Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Month of Giveaways

My friend, Tristi, has an extraordinary giveaway this month. It's coming to an end, but she still has the rest of this week to give away awesome prizes. Don't miss out, go check out her blog and become a follower. At the end of the week, she's giving away a basket of goodies with lots of books and a stay at the Lions Gate Manor. You'll be sad if you don't go, you could win. I've won three times this month. You could too!! Follow this link.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kid History

This makes me laugh out loud. I hope it makes you laugh, too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You can win!


You know you want to win any one of five fabulous books, right!?

The books are over there à on my sidebar. Hurry and head on over to Ali's blog to enter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Favorite First Lines

Have you ever gone to a bookstore, picked out a book and read the first line? Did it make you want to read more? Or did you put it back?

I am a bit fascinated with first lines. They can pull you in to the story. They can ask a great question and they can nail the main character's personality.

I looked through some of my favorite books and read the first lines. Here's what I found:

  1. The whole world is wilting. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  2. It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache. (Okay, that's two lines, but still . . .) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. This isn't about me. Larger-Than-Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall
  4. Ida Mae Babbitt didn't know what cookie to serve with bad news. Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston
  5. He was going to kiss her. Life in the Pit by Kristen Landon
  6. I was sixteen years old the day I was lost in the forest, sixteen the day I met my death. (There is a prologue in this story and this is the first line of Chapter 1) Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
  7. I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster. (I think this is my favorite.) The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  8. The problem with getting bad news is you hardly ever get to go home and cry, or sulk, or rip things up, like you'd like to.
    All's Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison
  9. The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (She's got great first lines, eh?)
  10. (There isn't a first line exactly, the first page is the program for a funeral service.) The first line would actually be—Funeral Service for Joel Everett Espen—The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith (pretty moving, huh?)

Are there some great lines there, or what? What did they do for you? Did they ask you a question or make you think or make you want to know more? Did you get a great sense of the main character?

What are some of your favorite first lines?

I'm sorry there are so many. I really was going to stop at five, but I couldn't do it. I liked them all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Before I begin, I must say that this was the most difficult post I’ve ever written. I am placing my innards (ok, that’s gross, but for lack of a better word . . .) out there for the whole cyber world to see. And I don’t even let my friends see this part of me. Let me preface with this:

Today I read Elana Johnson’s What I Believe list. You need to go visit her blog. It is awesomesauce (that would be her word). Number six on her list hit me rather hard. You see, although I believe her, I have been struggling with this actual thing. Okay. Here goes.

Many writers not only want people to read and enjoy their stories, they want to make a difference with their writing. I know I feel that way.

Something I read this week in Ally Condie’s book, Matched, made an impact on me. (If you haven’t read it, go out and get it now, ‘cause it is amazing.)

When I read the part in Cassia's story about the poem her grandfather gave to her, I was very moved. There were two parts that specifically spoke to me. "Nothing I have written or done has made any difference in this world, and suddenly I know what it means to rage, and to crave." And, "Over and over I think do not go gentle, do not go gentle, do not go gentle."

I hope you don't mind that I explain a little why this meant so much to me.

I have been in a very dark place where my writing is concerned. I feel utterly and abysmally isolated and alone to the point of being consumed with it. How can I get any better if I have no critique group or support group to help me? No one to talk to about it or share my writing with. And everything I try seems to peter out.

If my Father in Heaven had not told me on several occasions that I needed to write, and chastised me when I wasn't, I would have thrown in the keyboard a long time ago. But alas, I cannot ignore his prompting. It has been dismally discouraging and these words spoke to me in a very inspiring way. I still feel discouraged and alone, and I do not know what the solution is or what the future may bring for me or my stories, but I cannot go gentle. I must rage so that one day my words may make a difference.

*whew* Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last Week’s Top Five

  1. Ally Condie's book launch.
  2. Not having to stay up until 1 a.m. writing an essay for a class I'm not even taking.
  3. Attending an amazing conference that lifted me higher than a very tall skyscraper.
  4. Winning nano.

And, last, but certainly not least,

  1. Hearing "I love you, Mom," from my fourteen year old son.

There it is. The top five events of my week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Think Ye of Christmas?

Christmas is one of my two favorite times of the year and this book explains why.

"Christ, they say, has been taken out of Christmas. Small wonder, they say, that some don't even call it Christmas any more."

This beautiful book shares some of the favorites of Christmas and shows us how they symbolize the Savior of the world, and even more powerfully, it shows us how we can be reminded of Him and come closer to Him.

The amazing art of Jana Parkin coincides so beautifully with the message.

I had seen some other reviews of the book and I had read on Jana's blog the story behind the book, but it wasn't until I held it in my hands and read through it, listening to Christmas music, of course, that I felt the peaceful Spirit of the Christ, the reason for the season.

It would make a wonderful gift for those on your list or even for yourself. Mine is going to be displayed in my living room.

I love this time of year because of its peace. I can remember the Savior, not only his birth, but his life and mission. He lived and died for each of us.

I believe this with all my heart.

Thanks Ester Rasband and Jana Parkin for the gift of this book.

Click the link on my sidebar and it will take you to Jana's blog where you can follow the link to her website to purchase the book. She has discounts going on right now!