Showing posts from November, 2007

Signings in the Air

You can tell that Christmas is around the corner.

I know this in part because of the music on the radio and the decorations in the stores and the lights twinkling on the houses around my neighborhood. (Oh, and those insanely long lists my kids keep writing—and revising—for Santa.)

Another clue is that my book signing schedule has revved into gear. This time around, nearly all of them are Fridays from noon to one o'clock. This is intentional; with the busyness of the season, I need to keep the impact on the family to a minimum, and lunch time does that. (Apologies to those who prefer a weekend or evening hour!)

Starting tomorrow (Friday, November 30), I'll be on the signing circuit. First off will be at the American Fork Seagull, and then that evening way up in Logan at the Book Table for their annual Midnight Madness event. Heather Moore and I will be going up together, and there are always lots of other authors there.

Then every Friday between now and Christmas, I'll be at a …

More Dot to Dot

As I've mentioned before, I like to incorporate elements that connect my books to one another. The connections are always small threads, but I include them sort of like those "Easter eggs" you discover on DVDs, or a way for me to say hello to readers whether they recognize the message or not.

Just this last weekend as I had some holiday book signings, a store employee came up and asked about a young boy who appears briefly in Spires of Stone.

"Was that the Indian guy from your St. George book?" she asked.

I grinned. Yes, I told her. Yes, he was. His name is Abe. I'm so glad you caught it.

She clapped her hands and then turned to a fellow employee. "I told you it was him!"

I promised in that previous dot-to-dot post that my upcoming (and still untitled) Manti book would connect to Spires, but I was unsure for a long time of what the thread would be. I figured it out a few weeks ago as I was finishing it up. One character from Spires shows up briefly in …

I've Been MIA

I've been off-line for a little while. First it was the Chocolate Show craziness and then preparing to host Thanksgiving for my siblings, and then the big day itself. (Got to have the entire family over, plus have a web chat with the parents from the other side of the planet. Good times.)

Three highlights from the non-holiday time:

1) I had the opportunity to read Michele Paige Holmes's second book as she prepares to turn it into her editor. If you've read Counting Stars, you will have read the opening chapter of this book, as it was included at the back of that one. Remember Jay? This is his continuing story, and what a ride it is!

I loved it, and I'm sure her readers will too.

2) I did a bit of digging and found a couple of resources for my next project. This was a relief to me, because the temple I'll be writing about doesn't have nearly as much written about it as the others have.

3) The other--and somewhat less enjoyable--big thing I did was do a deep-cleaning …

VIP Winner

Short post--as you can imagine, it's a busy day, being Chocolate Show week!

But I had to congratulate Kimberly, whose story was selected as the VIP pass winner.


Her confession had me laughing out loud:

My husband bought a bag of lindt chocolates to have around as an occasional treat. I snarfed them all while he was at work one day (my three year old made me do it! I swear!), and promptly panicked. I loaded the kids in the car, drove to the grocery store, and bought another bag. I then wrapped the offending wrappers up in several grocery bags and pushed the bundle to the bottom of the garbage can. He never suspected a thing. And his sympathy over me feeling ill that night? Just a little bit torturous.

Since Kimberly's not in Utah, she's decided to pass the tickets to a good friend of hers who can use them.

I definitely plan on using more stories in future issues of The Weekly Chocolate Fix. (Want to subscribe? It's free. Click here.)

So Karlene and Amber will …

We Are Vindicated

For pretty much forever, I've been the butt of jokes regarding my choice of college major: English. Few other majors get so many people poking fun. The sad thing is that in some cases, the teasing is warranted; a lot of English majors don't know what they want to be when they grow up or what they'll do with an English degree when they get it (flip burgers?).

Then there are those of us who know precisely what we're going to do with it. In my case, that meant being a writer. To remain practical, I also went into Secondary Education and planned to get a teaching certificate to be a high school English teacher. (I decided in the end to graduate sans certificate, but that's a story for another time.)

But even those English majors who were pre-law or had some other big career plan would get razzed about their major because so many people think that English is somehow easy and has about as much depth as cotton candy—that anyone could do it.

In fact, I had a close family memb…

Mission Complete!

I don't think I've ever posted twice in one day, but I just had to report.

