Friday, April 30, 2010

New Story

I needed out of the house ALONE for a few minutes. Maybe even a whole hour.

It probably wasn't the most convenient time, but I saw the window and took it. There I was, walking into a store with absolutely nothing in mind to buy, and it hit me. My next book. I knew what I needed to write.

I wandered around pretending to shop when really, I was writing the first chapter in my head. Oh, this is going to be good. And then, is it going to be a paranormal romance or horror? Hmmm, sort of a cross. Call it a dark paranormal.

Like dark chocolate. Dark, but in a delicious way. And now I'm wondering why I'm wandering through the store. All I want is to go home and write.

So I did.

A whole chapter so far. I had a lot of other things to take care of... like kids, so I didn't get more done. But the story keeps growing in my head. I don't know if it's a breakthrough in the world of books, but it's a breakthrough to me. I've never read this story, but I would, if someone had written it.

I feel like I'm cheating, having a love affair with a new story when I'm still working on getting my other novels out there, but I can't help it. I'm going to write it, and I plan on loving every minute of it. I can always go to counseling later.

Random Act of Kindness

Yesterday someone very sweet told me that the reason I had to publish Alvor was so that I would know that I really could write a good book. She was trying to cheer me up, and I appreciated it, but I have to admit I question it all the time.

Do I have what it takes? Is there a writer alive who hasn't asked that same question?

I hit the dusty trail again and I'm still waiting to figure out what is going to happen next in my writing future.

And then, as if I needed proof that I really do have what it takes, I get this e-mail this morning from a stranger....

Dear Mrs. Bingham,
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your
book Alvor. I was in my local bookstore, and I noticed your book, and when I started reading it, I just couldn't put it down. Alvor is among the books that inspired me to finally
put my ideas down on paper. I've at last completed the plot,
and Im writing chapters 1 and 2 of my book. Thank you so much for writing Alvor, and thanks for taking the time to read this!

The list of books that I just can't put down is pretty limited, but those books are the reason I know I have to keep going. The world they transport me to is so riveting that I can't help the draw. I have to write. Even when it looks like I'll never get there, I know I can't give up. I can't.

"I don't know when,
I don't know how,
but I know something's starting right now.
Watch and you'll see,
someday I'll be,
part of your world."

Part of your world- The Little Mermaid

Someday I'll be part of that world. I have to.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back on Facebook

I know I should have done this a couple months ago, but I finally reconstructed a facebook page. For those of you who are wondering what happened to me, my facebook was shut down after someone stole my e-mail address in March.

I don't have very many "friends" yet, but I'd be happy to add to the list. I think I overwhelmed the system this morning when I tried to set it up because it stopped letting me request friends after a while. The whole type-in-the-coded-word thing stopped working.

If you want to be my friend, add me. I would love to be connected to you all again.

Other than that, I have nothing earth-shattering to share. Hmm. Nope. Last night was the pine wood Derby for my nine year old. He won three of his four races- not bad considering that the thing still wasn't even dried yet. My husband made the car the night before.

I found the bottom of my laundry pile and I mopped the floors. See? I did do something earth-shattering after all....

Monday, April 26, 2010

First time for Everything

I promised I would take you on the journey - my path to reaching my writing goals. So, here it is.

My first time going to the LDStorymakers writers conference. If you've never been to this, you're really missing out. Whether you're LDS or not, this conference is for you. The focus was on making it in the writing world. The real writing world. Nothing sugar-coated. Pure advice, gritty details of life in the trenches. Real help and encouragement for anyone serious about writing.

In fact, of all the conferences I've attended, this one probably socked me in the stomach with sheer immediacy and reality and made me take a hard look at what my goals really are more than any other.

I didn't believe that anything could make me feel the way this conference did.

And hopefully this year will bring a lot more firsts.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Okay, really I mean the LDStorymakers conference this weekend. It's gonna be awesome.

Some things I've learned so far....

Apparently there is no particular dress code, although wearing clothes is not optional (to this Julie Wright said, "Dang.")

Annette Lyon suggested I shave my head and wear camo for the bootcamp. My husband liked this idea. I just know I'd be the only girl showing up without hair. I can't do it. ;)

There are at least 140 people, not to mention the 28 instructors, willing to face the wee hours of the morning for critique sessions (i.e. Bootcamp) All these morning people!!!! I'm surrounded.

For reasons that escape me, some very talented and successful people have agreed to the early morning madness, including Aprilynne Pike, Dave Wolverton, Lisa Mangum, Julie Wright, Janette Rallison and let's face it, 23 other cool people. Do you want me to list them all???

Check it out!

Marion Jensen, Kathi Oram Peterson, Clint Johnson, Me -Laura Bingham ;), Kirk Shaw, Michele Holmes, Nancy Allen, Eliza Nevin, Gale Sears, Lu Ann Staheli, Cindy Bezas, Shirley Bahlmann, Leigh Bale, Sarah Eden, Stephanie Black, Ronda Gibb-Hinrichsen, Josi Kilpack, Liz Adair, Tristi Pinkston, Tanya Mills, GG Vandagriff & Dan Wells.

I told you it was an incredible line-up. And that's just the Bootcamp.

The rest of the conference is filled with even more top names.

