Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Patient Will Live

By Keith N Fisher

I performed major surgery this week. I administered anesthetic to my screaming baby, took a scalpel to it, and cut to the bone. After that, I planted the seeds for new growth.

Did you see the movie, Catch Me if you Can? It’s based on the true story of, Frank Abagnale Jr., a con man who forged different identities and occupations for himself. No, I’m not doing that.

Like G. Parker mentioned in her blog a couple of weeks ago, the surgery I performed was to a manuscript.

In the sequel to The Hillside, I’d written a great ending. There were, however, almost 100,000 words. Yes, that’s a little long for this type of book, but that’s not what bothered me. I’d written more plots and subplots than the story needed. I felt I should send my character to New York and I created a reason to get her there.

The story haunted me, and even though I’d written a great subplot, it was just too much. To make matters worse, I’d written a climax to part of the story, in the middle of the book. My critique group felt like that was an ending, but there was more. The other character needed resolution.

So I went in and cut the cancer out. I got it down to about 50,000 words, and re-wrote the end. Now, It’s 80,000 and after I edit, there will be less. The result will be a fit and trim book that readers will love.

As a writer, you are the doctor, psychiatrist, parent, and mechanic for your manuscript. Don’t be afraid to shake it up.

All this talk about that movie, and performing functions I’m not trained for, made me think. Have you ever considered that as writers we are doing what Mr. Abagnale did? In our own small way, we live a little vicariously through our characters and we can be anything we want, even a villain. Perhaps that’s why I don’t write about murderers, I have no desire to understand that mind set.

Anyway, with a little research, our characters can be anything, from a doctor to a computer technician. As the creator, we can get a little taste of what it’s like.

In the case of the above-mentioned manuscript, I was benevolently cruel. It screamed and complained, but I offered comfort in my promise that I wouldn’t hurt it. Also, I saved the scenes I took out. Maybe I’ll take the advice of my critique group and turn it into a trilogy. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Maybe, but I’ve got to finish the other story I’m writing first.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, May 27, 2011


by G.Parker

I realized the other day that sometimes an author can sneak in a point of view without your even being aware of it.  They can promote a perspective that gets you thinking it's acceptable, even when it's not something your comfortable with.

That makes me a little uneasy, and also makes me realize why I want to be a writer.  I know there is a lot of unwholesome entertainment in our society today, a great many things that are not good for our youth to read, view or listen to and it's up to us as parents and I believe - as writers - to give them good alternatives.  Or should I say great?

There was an article on Yahoo the other day about a family in Canada who has decided not to tell the world the sex of their baby.  The have two other children that they have let have no guidance in 'gender' roles, so to speak.  It really strikes fear into my heart and makes me wonder what those two or three children are going to grow up thinking and becoming.  

It's my opinion that they are going to be confused and not as accepted by society as their parents think they will.  At least...normal society.  

Despite the popular notion that gender roles are society driven and cause people to be 'bigots' I disagree, and hopefully any faithful LDS person would with me.  It is necessary for our youth to know boundaries.  To have guidelines and teaching from those who love them.  If they have no idea what a good father is like, then how can they be one?  If they are never taught correct values, then how can they live them?  If morality is not a law, then who knows right from wrong?

In being a writer, we choose to give guidelines to those who read.  Even if it's only in fiction form.  We offer choice.  Which is why we're all here on the earth anyway - we all fought for it.  

Just a bit of perspective as to why what we write is important for those who read it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When the Course is Diverted

by Cheri Chesley

I haven't gotten any writing or editing done for 2 weeks. Feels like a horrible confession, though it is my own fault.

Like so many writers, I struggle to find the balance between writing--what I know I should do--and the knowledge that my family needs me to earn money. Sometimes the temptation for "easy" cash overrides what I know I should be doing.

I've been babysitting a couple of extra kids for the last couple of weeks. Which is why the word easy is in quotes. There is nothing easy about having four 2 yr olds running around this dinky little apartment. And now that my kids are out of school, there are 9 kids here today. It feels like a code violation. That's just too many people to be allowed. :)

But that all ends tomorrow, and I will only have my nephew's little boy for a few hours. That means I can get some writing or editing done, right? I sure hope so. With my kids home, that's harder. Though if the weather holds up I can just send them to the park across the street. Here's hoping.

