Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Mayans Made a Calendar

By Keith N Fisher

Today is the last day. At Midnight, 2011 becomes history. 2012 promises to be an unusual year. Depending on who you talk to, and which method you follow, it’s the end of the Mayan calendar, which means the end of the world???? Some people claim the ancient Mayans made a calendar that ends in December of 2012. So naturally it’s a forecast, right?

Okay, each year, I get a new wall calendar with only twelve months. If we follow the above logic, then the world should end each year. Instead, we print a new calendar and get on with our lives. I guess we could assume the calendar maker knows something, and we should crawl into a hole to wait out the destruction.

Yes, I’m being facetious, but when He gave signs and clues about his second coming, Jesus said, “Know man knoweth the hour.” According to scripture, there are dozens of major events that must happen before the end comes. All of those things will take a little time, so maybe the Mayans weren’t predicting anything. Then, again . . .

Also, in 2012, there will be another US Presidential election, how many of you are already getting tired of the posturing? Like with Christmas music, I get so tired of it, by the time the big event comes, I just want it to be over. I get sick of dreaming of a white Christmas. There must be hundreds of different people who sing, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful . . . well, you get the picture.

In 2012, the public accusations will rise to a new low. I’m already sick of politicians who continue to blame the other guy for the state of the country. Each side has an agenda and they try to make us believe the other side won’t work with them. I’m thoroughly fed up with selective memory and apparent hypocrisy. With all the, my way or the highway, maybe the Mayans were right?

So here we sit on the last day of sanity, on the edge of a big year, with financial gurus forecasting devastation. I find it interesting, that it was the financial institutions that got us into the mess we find ourselves in currently.

Now, before you think I’m preaching gloom and doom, let me tell you a story. On New Years Eve 1999 I stood in a discount club warehouse and watched all the people pushing trolleys loaded with canned goods and emergency supplies. I wondered why, if they were worried, they hadn’t prepared sooner. There was a threat that the computers in the world might shut down with the change of the century. Since computer clocks started in the nineteen eighties, the experts wondered how the systems would interpret any date without nineteen hundred something in it.

In the weeks that followed, I saw ads everywhere. People wanted to sell their emergency supplies. The catastrophe didn’t happen and they were trying to recoup their losses.

It’s true that stuff happens. Sometimes it doesn’t, but Jesus said,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Trust in him. Live your life. Be happy, and be at peace. Connie posted a blog this week and talked about setting her writing goals. I plan to do that, because, hectic or not, 2012 is the year several of my books will see the light of day.

May you accomplish all your writing goals this year and may you find peace. Good luck with your writing---see you next week---unless, of course, the end comes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Time

by Cheri Chesley

This will be my last post here at the "Blogck." Don't worry, I'll still be around--stalking, commenting, whatever--but I will no longer be a regular contributor.

My life has taken a few interesting turns in 2011, one of them being a cross-country move. You'd be surprised how many things are restructured when you move 1200 miles. Or maybe you wouldn't be. :) Obviously, I had to let go of my babysitting job. And while it's not necessary for me to get another job here, if I do we can have our house paid off in less than 3 years. That is a grand incentive.

It's difficult to let go of the writing time I have now while the kids are in school, because if I get this new job it will be during those hours. I long to be this prolific writer who publishes a few books a year--and the ideas in my head would support that--but, like everyone else, I have to be practical too. Another bonus about this move is that my husband's hours have drastically changed. He now has a job with a rotating schedule, where he works the same hours a day (a day job, no less!) but never works more than 3 days in a row. This means he has every other weekend off, and rotating days off during the week. On the days he's home, I can get a couple hours of writing time in and he can manage the kids.

Unfortunately, my blogging has become a problem. Not only does it satisfy that instant, urgent need to write, but it takes up a lot of my time. So, I had to make a few cuts. Which is probably a good thing, since I was running really low on topics. :)

I've truly appreciated my time here, and I'm so glad for the opportunity to participate with the fantastic people associated with this blog. See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


by C. LaRene Hall

As most of you know, goal setting has always been a big deal to me, so it is logical to do that prior to a new year. Since Sunday will be the new year I do need to set my goals now.

