Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I Love the UPS Guy

Well, I don't actually love him, but he is one of my favorite people for delivering this:

Super cool or what? Woo hoo!!

It's quite the surreal experience to hold my book in my hands. Even though this is my third novel, fourth book, it's still so amazing. To physically hold my words, my thoughts, my story in my hands is just incredible. The box was even delivered during a snowstorm so it was just like Christmas for me.

Excuse me while I go do the happy dance!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wii Games for Christmas

We received Wii games for Christmas. I love doing Wii games with the family.

One of the games we received was Just Dance 2. Very fun game. Lots of new songs and much more difficult than the original game. We love it. I don't know all the songs, but I'm looking forward to playing it a lot.

We also now have Just Dance for Kids. I actually love this game. I know almost all of the songs, the dance steps aren't too difficult, but can be challenging, and it's just so much fun to play. My middle daughters love this game. 

My husband loves Beatles Rock Band. I really like this one because I recognize so many songs. I also think these songs are easier to sing than the ones on Rock Band because they're so familiar, at least to me. If only I were a singer . . . 

My sons really like Lego Rock Band. They know more songs and they love the Lego characters.

My husband gave me Zumba for the Wii. I've already tried a workout and it really works you. I love it. I can't wait to do it each day. I'm still learning about it, but I'm hoping I can become good enough to get all the moves. I'm excited about it.

But, my ultimate fav-o-rite is The Michael Jackson Experiment. Man, what a fun game. I love the songs. I love the choreography. I love the memories of dancing, back in the day, to Michael's songs. Yes, it is difficult, but so much fun, And my favorite song is Thriller. I remember the world premiere of that music video and I've always loved it. It is totally fun.Of course, it's a new way to market his music, but what better idea than to have a Michael Jackson, the king of pop and dance, dancing game.

We danced for over 5 hours on Christmas day. It's fun for the whole family and the dance games really give you a workout. .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Second Christmas

My son and his wife have been living in Orlando, FL working for Disney World. One of the drawbacks of working during the fall semester of the college program is that they couldn't come home to celebrate Christmas. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law's family went to FL for Christmas so they were all together on Christmas day. They went to EPCOT, a totally cool place, that day, but for my son it wasn't the usual Christmas celebration so he was a little sad. I think it may even be possible he misses his mommy :).

Following the lead of Fellowship of the Rings with its second breakfast and so that we could all be together to celebrate Christmas, we decided to create a new holiday, "Second Christmas." We'll be picking up my son and daughter-in-law on Thursday from the airport and that night will be "Second Christmas Eve." We'll do our family traditions (again). The kids will all sleep in the same room that night (again) and will wake up early (again) on Friday morning so we can celebrate Christmas together. We'll spend all day Friday eating, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas shows, and enjoying each other's company.

Now that we have older kids and will have new in-laws in coming years, my husband and I think we'll institute a new family tradition of Second Christmas so that the kids who can be with us for the 25th can celebrate and those who need to spend it with in-laws can come for the second celebration and then we can all be together. It's a win/win proposition because spending it with family is far more important to me than the actual date.

So, come the end of the week, I'll be cooking another big turkey dinner with all the fixin's, there will be a few more gifts under the tree, and we can do our family traditions with the whole family. We're all excited!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone will have a peaceful and blessed Christmas!

I think Christmas has become so commercialized. We have a local radio station that plays Christmas songs throughout the month of December. For every hour's worth of music, it plays 2-3 songs about Jesus. The rest of the songs are about Santa, Rudolph, and toys. Don't get me wrong, I love Santa. I love gift giving, I love trying to find the perfect gift. And I love to surprise people with gifts they didn't expect. For me, the gift buying and giving is far more fun than the receiving. I decorate my tree the day after Thanksgiving and even sneak in Christmas music in October. I LOVE Christmas.

Yet, I think I get so caught up in what needs to be done, especially with so many kids, that I forget to take time to enjoy the true reason for the celebration. I don't get caught up in the commercialization as much as all of the "things" that need to happen--Christmas cards, wrapping, decorating, making gifts, shopping, concerts, parties, etc. For me, I need to take time to remember my Savior. I need to think about that small baby born so many years ago amongst the animals. The baby whose life will make it possible for me to not only be with my loved ones again, but also with my Heavenly Father. His birth is the most important event of mortality.