In short: I did it!

My Manti book still rough in a couple of spots, but it's drafted. Everything is bridged and coherent. The story is complete. (Not sure I'm 100% satisfied with the closing scene, but I'll tinker with it later.)

The current word count is eerily close to what I predicted: 95,044.

I still need to finish up the historical notes section in the back and then go through the stack of papers lingering on my desk from my critique group before I give them the entire manuscript to some of them to hack apart.

But all of that can wait until Monday.

For now, I'm going to revel in the fact that I reached my goal of having this book drafted by Saturday, November 10, 2007.

And it feels good.

Now, where's the chocolate?

Such a Good Liar

Before I start, I have to remind everyone to send me their chocolate stories for a chance to win VIP chocolate show tickets We've gotten two really fun entries, but I want more, more, more!

As for the liar meme:

I don't know if I should be proud of this, but out of fifteen guesses, thirteen were wrong--and one of the correct ones (Karlene's) was just because no one else had guessed that one yet.

Here's the low-down on each of my four statements:

1. Once while camping in the High Uintahs, I stood too close to the fire one morning in an attempt to warm up. I locked my knees and passed out into the fire pit, effectively singing off my eyebrows and eyelashes.

FALSE. This is the lie. I took a note when Josi said that people usually don't pick #1. Tee hee. This actually did happen to Cathy, a childhood friend of mine. I was on the same camping trip, but in the tent at the time, so I just heard about it afterward--and saw her singed lashes. Surprisingly (as Don pointed out) sh…

Chocolate, Chocolate, Everywhere!

For Utah chocolate lovers, the time is almost here. Next week is the 4th Annual Utah Chocolate Show! Woohoo!

Read part of the press release here, and then continue below it for a chance to win TWO VIP EVENT PASSES, worth $95.00!!!

(I usually don't indulge in lots of bold type and exclamation points, but this is a moment that warrants such enthusiam).

About the show:

Chocolate lovers of every stripe have waited all year for what has become a fixture on the state’s holiday event calendar: The Fourth Annual Utah Chocolate Show, November 16 & 17 at the South Towne Expo Center, with more to do, see, learn, and experience than ever before.

Some of the best chocolate that Utah and the U.S. have to offer will be there, including V Chocolates, Utah Truffles, See’s Candies, and Utah’s own bean-to-bar creator, Amano Artisan Chocolates, plus many others. Attendees can sample chocolates and enjoy show-only specials as they get a jump on their holiday shopping.

Specialty Classes that require pre-…

True or False?

Tristi tagged me for a liar meme.

The idea is that I share some tidbits about me, ONE of which is not true. You guess which is the lie, and I’ll reveal the answer in a few days.

To sweeten the pot, I’ll draw one person’s name out of all the comments (regardless of whether they guess correctly) to receive a copy of Spires of Stone. Be sure I can contact you through your comment (or leave your email address).

Here are the four things. None are earth-shatteringly exciting, but hey, they’re mine. Somehow they’re mostly about my early years. No idea why; they’re just what I thought of.

1. Once while camping in the High Uintahs, I stood too close to the fire one morning in an attempt to warm up. I locked my knees and passed out into the fire pit, effectively singing off my eyebrows and eyelashes.

2. My senior year, I didn’t make it into our high school musical because the choir teacher thought I was a junior. He wanted to give more seniors a chance to perform before they graduated. Uh, whoops.


Grace Period

I'm crying "uncle" on my current writing challenge.

Realistically, there is no way I'll reach 95,000 words by Wednesday.

Several factors played into this, among them the fact that I'm not just drafting scenes anymore, but filling gaps, smoothing over sections, and sometimes deleting sections that no longer work. Just this morning I ended up cutting 500 words belonging to a brief scene that I now see doesn't need to be there at all.

Ironically, that's still progress. We're in the shaping and molding phase of this book now, which means that sometimes the total word count decreases before it goes back up again. But I've been working--really, I have--and consider it quite an accomplishment to have numbers officially assigned to SIXTEEN chapters. (If you know how totally spastic I write, that's impressive.)

Compound that with the fact that I think I'm coming down with a bug. Just sitting at the computer hurts.

Oh, the joys.

The upshot is that I'm…