1. Develop my talents
Writing - Write something every day. I have sure been neglecting this, but know I have to do better this coming year.

Music - I bought a new keyboard so I am hoping to learn to play it this coming year. I have all the equipment - book and keyboard, so now I just need to do it.

Music - Learn to conduct a choir. There is a long story connected to this goal, and since it is forced upon me, I may as well do it willingly.

2. Read my scriptures every day. I always set this goal, but I don't always do the every day thing. I usually do catch up on Sunday. This year I am going to try to do better. Catch up works, because I did complete reading the New Testament this year, but it would have been better if I had done it daily.

That is all the goals I am going to set for this New Year. Those two things are going to keep me very busy since I still work 6 hours a day.

Hope each of you take time to set your own personal goals.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Holiday Hustle

By Keith N Fisher

I havent filled my list. Well, the truth is I never made one. My wife went out on Black Friday and came up empty handed. She has a new plan for next year, though. She’s going to eat Thanksgiving dinner in the line in front of the store.

She knows what she wants to buy before she shops. Me, on the other hand . . .
My daughter and I went shopping to find her mother a Christmas present the other day. Neither of us could think of a suitable gift. Just goes to show where our minds have been.

I’ve been too caught up in the day to day. The holiday hustle and service, has taken a back seat. Then, there was this guy at work . . .

One of my customers came in talking about the Idaho lottery. He said several of his friends had chipped in, and he was on his way to buy tickets. He asked me what I would do if I won. I told him I don’t gamble, but I remember hearing about the employees of a construction company doing what he was doing. They won big money.

To answer his question, I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the money if I won, but the group I’d heard about kept working and used their winnings as a hedge against inflation.

The conversation got me thinking and I surprised myself. I told my friend I would keep working and start a foundation to give anonymous gifts to needy families. I assure you I’m not that service minded, but in my heart of hearts, I knew it would be the right thing to do. I think it’s what Jesus would do.

Then, the thought occurred, that it’s easy to make that kind of decision with a hypothetical winning lottery ticket in hand. The true nature of my thoughts, while holding a stack of cash, might be entirely different. Would I pay off the mortgage? Spoil my daughter? Fix up the house?

Of course, there are many loose ends I need to tie up, but I like to think I would also help others.

After coming to that realization, I thought of all the past Christmas’ when giving was paramount in my mind. Christmas in the mission field comes to mind. The first ten years of marriage does also. There were times in my life when my heart was in the right place. So, where is my heart now?

Losing jobs and reinventing myself while promoting my writing career has left me somewhat, self-centered, I think. With all of that self-promotion, it’s hard to remember others. Yeah, it’s an excuse, but it helps me justify my actions. I missed two opportunities for service this week. I could’ve been there, but I got lost in the holiday hustle.

It’s true, life is simple in retrospect, but I’ve decided to change. I really would love my job to be a choice, instead of a necessity. To be able to help others, and spend quality time with my family. So, I’m taking Jacob’s advice from The Book of Mormon,

17 Think of your "brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that 'they may be rich like unto you.
18 But "before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the 'kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to "do good-to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. Jacob 2:17-19
pasted verbatim

Just think about what would happen if I substituted the words writing success, for the word riches.

I’m posting this on Christmas Eve. Later on, I’ll be working. Like last year, I’ll come home from work, wake my family, and see what Santa left under our tree. Then, before church, I’ll take a short nap and plot my strategy for serving others. In the mean time, here’s a cute little video you might enjoy.

Merry Christmas and good luck with your writing---see you next week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

by G.Parker

As everyone knows that I suffer from Swiss Cheese brain, no one will be surprised that I forgot to post my normal blog yesterday. Keith was probably on the ball and posted today...but I wanted to add my two cents...

I hope everyone has a marvelous Christmas day and New Years. I hope that your desire to make the world a better place through writing is strengthened, and that you will commit to making the new year one filled with your words.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


by C. LaRene Hall

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I forgot that my computer at home is giving me problems when it comes to posting my blog. When I finally had time to blog I couldn't because the equipment wouldn't work.

