Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Performing Bug

Two of my children have been performing in Willy Wonka. My son has been playing "Phineous Trout" the TV reporter who interviews all of the kids who find a golden ticket. Each time he comes on stage, he does something totally self-absorbed (i.e. pulls out his sunglasses, combs his hair, acts like he's cool, checks out the ladies) and then starts the interview. He's made the character his own and it's humorous to watch him.

My daughter is playing "Veruka Salt" the spoiled, rude, pampered little rich girl. My daughter plays her to the hilt, complete with screaming hissy fits and an accent. She also sings a solo and does a great job. It's fun watching her play such a bratty little girl.

It's amazing to me that my kids have this talent. My husband and I both played sports. Yet, almost all (and I'd venture to guess even the youngest ones) of my kids love to perform. Give any of them a stage and they're happy. (This can be, and has been, a problem in school, however, because the teachers tend to dislike it when kids upstage them). My youngest daughter, age 4, will insist on a regular basis that we sit on the couch and watch her dance and sing and tell stories.

I'm not sure why, but the performing bug has hit my kids hard. I've learned to sit back and enjoy it because it looks like my kids will be performing for many years to come.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Heaven Scent Blog Tour

First, some great news: Deseret Book will carry Heaven Scent. Woo hoo!

As I mentioned at the end of a previous post anyone who is interested in doing a blog tour for my book is invited to participate. I'd love to get the word out as much as possible.

I'd like to do the tour in June. If you'd like to participate:

1. Email me at rebecca@rebeccatalley.com and provide me with your snail mail address so I can send you my book (free, of course). Also, let me know what date(s) in June works best for you.

2. On your tour date, please post a review, a link to my blog and website, and an interview with me. You can send the questions to rebecca@rebeccatalley.com. I can also provide you with an image of my cover if you'd like to include that.

3. I will post a schedule of blogs that will be hosting me and will provide links to each blog.

That's about it. Woo hoo to the person that thought up blog tours. Since I don't live in a predominantly LDS area (okay, an area that hardly knows that the LDS Church exists) doing a live book tour would be difficult. I'm grateful I can do it in cyberspace and I especially appreciate all of you who have already volunteered to participate. Thank you :)

This will be fun!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

7 Things About Me

Paul West tagged me last week. It's been crazy lately. I have kids performing in a community production of Willy Wonka that includes public performances as well as performances for schools around the district. I am excited to see it tonight.

It also happens to be prom tonight. We bought my daughter's dress while we were in Utah. It's a gorgeous royal blue princess dress. But, it was too long. I agreed to hem it. I didn't realize there were at least 10 yards of fabric. Not to mention the net overskirt and the underskirt also made of net and another layer of fabric. Yes, her dress is poofy and her mother is looney. Note to self: never buy another prom dress that needs to be hemmed.

So between the plays and prom, it's been a little hectic. Paul's tag asked me to list 7 things about myself. Here goes:

1. When I was a young teenager, I was a flamenco dancer with castanets and everything. I danced at various events through the year as well as in parades. At one particular venue, for the Elks Club, we were dancing on a temporary wooden floor that was placed just for the performance. It was 3 or 4 inches thick. Amidst my fabulous dancing, the heel of my shoe caught on the edge of the floor and, yep, down I went with my skirt over the top of my head. I jumped up and continued the dance as if nothing happened.

2. I was recruited by the high school basketball coach to play for him, so I switched gears. I'm sure my height made him think I'd be the greatest basketball player ever and I'm equally sure that I disappointed him because while I was (and still am) tall, I'm not very quick. I did score 22 points in a game, though. That was my best score.

3. I can't sing at all and I served as the Primary chorister for almost 5 years. I discovered that the kids didn't care that I couldn't sing. It was more important to them that I was consistently there and tried to make it fun. By far, it was my favorite calling.

4. At the conclusion of a year at BYU, my ward decided to hand out awards to some of the members of the ward. I received an award. Can you guess what it was? Biggest Flirt. I still say the awards were fixed. I was so not a flirt. (Anyone who knew me back at BYU can't say a word).

5. My favorite book is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. I love that book. The story just spoke to me.

6. I hate ironing. If I had to choose between chewing cactus and ironing, I'd pick the cactus. I do iron every week, but usually I have to crank my disco tunes to get me through it.

7. I love to knit. I don't have much time to knit anymore, but I love making booties, blankets, and baby buntings. I also love to crochet around socks and add beads.

That was fun. Anyone else want to play?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blog Tours

In answer to Ali's question about blog tours, I'll try to explain them as best I can.

Since blogging has become so popular, authors are turning to blogs to help them promote their books. Authors contact bloggers (or make an announcement and allow bloggers to contact them) and supply a copy of their book. On an appointed day, the blogger posts a review of the book as well as an interview with the author. (The blogger has previously contacted the author with a list of questions and then posts the author's replies).

The author links to the blogger and vice-verse and posts a list of the dates he/she will be featured on each blog. All of the bloggers link to each other and post the blog tour dates.

Basically, the blogger reads a free book, posts a review, and posts an interview of the author on a certain day.

