Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you guys all have a wonderful Christmas!

Love this! Merry Christmas everyone. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Secret's Out

Christmas secrets can be lots of fun. Some are hard to keep. Some are fun to share.
As parents, we had Christmas secrets, but it seems our children had secrets of their own.

When our children were young, they had late night Christmas Eve Parties downstairs. We stocked the party room with videos and goodies. We watched a movie or two with them and then went upstairs to wait for Santa.

When we left the party we wrapped the connecting doorway with noisy wrapping paper, so that no one could sneak upstairs to spy on Santa, unnanounced. The doorway would be unwrapped at 6:00 a.m. and the Christmas Mayhem would commence. After all, we needed our rest.

It seemed foolproof enough.

When the children were grown, they told us one unsuspecting afternoon how they cracked our security system, year after year.

One brave child would leave the cozy nest and climb the roof of our house, gaining access to the overhang that bordered our front windows. He would enter through the windows, take inventory, and return with a full report of the goods.

Particularly noteworthy was the year that Santa brought new roller skates for everyone. The courageous one returned to the mostly unfinished basement with the skates in hand, where everyone happily skated most of the night.

The skates were returned to their proper places in plenty of time so that neither Santa or his helpers ever suspected. Because of our strick ban on starting Christmas Morning before 6:00 a.m., they had only to watch the time.

The little darlings managed to look appropriately surprised and delighted on Christmas Morning. If Hollywood had known of their great acting ability, they would probably be big stars today.

The secret's out.

Do you have a Christmas secret you would like to share? It could be fun.

Linda Garner

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great Historical Fiction Read

“After an attempted assassination, Governor Lilburn Boggs couldn’t prove who’d taken a shot at him, leaving the identity of his assailant a mystery. Twenty-five years later and after the passing of Gov. Boggs, Detective Calvin Pogue has been hired by the Boggs family to open this cold case and find out the truth about the assassin. From Missouri to California and into the heart of the Utah territory, Detective Pogue relentlessly seeks clues that lead him to the legendary Mormon gunman Porter R ockwell—who still isn’t making things easy for anyone!” Back cover.
Anyone who loves good historical fiction and sleuthing fun will love this book. The characters are well-developed, and picturesque descriptions along with great imagery augment this delicious mystery. Miller’s subplots add depth to the story as he looks at all sides of the somewhat complex issue.
Rod Miller is a noted writer of the old west, and his style brings this story to life. The only things wanting as I read the novel were end notes and original-source references. As a student of history, I’m always looking to primary sources for more information.
This book will make a gift to the history buffs in your family. Happy reading!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moody Weather

I love this weather.

It snowed this week and today the roads are covered in a soft mist, making the air feel like a mysterious movie.

I love it.

Weather can change a mood, give ambiance, or (as my daughter tells me) finally makes it finally feel like Christmas.

The same thing is true in writing. Have you ever about a funeral on a sunny day? Or a happy ending during a rain storm? It just doesn't work as well. Having the weather match a mood draws in a reader and gives them a sense of setting. Weird how it works that way.

So, note to self: next time you are writing a spooky scene, don't have it at a wedding. Weddings aren't very spooky. Well... mostly.

What is your favorite weather for setting? Sad/rainy, mad/windy, happy/sunny?

I'm going to go cozy up with my lappy and get some writing done. Woohoo! Have a great week everyone. (Only a few more days until Christmas. Can you believe it?)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Texting Through Time: A Trek with Brigham Young

Time Travel is a great way to meet a Prophet...unless you get stuck in the past.

Christy Monson and I met at a writer's conference a few years ago, and we formed a tight little critique group with another friend. The focus of our group was picture books, and so I didn't get to preview this book, but I shared her excitement when it was accepted for publication. The book has been out for a few weeks now and is jumping off the shelves. I'm delighted to review it.

Time Travel is always a fascinating journey. A book that can combine adventure with history is sure to be a hit. Seeing the prophet, Brigham Young, through the eyes of a child as though it were happening right now is a lot of fun.