Decisions in the month of December gets really crazy. I had a difficult time this week trying to juggle all the concerts for grandchildren. With three of them performing at the same time, but at different locations, it was impossible. My one granddaughter is very active in musical activities, and I was grateful that I had already attended one of her choir concerts earlier this year. I had also attended the play that she performed in. That still wasn't easy to have to tell her, sorry, but I just can't come this time to either of your performances. One grandson performed in the percussion band on Tuesday night and the other one performed in his percussion band on Wednesday night. I had not attended any of their performances prior to this week.

I also find decision making hard when it comes to my writing. I guess that is why I have so many stories started. I just can't make up my mind. Some days I feel like writing on this story and another day I would rather work on a different one. My computer is full of stories that I have yet to complete. Are the rest of you like that? Do you stick to one story until it is finished or do you skip abround like I do?

Have a great Christmas. Isn't this time of the year fun?

Tis the Season

by Cheri Chesley

Seeing as it's nearly Christmas, and we are writers, I've chosen to share a poem with you that I wrote some years ago. It's since been put to music by a talented young man, who gave me an electronic copy I'm not smart enough to share here. :)

But I hope you enjoy the poem in its simplicity, nonetheless. Merry Christmas.

"Jesus Child"

The star shone high and bright,
in the sky above our heads.
We tried to tend our flocks,
but followed it instead.
How far it led us, we know not.
Nor do we really care.
For we'd have trod a thousand steps
to see who we saw there.
He was so small, this Son of God,
an infant child who lay
in a manger, with Mother dear
on a bed of hay.
His eyes, so bright, just like the star
that shone in Heaven above,
looked on us with approval
as we gazed at him in awe.
Others came, but we were first
this sweet child here to see.
And we knew then, deep in our hearts
our Savior he would be.

December 19, 1994

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the Winner is . . .

By Keith N Fisher

I took everyone who commented, those who answered the questions got in twice. I put all the names in Excell, and randomized them. The winner is Melanie Goldmund. Please contact me at uvdutch57 at yahoo with your address so I can get your chocolate bar to you.

To all of you wonderful people, who offered suggestions for the blog, thank you. Also, thanks, to all who read and didn’t comment. I know there are many.

Now, let’s talk about writing. Have you ever been distracted? How many times have you set down to write and nothing comes to mind? I seem to be going through one of those times when everything I write, sucks. I finished Starcrossed, left Rebecca in a happy place, after recovering from alcoholism and a self centered existence. Then I searched through my list of projects, trying to find one that felt good to me.

I worked for a while on my SCI-FI dystopian, novel about a woman who gets trapped in circumstances beyond her control. Then, I went back to a novel about a woman who gets caught up in a mystery. The suspense is killing me. As the genre implies, there must be suspense on almost every page. I can’t let the action wane or my reader will stop reading.

To make matters worse I suddenly realized the plot is similar to, The Net, a movie with Sandra Bullock. I went back to change things and make it my own story, but it was discouraging.

Going back into my project file, I opened a manuscript I wrote several years ago. I looked for ways to improve the writing and tighten the plot, but I couldn’t get excited about it either. Through all this, computer chess has elevated itself in my list of priorities, and my critique group has been on hiatus.

What do you do when this happens to you? I got lucky and took my laptop while playing taxi driver the other day. During the down time while I waited for school to end, I opened my story, ignored what I’d written before, and moved ahead with it. I’ll fix the other parts latter, but for now, I’m writing.

Writing suspense is still hard, but moving forward worked for me, what works for you?

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.

Friday, December 16, 2011


by G.Parker

This time of year is full of traditions.  We have traditions that have been handed down for generations, and traditions that are started as new couples with young families.  When two people get married, it's usually a blend of family traditions in their home.  When we got married, my hubby and I had very different views on what happened on Christmas day, how stockings were hung and what was done during the holidays.  We finally agreed to alternate some things, but it turned out that we never put the stockings up till Christmas Eve (sigh) and there is no Christmas music played before Thanksgiving.  I'm sure there's many traditions like that in your home.  There are lots of traditions that are social ones, and religious ones and business.

