year 2008 archives

Happy New Year!

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November and December are super busy months for me. I always bake, and like to make Christmas ornaments for friends and family .  This year I made wooden stars to hang on the tree.  I enjoy the holidays but am always glad they are over so I can return to a regular routine.

The routine around my house this week has been anything but regular. My desktop PC died over the weekend so I’ve been busy converting my laptop into something I can use as a desktop. After a trip to Twin Falls to purchase a LCD monitor, ergonomic keyboard, and cordless mouse, I think I am set.  Everything is installed and seems to be working fine, but just to make sure, I’m off to the kitchen to whip up some black-eyed peas and Chinese noodles. If I can manage to eat the noodles “long” tonight without breaking them, I’m sure to have good luck this coming year.  

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

November is National Novel Writing Month

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If you hang out around a bunch of writers, chances are this month you will hear a lot of talk about NaNo. Several writers have all ready asked me if I’m “doing” NaNo this month. Unfortunately, the answer is “No”.

I love the concept of NaNo–writing 50,000 words in a month–but this year I had too much going to squeeze a new book out in one month. To really benefit from NaNo, a writer should be prepared with an outline and story idea so that when November 1 arrives you can get down to business and write the required 1600 plus words a day you need to write in order to accomplish your goal. I have a book idea–one I’ve been incubating for several years now, but it deals with going crazy in the desert and I have just not made the time to research mental illness enough to do justice to the story. So instead of doing NaNo this month, I’m working on revisions to the book I finished last year on the NaNo challenge. Called The Beach House, it is a sweet story about families and how, even though we think we know everything about each other, we often have no clue who our relatives really are. I love the story and will spend this month working on edits.

For the rest of you writers, if you are so inclined, check into NaNo. If you have a story burning inside you that’s begging to be written, now just might be the month to get busy writing!

2008 Idaho Writers League awards

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Part of being a writer is learning to toot your own horn, so here I am tooting my own horn. The 2008 IWL state conference was a blast, my workshop was well attended, and the frosting on the cake is the two awards I won in the writing contests. I placed first in the assigned theme or title for teen fiction contest with my short story, Missing Josh. I also won first honorable mention in the novel contest with my novel, Sarah’s Daughter.  Nice way to end September, I would say.

Harvest and conferences and festivals, Oh my!

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I have a friend who laughs every time I say, “What happened to summer?” But that’s exactly how I feel now as I wind up September. Between freezing corn, canning peaches, making chokecherry jelly, and getting ready for the annual Idaho Writer’s League conference where I’m going to talk about marketing platforms, I’m wondering how I will have time to show up at the 15th annual thousand springs festival in Hagerman this weekend.  But you’ll see me there, along with the writers of The Other Bunch. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello. I can’t think of a nicer way to say goodbye to summer.

Mamma Mia!

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I took in Mamma Mia, the movie with a friend over the weekend. Too funny, we laughed until we cried. Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar, what an outstanding cast. If you liked Abba’s SOS, you’ll like this movie.

Labyrinth

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My bookclub is currently reading Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. To be honest, I almost gave up on this book. There are spelling errors and rattling body parts, but the concept of the book kept me reading. I enjoyed the historic elements and learned a lot about the Cathars and the Inquisition. When I went on-line to find a picture of Montsegur, I could see what inspired Kate to write this book. Aspiring writers will find her website/blog enlightening.

Now if I could only put my hands on a copy of Greg Mosse’s companion book, The Secrets of the Labyrinth, I will have had my dose of history for July.

Montsegur June 22, 1988 Photo by Peter Vronsky.

Remembering Bill Studebaker

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I took several advanced English classes from Bill Studebaker, and even attended a class with his wife Judy. This is a sad week for his family, friends, and fellow writers.  Missing since July 4, it is believed that Bill drowned kayaking near Yellow Pine.