Another diversion in my course is more personal. As parents, we've made the decision to home school not only my 9 yr old daughter in the fall but also my 9th grader. We all know who the majority of responsibility for home schooling will fall upon. At the moment, I'm feeling like I've sabotaged my writing career. But, we've given him years and many opportunities to "start fresh" and start to take responsibility for his schoolwork and homework. He's chosen not to, repeatedly. This, to me, is a natural consequence of his actions. I don't see home school as a punishment, but rather an opportunity for he and I to work side by side and develop those study habits he should have developed by now. That way I can send him back to high school for 10-12 grades and he can succeed. The decision is probably way overdue, but you tend to make the most mistakes with your oldest child, simply because they came first.

Where will that leave my writing? I'd planned to take this summer off actual writing because I never get much done with the kids home anyway--and thought if I took the pressure off myself I'd feel less of a failure. But now I'm behind on my edits, and at least one e-book revision and a rough draft--not to mention a project I'm doing just for fun. The plan originally was to have these things done by the end of May so I could take June, July and August off and pick up again in September when we'd fallen back into the schooling pattern and I knew what my time would look like.

But, now, I'm not sure anymore. Home schooling a high school student has to be more labor intensive than home schooling a 5th grader. And then there are the regular 2 kids I babysit. It's not like I don't have the support I need from my family and friends, but I just feel a great responsibility to do so many things--fill so many shoes. My writing is important. Supplementing my husband's income is important. My children's schooling is important.

Suddenly all I want is a vacation. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


C. LaRene Hall

This is a continuation of a workshop I attended by L C Lewis. It's exactly as I typed it during the class.

Keep story balanced.

Don’t put words into actual historical people’s mouths.

Now brainstorm ideas that will flesh out your story. What details on settings, climate, dress, housing, lifestyle, work, recreation, contemporary people and events, landmarks, etc will add depth to your story? Does this put them in the moment? Does it improve the story? What book reading, and what songs did they hear?
Do the legwork – Know where to look and who to ask. Visit museums, forts, battlegrounds, old homes, archives, historical societies find a specialist, write to the author of a book, article, or web page.

Don’t write down to your reader. Don’t be pretentious.

What adds to the story – you don’t want to slow the story down. Rearrange
Begin online. Your research will carry you off to unknown places, so reread your project definition often. Narrow your search to a few key words. Get names of contact person. Go to the national park service site covering your topic area. Many have online historical references, articles photos, archaeological info, maps, research papers, biographies, college studies, etc. Ask them to recommend books, pamphlets, or experts on the subject. Make an appointment to speak with the curator if possible or a docent. Check out other gov sites. The American memory project has innumerable documents, historic maps, correspondence of presidents, and other public figures. Type the words history of next to anything you want to research from the past and you’ll get hits.

Libraries are your friends – You can begin researching at the local library. Make friends with someone working the research desk. Get on a first name basis with them. Tell them you’re an author. Offer to mention them in the acknowledgements section of your book. Special books needed for research. First check with your local library or see if they can get it through circulation. Some older books are now printed online. Buy used from Amazon and remember to keep your receipts.

It’s time to write with confidence. Start the great balancing act. Don’t show off your dazzling brilliance. What do your readers want to know? Don’t lecture and don’t let your characters lecture.

Show, don’t tell. Take them on a journey. Make your characters historically accurate, but bigger than life. Your readers are looking for a solid historical context with characters that sweep them away.

Be careful with regional speech patterns. Be consistent. They can slow down the read and become tedious. Capture the emotion without the crud. Practice depicting strong emotions. Start with action and conflict. Don’t lose your hero. Maintain his POV. What is the action costing him?

Recheck your project definition often.

So the first 500 words needs to grab the reader? Get them invested in your character and story.

You must grab editors in first 500 words.

Know your market. You need an agent.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Opening Pandora's Box

By Keith N Fisher

How do you feel about gas prices? Do you express misplaced anger at the owners of gas stations? Just for the record, service station owners only make about 2.5 cents profit on every gallon of gas. The real money is going to taxes and the executives of the oil companies.

I can remember prices at 19 and 22 cents/gal. I worked at a station when they rose to 60 cents. For many drivers, It was a hard pill to swallow. Now, we are paying close to 4 dollars and most of us wouldn’t mourn the demise of those who are raising prices.

I wanted to bring this up to illustrate a point. Are you angry that gas prices keep going up?

