Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why everyone should be pregnant at Christmas ...

It sounds odd, but I think every woman should go through the Holidays in a very pregnant state at least once and here's why:

10. People have to be nice to you. You can't be a Bah Humbug to a waddling basketball. You just can't.

9. Everyone carries your stuff. Cuz ya know, I can't. It's nice.

8. Strange old women at the grocery stores are too busy to come over and rub your belly. This is a true bonus.

7. Once the nesting kicks in you actually look forward to all the Christmas baking and tomfoolery. Have I mentioned that I made 8 dozen truffles in the last 2 days? I'm quite proud.

6. You get to eat all the goodies you want. And the truffle count is down to 6 dozen ... and dropping. But who wouldn't eat those? Mmm. 5 dozen. (Note: This picture is totally for Emily, who makes taking pictures of great food into quite the hobby.)
5. I don't need a coat. I take my own heater everywhere and completely avoid going from too cold outside to too hot inside.

4. I don't have to worry about looking good for family pictures. I just let that belly hang on out there.

3. You're totally allowed to forget stuff: Didn't send a Christmas card to Uncle Lewis? Sorry ... pregnant brain. Happens. Better luck next year.

2. No one asks you to plan anything. It would be more stress. :)

1. Holiday weight gain is expected, demanded by doctors even!

And now for a news bulletin: If you don't have awesome Holiday plans you should join me and my awesome writer's group, The SIX, for our minutes of fame at 7:00 p.m. MST (9:00 p.m. EST) tomorrow, Dec. 16th.

We will be doing an interview on how to have an awesome writing group like ours and how most of us (not me ... yet) have broken into the publishing world and dominated! Yes, DOMINATED!

Here's how to participate:

1: At the appointed time, dial
(long distance charges may apply, depending on your phone plan)

2: Enter the Conference Code: 245657

3: To raise your hand and ask a question, dial 5*

4: To Mute yourself, dial 4*

For more information, you can visit their site at

Friday, December 3, 2010

How writing a book is like your Christmas Tree

This year I've drawn a lot of parallels between my Christmas Tree and my manuscript. More parallels than I'd like to admit. To point them all out would make this the world's longest blog entry.

So, I'll just tell the story of our Christmas tree drama and let you find your own parallels. Or not, if you're awesome and everything goes your way, in which case kindly keep it to yourself! Your awesomeness won't be appreciated at my house today. I'll probably throw gingerbread at you.

Let's begin. So ... you want to buy a Christmas Tree. A pretty one. That all will adore. And you bring home this (courtesy of Home Depot):
OK, so that's not really my tree, or my mantle, but I promise at one point mine looked just as lovely. Then I got two dogs and had a kid. And got pregnant again. And lost all sanity. Moving along.

Time passes. Up close things are great, but when you step back to look at Christmas Tree appearance #2: Not as pretty. The limbs are not all fluffed up, a couple bulbs have gone out, my plot is on a collision course and the star will not stay on straight.

Appearance #3: All hell has broken loose. Wires are all twisted and crossed, whole strands of lights have gone out and ran away with my main character, the star is falling off at regular intervals and the 2 year old has taken up residence in the lower branches, making writing just about impossible.Which brings us to today. Hours and days later, more replacement bulbs than I care to admit, a major reorganization of scenes complete with sticky notes covering every surface of my kitchen and we are getting close friends. Very close.

If you squint it looks pretty good, right? I mean aside from the whole bottom left side not lighting up, and we're not gonna talk about the backside ... who looks back there anyway?! There is a gem in there somewhere. Tell me you see it.
And Charlie Brown's tree turned out great, right?!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Whirlwind of Fun ... and Food Poisoning

It is a well known fact that when The SIX plan a get-together, an event, a retreat ... anything fun really, that the world conspires against me. It's my punishment for being the most sane of us all.

I was bound and determined this weekend would be different -- I would be attending our impromptu retreat on Friday. And thus began the countdown.

Wednesday Night: Chinese take out. (Mistake! The skull and cross bones on the box should have been a dead give away ... pardon the pun.)

Thursday Night: Permanent residence taken up in our bathroom.

Friday: Much better, but now my husband (aka Retreat Babysitter) had taken up permanent residence in our bathroom.

Friday 4 p.m.: I went anyway. (Note: Left husband with homemade bread, homemade chicken noodle soup ... and my son. Note 2: I am highly motivated by guilt.)

Result: Most productive writing retreat EVER! Wrote 6 pages, and then 2.5 more when I got home.

Lesson learned: Making bread gets creative juices flowing, and I may have passed my curse off to my husband ... but better him than me. He isn't welcome at the "Girls Only retreats." :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pregnant Brain

OK, so I'm pregnant, with a giant case of the Pregnant Brain (the one up there on the left is mine), aka I forget just about everything, including the fact that I have a blog, and that it has a login.

