Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is Why I am a Writer and not a Dryer repairman/woman

The last screw was placed into the back of the dryer. The dryer repairman smiled at me and said in his New York accent, “Do you want me to hook up the lint dryer hose thingy.”

I smiled back and said, “I’m a writer. I can hook it up.” I gave him a thumbs up and a wink.
He gave me a thumbs up too. “You go writer ma’am” He didn’t say that, but I could totally read this thoughts (even though his eyes were narrowed and he had a confused look on his face.)

I led him upstairs and to the door assuring him I was a writer and could take care of the lint hose thingy and clean it out too.

I scrambled downstairs, broom in hand and towel in the other, ready to scrub that hose clean.

I cleaned that thing in record time.

Now the easy part, putting the hose thingy on the back of the dryer and the other end to the tube that led to the outside vent. Piece o’ cake.

I reached down and shoved the first end of the lint hose to the back of the dryer. It was tight as a nickel. My job was almost done. I just….had…to…*reaching up to tube that lead to outside*

I slid metal against metal.

The bottom of the tube popped off the dryer, banging against my leg. Not a problem. Maybe the dryer wasn’t close enough to the wall. I’d just crawl over the dryer and push the dryer closer to the wall.

I jumped up, doing a super hard gymnastic move to get out of my cramped hole and push the dryer towards the wall.

Getting back down the space was entirely different experience, but I did it, despite the electrical wires in the way.

I clutched the tube, with more determination. The aluminum slipped back into the dryer. I wiggled up, barely reaching the top and shoved it onto the tube above me. The bottom popped off again.

Twenty times I tried with sweat ran down my back and spiders crawled up my pant legs. I threw up my hands in the air and yelled, “I am a writer not a dryer repairman/woman! And I’m stuck!”

When I looked down and noticed the lint hose snug against the dryer. As fast as I could, I climbed out from behind the dryer (in 20 minutes flat) and placed the other side of the hose on the outside vent. It stayed.

That’s when I realized, I would have made a terrible dryer repairman/woman. It’s a good thing I like to write. *whew*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Big Surprise!

Brandilyn and I got a big surprise last Saturday. My son called and asked if I knew my book was out. “Of course not,” I said. “It won’t be out until September 16.”

“I know that’s what you’ve told us,” said Nate, “but it is out. It is on the shelves at Deseret Book, and it is available at”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Positive,” he said.

Well, you can imagine what happened next. I made a flying trip to Deseret Book and found that Some Secrets Hurt is indeed on the shelves. Next we checked websites. Besides, we found it available on and have it available for preorder with the September release date. BYU Bookstore has it on their shelves, but not on their website.

I called the local Barnes and Noble to see if they have it in stock. “Not yet,” I heard, “but we can order it in.” The South Town Barnes and Noble has ordered one. It will be here Friday. You could be the one to get that book.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I asked my Shadow Mountain friends, “what’s up with that?” Of course I am crazy with delight, to see my book on store shelves, but how did it happen, and when does the publicity start?

It seems the book was ready early and Deseret Book was already shipping early for Education Week, so they decided to ship early to their stores as well. The publicity will wait for the official September 16 release date, but in the meantime Some Secrets Hurt is on store shelves now.

Why wait? Get your copy today. Today is the perfect day to share it with someone you love. Remember that keeping kids safe is everyone’s job.

Linda Garner

Friday, July 24, 2009

I did it!

Okay, I know I posted yesterday, but...I did it...I started my own blog. It's very scary, but I hope you come and see it. =) Thanks! Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here's to Harry

Saw the new Harry Potter Movie last week. It was awesome, as always.

If you haven't seen the Harry Potter Puppet Pal's Mysterious Ticking Noise (not the movie, but just as entertaining). Take a look. It is hilarious. Those talented puppet people.

My eleven-year-old introduced me to this. We sing it as a family now. She's Harry Potter. Lucky.

Have a great week everybody! You'll hear more from me next week (when my research papers are bound and ready to turn in. Hooray!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hot Off the Press

Some Secrets Hurt is hot off the press. Though it will not be released until September, the printing is done and the copies are beautiful. I can't wait for it to be in the hands of children everywhere where it can make a difference.

Here are some photos of my grandkids looking at Some Secrets Hurt. Kids are the reason I wrote Some Secrets Hurt. I wrote it to keep them safe.

Some Secrets Hurt is not just for girls and it is not just for small children. It is for boys and girls of all ages.

Some Secrets Hurt is a great tool for parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and anyone who cares about kids. We all want to keep kids safe, but aren't always sure how to make it happen.

I'm excited for you to see it too. If you can't wait until September to get your copy, I have great news. There will be an early release at BYU Education Week in August. That's right, you can get a copy at BYU Bookstore during the week of August 17-21. Brandilyn and I will be available sometime during the week to sign your copy. We'd love to see you there. Watch the blog for details. Tell your friends.

See you there.

Linda Garner

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are You Teachable?

