Tuesday, March 30, 2010
And they were right.
It's spring break. You know, shorts and sunshine. Kids playing outside and getting grass stains.
Oh, but this is Idaho. Today we have cloudy, rain, snow, hail and then windy. All in one afternoon. My kids were ready to dawn the snow gear but the snow melted before they even had the chance to hope for a snowball.
So, it's like Christmas break without the carols or presents. Easter's coming up. I'm just wondering if we're going to have an Easter egg hunt in the snow. Or rain. Or hail.
Wait. I see a patch of blue sky outside my window. I'm not kidding. There's still hope!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
While I trudge through reality, I try to keep things professional at least on my blog. Why is it that real life isn't professional?
Life isn't organized into perfect little boxes. It spills all over the place in a sticky mess only to be covered in tiny pieces of paper and feathers. Once a good coat of flour adheres to it all making everything totally unrecognizable, you have reality.
At least my reality.
The good, the bad and the ugly. And sad, heartbreaking, anxious, nerve-racking, frustrating and distressing. That reality.
On the good side....Right now I'm in love with my two newest neices born last week, my sister's and my brother's new daughters. Both I've only seen in pictures. Both perfectly adorable. One is still in the NICU here in Boise and the other is at home with her adoring family in Utah. But I'm still in love with them.
Yeah, I'm in love with my own little family too. And all the people in the world who make life better.
But reality has been rearing its ugly head lately and I've had to really dig to find passion. I wish I could tell you everything, but the truth is, it's all situational. Meaning that it could all change. That's the best part of the defeating trap I'm in. It could all go away with a couple decent miracles.
So, hope you find some things to be in love with. And here's wishing for well-deserved, worked- for miracles. I hope you get some of those too.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The green color on the flag represents the native people of Ireland (most of whom are Roman Catholic). The orange color represents the British supporters of William of Orange who settled in Northern Ireland in the 17th century (most of whom are Protestant). The white in the center of the flag represents peace between these two groups of people.
The symbol of the Claddagh Ring
The hands are there for friendship,
The heart is there for love.
For loyalty throughout the year,
The crown is raised above.
The Claddagh Story
An original symbol of the "Fisher Kings" of the Galway town of Claddagh, Ireland, (pronounced “cla” as in “clatter” and “ddagh” pronounced “da” as in “daddy”) was first fashioned into the traditional ring back in the 17th Century during the reign of Mary II.
Legend has it that an Irish young man, Richard Joyce, bound for the West Indian slave plantations - no doubt the Irish Caribbean island of Montserrat - was kidnapped himself in rough seas by a band of Mediterranean pirates and sold to a Moorish goldsmith who over the many long years of his exile helped him perfect the skills of a master craftsman.
When in 1689 King William III negotiated the return of the slaves, Joyce returned to Galway - despite, it said, the Moor's offer of the daughter's hand in marriage and a princely dowry of half of all his wealth.
Back in Ireland a young women had never stopped faithful waiting for her true love to return. Upon which time when he presented her with the now famous Royal Claddagh gold ring - a symbol of their enduring love. Two hands to represent their friendship, the crown to signify their loyalty and lasting fidelity, and the sign of the heart to symbolise their eternal love for each other.
They soon married, never to be separated again.
What do the 4 leaves symbolize?
One leaf is for HOPE...
The second for FAITH...
The third for LOVE...
And the fourth for LUCK!
The Symbol of the Shamrock
In ancient Ireland the Shamrock was thought to have magical powers and the number 3 was considered a powerful number. Legends say the leaves will stand upright when a storm approaches and that no snake will be found among them. When St. Patrick came to Ireland he used the Shamrock to symbolize the meaning of the church's teaching on the Trinity.
The word Shamrock comes from the old Irish word "seamrog" which means "summer plant."
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
And, the lucky winner of the golden dragon is....
Christine of ossmcalc
Congratulations! And I hope you all had a fabulous week!
Friday, March 19, 2010
What inspired you to write Wrong Number?
Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants?
How do you come up with ideas for your novels?
What’s coming up?
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Where can we find your books?
If you’d like to get a sneak peek at Wrong Number, check out the book trailer—it’s awesome!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take a chance
And never find frogs in your underpants.
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.
May the sound of happy music
And the lilt of Irish laughter
Fill your heart with gladness
That stays forever after.
Dance as though no one is watching you,
Love as though you have never loved before,
Sing as though no one can hear you,
Live as though heaven is on earth.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses more;
He who loses faith, loses all.
Mothers and fathers hold their children's hands for just a little while...And their hearts forever.
Near a misty stream in Ireland in the hollow of a tree
Live mystical, magical leprechauns who are as clever as can be.
With pointed ears, turned up toes and little coats of green,
The leprechauns make their shoes, trying hard to ne'er be seen.
Only those who really believe have seen these little elves.
If you believe and look with your heart, you can see them yourselves.
I hope the day is filled with luck, happiness and an excuse to join the dance.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
The symbol of the Claddagh Ring
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
We were driving down the street a couple days ago and saw that on a billboard. I read it out loud. I liked it.
Why is there no better time to be happy than now?