I don't pretend to understand how it all works--how He could take upon Him all of our sins or atone for each of us, but I know that I am so very grateful He did. I am so thankful that He was born to a young mother in lowly circumstances. That He spent His life teaching and helping others. That when the time came He did not falter, He willingly gave His life for me. And it all began with His birth. His wonderful, sacred birth.

I an so blessed to have the gospel in my life. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family. I am so blessed. I am very grateful for this time of year and for my Savior .

Merry Christmas!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Magic Kingdom

I grew up in CA, about 2 hours away from Disneyland. We used to go to Disneyland all the time. I remember, back in the day, when we had ticket books and there were only a couple of tickets for the best rides, including the Matterhorn. The rest of the tickets were for kiddie rides. I remember Disneyland long before Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. I remember when it was this totally magical place and, as a kid, there was just no other place like it. I still have a strong connection to Disneyland and all the childhood memories it holds for me. Even after going to Disney World, I still have to say that Disneyland is my favorite.

Magic Kingdom is much like Disneyland. It's laid out about the same and I can find my way around pretty easily. It has most of the same rides as Disneyland.

The best part of Magic Kingdom this visit was watching my son as the skipper of the Jungle Cruise. He was definitely in his element telling corny jokes and trying to make people laugh. I loved seeing him perform again.

One of the highlights was seeing the fireworks display and watching Tinkerbell fly across the night sky. Tinkerbell used to fly across Disneyland when I was a kid. This Tinkerbell was all lit up as she flew above us. I loved the combination of the music, the narration, and the fireworks. The castle lit up in different color combinations and it was gorgeous.

Of course, we went on all of the rides, including Space Mountain and even Splash Mountain (it was cold so I volunteered to stay and watch my youngest son who was too small to ride). We also went on the Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World (my 9-year-old did not enjoy this ride at all), Teacups, Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride, the Tiki Room (my grandma loved this attraction and I always think of her when we go), the Carousel, Peter Pan, Snow white, Dumbo, Pirates, Buzz, and many more.

I think these photos of my youngest on the carousel are absolutely adorable so I'm sharing them. He looks like a little angel.

We had a blast and loved every minute of our trip.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

EPCOT: World Showcase

I love this part of EPCOT. It's a big circle with all the countries surrounding a large lake. I'd guess it's over a mile from start to finish. You walk the loop going from country to country.

It's so interesting to visit each place and learn a little about that country. We watched a movie about Canada in a 360 degree/surround theater. It was breathtaking. I had no idea Canada was so beautiful. It made me want to visit.

In order to accommodate the crowds at EPCOT, there are no seats in the theater. Everyone must stand. My daughter assumed this to mean that Canadian theaters have no seats. She asked one of the Canadian workers, "So do Canadian theaters have no seats?"

The worker looked at her and said, "In Canada, we all pull out our sleeping bags, go into the forest, and watch movies on a sheet spread between trees." Then she walked off leaving my daughter to wonder if she were serious. Of course, none of us gave my daughter a hard time for asking that question :).

My son loved showing us Italy because that's where he spent 2 years on his mission. He said Disney did a fantastic job replicating the look of Italy. He said they always have a patron saint that watches over the city.

I loved  eating in Germany--delicious food. We ate a buffet with red cabbage, different meats, German salads, and lots of delectable desserts. I also loved eating at Morocco. Very different food. Some of the kids didn't enjoy it much but they were good sports and ate it anyway.

I must, however, complain about the reservation policy. None of the restaurants wanted to give us reservations because we had 13 people. They gave us such a hard time and we ended up having to wait a long time and/or eating very late at night. I would guess from their reactions and unwillingness to give us reservations that we are the only large group to ever go to Disney World. And, the guy in Italy was just rude about it.

We watched the Candlelight Procession which included a choir singing religious songs and a reading by Susan Lucci of All My Children fame. Beautiful program.

The fireworks display was awesome. Every night at closing EPCOT hosts a fantastic fireworks show including a large replica of the earth that was brought out to the middle of the lake. At the end of the show fire comes out of  the earth.

