Friday, March 28, 2008

Mission Memories

I woke up this morning to find an e-mail from my mission comp. She was my trainer in a little city called LaCarlota and we had some good times. Being a missionary you are supposed to avoid things like listening to music that is not Mormon Tab, but the Philippines makes that almost impossible. Music blares wherever you go. Espesially on the jeepneys.
There was this song that we fell in love with by a group called Southern Sons. The song was called You Were There, and there was a line that said "I'm always at a loss for words when someone mentions your name". Everytime that song came on you could find our ears perking up. Well she found a music video for it and while I still love the song (In fact it is on the play list for songs that inspired my book) I am not so sure about the video, but if you need a good laugh, or if you just like beauty and the beast stories check it out!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Meeting the "Greats"

Probably the funnest part about getting into writing has been meeting the writers I have looked up to for years, and meeting new and wonderful writers who inspire me. Here is a picture from The LTUE conference I went to. This is Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers) Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted) and Orson Scott Card (Enchantment). Plus a bunch of other wonderful books that take you to amazing worlds. These are some of the masters of fantasy and it was an honor to be in their presence. I guess you could call me a writer wannabe! Meeting these people is not only inspiring, it is just plain fun F-U-N!
Scott is one of the smartest people I have ever met, Jessica one of the funniest, and Gail one of the most down to earth. But saying all that, I am a little scared. I want to get published, I would love to see a book of mine in print, but what would I do if I actually had to entertain people? I am not super social, I mean hello, it took me over a year to even talk to my best friend enough to realize how much we had in common, and we were together every Sunday for two hours with nothing but little kids around. I only met my husband because two friends pulled me across the street and held me in place while they knocked on his door. If it wasn't for them I would probably had just continued to watch him out the window for several more years until he eventually moved away.
So I guess even the things we want come at a price. But if the price is more opportunities to hang out with brilliant people such as this, I guess I can overcome any fear. I mean, in a way I already have because I have the opportunity of associating with you Great and Brilliant people every day! So thanks for helping me out of my shell!

Friday, March 21, 2008

My first rejection!

Sigh, so I got my first rejection letter. To make matters worse it was a total form letter. Not interested. Oh well my friend in Canada just posted a comment on another forum that said

write, finish what you write, and send it out until H*** won't have it.

So that is what I am going to do. Write and send it out. It still doesn't make it any less scary, but somehow writing about it on this blog, sharing it with friends makes it seem more of an adventure. SO thanks to everyone who listens to me ramble about my writing. Maybe I better go do some now!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Leprechauns in Space

Okay, so it is no secret that I am a writer. But what you may not know is my actual writing career began when I was in eighth grade. I wrote my first story. It was titled Leprechauns in Space. It was actually a screen play. Here is a brief excerpt from it....
(Cut to 3 Leprechauns dancing around a pot of Gold) They Sing: Leprechauns in space are we, in space we're leprechauns, We dance with the stars and sing with the man in the moon. We're green, yes green, and magic too, and we are here to entertain you.

Now you can see why I gave up writing for so long! Well yesterday I was at the library and if you go down to the video area there is always the same guy there and he sits at his computer watching adds for movies. So as I am walking by his desk, the movie he is reviewing is : Leprechaun 4 In space! I laughed so hard. Maybe my idea wasn't so bad after all. I mean, hey someone was willing to make a leprechaun in space movie. It gives me hope that somewhere out there my ideas will be liked. Trust me, I am coming up with a lot better stuff now days!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I love Firefly!

I am a fan of most Sci-fi shows. If it has aliens in it, I will give it a try. Even my book is about aliens, even though it all takes place on earth. SO when my sister told me about a short lived series called Firefly. I thought I would give it a try. The writer is Joss Whedon, who wrote the Buffy the Vampire series. Unlike Buffy that has enjoyed an average amount of season, Firefly only lasted one. Don't let that fool you into thinking it is not a great show. Just remember sometimes TV producers are just plain dumb! That one season was enough to gather such a strong fan base that when it was canceled there was enough protest for them to end up making a major motion picture: Serenity.
The series and the Movie take place in the future when earth as we know it can not hold the population increase and so people set out to find another star system for humans. They find a solar system and terraform several planets and moons. The inner planets form the Alliance. But many of the outer planets are renegade planets.
The funnest things about this series besides the incredible writing and Witty characters, is that there are no aliens on it. Everyone is human. There is a huge mixture of Chinese culture in it, which if you think about it, China is a huge nation that is already starting to have a major influence in the world markets today. Just think what it would be like in the future. And these people are all forming new worlds, on many desert planets so it has an old west feel as well.
The stories revolve around Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew on the Serenity which is a Firefly class ship. This show has it all. Humor, Romance, Drama. I just re watched the movie and I still cried. It is just so good. SO if you are looking for a fun series, that you don't have to commit too much time to, try it out. I have the movie if anyone wants to borrow it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I am obsessed.