Bree Dispain, Jeff Savage, Krista Marino, Laura Rennert, Jessica Day George, Nephele Tempest, James Dashner, Annette Lyon, uhm so many more that it's unreal....

Now you can see why I'm so excited. It's going to be a perfect weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can you make me Laugh?

Maybe it's the overcast weather and spring dragging its feet, I don't know.

But I think I have a cure.

Last night during dinner we were talking about next weekend when my husband and I will be out of town at the writers conference. My oldest son has a scout dinner/auction that night and my husband said that grandpa would probably enjoy it.

That's it.

Then milk sprayed all over my son's plate. It came out of his mouth and his nose and his face turned red. He was laughing. My husband and I looked at each other in confusion.

That was funny?


My oldest went into the kitchen proclaiming he hadn't got milk up his nose in a long time.

My husband and I are still looking at each other dumbfounded.

And then, eventually, it hit me. We've all been needing a good laugh. The problem is we really aren't funny people, so the stupidest things set us off. It's pretty weird.

So here's what I'm asking. Tell me something funny. We need a good laugh over here. Seriously, if we're losing milk from a mild conversation, imagine the fun we could have with something that was ACTUALLY funny.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Writing Net

I can't imagine pulling an entire novel together completely alone. Imagine writing an entire story without any outside eyes. It's hard to think of.

I've come to appreciate my own personal writing net. People, sometimes people I've never met, who are willing to read through my work and catch the mistakes that dangle throughout my manuscript.

How does anyone manage without these angels? Who catches the mistakes and keeps the story from falling into pit holes? I don't know how anyone could do it.

And so, I've learned that writing is a two-way street. A little give and take. I've spent hours reading through other people's work and offering comments. A small token for the countless hours they've spent on me. But many times I never really get to repay the service.

A good critique is like gold. The more I get, the richer my story becomes. I am awed by others' ability to find glitches and problems that managed to escape me. Thank goodness the world is populated by people who have the gift of editing and the generous nature to share it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thoughts from Pennsylvania

My grandma e-mailed me yesterday. She read my reviews for the first time on Amazon and was shocked that there weren't any negative reviews. (I know, it's been almost a year now, but we're talking about my grandma.)

Not that I want anyone to race over there and break my winning streak, but it did remind me of how selfless people have been in helping me out along the way. Many, if not the majority of my reviews througout the internet have been written by complete strangers. People who have never met me and yet felt the need to say something nice.

Others have been from people I knew. All have been so generous.

So, here's my thanks again. Älvor was published with a small press with limited distribution power. In other words, even though it may have been sold in a store near you, I can almost guarantee it's not there anymore. If you want a copy, go online.

But there's always hope that something will happen and the series will find life again. I'll be sure to give you the heads up when that happens.

My grandma told me that a lot of people are anxiously awaiting Book 2 (uhm, did she mean her or....) and that I should get it published. Maybe my grandma's worried that if I don't get it done soon she's not going to be around to read it. You know, ten years is a long time when you're already in your 80's.

So, hopefully I won't disappoint. Hopefully in the next few months I'll have a great story to tell you of how I made it through the journey of publishing. Until then, keep your fingers crossed with me and I'll keep praying for things to work out. And when it finally does, I promise to tell you everything.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Älvor in the NY Times

It's probably as close as I'm going to get to the NY Times, but hey, I'll take what I can get. A book review blogging family was featured in the NY Times newspaper today. Dave Lateiner and his family have been reviewing books and interviewing authors for their blog and have found enormous success in a short amount of time.

And, they were gracious enough to mention Älvor. So, to see the article, Click Here

You'll see their adorable girls. My girls think they're very cute.

And, go James Dashner for inspiring them to take on their job as book reviewers on the internet.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Break from Spring

What do you do when you're getting cabin fever and you can't take the cold weather anymore? Go to a smaller cabin where it's snowing, of course. Isn't it obvious?

You were probably going to say a vacation to the beach or something. I only go there in my dreams, and in books and every once in a while when all the stars align. I love the beach, but let's face it, I live in Idaho with my five kids and I'm not rich.

So, here we are on our Spring Break vacation where I can honestly say I've had a good time. Now I'm going to appreciate the warmer Boise air and I got to do some serious reading. Not bad at all.

Outside we have snow piling up and I'm hoping I'll be able to get home tomorrow. At least we brought the snow chains. Who would have thought we would need them to get back from our Spring Break vacation?

We didn't bring our serious snow gear so we're stuck watching the winter wonderland from the safety of a warm house. The kids have invented the most insane games to stave off their boredom and burn off their extra energy. Who knew how much fun beaded necklaces could be? They've come up with at least a dozen games with them.

And, we ate the biggest cinnamon rolls I've ever seen in my entire life. In McCall they have a pancake shop with a Christmas store there too. With all this snow my two-year-old is begging us to buy her a Christmas tree. It's all so confusing. Everywhere we look it seems like we should be singing Jingle Bells.

Anyway, we're heading back to balmy Boise tomorrow where we can assume there won't be several inches of snow. Rain, hail and wind, but not snowman building supplies.

I still can't believe it's almost Easter. Did I mention how much I love the SUMMER? Ahhhh, warm weather....I can hardly wait.