Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is Awesome!

I am the number one hit if you Google "Stubborness + Tenacity." How cool is that? The number one hit! Google must know me.:) Seriously though, If I can be known for my tenacity and stick-to-it-iveness, then I expect I've done something right.:)

Ciao!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Linkage!


Weird Google Search= "Memoirs of Gum Wrapper Chains." Is this a book I don't know about?

Okay, we have a bunch of linkage today. I've done a lot of surfing the last few weeks and have found a lot of fun sites. (Yanno, because I don't have enough to read. *rolls eyes*)

First, since the event we have all been mourning for five months, another* agent has suddenly started blogging much more regularly. I have been denying the rumors for months, but I finally decided to go and check out Janet Reid's blog and I enjoyed it immensely. When I get a second, I'm going to add her to my links. Good advice, fun jokes, and it's not too hard to read around the client promotion.:)

*Take that how you will.

Next, Mr. Jamie Ford who, I'm sorry to say, I thought was a woman for several months. Jamie's debut novel, beautifully titled Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, recently sold and he has a lovely blog. I would buy his blog as a book--he's that kind of writer. Please go check him out. But watch out, you may find yourself backreading for an hour as I did the first time I visited. This is my favorite entry. He will also make it onto my links when I get a few spare minutes. The picture at the top is stolen from his site.:) Thanks Jamie!

And lastly, my bragfest. This is the link to the video of my two-year-old son (as featured in the previous entry) reading.:) Yea!

Ciao!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Son is Amazing!

My son, Brennan, is two years and seven and a half months old.

And he is reading!

I was sitting on the couch feeding my other son and not really paying attention to Brennan who was just talking to himself over by the bookshelf. Then I look over and realize that he is flipping through my daughter's early reading flashcards (mostly two and three letter words) and he is reading them correctly! I had him bring the cards over and we went through the whole stack! I have no idea how long he's been able to do this. For all I know he could have been reading for months.

One of the main reasons for this, I think, is that he watches his sister read (she reads to him, it's so cute!) and he also sees his parents read. If a child really wants to be able to do something, he's going to learn to do it much faster than if he is simply forced to do it. That is why reading to and in front of your children is so important.

It reminded me of a story of a guy my parents used to know in Phoenix. Very blue collar, uneducated man who at the age of thirty-something, had never learned to read. But he was a really, really good man and wanted his son to have a better life than he did. So he asked--I believe, his son's teacher--how can I help my son love to learn? She told him that boys in particular are more likely to enjoy reading if they see their father reading regularly. So every night for about a half an hour, this man would sit with a book in front of him and pretend to read while his son played in the same room. In the end, they both not only learned how to read, but learned to love reading.

I love reading. I want my kids to love reading. So far, I think I've done a good job.:) My daughter has been reading since she was three, and now my son has started reading at two. That is something that makes me very proud. I think learning to read and learning to love reading are two of the greatest things you can learn in life. I'm glad my children have caught the fire, so to speak.

Ciao!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Last Dragon

Weird Google Search= "Literary Agent Ann C. Crispin" Apparently someone thinks the illustrious Ann is an agent. (It's only funny if you know who she is.:))



I recently received an e-mail from J.M. McDermott (Badducky for those of you in the Absolute Write community) with a preview of his debut novel Last Dragon, coming out form Wizards of the Coast Discoveries in February of 2008 (Available for pre-order now at the usual websites.) I got to read the first chapters and found it very interesting. Not what I expected. It is quite literary and the first chapter, at least, is written in a multi point of view, sort of stream of consciousness style. Very different, but nicely executed. Don't expect it to be like many of the series novels you typically see from WotC, they are starting to produce more traditional novels and novels with a literary twist. The cover you see here is not the cover I saw when I checked it out last week and my only real criticism is that I liked the old cover much better. I am not sure which one they are going to go with, but luckily, the cover is not the most important part.:) Check him out at his website.

Ciao!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Choice

Weird Google Search= "Babies with no arms and legs." Trust me, don't even ask.

