Showing posts from July, 2008

Look How Far I've Come

While my computer-genius hubby-to-be and I were dating, he once tried to explain what the Internet was. I really didn't get it.

You can't blame me; almost no one understood it back then, and the only people I knew who owned e-mail addresses were computer software students like my fiance.

Why in the world would I ever need to go online or have an e-mail address?

(That sentence now is pretty laughable. Hahaahaaaa! The internet is almost another appendage for me now.)

Honey sat me down in a BYU computer science lab and found a site across the ocean in Finland (he knew I had ties there, of course), and we looked up something on it. It kind of blew my mind that this computer was talking to one on another continent. (Okay, so that concept still blows my mind.) The process took a lot longer than it would today, since it consisted of that "beep-beep-beep-beep-WAAAAAH!" of dial-up.

"You can find almost anything on the Internet," honey told me. (How much truer that is tod…

We Heart Seinfeld

Apparently, I'm making unexpected progress in my efforts to raise children who are aware of cultural references and appreciate many of the same things I do.

I've mentioned my efforts here, here, and most recently, here.

Up to this point, I've focused primarily on movies, but apparently, my influence has rubbed off in other areas.

As evidenced by #4. The other day, she looked at her older sister, wagged her chubby little finger, and declared,

"No soup for you!"

Then she giggled uproariously.

I think this is a good thing.

Research Is Fun Again

For years, I've been writing historical fiction and loving it. I even enjoy the research end. I've learned some of the coolest things along the way, most of which will never make it into any book, but that's okay, because I love to learn.

At times, however, historical research can be frustrating, such as when you can't find a detail you need and have to rewrite a scene so you don't need that detail anymore. Or when the facts you need are so specific that even though you do your homework, you still mess it up and need an expert to clean up the mess.

One big issue with historical writing is that any time someone moves from one place to another and they aren't on foot, there's a very good chance that an animal is involved, whether your characters are riding on a horse, in a wagon, or whatever.

Problem: I don't know animals.

I don't even particularly like them, unless they meow and curl up at my feet. I took horseback riding lessons as a kid, but it didn&#…

The Debate Continues

There’s an interesting discussion circulating in parts of the LDS-literary blog world: What is the definition of "LDS fiction"?Here are my two cents on the issue.A lot of people say that LDS fiction is simply work that upholds LDS values. With that definition, Peace Like a River by Lief Enger would be LDS fiction, but (great book that it is) no one could really argue that it belongs under that designation.Others say the LDS fiction must have Mormon characters or plot lines. It can, but doesn’t have to. I can think of several titles that I’d consider LDS fiction that don’t mention or even hint at the Church.There’s the argument that LDS fiction has two criteria: that it’s by LDS writers AND maintains the basic values of the Church. Perhaps. That might be a good goal to shoot for. But in my mind, the reality isn’t there.Personally, for my own writing and reading of LDS fiction, I stand with the crowd of wanting LDS fiction to be "virtuous, lovely, of good report and prais…

I Needed That

Today I had a much-needed lunch with a dear friend whom I've known since eighth grade (and who has gone by the nickname "J. J.-Panda" since then for reasons I don't recall. I've referred to her before, such as in this post).

Among the many subjects covered in the two hours we chatted over our Training Table sandwiches (oooh, yum . . .) was what's happened to some of our high school friends. One is a professional opera singer. A very, very good one, I might add.

We reminisced about how the two of them sang a duet at the end of one of our choir concerts and how amazing it was. (I swear, she's one of the best sopranos I've ever heard.) It gave me goosebumps, and the rest of the audience, too, judging by the much-deserved standing ovation.

And then she said something that took me totally off-guard: how proud she was of some of those friends for what they've made of themselves with their talents . . . including me.

I snorted. Probably rolled my eyes.

I mean…


We went miniature golfing today. Kids had a blast (and treats). So as afternoon waned, I didn't feel too guilty heading for the computer to get in my word count.

After a good fifteen minutes of #2 trying to do everything in her power to keep me from writing, the following conversation ensued:

Mom: Cutie, I really need to get 1,100 words in today, and it's getting late.

#2: Do it tomorrow.

Mom: Then I'd have to do twice as many. If I do a little today and a little tomorrow, I'll make my weekly goal.

#2: I could totally do that many words in a day.

Mom: Maybe, but I don't have a whole day. Hey, if you go read a book or something, I could get it done in about an hour, and then you can come with me to the store.

[#2 Scoots me over and sits down in my chair.]

#2: I can write that many words really fast.

Mom: Oh?

#2: Watch this.

[#2 types the following:]

a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

#2 (giggling with all her might when Mom raises her eyebrows): What? That's a word!

I suppose…

Tag: A Closer Look Meme

I can thank (?) Tristi for tagging me on this um . . . delightful . . . meme. :)

Here we go:

1) My kitchen sink

Amazingly enough, when I went around taking these pictures, the sink was empty. Shocker. It obviously could use a good scrubbing, but hey, no complaints. Having it this clean isn't the norm.2) The inside of my fridge:

Like Josi, I'm a milk snob. My kids are so used to the natural, hormone-free stuff that they will not drink the store-bought gunk if we run out before milk day. Good thing we only go through about 2 gallons a week. I love the stainless steel, even if it gets covered with kiddie fingerprints a bit too easily.

3) My favorite shoes:

I'm not much of a shoe person, really, but I've the most extraordinary luck at D.I. Seriously, it's scary the things I've found there. I got all three of these pairs there, for somewhere around four bucks a pop. How lucky am I?! I KNOW! I adore the black ankle boots on the bottom right and wear them a ton at author ev…

Farworld Book Winner

As promised, today I get to give away an Advance Reader Copy of J. Scott Savage'sFarworld: Water Keep, which is coming out in September.

A moment ago, I printed out all the names of the commenters on the last post, folded them up, and threw them in a bowl. My girls fought over who got to pick the name out, but eventually peace reigned, and we have a winner:

Congratulations to PIANOPLAYER!

Hope you enjoy it!

Be sure to e-mail me your mailing address (annette at annettelyon dot com) right away so I can pass it along to the powers that be. (If I don't hear from you by Wednesday, I'll draw another name.)

Now for a couple of random things:

1) Children have a way of making everything new again. On the Fourth of July evening as we lit fireworks with some cousins, I sat in a chair like the old person I'm feeling like. My youngest came up beside me and leaned in, gazing at the fountain of sparks. "Oh, Mommy," she said. "It's beautiful." And she was right. I…

What You Don't Know: J. Scott Savage

My first contact with J. Scott Savage was when I was the chapter president of the Utah Valley Chapter of the League of Utah Writers. I found his contact information in the back of his first book and e-mailed, asking him to speak at the January meeting. He agreed.

A few weeks before the meeting, he came to our critique group's annual Christmas dinner as our newest member, and that's when I first met him. (At Brick Oven. How could I ever forget? Yum . . . .)

That was six and a half years ago, if I'm doing the math right. (I was expecting #4 then, and it was right before my first book was accepted. Yep.) He was a bit of a turkey when it came time for him to speak. I sent a confirmation e-mail to him, and he replied with something snarky like, "What? Was that THIS week? I totally forgot. . . . Just kidding."

I knew right then that he was a goofball, or, er, a riot to get to know.

It's been great having him in the same critique group (especially as the first male, som…