Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Question Everything

I love questions. They are powerful tools. They invite reflection. They invite answers. They allow us to expand our vision. They help us to see more clearly.

A good question can improve communication. It can invite a friend to share his/her heart with you. It can invite a spouse to share his/her thoughts with you. A good question can expand a relationship and take it to a deeper level.

Questions can help us evaluate our thinking, our living, our understanding. They can help us focus on our dreams and see things we haven’t noticed before. They can enlarge us, encourage us, empower us.

A writer needs to question everything.

Is the plot working? Are the characters real? Is my title inviting? Is the dialogue believable? Are my words interesting? Is my beginning engaging? Is my ending satisfying? What is the takeaway? Are there unnecessary words or chapters? Does every scene contribute to the story? Is this my best work?

Questions can change your writing, and your life.

Question everything.

Linda Garner

Monday, November 28, 2011

Walnuts and Thankfulness

We have a wonderful walnut tree in our back yard. It shades the upper yard, is fun for the kids to climb in, holds my wind chimes in the summer just perfectly, is a shelter for the birds and squirrels and gives us delicious walnuts in the fall! They are so good. (Well, I know some of you are saying that they give you cankers—and they do!) They are great in homemade candy and spice up my granola recipe. They are just all around good!
As you can tell, I LOVE this tree.
Each day as I gather the nuts and peel off the husks, I am filled with gratitude. God gives us so many blessings. Whoever thought up this creation had good ideas! The world is full of so many things that make our lives better—all given us by our Creator.
You are part of those wonderful creations, and I’m grateful that I know a little more about you from your comments. You are all so deserving, but the random ‘draw out of the hat’ revealed number 22 as the winner. Congratulations, Cynthia. I’ll be in touch.
For those of you who didn’t win, the book is available at
or on Amazon. Thanks again for being great bloggers.
            PS I just found out about I’m signing up! How about you?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gratitude Giveaway

Hey, all you Paper and Parchment fans! Have I got a deal for you? It’s a thankful give-away just for you! You have been so kind to listen to my hopes and fears through the months of this becoming-published business! I really appreciate your support and encouragement.

I love doing author signings and meeting people. This blog hop is a great way to find friends and meet others. Besides, you may win a time travel to visit the Prophet Brigham Young! What fun. Just remember, if you’re going to borrow you dad’s experimental phone, know exactly how it works!

I'm giving away a copy of my new release, Texting Through Time, a Trek with Brigham Young. It's a great Christmas gift for kids ages 7 – 13. Enjoy reading it with them just for fun. Thanks for being blog buddies. Click here to see my website. I'm hosting a second giveaway on my website for an Amazon Gift Card. Hop on over and leave a comment to be entered in the Gift Card Giveaway.

To be entered in the giveaway for Texting Through Time, just leave a comment after this post, and tell me why you'd like to win my book.

This contest is part of a blog hop. There are over 300 other contests you can enter. After you enter here, be sure to hop along to the next one. Click the Gratitude Button on the sidebar to hop along. It looks like this.

The contest runs until November 27, which gives you lots of time to enter other contests. What a great way to win cool books. Think of all the Christmas Gifts you could win.

The winners for both giveaways will be selected by

Christy Monson

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gratitude A-Z

First, let me apologize for not posting on Tuesday. I had a little mixup with one of my bloggy partners. Watch for her contest later this month. She's giving away a copy of her new book, Texting Through Time. Possibly a great Christmas gift for someone on your list.

Second, I apologize to Carolyn for posting on her day. She'll probably be posting any minute now. Love ya, Carolyn.

Third, I'd like to mention some things I'm thankful for. Here's a light-hearted gratitude list from A-Z. If I draw a blank on any letter, maybe you can fill it in for me.

A I'm thankful for ANGELS. They help me every day. I love the earthly angels, and the unearthly ones.

B I'm thankful for BOOKS. They take me to amazing places. My BODY also takes me to amazing places. She is a great friend.

C I am thankful for CHOICE. Today I am choosing joy.

D I am thankful to be DIFFERENT. Who wants to be the same?

E I am thankful for ELECTRICITY, one of the truly great inventions.

F I am thankful for my fabulous FAMILY and my adorable FRIENDS. No explanation needed.

G I'm thankful for GRANDKIDS. They are some of my favorite people. My favorite person is GRANDPA, because he is my best friend.

H I'm thankful for my HOME. It's a great place to be.

I I am thankful for IMAGINATION. It brightens my days.

J I am thankful for JESUS. What an incredible man.

K I am thankful for KINDNESS. Kindness rocks.

L I am thankful for LOVE. It still makes the world go round.

M I am thankful to be ME. No one else can do it.

N I am thankful for NATURE. What a wonderful gift.

O I am thankful for OMELETS, because they are yummy.

P I am thankful for PRAYER which strengthens me, and fills my heart with PEACE.

Q I am thankful for QUIET, which softens the corners of a noisy day.

R I am thankful for RAIN which washes the earth and waters my thoughts.

S I am thankful for SUNSHINE. Who isn't?

T I am thankful for TODAY, which is always fresh and full of promise. TOMORROW is good too.

U I am thankful to live in the USA. With all our problems it's still the greatest place on earth.

