Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer, I will miss you ....a little

First thing...I'm BACK! Summer was a great break, but it's time to get back to work!

Second, I always feel a little twinge of sadness when my kids have to go back to school in the fall.
I’ll miss our daily activities and spending leisurely moments by the pool with them. 

This is the last year we will all be together as a little family. My oldest is moving from high school to college. Life is changing.

But I can always feel the excitement in the air during this time. The chance for extra writing time, the renewal of adventure. Sometimes I feel like this:
(Oooo, I need to buy some school supplies)

So instead of pouting (really...sulking into pillow because my kids can't be THAT old yet), I will look at the bright side of things and my renewed spirit of writing. 

How about you? What will you miss about summer? What will you not miss?

Have a great week everyone! I've gotta get my butt in the chair for some good writing time. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

I just finished a manuscript and submitted it to my critique group. I admit I was in a hurry to get it done. I had family coming and lots to do. I just whipped out the end, and I was finished.
Well, I don’t need to tell you it was a lame ending. The group told me it should be fleshed out a little. The scene left them wanting. They asked to know how the characters felt. I could go on and on.
Where was my mistake? My characters had a problem to solve by the end of the book. They did that, but it was without feeling—without much thought.
What do I need to do differently? I failed to put myself into the scene. It didn’t live through my words. My readers need to be there with me. How can they when I’m not there myself?
I took some time and went back to envision the scene in great detail. I sat in my character’s place and listened to their feelings.
Then I rewrote the scene. Was it better? I’ll know after my group reads it this week.
Sloppy hurried-up writing is just that. It never pays.
Will I remember this lesson? I hope so—at least for today.
Happy writing! Christy Monson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012



Was I hit by a truck?  No, no... It was oral surgery.  Why do I feel so awful?  The pain was worse before.  I think I’m okay.

The phone rings.  “How are you?” asks the henchman, I mean receptionist for the evil oral surgeon.

“I lived through the night,” I reply, even though I want to say “sleeping.”

Sleeping is a good thing when your mouth feels like it was put through a meat grinder and your body is in a state of shock.  No he wasn’t evil, but he wasn’t gentle either.  I have a small mouth and I just don’t get why men with fat fingers go in to dentistry.  We’ve had this talk before.

The phone rings again.  It’s another receptionist.  This one works for my regular dentist, the one who sent me to this hacker. 

“How are you?” she says. 

Again I want to say “sleeping,” but I manage to say “I lived through the night.”

Questions with no answer:

1.        Why do teeth tend to flare up on weekends?

2.       Why does your dentist’s son get married on the very day that you need him?

3.       Why do they ask you if you are okay when you are moaning in pain?

I plan on feeling better tomorrow.  In the meantime…


Linda Garner

Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing—A Progression of Skill
I queried an editor this summer about a self-help book I wrote several years ago. It’s a manuscript filled with positive thinking skills and techniques to reduce anxiety and depression.
When the editor asked to see the first 35 pages, I had no problem getting them ready. But when he asked to see the entire 300 pages manuscript, I had a big editing task in front of me.
I’ve written a lot in the past five years, and I wasn’t aware that my skills had improved until I went back through the manuscript and found sentences and paragraphs full of ‘was’ and ‘that’ and ‘of’. Many of my verbs were weak, and I repeated myself over and over again.
I have struggled the past few weeks to get the manuscript up to speed. I’m sure it could be better, but it’s much improved. Even though it’s been a lot of work, I’ve enjoyed using the expertise I’ve gained through my reading, from my fellow writers in my critique group, and the conferences I have attended.
This process has helped me put things in perspective. My skill level is getting better, and I can communicate my thoughts and feelings through the written word with more ability than I could before.
I’m grateful for the opportunity of seeing into the window of my past.
Do the same experiment yourself. Look at some of the pieces you wrote a few years ago. Has your writing level improved? What’s changed for you?
“God gives us skill. But He could not make Antonio Stradivaris violins with Antonio.” George Elliott
Christy Monson

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To Dye For

When I meet old friends they often comment on my appearance.  “You haven’t changed a bit,” they say. 
This, of course, is a lie, but I play along.  “Makeup hides a lot,” I respond.”

“Your hair isn’t even gray,” comes next.

I lean in and whisper, “Haven’t you heard?  They have stuff for that now.”

I wink.  They nod.  We understand each other.

I’m sixty years old, a mother of seven and a grandma twenty one times over.  I even have four great-grands, but it gets really confusing talking about those.  I’ve earned my gray hairs, every single one of them, but I don’t want to flaunt them. 

I’m not trying to look younger.  It’s not that at all.  I’m not embarrassed about my age.  I just don’t happen to like gray hair.  If it works for you, go for it.  It just doesn’t work for me.

My mother-in-law felt that dying your hair was a little scandalous.  She had lovely salt and pepper hair and it suited her.  She was fond of saying, “If the good Lord had intended…”  I have a million arguments for that one.

My mother was cut from a different color of cloth.  She had dark brown hair when she was nearly eighty.  She didn’t have a problem dying her hair.  I guess I’m like my mom.  I’ll take any color of hair, so long as it’s not gray.

Remember that old TV ad, “Only her hairdresser knows for sure?”  Well now you all know. 

My hairdresser and I have scheduling issues.  We’re both busy and our schedules don’t always match up.  My roots grow out fast, and I don’t like them to show, so yesterday Friend-husband did my roots.  We did it together, really.  I can do the front, but not the back.    

