Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Launch Party!

I had one of those weird dreams last night that carried over to my waking thoughts. Someone wanted to buy a book from me, but when I went to grab one, there wasn't any there. Instead, I found boxes and boxes of other people's books.


So I went to my "box of books" and found four copies of Alvor and no copies of Wings of Light. What? Upon further investigation, I found three copies of Wings of Light on my bookshelf.

And then I got to thinking... I never really had a proper book launch when Wings of Light came out. Sure, we splattered things all over the internet, but we missed any kind of hands-on experience.

So here's what I decided to do.

Book Launch party- at my studio (2840 Wildwood St., Boise, Idaho 83713) October 14 from 7-9 PM. We'll have food, music and something fun for kids to do. This is a chance to hang out, chat, meet people, and if you haven't already bought a copy, we'll have Alvor and Wings of Light for sale at a super price.

And if you do already have a copy, come anyway. I mean, if you live around here. It's a party.

In the meantime, I'm scheduled to do book signings at Book Nook- 705 12th Ave Road, Nampa, Idaho this Friday from 1-3 and Saturday from 12-2. Then I'm hopping over to Crowley's 1485 Poleline Rd. E. #139 Twin Falls, Idaho from 6-8 PM on Saturday as well. If you live close to those stores, drop in and say Hi!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh, you mean me?

I spent most of the week in San Diego at the bay.

First impression:

It's so cold! I thought I was staying at the beach. I thought this was California with sand, sun and waves. What gives?

Second impression:

Look at the diversity of the downtown area. Cool outdoor mall. I love the bay. I love to see the ships, boats and yachts. Look at the pelicans, herons and egrets. Can you believe how amazing these ships are? The Midway is incredible. I can see why someone could spend everyday watching the water.

Last impression:

I'm going to miss the bay. The boardwalk. The cute little shops, the beautiful walk along the water and the diversity of people and things.

I know the road to where I want to be looks a lot like the first picture, and sounds a lot like my impressions of San Diego Bay. It's not "all that" all the time. It's probably going to take some twisting turns, a walk through downtown with a group of people dressed in black giving away free hugs and seeing how many homeless there are before I see how much more there is.

But even when I didn't see it, it was there. I just had to see it through a different set of eyes. I had to experience it to know.

Yes, we'll jump on the writing business and tell the same story. The more I write and read, the more I see the whole industry through new eyes. And yes, I still believe that in the end, I'll see the it, like the bay, for what it really is- a marvel of new and old, nature and man's creation all working together to be a thing of beauty.

Friday, September 16, 2011


It was my first time in Manhattan. The top two pictures were taken last month.

It's hard to explain why seeing the Freedom Tower filled me with such hope. As I looked up at the skyline of buildings, I saw what people were able to build out of devastation.

If you didn't know the horror that had happened only ten years previously, you would have never guessed it standing on the sidewalk and looking up at this tall building that defies the crushing events of 9/11. Defies, or defines.

We don't give up. It's an American trait.

The picture below shows what the Freedom tower will look like after completion. If you look at how it compares with the building next to it, the whole things comes into perspective. That's not exactly a short skyscraper standing beside it.

I have to be honest, I stood there looking at the Freedom Tower and couldn't even imagine it being twice again as tall as it already was. Amazing.

I didn't know anyone that lost their life that day. And yet, I can say with all sincerity of my heart that the event affected me deeply. We're all one nation, under God, indivisible. And when a piece is torn from our land, we all feel it. We all cry. We all mourn the loss of lives and find a deep respect for those heroes who stepped up to do what they could- heroes who are still stepping up to the call.

But out of the ashes, I see a nation who's hope is brighter than the darkness. A nation that is willing to fight against evil. And I know that it's a world I can send my children into. A nation that has enough good to keep believing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reading when I should be doing...

Ordered clogging shoes...check
Choreographed five different progress
Picked out costumes for this progress
Ready for my Irish Exams...I wish
Miss writing like crazy...check

It must be fall. That time of year when reading a book is a guilty pleasure. Which explains why I've had a couple people ask me to review their books in the next couple weeks.

