Monday, May 30, 2011

Social Networking

New Baby
I’ve been gone for two weeks with a new grandson in Phoenix. He is so cute and cuddly and soft. Don’t you love the smell of a newborn’s hair? He is just perfect. And the best thing is that I don’t have to get up with him in the middle of the night. I get the fun job of playing with the four-year-old that is adorable also.
I did no writing or social networking because every time I got my laptop out, my four-year-old buddy was right there to check out Nick Jr. or PBS kids. We both got very good at the games. I have an IQ equal to his in being able to figure out how to move the fish or monkey over the rocks or around the sea weed. That means I’m not a complete computer illiterate, I hope.
However, he wanted to check out, but those races and skate board ramps were too hard for both of us. I do know my limitations.
So here’s to Facebook, which I’m pretty good at, and Twitter, which I’m just learning, and blogging, which I really like.
I don’t think I’m making any sense. I’m too tired to think. I’m just glad to be home and in my own bed. My self-esteem isn’t too hammered. At least I can keep up with the four-year-old.
My social networking has a ways to go. But I’m like the tortoise. I just keep plodding along. I’m slow, but I’m sure. I have a marketing workshop with my publisher next week. Maybe they can reform me and pull me from my ignorant state. Let’s all hope.
Thanks for listening, Christy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You're so Tweet

I've been on Twitter now for...I don't know... maybe a year?

And I still don't know what I'm doing on that thing.

I finally figured out the #hagtags.

But really, that's about it. So, I'm turning to WikiHow to help me out (

Oh smart you are!

Maybe in a few weeks, you'll see me twittering around (or writing funny things that make no sense - did you hear about the kid that borrowed his friends twitter page to look up a girl and kept typing her name in the "what's happening" box? lol. Poor guy).

So here's to tweeting. I hope I eventually figure it out. Oh! And tell me, what do you like better? Blogging, fbing, or twitter-ing? So far it's a tie with my crit group.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That looks like Dog Poop

Whew! Time for a Break.

Are you like me? When I get my head in my writing, nothing gets in my way. I can ignore the dirty dishes, the piles of laundry, and the crumbs on the floor. A tornado could by swishing around me and I might not notice.

I've been wrapped up on an article on sexual abuse for Your LDS Neighborhood. It's sort of a long story, but I promised them an article by a certain date and had to put them off a little because of my drowned computer. Now I'm really determined to make that article sparkle and get it in their hands before they need it.

The article is called In The Quiet Heart is Hidden Sorrow that the Eye Can't See. I know, it's a long title. It's scheduled to run on June 8, so go sign up for Your LDS Neighborhood if you aren't already. It's easy and it's free. No worries if you're not LDS. The articles are not usually religious. You can sign up here.

Just to whet your appetite here is the beginning of the article.

Orange jello. The girls were excited. My friend had made it for her mutual class. As she peeled back the foil, their delight turned quickly to dismay. Something was wrong.

“What’s that in the corner?” asked one of the girls. “It looks like dog poop.”
“It is dog poop,” said the teacher, “but don’t worry. It’s just in this one corner. We can cut around it. Who wants a piece?”

If you want to hear the rest of the story, go to Your LDS Neighborhood on June 8.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Baptize your Laptop

I’m running behind today. Lots of catching up to do. My cute little granddaughter baptized my laptop last week. It was fatal. Good thing she is adorable, and also innocent. I’m trying to make friends with my new laptop while catching up from being on the go last month.

April was amazing but crazy. Suzuki piano convention, BYU Women’s Conference, the Writer’s Extravaganza in Ephraim, followed by LDS Storymakers Conference the first week of May. Phew. I’m a little worn up and a lot behind.

Made lots of new friends at all of the above. I also had an article published in Meridian Magazine which I’d love for you to read. Meridian is an online magazine primarily for an LDS audience. They have lots of non-LDS readers as well, so don’t be put off by that. Here is the link to my article, called How Could This Happen to Us. Click here.

The Whitney Awards were announced following the Storymakers Convention. This was my first year to vote and I am very excited about the winners. If you are looking for a good read. Here are some fabulous choices.