Now is all we have. Now is the only thing we can control. The past is too late and the future is undecided. Now is it.
Where much is given, much is required. And sometimes that requirement means simply surviving the moment and letting yourself be happy.
Here's to happiness. I hope today you find some, because there's no better time to be happy.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tomorrow I'll be posting my review for Wrong Number by Rachelle Christensen.
Next Tuesday I'll be announcing the preliminary prize winner for the contest. It's not too late to sign up to win the $20 Barnes & Noble gift card.
And, Next Friday is an author interview with Rachelle Christensen.
Somewhere in between is one of my favorite holidays. St. Patrick's Day. Be watching for that.
So, what else is going on in my little world? Hmmm. I think I really am done revising Book 2 of Alvor until an editor takes over the job. I've been revising my other new novel since then. And, I've been reading books like crazy.
I've read almost a book a day. I'm going to vote for the Whitney Awards, which means reading a lot of books. It's been fun. I feel like I have a great excuse to read lately.
And then there's the regular stuff... kids, cleaning, taking care of things, repeat. I'm thinking a nice vacation in Disneyland sounds good. Ha ha ha... as if.... Someone else I know e-mailed from Disneyland today and I have to admit, my brain wandered to southern California for a split second or two.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It also means I don't have your address anymore. The good news is, I still have access to my gmail account. Go to www.laurabingham.com and send me an e-mail on the contact page.
So, how do you prevent this from happening to you? The technology they use can find any password except if it has a symbol in it. !@#$%^&*()_+=- That kind of thing.
If my facebook says I'm in Europe, it means they stole that too. We're still trying to figure how much they hacked.
Anyway, I'm sorry for the disturbing e-mail from the psychotic e-mail killer. Ironically, I haven't even been able to read the e-mail.
And, send me your e-mail address via my website if you are someone who I need to be able to talk to again.
Thanks for helping me out. It's a sunny day in Boise, Idaho. I'm hoping for 60 degrees. I've never even been to London, but if I go, I'll tell you first ;)
Monday, March 8, 2010
Message: hi im logan and i am 11 years old and my mom bought me alvor for christmas and i started to read it and it was awsome i loved it.i wish so much for you to make a seires out of alvor i still have so many questions like whats going to happen with jole and eirn? or is bain going to be okay? will they find their mom or dad? is their mom and dad alive? and why did they get chosen? was the alvor geins passed down? was one of their parents part alvor? please laura if u could make a series that would be so wonderful.please.please it would just make my life so wonderful i would read it over and over again please laura please.i think u are an amazing writer so please for me i. even no that u dont no me please just make a a seires.
Wow. Too bad I can't put that review on the back of my next book.
Becoming an author is a ride. At first I spent all my time alone creating a story that somehow fell into my head one day. I didn't know anything about writing books, only reading them. I had lots of help in between and I've learned so much.
But I'm still amazed when someone picks up the novel and falls in love. And, I have to say, I love the second book of the series even more than the first. It's such a good story and it's definitely written. I don't think I'll be done editing it until it goes to press. Which brings me to the other side of writing. Publishing. That part isn't as easy as it should be.
But thanks Logan, for having so much faith in me and the courage to tell me. I won't disappoint. The process of making words come to life is a long one, it's nice to have encouragement along the way. Thanks for giving that to me.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The Original Scrapbox has a brand new piece of organizing furniture and you have a chance to win it! Introducing the Office Box...
And we're celebrating the launch of Rachelle J. Christensen's suspense novel, Wrong Number, with a chance to win an autographed copy!
The Office Box was created as an addition to the line of incredible scrapbooking furniture The Original Scrapbox has to offer, such as The Workbox and The EZ View Craft Desk.
Check out the amazing features on The Office Box, available in 4 different colors: Space for a 19" monitor, magazine holder, Totes that act as slide-out drawers, Velcro storage/organizers, Power cord hole in back of box. This folds out to 72" by 48" by 36" and closes up to the sleek space of only 36" wide by 48" high and 21" deep.
I'm hosting a preliminary giveaway with an awesome prize:
I'm giving away a $20 electronic Barnes & Noble gift card. Please leave your e-mail address in your comment to qualify for this prize.
You can enter to win my prize and on March 16th, I'll announce the winner who will then go on for the grand prize drawing of The Office Box and a copy of Wrong Number.The Grand Prize Winner will be drawn on March 19, 2010 at RachelleWrites. She will select a winner from the 25 finalists to receive one Office Box (Value $895.00) in their choice of color and an autographed copy of Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen.
Giveaway open from March 5, 2010- March 15, 2010 at 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time.
Open to addresses in the contiguous United States only.
*You can only enter under one name
* It is possible to win more than one preliminary prize, which means it’s possible to be entered into the grand prize drawing more than once.
*All winner’s addresses must be stateside
*You must complete the required entry to be eligible to win
Here's how to enter:Please leave details in your comment of how you entered with required links. I'll put all entries into a spreadsheet and use Random.org to select the winner.
*Required entry: You must visit The Original Scrapbox website and leave a comment telling me your favorite item
- Tweet the contest with linkback in your comment and use the hashtag #officebox or #scrapbox in your tweet.