I also enjoyed going to Norway and learning about the Vikings--some nasty dudes. From what I read, seems like they were Norwegian pirates. This is photo of my daughters with an infamous Norwegian troll.

EPCOT isn't filled with rides, it's more of a learning experience and you can't do it all in one day. We went back a few times to see what we'd missed. Growing up in CA, we went to Disneyland all the time, but EPCOT is like nothing else. It's really an adventure and I'm glad we could take the kids and expose them to it.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

EPCOT: Future World

EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, the brainchild of Walt Disney (I learned this in a museum-type area in Hollywood Studios). Unfortunately, Disney never lived to see his dream of EPCOT take place. Fortunately, we can all enjoy it.

I love EPCOT. When you first enter, the whole area is dedicated to the future. One of the coolest features was the design-your-own roller coaster/jet ride/snowmobile. It's a virtual ride. You choose which kind of ride you want from mild to ride. You touch a screen with all the elements of the ride--speed, twists, turns, loops--and the screen tell you if your speed is too slow or too fast for each particular element. You finish your design and then wait until it's your turn to get in the machine. You sit in a chair and a top comes over you with a screen in front of you. You watch the graphics that "create" your ride and the machine mimics going upside down and to the side. It's a large machine, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few years down the road they aren't made small enough to fit in a game room and marketed as the ultimate gaming console. Our ride was pretty fun for a virtual ride.

We also went on Mission to Mars. Oh. My. Goodness. What a ride. Wow. It mimics taking off in a rocket and going to Mars which is accomplished by spinning you around at about 100 mph. You sit in a seat alongside your "crew" in front of a screen. The flight commander tells you all about your mission and then it's time. You start spinning around, similar to a merry-go-round, until you get going so fast you feel weightless. My stomach knew it was getting all dizzy, but it was super cool. I was afraid I'd get barfy, but I didn't and the sensation was very weird but fun. My oldest son enjoyed my reaction.

We were able to experience a simulation of a tornado. Very odd. I kept jumping when anything flew at the screen because it seemed so realistic.

We explored an area dedicated to land. We saw an hydroponic green house that was growing lettuce and all sorts of food. They use what they produce in their restaurants. It was very interesting to see all they were growing. My husband is now researching how we might grow some things this way.

I enjoyed the area dedicated to the seas. There was a cute little ride with Nemo.

I loved seeing all the fish, including sea horses. I love sea horses. Supposedly, they choose mates for life. We watched a sea horse swim over to another one and wrap its tail around the first one as if they were holding hands. So cute!

We also saw a manatee, a dolphin, and lots of fish in the super huge aquarium. My youngest was mesmerized watching all the fish.

We rode the ride that goes up in the big silver ball that's so famous. It's a ride about communications. The "people" looked so realistic. They take your photo while you're riding and then impose your face on cartoon figures in the future, It was pretty funny to watch each of us in the cartoon future world.

We had fun on Test Track which simulates testing vehicles on rough rodes, braking, and driving really fast.

It took us about 5 hours or so to see everything in Future World.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hollywood Studios

I loved going to Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately, we chose to go on a Saturday so it was pretty busy. Most of the days we were in Disney World is wasn't too busy and our wait time to get on rides was about 10 minutes, but on Saturday there were a lot of people. Since we didn't get to see everything we wanted to, we returned another day.

My very favorite ride at Hollywood Studios is the Rockin' Roller Coaster. It's supposed to be a limo ride an Aerosmith concert (okay, those guys were on the weird side back in the day). You get into the "limo" and stop at a road sign. Then there's a countdown and the coaster takes off 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and goes upside down. Totally fun. And Aerosmith's Walk This Way is blasted in the speakers. I LOVED it!

My husband and kids all loved The Tower of Terror, a free-fall ride that makes you feel like your stomach drops out of your body. I'm not a big fan of free-falls. I went on it once and that was good for me, but the rest of the family went on it a few times.