Some of traditions are worth keeping.  They enrich the lives of those participating as well as give our children something lasting and concrete to hang onto.  Traditions are usually worth explaining at that point.  Like why we have Christmas trees and celebrate Christmas in December instead of April.

There are some traditions though, that need some examining.  And there are a few that have come under the microscope lately, and think change is afoot.  I'm talking about traditional publishing.  Used to be if you wanted to get something published, you went to a representative of that publishing house and presented your work.  They liked it (or not) and then offered you a sum in advance (sometimes) to publish and everyone hoped it would do well and sell enough to make money.  Then the average person started to need an agent, because well, EVERYONE wants to be a writer.  Everyone has a story to tell and thinks what they have to say is worth reading.  That has caused a backlog of work for the publishing companies, and they turned to agents to represent the writers so that they could weed out those who weren't quite as good as they thought.

Then comes the internet and modern media.  Publishing becomes kind of an older model of doing business.  People are introduced to the ebook concept and the whole idea of publishing traditionally has come into question to the point where some publishing houses have started their own lines of ebooks.

Along with that you have the indie publishers...or in the old days, vanity publishing.  This was where and individual is turned down by a traditional publisher, decides to take matters into their own hands, and pay to have their work published and markets them themselves.  Back in the day (as a co-worker of mine likes to say) when someone published a book on their own, it was looked at as not worthy of reading because a publisher hadn't printed it.  They couldn't sell them in traditional book stores, and it was difficult to get a hold of one.  That is still an image that people are fighting because, unfortunately, a lot of books that are published by people on their own don't always have the editing and other checks going on before the work is published and they have lots of errors.  It's hard when you're doing all the work yourself.

I'm privileged to know a couple of individuals who have gone the independent publishing route, and their work is good enough the publisher should have grabbed them -- but didn't.  Their loss.

But my point in this, is that perhaps it's time to rethink the traditions regarding standard publishing.  There is such a whole new world opening out there with the internet and ebooks.  People can download information with the click of a button.  No longer does it take a whole lot of paper and ink and time to produce an article that perhaps will sell, perhaps not.

I'm not advocating that paper books stop being printed.  Personally, I like the feel of a book in my hand, the smell of the ink and the turning of the pages.  I haven't bought into the ebook market yet -- though that's a possibility, I'm sure.  But I do think that people shouldn't have to be as constrained as they were, so dependent on the way a publishing company worked.  It opens up a new opportunity for writers everywhere to really have a chance to get their work out there for people to read.

Just some food for thought.  Traditions.  What do you think?  Have a good weekend...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Best Gifts

(image courtesy of twentytwowords)

by Cheri Chesley

Christmas seems to be a time of year when we search for the "perfect" gift to give someone we love. Sometimes, though, those gifts come to you.

I have a friend, LAURA. We met in Tooele when I organized the Tooele chapter of the League of UT Writers. Laura is an aspiring author and a really intelligent lady. She also happens to be a fantastic editor.

She volunteered to look over my most recent manuscript for The Tyrant King before I sent it to the publisher in January. She emailed it back to me a couple days ago. Laura's never really edited for me before, but I know from mutual friends she's thorough and insightful. I admit, I was nervous. Hearing your baby isn't beautiful is hard, but I knew this is what I wanted. I needed to know what was wrong with the manuscript BEFORE sending it to the publisher. I really need this one to be as good as I can make it.

I am so grateful for the things she pointed out, grateful for the opportunity to make the story better than it was before. I consider that edit a wonderful Christmas gift. Thank you, Laura.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


by C. LaRene Hall

Christmas Eve is just around the corner (only 10 more days). Our family Christmas party was last Saturday. I always worry about the gifts I give to all the children and grandchildren. Will they like what I an giving them? They are all different ages - from almost 50 to only 4. What can you buy that everyone will like?

This year, like most years, I bought a family game, family movies, and books. I don't think you can go wrong with those items. At least in my family everyone loves games and movies. They have learned through the years that if they don't love books - oh well. I do and that's what I give.

Of course, picking out the perfect book for each indivdual can be difficult. This year I made it a little easier for some of the children because I bought them music books to go with the instruments they play. I try to stay close to each of the grandchildren so I know what their particular tastes in books are. One granddaughter even posted on facebook how much she liked her book she received from grandma.

