Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bones, Creepiness, and a Cup of Chili

This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween.

I can’t help singing, it’s a little creepy - my singing, not the song.

Happy Halloween everybody! ‘Tis the time for spooks and chills, skeletons and thrills…and chili (so good on a Halloween night – gotta have that chili).

Speaking about songs. I’m sure you have heard a creative piece by Camille Saint-Saens (1872), the Danse Macabre, or the Dance of the Dead. Spooooky!

But even more cool, is the story to this song (see, us writers love stories!). (BTW, I found this info on Wiki. Love wiki).

It opens up in a graveyard, at the stroke of midnight. From out of the darkness, chimes can be heard, echoing the tolls of the witching hour (I’m a little scared now).

Throughout the abandoned cemetery a new sound is hear, the Devil’s Cord (E-flat and A, for those of you musicians out there – my favorite part of the song). Death is calling the dead to arise and walk among the living for the one night allowed to them.

Eerie skeletons arise and begin their dance, if you listen close enough, you can hear their bones rattling (the xylophones). YIKES - hee hee hee hee. Sorry -nervous laughter.

They dance until the sun rises; warning the dead their time has passed. Little by little, each skeleton returns to their place of rest, until next year, when Death will call them to arise again.

An awesome story, to an awesome song. Are you as freaked out as I am?

Happy Halloween everybody! Don’t eat too much candy, unless it’s delicious chocolate. That’s the best part of Halloween! And the apple cider, and donuts, and hot chocolate, and the chili. Did I mention the chili? Mwa ha ha ha

Here is a great interpretation of the song (HERE) , if you want to go check it out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Do You Organize A Walk-a-Thon ?

I need to pick your brain. April is Sexual Abuse Awareness month and Child Abuse Prevention month. I have never personally seen an event organized arount this theme, and I think it would be wonderful to have a walk-a-thon next April. That's just six months away, and I think it would be smart to get started right now.

Where do I start? Who do I call? Where should it be? Who could we involve? What are the costs? How do we choose a date? How can we publicize it? Who? What? Where? When? How? So many questions. Do you have the answers? Do you have ideas? Do you want to help? This could be big.

I have a vision of lots of people coming together to show their support and love for children, for innocence, for decency. I see us showing up for teenagers, and kids of all ages, and helping them to have a voice. I see kids and teenagers joining the walk, joining the fight against sexual abuse. I see men and women, boys and girls, people of all ages, religions, and cultures, showing up and making a difference. I see a community of caring people standing together and saying enough is enough.

Education is the key. Awareness is where it starts.

Would you come? Would you walk? Would you help? Would you?

Linda Garner


See the amazing sculptures of Nick Ryan at These are quarter sized models that are for the future Monument to Healing, called A Healing Place. I would love to hear what you think about the sculptures and the plans for this beautiful place.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Another Day?

Writing is a fickle beast, ready to consume you the moment you turn your back on it. ~Carolyn Vawdrey

It wasn’t that I didn’t love it anymore, I just was feeling rebellious. It had abandoned me once before and I wasn’t sure if I should put my trust in it.

I cared too much for it. How many nights did I wake up to check on it, make sure it was still breathing with life? Too many.

My eyes burned with lack of sleep, my curiosity begging to escape from the cage I threw it in.

I glance at the clock, time was fleeting. The selection would have to be made – or forsaken.

Half of me felt relieved to ignore it, the other dreaded the consequences of my actions if I cast it to the realms of the unknown.

Would I pay the price that so many others had if I paid it no heed? Where would it take me if it consumed me?

I had no answer. There was no answer. There was only choice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Many Cans Does It Take To Buy A Goat?

You might think I’m nuts if you see me out on the street some morning before daylight. I leave the house just before 6:00 a.m. and meet my friend on the corner. We walk together for one mile in the starlight and then she has to get ready for work. I wouldn’t miss this for anything. No matter what the weather, nor how tired I am, or how warm and cozy my bed is, I roll out of bed and dress in the dark.

My friend and I love this early morning ritual. We get so much more than exercise, as we share our thoughts and ideas. Our time together is priceless. How can you put a pricetag on friendship. Sally is my confidante and my therapist. Sally is moving and I will miss her dearly, but I will still walk.

I walk for my health, but it’s also about sanity. I have found that exercise is a great mood booster and that stress, anxiety, and depression evaporate as I walk. I have walked for years. It is my exercise of choice. The price is right, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and it gets my day off to a great start. Sometimes people tell me that they are impressed with my dedication. I just tell them that it is cheaper than a psychiatrist.

When Sally leaves me, I wake friend-husband and he walks another mile with me. I love spending this time with him. He is my best friend and some days this is the only chance we get to talk. When friend-husband also leaves to get ready for work, I walk another mile on my own. Sometimes two. I walk longer because I have diabetes, and I want to live a long time, and keep my kidneys and my feet. I’ve grown attached to them. Walking is a present I give myself. I love and appreciate my body. It has served me faithfully. I return the favor.