Today's post has very little to do with writing, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested. I debated posting this at all, but it's been bugging me for four days now and as many of you know, writing something down often gets it to stop bugging you. That's why we writers are so calm. (Ha! Calm? Right.:))

Last Thursday I was checking my results on Sitemeter and someone had clicked on to my blog after Googling "I'm so tired of being a stay at home mom." (It says up in my banner that I am a stay at home mom and at some point I had a post entitled "I Am So Tired," that had to do with revisions.) It has been on my mind ever since because I am picturing some mother out there so desperately lonely and depressed they are sitting around on their computer looking for answers? Others to commiserate with? I'm not really sure what her goal was but it's pretty clear she is unhappy.

So why is it different for me? I love being a stay at home mom. I adore it. But maybe that's because it is my choice, not the situation I happened to fall into. I'm not unemployable--not in the least. I have a BA in Creative Writing and tons of restaurant management experience. (I could manage a creative restaurant, Ha!) I am a trained doula and I've actually worked for a small publishing company. At this point in our lives it would actually be very helpful for me not to be a stay at home mom. Law school ain't cheap.:) So why am I at home "wasting" my skills? Because I decided a long time ago--well before I got married and started having children--that this is what I wanted to do. It may be the only thing I've wanted to do longer than writing books. (Junior High on that one.) My mom was a stay at home mom and I loved that. Soon after I met my now-husband, he let me know that having a stay at home mom for his children was very important to him. A make it or break it issue, even. If I had expressed no interest in staying home with my kids, I don't know if he would have married me. Luckily, it was important to both of us.

Maybe it's different because I am more than just a stay at home mom. When I had my daughter (my first child) I wasn't quite so happy. I went from being the main breadwinner (my husband was in school and only worked part-time) to being the main money spender. I had a very easy baby who really didn't require much of my time and I'd gained quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy so none of my clothes were even close to fitting and I couldn't go out running because I had a baby I couldn't leave and my husband was rarely home during the daylight hours. When Aud was about three months old was one of the most unhappy times of my life. I had pretty much resigned myself to being a boring, fat, dowdy housewife. Honestly, I'm not sure what changed. But one day I was sitting around watching "Judge Judy" and my baby sleeping and the next, I was a different person. I decided that the only person keeping me from being who I wanted to be, was me. A lot of things changed at that point. I started writing my first book, I discovered Tae-bo and started dropping baby weight, I went for walks with Audrey, and read books instead of watching television. I am a stay at home mom, but that's only a part of me. I was letting that title take over my life, and one day, I took the reigns back. And I've never looked back.

I know women who are stay at home moms and would rather be working; I know working moms who would rather stay at home. I'm not trying to convince you of anything here or even say one is better than the other. There is a time and place for that and this is not it. All I'm, saying is that whatever you are doing, find a way to be happy. If you are a working mom who wishes she was home, bring your kids to work with you in picture form. If you are a stay at home mom who wishes she could work, find time to do something you think is useful. Find a hobby you love. Something.

Me being so happy as a stay at home doesn't mean I love my kids more than other moms. It doesn't mean my kids are better than other kids. In fact, it doesn't have anything to do with my kids at all. I'm happy because I took control of my life and found ways to make myself happy. It wasn't easy, especially not at first, but it was totally worth it. And now, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's in the world.

*cough* In other news, Jodi is sending my YA out to editors sometime this week.

Ciao!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oops, Forgot.

Okay, I am having so much fun with my new toy called Sitemeter (referral courtesy of Moonrat) and one of the things it does is tell me what people Googled to get to my blog. So I am going to start off my blog entries with the best Google search term. But since I forgot yesterday, you get a couple today.

I am the number one hit if you search "Princess Bride" "I hate to wait." :)

Today someone found me searching miss snark auction preempt. That's pretty cool.:)

Anyway, more next time.:)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Adventures!!

My children are adventurous.

(I will bring this back to writing, I promise.)

The last week has pounded that home. Hard.

