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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mourning Back Burner Projects

Ok, like many authors I have more projects in my poor little brain than my hands could possibly type in a lifetime. So here's the problem. Last year I wrote the story for a cute little picture book that just wouldn't leave me alone until I got it on electronic "paper" so to speak. At least that's what I think I did. I can remember writing it, but I can't remember *how* I wrote it. Or where for that matter.

There in lies the problem. After writing the story, I didn't have a ready market for it. I was in the middle of a tight deadline for another project, leaving me without a window of time to research a home to send it out to. I tucked it away.

After listening to the agent who attended the LDStorymakers conference last weekend, I thought it might be worth sending it to her. I came home all prepared to take it out, brush it up and send it off. And I can't find it! I've checked all three computers I write on. I've checked all of my current note-taking notebooks. I've dug through a pile of loose notes on the back of my desk and it's totally gone.

I'm taking comfort in the fact that it was a storybook, making it easier to recreate. That aside, I guess the moral of the story is:

When you are inspired, follow it through- all the way through.
Oh, and try to be a little less scatterbrained than I am and keep better track of your back burner projects.

Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Renewed and Refocused

I've just finished my favorite time of year. As I've mentioned before, I love attending the annual LDStorymakers’ conference. Though I live many miles from where it is held, I wouldn't miss it for all the world. It wasn't easy this year. I had promised my daughters the Book of Mormon cruise we had just been on the week before. It was much more expensive than I would have liked. Then, I turned right around and came out west for the conference. I tried to spend as little as possible, but as you know any trip will most likely end up costing you more than you would like. I blew my budget for new books by over $20 and had several other unexpected expenses along the way. By the end of the week I was silently calculating exactly how many writing assignments it would take me to pay off my nearly 3 weeks of vacation. It wasn't pretty.

Still, I wouldn't trade the experiences I gained.

When I come to the Storymakers’ conference, it's like coming to a great big family reunion. The only difference is we have closely followed each other's careers and lives since the last conference and do not spend our time comparing notes and trying to "one-up" each other. We are truly happy for each others successes, even if it means our own dreams haven't been realized. Sometimes that one takes a moment, but it's still there.

There are times when in the midst of things I'll have a feeling of being the distant cousin who will always be on the outskirts. I miss so much by not being closer to the central areas and people for the type of writing I love most. My friends are truly amazing people and little worries that I will never be able to live up to the example they show me will sneak in. But, those times are brief. Mostly, I feel loved. Both by those around me, and my Heavenly Father.

This year I came already very tired. The conference is also very exhausting. So, I'm sure many of my friends who sat near me in different events wondered about the extreme amount of eye problems I was experiencing. Being tired meant my emotions were not as guarded as I like to keep them. A simple brush with the spirit present at the conference, my love for those around me, a tiny witness from the spirit that the message I was hearing was meant for me, if I would have the courage to heed it; these were all it took to start the waterworks again. How embarrassing. Even so, those are the best parts of the experience.

I love witnessing that God is aware of our group and the good we hope to do. Every year the experience gets better and better because those who lead the event are led by His hand. I love even more that He is aware of me and once a year allows me to come to a place where I can easily feel His loving support for my personal dreams and goals. The experience, as always, has renewed my spirit and allowed me to refocus on what really matters to me as I develop myself as a writer.

Oh, and I get to leave the kids behind for this one.

Yes, the Storymakers’ conference is my favorite time of year. See you next spring!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Did You Miss Me?

I tried to get a post up last week to let you know I'd be MIA for most of the month. Sadly, the site was giving me fits and it didn't get done.

For the past week or so I've been on a cruise with my oldest children and my parents wandering around in the Carribean. Great fun, greatly tiring. I'm home for the day, then off to Utah for the Storymakers conference. Candace and Marsha, and everybody else, I'm giddy at the thought of seeing you soon. Either that or I'm just seriously sleep deprived. Honestly, I'm totally looking forward to it!

I'll give you a full report when I make it back at the end of the month.

In the mean time- here's a picture of my oldest getting kisses from "Anthony" in Roatan, Honduras.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Every Writer Needs a Support Group

I'm so grateful for the first time I stepped out of my cozy little writing world to attend a writer's conference. I chose one that spoke to who I was both personally and as an author. I found a unique home there that is still one of my favorite places to be.

I'm looking forward to attending the Storymaker's conference this month. The Storymakers are some of my favorite people. When I joined their group the next year, I was exposed to an even greater amount knowledge from these wonderful people. I am in awe of the amount of awesome stuff that this group can accomplish both individually and as a group. In the last month we've had conversations about motives, promotional efforts, other conferences, what to call the parts of a boat, and how to choose our next project. There have been many well wishes for each other's success and support for those who are struggling.

Every writer needs a few good writing friends who understand the weird ways our brains think. Every writer needs a few good readers in the form of a critique group or other method, to strengthen and stretch their writing. Every writer has a dream that needs friends to help cheer you toward those things you hope for most. There is nothing better than being able to log on with a question on structure or plot, or most anything else and have such an awesome knowledge base to pull from. I love to log on to their various blogs and find even more wisdom and glimpses of what makes them tick. If you haven't yet, try a few of the links under my favorite blogs. You never know where you might find a friend or an answer to a writing question. A good place to start would be with sixldswriters or writersinheels. Not because I favor them over my other friends, but because you get to see all kinds of personalities and information in one spot. Go for it.

Writing is lonely, but it doesn't have to be.