Okay, so maybe we all are. I am sure there is something that everyone does, or loves, or can't live without in each of your lives, but this time I am talking about real obsession! And no, it is not chocolate! It is Sailor Moon. The thing that I find interesting about my obsession is that hello! It is a cartoon (well except for the one season they did in live action.) And no, I did not love it as a child. In fact, I only just recently in the last couple of years became obsessed! As an adult. Thanks Aly! So when did I know I was obsessed with it? Well maybe it was when I stayed up all night watching Season Five because I had to know how it ended. Maybe it was when I found myself crying for cartoon characters. Maybe it was when my husband asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day and I told him Sailor Moon Season Five (can you tell my fav season?) Maybe it was when I saw that Stephenie Meyers was coming in May and tickets will be about 30$ and I thought if I ask for this for Mother's Day this year, then I can't get Sailor Moon Live Action until like Christmas! Maybe it is because courtesy of my 14 year old niece I have pictures of Usagi and Seiya on my writing desk. Or maybe it was last night as I was sitting in the drive thru waiting for my food and I put in my Sailor Moon CD and kept rewinding the song so I could learn every word. Yeah, that might have been the clincher, considering the song is in Japanese and I don't speak Japanese, so all I am doing is learning a sound so I can somewhat sign along to it.
Well now you know. I have a weird obsession with a foreign cartoon about teenage girls who turn into superheros (and sometimes teenage boys who dress like girls when they turn into superheros). So what is your secret obsession? What is something that even though you know it is weird, you just love it to pieces?

And by the way, if you check out Kami's blog she is helping us try to think more green! So My idea to help me be better is to teach my kids about reduse, reuse, recycle. Help them to do more...Maybe even turn off the lights when we are watching Sailor Moon at night, to conserve energy!!! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I am a writer!

Okay I finally did it. Yesterday I sent out four query letters and I hope to get some more out this weekend. It's funny how each milestone makes me feel more and more like I am a writer. First it was joining a writing group. Having deadlines placed before me, doing daily writing exercises. It made me feel like I was a writer.
But after awhile I knew I had to do more. I wrote, but was I really a writer? So my friend Aly pushed me to do more. "Write a book," she said. Until that point I had started several stories, never finishing one. So I took her challenge and I wrote 85,000 words. And I felt like a writer.
But I couldn't do anything with it. The grammar was sloppy, the story had flaws, and who else, besides its creator could love it? So I went to workshops and I read books and I edited that baby until it was 110,000 words of polished perfection. And I thought I am a writer.
And then I put my book on a shelf and went on with life. I took the National Writer's Month challenge and wrote 50,000 words of a new story in a month. It made me remember why I loved to write, the joy of creating a new world, where anything was possible. It was a power trip and I liked it. I got a little certificate and I thought to myself, I am a writer.
But my book, the one I slaved over and put my heart into, still sat on a shelf waiting for me to do something. I kept telling myself, I write because I love it. I write because it is a way for me to relax, to do something for myself. I don't care if no one else likes it. But a strange thing happened, I let my book off its shelf and some people read it. Sure they were family and friends, but they liked it. And I was glad. Not because I want to win prizes and be famous (although come on, how cool would it be to walk into Barnes and Noble and see your book on a shelf?), but because after a while your characters become part of you. And I thought, I am a writer.
Now, I'm not delusional. I don't think this first book is Pulitzer winning material. All it is, is a fun action adventure story. It probably won't change anyone's life, but it might make them smile and laugh and remember their first loves. And after all, isn't that why we write? To give hope, and happiness to those who read our writings? So yesterday, after weeks of ho-humming, I finally made the next step in my writing adventure. Now my story is out there, or at least a one page letter telling as much about it as possible, on its way across the country to the people in NY who decide its fate. Maybe it will make it, maybe it won't. One thing is for sure though, I can officially say...I am a writer.
So thank you Alyson and Heidi for pushing me and editing and listening to my ideas. Thanks D and kids for living with a messy house and extra TV time on days when mom got the writing bug and had to get the idea out on paper. Thanks to Savy and my Mom who were my other official readers. There is only one thing left to do.
It is time to start the next story!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tagged, Past, Present and Future

20 Years Ago 1988....I was 12 years old. I lived in American Fork. This is the year before I moved for the first time. I have since moved 12 times.

