Does anyone miss Toni's posts? I sure do! She made me laugh and cry with her witty and sometimes goofy posts. She inspired me to keep writing though the tough times. She gave me several ah-ha moments and things to ponder. I miss that!

Anybody with me? Any other Toni fans out there?

For some down and out pre-published authors, we would sure love to hear for some of our followers. Anyone?

Ok maybe I'll sweeten the deal: For the first one that responds I'll send a Lisa Schroader signed bookmark!!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shameless plug

Ok so I'm totally excited for this upcoming Thanksgiving! Not only is a time for tons of yummy food but a time to spend with family. To most people spending time with family is the norm but sadly not for us. We live so far away from relatives and spend most of our holidays with "just close family". Yep just us! Our own little what a treat to have our families come to us this year!

My house will be filled with great holiday smells, laughter and lots of intriguing and somewhat intimidating conversation. You're probably thinking "oh yay. Family holidays=family fights." Oh no that's not what kind of intimidating conversation I mean. My parents-in-law are both published and Bancroft awarding winning authors. I have the highest respect for them! Probably a little too much respect and admiration to the point I'm a little nervous Nelly in their company.

I love to hearing about their latest projects but always get tongue tied many, many times during our conversations. I just worry how that comes across…ho hum..sigh. I just wish some of their awesomeness will rub off on me. ;0)

Anyway it will be great to have them! And we'll have a great time!

In addition to our family visits, Richard and Claudia agreed to speak about their current writing projects. This will be a very interesting night and hope anyone interested will join us!

page1image896 page1image1592The Bull Mountain Ward
Elders Quorum Presents a Fireside by
Richard and Claudia Bushman
“Telling Our Stories” and “Joseph and Emma”
Richard and Claudia Bushman will be presenting a fireside at the 98th Avenue Building in the Tualatin Stake on December 1, 2013 at 7:00PM. Claudia Bushman will speak on oral history and women in the Church. Richard Bushman will speak about Joseph Smith and the role that Emma Smith played in his life.

Brother Richard L. Bushman is a nationally known history scholar. He is best known in the church as the author of the biography, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and a history of the early church titled Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism. He has also acted as Co-General Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers. Brother Bushman has held many prestigious academic positions including the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University and the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Besides his work on LDS Church history, he has written many well-known and respected works on early American social, cultural, and political history. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Mormon Scholars Foundation, which fosters the development of young LDS scholars. He has been a seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and patriarch and is currently a sealer in the Manhattan Temple.

Sister Claudia Bushman is also a scholar and academic. Most recently she collected and edited oral histories of LDS women into a book titled Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History
Collection. She has also written several other book about the LDS church:
Mormons in America; Contemporary Mormonism : Latter-day Saints in Modern America; Building the Kingdom of God: a History of Mormons in America. She is also well known for editing Mormon Sisters : Women in Early Utah. She has taught at several universities including the University of Delaware, Columbia University, and Claremont Graduate University. She was named New York State Mother of the Year in 2002.

Together, Brother and Sister Bushman are the parents of six children and twenty grandchildren. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Writing Mojo

Common misconception about author's: they always know the PERFECT word for every occasion/sentence. Ok, let me rephrase: Common misconception about pre-published authors: they always know the PERFECT word for every occasion/sentence. (If you don't believe me, ask my co-worker's - my mad, grammatically incorrect e-mailing skills drive them BATTY!)

So when trying to put my feelings into words I couldn't quite come up with the RIGHT word for my lack of.....motivation to write.  (What you say? She who has a blog intent on motivating other author's isn't motivated herself????  Um, I'm pretty sure Erica set that low expectation a LONG time ago....keep up) So anyway, for whatever reason I was thinking of Transformer's (not as random as you think, I have three young boys) and I always thought it was funny that Sam's dog was named Mojo.

(A picture of Mojo in case you don't remember)

So what do you do when you are procrastinating????  Yah, you Google random things.  Like Mojo. Before I Google I always try to come up with my own "definition".

To me mojo is a swagger or way of doing something you love with confidence and determination. But who am I???

Alright, without further ado, I feel absolutely compelled to share the Urban Dictionary Online's definition of mojo.  Why?  Because where else can you compare "sex appeal" and talent and get away with it?


The word originally means a charm or a spell. But now its more commonly
said meaning sex appeal or talent.
"God help me, I think I've lost my mojo!"
So....before you go off wondering what happened to our little blog that sometimes-occasionally-every-once-in-awhile thinks it can, just know that every now and then, even writer's can't find the right words.
In other words: I think I've lost my writing sex appeal :)
Yes, I just said that.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Words of wisdom, motivation, sweaty palms....and other random SCBWI things

Yep this weekend was our annual SCBWI Conference here in Oregon.
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators

I have a love/strongly dislike relationship with this weekend... and it has nothing to do with the conference itself.  The conference was, as always, amazing.  It's essentially two days to hang out with like minded people (which for hermits authors is rare).  There's tons of classes on everything from character development to marketing to how to write for boys - and the best part is it changes every year.

