Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Cabin in the Trees Like David McCullough, Where I Can Write

Do you ever want to just pack up your computer and get away to a relaxing spot surrounded by Mother Nature, instead of a dirty house full of people plagued with problems that only Mom seems to be able to solve? Even if it's just for a day or two?
I know I sure do.

This has long been a dream of mine, to have a quaint cabin in the trees like David McCullough, where I can leave the stress of everyday life behind me and open my mind and fingers to the task of writing. Of course I would not go so far as Mr. McCullough and peck out my novels on a manual typewriter. But I can envision the peacefulness of being alone with the pines and aspen outside my cabin windows, and it working wonders for my creativity, my nerves, and my productivity.

I am a member of several writing support/chat groups on FB and Yahoo, etc. So many, it seems, that I'm spending as much time keeping up with social media as working on my novels. I receive frequent invitations from these groups to do writing sprints together. At first I tried to participate in numerous sprints, as I wanted to be supportive of the groups I had joined. But as time passes, I realize that these writing sprint activities are put in place because a good number of writers need either the moral support, or the competitive motivation to write.

This IS NOT what I need to help me write. I need time alone. That's how I work best. So why have I been bashing my head against the wall trying to keep up with all these groups and their invitations to sprint, chat, and whatever? I guess because I'm trying to follow the lead of other writers, hoping if I walk exactly in their footsteps I'll be a successful publish author too. I'm writing this post as a big piece of advice as much for me as for anyone else out there: Do what works best for you. Play to your strengths, not someone else's. Just because something works for one author, doesn't mean it's the solution for you.

For the past year and a half, my husband and I have been working at fixing up cabin we purchased as a bank-owned property in Star Valley, Wyoming. I've spent a lot of hours up there, working hard on cabin construction when perhaps I should have been constructing my novels. But my goal of creating a get-away like David McCullough's, (and a legacy for my children), doesn't seem so frivolous anymore. The time spent procuring my "ideal place to write" will eventually do more for my writing than something like group writers sprints could ever accomplish. Even if my "ideal place to write" were just a private, pretty spot in my house, it would work the same. I'm a solitary person and thus I should play to my strengths.

Winners of Caller ID giveaway

Okay, okay, so I know it's May 29, not May 24 like I had said, but I'm announcing the winners of my Caller ID giveaway. The following two people have just won copies of Rachelle Christensen's new novel, Caller ID
Renae Mackley
Leslie Pugh

Thanks for entering. Those of you who didn't win, I would encourage you to go out and purchase a copy for yourselves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Be Prepared When Life Throws Curveballs of Unexpected Writing Time

Author Kevin Anderson writes a dozen books a year. How does he do it? In the workshop he taught at the recent Storymakers conference he talked about using one's time wisely. Even if he is just standing in line at the supermarket, he works on his writing by brainstorming or plotting. He inspired me to do better. But last Sunday I failed enormously.

Saturday night at midnight, my husband and I took my teenage daughter to the emergency room with stomach pains that had escalatuted, having bothered her for two days previously. They gave her an antinausea medicine and some pain meds in her IV, told her the tests didn't show anything and sent her home. We all got about 4 hours of sleep until she came into my bedroom at 6 in the morning saying her pains were back, she couldn't sleep and she felt terrible. We took her back to a different ER at a bigger hospital, with more waiting, hours and hours of waiting, while we still didn't come away with any better answers.

 But through all of this I came away with a better answer in terms of my writing: be prepared. I had managed to grab my lap top as we rushed out the door to the hospital. Unfortunately, I had non of the updated files I needed to work on, so my computer did me little good. I had hours of precious time, dying for something to do while I waited during and inbetween tests, but nothing to work on. Lesson here: in order to use every minute I have more efficiently, I have to always have something available to work on. I do most of my writing on my desktop and just use my laptop when I travel, so I just update files as I prepare to travel. No more. Now I will back up my thumbdrive everynight and place it in a location I can always find.

You never know when life is going to throw you some extra time to sit down an write, so always be prepared to take advantage of it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review of Caller ID and Book Giveaway

I'm slow at posting this week. It's been a crazy busy one. So to repent I'm going to give away TWO copies of Rachelle Christensen's newly release novel, Caller ID. I just finished reading it a few weeks ago, and  quite enjoyed it.
When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham is abducted near her home, the search turns up more than just a kidnapping crime. FBI agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and stumbles upon something he wasn't meant to find. When Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper's home, what she sees turns her world upside down.
The book started out a little slow, but the farther I read the more it sucked me in. I just had to know what happened to Courtney and how she planned on getting out of the mess she quite literally stumbled on. There is a lot of action and a tiny bit of romance between our main character and Jason, a FBI agent. This was the second in a series, but a reader wouldn't miss anything by not reading the first book, Wrong Number. This is a good book for anyone wanting a good suspenseful book that can be read fairly quick.
Just leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing to win your own copy of this fun book. That's all there is to it. SUPER EASY isn't it. So there's no reason not to enter. And as I will be giving away two copies, you'll have double the chance to win. I will be accepting comment for the next week. I will announce the winner next Thursday, May 24.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Tellings: I Cheer for Australia's Prime Minister

Today is Tuesday and I'd love to tell you about Australia's Prime Minister and the awesome stand she is taking in behalf of her country. It made me want to give her a hug and cheer her on when I read this story. So of course I want to share it with my readers:

W O W ! She Did It Again!!!

Australia says NO -- Second Time she has done this!

She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen.

A breath of fresh air to see someone lead. Australian Prime Minister does it again!!

The whole world needs a leader like this!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'
NOTE: IF we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA ,WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

If you agree please SEND THIS ON and ON, to as many people as you know...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An awesome letter to share

No poem about a letter of the alphabet today, but I would like to share a different kind of letter.

I had so much fun with the A to Z blogging challenge that I almost hate to see it go. But I don't have the time to blog everyday forever. In the past, I chose to blog every Wednesday about a different word that caught my attention during the previous week. I plan to do something similar this next year, but I'm going to move my blog posts to Tuesday. For some reason, that is the day my site seemed to garner the most hits. So instead of Wednesday's Word, it's going to be Tuesday's Tellings.

This week I'd like to tell you about an e-mail I received from a local Junior High librarian that I had given a copy of my new book Promises a week and a half earlier. Her letter made my day. But instead of actually telling about it, I'd rather show it to you. (That's what a good writer would do anyway :))

                What a delightful  and well written story. It is perfect for 7th grades, not only in the story and style, but in its content. IN grade 7 students study Utah history and we are always trying to find fiction to go along. I will definitely add this book to my library collection as well as recommending it to students and teachers.
                I was taken by Hattie as she suffered her sadness  over her forgotten birthday ,quietly.  I grew to love her insightfulness, her persistence and her integrity. The gently treated romantic interest with Arthur is perfect.
I know that you have written this from your religious perspective as a Mormon, but as a non-Mormon I have to say you did this with accuracy and diplomatically. Of course our Utah history  begins and ends with the courage and tenacity of the Mormons. Hattie embodies that, as well as giving courage and integrity to a female role model.
I am going to include a review on my Goodreads book list so that all the other librarians can read it.
Thank you for gifting me with this book and for sharing the memoirs of a wonderful Lady.