10 Years Ago 1998...For the first part of the year I was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Philippines. I started the year in Ilo Ilo, Then moved to Bacolod. I came home in October and faithfully waited for D. to get home from his mission in 1999.

5 Years Ago 2003...I started the year living in Arizona and having my second child. Then I moved to Heber and we lived up Daniel's Canyon.

3 Years Ago 2005...I had my 3rd child. My oldest daughter started Kindergarten. I became friend with Alyson and she got me interested in writing again.

1 Year Ago 2007...I wrote my first novel. I met four of my favorite authors (Shannon Hale, Stephenie Meyer, Orson Scott Card, and Brandon Sanderson). I got accepted into Orson Scott Card's writing bootcamp. I got to go see Wicked in LA.

So Far This Year 2008...I started another book. I met several other fun writers (Mette Ivie Harrison, Jessica Day George, Gail Carson Levine) I met with Orson Scott Card again and he looked over the first 10 pages of my new story and gave me advice on it. I wrote a query letter for my first book. I watched a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens with my hubby.

Yesterday...I went to the Temple. I took my son out for a Jamba Juice. I worked on editing my book and query letter for submission. I watched the American Idol result show.

Today I...Cleaned my room, the bathroom, the kitchen and the living room, wrote and edited books all day, made Shrimp Taco's for dinner, and taught my daughter some Yoga stretches.

Tomarrow I will...Clean my whole house so I can be ready for Sunday, Work on my book some more. Take my kids on a date and make my hubby plan what we are going to do for Spring Break.

1 year from now...I hope I will have found an agent and be getting a book published, have gotten my own house, have finished another book, and have had a lot of fun with my family.

I tag...everyone who lives on my street. DO you know who you are? :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Stargate vs. Stargate

I just recently purchased the movie Stargate in the five dollar bin at Wal-mart. (Love the five dollar bin!) I have not seen it since it first came out several years ago, but I remembered I loved it. So we watched it, and it was great. Good story, funny characters, aliens, what more could I want, right? Well, I couldn't enjoy it as much as I once had, because over the past year, I have fallen in love with a whole different Jack O'Neil and Daniel Jackson, than the ones played by Kurt Russell and James Spader in the movie. I am talking about Stargate SG1.
My husband and I got hooked on watching TV show DVDs about two and half years ago. We realized that by the time the kids went to bed, there was nothing on, and on most night we were too tired to watch a whole movie, but a 45 minute TV show with no commercials was just right. So we have been through, Babylon Five, The original Battle Star Galactica, Monks, Quantum Leap, FarScapes, Chip's, Firefly, the Office and others. These were all fun, and while Firefly will be my all time favorite (if you have not seen it, watch it! It is only one season and then the movie Serenity is amazing.) there is something about watching 10 whole seasons of a show that makes you love the characters and see all their quirks that you can't learn about in just a two hour movie. Like the fact that O'Neil goes fishing in a pond that has no fish just to relax. Plus, SG1 was able to add fun new characters and more that just one set of bad guys (The Ori are even worst that the Gould).
So the movie was still fun, and if you have never seen either go ahead and watch it, just know that somewhere out there, a much better Jack and Daniel are ready to step you through a Stargate of much greater adventure. (Warning...if you decide to watch the series you may want to note that the first episode has some nudity issues that I was unprepared for, but after that there is nothing in the rest of the ten seasons that even made me blush. I hate when they do that, like it will sell more if they can put an explicit label on the cover.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Modern Day Johnny Cash

So last month I made a country CD to send to my friend in Germany. With the help of my mom we came up with a bunch of fun songs both new and old. Two of the songs we put on it were Johnny Cash's Walk the Line and Ring of Fire. I made me a copy of the CD as well, but forgot about it. I found it the other day and put it in only to learn that my five year old and my three year old loved the Johnny Cash songs. They made me play them over and over. It was adorable listening to C. singing "Because you're mine, I walk the line" and L. kept on screaming "Fire Song Mommy...Peeaaassss"
Then my Sister-in-Law told me about this kid...Vince Mira who sounds like Johnny Cash. If any of you are Cash fans, or even if you are not you have to check him out on YouTube. He is 15 and pretty amazing to have that deep of a voice. I am new to linking and will try to post the link here. If it doesn't work though, you can go to Youtube and search Vince Mira on Ellen.