Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015


By Sister Connie Smith Hall (C Larene Hall)
I feel so honored that Keith asked me to come back as a guest blogger to tell you what I have been doing with my life since August 22, 2012. I have actually missed my weekly blog and I’m not sure why I ever stopped other than the fact that life got crazy and priorities changed.

My last blog on LDSWritersBlogck was about persistence. I’ve always believed in being persistent and as my blog said I was going to the gym regularly. I continued to do that because when I went I felt better. Most of the other original bloggers had quit blogging and somehow I also quit, but I continued to write.

Just two days after that blog I announced on my personal blog that my first book in my “A Magical Journey to the Past” series was coming out in September. The name of the book was “Mary’s Spyglass”, and was published by Idea Creations Press. 

My book signing was on September 8, 2012 and it was in honor of my husband whose birthday would have been that day. He was always a huge support of my writing before he passed away March 15, 2011. We had a huge pirate party with most of my family helping with games, refreshments and other things that were needed. Some of them even dressed the part. 

I continued to write on my personal blog sometimes but I was not consistent, and my last post was on May 7, 2013. I was trying to get my next book ready for publication. The second book in “a Magical Journey to the Past” series came out the end of June 2013. It is called “Crusaders of Warwick Castle.” I once again had a book signing party at my home and my family helped with games, refreshments, and once again some dressed the part of characters in the book.

It take a lot of time to promote books and to do book signings. I was still working my part time job and fulfilling my church callings. I was trying to help other authors promote their books by reading and giving book reviews. Life got crazy and I knew I had to find time to write my books that were demanding to be written. There are only so many hours in a day and with my personal, working, and church life there was no time left over. I’ve always been big on time management and I knew something had to go. It didn’t matter if it was something I enjoyed I just couldn’t fit anything more into my life at that time. Blogging and book reviews had to go.

My next book, “Friends for a Season” is written, and it has been edited, but I haven’t had the time to finish the corrections. It is not in the series, but a stand- alone book. I didn’t want to put it aside but I found something else that was beaconing me and just couldn’t put those feelings aside any longer. I thought for a couple of years that if I served in the Temple that would be good enough, but soon learned that it wasn’t all that I was supposed to do. I’m not getting any younger and since I have always wanted to serve a mission for my church I put my personal things aside and did all that I needed to do to turn in papers for a mission.

I’m excited to be serving in the Independence Missouri Mission. I entered the MTC on October 13, 2014. It’s not easy to leave home and family behind. Couples have each other but single sisters are mostly alone except for God, and strangers. I know they don’t stay strangers for long, and you do have a companion, but it’s not the same as having family and friends nearby. Thank goodness I get to call them. 

I have no idea why I decided to serve for 18 months, but that is what I agreed to do. I didn’t realize how much I would miss home and all my friends. When winter hit I was sure that I had made a huge mistake. I don’t like COLD weather. I have a hard time staying warm on a hot day. Somehow by learning to wear layers I survived. No, I’m not looking forward to another winter here but there must be a reason that I’ve been sent here and I’ll stay and find out why.

Missouri is a wonderful place. I love the small town Albany that I’m living in. The branch is small and the people here are great. I serve in the community a couple of times a week and I love all the people here. It doesn’t matter what church they belong to, they are all God’s children. On warm days I enjoy walking and meeting new people and animals, mostly dogs. I’ve never seen so many squirrels, or eagles, and I guess there is a fox living nearby. If you haven’t already guessed we are out in the country near the Iowa boarder. We do lots of driving to visit the less active people that live in our branch. Many of them have long drives to come to church.

My book will be ready for publication when I get home, and hopefully I will have others almost ready for editing. I do have some time to write, but I have to be careful and not overdo it. I still have to do the missionary work here, attend meetings and spend lots of time studying.

