About Me

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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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Something Fun

Last night my daughter and I listened to the first chapter of Matthew Buckley's new podcast story. The target audience is middle-grade readers, but even if you just love listening to a good story it's worth checking out.

In other news, my friends Tristi Pinkston and J. Scott Savage are going on blog tours soon. I'm too lazy to jump on board (I'd have to ask them questions and everything!) but I bet they'll have a ton of fun and have some interesting things to say. See if you can chase them down as they tour through cyberspace!

Oh yeah, and that weird James Dasher dude just had his new book named Mary K Huntsman book of the month for April, which is awesome but bound to go to his head.

Lastly, I'm totally jealous of Tamara Norton who managed to get her hands on an ARC of the sequel to Wildwood Dancing.

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of other cool stuff- aren't my friends neat? But that's all I can think of on a Monday morning.

Ok, it's time to go back to my regularly scheduled boring life. Sigh.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Ok, so I hate being tagged by Tristi because her responses are always so darn cute I can’t compete! So here I am with my pathetic seven random things and seven people to tag.

1. I have a small piece of the Berlin wall. My brother was living over there at the time it came down so he joined in the celebration with his German girlfriend and sent me a piece of the wall.

2. The third nail on my left hand grows curved under in the middle. I type with the pads of all of my other fingers, but for some reason I curl that finger under and type with my nail. Hence, it grows curved under. My high school typing teacher would be very ashamed.

3. As a young child, I once ate dog food just to prove to my mother that I really was hungry.

4. I have a complete phobia about tearing cardboard or rubbing pieces of it together. For me it has the same effect as running your nails down the chalkboard. The sound and feel just grate down my spine and make me want to go fetal. So if I ever fold the top flaps of a box together for you, or undo them for that matter, just know that means I really like you because it’s the ultimate sacrifice.

5. I am allergic to latex. Sadly, this also means I can’t eat fun things like bananas, kiwi, avocados, and a bunch of other things. Weird huh?

6. Continuing with the food theme: I’ve never tasted asparagus or okra and have absolutely no desire to either.

7. I love flowers and gardens but kill more than I actually manage to grow. I keep telling my husband if he’d just buy me flowers once a month I wouldn’t have to replant the entire garden every year (because the old stuff refuses to be tortured by me a second year). This however has never happened, so I keep right on planting and killing. Poor plants.

Ok. Now for 7 new victims:

The Alvin half of the amazing Candace and Alvin team (Sorry, just had to shake things up a bit)

Monday, April 14, 2008

The People I Watch

I guess people watching is a natural extension to the way a writer’s brain works. We seem to be constantly processing our environment for new information and perspectives that we can use in our written words.

At any rate, I’m a people watcher. I watch the strangers I pass on any given day. I watch my family and I watch my friends.

Yesterday I was thinking how grateful I am for the many different people I have to watch. I’m extremely blessed to have so many different lives cross paths with mine. Now, before they all get paranoid, let me explain a little further.

In the past few weeks I’ve learned the following lessons from watching my friends.

Never forget how much God has blessed you.
Keep your problems in perspective.
Give better than you expect to get back.
When you really want something, it’s okay to let other things go.
Children are, um, delightful.
In the long run, little things can mean as much as big things.
It’s okay to give in and whine, just get back up again when you’re done.
Worship is a family occasion.

In short, because I watch, I learn how blessed I really am. I learn how to keep my own life in perspective. I learn more of who I am and how much my Heavenly Father loves me.

Yes, sometimes the stuff I see is great fodder for a story, but most of the time, what I see makes me a better me. So, for all those people out there that I’m watching – Thanks for sharing something of yourself with me. I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Plotting the Death of My Muse

Bet you never thought you'd catch a writer saying that, did you?

So here’s the deal. For the last several days I have been experiencing a wonderful influx of ideas and thoughts about a particular story I’m working on, and in all honesty I'm loving it. But it does come with consequences. For instance I can't sleep. My muse won’t leave me along long enough. The minute I put my head down on the pillow and let my mind relax another stream of dialog or conflict with fill up my brain and ferment there until my cork is about to pop from all of the pressure and I get back up and empty those thought onto paper, or my mini-computer. As I'm doing this, my muse is keeping up with the outflow by providing additional inflow. If I'm lucky I will get to turn off my computer fifteen minutes later and put my now very tired head back on that blasted pillow just so, you guessed it; the process can start all over again.

Eventually I will pass out from sheer exhaustion but even then I'm not left alone. The story enters my dreams in very bizarre ways until my subconscious can no longer take deviation from normal dream reality and wakes me up. The problem is I remember that stupid dream and it triggers another explosion of information. Lather, rinse, and repeat the same dilemma as above.

Though I will not post this until morning because this computer I'm writing from in bed (trying to shield the monitor light from my sleeping husband) doesn't have wireless, the clock in my bedroom now reads 3:29 am. I've been up since 1:30, when the muse woke me up again, trying to force it to shut up. As you can tell it's not working too well. I finally got it to give the story a rest only to find myself plotting out this blog.


I've tried counting sheep, but after just a few the little buggers start coming over the fence with key words from my story branded across their fuzzy foreheads. I tried killing them once. Literally. I let my imagination go and gleefully plotted sleep sheep slaughter (only legal in fifteen states), only to find my muse piping up again. "Oh that's wonderful imagery! It would fit nicely right......" You'd think it was a proud grandparent pinning my finest work of art on their wall.

Maybe I should start counting trolls instead. They could leap over that proverbial fence wielding huge clubs with which to bop my muse on the head with when it tries to go wild again. Wait..... if I shifted that scene, a troll would add a great plot twist between..... and it’s off an running again.

I swear the thing is worse than a four year old who has managed to shed all of his clothes and is now running gleefully down the middle of the road shouting, “Look at me, look at me! I'm nakee!” Well okay, maybe it's not that bad, but now I can't get the nakee thing out of my head either.

So, though it may seem weird to comprehend I am beginning to plot the death of my muse. I am determined to gag the little sucker at the very least, but right now I’m seriously leaning toward a weighted pine coffin and the middle of the ocean. If not, this story is going to take very weird turn as my sanity completely leaves me.

“Give it up all ready!” My tired brain is screaming, “I need a decent night's sleep!”

But my muse just shrugs and sends another onslaught of scenes.

Darn muse.