A few years ago, when I felt more ambitious than this year, I wrote each grandchild their own story. Of course, you probably don't have time to write such a story this year unless your family is real small, but think about it for next year.

If your shopping isn't done this year, do think about how beneficial a good book would be for those you still need to purchase a gift for. I honestly don't think you can go wrong when you give a book.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Blog Giveaway

By Keith N Fisher

Because I’ve always assumed everyone loves free chocolate and as you can see, this is not a normal chocolate bar. Hershey’s makes the single size we give for Halloween, then there is the 1.55 oz. They make a big thick one next. After that is the big bar at 4.4 oz. At work, for Christmas, we sell a one-pound bar, and a five-pound bar. I decided to give away a one pound bar.

Since I was disappointed in the responses last week, and because I want the most for my fifteen-dollars, I’m going to extend the drawing for another week. Those who took the time to answer the questions last time, will get two entries in the drawing. Everyone else can get in the drawing by leaving a comment on this post.

What could be easier than that?

As for the answers to the contest:

After a considerable amount of discussion on a Yahoo Group Site, our blog went public with the first post on April 21, 2006, when Cindy Beck posted, What’s in a Name. We have used many graphics over the years but this was the first one made by Darvell. Then came others until we settled with the one we use today.

Of course you know the first bloggers were Heather Justesen, Connie Hall, Cindy Beck, Nichole Giles, Danyelle Ferguson, Wendy Elliot Gaynell Parker, And Karen Hoover. They were all members of Authors Incognito and got together from that group. The purpose was to use blogging as a hedge against writer’s block. Hence the name, Blogck. Darvell combined blog with block and the name stuck.

That was the quality of talent when in June of 2006, Danyelle left the blog and I answered an invitation. On June 24, I posted, Standing on the Precipice, and I’ve posted every week since.

Over the years, many bloggers have come and gone, but we’ve pretty much stuck to our stated purpose of helping writers know they aren’t alone. There are others who struggle with writing like they do. I want to thank all those writers who have moved on. Your service has provided encouragement, more than you know.

Currently, the list shows, Darvell, blogging on Tuesday, Connie, on Wednesday. Cheri, on Thursday. Gaynell, on Friday, and Karen Dupaix on Monday. Some of those writers are moving on, and we thank them for their service to all of us.

So, there you have a brief sketch. We are at a juncture with the blog and we need advice. We also wonder if we’re being helpful. Let us know, and until next week, when I announce the winner of the chocolate, good luck with your writing.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Morning After

by G.Parker

Okay - so we've survived November and are into the second week of December.  Isn't that kind of like the morning after?  It's kind of like the day after Christmas, when the feelings of anti-climatic sink in.  (Of course for some, that happens within hours of opening presents...)  All the excitement is over and now you have to go back to normal.  It's one of the reasons I don't take my decorations down right away -- I want to cherish the memory and feeling as long as possible.

When you've finished a story, do you feel that way about it when you're done or do you wish you'd never set eyes on it and don't want to see it again for months?  That's usually where I sit.  I'm so finished with it I want to forget I ever wrote it.  I've heard that actually, it's a good thing to set it aside before you start editing because that will give you a fresher look on things.

It's always better to hand it out, say, "here, read this and get back to me in a month or so."  Then when they hand it back you're like, "wow, I wrote that?  It's dang good!"  And it will be.  Trust me.  ;)

Let me know what your editing routines are, I'd like to know.  Have a good weekend, and see you next time!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

What We're Grateful for

by Cheri Chesley

It's funny how life experiences can color our perspectives. I had an inkling of a "writerly" post for today, but last night something happened that will make this more of a spiritual post. This is more about the LDS than Writers in our blog's title.

One of the things I've had to get used to since our move to OK is that our new house has two antiquated gas heaters in the bathrooms. The other day I went to my husband and asked him to please show me how to light them so that we aren't always at the mercy of him being home to bring warmth to certain areas of the house. Mind you, I've had experience with gas stoves, gas ovens--including the kind I had to light myself. I'm not a wimp; I can do this.

