Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah and Michael

I was saddened by the news that Farrah Fawcett passed away yesterday. She was such a gorgeous woman. I totally remember her poster in that red swimsuit. I remember her hair--I had my hair just like that in high school. I remember thinking that when I turned 30 I'd have to get the "grandma hairdo" until I started watching Charlie's Angels and realized they were all about 30 and had long, luscious hair. (For the record, I'm a bit past 30 now and still have long hair). I loved Farrah's smile--it was so bright and beautiful. I grew up watching her. She was diagnosed with cancer about the same time as my sister-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sadly, my sister-in-law succumbed after a valiant year-long battle. I had so hoped Farrah would beat it.

I was completely stunned by the news that Michael Jackson also died yesterday. Wow. Didn't expect that at all. I totally grew up with him. I remember him singing with the Jackson 5. I remember Ben, Beat It, Billy Jean, Rock with You. I remember being in my apartment at BYU when Thriller debuted and how exciting it was to watch the world premiere. Michael Jackson was on fire. Then he just got so . . . weird. It was sad, really, to watch his descent into bizarreness. He was so talented, gifted, and now that seems to be overshadowed by an ape, accusations, a dangling baby, a disintegrating face, strange marriages, surgical masks. He was so creative and, what a dancer--he had moves, man. I'm still in shock that he died. He wasn't much older than me (maybe I'm more than a bit past 30).

I found it interesting that Larry King said he'd planned a show about Farrah's passing but that was being tossed out in favor of a show on Michael. Our society is warped. How can one person's life be deemed so much more valuable than someone else's? Doesn't Farrah also deserve recognition for her life?

Both Farrah and Michael had fame, fortune, and the world at their feet. Yet, neither of them seemed to be truly happy. They both seemed so lost, so confused. They both had tumultuous personal lives filled with trials and tribulations, most of it plastered on tabloids for the world to view.

It's true. Money can' t buy happiness. Fame can't buy happiness. Material things can't buy happiness.

I hope that in death both Farrah and Michael will now find the peace and joy that seemed to elude them in life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Win a Copy of My Book

If you'd like to be entered into a contest to win a copy of my book, Altared Plans, it's really easy. VISIT HERE and become a follower of our new Cedat Fort Authors blog, Writing Fortress, by midnight July 29th. A name will be drawn by random and that person will win a copy of my new book. Super easy.

Tell your friends!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Goes Around, Comes Around

I'm a firm believer that what goes around, comes around.

Last fall, after my son's soccer game, we found a cell phone in the grass. My husband picked it up and called the last phone number to see if he could locate its owner. After several attempts, and more than half an hour, we found the owner and returned his cell phone.

We then went to Walmart to pick up a few treats since my son scored a goal in the soccer game. While I was taking my daughter to the bathroom, I noticed a Blackberry cell phone resting on top of the toilet paper dispenser. I picked it up and took it to the service desk to see if anyone had lost a phone. No one had so I brought it out to my husband, whose phone is a Blackberry, to see if he could access the last phone number. I was afraid if we left it at Walmart the owner might never recover it unless she specifically remembered being at Walmart.

We called several phone numbers and finally talked to someone who knew the owner. Turns out the owner lived in another town, but worked in the same town as my husband. We ended up tracking down where she worked and dropping off the phone there (it was her work phone). All in all, it took us a few days to return her phone.

Last night, my husband misplaced his phone while we were swimming at the recreation center. He uses his phone for business and was worried the company couldn't reach him. Though we'd checked a few times, we decided to check once more before leaving. Someone had turned in his phone to the front desk. An employee had called a contact number on my husband's phone, which turned out to be me, so even if we hadn't stopped to ask, I would've discovered his phone had been turned in as soon as I got to our car and checked my phone messages.

What goes around, comes around.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blog Tour

I'm hoping to do a virtual book tour in August for my book, Altared Plans, and I'm looking for bloggers who would like to participate.

Here's how it works:

You receive a review copy, free of charge, from my publisher. In exchange, you post your review on an assigned day. I'll list all the blog addresses and dates on my blog so people can follow the "tour."