I'm seeing this as a mandatory distraction. This must be a good thing.

Hmmm, speaking of good things... I am reading a book that is really good. And like my fourteen-year-old told me last night, I don't usually say that about the books I'm reading. This one is a lucky draw- sort of a chance finding. I picked it up, bought it, never heard of it, and Bang, this thing is awesome.

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

I told myself I was over the well-worn concept of angels in paranormal stories. Vampires and werewolves too, to be honest. but Cynthia proves that it's not the tool, but the story, voice and writing that makes the novel so good. You don't always have to invent the wheel- just make a really cool new one.

I almost read the whole thing yesterday. Just like that.

When I should really be focusing on all the stuff I started listing at the top.

But what's life without a little distraction? I never regret reading a good book.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three agents and an editor...

We're already getting things set up for the 2012 LDStorymakers Conference. So far we've got Michelle Wolfson, Kathleen Ortiz and Holly Root as well as Molly O'Neil from HarperCollin.

Are you excited yet? I so am.

I love working with these people. I've learned so much over the last year and a half by getting to be involved in this side of things.

And, I've learned how very sweet most everyone in the book industry really is. People, in spite of the rejections you are surely getting (if you're submitting) it isn't because they're vindictive.

They're just professionals trying their best to do their job- to sell books.

The good news is that agents and editors are so great to work with so when you finally find the right one for your work, it's usually a good experience from there out.

We won't get into edits and how you might feel about those today. I'm on the love-editing side of the fence anyway.

For those of you who like to plan ahead, the LDStorymakers conference will be at the Marriott Hotel in Provo may 4-5. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Little Things

A couple weeks ago, I was staying in Pennsylvania- and besides the usual splendor, I found all sorts of tiny miracles.

This was one of them. It hardly seems real that a gorgeous black and blue butterfly would let me pick it up, but it did.

And then it let me hold it for almost a minute.

I've always believed that if you catch a butterfly in the wild and let it go, it's better than any star you could wish upon. And I made a wish. Okay, you caught me, I made more than one. I always do.
I know it's silly- or superstitious. And really- like my little girl always says- "Dreams don't come true- I always dream I can fly."

But there is something significant about knowing what you want deep down in your heart. That dream, or wish is a way of acknowledging hope. Faith. And ultimately means work.

If you're like me, you've always worked for it, but it doesn't hurt to catch a butterfly.

And whether I have a good reason or not, I still wake up some mornings and believe that anything is possible. I don't know when, or how, but I know it is.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let them eat cake

"Failure is the reward for those who try." Me- last night after baking a cake for my dad the DAY AFTER his birthday.

And here's my kids and my sister's kids right before we eat said cake WITHOUT my dad- because he's going to be gone too late for a school night.

Yeap. My special brand of brilliance.

Don't worry, we gave him the half-eaten cake later, even though I wasn't there to see his confused expression.

Just for the record, I was going off my grandma's calendar (in Pennsylvania). I spent the a week looking at his birthday written on the wrong day on her calendar- not that I would have suspected it. She is his mother. She would know when his birthday is... right? I guess we all make mistakes.

But do I really believe in the motto that failure is the reward for those who try? Absolutely. Anyone who tells you different probably doesn't live in the real world. I can't think of a single successful person in history who didn't experience failure.

The important thing is that failure is not the ONLY reward for trying. Eventually you might even reach your dreams.

So was it worth making the cake a day late, even though I never got to see my dad? Yes.

I appreciated the comment someone left on my last post.

"I figure if I keep writing (umm, and submitting), eventually the pieces will fall together. Either that, or I'm going to be ninety-something and still sending out queries." MKHutchins

I feel the same way. Truly. Sadly, maybe, but exactly to be sure.

Not only in life, but in writing. Failure is inevitable. Once you get over that fact, there really is nothing holding you back. If the worst thing that can happen is you fail, and you know that failure is part of the process, then at the very least, or at the very base of every goal, we have nothing truly to lose- and everything to gain.