Friday, November 14, 2014

Song for Anton

In my ongoing tradition to write a song for each one of my stories, here is my latest song for my latest story, AURASEER. The song is sung from my main character Sonya's point of view. She is empathic and her words here are for the prince of Riaznin, Anton Ozerov. I'll leave the rest to your imagination! :-) Also, the thumbnail image of me singing below cracks me up. I look like I'm in pain!

Update: For some reason this video doesn't view in Safe Mode on YouTube. Don't ask me why, there's nothing offensive in it! To disable Safe Mode, scroll down to the bottom of any page on YouTube and click on the "Safety" button, where you can change your preferences.


I feel your pain before you cry,
I feel the wind before you sigh,
So breathe and believe in my heart,
You and me were meant to be from the start.

So don't leave me hanging by a thread,
Don't leave me caught on words unsaid,
Beyond the veil of rain is a blue sky,
where Love can dare to hope and never die.

I feel before stir before you rise,
I taste your lips before you close your eyes,
So don't be afraid when they are watching,
They are blind. They are wrong. They are not me.

So don't leave me hanging by a thread,
Don't leave me caught on words unsaid,
Beyond the veil of rain is a blue sky,
where Love can dare to hope and never die.

My fingers tremble before you're cold,
I feel your secrets before they're told,
So open the door and throw away the key,
Just trust in the truth of you and me.

Beyond the veil of rain is a blue sky,
Where Love can dare to hope and never die.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I'm happy to announce I've completed my fourth manuscript--on September 29th, to be exact. I wrote AURASEER over four months, and considering my first story took me 2 1/2 years to write and revise, this is a major accomplishment for me. As I wrote that first story, I wondered many times how it would feel to have a draft done. Even now, it feels magical to complete a story.

I usually battle with my stories a lot more and can't wait to reach the end. With this one, it was a sweet release to write from start to finish. This gist of this story just appeared in my head one day, as well as its most important nuts and bolts and characters. In many ways, it is the 2.0 version of my first novel. Both are about a girl who can feel others' emotions, though by very different means. I feel like the long struggle I waged with that first story made this one much easier to draft--especially when it came to explaining the nuances of feeling what someone else is feeling. (I had to revise that element so many times with my first novel.)

At any rate, I'm very pleased. And although the process of writing came easier this time around, I still poured my heart and soul into every word. I'm back home and happy crafting another epic fantasy.

Here are a few teaser images related to my story. Fingers crossed it will be published one day and you can enjoy it with me. Until then, may the muse be with you in your writing endeavors or whatever creative pursuits float your boat!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spend It All

I'm alive, people of the webiverse. Summer tried to eat me whole, but I've lived to tell the tale. I've actually been super busy. I've written 73,000 on my new novel, played chauffeur to my fifteen-year-old daughter who had a lead in a play, and kept all three of my children entertained and not at each others' throats for three months. Now my kids are back in school and my youngest just entered the first grade. This means, for the first time in almost sixteen years, I'm home alone during the days. *cues party music* My children come home happier with more structure and less boredom, and in the meantime, I have several hours of undivided writing time! Within a three-day span, I wrote 9000 words. That's unheard of for me! Anyway, we'll see how it goes with this new lease on life. My husband started a new job as a full-time drama teacher, so next summer I'll have him home to help, therefore I predict an abundance of sanity--for all of us.

My new novel is going well. I usually experience lots more ups and downs while drafting, but this story, for the most part, seems to flow right out of me. That doesn't mean writing is never difficult, but I've been enjoying it much more this time around. In lieu of telling you too much about my new novel (I get all shy and private about my drafts until they're complete), I'm sharing an interesting quote from an article I just read, which definitely applies to how this novel has been unfolding. My protagonist is very unpredictable, so even though I've outlined the story, she has an extra special way of throwing in surprises. Love that about her!

So this quote is from "Write Till You Drop," The New York Times, May 28, 1989. Read the whole article, people. It's awesome!

"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open up your safe and find ashes."

What do you think about this advice? What things do you hoard as a writer, and what things do you not dare to write about, but are important to you? If you're a non-writerly type, what parts of yourself do you hoard from giving away to other people? Let's discuss!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To Dream the Impossible Dream

I've recently decided to DREAM. Not a safe dream with boundaries I can control. Not the kind of dream with hazy edges and broad limits because I don't want to tell the Universe what I specifically want...because what if I don't get it? I have lower to fall if my hopes get too high, right?

I've heard lots of successful people tell other wannabe successful people, "Don't have expectations." Meaning work hard, do all you can, and expect nothing. Then you're not disappointed, and if it happens, it happens, right?

Well, I'm declaring right here, right now, I have expectations. I'm going to believe I'm the writer, the mom, the person I want to be because that belief creates it. That belief infuses a sprinkling of fairy dust over everything I touch, every relationship I have, every good thing I do.