My daughter is one of those people who throws herself into the fray with abandon. She wants to do everything!

Like hop on the rocks at the zoo.

Big rocks.

So last Thursday we were at the zoo waiting in line to ride the little train (which my son has been bugging me to go do for a week.) Audrey was playing at a small fountain, and after a few minutes, started climbing on the big rocks that are everywhere at the zoo. Suddenly I hear her scream and I look over and blood is pouring down her face! To make a long story short, she sliced her head open in a two-inch gash that went all the way to her skull and gaped open about half an inch. I wish I had had a camera at the hospital. It was way impressive.

Luckily, my daughter is also brave. The resident who assisted said Audrey was the only four-year-old she had ever stitched who didn't have to be sedated. The only time she got a little tetchy was when the doctor put her arm in from of Aud's eyes. Why? Because she couldn't see the T.V.! (This is me rolling my eyes.)

After getting fourteen stitches, Audrey decided it would be a better idea to play "Step Rock" instead of "Hop Rock." I think she's on to something.

My son, on the other hand, is quite caution in terms of jumping off large things. However, he likes to test what I say. If I say "No" he wants to do it just to find out why I said no. This morning, for example. I heated up my curling iron and curled my bangs. I told Brennan several times not to touch it, because it was hot. I was very clear and explicit. I walk out of the bathroom and five seconds later, Bren screams. (This is also where I rolled my eyes.) I got his finger under cold water and asked, "Did I tell you it was hot?" To which he responds in his cute little two-year-old voice, "Uh-huh." *sigh* He knew! But he had to be sure.

So, are you an Aud or a Bren when you query? (See, I told you it was coming back to writing.:)) The Audreys in this world are so anxious to get their book out there they query a book before it is finished (I've been guilty of that once) or query fifty agents all at once with their first-draft query letter. They send off their partials without looking through them first, they query anyone and everyone and decide they'll research after they get that offer of representation. I think we all spend at least a little time being an Audrey when we are brand new writers. We get excited and throw caution to the wind. Honestly, there's nothing particularly wrong with that. But you can paint yourself into a corner doing it. I suggest you spend as little time being an Audrey as possible. (Not literally of course. The real Audrey is charming!)

However, literary Brennans are far worse. They are careful and calculating. They listen as everyone tells them what not to do. Don't write a three-page query, don't include pictures, bribes, or money, and don't print your partial on neon green paper. But there are some of us who just have to do it anyway. Just to see. Well, you know what? 99.9% of the time, you're going to get burned. Period. One of the reasons I get so frustrated with my son is that he listens. He understands. (He's absolutely brilliant. A bit scarily so, actually.) He knows what is going to happen, and he has to do it anyway. I know lots of writers like this. They are so sure they are the exception and seem to feel like they have to prove how great they are by breaking all the rules and hoping for an acceptance anyway.

There us a place for rule breaking. There is. But be very, very careful about doing it. Don't mistake pride for brilliance. Publishing is a business and, like any business, there are rules and policies and if you don't want to get fired (rejected) you have to follow them. That's just the way it is.

Ciao!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

I'm back! I spent the weekend plus Monday at my parents' house in Idaho and had a wonderfully relaxing and productive time. However, because--as we explained to my daughter--my parents do not have internet in the air (WiFi) I was not able to surf. Because of that I was not able to respond to anyone else's blogs or post on any of my favorite message boards. I have done just a bit of catch-up since then, but not a lot. So If your splendiforously brilliant blog entry did not get a response from me, my apologies. I'm getting there!

Quick sum-up of how my hubby and I met. When I was at college my hubby was a missionary for the LDS church and he was sent to my area. It was one of those love at first sight things, but LDS missionaries have super-strict rules that include no dating so that was out. He also had to be with his companion all the time so there was no talking about it either. But after he left and went to another area, there were letters. Lots of letters. We wrote for about eighteen months and set the date about two months before he came home. (Thus the invitations ordered before the engagement.) I went to Arizona to see him about a week after he got home, we got engaged the second night I was there, but he didn't actually take me out to dinner till the third night we were there, which was our official first date. We got married one month after that. Fun, fun.:) We had a gorgeous wedding!

