Saturday, June 30, 2012

New beginnings

"The chairs in the waiting room of a doctor's office are the most uncomfortable things in the world."

This is the first line of the new, shiny idea that has taken over my free moments. This one is a complete departure from everything I have ever written before. It's first person, present tense. It's contemporary. Not even a hint of anything magical or fairy tale or fantastical. And it's driving me crazy with the need to write it all down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Finding Fireworks

Well, as you may be able to tell, blogging still happens pretty sporadically. Just hit the third trimester last week and you'd think that things would be going well. And they were. Until I ran out of anti-nausea meds. And discovered that I'm still quite morning sick. (This is the longest I have been sick out of 4 pregnancies. I'm really hoping it doesn't last the whole time.) So, I lost 3 pounds over the weekend and got my prescription renewed again. Good times. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about fireworks.

 Photo courtesy of

I visited my family in the great city of Cedar City, Utah last week, where they celebrated the Opening Ceremony of the Utah Summer Games. It's a highlight of the summer because they usually have a pretty spectacular fireworks display after the lighting of the torch. I've missed it the last couple of years because of really small children, but since we were in Cedar anyway, we stayed up late to see the show.

We usually go out on the lawn near my Grandma's house. She lives just a block away from SUU's campus where the ceremony is held. We could almost watch from her front yard, but there are lots of trees in the way. They have a big set up with music and timed detonations and lots of planning for effect. The fireworks were amazing and the kids loved it. Even little girl who is only 18 months old. And it was worth it.

It struck me as we watched that fireworks are a lot like writing a book. The fireworks started out with a big burst that caught our attention. It stayed pretty steady and even until it hit a climactic point at the end of song. I almost thought it had to be the end, but it kept going at a new level of excitement and frequency. Another climactic moment came and I just knew it had to be the end. But it wasn't. Finally, after one more round of fireworks, the finale arrived. And when it hit, you really knew it. There was no mistaking it.

We need to do that in our writing. Make people think they are hitting the climax, but then, keep 'em going at that new level. And do it again. And again, until they can't wait for the end. When they are anticipating that ending, hit 'em with everything you've got. Make it spectacular. Bring it to the biggest possible moment and throw it all at em. And they'll love it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Never SURRENDER blogfest!


Well, if you haven't been around in the blogosphere to meet Elana Johnson, you have been missing out. Today, I'm joining her blogfest to celebrate the release of her new book, SURRENDER. So, today, I'm sharing a time in my life where someone refused to give up. This story is only mine by default, because I wasn't the one to not give up, but you'll see why it's important in a minute.

 I was a senior in high school when I first met Greg, my husband. We were both singing in the All-State choir and met at a rehearsal. He thought I was pretty cute and wanted to introduce himself. I, on the other hand, was very busy talking to a different boy who I had known for a while. I didn't even know that Greg was around. I don't know exactly how it happened, but out of nowhere, and in the middle of my conversation with this other boy, Greg came up behind me and scooped me up into his arms. He ran off with me down the hall, saying something cheesy about "sweeping me off my feet." I was surprised, but he was cute. He put me down and we talked for a little while. It came out in the conversation that he was a junior. This was the death knell for any possible budding romance. You just don't date older girls in high school. So, we parted as friends and I didn't see him again for a long time.

Nearly two years went by and I was at an activity at SUU where I was starting my sophomore year. I saw a guy who looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. He recognized me, too, and eventually we pieced it together. It was Greg! And he was still cute, but still younger than me. We saw each other frequently at different activities on campus, but I was dating someone else and he dated someone else. We just figured we would be good friends.

Time went by. I broke up with the boyfriend. I went on a mission for the LDS church. I came home and went back to SUU. And met Greg again. He had broken up with his girlfriend, moved to Ogden, come back to Cedar and was going to SUU again. And he thought I was pretty amazing. He wanted to date me. And I was pretty sure he wasn't the right guy for me. I said, "Let's be friends." So we were. I saw him every once in a while. He invited me to over to his house a few times. I met his friends. They were all weird. And nerds. (I was a closet nerd, but unwilling to admit it.) 

And through it all, he kept asking me out. I had an excuse for him every single time. "You are too young." "I'm way too busy with school and choir and work." "You haven't been a missionary." And every time I brushed him off, he came back again. I went out on lots of dates, but never really found a guy I wanted to date seriously. He dated other girls, but would always come back to me again. Finally, after two years, we started to spend more time together. He decided to go on a mission. And I said, "Oh, maybe we should date." So, two months before he was supposed to leave for Taiwan for two years, we started dating.

Right before he left, we decided that our relationship had real potential and I was going to wait for him to come home. I wrote to him for about 18 months and then, started to worry about if it really was going to work out. I even thought about dating other guys. It never really worked out, but I stopped writing. What did Greg do? He just kept right on writing as if I had never stopped.

When he finally got home, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to see him, but he just kept acting like nothing had changed. He got home in March. We got married in July. Greg knew what he wanted and never gave up on it. And I am so glad that he did.

If you want to read other stories of people who never surrendered, you can find the link list on Elana's blog by going here. And don't forget to never surrender!