My oldest daughter who is in the UVU Institute Choir and has a beautiful voice wanted to do the American Idol experience. You have to be at least 14 years old and audition acapella. If you make it through the first round you can then perform in front of a live audience who votes for you. If you make it past that, you get to perform in a finale and one of the participants wins an opportunity to audition for the real show. Great opportunity, except my daughter was disqualified because her brother works for Disney (Magic Kingdom). Bummer. I really wanted her to audition. And, yeah, I love to see my kids perform.

This same daughter was chosen to be an extra in the Indiana Jones show. A really cool show with lots of special effects.

The best special effects show was the stunt car show. Wow. Lots of explosions and lots of cars jumping across the stage and even driving backwards, or so it appeared--the car was actually built to look like it was driving backwards. My husband loved this show--a total man's show.

We saw a live performance of Beauty and the Beast and that was fun.

My kids really enjoyed the Muppets in 3-D show. And the backlot tour was fun. and, of course, we saw characters like the Sully and Mike and an Army Man from Toy Story.

We had a great time at Hollywood Studios. My only gripe was that Gone with the Wind wasn't included in the scenes in the Great Movie Ride. I mean, come on, GWTW is the ultimate movie.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin

From the back cover:

It's only after her husband leaves that Meg finds out she's pregnant.

Now facing the prospect of single parenthood, she'll have to rely on the family she pushed away, the church she abandoned, and an unexpected friendship to see her through.

This touching story combines romance with real conflicts to remind you it's never too late to find love - if you know where to look.

I read this touching story a while back and I've been waiting until its release to review it. I loved this book. I thought Baldwin did an excellent job of portraying this young woman's reactions to her conflicts. Her husband was a loser and I wanted to slap him. What a jerk.

I thought the budding friendship was realistic and wasn't rushed and I loved the end. I also thought her reluctance to go back to church and the feelings she experienced were very real and I felt like Meg was a fully-developed character. I also thought Baldwin did a good job developing Matt and I felt like I was witnessing a real friendship in the making.

I shed tears while I read this book and I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy romances with some meat to them. Great book. I expect to see much more from this new CFI author.

Meg's Melody is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and should be in LDS bookstores as well. Great idea for a Christmas gift!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Animal Kingdom

I loved visiting Animal Kingdom at Disney World. AK is kind of like a zoo, but so much more.

We saw the most adorable baby gorilla. I tried to get a better photo, but the mama wouldn't cooperate. It was so sweet to watch the mama cradle her baby to her chest and nurse it.

We also saw a baby giraffe and a baby elephant--so cute. We saw lots of animals on the safari ride. My favorite part of the safari ride was how peaceful it was watching the animals. It didn't feel like the rest of the amusement parks. I loved seeing the animals interact.

Of course, we also had to check out the cool roller coaster, Expedition Everest, that includes a scary yeti. You ride the roller coaster up to the top of the mountain (very high in the air I might add) and stop because supposedly the track has been destroyed by the yeti. Then the roller coaster goes backwards. In the dark. And it makes your stomach all flippy-floppy. Then you stop again and see a shadow of the yeti coming to destroy more of the track and then, whoosh, you're speeding down the tracks again. Super fun. One of my favorite rides for sure.

My boys loved the dinosaur ride. The girls thought it was scary. It's similar to the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland in that you ride in a jeep-like vehicle that simulates rough terrain. You're looking for a dinosaur to take back to the lab and are trying to beat a meteor shower. It's pretty jerky and bumpy (not unlike driving down my long, dirt driveway), but it's fun. The best part is when the dinosaurs jump out at you and your daughters scream. It made me laugh. (Yes, those ducking are my older daughters).

We also saw an amazing Lion King show. Wow, those performers are talented. There were singers, gymnasts, dancers, and characters from Lion King. The "monkeys" did flips and all sorts of gymnastics and they also did some trapeze stunts. Very cool. Other guys danced while wearing stilts. And I'm talking serious dancing, not some pansy stepping from side to side, but incredible dance steps. The singing was beautiful, too. They also had a woman who was dressed as a bird and for part of the show she was lifted into the air by a rope and she "flew" above the stage doing dance moves. I was very impressed.

Animal Kingdom was awesome and we had a great time there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Super Awesome Trip to Disney World

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend December 1-9 in Florida at Walt Disney World. My son and his wife are doing the Disney college program and wanted us to come out for a visit.