As a kid I watched the original Star Trek on TV and marveled over the gadgets I saw. I noticed a lack of paper and everything, from reports to novels, were read on a piece of hardware, about the size of an I-Pad. In the later series’ they used Palm Pilot sized pads. When I saw a character writing a speech in one episode, I realized electronic medium was probably the wave of the future. I figured we would see electronic books in my lifetime, but I thought it would be like checking out reader pads from the library, or buying them from the bookstores.

Now, we stand at the edge of a precipice. E-book technology has come into our lives. You can download the classics for 99 cents.

Recently, at the Storymakers Conference, Marion Jensen talked about the e-book trend and what we might expect in the future. I noticed a prevalent attitude in the class. Writers were thinking they might use the medium to bypass publishers and self-publish. I also noticed many of them hadn’t given much thought to how much work it would be to promote those books.

Marion went on to quote some experts who think electronic books will never replace the traditional. Still, I was disturbed. Apparently, some authors are promoting their work, by selling it for pennies.

I once heard an author say he didn’t mind his books getting passed around because it builds a fan base for the next book. I agree with his thinking, but keep in mind that he didn’t drop the price on the book that gets passed around.

Okay, here is the way I see it. When people get used to paying 99 cents for an e-book how are we going to raise the price? Like Pandora, are we opening a box that can never be closed? Is it better to sell five books at 15 dollars, or fifty books at 99 cents?

Yes, you can touch more lives at 99 cents, but isn’t your time worth more than that?

Like with gas prices, people will resent a raise. Keep in mind that gasoline has become a necessary staple in our life, books are still a non-essential item in our budgets. Well, I know some writers who ... Anyway, Since book publishing is mostly a good will business, you will never be able to make more for your books. Neither will I.

At this juncture, I have no intention of self-publishing. If, after the hard copy comes out, my publisher wants to sell it in electronic format, I will expect it to sell for a reasonable price. If the costs of other books are far below that price, my book won’t sell.

So, before you launch yourself into this final frontier, consider the future when the market is flooded with low cost e-books, and everyone works for free. I have another parable for you.

There once were two kids who each opened a lemonade stand. Billy opened on his corner, and Mary opened across the street. They drank a lot of lemonade, but didn’t get many customers. Then, Billy decided that if he lowered his price, the customers would buy from him, rather than across the street.

Incensed, Mary lowered her price and got all the business until Billy lowered his, again. This went on, until Mary got fed up and offered hers for free. Well, Billy couldn’t compete with free, so he packed up and went out of business.

After a while, Mary noticed a significant fact. Even when she gave it away, she still could not attract the majority of passersby. They just didn’t care. That’s when Mary got an idea. She developed better lemonade. It was far superior to anything anyone had ever tasted. Mary advertised and tried to sell it for a reasonable profit. After all, with advertising, she had overhead costs.

Soon, she found that customers wouldn’t buy it. “It may be as good as you say, but we can get lemonade from Jane, down the street and she gives it away.”

Be careful where you tread. You might be stepping on a landmine.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Consecrated Life

by G.Parker

I've been reading conference talks.  I try to read every morning while I'm waiting for my computer to come up.  I figure it's a moment when I don't have to be doing anything and I can hopefully gain something - almost like getting my scripture study in.  We are told that the conference talks are akin to scripture, so I feel I'm getting something good.  Anyway, the only perhaps 'drawback' is I'm still on last November's...

This morning I started reading the talk by Elder Christofferson - Reflections on a Consecrated Life.  It's one that really gets you thinking about what kind of life you are living.  Does my every day action show that I am a follower of Christ?  Am I an example to others of His light and gospel?  Not only that, but one of the talks I heard recently (either in church or reading the Ensign) talked about our talents.  Actually, I think it was Sunday School.  The parable of the talents, and how to each was given a certain amount and of each much was expected.

The reason I bring up both of these subjects is because to me, writing is related to both of them.  First, I believe we have been given the talent of writing to benefit our fellow men.  How we use it, develop it and proceed with it indicates how much we are trying to improve with it.  I'm way behind many of you in that aspect.  I should be working harder at it.  I am struggling to find the time - and recently, the motivation.  Second, I think it fits in with a consecrated life.  If we are striving to do the things we have been commanded, working at our talents and doing service as much as we can, then aren't we living a consecrated life?  Like we are taught in many ways, the gospel is all interrelated to everything we are.

