Thursday, March 27, 2014


I'll begin with a little updating.  I'm now beginning chapter three of my new work in progress.  It looks like it's going to be another romantic/suspense novel.  I'm also almost finished going through the second of my seven plastic drawers full of material that might be considered genealogy verification. Sorting through memories is kind of fun, but entering names, dates, etc., in the computer is time consuming and I can see I need more info from several of my nieces. 

Two of my daughters have books coming out this year.  Janice Sperry's book is a middle grade reader with a really cute cover and it's a fun spoof on dozens of fairy tales.  Lezlie Anderson's book is a Christmas booklet and I got a sneak peak at its cute cover a couple of days ago. I'll have more to say about it closer to its fall publication date. 

I just made my first Whitney nomination for 2014!  2013 awards are coming up next month, but it's not too soon to start making nominations for the next round of awards.  

Like almost everyone else, I'm really tired of winter, but all the rain we've gotten the past couple of days has really turned the grass green and it's so inviting to see daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, violets, and some purple flower (I don't know its name) blooming in my yard.  I love spring! My husband even bought two more half barrels so we won't have to fight over which barrels get flowers and which will host vegies this year.  

It's funny but I have a hard time believing it's really spring until April conference has come and gone and my accountant finishes preparing my taxes.  I'll admit I'm a little less than enthused about including children in this year's Women's Conference session, but I'll see how it goes.  It will seem a little strange not to do any conference signings this year.  After twenty years of Celebrating Sisterhood and Ladies' Night, I feel a little left out.  I hope all of my readers won't forget me before I have another book out.  (My old books are still available on Amazon/Kindle and LDS book stores still carry quite a few of them.)  As for taxes--there aren't a lot of happy memories associated with them as there is with conference, but I'll just be glad to know what I have to pay and get the sorry deed over with. 

Today marks eighteen months since the first of the four surgeries that sidelined much of my life for a time.  Both knees are doing fine and the left one serves as a barometer to let me know when we're going to get rain or snow.  My doctor assures me that with the removal of my pancreas I won't ever get pancreatic cancer as so many of my close loved ones have done. I'm still adjusting to using an insulin pump and skipping most of my favorite snacks.  Alas no malt balls, Cadbury eggs, or jelly beans for Easter this year.  On second thought, I might sneak in a stray jelly bean or two on days my glucose count is low.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I have seven deep file drawers full of stuff.  I don't mean nice orderly files; I mean tossed in and hope I get to it someday stuff.  For more years than I care to mention, I've saved birth announcements, wedding invitations, funeral programs, letters, obituaries, etc., all written verifications of people, places, and events in my family.  These all contain information I want added to my family history records.  The problem is I've never added the information; I've just added it to one of these drawers. 

I've never treated other data this way.  I neatly file tax information, medical records, when cars are serviced, research on my books, and dozens of other categories of information.  I'm not sure why or when I adopted the pack rat method of saving family records.  I have nephews and nieces, old enough to marry and start their own families, I haven't added as children of my siblings yet!  I've done a better job of tracking my ancestors than of keeping a record of my closer family. 

Last week a family member asked me a question I couldn't answer, but I know where the answer is.  It's in a little book my sister gave me many years ago that was compiled by some distant relative of her husband and includes a genealogy record of many generations of his family.  Both my sister and her husband passed away during the past few years so I can't ask them.  So I began looking for the book.  I'm pretty sure it's in one of my seven drawers of stuff.   

Instead of just looking for the book I want to find; I decided it's time to sort through my heaps of stuff and get it entered into my records.  So far I've worked my way through the top four inches of one drawer. I think this may take a long time.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I did it!  I started another book.  It's much too early to say much about it since the first chapter is making its way onto my computer very slowly, just four pages so far. A book has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I'm very much at the beginning.  This part, at least for me, requires a lot of thinking, a lot of research, and a lot of getting to know my characters.  That usually adds up to a lot of rewriting too.  I will say it's going to be a murder mystery with a bit of romance.

One and a half more books and I'll have all of the adult Whitney finalists read.  So far I'm impressed with the nominees.  Well there's one I'm not sure how or why it even got nominated, leave alone chosen as a finalist, but the others are either impressive or super impressive.  I'll be glad when I have these last two books finished because it will give me more time to read the new books I'm given to review and to do my own writing.

Thinking about time, it's my theory that no one actually finds time to write.  Most writers I know are busy people.  Most are parents, most have another job, and many have strong community or church (sometimes both) commitments.  In order to write, it is necessary to take time; not find time. Some writers call this the fifteen minute rule; I've always tried to make it thirty minutes, but either way it simply means I carve fifteen or thirty minutes out of my day as an absolute priority to write. I take more time whenever I can of course. That means no facebook, no phone calls, no TV, prepare in advance another diversion for the kids, and do planning and research in advance.  I just do whatever it takes to claim fifteen minutes of solid writing time.  Fifteen minutes isn't long and many writers feel they can't get much done in that amount of time, but most writers are pleasantly surprised by how much can be accomplished in a quarter to a half hour.

I also give myself a minimum of fifteen minutes daily reading time.  Again I take more as often as possible. That's another pet theory of mine.  I don't think a person can be an effective writer if they're not also a reader.

It seems to be the fashion now to ask readers to suggest titles or characters' names for a work in progress.  I'm not that far along.  So far my book has a number, not even a working title, but I may consider doing this a little farther down the road.  For now it just feels good to be back to thinking through a story.