And since we're on the subject of my family and some of you have been bugging me for pictures, here you go.




This is my oldest, Audrey, on her fourth birthday. On a side note, my hubby and I spent about three hours making that cake. In it's original form it was two regular rectangular cakes and three tubs of cream cheese frosting.:)





This is my second, Brennan. He is my model boy. He is so photogenic and prettier than any boy has any right to be, long dark eyelashes and all. This is just a quick snapshot of him playing in a fountain in Salt Lake City and it looks like a sunscreen ad.




And my baby.:) This is Gideon at two months old in his blessing tux. (The equivalent of a christening.) The last pictures I posted of him were with a hat on and for some reason, hats make him look really fat. He's not quite as chunky as he looked in his last pictures. Plus he has more hair than most babies his age and what are pictures for except to show off?:)






And last but certainly not least, this is one of my favorite pictures of my husband, Kenny. It was actually taken over four years ago, so the little bundle on his chest if my daughter, Audrey. I tell you, there's nothing sweeter than a father holding his baby.:)

And that's us. Well, there's me too, but my picture's always up there on your right.:)

Ciao!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sorry!

In case you haven't noticed, the blog has been quite sparse lately. I'm afraid I've been very, very busy on two count. A bunch of "Mom Stuff" has come up (doctor appointments, volunteering in school, major grocery shopping, etc.) I have also been completing the final tweaks to my newest book in preparation for my agent sending it out in the next couple of weeks. It's been long and stressful work, but I'm almost there!

Anyway, I am going to follow in Moonrat's footsteps and do a fun meme today. Eight things you probably don't know about me.

1.) I used to collect socks. All sorts of fun designs. I would buy socks everywhere I went and had about 40 pair at the peak of my sock addiction. Now I let that addiction live on by buying fun socks for my daughter.

2.) My husband and I conducted our courtship almost exclusively through letters. I ordered our wedding invitations before we were actually engaged and we had our first official date the day after we got officially engaged. We'll have been married six years next month, have three kids, and are still going strong.:)

3.) I'm kind of an exercise nut. My big extravagance while my hubby is going to law school is my gym membership. I work out six days a week and take yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and group weight lifting classes as well as regular sessions on the elliptical trainer. I used to run, but my feet are not allowing that right now.

4.) My favorite color is yellow. I don't know why. I don't wear it (makes me look sick) I don't decorate with it, and I can't stand yellow cars. However, I like yellow skittles the best as well as yellow starbursts.

5.) I am not a feminist. I sometimes will refer to myself as an anti-feminist, although that's probably not accurate.:) I think the old-fashioned role of women in the home is the way to go. (Although I *completely* respect other women's right to choose their own paths. I'm not a fascist non-feminist.;)) However, I am a huge and rather active advocate of women's rights in childbirth and am always encouraging women to stand up to their doctors. Hmm, go figure.

*Aaaah quick break to go rescue my make-up bag which my son decided was a great place to pour a whole cup of water. Sigh*

6.) Okay, I am afraid of bees and spiders. Snakes? Not a problem. Heights? Actually, I always have this little urge to jump just to see what it would feel like. Mice or rats? Well, rats are kind of gross, but they don't scare me. But put a spider or a bee around me and you will see some super-human jumping.

7.) I started wearing glasses when I was five. Big, huge, coke-bottle glasses. I then started wearing contacts when I was twelve. However, due to a rather severe bout of corneal ulcers when I was twenty-four, I am now wearing glasses which, due to modern technology, are much, much thinner than the glasses I wore when I was five. I've only met about three people in my life who have worse vision than me. . . One of them is my younger sister, poor girl.

8.) I look back and wonder how I managed this, but when I was fourteen, my boyfriend was nineteen, when I was fifteen, my boyfriend was eighteen. My husband, on the other hand, is only one year older than me.

So now you know a little more about me. Don't you feel special?:)

Ciao!