Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Broken Promises Stink

I hate broken promises, don’t you.

Broken promises stink, but some are worse than others. There are the big kind. The I don’t love you anymore kind. That’s huge. Heartbreaking.

There are the medium kind. The remember that $5,000 you loaned me kind. For me, this felt huge, until I compared it to the I don’t love you anymore kind of broken promises. Really the $5,000 broken promise is I nothing compared to that. It’s more like the I’ll never tell anyone kind of promise. Or the your job is totally secure kind of promise. This kind of broken promise can really put a kink in your life, but at least it won't break your heart. Usually.

And then, there are the small broken promises. Things like I know I promised to pick you up at 5:30, but I ran into an old friend kind of promise. Or the I’ll clean the bathroom before I go to school kind of promise. Or the I’ll have this ready by Friday kind of promise. This kind of broken promise is annoying and irritating, but not exactly life changing.

What kind of broken promise is the I know we promised to publish your book, but…?

Well they didn’t say they don’t love me anymore. And they didn’t take any of my money. So, even though it feels huge, it must be the small kind of broken promise.

Still stinks, though.

Linda Garner

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Help me Organize!!!

Still getting organized, but not only around the house.

I've started to block out writing time, getting around to my bloggy friends blogs, getting kids homework help, and even sneaking veggies into the kids diets. (I have one son who won't eat anything but cereal. Not many veggies in there.)

So here are some tools I've found to help me with the organization:

The Fly Lady -   I've fallen off the organization wagon a few times, but her house cleaning plans are the best I've found, especially when you have teenage boys. *cringing at dirt*

The Sneaky Chef   -  I just started the Sneaky Chef's ways of getting more veggies into my kids meals. They love the brownies ...okay so do I...and I don't even feel too guilty eating them...unless I eat the whole pan.

Google Reader - (if you have gmail and blog, this is a life saver! I can organize all my blogs into categories and see which posts I've missed! Love it!)

Tweet Deck- Those of you who know me, know that I don't tweet well, but I do follow what other writers/agents/publishers/and yes...even family members are up to. Tweet Deck lets you organize everyone into their own group and keeps you informed of everything going on not only on Twitter, but also on Facebook.

Netflex Workouts - I never thought I'd try to exercise with online vid streaming, but working out at home has not only saved me gym costs, (which yes, I have paid for before...can I say ouch!) but also time.Who knew online bootcamp would kick my butt?

As a writer, we borrow and beg for more time to create. These ingenious people and tools are invaluable to me as a writer.

Have I missed anything? What do you use to save time, make life less chaotic?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Author Interview with Julie Coulter Bellon

Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon

It's an intriguing title: Ribbon of Darkness. If you’re thinking espionage, terrorist plot, danger, suspense, you’re on the right track. There’s also a bit of romance in the air for those who thrive on a love driven plot. A hint of forgiveness and redemption sweeten the package. Julie Coulter Bellon has a number of books to her credit, but Ribbon of Darkness is the first I’ve read. It was enjoyable and kept my interest. I think I’ll try another book from her list. Julie was kind enough to chat with me, and here is a bit of our conversation.

Me: What other books have you published? Do you have a favorite?

Julie: I've published Through Love's Trials, On the Edge, Time Will Tell, Be Prepared: A Parents Guide to Boy Scouts and the Duty to God Award--What You Should Know, All's Fair, Dangerous Connections, and Ribbon of Darkness. Hmmm...I don't know if I can pick a favorite, that's like asking me to pick a favorite child! I'd have to say my favorite right now is Ribbon of Darkness because it's the newest one and I think it's my best work yet.

Me: What do you hope your readers take away from reading your books?

Julie: I hope they're finding some clean entertainment, an adventure that takes them somewhere they've never been before, and that feeling of butterflies in the stomach that we all get when we first fall in love. I really want my readers to experience the story with the characters--all the ups and downs, and the anticipation of wondering what's going to happen next.

Me: What would you most like your readers to know about you? What do you hope they don’t know?

Julie: That's a hard one! I don't know what I want readers to know about me. I love my kids, I love to read, writing is a huge stress reliever for me because everyone in my books always does what I say, and my perfect evening would be sitting on my family room floor, with a fire in the fireplace, playing board games with my family and eating brownie sundaes.