I believe this is called a rant. Please beware!!!!!

Have you ever been in a critique group where a person wouldn’t take the advice from someone because they weren’t as good of a writer as they thought they should be?

When I first started out, this happened to me with a group of writers (not my current critique group-they rock). I didn’t know the grammar rules as well as I should. I didn’t know plot structure or what an antagonist was (*gasp* I know, scary).

But I did know something…I knew how to read. I knew what sounded right and what sounded…tedious. I could pick out the sentence structures that sounded wrong. I also knew how to put down a bad book. Yet, my advice was counted as nil.

Over the years, I have taken many classes to learn the semantics and syntactical use of language (I actually know what those mean :) Well, kind of. I may have used those wrong in that sentence, but you get the gist. Right? *fingers crossed*). I’ve learned language development, usage of grammar and punctuation (yes, I still use my spell-check. Much to the dismay of my critique group-they helped me critique two research papers last night. I made lots of mistakes. LOVE YOU GUYS! I owe them big…I owe them big), I’ve taken creative and non-creative writing…the list goes on, but that is not my point. This is my point…

Even though I have and am taking all these classes that hopefully will help me…I still don’t know everything there is about writing. I may never know everything. I may be getting A’s in my English classes in college, but that doesn’t make me–wise.

As writers, we work our baloganas off to create a work of art. We learn the craft of writing, we learn how to become better. To a point. Sometimes we work so hard, we think we know it all.

When someone less learned than we points something out to us, do we ignore them, just because we know better? *mwa ha ha ha – throwing hair back behind head like some evil villain of villainy* Or do we stop and think, “Hum…maybe they have a point.”

I do understand that some things critiqued can be laid aside. And that’s okay. But if we are letting our smugness get in the way, well, that’s a different matter.

Our readers are not writers, yet… they know a good book. They will be able to pick out plot holes, find grammar errors, and yes…even be bored with our writing. We shouldn’t blow them off, because “they just don’t understand writing.”

We need to be teachable. We need to learn from the advice from others.

It’s the only way we can get better and reach our dreams.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Price of Freedom part 2

Remember The Message? That was the book I wrote about in late December or early January. Lance Richardson spent several weeks in a medically induced coma while his body was healing from a terrible injury. While in the coma he had a life-changing experience beyond the veil.

While on the other side he visited with soldiers who had given their lives in battle for the freedom of our nation. They taught him that liberty is a precious gift from God. They explained to him that few nations had ever experienced such freedom as we enjoy. Very few people have ever known true liberty. They asked Lance what he was doing to further the cause of liberty and asked him to return to mortality with a message.

The message which Lance was to bring to us was about Liberty. These soldiers are depending on us to carry on their work. They ask us to appreciate and defend our liberties, and not just on the battlefield. In words of soberness and pleading

1. They ask us to return to the values and morals which once made us strong.
2. They ask us to believe in truth that is eternal and unchanging.
3. They ask us to turn back to God, as a nation.
4. They ask us to safeguard the family.
5. They warn us that God will protect America so long as we serve Him. They warn that if we as a people do not turn back to God, family, and country, we will self-destruct and be destroyed.
6. They plead with us to replace selfishness with service.

These valiant men, who sacrificed so much for the cause of liberty, admonish us to take action. Love is the greatest power in the world. It is often in short supply these days. They explained that if the citizens of the Unites States would love and serve, it would do more to heal our nation than any other thing that could be done. Healing begins in the hearts of our citizens. To change a nation, we must change hearts.

As we serve our families, we will love them more, and we will become closer. Our hearts will be changed. As we serve our neighbors and communities, we will break down barriers which divide us. We will cause peace and love to enter our cities. Love and peace are contagious. We can create a day this world has never seen.

This is the message Lance brought to us from beyond the veil. We can self-destruct through selfishness or we can create change through love and service. The choice is ours.

I love America. Americans have a wonderful way of re-inventing themselves. I vote for this kind of change. Where do I sign up? See you there.

Linda Garner

Thursday, July 9, 2009

General Doctors Warning….Beware of Writer’s Butt


Do not use lappy with:

  • Chocolate cream filled pastries, the kind that are tempting at midnight
  • Real vanilla ice cream with homemade fudge toppings
  • Any type of homemade cookies – especially with pink fluffy icing
Stop Use and Ask Doctor If:

  • You find your rear not fitting on the couch as comfortably as last year
  • Cravings of said pastries, fudge topping, or cookies persist or get worse when you write or pick up your laptop
  • Symptoms do not improve or get worse
  • You find yourself plotting when is the best time to write and eat those delicious fruit filled donuts without the kids finding out, so you won’t have to share
In case of Accidental creative overdose:

  • Put down that chocolate carb filled delicacy
  • Find a gym immediately
  • Don’t call 911 or your mother-in-law to complain, neither will appreciate it
  • Start writing a technical research paper (this cures all)

Other Information:

  • Do not use laptop if a ten pound bag of caramels has just been purchased
  • You are experiencing writer’s block and believe they only way to resolve it is to take a break and crack open that box of triple fudge chocolate chip brownies, (JUST SAY NO)

If you fear you have writer’s butt, please see a treadmill immediately.

