Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love beginnings. I love the start of a new month, a new day, a new year. I love goals. I love to try new things. I love to change things up.

I have some personal goals for the new year. Some involve health. Some involve simplifying, organizing, dejunking…that kind of thing. Others involve time and prioritizing. Prioritizing? It has a magical sound to it. Very business-like and powerful, but…

Prioritizing has always been a struggle for me. I love to do too many things. I want to do everything. As a young mother, I thought that prioritizing was a way to do more. If I just prioritized,I thought, I could fit everything in. It never worked, and I never knew why. That was a little insane.

Writing is a high priority for me. I have some specific writing goals for the new year, such as finding a home for three picture book manuscripts, and forging ahead on my first chapter book.

Our critique group is doing a remodel, too. Lately, we drifted into a comfortable stupor, where we did lots of visiting, but not much critiquing. We weren’t making much progress and thankfully we decided to do something about it. More structure was needed, and a few ground rules.

Change is good. I’m glad that we care enough about each other to hang in there, and I’m glad that we care enough about our writing to try new things. It’s just coincidence that we are making a new start at the start of a new year, but then again…

I love beginnings.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I don't know if anyone will read this post, since Christmas is just around the corner and you're probably doing the hundred yard dash, just like I am. I hope that your holiday is beautiful and happy and sane.(I hear that sanity is over-rated, but like you, I have grown attached to it.) I wish you joy. I wish you miracles. I wish you love. May your Christmas be meaningful and satisfying.

Now if you have two minutes to spare, click here and enjoy a Christmas laugh.

Linda Garner

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Note to self Repeat

IF you have read my personal blog, you have already read this post. Since Christmas is right around the corner and I'm behind on everything, I've reposted. I hope you like it. Merry Christmas! =)

(Sometimes I just have remind myself)

Hi self. I see you’ve been having a difficult time lately, not with just writing, but with everything that you are doing. I just wanted to remind you of some lessons you have learned, because it seems like you forget them and have to relearn them. I hope this will help.

1. Remember why you started writing. Was it for the competition? For the praise? Or was is just because it was fun and you enjoyed it? Don’t write for the wrong reasons. It will make you miserable.

2. Sometimes people will get mad at you for reasons you don't understand at the moment. But it would really help if you wouldn’t mess with those buttons on Blogger and Twitter that erase peoples’ comments and block people off the account. I know you were curious about what the buttons would do, but now that you know… Just don’t do it! (Sorry I erased some of your comments and if you were removed from twitter, I’m adding you back. I was just trying to figure out what the button meant. Yeah, I know now.)

3. Remember the things that make you happy. Cleaning the house while blasting the radio and singing off key to your favorite songs. The scent of fresh cut oranges. The pitter-patter of rain on a hot pavement. The laughter of your kids.

4. Relish in the accomplishments of others…without comparing yourself. Remember the feeling of how wonderful it is to have a friend sincerely be happy for something you have accomplished. Now give that back to others.

5. You will never be the skinniest girl in the neighborhood. I’m sorry to inform you, you just won’t. As long as you are healthy and happy, it doesn’t matter that you are the average weight for your size. Being super thin will not make you happier or make people like you more. You are okay, just the size you are.

6. Which brings me to #6. It is okay not to be popular. You would think after all these years you would have learned this. There is something special in each person. Some are the life of the party while other’s make friends easily and some people can do that cool Lord of the Dance thing. You are different with different talents that are important to who you are. Don’t be someone you aren’t. Just be yourself. Friends will find you, lives will be touched. Just enjoy the bumpy ride.

7. Let go of pride. Pride has only brought you misery and unhappiness. Let it go. It will try to find you and latch on to your hopes and dreams, causing them to crumble and fail. Don’t give in to it. Remember there are better things in store if you let your pride go.

8. Last but not least. Remember who you are and remember the destination. It is so easy to forget. Just keep your eye on the goal.

Self, if you take these lessons into your life you will find you are not constantly making these same mistakes over and over. You are a great girl, with tons of potential. I believe in you.

