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Showing posts from March, 2007

Sterling Winners & Losers

This week I received a wedding announcement that whisked me back to the days of oversized shirts, painfully pegged jeans, and poofy bangs. The reason is that I went to high school with both the bride and the groom.

I took the groom to Girls’ Preference my junior year. His twin took me to prom. I ended up being great friends with both guys.

But it’s the bride, Liz, that has got me thinking over the last week. Liz and I weren’t best friends throughout high school, but our paths crossed several times. We were friendly with one another, and we had several shared acquaintances.

One project we were briefly involved with together was the school’s literary journal, In Print, my first publication. It’s the one and only place people will ever see a poem written by me. (Let’s just say I’m not a poet, and there’s good reason for that.) The journal has a photo of the staff in it. Liz’s name is listed as they lay-out person, but she’s not in the picture (although her best friend is). There’s also a gu…

In the Company of Weird

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This last weekend I experienced weirdness nirvana—and I had an absolute ball!

For those who keep track, this weekend happened to be the 4th annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference. I spent two days teaching writing, learning writing, and hanging out with writers. If you recall, writers tend to be a weird if lovable bunch, but all of us writers are weird in different ways, so I was right in my element.

So here are a few choice tidbits from my weekend:

First, my weirdness. One of the classes I taught was on grammar and punctuation. Thrilling, no?

Well, to me, it was. And one of the best parts was that a big-shot editor from Deseret Book attended. I finally got to meet Lisa Mangum, who I had heard about many, many times over the course of my career.

Instead of being intimidated (as I had thought I would be), I was thrilled that she sat down in my class. Why? Because really, who else in the world could possibly appreciate a class about commas and semi colons better than an editor?

Several times…

Borderline Braindead

I've spent the last few weeks chained to my computer while going over reader evaluations and making revisions on my latest manuscript. I've had about three weeks to do any changes, because, quite frankly, that's all I have if I want this book to have any chance of reaching the printer in time to make an appearance at the LDS Booksellers Convention in August like my publisher plans it to be.

So I've done acrobatics to make that happen, since Booksellers is, let's face it, a good place to be as an author, and I've worked hard for years and years to be where I am in the industry. I got to be at Booksellers last year, and the chance to be there again in 07 is one I won't pass up.

Booksellers is where the fall releases get debuted and spotlighted. It's where booksellers literally lineup to get your book. (Face it, this is the one and only time I'll ever have people literally waiting in an long line for me to sign a copy for them.) It's a great promotio…

NOT an Anne Freak

I know this may come as a shock to many people. To many of my close friends, in fact.

But I am not an Anne of Green Gables freak.

Sure, I have every single one of Anne books. They're all dog-eared and nearly memorized. I own all the movies except for the last one, which is a vile thing that should never have been made. (Any self-respecting fan knows what I'm talking about, and I could go on a rampage about the timeline, the characters, the technology, and the sheer adulteration of all things Montgomery, but I'll spare you.)

I was introduced to Anne in the eighth grade. It was the year when L.M. Montgomery's books were somehow being republished after a long time of being out of print, and I scooped them up as quickly as they were being reprinted (and as quickly as my allowance let me). I remember the excitement of buying Rilla of Ingleside at the Farrer Middle School book fair.

My closest friends were doing the same, and we were all living the Anne life. We took long walks …

A Don't-Miss Writing Conference

Coming in only two weeks is a terrific opportunity for aspiring LDS writers: The LDStorymaker Writers Conference! The Conference is Friday & Saturday, March 23 & 24 at Provo's Library at Academy Square.

I’m a huge fan of conferences in general—they’re a great way to polish your writing skills, network with other writers, make new friends, learn more about the business end of the industry, and get feedback on your work. I always come away from conferences with my creative batteries charged, feeling refreshed and eager to get to the keyboard.

This is the LDStorymakers’ fourth annual conference, and I’ve been privileged to be part of it every year. It’s one of the best conferences in Utah, with a wide variety of ability levels and topics to fit any writer.

Back by popular demand this year is Writer’s Boot Camp, a two-day, heavy-duty hands-on workshop where your work is critiqued by published authors and conference attendees. It was a huge success and wildy popular last year, and…

History Goldmine

I'm taking a minute away from book rewrites (one of the less-fun parts of the publishing end) to mention one of the coolest experiences I've had in a while.

Backing up: Last November, I got a phone message from one Darrin Smith, a historian living in Cache Valley. After reading House on the Hill, which is set in Logan and focuses on the Logan temple, he knew I had a love for that building and the area. (He was absolutely right. Even though I've gone on to research other temples and parts of Utah and write about them, my heart belongs to Logan and Cache Valley and always will.)

He gave me an amazing offer: I could have free rein of his archives, which include diaries, theses, photographs, newspaper articles, letters, and a ton more on two conditions: that if I ever publish another book about Logan (which I plan to--several, actually), that he can be in the acknowledgments and that he can have a copy.

Holy cow! Are you kidding me? DONE!

The problem with his voice mail was timing…