I won't live lost in the future, in that miserable in-between of me staring in despair over what I don't have, of only believing I'll be happy when I get what I want. That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about living in the present, knowing who I am--past, present, and future--and being who I am, reaching the full capacity of who I am, and glowing with it. I will BE. I will live. I will hope for the "impossible" without fear or the limits others might seek to place on me.

Perhaps it's a bit of madness--Don Quixote's "impossible dream." I accept that. Because I know what miracles have happened in my life when I finally dared to take a bold step into the darkness, not just a tentative tiptoe.

I will give myself to all that I do. I will be true to myself. And I will encourage everyone who crosses my path that they can do the same.

To truly BE is to let go. Of fear. Of the idea of failure. It's being grateful for what you have but knowing it's okay to want more. It's okay to want to embrace your life with every ounce of light within you and see how bright you can shine with what was given to you. If you think about it, it's insulting to want any less.

So who's going to dream with me?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Storymakers & Vegas Recap & More

Here is my long overdue post recapping all my fantastic happenings as of late. I have been BUSY, to say the least! Right on the tail-end of my recovery from surgery, I went to LDStorymakers (which my agent, Josh Adams, also attended this year); the next weekend I performed in Las Vegas at my writing buddy Jessie Humphrie's book debut party/awards ceremony/concert extravaganza; and the next week I went on vacation with my extended family to Capitol Reef. Whew! Now that I'm back, I'm digging into the last stages of research for my epic new fantasy trilogy, which I should be able to begin drafting any day now. I tend to disappear off the planet once I start a new project, so here's catching up with me--through pictures--to tide the webiverse over until I resurface again.


Sara B. Larson and I had such a wonderful time with our agent, Josh Adams, this weekend. We took him on a mini-tour of Salt Lake City and got to have fun going out to eat a few times around the conference.

Here we are on our "Agent-Author Relationship" panel, which I also moderated--both firsts for me.

Me, Sara, and our friend and roomie for the weekend, Jacqui Scott. BTW, my lovely friend, Erin Summerill, was the conference photographer and snapped these first four pics. Isn't she talented?!

All my roomies, including my fabulous CP, Ilima Todd, on the far right.

My first CP, Robin Hall. We were friends for three years before we even started writing in pursuit of publication, and we attended our first writers' conference together years ago. How time flies!

Las Vegas Weekend

Here I am, singing and chatting about writing and music. Believe it or not, this was my first time publicly singing and playing guitar. Thanks for having me,  Jessie!

Hanging with my glamorous friends, Sara B. Larson and Courtney Alameda, who I road-tripped with down to Vegas. Here we are across the street from the Inspire Theater, where Jessie held her event. Gotta love the wind in our hair for the added drama. This may be the last picture you see of me wearing high heels. Ouch!

The one-of-a-kind, Jessie Humphries. She epically thought out of the box for her book debut for KILLING RUBY ROSE, and as a result, she had an amazing weekend and not only became an overnight bestseller, but also greatly benefited the schools of her Las Vegas community.

And we may have had a little too much fun at this particular gas station on the drive back to Utah. I blame Erin Summerill, who drove back with us. ;-) She brings out the crazy in me!

Other Fun Things

A little glimpse into my vacation at Capitol Reef. This is just a smidgen of my extended family. My parents had ten kids, and now we're at 36 people and counting. I <3 them all.

Last of all, I want to announce that my agency, Adams Literary, has a newly revamped website, which also sports a fancy author's page for yours truly. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegas Performance & Conference Panel

Inspire Theater in Las Vegas
I have some very exciting upcoming events to announce! First of all, my fantastic agent, Josh Adams, is coming to Utah for LDStorymakers (April 24-26), a large annual writers' conference, and I've been asked to be on a panel with him and my agent sister and friend, Sara B. Larson. Our topic is the author-agent relationship. If you're coming to Storymakers, I hope to see you there! (Registration closes April 20th, so hurry!)

The next weekend I will be in Las Vegas for my friend Jessie Humphrie's mega two-day book launch/literacy awareness event. (Her book, Killing Ruby Rose, is debuting.) She's asked me to take part in the Saturday night (May 3rd) ceremony/concert, which will take place at the new Inspire Theater. I'll be one of a handful of musicians/authors who will be performing a couple songs and speaking a little about how music influences our writing. I'm absolutely thrilled to be involved in this event and have had my guitar attached to my hip for the last few weeks in preparation for my little moment in the limelight.

Many other exciting things are happening that weekend in Vegas in conjunction with Jessie's book launch, so be sure to stay up on reading her blog for all the latest details. And here's her blog post mentioning me and my upcoming performance. *cues giddy freakout*