Here are some other lessons learned as a result of my pregnant brain:
  • When eating Halloween candy, and the candy is in your right hand (wrapper in your left), it is the contents in your left hand that should go in the trash. Goodbye sweet Twix.
  • When washing one's hair, rinse is critical.
  • If you're going to the store specifically for one item, you should leave with said item and not $40 of "other stuff."
  • A bra is an important part of a public wardrobe. But not as important as my Panda fanny pack!
  • If there are two words that sound kind of similar, but with completely different meanings, chances are I will use the incorrect word, I've run the gambit on that one.
  • I have an un-potty-trained child, which means I should probably take diapers with me when spending the evening at my mother's house. Pajamas would be good too. Or maybe just move to Africa, and then I wouldn't have to worry, right? And we could put him to work making bread!

I know there are myriads more, but (here comes the shocker) I can't remember. So that's my brain, how's yours?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theory: Creative types = good liars?

So ... I've mulled over this theory for awhile, but never really wanted to say it out loud because then the inevitable question becomes: Why would you think that? Are *you* a good liar?

Absolutely ... not. I do not lie. I would never. Really, I like to think of myself as an embellisher. Because some things are just asking to be embellished. It's just like that ratty old T-shirt that you love ... put a little puffy paint and bedazzle on that baby and it's better than ever! No one will even notice the holes.

Let's take Scenario #1: Embellishing, cuz it needed it. Read on, you'll see.

I recently posted this on FB

Truth: That particular morning it was just two guys. Four sounds better, thought right? And to be fair, there usually are four of them doing this and they seem to get all the other "lifters" involved if there are any who dare to lift weights alone ... I'm sure more of them arrived shortly after I left the gym, having ran my 5 miles for day. OK, it was 2. Two miles. OK, 1.5. Really, that's the truth.

Scenario #2: Not a good liar.

Hubs: Is something wrong?
Me: No. I'm just tired.
Hubs: I don't buy it. What did I do?
Me: Nothing. Seriously.
Hubs: Then what's with the face.
Me: What face?
Hubs: The something-is-wrong face.
Me: What ... this face?

So, question. Questions, rather. 1. Are you a creative type? 2. Do you embellish? 3. Can you lie?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Learning to be awesome ... even if I'm not Brodi Ashton

Last week was LDS Storymakers conference. It was great.

I didn't win anything in the raffle, unlike Brodi.
I didn't win the First Chapter contest ... again unlike Brodi.

Are you beginning to sense a theme? It was Brodi. In all her sashay-ing glory. But even without the winning, it was fun. Here are some of the non-Brodi highlights:

My favorite quote from opening ceremonies:
"There's always a market for awesome." -- Jennifer Laughlin

Breakout Session #1 from Bree Despain on Paranormal Fiction:
"It's all about the yearning."

If you're writing paranormal romance, know what it is when you start querying. It's not this --

Breakout #2 with Karen Hoover on Pacing:
If your pacing sucks, and you're in the middle of your book ... figure out who you can kill. -- Nora Roberts

Good pacing: Doesn't notice the curtains when there's an axe murderer in the living room.
Good pacing: Doesn't shove you in a dark alley, it lures you in.

Breakout #3 with J. Scott Savage on Villains:
"Hannibal Lecter could have been the best FBI agent." The best villains are pretty close to your heroes -- they just have a different way of getting there.

Breakout #4 with Krista Marino on The First 5 Pages:
"You don't have to be too rule-followy, because this is creative writing. Just don't confuse your reader."

Don't: Have typos.
Do: Have good writing.

Key Note with Dave Wolverton:
For a an excellent recap, visit Valynne's blog. She did a great job. But ... just because it was the one thing I did better than Brodi, all freaking day, I've included my doodles. My doodles were better than hers. And you'll notice that Valynne left out some of the more poignant bullet points in the key note ... like "Don't fake it." and "Exercise the demons."

Monday, April 5, 2010

I hate Blogger.

Had a lovely blog all ready. Hit "Publish Post" and it evaporated right before my eyes.

Tried again. Poof.
Again ... and I get this.

Alas, it was a lovely post we lost today. Truly. About Easter and my family antics about eating sacrificial lamb. Doesn't that sound fantastic? As blogs go, really, it was awesome.

After I give blogger the silent treatment for awhile, kiss and makeup and get up the courage to wrestle my toddler to gain a few more precious minutes at the computer, you may see my attempt to recreate the beauty that was lost.

Until then, hold your breath, I just might bring down the whole system.

But know that I tried my dear readers. All three of you.
Thinking of you ...