There are other people out walking before daylight, so that isn’t why you might think I am nuts. You’ll notice me. I am the one carrying the cans. That’s right, I pick up cans along the way and carry them home with me. I also carry home any other stray metal I find. I have carried home broken muffler parts, curtain rods, stray spoons, screws and other odds and ends that I happen across. I find more in the daylight, but even in the darkness you’d be surprised what I find.

Whatever do I want with mangled metal, you ask. It’s for Jonah, Simon, and Luke. They are my grandsons and they want to buy a goat. They are recycling metal and saving the proceeds to buy a goat for someone in poverty. Someone they’ve never met. The goat will provide milk and maybe a little income for some family far away. I’m walking anyway and it doesn’t take extra time to gather the metal that I see.

The boys will buy a goat through Heifer International, who will make all the arrangements and see that the goat is delivered to just the right person. Jonah is 7, Simons is 5, and Luke is 2. I think they have the right idea.

You can buy other animals through Heifer International and make someone’s life a little better. You can buy a cow, a flock of geese, or a trio of rabbits. You can buy a llama or a water buffalo. The possibilities are varied. You can also give seeds. Your gift can be combined with others to make it go farther. You can even give an animal in someone else’s name as a gift to them. That’s a gift that gives twice.

Maybe you would like to send a gift to someone across the world. Check out Heifer International at, and by the way… what are you going to do with those cans?

How many cans does it take to buy a goat?

Linda Garner


Just for fun check out my interview with Michelle Ashman Bell at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hurry! Time Is Running Out!

For those of you haven’t heard, or haven’t submitted, Nathan Bransford (the literary agent of awesomeness) is having a first paragraph contest. And it ends TODAY!

Lady Glamis entered last year and was one of the top six finalist. Plus she has an awesome blog page with tons of advice for writers. If you write, you will have to check it out!

There are an awful lot of 1st paragraphs out there, but how fun is it to get your name out there, right? So if you have an awesome 1st paragraph, send it out!

I am #2099. Whew! That’s a lot of reading for someone to do. I read through the first page of entries and had to take a break - my poor tired eyes.

So thank you Nathan Bransford and Good Luck to everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wending Words

Wending Words; Journeying Toward Meaning. That is the name of a young writers conference that I have been invited to. I will be speaking at the Upper Valley Young Authors’ Conference, Wending Words, on November 7. Can you imagine how excited I am. I will have opportunitiy to speak to the kids and also their teachers. I have BIG plans.

I have been asked to share my interview on Studio 5 and to talk about writing about a sensitive subject. I will be sharing my experiences with Some Secrets Hurt. I have also been asked to talk about critique groups. When I talk to the teachers, I will talk to them about coaching young writers.

It’s a tall order, but I am very excited for the opportunity. I know that you all have great ideas that you would love to pass on to young writers. Please post them as comments to this post. I just may use your ideas. I am also looking for great quotes, so pass them along, too.

And, by the way, if you know a young writer that could use this great experience, pass along this info to them. Registration of $20 is due October 20. At the door registration is $5.00 more. You can register at

The conference is November 7 at South Fremont High School in St. Anthony, Idaho. You can find out more by emailing Bonnie Warne at Teachers can attend for a similar fee. Do you have to be part of the Upper Valley to attend? Bonnie says they will take all comers.

Wending Words. Isn’t that beautiful? Journeying Toward Meaning. I’m all for that. Sign me up.

Linda Garner

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just a Little Somethin'

So, I was on my way home from my awesome critique group when this song popped up on the radio. I thought it was very inspirational. =)

It's called Fireflies by Owl City. The embedding is disabled, so you will have to click on the link.

Click here. Click here. Click here.

Have a great week guys!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ladies Night

When I arrived there was already a long line of ladies winding through the mall. I wasn’t late; It was ten minutes to six. This was my first time at Ladies Night. I had been invited to a book signing at Layton Hills Mall. I had heard Ladies Night was a big deal, but this wasn’t just big. It was huge.

There were four of us authors at tables in the center of Deseret Book. Helium balloons made us easy to spot. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I was at a book signing with Josi Kilpack, Lisa Mangum, and Jennie Hansen. I was hangin’ with some high class ladies. I hoped some of it would rub off on me.

The place was packed with ladies of all ages--mothers, daughters, sisters; looking for bargains, and the 3 f’s; food, friends, and fun. The food was in the form of brownies and cheesecake. Mmmm. Some brought their friends, some met them there. The fun was…well the whole evening was funtastik. There was live music from Cherie Call, and all kinds of live chatter from the crowd. There were a ton of drawings for everything from shampoo to framed prints.

Those ladies were having a great time and they were also in the mood to buy. Deseret Book primed the pump by offering 20% off and you could just here that cash register ring. I had a great time talking to people about Some Secrets Hurt and signing their books. What could be better?

Linda Garner

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yet again

I am sitting on my couch, surrounded by mounds of papers and articles, trying to organize my research papers this semester. I have two of them, and they both need ten journal articles to support their empirical wisdom. So empirical…so wisdom-matic.

So again, I must sing praises to my beloved Thesaurus. I love you thesaurus, you are the beacon in my mountain of articles.

Click here to read thesaurus praise #1.

See you next week! I hope I’m out from this heap of documents.