Why or why didn’t anyone warn me about writer’s butt?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Price of Freedom

I have red, white, and blue blood running through my veins. I am as American as apple pie. I love the flag and all it stands for. I am passionate about freedom. I am crazy about the land of the free and the brave, and I am so grateful to live here.

America has its share of problems, but they are all first class. There are some things I would like to change, but I certainly don’t want to change my address. I love to visit other places, but this is where I want to live.

July is a great month to celebrate freedom and to honor the brave men and women who have given the gift of liberty. Can we ever thank them enough?

What is the price of freedom? Many have given their lives. Children have given their fathers. Women have given their sweethearts. The road to freedom is littered with the casualties of war and the casualties of apathy. May we never be casual about our freedom or the cost of liberty. May we never forget those who paid the price.

Each of us can choose to make a difference. Each of us can serve in the glorious cause of freedom. We can make a difference by supporting good causes. We can make a difference by voting for good men and women who will be guardians of our homes and our communities. We can make a difference by remembering all that is good in our country and working to change things that need changing.

We can make a difference by being good citizens, good neighbors, good patriots. We can make a difference by serving others. We can stand up for what is right in our homes and in our communities. We can strengthen our country by doing what is right and helping others to make honorable choices.

The cost of freedom is high; but consider the cost of no freedom. What would you sacrifice, what would you pay, to lead the life you’re living? Though must of us will never shed blood for the cause of freedom, surely we can give a small token.

What shall we give?

Linda Garner

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Awesome, Overwhelming, Breathtaking, Tremendous, Amazing...

Oh great Thesaurus, you are my favorite.

You can turn this:

“I see you are looking for people with know-how in the writing stuff and know what to do with books… and stuff.”

Into this:

“I understand you are seeking candidates with a solid background in writing, craft, and with familiarity with the publishing field.”


“Apparently caregivers are sensitive to the length and complexity of their own models even before they expand the child’s utterances.” Born to Talk, Hulit and Howard, 2006, p. 152

Into this:

“People watching over children worry about what they say.”


“It was a dark and dreary night.” (I can’t remember who wrote this, but it is overly quoted.) (You can put it down in the comments if you know. The author, not the quote.)

Into this:

“It was a gloomy and monotonous hour of darkness.” (Well, not quit the same.)

* sigh*

Who couldn’t love the Thesaurus, or a great piece of pie? I just don’t know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maggie's T-Shirt

Great News! The first copies of Some Secrets Hurt are hot off the press. I hope to have one in my hands very soon. I have been told that they look great. Can’t wait to see them.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my t-shirt blog last week. I have pitched this idea to Shadow Mountain, but they have not responded. They are interested in seeing the feedback that is generated from my blog.

Sixty people viewed my blog last Tuesday. Fifteen responded. Four responded directly on the blogsite. Eleven responded to my personal email. Six people indicated that they would wear the t-shirt. Six people said they would buy the book, and didn’t say whether they would wear the t-shirt. Three people said they would not wear the t-shirt. One of those three intends to buy the book. The other two didn't say. Fourteen responders were female. One responder was male.

One person suggested a different idea for the t-shirt and said that Stand Up For Kids was too general. This person suggested a different caption and a different picture. Maggie is the main character in Some Secrets Hurt. In the book Maggie is being abused and she finds the courage to tell. The suggestion is to feature Maggie on the t-shirt and have the caption read Maggie Has a Secret and There is Only One Thing to Do. The back would read Maggie Must Tell. These are quotes from the book. As you might guess, this responder has seen the book.

No one sent their name to be included on the t-shirt. I must admit I am surprised. Since we would only use first names, I felt this would be totally non-threatening. I feel that we are offering abuse victims a chance to fight back in a safe environment.

I love the t-shirt idea. I think it would be great to have bookstore employees wear the shirt in August prior to the release of Some Secrets Hurt on September 16. The shirt could be given in drawings at presentations in schools and other settings. The shirt could also be sold in a variety of sizes, so that we all can send a message about ending abuse. One responder suggested that the t-shirt be a fitted one so that people who don’t find t-shirts flattering would enjoy wearing it.

Shadow Mountain isn’t sure about the t-shirt idea. Wait till they find out I have jewelry ideas too. I would love to see Maggie on necklaces, bracelets, and pins. We could all wear Maggie jewelry to remind us to stand up for kids and to have the courage to do what is right.

Maggie is my hero. She is an example to me of courage as she takes charge of her own body. She teaches adults to stand up for kids. She teaches kids to get help. She shows them that they can get better. Some Secrets Hurt is a story of healing. I know that Maggie will make a difference for kids of all ages.

The question is will we?

Linda Garner