I hope you are working to expand your talents to bring glory to the Father and His Son, and that you give the idea of a consecrated life some thought.  Have a good week and keep writing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What would You Do?

by Cheri Chesley

Last week, I posted the raw feelings I had after finding out a close friend has breast cancer. Friday, she had a mastectomy. She went in to have her bandages removed Monday. Normally an intensely private person, she has allowed us in to share this journey with her. I'm so grateful for that; for her willingness to open up about something so difficult, so we can know to be there and comfort her and help in all the ways we can.

This has hit me so close to home--right in the heart. I'm tearing up as I type this post. It's like I dodged a cosmic bullet--because this could just as easily have been me--but why did it hit my friend instead?

I've made a practice in my life not to ask the "why me" question. It's pointless, and in its way, destructive. But, now, I find myself asking "Why her?"

Because I hate to feel helpless, and I wanted to find a way to help, I came up with a plan. Check out my personal BLOG to see how you can help Rebecca, too. And share. The more people who know, the more who can help. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


by C. LaRene Hall

Remember that at the writing conference I'm typing as fast as I can and I didn't get everything. The second class I attended and the one that helped me most is the following one. It's long because there was so much info I was interested in, so I'm dividing it in half.

The Tightrope: Researching and Writing Credible Historical Fiction: LC Lewis

Where Do You Begin?

You create what is real with what is fiction. Make sure you pick something you love.
Historical fiction is a fascinating challenging genre. You are facing two pools of readers.

1. Those who want an engaging story with a little history thrown in.
2. Those who live history with a little story flowing through.

Striking the right balance between fact, and fictional content, is the challenge. You will never get everyone happy. Choose a subject, setting, or person you already love and know a lot about, or choose a subject, setting, or person you’re excited to research.

1. What do you already love?
2. What would you like to know more about?
3. Who are you writing for? Historians? History lovers? Readers with an interest in your topic?
4. What do you want to tell your readers?
5. Why are you writing this story?
6. What nugget of history?
7. What theme?
8. What character is compelling you, and why?

Define your project by writing a backlines-type summary and a comprehensive summary and read them often. It needs a basic plot, viewpoint characters; his/her story goal, primary opponent/opposition, and what he wants, or how it affects your POV character.

Create a base line – it may change – it is your anchor. Don’t sweat the small stuff – you are taking people on a journey. If you are not accurate, you will lose their trust. Decide to remain credible by keeping the research accurate. Get the facts right: dates, times, and details. Make sure your facts are correct. There are some things that you can verify but sometimes things are conflicting. POV are sometimes different. You need multiple accounts because some of them will be conflicting. That will keep you credible. Prove your point. Make sure you can back up what you say. You need to put your readers in an event with the correct details.

Get ready. Get set. Get organized. Have a plan to organize every contact, book, periodical, web site, etc. before you begin researching.

Keep organized – some things can’t be verified. The truth is most of our history is skewed. It primarily reflects the accounts of people who were literate, wealthy, white, which was a small portion of historic America. You may find a record that differs from the norm. Letters are treasures, but they are opinions and their details frequently can’t be verified.

Source notes maintain a running excel or word file of notes. Use the favorites or bookmark option on your computer for online sources. Online addresses often change. Label everything for easy recognition. Group them for quick access for efficiency.

Character Bibles

Keep your characters clear and consistent by defining them. You don’t want your hero to be light-skinned on one page and then refer to his clear, tanned torso on another.
Make it easy to refer to often

Descriptive written out with detail visual – compare your character to someone who readily comes to mind. Back it up with written details.

Today’s reader became so annoyed with the persons actions – it is a fine line – keep their values but you are writing to readers now.

Have an idea of where your story is going. How will your characters evolve over time? Research and give them realistic representations in your script. Know everything.

Come back next week for Part Two.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I am a highly creative person. I have found in my life that I am at my most contented state when I am either learning a new creative skill or using my skills to create something beautiful. I think all people are creative, although some people push those creative yearnings aside for one reason or another.

Elder Uchtdorf said:
 The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Writing is one way of expressing creativity. In the same talk, Elder Uchtdorf  says that the closer we are to the Spirit of God, who is the perfect Creator, and the more we trust in that Spirit, the greater our ability to create becomes.

He finishes that portion of his talk by saying:
As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.
Isn't it amazing to think that you can change the world? You can. You change the world every day, just because you are in it. And, by using your God-given talents to create beautiful things, whether it be a song, a garden, a poem or a novel, you make the world even better. And you make yourself better, too.