My son is a skipper on the Jungle Cruise and my daughter-in-law works at the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney.

We had such a blast. I think I'll break up my posts so this one isn't so long. My husband and I and 7 of our kids all flew to Denver where we met my two older daughters who flew from Salt Lake to meet us. Together we all flew out to Orlando--a more than 3 hour flight. Our youngest was somewhat of a challenge on the plane, but the rest of the kids were fine (except for my 6-year-old who has the world's smallest bladder and has to use the restroom multiple times. I think Ill ask Santa to give her a bigger bladder for Christmas).

We arrived in Orlando and picked up the 12-passenger van we rented. The lady at the counter wondered if we knew much about vans and that insurance for vans was different than for cars. Um, yeah, we actually own a 15-passenger van.

We rented a house about 10 miles from Disney World. Best. Decision. Ever. Not only was it less than half the cost of hotel rooms, it was big enough that we weren't stepping all over each other. We had 5 bedroom and 4 bathrooms (with so many girls in the same house having that many bathrooms was wonderful compared to what we would've had in a hotel). And, the house was nice. not enough couch room for all of us, but it had a pool table which my 4-year-old loved. It also had a Foosball table and a pool, but we elected not to heat the pool because we figured we wouldn't be there much (and we were right).>

So, I would heartily recommend that if you go to DW, you consider renting a house. It's about the same price as a hotel room--just under $100 a night--but you get lots and lots more room. We also made our breakfast and then packed lunches to try to offset the ridiculously high prices of food on Disney property (that will be another post).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grandpa's Christmas Music

We've now collected enough Christmas music that I can turn on the CD player and listen to it all day without repeating a CD. I love Manheim Steamroller. I can listen to that music over and over and over again.

With all the great Christmas music we have, including some new favorites like Alan Jackson's "So Let it Be Christmas," my ultimate favorite music is what my grandpa used to play. Most of the songs are from the Big Band era. My grandpa was a DJ of sorts, back in the day. He used to play music for wedding receptions and parties. He built these enormous speakers--5 ft tall by 3 ft wide--and he had at least 1000 albums. We've inherited all of that. Grandpa had hoped my husband would carry on the DJ business, but we simply didn't have the time.

Grandpa loved music. He didn't play any instruments and he didn't sing, but he loved to listen to the famous bands of the day. And he loved Christmas music. He created a reel-to-reel tape of his favorite songs and that's what he'd play during the season, especially on Christmas Day. Before we could open any presents (I lived with my grandparents) he'd start the "Christmas Tape." Then we knew it was officially Christmas.

We now do the same things with our kids. We make them wait to come downstairs until we have Grandpa's music playing because it isn't really Christmas without that music. I'm sure it's because of all the memories that are wrapped up in those songs, but I never tire of hearing them. I'm thankful we were able to capture all of those songs from the reel-to-reel so that each year I can enjoy the music that was such a part of my childhood and I can share that with my kids.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Interview: Joan Sowards

I'm happy to welcome Joan Sowards to my blog today. Joan has a new book, The Star Prophecy, that's now available at Amazon.

The Star Prophecy is about Nephite young men who set sail to Jerusalem to find the Christ Child.

Joan says, "When my daughter Kristy gave me the premise for this novel, I felt electrifying tingles come over me, the ideas began to flow and I wrote the first draft in three months--an incredible experience!The main character, whose quest it is to find the infant Messiah, is named Enoch after my nephew, a beautiful, bright child, who passed away at the age of four."

When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?

I have been writing novels for over fifteen years. A friend invited me to ANWA (The American Night Writers Association.) I've learned so much about writing through ANWA.

Kerry Blair lived in my ward back then. She'd edit my chapters and I tried to learn the rules behind her changes. I learned a lot from her, too. (During that time, she wrote her own first novel and sent it to Covenant. They excepted it within two weeks.) Gotta love her!

How did you break into publishing?

I admit it was luck. I was in the right place at the right time. An editor suggested I send Walnut Springs Press my novel The Star Prophecy--so I did. I pestered editor Linda Prince every few months asking if she had read it. After the eight month, she asked if I had an LDS romance and that she needed one right away. I sent Haunts Haven and she liked it! Chocolate Roses was published next. I was surprised when WSP came back and said they were ready to publish The Star Prophecy since it had been two years since I submitted it.