I just want to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am taking a break from blogging/twittering/facebooking/…. To spend time with the people that matter most to me, my family. I hope the New Year treats everyone kindly and that you are all safe during these holiday seasons. Thank you for following my blog, it means a lot to me.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I apologize to everyone who tried to contact me at lindagarner@somesecretshurt.com. Apparently that email is not working. Instead, please contact me at garners@xmission.com if you would like to receive the gift mentioned in the following post. Sorry for the mess up.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Christmas Gift to You

Its true. I have a gift for you. Before I tell you about it, though, I have a favor to ask. Friend-husband and I are shopping for Storybook Night. If you recall, this is the night when we give our grandchildren their Christmas gifts. Each grandchild receives a book, especially chosen for them. They open their gifts one at a time so that everyone can admire each book. The rest of the evening is a filled with the reading and sharing of books. The favor? What is your favorite children’s book? That’s all. Just give me a suggestion or two. We need picture books, chapter books, and maybe even a little YA fiction.

Now, the gift. What do you do on Christmas Eve? In our family we stay up late playing games and watching movies, but first we gather for a Christmas Sing In. It’s an informal way to bring a special spirit to our Holiday celebration and reminds us of the reason for the season.

What’s a sing-in, you ask. Well, (thinking)…I guess it’s sort of an informal program. No preparation, no costumes, no fuss. One person reads, everyone sings. Choose your favorite carols, select a good reader, find a comfy chair, and the fun begins.

In our family, we use a script for our sing-in, which I wrote some years ago. I wrote it originally as narration for a musical Christmas fireside. It was well received and a few people requested copies. We liked it so much, that we adopted it as narration for our yearly sing-in. I think you’ll like it too.

I would like to thank you for your friendship and support. Thank you for your comments to the blog and your emails. I love hearing from you. Thank you for helping me celebrate the release of Some Secrets Hurt. Thank you for making a difference.

The script is too long for this post, but if you would like a copy of my sing-in script, just email me, garners@xmission.com and I will send the script as an attachment. Feel free to adapt it to suit your needs. I will send it in time for Christmas Eve.

That’s my Christmas Gift to You.

Merry Christmas.

Linda Garner

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meme about Me

My awesome friend L.T. tagged me for meme! Thanks L.T. You can see her blog HERE. She is an amazing writer and a close friend. =)

Five North American Cities in Which I’d Seriously Consider Living:
1. A magical city where it is always the right temperature (except on Christmas - that's when it would snow, and then melt for the next day - And have just the right amount of rainy days so the air is clean and smells nice.) Besides that, I don't know.
2. Here, because I like here. It's a good place and all my stuff is here.
3. here
4. here
5. here

Five Songs to Which I know all the Words:
1. There she goes - The La's
2. A Million Ways - Ok Go (only because I sing this every time I go to the tooth man - sorry dentist guy).
3. Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson (Love him!)
4. Dashboard - Modest Mouse
5. Hot! Hot! Hot! - The Cure (don't ask me why, I just love that freaky song)

Five Foods I’d Hope to have in Unlimited Quantities on a Desert Island:
1. Cookies
2. Ice cream (I'd have to have it frozen, growing from the trees)
3. Chocolate (all shapes and sizes)
4. Cheesecake
5. Ok, I'd better have something good for me, toss in a green salad - with a cherry tomato on top. =)

Five Chores I Should be doing instead of Blogging:
1. Cleaning the front room
2. Cleaning toilet (gross!)
3. Tidying up Kitchen
4. Sorting coats (why do we have so many coats? What are we? The coat barn?)
5. Taking out the stinky garbage (I never knew old lettuce could smell so bad.)

Five Childhood Friends I’d like to See Again:
1. Carrie B.
2. Cindy (I see her on facebook once in a while, but still not enough)
3. Debbie (although I do see her once a year, I would like to see her more)
4. Wendy (from H.S.)
5. Heather

(Why do I always have such a hard time answering questions like that?)
Now I get to name 5 people I’d like to know the answers to these same questions! Um... I pick: Oh, I don't know, this is so hard! Okay....I pick... you all! I pick you all. There I did it. Now you have to let me know where you posted your answers so I can read it! SWEEEET!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teach-er (noun) There is no greater word.