- Facebook the contest with linkback in your comment
- Add the contest button(pictured above) to your sidebar with a link to this contest
- Follow RachelleWrites
To receive 15 extra entries, you must do the following 5 things together on your blog post and please leave a link back to your blog post with your comment (only one comment required, but you must leave a link so I can check your post.)
- Blog about the contest WITH a picture of The Office Box and Wrong Number in your post.
- In your blog post link the phrase "The Office Box " to http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=138
- Link the phrase "The Original Scrapbox" to http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/catalog/
- Link the phrase "Wrong Number" to http://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Number-Rachelle-J-Christensen/dp/1599553643/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1
- Post the Wrong Number book trailer from You Tube on your blog
Here's the list of blogs where you can enter:
The Mommy Files
Little Birdie Secrets
Alvor-Dare To Dream
Queen of the Clan
C.L. Beck: Write Up My Alley
*Results of contests are final. Participants will be eliminated if entry rules are not followed correctly.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The other night, to my thirteen -year-old son's dismay, I made cranberry nut bread. He's been trying to talk me out of making it for weeks now. So on an afternoon when he wasn't home, I baked some. The house smelled wonderful, which is saying something if you've ever had my cooking.
He came in claiming that whatever it was in the oven, he was having some.
Then dinner rolled around and the cranberry bread was set on the table. He was torn. After some inner turmoil, he decided to take a piece, but only because it smelled so good.
I asked him if he liked it. He said he loved the bread, it was sweet, but the cranberries? They're....
That's life. It's sweet except when it's tart. Life is a sweetart.
"Don't you mean sweetheart?" my nine year old son asked.
I don't know. Is life a sweetheart or a sweetart? I'm leaning toward sweetart myself, but maybe that's because things aren't that glossed over around here.
Then there's my two year old. She doesn't pronounce all of her consonants. If you ask her if you can help, she usually says she's going to "do it by my elf."
My husband now asks her if her elf is going to do it.
I wish I had an elf sometimes. One that will do all those things I don't have time for or that I wish I didn't have to make time for. She says "my elf" so much that it's a constant thought in my head- and no, she has no idea what an elf is. She still means "myself."
So, to wrap up my thoughts. Enjoy life, it's a sweetart. Sweet except when it's tart. Have you ever noticed that sweetarts are mostly tart? Just a thought. I'd tie the elf into it, but I'm not seeing how that's going to work.
Try this.... When life is sweet, you can do it by your elf, and when it's tart, more than one elf might be required.
Now I'm jumping ship. I'm almost done editing one of my books, again. Let's face it, books are never done being edited until they are printed. But I'm learning things all over again. If you're looking revision in the face, here are some pointers....
*Look for passive phrases. was ___ing, for example: was swimming, change to swam. was climbing, change to climbed
*Don't be afraid of the delete button. It can be your best friend. Are you repeating the same things? Tighten up your words.
*Do your sentences make sense? Read them out loud. If something rhymes, change it, unless you're purposely writing a poem. If there's not enough information or if the wording is awkward, change it. I bet you remember thinking it was awkward the first time you wrote it, but you kept going so you wouldn't lose momentum. Now that the creative process is over, go back and fix those sentences.
*Who's talking? Is it clear?
*Does anything in your story make you want to say "Duh" or "lame"? Now you have time to make those parts cool.
*Are you still in love with your story? Figure out why, yes or no, and make the yes reasons the strongest part of the plot.
*Are you foreshadowing too much? Too little?
*Are you ever going to finish editing? No, but that's what publishers are for. Eventually they will be the last say. There will come a time when you can put the manuscript down for good and look at your work in a real-live book. You know, the kind with its own ISBN #.
It's all worth it in the end.
Monday, March 1, 2010
March is going to be the month for tons of reading and tons and tons of revising. I'm going to be voting for some of the Whitney awards- which means reading a lot of books. Actually, this is the fun part. I have an excuse to read a bunch of books I've been wanting to read anyway.
And, I'm going to be doing a review for a new book called Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen. You're going to hear lots more on that this month, so I'll save it. I'm already really liking the book, though. It's going fast.
But on a more selfish note- the part I'm doing for me.... REVISIONS! I have two books to revise. I did say I was going to be selfish, so you've been warned. I decided that revising my own work is so much easier than revising someone else's. I don't have to worry about hurting someone's feelings or wonder if the direction I would take with the story is right. It's my book so it must be right. I sound full of myself, don't I?
Anyway, I'm so glad I have some time to really dig in and edit. I'm falling in love and thinking things through more than I have before. These are some killer stories. Really.
And, since I'm so busy talking about myself, I'll give you some more news. This Thursday I'll be at Summerwind Elementary doing presentations about reading and writing. March 19 I'll be at Frontier Elementary. If you are interested in having me visit a school, please drop me a line. Go to www.laurabingham.com and send me a request. I'm really easy to work with and I love doing school visits.
If you happen to live back east the midwest or anywhere not within driving range, we can do a skype visit with your school. See- there are other ways.
Okay, I guess I better get back to work. Until next time...