What do I hope they don't know? Well, when someone was mean to my son, I put his name in one of my books as the villain. And when I needed a good terrorist's name I used the great-sounding name of this sweet older man in my LDS ward. (I did ask his permission before it went to print on that one. He was actually thrilled.) So, if you know me, or if you're mean to me, you might see your name in one of my books. (I can't believe I admitted that!)

Me: Who has influenced you the most as a person? As a writer?

Julie: I think my husband Brian has influenced me the most as a person. He is so supportive of everything I do and has really encouraged me to reach for my dreams, even when they look unreachable.

As a writer, I think I'd have to say George Lucas. I was sitting in a theater watching Return of the Jedi (that probably dates me. Eeep!) and I hated the ending. So I went home and rewrote it (so that the ending was actually the celebration of Han and Leia's wedding) and I knew right then I was going to be a writer.

Me: What advice do you have for wannabe writers?

Julie: I've always said the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one gave up. I believe that. My advice would be to never give up. Keep going, keep learning, and keep reaching for that dream.

Me: Anything else you’d like to say?

Julie: Thank you so much for this interview! You're a lot of fun, Linda, and I told you all of my secrets! Now can we pinky swear that you won't tell anyone else? ;)

I didn’t pinky swear not to tell, but I might have paid her to say that I was a lot of fun. I can’t remember.

To find out more about Julie check out her website here or her blog here There's a Goodreads Giveaway for Ribbon of Darkness going on right now on Julie's blog. So hurry on over.

You can find Ribbon of Darkness both in print and on the Kindle at Amazon by clicking here.

Linda Garner

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Hi  Everyone,

I'm back from my family reunion. It was lots and lots of fun, but also a great amount of work. I've not recovered from the clean up yet!

Heard from my publisher today. My book is coming out in November and I'll get the proofs the end of this month. They decided not to use some of the pictures I wanted, but that's OK. I'd like some art work in the book, but am waiting to hear on that.

There are so many things that go into this process besides the writing. I just wanted to sign on for the writing, but that isn't how it works. I reflect on DaVinci and other great artists (not that I'm great--far from it). They got paid just to create.

I keep thinking of how well-rounded I'll be when I finish this process. (Maybe I'll never finish it!) I am learning so much about the internet and the computer and social networking.

The journey is wonderful! Even if it's not what I thought it would be, I'm loving every minute of it. (Well, every minute that I'm not worried or scared.)

Take Care. Hope your summer's been good.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Drank from a Garden Hose....Did You?

My curfew was the sky getting dark. My parents called my name, not my cell phone. I played outside with friends, not online. If I didn't eat what my mom cooked, I didn't eat. Sanitizer didn't exist, but you COULD get your mouth washed out with soap. I rode a bike without a helmet. Getting dirty was ok, and neighbors cared as much as your parents did. RE-POST if you drank from a garden hose and survived.

I wish I had written that. It tickles my funny bone. Yes, I drank from a garden hose. Did you? Do you suppose that's why my hair went gray? I did all those things and more. Maybe that's why my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be.

Remember collecting pop bottles for movie money? Remember when air conditioning meant rolling down the window? Remember transistor radios? Record albums? 78 rpm? Penny candy?

Remember five cent stamps? (To tell the truth, I remember four cent stamps...but that makes me sound so-o-o old.)

Take a stroll down memory lane. What do you remember about the good old days? Let's make a nice long list.

And about that garden hose...

Linda Garner

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cleaning it Up

My crit buddy and I were talking the other day about cleaning.  Lately, I can't just clean, I have to deep clean everything (I know what you're thinking...I've seen your garage...it needs a deep clean. So true).

I haven't really deep cleaned since starting school. So I'm spending each week deep cleaning a different area of my house. Last week was the hall, this week the kitchen (I've already found a weird looking spider and something brown growing under my oven.)

I have a deep cleaning scheduled for my ms in two weeks (and I'm a little bit afraid).

But if there's something I've learned is that every first draft is a mess (like under my sink mess). And that's okay. You have to clean and polish until your manuscript is squeaky clean (because who wants a blob of mess on the bookstore shelf with your name on it? Scary).

So if you've finished a first draft, get in there and clean that baby up!  Now I have to get back to that weird bottle of lime-green stuff at the back of the cupboard. I hope it's not living.