Sometimes I try too hard.

Last night, I went to light the heater in our bathroom because it is the only thing that warms our bedroom. Except I stuck the lighter in too far, and, without thinking, pulled it out slowly to reach the gas. The gas had only a few seconds to pool right there, but that was enough.

Suddenly, all I see is a fireball billowing right at my face. I pull back and extinguish the lighter at the same time. In my peripheral vision, I can see flames and hear my hair burning. I stamp it out with my hands. Hair burns fast, but it's easy to put out. A high school friend who smoked taught me that.

I looked in the mirror to assess two things--one, was I "OUT", and two, how bad did I burn? Heavenly Father gave me a gift, or talent, if you want to view it that way, in that I never panic in the moment of crisis. Many of us have this; I'm so grateful for maintaining my presence of mind in critical moments. We've all seen the viral videos of people absolutely taken by panic when they need to take action. We usually laugh, as is the video's intent.

There is extensive damage to my hair, of course only in the front because I was leaning over the heater while attempting to light it. I was growing out my bangs. A trip to the salon today will determine if that's still going to happen. My eyebrows are slightly singed, as are my eyelashes.

My eyelashes. Less than half an inch from my eyes. My husband stares at me a bit longer than necessary. "What?" I ask, thinking the singed and burned hair must look stupid. "I'm so glad you didn't lose your eyes," he says.

It didn't take long to feel profound gratitude to my Heavenly Father that things were not significantly worse. I don't even have a "sunburn." And we're taking a trip to the salon today, not the doctor's office. We didn't spend last night in the ER. My plans to write this December have not been put on hold.

And I do still have most of my hair.

I get a little tingly when I think of that moment, when the fireball was coming right at me. I know in that moment I was being protected. I felt it. Were there hands on my shoulders, pulling me back? I can't say for certain, but I will tell you that was the most crowded tiny bathroom I've ever been alone in.

Thank you, Father, for looking out for me when I wasn't. I really appreciate it.

And I told my husband, from now on, lighting the heaters is HIS job. ;)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

NaNoWriMo in November

by C. LaRene Hall

I received one of these certificates also.

For most writers the month of November is busier than usual. I started my month out by going to a writers retreat. This is the second time I’ve gone on such a retreat, but it was the first time that I went with this particular group. It was a large group, and the house was huge. I spent most of my time inside a theater room, lounging in a recliner that had a cup holder. I curled up in a blanket with my laptop and typed away. In the two full days, and two part days I wrote more than 20,000 words. I wish it had been more because that left more than half the words still to be typed.

I did finish before the end of the month, but there were a few days I wondered if I would really meet my goal. There were times that I just wanted to quit writing and do something else. Of course, those who know me know that I am not a quitter. If I say I will do something I will.

This is the third time that I have completed NaNoWriMo. There has been a year between each of those accomplishments so I think that means that I’ll sit next year out.

At the retreat I learned many things and the one I most want to share is about the sprints. Before this I kept getting emails telling me that so and so was going to sprint and that I should join them. I had no idea what they were talking about until I saw it in action. I watched several times before I got brave enough to participate.

I only did it once and couldn’t believe what I accomplished in that 20 minutes. Words flew onto my paper that I don’t think my brain had ever thought before. I ended up writing a romance scene (something I had never done before) and a gypsy scene. Since that one small experience I have expanded my story to include many things that I never would have thought about before.

How many of you writers have ever participated in NaNoWriMo before? How many of you did it this year? Will you do it again?

I know I will participate again, because it gives me another story to work on. Yes, most of the stuff I wrote will be deleted, but the story idea is still there and many of the scenes will probably not be touched. I really do write well when I am under pressure.

As a writer, I find that I really do waste a lot of time. I spend time thinking about writing instead of writing. Are you that way?

See you next week.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

LDS Writer’s Blogck Content Contest, and a Quick Thought

By Keith N Fisher

Good morning boys and girls, today, we are going to have a contest. Its really an open book test, with the chance to win a one-pound Hersey bar. All you have to do is post your answers to some trivia questions, and you will be entered in the drawing for the chocolate.

