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Showing posts from April, 2010

Ten Days

Ten. That's all I have left if I'm going to make my self-imposed deadline for getting the murder mystery turned in.
Right now, I'm calling it Trigger Point.
We'll see if they a) accept the thing and b) if they keep the title.
To date, the only book they've kept my proposed title for is Band of Sisters. And my husband came up with that title (I stink at them).
Long-time readers might remember that I submitted Spires of Stone with a header description of, "My Salt Lake Temple Book," and that then an evaluator came back saying, "It needs a better title."
Um, YA THINK?!!! That wasn't a title.
After I submit Trigger Point, then I can (I hope!) move on to drafting again. Drafting is where I get my lifeblood. Drafting is when I'm happiest. It's when I'm not losing my mind . . . it's when I'm most ME.
Ten days.
But I don't write on Sundays. So really, nine days.
Scratch that. I also have two field trips between now and then (try…

WNW: Overheard

Still recuperating from the LDStorymakers Conference (short summary: BEST ONE EVER).
So in lieu of a regular Word Nerd Wednesday post, here's a video discussing, among other things, me as the Word Nerd.
The video was made by J. Scott Savage for the class he and James Dashner taught together at the conference. It supposedly shows how they came up with their topic.
(Pay close attention from 0:53 to 1:10. So. Awesome.)

The Mormon Writer Blogfest: Joseph Smith

Not long ago, blogger Krista V from Write. Mother. Repeat. approached me about participating in a blogfest with the aim at shedding some light on what Latter-day Saints believe.
My topic is one near and dear to my heart: The Prophet Joseph Smith.
But to talk about Joseph Smith, I have to back up a bit.
Latter-day Saints believe that following the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that His apostles had the required priesthood keys that granted authority to administer His church, perform ordinances, receive revelation from God, and more.
With the death of the original twelve apostles, that priesthood power was lost from the earth, and with it, authority from God.
Faithful Christians carried on as best they could, but inevitably, without priesthood keys in the hands of authorized leaders, things began to change over the centuries. Doctrine was interpreted differently by various groups, incorrect rituals and beliefs crept in, and so on. The truth was lost.
We call this period the Apostasy, prophesi…

Writing Journey: Lyon's Eleven

Lately when people ask if I'm working on anything, I almost laugh. I have a few too many pots in the fire and rarely know where to begin describing my current projects. (I'd appreciate it if the treadmill of my life slowed down just a tiny bit.)
As an update, a list:
1) Today and tomorrow, I'm at the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, in its 7th year. It's bigger and better than ever, and I'm thrilled to have been part of it since its inception. Saturday night at the Whitney Awards gala, I will be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Gerald N. Lund. (No pressure or anything.)
2) Turns out the final photo shoot for Chocolate Never Faileth, well, wasn't. We had two unanticipated holes (long story). In the middle of my conference prep, I had to make two more recipes. I could have really used a clone this week.
3) On the up side, this last Monday, I got to hang out at Covenant and work on one of their computers to make some of the anecdotes in the book fit prope…

WNW: Capping Titles

I'll get into the crux of today's topic in a second.
Before that, I have to restate something I posted more than a year ago, before a lot of my readers found me . . . and became intimidated about commenting on my blog or FB status.
To quote myself in part:
There is no need for bloggy/writing/conversational paranoia.

I get a lot of, "I'm not an English major, and I don't know grammar. You'll totally freak out reading my blog . . ."

But here's the thing: I won't. And I don't.

When I say that certain gaffs make me twitch, it's almost always in professional publications or other places like that. Blogs and other casual settings, including daily conversation, aren't a big deal to me. Really, truly. There are places where the editor hat and the mental red pen go into a drawer and stay there.

Rest assured, I don't freak out over typos or grammar errors on blogs. I know they're not perfect, and they're not supposed to be.

Which is why I re…

Kristina, I'm Playing

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Kristina P posted a Glamor Shots photo of herself and invited her readers to post really awesome (read: laughable) pictures of ourselves from the same era.

