Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Would your favorite lifetime memory be the time you went to Sea World with your family and got soaked to the skin? Or would it be the leisurely Saturday mornings you enjoy every week, laughing and joking over brunch?
Would you remember most the time you stood at the top of the Eiffel tower and surveyed the beauty of the Paris lights at night?
Or would it be the moment your child climbed into your lap, and looked at you, his eyes shining with love, and you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would give your life for him?
I’ve spent the last few days on vacation with my family. We’ve done things we’ve never done before, and have experienced things we may never experience again. Lots of money has crossed hands in order to provide my children with memories they could cherish for a lifetime.
And yet it was today, the most simplest of days, that has been my favorite.
Today we spent a few leisurely hours on a beach in La Jolla. The sun was warm, the sand shining with crushed sea shells, and the waves crashed with rhythmic intensity. And my children, my children were alive with happiness.
Where do I think memories come from? They are moments you share with someone you love. It doesn’t have to be a million-dollar-day. It can be every day. Just be present, be with someone you love, and be ready to remember . . . because it could be that moment, that fuels your imagination for the rest of your life.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
As you probably know, I’ve written a novel called The Devil’s Daughter. As one might guess, it tells the story of a girl whose dad is Satan, and as you may have figured out, sometimes the story gets kind of dark. Twice now it’s been rejected by LDS publishers because of that very thing—too dark, they said.
The last time the manuscript was rejected, I took it kind of hard. I thought perhaps it was a statement about me. I wrote the words on those pages—they came from my heart. If they were too dark, wouldn’t that mean that my heart is black, that I am dark?
I’ve been thinking a lot about that, and it’s been rather enlightening.
My life is my own. I have made my choices and they have shaped the woman I am today. I have experienced pretty bad things, and it’s because of those experiences that I have felt to cherish the light when it has come into my life. The contrast of light and dark has made the wonder of the light all the more sweet.
I love the song “Hold On,” by Michael McLean. In it, he says . . . “And those who’ve been in darkness for a while, kneel much longer when the light has come.”
I had hoped that the LDS publishers would see that, would know that in order to examine the beauty of the light, we had to walk in the darkness, just a little bit. But maybe now I have the greater opportunity of sharing this story with people who are in darkness, who need to know there is hope.
That I can show these things in the stories I write doesn’t make me bad, it makes me lucky. Lucky to have seen both sides in this world. Lucky to have emotional resources that perhaps not all people do.
I will write the stories of my heart. I will share what I have learned so that maybe I can lift another. If I have the chance to show someone, just one person, the way out of the darkness, then everything I have suffered, all that I have experienced will be worth it.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I have become a FAN of the Dante Valentine books.
Dead Man Rising is the second in the series and I thought it perhaps better with the first book. My only beef with it, was that it suffered from the same thing many in-between books suffer from. It felt a bit like a connector book, getting us from book one to book three.
But I was okay with that. I WANT to get to book three :)
This book had a much better story arc, a much more tangible antagonist and in general a more satisfying read.
What it lacked, and that I missed, was a strong love connection.
But again, I kind of guessed that from the name.
However, book three promises to give me more of that demon love I enjoyed so much from book one. Oh yeah baby!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Whew, I guess that's all I feel like doing, lol. Sorry some of the videos were of crummy quality.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Here be Da Rules:
1. Mention the person who tagged you.
2. Complete the list of 8's.
3. Tag 8 other bloggers.
4. Tell them they have been tagged.
Eight Things I Look Forward To:
- Getting my first book deal.
- Losing the extra weight I'm carrying around.
- Getting fit and being healthy.
- Karen's photo shoot on Thursday.
- San Diego with the family in June.
- Seeing my sister again.
- Finishing up Jump Boys and getting it into Shadow Mountain's hands.
- Being a working, successful published author. :D
- Slept in.
- Had lunch with the fam at Red Robin.
- Took the boys to see Star Trek and loved it--again!
- Got rejected by a publisher.
- Cried my eyes out.
- Talked with friends.
- Got hugged and held by my sweet honey.
- Read a lot.
- Jump on a plane and visit my sister right now.
- Deal better with Charlie on his 'off' days.
- Be more consistent in going to karate.
- Be a faster reader.
- Be a more creative homeschooling mom.
- Sing in an opera production again.
- Make a CD.
- Be published, lol.
- So You Think You Can Dance
- America's Funniest Home Videos
Monday, May 25, 2009
I am not an American. I am a Canadian. And yet, I love the song I chose today. I sing along with it and I feel the words burn within my heart. Even though I am not an American, I feel the truth and power in the words and I am.
Grateful to have the privilege of living in the United States. Grateful to be raising my boys here, to be patriotic, to love the country and what it stands for. It is an honor.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Holy bad language Batman.
Several times I put this book down because the language was getting harder to jump over. But, I didn't get it out of the house fast enough, I guess because shortly I returned to it. The story was just that good and I needed to read it.
Being a sci fi nut, I found this to be an awesome story. Saintcrow writes of a world, our world, free of conventional customs and restraints. She manages to weave description of a complex futuristic world into the fabric of the story with ease.
The protagonist is strong and believable--flawed in just the right ways that we can route for her, identify with her, and believe in her when she rallies and saves the day. (shh, I didn't say that.)
The love interest rivals, to my mind, Edward. Yes, I said it. I like him BETTER than Edward.
Their love story is not unlike that between Edward and Belle, except the whole thing rings more true and makes more sense to me.
