Friday, October 16, 2015

To Yell or Not to Yell

So recently some things have come up in my family about yelling versus whispering and how they both play out in comparison.  I know that I, like many other moms, have been through the boat of trying to figure out what will work for my child.  "I can ask as many times as I like nicely and it usually results in yelling at the end because they don't want to listen to me."  We've all been there I'm sure.  Parents will have blowouts sometimes, they will get frustrated by the end of the day.  Yeah, I think we have all been there.  So I created some signs I'm going to post around my own home to remind myself every time my brain wants me to yell, to follow the instructions of whispering, not yelling.

 So I want to explain this second picture real quick.  We all know that we need to think before we speak, so that first to do is simple enough to understand.  My thinking is that the sit on the floor might confuse so let me explain.  Have you ever noticed when you are sitting down versus standing when you are mad.  For me personally, I don't get mad as easily and it's harder to get mad on the floor when I can't walk around the room and let all of the thoughts seep into my brain and boil.  When I am on the floor I think of meditation and concentration.  If that one step doesn't work for you, try something else, but something to do in that step that will minimize where your thoughts want to take you.
All in all, I hope this helps anyone who needs it.  I have them posted in my home.  Let me know how it goes and if it really helped you or not and why.  I also have plans to ask my children to help me remember.  Children love to comfort people and if they have something that they can do to help you as their parent, it will not only teach them empathy for others, but also help the two of you connect.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Go To Storymakers 2016

    Over the weekend, I embarked on an amazing adventure.  Filled with mystic, wonder, fantasy and thrill.  The journey to this wondrous place was in a small van, filled with five friends, candy, and lots of luggage. 
     As someone who had never been to a writing conference before, ever, I was nervous, a little scared, worried beyond belief, and excited.  All in one package.  But the facade was well hidden I thought, though some of the emotions were let out on occasion to allow newly made friends to indulge upon as some were in the same boat as me.
And here I want to tell you why you shouldn't go to LDStorymakers of 2016.

1. You won't make any friends.  No, you will not.  The wonderful relationships you conjure up are only in your mind.  Those people that you will laugh and cry with are only figments of your imagination.  No need to dwell on that.

 2. You won't meet anyone famous.  Yes that's right, they are only the doppelgangers of J. Scott Savage, Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, Donna Hatch, James Dashner, Martine Levitt, and more...

3. You won’t learn anything.  The classes you could attend and have your cup overrun with knowledge is a hoax.  Don’t fall for it. Yes they are showing you something you didn’t know before.  Yes they are trying to help you see a different way of doing things.  Yes they are subjecting you to be responsible for your work. But that doesn’t matter. That isn’t learning…right?

4. No one there will be supportive. They do not want you to succeed.  Just plug your ears as they tell you that you are doing so good. Your writing has so much potential and they want you to succeed. Keep going.  Don’t stop.  Get into good writing habits and you can accomplish everything.  Ignore it all. It’s all lies. Trust me.

5. They are party animals.  I am not kidding. If you thought that actual rock stars were bad with their drugs and all night partying, you haven’t seen the worst of them.  These people stay up all night with candy and drag themselves around the next day.  So unprofessional! Geez

6. You won’t hear about anything you’ll want to read there. Doesn't the idea of this conference just scream plain and bland. I know they are making themselves out to be awesome writers that have such a fantastic imagination, but you’ll need to avert your eyes and ears to get away from all of the beautifully designed book covers and perfect cream or white pages.

7. They will feed you nothing but junk food.  That's just terrible. All that green salad goodness that is staring up at you from the plate is just a charade.  We know what they were trying to get us to really eat. Chicken, taco salad, pot roast, green beans? Come on people. We want to live!