The part that hasn't changed - at all - is me torturing myself by participating in what's called a "WOW Session".  It's where normal people get up in front of a group smiling and proceed to read the first 250 words of their book and then listen while a panel of three authors and agents nicely critique their work.  For the not-so-normal/slightly overly nervous people (yes, me) it involves nearly tripping over my own nerves, stumbling over my words, and sweating more than a marathon runner.  Here's what I felt like during the session:

Although I am fairly new with SCBWI, I can say that every time I go to a conference I come away wanting to write.  I've been a bit of slacker lately (well documented by this blog) but after this weekend I can't wait to start on a new book :)  Hearing about others successes always helps motivate me.

And now for the "words of wisdom" section of our program:

As Erika and I departed ways we discussed who was going to blog first.  I'll admit I cheated.  Well I had a reason to volunteer to go first.  Erika and I have both been struggling with whether or not we should keep writing.  If you've never written a book then just know that it's A LOT of work.  If you've never edited a book just know that it's A LOT of sucky work.  If you never submitted a book to an agent or editor just know that it FLAT OUT SUCKS.

So why did I volunteer?  There was something said this weekend that darn near slapped me across the face. SO pardon me while I talk to Erika and Erika alone:


During Karen Cushman's talk she gave a ton of advise and insightful suggestions.  But there was one piece of advise that was meant for us to hear.  Everything happens for reason, even the date of the conference.  You mentioned that someone very dear to you would be watching over you that day, and I think he was.  He wanted you to hear Karen's words:


No matter how hard it gets or how easy it is to quit simply because we aren't published or don't have an agent, we have to remember the reason we are writing.

We write because we love it.  We love the stories, the characters, the pain, the agony of rejection,  the words.  We love weaving it all together into something that someday might inspire kids to read.  So while our current "outcome" looks bleak because we haven't "sold" a book, it's only truly bleak if we give up.

There won't be a published book if we never write it.

So no giving up.  Because if you give up, I probably will too - and I don't want to give up....not yet.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Motivation Monday

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best this is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, April 15, 2013

Motivation Monday

"There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth.  Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, "It all depends on me."
- Andre Gide

Confessional time.

Children cover your ears.

Father forgive me for it has been 3 weeks since my last "Motivation Monday".  Now, I'm not one to get all religious on a blog (and no worries I am not about to start now) BUT I will say that sometimes...sometimes divine intervention is just so.....painfully obvious you have no choice but to laugh at your own stupidity!

Case in point. Me.  I haven't blogged in a few weeks for different reasons, one of which is lack of motivation.  I've said before (probably more often than I should) that this blog is to help motivate pre-published authors, specifically myself.  And to be honest there are times I talk myself out of blogging because I know no one will miss it if I don't.  And really, if I can't motivate myself how in the world can I motivate anyone else.

Today was no different.  It's my blogging day and my motivation level is about as high as my desire to eat rocks.  I really, really want to crawl into bed and read a good book. I have a heated debated with myself as I go upstairs to my "bat cave".  I look at the mess on my desk and think I should clean it, before instantly thinking of all the other things I need to do. (The vast majority of which is not domestic, but should be) The books I want to start.  The editing that I should have been done with months ago.  The list is long.  I'm sitting staring at my blank screen still debating of blogging or writing or editing and when the debate grows violent I grab my book of motivational quotes.  As cheesy as it is, I close my eyes and thumb through it.  When I open my eyes I nearly laugh out loud (ok I did laugh out loud)

The end of the quote is like a good slap across the face.

"It all depends on me."

It does.  All of it.  So forgive me (again) for a short blog...but I've got a lot to do!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Motivation Monday

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
- Thomas Jefferson

How many times do we hear the words, "I can't" in a given day?  1, 10, 50??  In our house we've made the words "I can't" equivalent to a cuss word, and the punishment is paying our vacation jar some cold, hard cash! I can tell you we aren't the best at enforcing it (mostly because I am the most likely offender)

I will also say that it's a killer to hear one of my kids say the words "I can't" because I know exactly where they've heard it - me.  Confidence is something I battle with every day (not as much of a physical battle as pulling on my ever-shrinking jeans - but a battle all the same) and yet I feel as if it's a battle I need to wage.  I need to re-route my way of thinking.

If I think I can't do something then I never will.  The "can't" word is nothing more than an excuse.  If I think I can't do something then I've just given myself an out for even trying.

Everything in this life is worth fighting for, it's worth attempting.  Even if I you never achieve wild success it's better than saying you gave up because you were to lazy to try.

So try everything (unless it's raw meat or illegal....)