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Showing posts from May, 2007

Memorial Day Pixie

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We spent a wonderful Memorial Day visiting my side of the family. I hope my children remember the stories they heard about their great-grandparents coming to America and got a taste of some of their relatives that even I haven't seen for many years.

Here I am in pixie glory, courtesy my Aunt Judy, who entertained the kids with her face-painting skills. Two of my daughters were butterflies, another had a fairy mask, and my son became a tough guy. They insisted I get in the chair, too!

Remember those cheeks I mentioned? Check it out; they're almost gone! Maybe I should stay on this drug. I know, I know. Ridiculous idea. I told you I was going stupid!

Skinny & Stupid

My husband just stumbled upon the solution to a mystery by watching an episode of House.

Turns out that several things going around our house can be traced back to a certain prescription medication.

In some ways it all started the summer after kindergarten when I was trying to be a good little girl and read my scriptures every day. I remember having my New Testament out, but I couldn't read the tiny script. I had these little bright dots in my vision, sort of like you get after a flash picture, but they didn't go away. And then the pain hit. I cried my little girl eyes out it hurt so bad.

I didn't realize until years later what had happened: I had gotten my first migraine at the tender age of 6. I got them sporadically (2-3 a year, maybe less) until I turned the magical age of 30 when they became more frequent. My doctor tells me a lot of things like that happen at middle age.

I thought "Middle Age" was an era from history books, or at least something that wouldn'…

Cinderella Night

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It all began last March with an e-mail from my sister Mel. The subject line:

"SORTA URGENT: With all your FREE TIME . . ." She knew I was in the middle of some major deadlines.

I actually wrote up the story how it all began for my writer friend's Jeff Savage's shared blog. You can read all about it here.

Basically, Mel is the kind of cheerleader every person should have in their life. She secretly wanted to nominate me in the Best of State organization under Fiction. That organization is highly respected in Utah, and over the years, I've noticed lots of big-time businesses touting that they had won in their respective categories: manufacturing, hotels, dining, science, etc.

I didn't know they had a fiction category until Mel e-mailed me saying that she wanted to nominate me and needed my help because I had the information she needed to do it right.

Late April the results were posted. My jaw dropped when I went to the Best of State site, scrolled down to Literary …

Book Shopping Spree

I got my family doctor nearly thirteen years ago, well before I ever got published. As a result, he's sort of been watching my publication journey from the back seat. In addition to delivering all of my children, he knew when I got my first book contract and always asks about my latest projects any time I come in.

He's also the head of our local library's "Friends" organization. A few years ago, he needed a judge for a writing contest the Friends were sponsoring. I agreed to be one of the judges, and have done so each year since.

You can probably see where this is going. Pretty soon being a judge became being a part of the Friends of the Library. I now attend periodic meetings that the Friends of the Library hold every couple of months. We host events and do other neat things for the library. It's a pretty neat organization.

A week or so ago I was at another Friends meeting. The head librarian wasn't in attendance, being at another meeting doing Head Librari…

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm exceedingly fortunate to have been born to the mother I was. The woman I am today is very much because of her, down to the foods I like, the books I read, the kind of mother I am, the testimony I posses, and more.

It's thanks to Mom that I'm a book freak and a writer. (It's also thanks to her that I'm a chocoholic . . .) It's because of Mom that I'm a curious person always needing to seek knowledge and find answers to questions. I could go on. (And on, and on.)

I'm also lucky to have gotten the mother-in-law I did. When I hear horrible mother-in-law stories, I try to sympathize, but sorry, ladies, I can't relate. My mother-in-law just isn't like that. Not a smidge. She's one of the sweetest, most genuine people in the world, who is far more concerned with making others happy than anything else. If she has a fault, it's being too generous.

I'm grateful that she's such not only a terrific grandmother to my children and a sweet mot…

Here's to Michael

This is going to be a completely self-indulgent blog, but since this is mine, I get to do that.

About nineteen years ago, my newborn nephew Michael was diagnosed with biliary atresia. In a giant nutshell, it meant that his liver was self-destructing and he was probably going to die. Doctors spent the next year doing all kinds of things trying to keep him alive long enough--and old enough--to get him a liver transplant.

Within days of his first birthday, he got one, in spite of the fact that the blood source to his liver was small enough that they feared it wouldn't take. When asked what his prognosis would be, doctors basically told his parents to let them know in a few years--infant liver transplants were relatively new at that point.

The next year was, to put it mildly, touch and go. The entire family spent more time on its knees than ever. Michael essentially lived in the hospital as one complication after another arose--often one treatment caused the next complication, which caus…

Lose Weight: Frown!

I have chipmunk cheeks.

It's just the way my face is shaped. I envy women with cheekbones. No matter how much weight I ever lose, my cheeks will still be chubby, and people will still think I'm a teenager instead of a thirty-something. It's my lot in life.

When I smile, it's even worse. My face explodes, widening like some creature from the Black Lagoon.

So with my current author photo (on my profile up there), which I've had for two books now, I've had many people meet me in person and tell me I really should get a new one because I've OBVIOUSLY lost a lot of weight since it was taken. I'm so much thinner in person.

Uh, no. I haven't lost weight. Really. I mean, thanks for thinking I'm thin, but I'm the same person.

In many of those book signings, I might have even had a few more pounds on me than in that photo. But I wasn't grinning at them at the signing, and hence my cheeks weren't sticking out and making me look fat. After explaining…

Losing a Grip on Reality

It's happened every time. You'd think I'd get used to it.

But somehow I get the same weak-knee, punched-in-the gut, light-headed feeling every time.

I stare. I almost cry. And then I have to stop myself from looking around just in case one of my characters happens to be lurking around in spirit form. Sometimes I'm tempted to grab someone near me, point, and say, "Did you know that right over there, so-and-so stood and did such-and such?"

And of course, if I really did that, I'd sound like a total crazy person, because "so-and-so" never did exist, and never did "such-and-such."

What happened?

Yesterday I was at the Garden Restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. It has the most marvelous view of the top of the Salt Lake Temple.

I knew this. I've been there before. But the last time was a good decade or so ago.

BEFORE I wrote a book about the temple. With an epilogue that takes place on the day of the c…