I just bought a t-shirt with that message on it. It’s got some bling on it—sparkly apples—one gold, one red. I thought it would be fun to wear. I needed a long sleeved shirt, and it was on clearance. Just my size. I didn’t think much about the message—not at first.

No greater word—so true. I am thankful for the teachers in my life. In many ways, I am a product of their work. They taught me diligence and respect. They taught me to love my country. They taught me to share.

No greater word—parents, my first and last teachers. In many ways I am a product of their example. They taught me obedience. They taught me excellence. They taught me that family comes first. They taught me that I am daughter of God.

No greater word—friends, old and new. In many ways I am a product of their touch. They have taught me to laugh. They have taught me to be myself. They have taught me to find joy. They have taught me to expect miracles.

No greater word—Jesus, the master teacher. In many ways I am a product of his love. He has taught me to serve. He has taught me to give. He has taught me to trust. He has taught me to love. He has opened my heart. He has given me a reason to live.

Today with thankful heart, I celebrate the teachers in my life. What wondrous gifts they have given. When I grow up, I want to be just like them.

Teach-er (noun) There is no greater word.

Linda Garner

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Drafts, Chocolate and Moving Eyebrows

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
--Justice Brandeis

“Can I read that?” *pointing to computer screen with little pictures of folders on it*

“Um…no.” *me with narrowed eyes, trying to figure out why*

“Oh come on Carolyn, it can’t be that bad.”

“Sorry. It’s locked away in my computer until the sun stops shining.”

“But it’s your first story. Ever.”

“No. it’s the first draft of my first story. Ever.”

“So, can I read it.”

“Um, did you hear me? No.”

“I’ll come and do your dishes for a week.”

“You said that last time you wanted to go to that thing with those people. It never happened. No.”

“How about your laundry? I’ll come do your laundry for a month.”

“Wow, you have me tempted, but still – No.”

“Why not?” *hands on hips, pouty look on face*

“Well, for one thing, it’s a first draft, which means it doesn’t have any cool flamboyant vocabulary added in. There is not as much humor in it as I would like and the detail…needs more. It’s just the bare bones of the story.”

“Bones, huh?”

“Yeah, crunchy first-draft dry bones.”

“You need some meat on those bones.”

“Exactly.” *eyebrows moving up in amazement because person finally understands*

“So…” long dramatic pause. “What if I give you some chocolate? Like a whole bag full?”

“You got yourself a deal.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Mable is missing. Kidnapped! Can you believe it? This is the sort of thing that you hear about on the 10:00 news. You read about it in the morning paper. It doesn’t happen to someone you know. It doesn’t happen to someone you care about. How could this happen to Mable? How could this happen to us?

I haven’t known Mable long, less than two years. In that short time she has become a trusted friend. We have gone everywhere together. Her familiar voice puts me at ease, and I enjoy her company. Mable does most of the talking when we are alone together. She is always thinking of me. She helps me feel confident and safe. She is great with directions, and since I can get lost in a parking lot, I rely on her whenever she is with me.

Friend-husband always knows where he is going, but my brain does not work that way. I have a wonderful brain, by the way, but I am (gasp) directionally challenged. For that reason alone, I am always delighted to have Mable with me.

Surprisingly, Friend husband made friends with Mable first. I wasn’t very interested in Mable, but he could see her strengths. To me she seemed a little transparent, and maybe a little cocky. I make friends easily, though, and before I knew it, Mable and I were growing close.

Friend-husband and I invited Mable along often. We introduced her to friends and family. They enjoyed getting to know Mable. She became their friend. She loves to travel, and was often invited along. They will be devastated to hear the news, but no one will miss her as much as I will.

Mable has gotten me out of many a tight spot. She was with me in every storm. Her vision was clear. Her advice was flawless. Well almost. I’m not sure how I will manage without her. I will make new friends, but can they take her place? I just don’t know.

You see, I’m on the road a lot, and Mable was our helpful friend. Mable was our Garmin GPS. She was stolen from our car yesterday. Kidnapped. I wonder if she put up a fight. I wonder if she is frightened. Will she feel lost and alone? Will she miss us?

I wish I knew where she was. I suppose she will make new friends. I hope they will take good care of her. Whatever will we do without her? I miss her already.

Recalculating. Recalculating.

Linda Garner