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Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I was asked to write a guest post for Quantum Fairy Tales. I'm so excited to share my post and hope you will enjoy reading about my NaNoWriMo experience! I would like to thank Emma Nelson for asking me to write the article and thank Quantum Fairy Tales for their awesomeness!! 

It's time to say Goodbye!

I have been thinking a lot about the year 2014 over the last few days. I'm frankly surprised at how quickly the year flew by – which is a blessing in itself! 
Truthfully, I’m not sorry to see this year end. There have been some event this year that I’m happy to put to rest and forget. It can get easy to focus on the negative things that have happened. To become a victim to your own circumstances, but I’m going to do my best to get back up, brush off the dirt, and move forward! (That was my cheesy motivational cheer!)
I do want to focus on some of the most wonderful highlights of the year! After all, if you can’t find anything to celebrate, you’re truly in a bad state of affairs.
In the spring I was able to go with my Author friend, Jennifer Shaw Wolf and go on a book tour to St. Anthony, Idaho. We had a fabulous time and met some great students. But the best part for me was being able to find my ancestors at a nearby cemetery. My great-grandmother, Fanny Francis Fawson Hunter has become one of my greatest examples. The more I learn about her, the more I love her! I was able to find her! I found her grave site and was able to pay my respects. It was such a neat experience.
  This summer was crazy busy! Crazy with all the events happening right around the same time! Summer camps, Family reunions, and ending with a trip to see more family. Whew! The time went quickly but the memories that were made are priceless! I have always felt that time with family is never a waste. I love being around my nieces and nephews and find joy in watching my children play with cousins. That’s what it’s all about for me – building relationships to last forever!

Although we ended the year on a sour note with Wade’s career, I do have to express my gratitude for the job he had throughout the year. He worked with some amazing people – people who fought for him, even when corporate had “cut backs” and Wade was on the chopping block. This group of people immediately went to work sending job notices and well wishes and have been wonderful through this process. And we are going to be okay. There’s no point in freaking out or being angry. My emotional tantrum wouldn't have changed the outcome of corporate decision. We just started over.
It’s hard to believe that I have a senior in the house! I am not old enough to have an adult child! How did this happen? As I have watched Kaydin grow and mature, it has been an honor to be his mother. He still has to finish out the school year but then he is on to bigger things! This year has been constant reminders from him, saying things like “This is the last time I’ll…” Christmas was especially hard. I kept thinking that this time next year, he won’t be here to share in the joy of the season. He will be off serving a mission for our church.
As far as my career goals, I've had some fun advancements happen! My second short story, Faelad, was published in another Xchyler Publishing anthology. It was a lot of fun to write this story! It is based in Ireland and I got to tell tales of places that I've actually been to. It was a great experience!

I also joined the staff at Xchyler Publishing and came on as a Graphic Design Coordinator. I get to create cool ads and other media for the company and I have learned so much and enjoy it thoroughly!  I get to work with some fun people and we have a great time!
After reading this it looks like the year was anything but successful – and you’re right! It was a great big, fun-filled, exciting year. The negative things going on are minute compared to the wonderful blessings of family and friends! So even though I was ready to kiss this year goodbye, I will consider it a good one.
I hope you too can reflect on the many positive things that have happened in your life and will take note of the things that bring you joy!

Happy New Year! 2014 is “Done an Dusted!”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's a Tough Year, Already!

Well, even though 2014 has just begun, I have to say that so far, I am not a fan! I ended the year on rather a high-note. In November I was able to attend the Northwest Writer's Retreat hosted by ANWA. I have been there two other times and love it each time. It's a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. There is always a key note speaker and this year it was Angela Morrison, author of "Taken By Storm," and "Sing Me To Sleep." She was wonderful and taught me some wonderful ideas and gave me the lift I needed to get going with my writing again. The other highlight was being able to teach a break out session class. I taught about writing short stories and the class was well attended. it was fun to share about the things I learned while getting my own short story published.
Angela Morrison
In December I was able to attend my friend, and fellow author, Michelle Wilson's book signing for "Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat." This event was also a boost as she challenged me to sign up for an upcoming conference and to include a pitch session. Whew! I was on cloud nine and ready to conquer the world.
So then 2014 comes along. I was sure this was going to be my year. But instead it seemed like I was being stopped at every angle. i learned that my publishing company was hosting another anthology contest. This one was a mystery, themed "Liar, Liar." I instantly had a story and began feverishly writing to get it done and submitted in time. I wanted to have another story published as I also worked on my manuscript. This would keep the "juices flowing," as they say.
Half way through my writing I learned that the contest had been cancelled as they were focusing on other projects for the year. I was actually sad about it. I thought this story would be perfect and loved the way it was unfolding. I guess I could try to stretch it out and make it into a full manuscript but that is what I'm working on with "Abandoned Grace." (see previous post for more details)
The conference I was planning to sign up for (LDStorymakers) had Orson Scott Card as the key note speaker. How exciting to hear that he was going to be speaking! Well, I waited too long and learned that a special session had been sold out- DOH! Most of the pitch sessions had also been sold out so now I had to make a mad dash to register, only to find out that I couldn't get a membership discount UNTIL my membership actually went through! Aaahh! I feel like I'm in limbo and it's only January 15th.
NW Writer's Retreat in Anacortes, WA
I guess I can learn some valuable lessons through all of this. One, I need to be more punctual when it comes to signing up for conferences I want to attend and two, I need to roll with the punches. If a short story contest gets cut, don't take it as a sign that you are a terrible writer and have no talent. Look at it as another challenge and push to work on the story that I'm most passionate about (Abandoned Grace).
I'm going to try to reboot my brain, put my trust in my talents and abilities, and focus on what makes me the happiest!
I recently attended an meeting for SCBWI and it was mentioned that when you are writing, to just write straight through, no editing, and then set it aside for a few weeks. I think that is a great idea! It will be hard for me, constantly editing as I write, but it might be just what I need to get it done.
Even though 2014 hasn't started out on the firmest ground, I'm determined to make it the best writing year yet!