V I am thankful for VIRTUE. It's hard to find sometimes.

W I am thankful for clean, clear WATER. May we always have plenty.

X I don't X-ACTLY know what to say for X, except I am X-TREMELY thankful for the good stuff in my life.

Y I am thankful for YOU because YOU are awesome. YOU totally Rock.

Z I am thankful for the ZIP and ZING in my world. I hope it never goes away.

Isn't that amazing. I made it through the alphabet, and I barely scratched the surface. I have a lot to be thankful for. It's a great day for gratitude.

What are you thankful for?

Linda Garner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Picture Books Rock

Picture books rock. Rick Walton rocks. I have borrowed this post with permission. I couldn't have said it better. It originally posted on November 2.

Why Picture Books Are Important,
And Why They Are for Everyone

by Rick Walton

Picture books are often seen as literary baby food, the stuff we feed children until they have the teeth to eat real food.

I would argue, however, that picture books are not baby food. They are not just for young children.

In fact, I would argue that picture books are perhaps the most important literary format that we have.

Here are 10 reasons why I believe this:

1. They are the first books that children fall in love with, that turn children into lifetime readers. Lifetime readers become lifetime learners. Lifetime learners become lifetime contributors.

2. Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power.

3. The picture book is the most flexible of all literary formats. You can do almost anything in a picture book. This flexibility encourages creativity, in both writer and reader. It broadens the mind, and the imagination. And given today's challenges, we desperately need more creativity, broadened minds. Imagination.

4. The picture book, with its interaction between text and illustration , with its appeal that the reader analyze that interaction, helps develop visual intelligence. It helps us look for meaning in the visual. And since most of us are surrounded by, and inundated by visual images our whole lives, visual intelligence is an important skill.

5. Some of the best art being created today is found in picture books. Picture books are a great resource for art education.

6. The picture book appeals to more learning styles than any other format. It is read out loud for audible learners. It is written and illustrated for visual learners. It often asks you to interact with it physically for kinesthetic learners.

7. In fact, the picture book, of all formats, is probably the best format for teaching an idea, getting across a point. Because picture books are short, all messages, knowledge, ideas expressed in a picture book must be boiled down to their essence. They must be presented in a way that is impossible to misunderstand. If you want to learn a difficult subject, start with a picture book. If you want to express a powerful message, a picture book is one of the most powerful media for doing so. Many middle, upper grade, and even college instructors have recognized the value of using picture books in their teaching.

8. The picture book does more than any other literary format for bonding people one with another. As a child sits on a lap and is read to, as a parent, a grand parent, a teacher, a librarian reads to a child, extremely important connections are made, bonds are formed, generations are brought together.

9. The picture book also has the broadest possible age range of audience. Few four-year-olds will appreciate a novel. But many grandparents enjoy a good picture book. I have read picture books for upwards of an hour to groups including toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents, where all were engaged.

10. The picture book is short, and can fit easily into the nooks and crannies of our lives. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, plenty of time for a complete literary experience.

Picture books are poetry, adventure, imagination, language, interaction, precision, and so much more.

Picture books are not books that children should be encouraged to "graduate" from.

For picture books have something important to say, to give, to all ages, all generations.

Picture books are not just books for young children.

They are books for everybody.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Signings

My Book "Texting Through Time, A Trek With Brigham Young," is now available in book stores and on

I just have to share with you my wonderful weekend. I did a book signing at Hastings in Harrisville on Friday night, November 4th. It was wonderful. I met a lot of great people and sold 20 books!

My real book launch party was at Deseret Book by the Ogden Temple on Saturday, November 5th. What a turn-out I had. I sold over a hundred books for the weekend. I was treated like royalty. The people at the store were so kind and accommodating. What a wonderful experience for me.
I also had a lot of friends and family come. It was a great day to be with friends and meet new faces.

It is fun to see kids eyes light up when they try on the Brigham Young costume I have. They stand tall in the high hat and hold the cane just so. What fun!!

I didn't think I would like doing these signings, but they really are a good time. I'm going to be on the Ogden Costco on Wednesday and Friday, November 9th and 11th, during the day. I'm really looking forward to doing this. (Where, you all remember my last post about this. I was really dreading it. But I'm not now.) I having lots of fun.

Which shows, I should never make up my mind about something until I've tried it. The "try it, you'll like it" phrase has truth in it. And I willingly admit it.

Stay tuned next week. I'm doing a book giveaway.
Take care! Happy reading and writing. Christy Monson

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Zombie Love

I'm still out this week for edits. But I wanted to pop in, say hi and leave all my friends who are doing NaNo (or not doing NaNo) a special love song.

Have a great week guys (and I want updates, how's the writing going?)

That song is so awesome!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something About Rain

I love sunny weather. Who doesn’t? …but there is something about rain.

November Rain

Mysterious skies.
Somber clouds.
Water everywhere.
Small Rivers gather on my windows.

Pitter Patter.
Rhythmic tapping at my window.
The whisper of wind.
The hum of drizzling.

The aroma of November.
The smell of earth.
The smoky breath of burning fireplace wood.

Slow down with the earth.
Wrap up in a cloud of thought
With a cup of cocoa and a fresh idea.
Enjoy the warmth.

Linda Garner