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Showing posts from May, 2008

This Is NOT a Review

I'm in the middle of an LDS novel that I think is really, really good.

I recently finished another one that I enjoyed a lot.

My daughter recently read a YA book by an LDS writer and is dying for me to read it too. I will soon.

And my husband and I have plans to read aloud a book by yet another LDS writer, whose books we've enjoyed in the past.

All four of these books are by talented people, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if all of them ended up as Whitney finalists for 2008.

But I'm not telling you the names of the books or who wrote them. There's a reason for that.

Now, as many people know, I'm hyper-opinionated. I won't just tell you if I liked or disliked something. Instead, I'm liable to go on a rant about the virtues (or lack thereof) of a particular work. I get passionate about these things. I debate. I foam at the mouth.

That kind of thing.

But this year . . . you won't be hearing any of it from me. At all. Or, at least about fiction written by L…

David vs. David

I don't think I've ever, ever, blogged about American Idol, even though my hubby and I have watched it religiously from the very first year. (Thank you, TiVo. That's how we do it: back when we had toddlers and babies under foot, we'd get them to bed and then have some time alone with Simon and company.)

However, I'm writing about it today because the final performance night yesterday got me riled up. That and I won't be able to watch the results live tonight, so I'm giving fair warning: if anyone spills the beans, I'll hunt them down. Don't tell me.

But I think I already know who will win. If pure talent were to take it, it would be David Cook. (Two of my girls spent a good hour last night voting for him repeatedly.) But I'm betting it'll be the other David instead, because Cook's got a couple of big things going against him:

1) He lacks the "he's so cute!" preteen girl vote,
2) he didn't play to his strengths last night, a…

High Praise

This is yet another post about my literary hero, L M Montgomery. (I should start a new label for these . . . hmm. I'll label this post that way. At some point I'll go back and label the old ones!)

As I've mentioned before, I'm reading the fifth and final volume of her journals. I'm going through the book very slowly, just a couple of pages a day, usually right before bed. It's fascinating and educational all at once. And sad.

She spent her last years very depressed. Where I'm at right now, she's visiting her beloved Prince Edward Island for probably the last time and mourning the fact that all her childhood haunts were going to be soon desecrated by being turned into a national park. (I'm not sure I'd have the heart to visit those spots now . . . it would almost be a slap in her face to be one more of the hordes of tourists she dreaded.)

At this point she was also rereading a lot of her old work and commenting on some of it. Some of it felt as if s…

Googling Together

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Why is the sky blue?

How can a whole tree come from a seed?

Where does rain come from?

Those are normal questions young children ask. They are also questions I can readily answer. Apparently, I don't have normal children—which, to be honest, is rather fun. I never know what my youngest will come up with.

She's asked me all kinds of odd things that I never would have thought to wonder about myself, like the etymology of various words (okay, so she didn't use "etymology," but that was the gist). I often don't know why we call something what we do, but it's great to say, "Let's find out when we get home," and then to boot up my trusty OED on CD and read about it.

She's wondered why the Earth is round when it's flat when you look at it. She's tried to figure out why water stays on the ground instead of flying off into space. (I'm not sure why she doesn't ask the same question about people. Apparently water is different?) I manage…

Chatting with Tristi

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I first met Tristi Pinkston four or five years ago after I joined the LDStorymakers e-mail group. Since then, she's become a great friend and has been there to help me out more than once. But I love Tristi for another reason too, and that's because we both write historical fiction.

Her book Nothing to Regret is likely the most original perspective I've ever read about World War II, and I love the fact that she's got a new book out, Season of Sacrifice. Like her other books, it's a novel, but this time the story is based closely on her ancestors who were a big part of the Hole in the Rock expedition.

Several other bloggers have reviewed Season of Sacrifice already. I recommend you read some of those posts. This one is very much worth your time. So is this one. But this one is my favorite post I've found on it so far.

Today I get to host Tristi on her blog tour, so instead of posting another review of the book (okay, here's my review: It's great. BUY it!), I…

A Tale of Two Wrists

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About four weeks ago, #2 was climbing around some stuff in the basement (a no-no) and fell about four feet onto her arm. She came to me crying and holding her wrist. We iced it and gave her some Tylenol for bedtime.

After school the next day, she was in more pain, and the wrist was swollen. Okay, then, off to the doctor's office. We took her to an urgent care facility, where a nurse practitioner, a doctor, and a radiologist all took one look at her arm and declared that it looked and "acted" broken. To their surprise, they couldn't see a fracture on the x-ray. They made up a custom, fiberglass splint for her and said to come back in a week to get another x-ray.

Not 48 hours later, #3 was out roller-blading, took a turn too sharp, and landed, yep, on her wrist. A neighbor helped her back into the house, and she arrived, howling with pain. We decided not to wait 24 hours like we had with her sister, so off again I trotted to Urgent Care.

The exact same nurse practitioner …

My First Kill

I think I was fourteen at the time. I’d gone with my mother to the BYU bookstore, where she agreed to buy me a binder for my writing. It was a rosy pink with “Brigham Young University” in silver on the spine. The binder still sits on a shelf in my office.

Once home, I eagerly filled it with notebook paper, then plopped onto the living room couch and began scribbling.

I had no concrete story idea; I was just in the mood to write. I began with an image and went with it: a little girl walking through a meadow where her imaginary friends lived. I’m sure the idea was a direct result of the fact that at the time, I constantly poured over the work of L. M. Montgomery.

In the brief story, the girl greets the fairies and other mythical creatures and bemoans how she has no other friends. The other children mock and tease her. She feels welcome only there with her magical companions. As I wrote, I discovered that the girl also has a serious illness and rarely gets to go out to her meadow.

She lies o…