Showing posts from July, 2007

Help Me Sleep!

Now that my husband and I have officially reached the end of the Harry Potter saga, we're floundering a bit. We spent five months rereading the first six books aloud at night, then devoured #7 when it came out.

And now, well . . . we sort of put our heads on our pillows at night, feeling like something isn't quite right in the world. It's harder to get to sleep without our nightly read aloud.

Granted, we could just pick up another book and read that together, but we want something that'll last, not just a single title. Plus we want start something that we'll both enjoy and appreciate.

(Like, uh, Harry Potter . . . Dang. Did that.)

Now I'm looking to my blogosphere buddies to help us out.

I tend to be literary, female (okay, girly), or LDS Market-driven in what I read. He enjoys science fiction (LOVES Phillip K. Dick) and fantasty (especially Robert Jordan—it's thanks to him I got into reading The Wheel of Time). He's also into a lot of non-fiction, such as t…

I'm a Schmoozer

Check it out! I got my second blog award ever, the "Blogging Community Involvement Award," also known as the Schmooze Award, courtesy my good friend Luisa.

I don't know that I deserve the award; it's a little strange to think that someone as shy as I am might be involved in a community in that way. But I'll take it. :)

Considering I've met more cyber-friends because of Luisa than anyone else, and considering that she's the ultimate in blog community involvement and has been such a great person to know, I'm half tempted to throw it back at her. But I don't think that's how this award thing works.

Instead I gave it some thought and came up with a couple of bloggers to pass it on to:

Robison Wells
He's one of the funniest writers I know, and he is heavily involved in both the LDS writing community and the blog community. He's one of the six writers from the wildly popular Frog Blog, and he also keeps up his own blog at his website. I can'…

Harry & Yarn

I spent my weekend the same way several million other people did: reading the seventh installment of Harry Potter.

Even better, I spent the time reading it aloud with my husband, just like we've read all of the Harry Potter books. It's been a treat for me to get the new book and snuggle next to him as we take turns reading aloud, and every time we've read the last page and closed a cover, there's been a sense of loss for me. Not only because the book is done, but because we won't be reading another Harry book together for a couple of years. This time it was particularly poignant: we won't EVER get another Harry book. Sure, we can read other books together (and I'm sure we will), but this marks the end of an era.

Back in February we decided to reread the entire series so it would all be fresh in our minds. So for the last five months, we've been reading together at night before bed, a chapter or two here and there, gradually working our way through the boo…

Fiction Fantasies

Luisa tagged me for what is, I think, my favorite meme ever.

It took me a long time to come up with the answers, and if I were to answer on another day in another mood, they might be totally different. Even so, it was sure fun to think back to books I've read over the years and come up with the answers. One trouble I had is that I'd think of books I loved but that I read a decade (or two) ago—and have forgotten details like characters' names and such, so I couldn't use them.

With all that as a disclaimer, here are my answers:

1. If you could host a party with seven literary characters, whom would you invite and why?

Valancy Snaith, for her wit and her zest for life, especially after looking death in the face.

Jo March, to get me inspired with my writing.

Guy Montag. At the end of the evening, I have a feeling I’d value the written word more. It would also be cool to hear him recite some of the works he’s been assigned to memorize.

Silas Marner. I'd love to hear him talk a…

Pt. IV Answer

In my excitement over my new cover, I sort of spaced answering the final trivia question from the last edition of our Temple Trivia series.

Here goes:

What event briefly halted work on the Manti Temple?
A) The death of Brigham Young
B) The assassination of President Garfield
C) A stone quarry explosion
D) A grasshopper plague

The answer: B, the assassination of President Garfield.

For a couple of days, everything stopped in his memory, including the temple construction, as people mourned the loss of their president.

There's a chance Brigham Young's death stopped the work, too, but I found no record of it. However, the temple might not have had a full-time crew at that point, since Brigham Young died so early on in the construction, just four months after the ground breaking. So maybe there just wasn't any work going on to stop when he died.

The stone quarry didn't have any major accidents, just minor stuff like dropping a big rock on someone's foot.

Finally, the Manti settler…

My New Wrapper

It's so close, I can almost taste it! In just over a month, Spires of Stone will be officially released.

Even better, I now have the cover image, which is always a moment to remember: first seeing how your baby will be "wrapped." This one's a bit different than my last two, being as it has two women on the cover instead of one. I asked for that, since the book really has two heroines, and I didn't want to pick between them as to who would be on the cover.

Do they look like the characters in my head? No. But that's okay; who can see into my head anyway? I've had the fortune to have all of my historical covers with beautiful artwork on them, so I'm not about to complain.

As for a little about the book, here's the backliner (that blurb thing you read on the back of the book!):

Bethany Hansen wasn’t sure when or if she would ever see Benjamin Adams again. She also told herself that it didn’t matter. But when Ben and his two brothers come home after more t…

Temple Trivia Pt. IV

Until I start researching a fifth temple, this is our final installment!

First, to the trivia question from last time:
When debating before construction began over what to build the temple out of, what material did Brigham Young lobby in General Conference for?

A. Granite
B. Oolite
C. Adobe
D. Stucco-covered Sandstone

The answer is one that made me laugh out loud when I first found it—and then I was seriously confused until I found something else that to me explains it.