Best Romance Novel: Cross my Heart by Julie Wright
Best Mystery/Suspense Novel: Cold as Ice by Stephanie Black
Best Historical Novel: Trespass by Sandra Grey
Best General Novel: Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon
Best Speculative Novel: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Best Speculative Youth Fiction Novel: Matched by Ally Condie
Best General Youth Fiction Novel: The Healing Spell by Kimberely Griffiths Little
Best Novel by New Author: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Best Novel of the Year: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
AND Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

About baptizing your laptop. It’s a lot less painful if you have a reliable backup. About a month ago, I starting backing up with Carbonite. Best $60.00 I ever spent.

Linda Garner

Monday, May 16, 2011

Insight from your reading

Hello Everyone,
I love writing this blog. I think about it all week, and it’s fun to come up with new ideas. Yesterday, I winged my way home from Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, and had time to read a Newberry Honor Book, HOOT by Carl Hiaasen. It’s a middle grade novel about eco-warriors, saving burrowing owls from insatiable big business. The book is funny and well-written.
The author takes pot-shots at a variety of people. There is a mother who should be charged with battery, another mother who physically and emotionally abandons her child. There is an abusive dad, and a step-dad who is a retired NBA star that has become a couch potato. However, two caring parents allow their kid to find his own way.
The off-spring of these varied homes crash together in a synergistic way to change their part of the world.
It’s a “tree-huggers” book with the premise that you can alter the world within the bounds of the law and by being kind to others.
Intertwined through the entire novel is a bullying theme with a forthright, assertive solution-model. I think it’s well done, but I would love to hear your comments, whether you agree or disagree.
Whenever I read a novel, I try to find the wisdom the author has for me to help improve my own writing. What is the insight I find in this book? How am I at multi-layered concepts? Can I weave them together into an effective story?
What kind of knowledge about your craft did you take from the last novel you read?
Christy Monson

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm a Beta-Yogurt Maker!

It's true! I totally made my own yogurt yesterday. Got the milk, added the start. Voila...yogurt!!! I'm a yogurt maker!

Sorry, I just thought that was so cool. Now on to writing.

Last weekend I attended Storymakers with about 499 other awesome writers/agents/editors. It was amazing!

The pitch went FABULOUS (btw, thanks for all your comments last week. Helped me a ton). The agent was awesome. I was very impressed (I almost begged for her to come home with me, but then she'd be stuck making yogurt and eating green smoothies. I don't know if she'd like that very much.)

<a href="">Elena J</a>. taught us what to do and what not to do on blogger. (Can I just say that she is incredible. Best conference teacher ever!)

But what I really wanted to talk about was Beta readers (or Alpha, whatever you want to use). Those people who look at the whole ms and tell you where you went wrong, if it's entertaining, or if they wanted to throw the book across the room (or how brilliant you are).

Once you have your ms done and polished the best you think it can be, send it to your betas.

Right now I have four of them, two adult writers and two awesomely-cool teens (because that's who I write for).

Then you wait.

Once you get their opinions back, you can correct your ms, make it a little more shiny and polished.

I highly recommend it. (But the waiting is a killer.) Okay, I must get back to work (waiting)...*whipcrack*

Do you you use Betas? If so who do you use? If not...why not?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tending My Word Garden

Metaphor: an implied comparison between two different things; a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily means one thing is applied to another in order to suggest a likeness between the two.

Aren’t metaphors delicious? I think of them as word pictures.

"Men's words are bullets, that their enemies take up and make use of against them."
(George Savile, Maxims)

"The rain came down in long knitting needles."
(Enid Bagnold, National Velvet)

"Language is a road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going."(Rita Mae Brown)

"Having a friend made all the difference. Jessie was a cup of hot chocolate on a wintry day. She was a patch of blue in a cloudy sky." (Linda Garner, Way to Go Grace) ...thought I’d sneak that in.

I was asked in an interview what metaphor I would use for writing. I decided that writing is planting a seed and watching it grow. I’m not always sure what kind of seed I am planting. That’s part of the adventure. How big will the plant be? Will it have leaves? Flowers? Fruit?

What kind of metaphor would you use to describe writing? Share your thoughts.

If I don’t answer, leave a note, I may be tending my word garden.