So, carry on. Tap into that creative Spirit and see where it takes you. God bless you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


By Keith N Fisher

At the LDStorymakers Conference this year, I walked into the ballroom at the beginning of a session and encountered a lady who wouldn’t shake my hand.

We introduced ourselves and I told her I write women’s fiction. I don’t remember her exact words, but she looked me square in the eye and asked, “How are you qualified to write women’s fiction?”

I was perplexed. What qualifies every writer to write anything? I must admit that getting into the mind of women is dangerous, and a difficult journey. Not unlike the first moon landing, and being a man, how can I presume to be successful in this genre?

I stumbled over my answer, not knowing quite what to say. “I’m the only man in a six member critique group and I get insights from my partners?” I could’ve claimed an understanding, and I would’ve liked to claim the title of, Casanova of the Twenty-first Century Book Writing World, but I’m just a man. I think Nicholas Sparks would like to contest that claim, anyway.

I shared my dilemma with my friend, Tristi Pinkston, and she joked, “You should’ve looked her in the eye and said, I’m really a woman.”

I write stories about women, for women, in a way that men would enjoy reading it too. You see, there are differences, but basically there isn’t much separating the sexes. With a few genre specific details, all fiction is pretty much the same. Yes, there are situations women find themselves in that men wouldn’t, but women’s fiction, not romance, is a contemporary story about the struggles and joys of women characters. The secret to success is telling it with resonance to women. Sometimes, that includes romance.

My new friend made me consider the answers to many questions, and sparked a visit into my project files. I’ve written stories about men, but my very first, written twenty years ago, was about a woman who struggles to find balance between the corporate world and her desire to be a singer. A mystery unfolds along the way, and she finds answers to her life’s questions.

The second book, my first LDS market, was a coming of age story about a teenage girl. Pregnancy and a desire to find her own way, spurs a late night flight to a new life in the big city. Through a series of missteps and misplaced trust, she finds herself at the end of her rope, and discovers God.

As I said before, I’ve written male protagonists and testosterone-laden plot lines, but really, women’s fiction is what I’ve always written. So, how am I qualified? After considering many possible answers, I came up with a good response. I write women’s fiction because my characters dictate their stories to me. I am competent, if people find joy in reading them.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's My Choice

by G.Parker

One of the tenants of my critique group is that all the advice and suggestions that are made don't mean anything if you don't like them or if it changes the story from what you want.  It's still your story, it's your choice whether to make the changes or not.

Recently I started submitting a story to my group I'd written for NaNoWriMo.  Everyone loved it, but they were absolutely 100% of the opinion I should write it for the national market.  I had written it for LDS readers.  A little reluctantly, I made the changes, and kept on with the story, not really liking it.

I still don't like it.  

I came to the conclusion the other night that it's not going to happen.  I don't like the way the story has changed and 'has' to change to be nationally marketable.  I'm not worried about attracting national attention.  My whole reason for writing is for the LDS reader.

So, I'm taking it back to the original story line.  I haven't felt happy with the changes, not really.  It hasn't felt right.  Now that I've decided to go with my original plot, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  It's amazing how we let things affect us.

My group will be disappointed, but I figure they'll understand.  After all, it's always my choice what happens with the story.  Remember what I've been blogging about lately?  It's important to be true to yourself and your voice.

This is my voice, and I'm reclaiming it.  Have a good weekend and keep writing!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I know that today is not my day to post, but I just realized something very important. In fact, I should have thought about this a few weeks ago. This blog started on APRIL, 21, 2006 .

The first blog was written by C L Beck. I wrote the 4th blog on April 26. It's hard to imagine that I've been doing this for over five years. I never missed my day - which is Wednesday - for over four years. It wasn't always easy to think of something to write, but I was consistent.

Also something else to think about is this post is #1,400.

I HOPE EACH OF OUR READERS HAS ENJOYED COMING HERE EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS. It's been a pleasure being here and I promise to keep coming here every Wednesday for a while longer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


by Cheri Chesley

photo courtesy of

I'm going to type this up while my eyes are still raw with tears, and the pain is still fresh.

I've spent a great deal of the last several weeks wrapped in my writing world. If I'm not writing, I'm editing, or typing up blog posts about writing, or reading for reviews, or learning about writing. I just finished the final edits on my ebook, and turned right around after posting it online to start edit corrections for my next print book.

Sounds like I'm living the life, right?