8. The service will be terrible. That’s right. No one will help you out if you are in a jam. That person offering you some peanuts because you might have a hypoglycemic attack without a bite of protein; just walk away. You might be seeing spots, but just run. That wonderful sounding lady, asking to take your plate at meal times, just spit in her eye. The hostess of the entire event, giving you maps and folders with helpful information and class schedules; she is trying to lead you right back out of the conference center. Don’t believe any of it.
9. They won’t give you constructive criticism.  You come to these type of conferences to write, listen and learn. What do they do? They write notes all over your work. They smile at you and tell you what they liked and what areas could be fixed and why. They invite you to send pieces of your precious work, just to get even more writing splotched along the edges with smiley faces and how to’s and why’s. And they call that constructive criticism!   

10. You won't have any friends. Don't be fooled by the laughs and smiles you'll see on peoples faces. The long chats about each others work and then trading each others information so you can continue the friendship after the conference.  It's merely a trick so they can keep an eye on you and thwart any progression in your goals.

11. Lastly, your bubble might get burst with a hug. There is no holding these people back. Every five seconds someone is being hugged. It happens all around you and there is nothing you can do about it. You will get hug-attacked multiple times an hour by these crazy, imaginative people. Your bubble will not only get burst, but will also shrivel to the ground around you and get stepped on by the adoring crowd.


The committee and chair that planned this wondrous event have sure talent. Not only can they run this great event, but the gift of writing, listening and teaching should be added to the list. They deserve a standing ovation at the deep thought, thorough planning and hard work they put into it to make it such an awesome place to be.  Thank you so, so much.

The conference center was a site to see; not only from the outside, but the inside as well. The staff acted superbly and made things simpler for the rest of us.  Thank you to the Provo Convention Center and its staff.

To all the class mentors, thank you. I have never been to a conference before and you guys completely blew me away and I know everyone else as well. Your heart was definitely in it. You showed just how much you wanted us all to succeed.

Thanks to all those who looked at my work, or listened while I spoke about it. Having a good ear or eyes can be hard to find, but you were there. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

Thanks for all you famous people (you know who you are) for letting me pull you away for photos so I could show them off with my family. You guys are so awesome.

And to all of the new friends, roommates and other friends: Thank you so much for bursting my bubble! Thank you for listening to me and being my friend. Thanks for hanging out with me while I walked aimlessly in the building. Thanks for the laughs and good times. Thanks for Denny’s at 1 am one night and the mezzanine at 2 am the next night. Thanks for the support, the willingness to listen, and the eagerness to see everyone smile. You were all wonderful and I hope we remain friends.

I was welcomed with open arms into a tribe of like minded people who were so ambitious and wanted me on that ride as well.  I could never ask for better cheer leaders.       

The LDS religion has been looked upon as devils with perfect hair to hide their horns and a cult to bring all mankind to the very gates of Hell.  Well I must say, that is simply untrue.  

No matter how a person views the world, we are the same at the very point of our souls. We are children of God.  Those awesome people who started this conference years ago, discovered their love for writing and eagerness to share, learn and teach others. Since then, the group of goers have expanded to a grand amount of around 700.  That by itself to me is impactful.

LDStorymakers 2016, here we come!!

(Not all these photos are mine, but were borrowed from new friends from this conference.)
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Hey everyone.  This isn't exactly writing related, but it is one of my familys passions.  We are a jeeping crew and we love to rock crawl.  As a group, the Snake River Offroaders is a group membership of the State 4X4 Association and each year the groups that are members of this group host a fundraising event to help donate funds.
Why you might wonder?  Because this group helps us keep Idaho Public Lands Public.  Noone enjoys trails being closed. 
This year is the SRO's turn to host and we are very excited.  We are looking for donations from anyone willing, and also looking for attendees.  The link to the website is 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas on this fine Wednesday afternoon.  My family is planning to go to my dads this year, all of us kids are here and we are going to do Christmas like we did when were kids, with our kids and parents.  Were sleeping over, playing games, eating home made chicken noodle soup and just having a blast.  I am really excited for it.
I don't what your traditions are, but I hope you guys have a blast doing everything, and hope you get to spend time with loved ones.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Visit from published author Cortney Pearson

Last night at our local NaNoWriMo meeting, we had a special appearance from self published author Cortney Pearson who talked to us about her journey to becoming published.  Here are some notes from her class. 