Alicia and Micah are just like your kids. Curious and at times a little contrary. When their dad's experimental phone malfunctions and they get stuck in the past, they want to go home. It takes time for them to get humble enough to pray for help and in the meantime they have a a few adventures with Brigham Young.

You won't want to miss this fun romp through the past. Pick one up to share with the kids you love.

Texting keeps us in touch, but cell phones keep changing. Who knows what's next. Before you know it we may be TEXTING THROUGH TIME.

Where would you like to go? Choose carefully. You could get stuck in the past.

Linda Garner

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where have you been? I mean...really.

Well, to be completely true. I've been in a few places.

I finished my edits (Yay! Now I can totally eat those cookies that were off limits until I finished. They are so stale.)

And then I was asked to write a Christmas Program for our congregation's Christmas Party (in 3 days). It was a little stressful. (I had to buy more cookies so I could keep up my writing-energy.) But great reviews (which made my week...month). ;)

Now I am finishing my revisions. (Stinkin' Revisions that I wanted done last month. RRRGGHH.)

But to be totally honest. I've been a little down about the writing.

One of my crit groups had scheduling issues and we had to split (I loved them, they were so awesome), my mind has been on shopping ('tis the season for last minute ideas), and my writing shoes have grown too small for comfort (never wash writing shoes in hot water...had I known...).

So I've been a little down and when I'm down, it's hard to write...or blog...or clean...or eat cookies  (ha ha ha, that's never hard.)

But I'm shaking off the blues, rewriting my goals, and trying again. *head shaking in determination*

But be honest with me. What do you do when you are down about writing? Eat cookies (be honest, you know they are delicious...and if you try hard enough, you can wish away the calories *wishfully looking up at sky*), run on treadmill, yell at strangers from your car window?   (was that you?)

So, tell the truth, what do you do?

p.s. I'm so glad to be back. I missed you guys!!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Favorite Questions

What are your favorite questions?

I believe questions have great power, so I have begun collecting them. Here are a few of my favorite questions. Some are questions we might ask others. Some are questions meant for personal reflection. Most could be used either way. Try them out and let me know how they work for you.

Are you willing to take a chance? How would your life be different if...? How does this make you feel? What did you learn from this experience? What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? How can I be more like you?

Am I ready to change? What do I want most? How do I see myself? How do I see others? Do I love myself? What quality do I appreciate most in myself? What quality would I like to develop? What embarrasses me? What would I like to let go of?

Am I part of the problem? Am I part of the solution? Why doesn't anything change, even when I try so hard? What can I learn from this difficult situation? How big is the problem? What worries me most?

What do I believe? What is my favorite word? What is my favorite quote? What am I afraid of? Where do I turn for answers? What brings me peace? Have I found my true purpose? What brings meaning to my life?

What are your favorite questions?

Linda Garner


Many of the questions in the post were taken from the book Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Wendy Watson Nelson. Pick up a copy. You'll love it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The New Me

Disaster has taught me a lot about myself.
We live in an area that had massive winds last week—up to 100 miles an hour. Our neighborhood lost trees, power lines, etc. etc. etc. There is a car down the way smashed flat from a giant tree falling across the driveway. A nearby crunched-in roof bears the weight of a pine tree. Chain saws are running overtime to clear the roads.
The first night the power was out, I cooked chicken and broccoli casserole on the gas stove. (It isn’t as good as in the oven.) We had a candle light supper and enjoyed the sunset. But by the end of two days, I felt very irritated.
I didn’t mind being without power. We had a fireplace to keep us slightly warm. I was fine without TV. It’s noisy anyway. The silence of a dead telephone was golden. Two things upset me. One was being without the internet. That’s my link to the world. I had no idea how much I enjoyed connecting with others. The other half of my distress came from not being able to write on my computer. Hand-scripting just isn’t the same. It’s slow and cumbersome, but better than nothing.
I was so happy once my computer and internet were working again. I have a new understanding about myself and my feelings, and it took a disaster to bring me this knowledge.
So, my gratitude this week is for the electronic age and the great inventions that are part of our lives. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone.
Hats off to electronics! We love you!
Christy Monson