It only takes a second to put it all in perspective.

Tonight, after finally taking my twins on their birthday dinner trip to Ruby River, I got home and logged into Facebook to catch up on the things I've missed while running around. As I scrolled through the funny and sometimes silly posts, a friend's caught my eye. She typed: I have breast cancer.

She's exactly my age. And even though I've only known her for a year, she's one of those people who just instantly fits in your life. She's an amazing and talented lady, and a good friend. And now it's my turn to be a friend to her.

As I'm processing, I imagine the terror she's experiencing, the fear for her children, the worry for the future. How bad is it? What if the treatments don't work? etc.

I thank God she has the gospel in her life. That she knows the eternal perspective in all this, and that she (and we) have the tools of prayer and fasting at our disposal.

But I'm still scared.

Even with all the strides science and medicine have made fighting and winning battles with breast cancer, there's always the lingering thought that it might not work this time. There's always the chance that, despite what we may want or feel is right, her time on this earth may be nearing an end.

My hands are shaking.

The point of this post is simple: perspective. We may feel we know what our place is, and what our goals are, but it's important to keep the right goals in our sights. It's important not to lose our perspective on what's really, truly important.

What’s Your Writing Motivation?

by C LaRene Hall

As some of you know, last weekend was the LDStorymaker’s Writing Conference. I always take my Alpha-Smart and type what I hear. None of what I am writing is from the authors notes, it’s what I heard.

Shirley & Bron Bahlmann taught the first workshop I attended. It was called, “What’s your writing motivation?”

The first thing they said was, “Stick with it.”

There are many ways to accomplish goals, but you are the one who has to strike the match. You have to think it’s important enough.

First, you need to find what works for you. What is going to pull you away from writing? You should set a manageable goal. Ask yourself, “Am I doing what I truly want to do?”

Do you want to write because it’s an internal desire?

Fear is thinking something might happen. You need to get past the fear.

What are your goals? Decide what you want to do. If you write one page a day – you would have 365 pages by the end of the year.

Choose a time frame – daily, weekly, or monthly. It could be minutes or hours.
Choose a page count, or a word count.

This will get you to your goal. Slow and steady helps you reach the deadline.

Are your long-term goals satisfying enough? Do it because you love it.

How do you reinforce your motivation?

1. Keep track on your calendar what you do every day. It shows you what you are doing and then you see the progress you are making. Keeping track of your goals helps you see what you are doing. Look at things you want to do and why and then how you feel when you accomplish it.

2. Guilt can drive you to do something. It can be a motivator.

3. Revenge is a good motivator for some people.

4. Philanthropy – wanting to help other people – is sometimes a good motivator.

5. Competition is another good motivator.

6. Reaching goals is another good motivator for some people.

7. Pride – a sense of accomplishment – is another motivator for some people.

You need support systems. If family not in place, you can create your own support system. Find some figures in history that she can connect to when you need support.

Are you just going to give up or what? There are things that you can do. Disabilities should not stop you. Some writers go with the flow. If the ideas are coming to you keep going.

Writers are like frogs = writing is like water if you love writing as much as frogs love water = without writing, you will shrivel up and die.

If you are out there putting your ideas down on paper will you get published? It is up to you. Are you going to be happy?

Everyone likes to read different things. The things you think about to write about are things that are speaking to you. If you reach more than your goal each day it is a bonus. Always carry a possible bag that includes paper, notebooks, pens, pencils. Write down your ideas,

I loved the enthusiasm of these presenters and enjoyed the class a lot.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Another Great LDStorymaker's Conference

Over last weekend the 8th annual LDStorymakers Conference was held in Salt Lake City's Sheridan Hotel. It was a great conference and I am glad I went. It was my second Storymakers Conference. Last year I knew absolutely nobody and was wide-eyed and rather overwhelmed the whole time.

This year, thanks to the Author's Incognito Yahoo group and my ANWA group, I knew many people. I always found someone I knew to sit with and talk to. It made the conference much more enjoyable for me. The above picture was taken after the Authors Incognito Mix & Mingle--which was awesome!

Writing can be such an isolated and isolating vocation. It is wonderful to have writer friends who are supportive and even better when we can get together.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

By Keith N Fisher

I’m writing this blog between classes at the LDStorymakers Conference. I have no Internet on my computer so I hope I can post on time. I have no time for editing so please don’t laugh at my mistakes.