The antagonist in the story was a little weak. Saintcrow could have done more with that, I think. I won't say more, because I don't want to give away the punchline, but you'll see what I mean if you read it.
And I do recommend the book. IF you can tolerate serious bad language. As in every-other-word-out-of-their-mouths kind of bad. I got into the rhythm of it pretty well and go really good at substituting acceptable words when my eyes grazed over the offensive ones. But I'm not sure that's a skill I should be proud of or not. If you're not offended by that sort of thing, then go for it.
This is a fast-paced, action packed sci fi thriller that's unique and exciting. If you like strong female protagonists, love found in unlikely places, and the overarching, and ever-present, battle between good and evil, then this would be a great book for you.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was an odd book.
Skin Hunger is the story of two people, Sadima a young woman in search of love and acceptance for herself and the magical gift she holds secret, and Hahp, a teenage boy who has been sent to the wizard academy against his will. Interestingly, Sadima's story is told in third person and Hahp's story is told in first person, alternating by chapter. Furthermore, Sadima's story happens several generations before Hahp's.
All of that I can live with. For me, the approach was unique and fresh. I didn't have a problem with it.
What I did have a problem with was ... why should I care?
I found this story to be entirely too much telling and not nearly enough feeling, showing, living and breathing of each character's story.
And what was worse, the story barely got anywhere and then completely left me hanging without any resolution at all. I understand it is a trilogy, nevertheless there was NO resolution. I can't recall a novel where that has happened before. Usually at least some part of the story comes to completion, but in Skin Hunger that's just not so.
I honestly can't say that I could recommend this book to anyone. I will likely read the next book when it comes out, and then, perhaps, I might recommend the two together. But at the moment, I'd say, don't waste your time with this book.
View all my reviews.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
- Better manage tension and stress
- Be more objective
- Communicate and make decisions more effectively
- Be more productive
- Reduced blood sugar
- Lowered cholesterol
- Enhanced immune function
- Reduced headache, migraine and back pain (I need this benefit!)
- Improved respiratory function
- Decreased abdominal fat (oh yeah, baby!)
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
In other news, I got Jump Boys ready and sent in to Lisa. It's such a blur now, I hope it was decent when I sent it in--after reading and re-reading it so much my brain was a bit fuzzy.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
rating: 3 of 5 stars
At first when I started reading Hand of Isis I was thrilled that it read so much like Jo Graham's first book Black of Ships, which I loved. However, soon the similarity in voice began to distract me.
Who's head was I in? Sybil's from Black Ships? Or Charmian's from Hand of Isis? There was very little, outside of lifestyle and circumstance, to distinguish between these two characters.
I'm at a loss for what to say exactly about the voice because I love it, but I thought Charmian should stand out more from Sybil and be more herself. That being said, I love Graham's voice and am feeling conflicted, lol.
Hand of Isis tells the story of Charmian, handmaiden and half-sister to the great Cleopatra. Cleopatra has forever been an icon of the past and I found the subject matter and the crystalline way Graham wrote about her to be fascinating.
Graham wrote Hand of Isis in that beautiful lyrical way that won my heart in Black Ships and told about a time long past as though she really had been there.
Next to the voice of the main character, the only other thing that disturbed me about this book were the rather graphic sex scenes. There were only a couple throughout the entire book, but they were powerful enough to leave me feeling disappointed that I had read them. I hadn't expected them and kept thinking that they would soon be over or that something important would come of it. In the end, I just wish I'd turned the page.
I think what was most troubling about the sex scenes was the nature of them--they were not romance in the traditional sense, but dealt with the abuse of power and the alternate lifestyle choices that were the norm in early Greece, Rome and Egypt. Homosexuality and Bisexuality were acceptable practices at that time and so they were a part of Charmian's life. I just wish I hadn't read about them. I wish there had been a warning sign "avert your eyes!" before I came to those parts. I think the story would have been just fine without them--less is more, I think in this case.
So, overall, I'd say I'm a wee bit disappointed with this, Jo Graham's second book. While it was rich in beauty and imagination, it lacked in originality from her first book and in decorum.
View all my reviews.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
But life is what it is and simplicity is a gem worth searching for, polishing up, and keeping front and center in your view at all times.
So, I think I've figured out a way to build simplicity into my life and to not give up my blogs altogether.
I have three blogs--The Cross Family which talks about my experiences with home schooling my boys. I'll leave that one the way it is.
However, my writing blog and this one are compatible, hence the cross blogination I intend.
When I post on my writing blog, I will also post it here. Likewise, when I post here, I will also blog there.
What will that mean to you? Hopefully it'll mean that you see more entries here, and that you'll read more about my writing.
We'll try it out and see how it goes. Let me know if it bugs you.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
This found it's way into my email inbox earlier this week, and though many of you will likely have also seen it, I thought I would share it here.
You may remember the Alabama judge, Ray Moore who was removed from the bench because he refused to take down a copy of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall.
Judge Moore wrote a poem in an effort to capture his feelings about the state of our nation. I think it's well done and that it reflects my own feelings on this subject as well.
America the beautiful,
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.
Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said abstain
From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray
We've kept God in our
temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.
We've voted in a government
that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges;
who throw reason out the door,
Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.
You think that God's not
angry,that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?
How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?
If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:
Then God will hear from Heaven;
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.
But, America the Beautiful,
If you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee.
~Judge Roy Moore~
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
I love the group Fiddlesticks. They perform my favorite arrangements of "If You Could Hie To Kolob" and "Praise To The Man."