Linda Garner

Monday, May 9, 2011

Social Networking

I am trying to learn about social networking. I think that’s the new buzz word that’s grown exponentially during the electronic explosion.
I just signed up for Twitter, but I don’t really know how it works. I’m just flying blind on that one, so if any of you have any suggestions, I’m open to any advice you can give me.
I’m keeping up on my blogs, but I haven’t done a lot of connecting lately. I’m going to do better. I love getting to know people, so that’s going to be a fun new goal for me.
I’ve found someone to set up a web site for me. I’ve never done that before either, so I’m excited about that. I want to get it up and running before my book comes out in November.
My Facebook is fun because most of my kids are on it, and I love seeing my grandkids in action pictures almost as they happen.
Those of you who have gone before me–which is probably most all of you, I’d love to hear your stories of encouragement, your what-to-do and what-not-to-do lists and the wisdom you’ve learned along the way.
Signed Electronic Novice who’s changing status! (With your help)
Christy Monson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Will You Just Get Out of My Head?

Hey, whattcha doing?  *Looking at studying-self*

Shhhh...I'm trying to concentrate. *mumbling*

What? You're acting weird. You keep talking to yourself.

Yeah. I know (a little irritated). I'm getting my pitch ready.

Oh...that's right! You're pitching at your conference this weekend, aren't you?

(Studying-self, trying to ignore playful-self.)

So whattcha taking with you? Chocolate chips? Writing shoes? Spit wads?

I told you that whole spit wad thing was an accident. *sigh*

That's not what the papers said.

Well, it was. *looking back and forth, a little sweat building on forehead* It won't happen again.

Well, good luck on that pitch. It sounds fascinating.

*Going back to ignoring playful-self*

So the next two days I will be at it again...listening to other writers, munching on chips, rolling up spit wads. Yes, I'm off to my second conference this year!  Woohoo! Getting my pitch ready and polished so I don't trip over my words (which only happens like...all the time).

So tell me, what do you guys want to get out of a conference? Me? Making it through this pitch session without forgetting my pitch

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Save The Picture Book!

Save the Whales! Save the rainforests! Save the Picture Book!

I've been reading about the decline of the picture book. So sad.

It seems that many parents are anxious to get their kids reading in "real" books and are bypassing picture books in favor of easy readers and chapter books. That combined with the economic pressure publishers are feeling on every level and the ginormous cost of producing a picture book is really hurting the picture book market.

Since I am a picture book writer this is disturbing news, but it goes much deeper than that. I am not just a writer of picture books, I am a lover of picture books.

Picture books are incredibly valuable in shaping the imagination, the vocabulary, and the cultural and social awareness of children. Picture books are an essential part of the fabric of childhood, feeding the love of books long before a child can study phonics.

Reading is more than decoding words. Reading is an adventure. Reading can take you anywhere. Picture books open this door in a most delightful way, feeding the senses, and creating a world of possibilities.

Who doesn't remember snuggling up to someone you love with a wonderful picture book, either as a parent or as a child? Who doesn't remember star belly sneeches,the wild rumpus, or a terrible horrible no good very bad day? Who doesn't have a memory of a particularly delicious picture book? Who has forgotten Dr. Seuss?

We're in a hurry now days, to nowhere in particular. We've gotta move on to "real" books. We haven't got time for the richly illustrated and layered literature in picture books. We haven't time for magic.

What's the Hurry!

This is Children's Book Week. Let's Celebrate. Save the Picture Book!

Linda garner

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I wish I had known as a new writer

I went to the American Fork, Utah, Writer’s Workshop on Saturday. A dear friend, Margot Hovley gave a presentation on “What I wish I had known as a new writer.” She talked about practicing your craft–writing for ten years before you become really proficient. Having a thick skin is important so you can handle all the rejection letters you get. Belonging to great critique groups helps you hone your skills. Most of us have experienced these things.
The thing I didn’t know as a new writer was the great gift of friendship I would receive. I had no idea how much I would come to love all the people in my critique groups and what great support and love they would give back to me. This has been a great blessing in my life.
The goal of all writers is to be published. Even though I have a book contract, it is over-shadowed by the sheer joy of the journey along the way. One of the greatest gifts along the path is love.
So my answer to Margot’s question is: I wish I had known about the love I would find along the journey. I’m thankful for it and wish all of you the same blessing.
Happy Spring! Happy Writing! What you have found along your way that you didn’t know about as a new writer?
Christy Monson