Although the standard is changing, in our culture, boys are given a set of rules to follow. They are taught to be the breadwinner, the protector and provider. Girls are taught to be the homemaker, nurturer, and teacher of all good habits.

Being true to my lessons, I’ve endeavored to make ends meet, provide, and keep a status quo, no matter what the circumstance.

About fifteen years ago, we were given the opportunity to purchase a bigger house than I could afford. If the truth were told, however, It wasn’t much bigger or expensive. I’d just grown comfortable in my situation and making a larger payment worried me.

At the time, we were making payments on a one and one-half bedroom bungalow with plumbing problems, but it was ours, and we loved the garden. I’d spent the early part of our marriage paying debts we brought into it and I didn’t want to start over.

One day, while considering my options, I realized life was short and if I didn’t grab the piece of happiness the new house would bring, I might never realize the dream. In short, if I didn’t take a chance, I might never move forward.

Now, this might seem like selfishness, or self-justification, but I learned there are times to take risks you can’t move forward if you don’t speculate occasionally.

At the LDStorymakers Conference this year a presentation reminded us that if you never take a chance, you’ll never succeed. It also suggested if you’ve never failed, you never tried.

Keep writing. Success may never mean writing full time or making a six-figure income, but dreams, not pursued, can never come true. Your writing will never touch a life, unless you keep writing.

Hang in there. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

What Will Your Obituary Say?

by G.Parker

Sometimes the most touching bit of writing we'll do will not be what we ourselves write, but what we inspire others to write.  I'm sure you've heard of the idea of writing an obituary and living up to it, right?  The thought of what kind of person do you want to become?

Not being the type of person that sits and reads the obituaries, I haven't read as many as some, but I have had several occasions this past year to read them, especially this week.  I've read two.  Both of them were sincere, and written by family members.  One was a little simpler than the other.  One was for a colleague, or boss rather, and the other for a family member of my husband.  The colleagues obit was full of all the things he accomplished, positions held, places taught, etc.  The family one outlined a little what she did, but mostly what she loved and what they loved about her.  While the first one also had some of those points in it, it came across as more of the professional feeling.  

My own obit has been something I've avoided thinking about unless specifically asked to do so.  Yes, I'd like to have wonderful things thought and said about me, but I'm not sure what my children are apt to say.  My patriarchal blessing says they'll rise up and call me blessed.  Well, in looking at my kids right now, it's not likely the majority of them feel that way.  In fact, one of them would probably not claim me as the mother.

So, perhaps in the scheme of things as you're writing your greatest novel, you might give some thought as to what will be written about you some day.  When you're not here to defend yourself, or explain anything.  It's going to be what others think of you, whether you like it or not.

I'd rather like mine, personally, and so I'm working on it.  What about you?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Insert Title Here

by Cheri Chesley

I found myself completely title-dry for this post. Maybe something will hit me before I finish.

In case you wondered, I will NOT be attending the LDStorymakers Conference this weekend. It's been a bad year, financially, since last conference, and I really had to pick and choose what conferences I can attend this year. As it turns out, I'll be hitting a couple of fall conferences, but I just couldn't swing Storymakers this year.

At this moment, I do plan to crash the AI mix n mingle tomorrow, and I just may bring a cheesecake. :)

Being a writer means sacrifice. One of the biggest is giving up whatever it is that keeps us from writing--or giving up something else we enjoy so we can make time for writing. It means not always being able to do the fun author events, even though we want to do them all. It means, sometimes, a little less time with family, especially if we're working with a deadline. It means giving up some of our comforts--like staying at home--to sit in public places and sign our book for a handful (or a room ful) of strangers. We do all of this in the hopes that the rewards that come from writing will, someday, outweigh the sacrifices.

Or we do it because we'd suffer horrible emotional costs if we don't. I'm a much happier person when I write, and it makes for a more harmonious home. But don't go around thinking I'm making a huge sacrifice there. I love to write.

Somehow, I ended up with two books to edit this week. I'm not doing well with my timing. It's been a busy week, but, since I plan to stay far from my internet--email, Facebook, etc--this weekend to avoid the constant reminders of where I'm NOT going to be, I will have time to get a lot done. Hopefully, by Monday, I'll have at least one polished book ready to go.

Most excitingly, I plan to start a new rough draft before the end of the month. Looking forward to it. I love the creative process at its best.

Everyone who's going, have a great time and Storymakers, and learn tons!