I guess what I’m trying to tell each of you is that you do have to be persistent in what you do, but you also need to know that goals and priorities do change and you do need to look at your life regularly and make the adjustments that are best for you and your family. What is good for me might not be good for you. For me serving the Lord on a mission seems like the right thing to do at this time. I know He has put me here for a reason and if I pray continually that purpose will come to pass.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wow it’s Wednesday Time to face the World

By Keith N Fisher

I know this blog will probably post on Saturday, but I always try to write these posts early so I’m not doing it last minute. Usually, what happens is, an idea begins to percolate on Sunday and by Wed, I know what I want to write.

No. This won’t be one of those I can’t think of anything to write posts.

Sometimes ideas don’t come until I’m late, other times, something happens in my life or in the news that stirs the juices and I must put down my thoughts. Often, you don’t get to see those thoughts. We have a reputation here at the blogck and I don’t want to jeopardize that. I also, don’t want to start arguments.

There is so much, this week, to write about, but it becomes journal entries. There is wisdom in keeping journals. Mine helps me clear my mind without insulting people. I guess I could mention the LDS General Conference, though. It’s true, Elder Hales said we should stand up for religious freedom. He also said, “ . . . We must not forget that moral agency is part of God’s plan for all of his children . . . No one should be criticized, persecuted, or attacked by individuals of governments either, for what he or she believes . . .”

Freedom of religion doesn’t give anyone the right to infringe upon other people’s exercise their moral agency.

In trying to come up with something about writing, I realized now is a busy time. I’m attending the Write Here In Ephriam conference next week. I will also be at LDStorymakers. I hope to see you there.

I recently joined a Facebook beta readers group. I miss my critique group and I need to help, as well as to be helped. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m writing another national market story and I’ve been plotting others. My LDS fiction is on the way to the publisher. My cookbook needs editing. It’s interesting to see what things we put on hold, because our interests have changed.

My life has gone in strange directions during the past few years, but I’m adjusting. With all the upheaval, I’ve noticed a certain flakiness and I hope you aren’t one of those who fell by the wayside. The fascinating thing, though, at least to me, is through it all I still write. The bits of stories in my computer, both LDS and otherwise, will keep me self publishing for years.

Yes, its Saturday. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Is Your Toner Dying?

by C. Michelle Jefferies 

By toner I mean the tone and style of your writing.

What genre do you write?

Is it happy romance? Creepy mysteries? Cold Scifi?

Does the tone of your setting and other details fit with your story?

If you write lighthearted romance, are your characters generally happy? The setting bright and cheery? The conflict serious but not life shattering?

If you write horror is your setting dark and creepy? The antagonist dark and rough in contrast to the protagonist? Does the plot and conflict reflect the dark of the story?

If you write scifi is your setting cold and vast? The characters intelligent and technical? The plot full of scientific twists and turns?

If your setting, plot, characters among other things do not reflect your genre readers are going to notice.

Be authentic and take the time to really flesh out the little details that creates a connection between reader and story.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Not what I wish I'd Said

By Keith N Fisher

With all the great weather we’ve had lately, at least in my part of the world, I was sitting on my front porch, sleepily plotting a story. Suddenly, a car pulled up across the street. The driver slammed on the brakes and bailed out. Yeah. It caught my attention.

The driver set out chasing a little black streak. I thought maybe his animal got away and he was trying to catch it before it got into trouble. Then, I wondered if he was chasing my daughter’s cat, so I headed toward the car. The driver came back in a few moments, empty-handed. I asked what he was chasing? He muttered something about a dog and animal control. Then, he did a u-turn and sped back the way he came.

I assumed he was still chasing the dog and it made me angry for a couple of reasons. With the comment about animal control, I thought he might be an exuberant, off duty, dogcatcher. I also wondered if he was kidnapping animals. Motivated by the recent disappearance of three cats from our porch, I followed.

I had worked at my physical job the night before, so I started my half-hearted chase, using a cane for my sore and stiffened ankles. I didn’t really think I would catch the guy, but I thought I might see him on the next street over, trying to intercept the dog.