It’s a little darker than I like, but at least it’s not gray.  The awesome thing is, I found out how much Friend-husband loves me. 

He loves me enough to dye for me.

Linda Garner

Monday, August 13, 2012

I have had a crazy week. Three of our children and their families were here for a granddaughter's baptism. We have had a glorious time, and I have loved every minute. But, why is it when family comes my regular daily life goes away? I haven't even been able to get to my computer, let alone write a post.

What fun it is to watch young children become aware of their world. We took the grandkids to the Dinosaur Park just as you enter Ogden Canyon. They loved it. Abby is writing and illustrating a story about an Abbyosaurus. What a clever idea!

Another little grandson studied a picture of a wolf howling at the moon with the northern lights in the background. He is sure the wolf's cry causes the colorful brightness in the sky.

I love seeing the way children's minds work. You can almost watch the wheels turn in their brains. What a blessing their perspective is for all of us--a different way of looking at the world. I wish we could all see life with such fresh eyes. I think our quality of life would improve greatly. I know mine would.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Except for the Shower Curtain

Friend-husband likes the shower curtain closed when no one is using it, because he doesn’t think the bathtub is the loveliest part of the bathroom.  I like it open because it makes the bathroom seem bigger and I love the extra light from the window.  Besides. there is nothing lovely about our plain-jane dollar store shower curtains.

Friend-husband likes things perfectly symmetrical.  I prefer things a little a-symmetrical.  We had a hanging plant on one side of our doorstep.  It looked just right to me.  Friend-husband bought another plant so that we could hang one on each side.  He likes balance.

I am addicted to clutter.  Friend Husband likes things tidy.  I admire tidiness, but I can’t seem to manage it.  Friend-husband over-prepares.  I sometimes throw things together.  He fusses over details.  I embrace simplicity.  I am casual.  Friend –husband leans toward the formal side. 

Differences are fascinating.  I’m glad we’re not the same. I adore Friend-husband and I celebrate our differences.  

Except for the shower curtain. 

Linda Garner

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Sisterhood of Strength

I adore my sisters.  I have a lot of them.  I have three sisters by birth.  We share memories, DNA, and family quirks.  One of those sisters has moved to heaven and I miss her.

I have other sisters.  We share different things.  Sometimes we share beliefs.  Sometimes we share experiences.  We can share laughter.  We can share tears.  Often, we share diversity.  It goes without saying that we share our love.
My sisters and I share divine nature.  We are daughters of God.  We want to nurture.  We want to serve. 
Diony George has captured some of our divine nature  in A Sisterhood of Strength by sharing true stories of service.   Every sister has a story to share.   You will be reminded of your own stories, and your own divine nature as you read how some of your sisters have served each other. 

"Experience for yourself the pure love that inspires ordinary women to serve and accept service in a truly extraordinary manner. This inspiring collection of true stories from the lives of women just like you is told with heartwarming sincerity. Perfect for sharing, this remarkable book is sure to uplift, encourage, and cheer any woman, whether it’s her turn to serve or be served."

I am excited to share this book with you, and I'm delighted to say that two of the stories included in the book are mine.  I hope that you will be strengthened as you read this book, and that you will enjoy sharing it with others. 

I have included a few of my favorite quotes from the A Sisterhood of Strength following this post.
Linda Garner

Diony George is a wife, stay-at-home mom of seven, grandmother of two, a motivational speaker, and the author of three books. Through her writing and public speaking she loves helping others draw closer God.

An avid reader whose favorite genre is romantic suspense, Diony also loves to travel, sew, and bake—especially pies and homemade bread.

Born and raised in Alaska, she currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband and family. Mrs. George can be reached through her personal website at

Love is an interesting thing. We love our family and our friends. We love our neighbors, especially those who are agreeable. We love those who love us, and sometimes we love those who are hard to love. I didn’t know if we could love strangers, but my sisters showed me that we can. They showedme that love has no borders.

It can be argued that it is not humanly possible to keep track of all the people who come and go in our lives. But the Spirit will never fail to guide us to where we are truly needed if we will but heed the call.

How do women—of no relation other than friends—become like sisters? It is the passion and charity women inherently receive as a gift from God.

That’s how it’s supposed to work; we uplift and help each other, so that we can return back to our heavenly home—together.

Our strength can be found in our differences, not just our alikeness. If we were all intuitive, what would we do for logic? Our Father in Heaven made us different so that we could balance each other, strengthen each other, and learn from each other. Through my dear friend, I learned to appreciate differences. Now I celebrate them!

Even though it has been difficult, we have never felt alone or abandoned. In fact, the angels around us in the form of friends, sisters, and brothers are evidence that Heavenly Father is aware of us, answers our prayers, and loves us more than we can comprehend.

The Lord truly is able to have his love extend to us through loving sisters—angels here on earth. Through them, we’ve been uplifted and have received answers to our prayers during a time when we weren’t sure anything could help us heal or feel joy again.

When we have the courage to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, even when we don’t always immediately understand those promptings, we have the opportunity to bless the lives of others and strengthen our own testimonies in the process.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Out of the Box

I have a love/hate relationship with boxes. On the one hand they are useful. They are great when it comes to wrapping, organizing, mailing. I keep a supply on hand, and rarely throw a box away. I especially love sturdy ones.

On the other hand, boxes are not comfortable. No matter what size or shape, no matter what construction material, boxes are no place for me.

Do you like labels? Do you like fitting into a box? Do you find the expectations of others confining? What of your own expectations? Are they sometimes limiting?

Is it time to break out—out of the box?
Linda Garner