Authors can set the tours up themselves or can hire someone to set it up for about $400.

A blog tour provides more visibility for the author, his/her book, and the blogger. It's a win-win situation, but it does take some work.

Jeff Savage will be doing a blog tour this summer for his Farworld book. I'll be participating in that one. Candace Salima will also be doing a blog tour for her book Forged by the Refiner's Fire, but I don't have specific details on that one yet.

Book Blog Tours, or is it Blog Book Tours, seems to be the book tour of the future. And, if anyone is interested in helping me do a blog tour with my book Heaven Scent please let me know. Thanks :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Farworld Blog Tour

J. Scott Savage (aka Jeff Savage) is kicking off a blog tour for his upcoming fantasy book Farworld.

I'm excited to read this book. Now, I'm not a big fantasy fan. I tend to read (and write) realistic fiction, but this book sounds amazing. Jeff, er, Scott, really knows his stuff so I look forward to a great read.

My kids love fantasy. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and anything with dragons, other mystical creatures, or magical spells is popular with my kids. I'll probably have to hide this book from my kids just so I can read it. Who knows, maybe he'll get me hooked on fantasy? I'm just excited to be a little part of his tour.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Popcorn Popping?

When I looked out the window this morning, what did I see? Well, it sure wasn't popcorn popping on the apricot tree, I can tell you. Nope. It was snow. Again.

The car was covered, the ground was covered, and the roads were a sheet of ice this morning. My daughter had no idea it was going to snow so she was wearing high heels for school today. I told her she shouldn't wear them because she'd end up falling and breaking something and we've already done the broken nose with accompanying surgery for this year.

The wind is howling and another snow storm is expected this evening. I'm thinking someone forgot it was supposed to be spring. You know, with tulips blooming and a warm, soft breeze, easing us into summer.

Now, I know we need moisture and all of this snow has been a good thing, but come on, it's April, well past spring. Where's that nice warm weather?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Where I Live

In response to Trafford Cole's question (in the comment section of my last post) about my life on the ranch, I decided to blog about it today.

I live in rural Colorado outside of a small city. We bought our property from a gentleman who had farmed it for many years. We built our house in what used to be a hay field. We are surrounded by land on all sides and have neighbors here and there. A live creek runs through part of our property and pinion trees populate it. From my living room window, I can see part of the Rocky Mountains. When these mountains are covered with snow, they're absolutely breathtaking, especially during sunrise and sunset when the sun paints them shades of pink. We can be in the mountains in about 20 minutes. These mountains are as beautiful as any I've ever seen. We make a trip every fall just to take in the vibrant colors of the aspens and other trees as they turn red, yellow, and gold. We can also hike and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the river. During the winter, we enjoy sledding and playing in the deep snow.

We don't raise crops. We raise animals (and lots of kids). We've raised cows, horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and goats. We had a bull once that went through every fence to find female companionship. When we tried to raise rabbits, we discovered that my son is very allergic to rabbit fur so we had to discontinue our rabbit raising. People who've raised sheep have a saying, "Sheep are just looking for a place to die." We agree. Pigs--I hate pigs. I chased a big 800 lb. pig enough times to cure me from ever wanting to raise pigs again. Now, we're raising goats and that seems to be the right thing for us. The goats are easy for the kids to handle and it's easy to catch a goat when it's out.

We live in a conservative rural community that genuinely cares for each other. Many of the families descend from the original homesteaders in the area. Though we have members of various religions, we all band together when anyone in the community is in need. Unfortunately, we've had community members whose homes have burned to the ground, who've lost loved ones in accidents or to illness or disease, and who've lost their jobs. In every situation, members of the community have worked together to help each other. It is a community that truly serves one another.

It is a wonderful life. I feel very fortunate to live where I do. It may not suit everyone, but it's perfect for us.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Calling

I have been serving as the Assistant Nursery Leader at church. I've loved it. My youngest is in the nursery and I wanted to be with him. I've also enjoyed listening to the Primary songs, snacking on pretzels, reading books, and playing with the kids. The nursery is so fun. It's also low-key and easy-going. A perfect calling for me.

Last week, my bishop (who's also my brother-in-law) called me to serve with the Young Women as the Assistant Advisor to the Beehives. I had mixed feelings because I loved being in the nursery with my son, but when the Lord calls you to serve somewhere else, you serve somewhere else.

I am very excited to work with the Beehives. I love to teach. I'd much rather teach than be taught because I learn so much more that way (and I love to hear myself talk--HA). I love thinking about a lesson and applying it to real life. I love searching the scriptures to add to the lesson and sharing personal stories where I've learned something about the subject I'm presenting. I love to engage the girls in discussions so I can hear what's on their minds and see how the lesson is reaching them. I also enjoy the energy of the girls and the excitement of the Beehives that are still BMLA (Before the Mia Maid-Laurel Attitude). The Beehives are still excited for the activities and still look forward to the lessons because they don't quite know everything, yet.

I'm really looking forward to my new calling. I'll miss being with my son in the nursery. I guess I have to cut that umbilical cord sometime, right?