 Photo Bucket
What's your advice for first draft mess?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Buzz. That's what authors's need.

There was a time when author's were in charge of writing and publishers were in charge of buzz. Not anymore. Since Some Secrets Hurt was published, I have been learning how to create buzz. Author interviews, blogging, facebook, twitter, word of mouth. It's all good. Time consuming, but good. When do I get time to write?

Some Secrets Hurt has a facebook fan page now. I need 25 people to like it, so that I can get a shortened URL. If you click here, you can like it, and I'll love you forever. Promise.

My latest buzz is going to be on the radio. That's right, you'll hear about Some Secrets Hurt on radio if you tune in. I'm excited. It's an online streaming radio station, and you can hear it here. My ads should start later this week. Be sure to check back.

Oh and be sure to tell all your friends.


Linda Garner

Monday, August 8, 2011


I know this blog is about writing, but I have these two great quotes I want to share.

"They do not love that do not show their love." Shakespeare

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Thomas S. Monson

I'm going to a family reunion, so happy loving this week.

Christy Monson

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's happening?

I'm done! Yes. I am done with school and back to blogger (I've missed you!). My last class turned out to be a little harder than I thought it would, which is why the bloggy break, but I got an A and am finished with all my homework. *happy dancing in the front room*

 I'm officially getting my degree this month. I'm so glad to be done and to be able to work on writing!

My good news is that I have a request for my ms (okay, no agent yet, but this is one step in the right direction).

So what has everyone been up to this summer? Did you get those queries out, edit those wips, reading those arcs?  What's happening with everyone?   I haven't talked to you guys in so long, I can't wait to hear all your news! So spill it. What's happenin'?

In honor of graduation I present:
Ha ha ha. That cracks me up!  *wiping away tear*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back Me Up

I’m writing this post on my back with my laptop balanced between my knees and my tummy. Had a fight with some weeds in my garden. The weeds are gone, but my back was wounded in action.

A visit with my chiropractor was helpful and I had high hopes. A few days later, I saw my doctor for my annual diabetes checkup. She said that the pain was muscular rather than spinal and recommended a magnesium shot. I happily complied. She also thought a massage was a good idea.

I love massage and didn’t have to think twice about that. My back was healing and with the magnesium and a massage…what could go wrong?

I was lucky to get an appointment right away and drove myself and my back to the waiting therapist. That massage was heavenly. Felt just great. I knew I had done right by my back.

There was only one slight problem. I couldn’t get off the massage table. Agony. My back was not having any of this. I guess I could spend the night in this little cubicle. I was conveniently the last massage of the day. Of course, I hadn’t eaten lately, and I would eventually have to go to the bathroom. The bathroom was down the hall and around the corner…

I had no choice. I had to pry myself off that table. I scrunched and panted and pulled. Quietly of course. Not. That poor therapist. She did her best to help me, and now it sounded as if I might be dying. Actually dying seemed like a nice idea at the moment.

With great difficulty, I hoisted myself off the table, and found that I couldn’t stand up. In fact I couldn’t let go of the table. I hung on for dear life and shuffled my feet toward my clothes. I found a new hand hold. How was I going to get home? In fact, how was I going to get dressed when I couldn’t let go of the furniture? I wasn’t.

The poor therapist, already terrorized by my cries of pain, had the unexpected pleasure of stuffing my not so glamorous body back into my clothes. I didn’t pay her enough for that.

I'll be back next week.

Linda Garner

Monday, August 1, 2011


I’ve spent the week setting up my web site. Well, not really setting it up, but just getting started. I’m beginning to take pictures for it, and I have lots of ideas for fun things for kids.
I went to a workshop today with Nate Moeller. It was good, but he’s all about marketing. Of course, that’s what the workshop was about.
I’m not all about marketing. I think will be fun to have people browse my site and look for fun things to do. Yes, I want them to buy my book, but that’s not what it’s all about. Connecting with kids and their parents is more fun for me. And I love the things I’m passionate about and want to share my beliefs with children also.
But sales are important. I’m not knocking sales, and I need to be more focused on that, I guess. So my goal this next little while is to be more focused on marketing, even though I love writing and being with kids most of all.
I’m telling you this so I will hold myself accountable—like if you tell someone else your goal, you’re much more likely to do it than if you just keep it to yourself.
Have a great week! Christy