First question:
1. LDS Writer’s Blogck went online when?
2. Who were the first bloggers?
3. What writers group did our blog come from?
4. What was the title of the first post, and who posted it?
5. If you found out the answer to number 4, what does the name of this blog stand for?
On a personal note, I joined this blog later. For question number six, what day was my first post, and which blogger did I replace?

While you’re posting comments, please add your recommendations; should we change our format? What subjects would you like to read about?

The answers to the questions and many others can be found on the blog. Remember to post your answers in the comments section. The drawing will be held in a week and I’ll post the results here. Good luck in the drawing, and keep writing.

Now, just a quick thought.

My friend posted a fun little thing on Facebook the other day. Some of you will get a kick out of it. I found it interesting to note, however, that all of the time and labor saving devices we have today were invented by my generation. Perhaps we are to blame, but would you really want to go back to the old ways?

Roger “B” Heilman posted,

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the disposable kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Well...Novembers Gone, Decembers Here -- Wind has finally subsided

by G.Parker

Well...the craziness of Nanowrimo is over, and the almost equally crazy month of December is upon us.  The weather has been equally crazy, as we just went through an East Wind that decided to uproot as many trees as possible in our neighborhood.  My dad has a tree on his house that smashed his hot tub, and our church lost most of it's trees and shingles off the roof.  I felt like asking if it was March and not December...Hopefully if you live in Utah or California you've survived without too much damage.

I hope November was a good month for you - that you reached your goal and became an official Nano winner.  I did...

I have to say, it seemed easier this year than any year previous, which is nice.  Now I take a small break during December and then in January, it's editing time!!  I promised my hubby that I would get some items submitted this next year, so in order for that to happen, I need to do a bunch of editing.

How do you mix your editing with your writing?  Do you focus only on writing one day and editing the next?  Do you do it hour by hour?  I'd be interested on how you manage to keep current with writing and current with editing.  

Editing is the bane of my life.  I love writing new stuff...I HATE having to rework or rewrite it.  Editing always takes so much time, makes my brain work harder and me crankier.  sigh.  

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and are all set for the wonderful Christmas season.  Our sort of annual ward Christmas party that I was SOOO looking forward to tonight had to be cancelled due to the damage of the wind (or perhaps just the wind, who knows).  I'm trying not to be depressed and look on it as a positive thing -- I didn't have to come up with a table decoration as I'd signed up for.

What do you look forward to this Christmas season?  I'd like to hear.  Are you going to be writing or taking a break?  Remember, I want to know how you handle your editing and writing.  Have a good weekend! 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Did you Miss Me?

by Cheri Chesley

You may have noticed, but I chose NOT to post on Thanksgiving. How many people were really trolling the internet on feasting day looking for writing advice, after all? I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We hosted, and had 19 people. It's probably good that we hosted since we have the largest house in the family (in the area). And Bryan's mom was able to come down from the rest home for a couple of hours and join the fun. Sweet lady. Bryan took the kids down to see her later that day, and she told him she didn't get a chance to see me or say hi, but that he was NOT to give me any guilt about it. Gotta love her. :)

Seeing as it's Dec 1, this post could go several places. I didn't NaNo this year, so we won't talk about who met their goals. I edited instead, which in truth was my own little marathon. Technically, I'm ready to resubmit The Tyrant King to my editor. It's taken a lot of extra time, but the story has only benefited. I really think it's the best thing I've done yet.

I may be the only one, but I find editing a tricky process. Certainly there are formulas you can follow, but only the writer can decide when the book is "ready." Some of us have issues with that. In truth, I can edit a single story for years, constantly finding new ways to improve it until I feel it's perfect, but what do I gain from that? There is something to be said for throwing that near perfect story out to the public and seeing what happens.

More growth has come for me as a writer from the process of publishing The Peasant Queen than any of the years I took editing the thing. I won't deny it's been, at times, sort of a trial by fire. People are not always kind in their reviews, and some of them have stung. But the personal growth I've experienced has resulted in a better story the second time around. It's been wonderful.

Perhaps, when I've published my 20th book, I may feel that sense of having written the "perfect" novel. :)

Keep on writing!