This time last year I was recovering from my second knee replacement surgery. Naturally I didn't get much yard work done. The summer before my knees were so bad I could barely walk and working in my flower beds just didn't happen. Today I finished weeding my flower beds, all of them, and though I'm stiff and achy, I think they look pretty good. Naturally I'll be finding weeds and grass I missed all summer, but it feels pretty darn good to finally have them looking more like flower beds than weed patches.
For the past three and a half months my cousin and her husband have lived with us while he was undergoing cancer treatment. Last week they were able to return to their home in Alaska. We miss them, but are glad he's well enough for them to pick up their life in their own home and community. Right after they left here, a son-in-law came to stay for a few days following radiation treatment. He's doing really well, but a person stays radioactive for awhile following this treatment and can't be around pets or children. We loved having him here, but his wife and kids are happy to have him back home. After nearly four months of having our guest room occupied, our house feels kind of quiet now. I'm stronger and feeling much better and the house is quiet, do you suppose I'll get more writing done? I don't know; I've really enjoyed working outside in the yard the past few days.
I blogged last about conferences and conventions. For those who haven't heard the results of LDStorymakers Whitney Awards, here is my Meridian column in which I listed all of the winners.
Wednesday, April 30 2014
Whitney Awards Gala
Blaine Yorgason was the recipient of the Whitney Lifetime Achievement Award Saturday night at the award ceremony concluding the LDStorymakers convention held in Layton, Utah. Rachel Ann Nunes received the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Yorgason wrote his first book, Charlie's Monument, in 1980. It has since been made into a popular film. He is the author of 83 books which total over four million copies. He has been a teacher and has held a wide variety of positions in the Church. Currently he is a temple worker at the St. George Temple. He and his wife are the parents of seven children.
Rachel Ann Nunes - Outstanding Achievement Award
Nunes has been a popular LDS author since the mid nineties. Her 37 books have been published with several LDS publishers and she has also self-published. She was instrumental in beginning LDStorymakers, the guild for LDS authors. She and her husband are the parents of seven children and live in Utah.
Top writing awards went to Julianne Donaldson for Blackmoore (Best Novel of 2013) , Brandon Sanderson for Steelheart (Best Youth Novel of 2013), and Kasie West for Pivot Point (Best Novel by a New Author).
Adult category winners this year are Sarah Dunster for Mile 21 (Best General Fiction), H.B. Moore for Esther the Queen (Best Historical Fiction), Julianne Donaldson for Blackmoore (Best Romance), Traci Hunter Abramson for Deep Cover (Best Mystery/Suspense), and Jeffrey S. Savage for Dark Memories (Best Speculative Fiction).
Youth category winners are Julie Berry for All the Truth That's in Me (Best General Youth Fiction), Brandon Sanderson for Steelheart (Best Speculative Youth Fiction, and Jennifer A. Nielsen for The Runaway King (Best Middle Grade Fiction).
I was a finalist in the Historical category, but not the top winner. I'll include a picture taken by Heather Zahn Gardner (Heather Gardner Photography), showing a group of finalists posing for the loser's cheesecake consolation prize and one of me with my daughter, Lezlie, who has a Christmas booklet coming out in October.