What inspired you to write romance?

I think every story needs romance, if not just a touch of it.The Star Prophecy is not a romance, but it has just enough to keep me happy.

What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

The Star Prophecy begins its tale in the land of the Nephites. Haunts Haven is a paranormal mystery romance, Chocolate Roses is pure romance with a Jane Eyre parallel. I haven't been able to get away from the LDS genre, I guess, because it is so ingrained in me.

What are you working on now?

I'm writing a story about a recent ASU college grad who takes a summer journalist job in a seaside village in Oregon. The working title is Clairvoyance. I love the characters.

What has surprised you about being a published author?

As soon as Haunts Haven hit the stores, I was expected to promote it and myself. I've never felt comfortable with that.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I'm a family history addict. I love to sew, and write music ( My adorable grandchildren take a lot of my time, and I love being with my husband.

What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? What made you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’

My daughter came home from Institute class with the premise for The Star Prophecy. I loved it! It is about Nephite young men setting sail to find the Christ Child.

Several years ago, Jeni Grossman taught a class at an ANWA conference and handed out feature newspaper articles with big photos and told us to ask ourselves "What if…" I got an article about haunted inns of Southern Arizona and asked myself, "What if a young woman inherited one of these inns, not knowing it was haunted?" Haunts Haven blossomed from there.

I wanted to write a modern Jane Eyre tale, and after a lot of thought, I wrote Chocolate Roses.

What is your all time favorite book?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier lit my fire in my teen years.

And the power round:

Favorite food? Mexican

Favorite dessert? Anything chocolate

Jeans and T-shirt, or designer clothes? Jeans. I believe in dressing up for church.

Guilty pleasure? Ice Cream.

Favorite flower? Roses

Thank you for the interview, Joan. I really enjoyed having you visit and getting to know you better. Good luck with The Star Prophecy.

Thank you!

Visit Joan at

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tristi's Super Cool Giveaway

My friend, Tristi Pinkston, is hosting an amazing giveaway. There's all sorts of really cool prizes. Check out her blog Tristi Pinkston for all the details, including a stay at Lions Gate Manor in Lava Hot Springs. You won't want to miss her "Merry Month of Miracles."

Tristi is the author of the Secret Sisters Mysteries. Her second book in the series, Dearly Departed, will be released in January.

I read her first one in the series, Secret Sisters, and it was such a hoot. It's full of humor and fun. I love Ida Mae, the main character, because she's so spunky. Tristi does a great job of differentiating each of the ladies in the book and I loved their conversations. I found myself laughing out loud at some of their antics.

I'm really looking forward to her new book.

You can purchase Secret Sisters at Amazon.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Do You Define Success?

I've been considering how I define success as a writer. I'm not a NYT bestselling author. In fact, very few people even know my name or that I've written any books. I haven't won any awards. I'm not an in-demand speaker for writing conferences. No one asks me for an autograph when I'm at the mall or grocery store. So, compared to JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins or Rachel Ann Nunes or Anita Stansfield, I look like a complete failure as an author.

Am I? I guess that depends on my definition of success. For me, I feel successful when a reader takes the time to write me a note and let me know how much he or she enjoyed my book. I feel successful when I see my book in print and can hold it in my hands. I feel successful when my kids brag about me being an author. I feel successful when I finish a manuscript and turn it in. I even feel successful when I finish a particularly hard scene or finally understand a writing concept.

I write because I love to write. I love to create characters. I love to hear their conversations and then write them down. I love to get to know them. I love to create worlds and situations and see how it all works out. I love to play with words and string them together in different ways. I want to share the stories that play in my head and maybe, just maybe, touch someone in the process. I guess I just love to write for the sake of writing and I've been very blessed to be able to publish some of my stories. Sure, I'd love to have huge sales because that'd mean more people are reading my story, but if I based my definition of success merely on how many sales I've had or where my book sits on a sales list, I'd have quit a long time ago. As long as I can continue to publish my stories, I'm very content and I feel successful.

Maybe my definition is different from others. What's yours?