I found him parked in a driveway down the block, talking on a cell phone. When he got into his car, he came toward me so I stood in the road to stop him. When he barely cracked open his door, I asked, what makes him think he had the right to chase dogs through my neighborhood? He said something about almost hitting the dog, and that he’d called animal control.

What I should’ve said was, So, you missed your chance to kill the dog with your car, now you want to finish the job by chasing the poor animal. What do you plan to do if you catch it? That’s what I should’ve said.

Of course I didn’t think of that. Instead, I said, “I repeat, what makes you think you can chase a dog through my neighborhood?”
“It ran in front of me. I almost hit it?” he said.

Of course, my uncouth self kicked in, I tried to point out that if a dog got itself killed then it would be the dogs fault, nevertheless, I swore, and said something about driving like a maniac through my neighborhood.

Yeah. As you might’ve guessed it didn’t end well. I lost control and raised my voice. He asked something like who is the maniac now? He closed his car door, and drove away. I felt like tossing my cane, or a rock, through his back window, but I didn’t. Instead, I took down his plate number. When I got home I called the police.

The dispatcher said there was a call from my area for animal control, and that she would let the officers know, about my complaint. I hung up, knowing that would be the end of it. It is an interesting type of road rage that makes a person chase the dog. Especially, when all, that dog did was cross a road at the wrong time.

What do you think of my story? What does it have to do with writing? Other than, being an example for a scene that I might use in a book, it brings up my inability to banter with words. Do you have that problem? Are you able to say the perfect words in the heat of the moment?

I spend hours, crafting the best dialog I can write, but do characters really speak that way? Do your characters speak with perfect inflection, saying the right things or do they do like I did, and never think of the right words to say at the right time?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.  

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Write about a famous event from the past as if it's happening 100 years in the future.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Losing It--Sort of . . .

By Keith N Fisher

Do you ever type words with the letters in the wrong order? Like typing eithK, if you were typing my first name? I’ve caught myself doing that a lot lately. When I get into the zone, and rush to get the words down, as they come, before they’re gone, I go back and edit, discovering many misspelled words. It’s embarrassing. Spelling was always my best subject in elementary school.

I’ve also caught my mind misplacing numbers on the job, as I work at a cash register, and call out the total of a purchase. The cost could be $9.78 and I will say $8.79 or $7.98. There’s no rhyme, reason, or pattern to it, My mind just gets tired and takes over.
I think this annoyance, answers a question that came up years ago, though. As a kid, I had trouble in school. It was never diagnosed, (probably because it hadn’t been discovered yet), but I think I had dyslexia. I don’t actually remember anything specific, but I was in a reading comprehension project. Yeah, it was the dark ages.

As time went by and my brain compensated, I managed to overcome those problems. Later in life, and in college, I proved I had abilities, by getting high grades. I managed a 3.8 average, which was quite an accomplishment, considering the outlook of my teachers in high school. I did the GED in the 98 percentile.

So, why am I telling you all this personal stuff? Because, I reminisce a lot as I get older. Actually, I’m making a point, and who better to expose than me?

I don’t know if my mind is reverting, I suspect its just fatigue and laziness, but it reminds me of the many quirks we all overcome in our lives. In our day to day interaction, we get exposed to many joys and sorrows, especially on social media. In my own realm, I feel sorry for people who let a problem or quirk defeat them.

Like in a motocross race, our path is littered with the remains of the wrecks of individuals who tried, but failed to finish. It’s true that sometimes your machine just will not continue, but what happens next? Well in the aforementioned race, many riders prepare for every contingency. There is a reason they travel to events with huge trailers to carry one little machine. Spare parts and even spare machines help them to finish the race, even if they don’t win.

What kind of spare parts could you carry, in order to finish the writing race? If I can overcome whatever learning disability I had as a kid, you can certainly overcome writer’s block. To some of us, success seems to come easy. The rest of us must work harder. Sorry. It’s the way things are, but remember how it felt? That first time you worked to get that toy, instead having your parents get it for you? Achieving goals through hardship is like that, too.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.