You can read about my book here to see if it's the kind of book you'd be interested in reading and reviewing. I have 13 review copies available. If you're interested pop me an email or leave me a comment and I'll contact you with the details.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Memorable Graduation

Our graduation started with a nice rain storm. Thankfully, it didn't include lightning and thunder. Then, my youngest daughter felt sick and barfed all over the guy sitting in front of us just before my graduate was about to receive her diploma. My sister and her husband saved the day and whisked my little daughter to the bathroom so I could see my other daughter graduate. Yes, it was memorable--it was the rainy, barfy graduation.

This is my daughter's group of friends dubbed "The Fab Five." They performed together in the plays, hung out together, and had classes together. A really fun group of kids. I'll miss them.

My daughter with her cousin who graduated a few days earlier from another high school. They've grown up together. My sister sent out a similar photo when my nephew graduated and everyone wanted to know if they were dating. They both thought that was the most disgusting idea ever--definitely not kissing cousins.

My graduation count: 3 down, 7 to go.

All in all, even with the rain and barfing, it was a wonderful ceremony and an exciting end to their high school careers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sweetwater Conference

My two daughters, a friend, and I all drove to Utah on Friday so we could scope out Utah Valley University and I could attend the Sweetwater Conference at Cedar Fort.

I might be a little self-centered, but the absolute highlight of the trip was when I actually held my book, Altared Plans, in my hands for the first time. I saw a copy. It's real. It's a book. My box of author copies had already been mailed to me so I didn't get to take any home, but I got to hold one for a second--it almost brought me to tears :).

I really enjoyed the conference. Steve Alten presented via telephone conference and did an excellent presentation. It's always interesting to hear an author's road to publication and he had quite a bumpy one. He's the author of The Shell Game published by Cedar Fort.

Catherine Lanigan was also a presenter and she was amazing. So vibrant and excited. She was fun to listen to and to watch (she's beautiful). She gave some great advice on writing and evoking emotion in our readers. She also gave some great advice on promotion. She encouraged us to contact radio shows which I hadn't even considered before. We received her book on writing, How to Write the Great American Romance Novel, and it has some really valuable information in it. She writes for the national market so some of the info doesn't apply to the LDS market, but her writing advice is solid and easy to understand. She also has a good outline to use to help plan your novel.

Bryce Mortimer gave an incredible presentation on online promotion. Unfortunately, he didn't have nearly the time he needed to give his full presentation. You can go into Google and in the search bar type to see how it ranks and how Google sees it. He knows a ton about technology. He could easily give a full day presentation. And he's a super nice guy.

Lyle Mortimer talked about the different components of creativity: The Flash (sudden inspiration), The Zone (everything seems to be flowing freely), and The Work (99.9% of writing). He said it takes about 10,000 hours of work to accomplish something great and that practice is what makes you a great writer.

Lee Nelson shared some entertaining stories about his road to publication. He's quite the cowboy. He told us about how he shot a buffalo with a bow and arrow while riding a horse. That's a feat.

It was a valuable conference filled with great information. I really enjoyed it and I had fun meeting new people and seeing friends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Blog

I'm really excited to announce a brand new blog, Writing Fortress by Cedar Fort authors. We have a team of CFI authors who will be posting regularly about writing and life experiences. I hope you'll check it out and return often. We'll be holding contests, answering questions, and relating our own personal roads to publication.

I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Bookmark Come on over and visit. It'll be fun!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Hate . . .

Word 2007--can't even stand it.
Vista--don't get me started.
No seeum (invisible) bugs--hate inhaling a bug, or swallowing one.
Mud--I've lost small vehicles in some of the mud puddles around my house.
Cold sores that appear right before an important event.
Wrinkles under my eyes and between my eyebrows.
Kids that can work computers better than me.
The jiggly fat I can't seem to exercise off.
Touching wet fingers in the pool.
Sleeping with any of my kids--they kick me all night, or pee on me, or both.

I guess that sums it up. My daughter asked what prompted this post. Easy--trying to deal with Word 2007. It simply makes no sense. And the help pane is no help at all. Makes me want to scream for a long time!!

My daughter performed in the play, Curious Savage, and one of the characters, Mrs. Paddy, only had a few lines, but every time she spoke, she listed what she hated. It was very humorous and then touching at the end when she finally said the one thing she loved--Mrs. Savage.

And the list of things I love is much longer than this one :).