RNR- Redo and Resubmit, meaning they like what they have seen but they want certain things fixed.
Beta Readers- volunteers to read and review/edit if you ask them to on a certain subject like does everything connect, does the relationship fit?...
She went through an made pros and con lists for both traditional publishing and self publishing.
Traditional Publishing PROS:
Possible Advance
Printed books/ books on shelves
Editor invested in your story
Team of marketing and publicity experts
Have the repute  to be able to say I have representation from so and so…
Possible book tours/signings.
Tons of waiting
Split income with agents and publishers, publishers get the majority.
No say on cover
Agents have many clients and you get pushed aside
Despite marketing team, you still have to do your own marketing
Slow release schedule
If your book doesn’t do well, they can pull it from the shelf
More waiting
No guarantee that everything I write will get out there

Self publishing PROS:
Total control
Minimal waiting
A choice in cover design
Books will never go out of print
I can publish what I want
Once investment is made back, all money goes to me
Control over marketing
Control over price
I can publish whenever I want
Huger potential for making money-more lucrative
Time management
No more querying
Join the throng of published writers sooner and display books on my blog
Move forward with my writing career instead of doing the same thing I’ve been doing for years
Possibility of getting noticed by an agent should my books do well
No books on store shelves
Pay to have editor/cover/marketing
No audio or foreign rights
No NYT bestseller list
No Agent-but I could
Venturing into the scary unknown
Time management

So all in all, there are more positives to self publishing than traditional, depending on who you are.  These lists are different for everyone.
She also noted that when you do start, have back up books so that you can publish one, right after the next, between a couple months between each, because depending on which company you went through for self publishing, your book stays at the top of the lists, if you publish your books within a window of 60 or 90 days.   
That goes the same with traditional publishing.  Whenever you do, they usually sign  you up for a 3 book contract anyways, which take a year each before they are officially published, and it will help keep the flow going.
The top best sellers right now are Romance, Paranormal, Thrillers and Mysteries.   So think of which genre your book fits in when you are publishing.  Her book Phobic is under horror, but she could have put it under thriller or paranormal.   
One of the downsides that are worth it in the end, to self publishing, is you have to foot the costs for anything, like editing, cover photo if you don’t do it yourself and so on. 
She had her cover done for her as well as editing, because no matter how good you yourself are at writing, you will always miss things, and it’s good to have a professional take a gander at it to make sure.
She published through CreateSpace, which for all those of you who have winner goodies from Nano, will be able to see a goodie code from them.  Take the opportunity to check them out.  Her books are a per demand publishing.  Meaning nothing is printed until it is bought.  So she doesn’t have to worry about any upfront costs just to get some inventory made for anyone who wants to buy her book.  She merely sits back and let’s CreateSpace worry about getting them printed.  Which is an ease for anyone. 

Her main job is marketing, and continuing to write her awesome books, which she already has one underway to be published in March.  We are so excited for her.  And we really appreciate her coming out and telling her story to us.    It was very helpful, and definitely helped me make some decisions for my future books.  I hope everyone else who attending enjoyed it and got something out of it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I was on the look out for some awesome books and I came across this deal.  I wanted to put it out there for all to see, in case you were interested. 
Get this deal before it is gone.

Minecraft: The complete Handbook Collection

Monday, September 15, 2014

Newest Cover Idea

The Ideas of both the cover photo and title have been put into surveys and displayed on Facebook.  It's a really good idea to use in finding which of your ideas would catch the audience.  Here are the newest versions of them, after getting a couple reviews from the ideas before.  I think they are cool, but I don't know which one I like the best.  Kind of hard when there are that many options.