I never did Glamor Shots (darn it!), but I did do a buddy picture with all three of us wearing the classic (cliche?) denim shirt and sporting the big, permed hair (with matching bows the size of rodents, no less).
Here I am around 1992. (Pardon the blur. It's a photo of a color photocopy. Lame, I know.)


Sheryl, in the middle, is the friend people have assumed is my sister, my twin, or even ME literally since kindergarten. More than three decades later, we still get it. (I don't see it, but whatever.)
Thora, on the left, is the one everyone in our large group of friends knew people (read: GUYS) meant when they asked who the "hot" one was. There was never any question; guys always meant her. (Great for the 'ol self-image, I tell ya.)
S & T, don't kill me for posting this, k?!

A Cool Article and Play Dough Pictures

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I found an online article today about Agatha Christie. It was fascinating to learn how totally disorganized and chaotic her writing method was and how often, even she didn't know who the murderer was at first.
My favorite part is near the end and is something that could be put into neon lights for all writers, referring to how some unpublished short stories didn't really sound like her because she hadn't had time to rework them before her death:
She understood that in order to sound like yourself, you have to get up every day and get it all down—the trunk in the hallway, the revolving bookcase on the landing, the old children's books in the library—and then, crucially, you have to edit it as if you are someone else, working through every possibility, before finally settling on the story and telling it as if it had been that way all along.
(Read the full article in Slate.)

And now for something totally random. You may recall how my youngest (currently seven AND A HALF . . .…

The Changing Face of LDS Fiction

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Last week a Deseret News reporters interviewed me about Band of Sisters and the Flat Daddy Project. I've done several interviews recently, but this particular reporter asked something no one had yet. (I'll link over when the piece runs.)
Her question, and my answer to it, have kept me thinking ever since. She'd read the book before the interview (a rare and rather pleasant occurrence), so she had a better idea of what to ask.
Among the questions I'd been asked already:Are the wives in the book fictionalized versions of the ones I interviewed? (No. Not even close. I used the interview information to figure out how my characters would react. All of the interviewees were all pretty close in age (26-33 years old, I think). The wives in my book range from 20-55.How did I learn about the Flat Daddy Project? (Through THIS blog.)Am I a military wife? (Nope. No family members have even been deployed in my lifetime. Dad's a Vietnam vet, but he came home before I was born. My b…

Writing Journey: Pronunciation Guides

Up today: Answering a question L. T. Eliot (also known as Lexicon Luvr) posed some time ago:
[Writers creating pronunciation guides for audio recordings] is a new phenomenon to me, and I've only ever heard it mentioned once. How long has that been going on?
I can't speak for other writers and their experiences with their publishers, of course, so what comes below is based on my experience.
For my first five books, Covenant released an audio version on either cassettes or CDs (in one case, both). In each case, the book was abridged.
My first two novels (Lost Without You and At the Water's Edge) are my shortest ones. I had to cut them down to 48,000 words, but since they were each right around 70,000, that wasn't terrible to do. It wasn't fun by any means, but I could cut out descriptions, shorten dialogue, delete actions and tags, take showing portions and make them telling, and the like. Abridging took out a lot of the voice and personality of the book, but the basic…

WNW: Reflexives!!!

Thought that maybe if I put lots of exclamation points in the title, that reflexives would sound exciting!
Did it work? :-)
Lara from Overstuffed brought up a funky English quirk with reflexive pronouns. I tried to dig around and ferret out the reason for the quirk, to no avail. So instead of explaining the history of the quirk, we'll just discuss it!
Before we get to the quirk:
What the heck are we talking about?
Reflexive pronouns are ones where an action is being performed on the subject by the subject. For example:
Tommy can feed himself now.While making dinner, Alicia accidentally cut herself with a knife.They looked at themselves in the mirror.You can help yourself to a drink.
And so on.
It's important to use reflexive pronouns when they're called for. Why? Because without them, you can create sentences that are grammatically correct but totally confusing.
The following sentence is from above but without the reflexive pronoun:
While making dinner, Alicia accidentally cut her w…