Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime?

I`m trying to figure out how to motivate children for the summer. Sometimes I wish I lived on a farm so there would be chores for the kids to do all day. Instead I have to be creative about getting them to do something valuable with their time. Nothing drives me more crazy than having kids sit in the house all summer long with nothing to do.

The girls are excited to sign up for a summer music camp. They will get the opportunity to work with some professional musicians and even do some recording in a studio. My oldest daughter has an amazing voice and will be taking more lessons in the fall. This will give her an opportunity to try some new things. My youngest daughter also has a beautiful voice and she likes to play the guitar. It should be lots of fun for them.

All the kids talk about working on their stories this summer. They like to joke about how funny it would be if, someday, we all hit the New York Times bestseller list all at the same time. Dreams are good.

What I need to figure out is how to keep the sixteen year old busy. Given the option, he would play the computer all day or lay on the couch and read a book. A little of each is fine, but when he spends the entire day doing either one of those, he sure gets grumpy. So far I`ve come up with quite the list of things to keep him occupied, none of which inspire any excitement in him. It would be nice if he would get a job, but until he gets his driver`s license, there aren`t a lot of options around town. He would have to drive to the city like his sister does. He has been delivering papers for two years, but that is done by 7:00 a.m. That leaves a lot of hours to fill.

It is kind of sad for me to watch kids now. I remember when I was their age, I couldn`t wait until the chores were finished so I could go out and do things with my friends. We swam at the pool just about every day, we went for long bike rides, and wrote and put on plays. It sure is a different world now. I rarely see kids around town during the summer and can only guess that most of them are spending time just like my teenagers. It does make me glad that summer vacation is only eight weeks long. Much longer would be torture for all of us. I wonder what sort of things my grandkids will do to keep themselves busy?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Reaching the Goal

Ever since I first realized that someone had to write all the stories on my bookshelf, I have wanted to be one of those people. Funny how some dreams get put aside and almost forgotten, but they pop up every so often and beg to have some attention. About eleven years ago I began writing again. I finally realized that if I kept putting it off, it would never happen. Something else would always take priority if I let it.

I learned the craft slowly. Sometimes I wasn`t sure exactly what I should write. For a few years, I penned articles for the local newspaper and discovered quickly that, although I could write a good article my heart just wasn`t in it. After dabbling in short stories, I moved on to novels and found the type of story telling I really love. There is something so satisfying about being able to develop an interesting cast of characters, a great setting and an intriging plot.

Of course, writing for myself is fine, but there is always the hope that someone else will see the value in my work. Well, Walnut Springs Press believes in me and is publishing my first novel. It should be  released sometime this summer, although I don't have any specific dates. Right now, even the title is up in the air.

It feels like it has been such a long wait, but I know this is just the beginning. I have many things to learn and many more stories to tell. Reaching the goal of being published is just the first step on the ladder. I`m just getting started and I can`t wait to see what life holds for me in the next eleven years.


Rose Sterling doesn’t take life or her religion seriously, but when her father dies her carefree world is turned upside down and she is forced to grow up. While her mother and brother prepare to immigrate to Alberta, she is sent to live with family in Montana, where the comfort of her Utah home is far away and Mormons are viewed with suspicion. Rose is sure the year ahead of her will be miserable and lonely, but the unexpected attentions of three men force her to make difficult decisions regarding her future. What she finds in Montana teaches her the value of love and the strength of her own beliefs.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Playing Catch Up

Despite all my best intentions to be more consistent with my blogging, I have fallen more behind than ever. You would think with everything going on in my life, I would have lots to say. Instead, most of my brain power is just spent in trying to keep up.

Since February I have been involved with a play the Cultural Arts Society put on. My two oldest children were involved and the youngest was just jealous because she wasn't old enough to try out. Because I am on the board of directors, the question wasn't "Do you want to help?" but "Which job do you want?" Whenever I am given that choice, I pick costumes because I can do it in my own time rather than during scheduled practises.  The kids all looked great during the performances and they did a fantastic job with the play. By the time the final week rolled around, we were all sick of the whole thing, but the next week we were already talking about what play they might choose to do next year. 

Right in the middle of all that busyness, I attended the LDStorymakers conference in Utah. This was my fourth year and as always, it was an amazing experience. I can't believe how much the conference has grown. I remember the first year I went. It was small and perfect for an introvert like me. Now it's like attending a giant family reunion where the family just gets a little bigger every year. I'm already looking forward to next year and hoping that it just might be scheduled at a time when my oldest daughter will be able to come.

My university course has suffered through all this. I'm glad I decided to start with only one since I already had to take an extension on it. Another project came up and I had to make a decision on which took priority. After much discussion with my husband, the school got put aside. I have to hit the books hard now and get those essays written so I can finish the class and sign up for the next one.

With everything going on, I am struggling to get the writing in, but I am constantly working on projects that are stretching my mind in whole new directions. I love how writing keeps my mind active and there is always something new to learn. I only wish there were a few more spare hours to be had. Summer gets closer and I always imagine how I will spend entire days working on the next novel, but in reality, my summer is already booked solid with family vacations, reunions, girls camp and catching up on some sewing for the girls. Honestly though, I seem to work better under pressure. I'm hoping to get another book well on its way in the quiet moments, however rare they are. I'm just glad the kids are old enough to fend for themselves most of the time.

I finally got a calling in the ward after a six month break. They asked me to be the Mia-Maid advisor. I just wondered why they couldn't have called me after girls camp. I went to my first camp meeting last night. At the girls request, they are really roughing it. Sounds scary to me. I don't need showers and running water to camp, but I do have my limits. Hopefully I'll survive. If nothing else, there should be some good fodder for stories. Now just to squeeze out the time to write them all.
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