The answer: C-Adobe!

Why on EARTH would Brigham Young want adobe for the temple? To me, it made no sense. He had SEEN the temple in vision, right? Couldn't he TELL that it was stone?

Apparently not.

He believed adobe was stronger than stone, saying that when all the other stones (San Pete rock, sand stone, marble, limestone) would be washed away by the river, "you will find that the temple which is built of mud or adobe, as some call them, still remains and in better condition than at the first day it was built."


Temple Trivia Pt III

Time for the next set of temple fun! That means we're moving on to the Salt Lake Temple.

But first, to answer the trivia question from last time:
Who served as the first St. George Temple president?
A. Lorenzo Snow
B. Orson Pratt
C. George Albert Smith
D. Wilford Woodruff

The answer: D-Wilford Woodruff (Very good, Brillig!)

During his time as temple president, Wilford Woodruff had the famous vision of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (and other early prominent Americans, including their wives) asking for their temple work to be done.

Years later, he was the prophet who got the Salt Lake Temple finished, pushing the Saints to raise the funds necessary and work their hardest so it could be dedicated at the 40-year mark. The capstone celebration took place at the 39-year mark, and it was then that he urged Church members to push hard to get the interior of the temple done within the next year. It was a close call (in fact, some of the murals inside weren't quite completed by…

Temple Trivia Pt. II

As promised, first I’ll answer the question I posed last time:

Which was a source of regular frustration in the early years of the Logan temple?
A) The heating system
B) The roof
C) The record-keeping system
D) The landscaping

The answer: B, the roof.

In 1883—before the temple was even completed—a windstorm blew holes into the roof of the Logan temple. And that was just the start. By 1906, the roof had been repaired five times, including once in 1896 when the tin on the roof was blown right off. The roof was replaced in 1909, but still had trouble. In 1917 it had so many holes that the temple presidency requisitioned sixty wash tubs to catch rainwater!

Now for the next temple: St. George.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia user Ricardo630.)

Note that I’m posting about them in the order I wrote and researched about them, not in the order they were completed. St. George was the first temple dedicated in Utah, and Logan was the second. I’m totally backward.

Like last time, I won’t be discussing historical…

Temple Trivia Part I

With all the research I've done into early Utah temples for my books, I thought it might be fun to share some of the nuggets I've learned, a few lesser-known stories about the temples I've written about (plus the one I'm currently writing about).

So we're beginning a four-part trivia series for the fun of it. I'll pass along a few tidbits about one temple each time, including a trivia question that I'll answer in the next post.

We have to start with the first temple I studied, the one that set the entire project rolling: Logan. When I first began reading up on that temple, it was purely out of my own love for Logan and the building. I was married there, as were my parents, and my father grew up in Logan. Seeing the temple on the hill was a part of visiting my grandparents as a child, and the entire Cache Valley area somehow speaks to me. I have plans to revisit the area in my writing.

But back when I first read about it, I felt driven to write a story centered…

Slammin' the Planet

Or: My brilliant hubby

Or: My re-labeling project

In case our "Writers in Heels" readers wonder why every so often one of my old posts pop up (like now, below, if you're reading this on the planet, a post I wrote back in January), I thought I'd drop a quick line and explain myself.

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd also explain this planet experiment we're doing and how it came about.

A few months ago, I was thinking about the fun several of my writer buddies have at what many of us affectionately call the "Frog Blog." Among them is critique group member and long-time friend Jeff Savage, and as I had watched the popularity of the Froggers grow, I kept thinking how neat it would be to be part of something similar. And yet different. But I didn't know exactly what or how.

At dinner one night, I was talking about it with my techno-genius hubby, just throwing out the idea of maybe starting a group blog of my own with some of my friends. (Not with Je…

Rockin' & Famous

I feel so cool!

"5 Minutes for Mom" is a fun website with lots of great resources for moms, among them lots of mom blogs (including mine now!). And really, how many of us moms couldn't use 5 minutes in our day? :)

I've got a button in my sidebar that can take you there, but for today, click on that cute little button above to go straight to my interview, which is something I did several months ago, a long time before I met some of my favorite bloggers. It's now live, and I'm thrilled to be part of their growing list!

And to make today even more fun:

I've officially received my first ever blog award, from the illustrious Brillig the Great! Her blog is one of my personal favorites (I will never eat a bowl of Lucky Charms again without thinking of her . . . and laughing hysterically).

And now she's awarded me the "Rockin Girl Blogger" Award.

So that's the fun little graphic you now see down below in the sidebar. I'm new to this blog award stu…

Connect the Dots

I know of several authors in this market (and by that I mean the LDS Romance market, although I don't necessarily consider myself a romance author per se) write books that are interconnected. They often do this on purpose to keep readers coming back.

Sometimes the books are in series, and other times they're what's called "spin-offs," where you take a minor character from one book and write an entire book around them in the next. Sometimes a series evolves from what began as a spin-off. Rachel Ann Nunes has said that every single one of her novels is connected in some way to another one, and if you go to her website, she has a page where she explains how all twenty-something are interwoven.

At first glance, you'd think my books aren't really connected. And you'd be right, with the obvious exception of House on the Hill and At the Journey's End, since one is basically a spin-off (or would that be sequel?) of the other. Actually, come to think of it, …