Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pay Day

"I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily with words what the pure music would have done better."  William Faulkner
It's hard to say which I love most--music or words.  I think both are completely wonderful, and my life would be flat without them.
I am a piano teacher and teach several of my grandchildren.  Aaron is thirteen now.  When he was three, I was teaching his five year old brother to play the piano.  He came to me one day and said, "Grandma, I think you should teach me piano, too."  
I readily agreed, because the desire was real.  If I could sell desire, I would be a millionaire. 

Since I teach Suzuki Method, teaching a three year old was not unusual.
About half of my students are my grandchildren.  It is a special joy to teach those we love.  The grandchildren have watched each other learn to play the piano with interest.  As they watch, a spark of desire is begins to grow.  Then they talk to Grandma.
When Kieri asked me if I would teach her, I wasn't sure how it would work out.  Her parents are divorced and not particularly interested in piano lessons. Suzuki Method depends on parent involvement.  She spends time in several locations during a week, with limited access to a piano.  Since she had the desire we began. 
We overcame a few obstacles.  We found her a piano so that she could practice at home, and I found space in my schedule to work with her several times a week.   It's going well.
Recently Kieri asked me,"Grandma, why is music important?
What a question?  What would you say?  I could think of many answers, but I kept it simple.
"There are lots of reasons why music is important," I said. "Let's just talk about two of them for today." I had her attention.  "First, music makes us happy."  This lead to a discussion on happy and sad songs.  In truth, music can express a variety of emotions, and she recognized that.  Kieri enjoys sad songs.  She likes minor.
"Another thing I love about music," I continued, "is that it organizes our brains so that we can learn better."
Her eyes grew wide at this thought. 
Later that week, she spent the night and I listened to her bedtime prayer.  "Heavenly Father," she began.  "Thank you for music..."
There is more than one kind of pay day. 
Linda Garner

Monday, February 25, 2013

Courage to Speak Out

Are you ever afraid? Well, I am. This entire week I have been arguing with myself about putting my name out there to do author visits and speaking engagements. I know I need to do it. I really like meeting people at author signings. It’s very fun and I enjoy myself. I know I’ll like doing author visits and speaking, but it’s so hard for me to put myself forward.

But, here’s my commitment: Make contact with three groups a week and make myself available to speak. Get several talks outlined (just in case people don’t want to ask questions and visit informally.)

See, my problem is this. I’ve always been in the background in our family. I’m the one who takes care of the kids and doesn’t speak in public. My husband is the teacher and the speaker. I have to get over that idea, but it’s hard. We’ve been married a long time. (Okay, I’m whining here, but give me a little break.) It really is hard.

So if any of you live along the Wasatch front and would like an author visit I would love to come. I also love to do author visits for Activity Days for Primary for those of you who are LDS. (All of you write back so I won’t have to call anyone.) Just kidding!

I’m serious. I’d love to come speak to your writing group about my middle grade fiction or the two self help books that are coming out with Familius. I’m writing one on Family Councils right now. I thought it would be a drag, but it’s really a blast to write. I’m charged about it!

You can leave a comment on the blog or you can contact me at either of my web sites.

Thanks for listening. I’m really not a whiner, I’m just an introverted writer that’s stepping into the unknown. :}



Thanks, Christy

“Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage.” Author unknown.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela


Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Have a Lot to Celebrate

It was my birthday yesterday.

I love birthdays.  I know people who say they don't, but I'm not one of them. 

I've been happy all week, just thinking about my birthday. 

It's not about the presents, although presents are very nice.It's not about the extra attention, though I love that too.  Friend-husband always pampers me on my birthday, and I enjoy it, but that's not it either.

I just love celebrating my life.  I am glad that I was born.  I am glad that I am still here, and I appreciate the experiences of 61 years on planet earth. 

Oh, don't get me wrong, it hasn't all been wonderful.  Some of it wasn't fun at all.  Some of it was glorious, though.  And the bad stuff made me stronger, more compassionate, and a little wiser.

I have connected with wonderful people who have enriched my life.  I have a family who I love, and who love me.  We have our ups and downs, but we are there for each other.

I am married to a wonderful man who adores me and treats me with kindness.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Neither of us is perfect, but we enjoy being together.  We tolerate each other's quirks.  We give each other permission to be ourselves.  That's a comfortable place to be.

I live a comfortable life with more stuff than I deserve, and I am grateful for all the gifts I have received from a loving Father in Heaven.

It's a good life, and I am grateful for every birthday.

I have a lot to celebrate.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Now Where Can I Find Some Snow to Shovel?

My husband likes shoveling snow, especially when it is fresh.  I am not allowed to drive on fresh snow in the driveway as it packs the snow down, making it difficult to shovel.

I have only recently learned to shovel snow.  When the children were young, my husband did all of the shoveling and I made the hot chocolate.  Someone had to entertain the kids.  I didn’t know what I was missing.
With diabetes, I need daily exercise.  It’s difficult for me to motivate myself to get out and walk on cold winter mornings.  Last winter, I was struggling to keep my blood sugar under control, and decided to try snow shoveling.  Surprisingly, I didn’t mind it, and I found that it lowered my blood sugar.
This winter, I asked hubby to buy an extra shovel, so I could join the fun. 
My husband loves to serve, and he never stops with our shoveling.  He has a list of people that he likes to shovel for.  It is fun to accompany him on his errand.  I get my exercise and we enjoy our time together.   It’s a nice way to start the day.  It makes us feel good.
Shoveling snow produces endorphins—those “feel good” hormones that we crave.  Shoveling for others produces a double dose, because serving also makes us feel good.
What is it about serving that makes us happy?

I remember a busy morning when everything was humming.  All were busily engaged except one small child who kept getting underfoot.  Not only was he underfoot, but he was crabby. 

I didn’t know what was bugging him, at first.  I tried ignoring his whining.  That didn’t work, so I tried to coax him into a good mood.  Finally, I realized what was wrong.  I hadn’t given him a chore to do.  Everyone had a job to do but him.  He felt left out and unimportant. 

I gave that child a task to do, and he cheered right up. 
We all need to serve.  We need to contribute to a better world, a better neighborhood, a better home.  Serving brings rich rewards.  We feel needed.  We feel important.  We feel useful.  Everyone needs to make a difference.

Now where can I find some snow to shovel?
Linda Garner

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This Kid Knows What's What

If you haven't seen Kid President's amazing pep talk. You need to. It's awesome! 

Just saying. ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Valentine Disaster

Valentine's Day is Amy's favorite holiday, and she knows how to celebrate.  She has made a list for everything.  What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?  Plenty.

Disaster wasn't on any of her lists.  What will she do when her Valentine cookie crumbles?

You'll fall in love with Amy and you'll like the way she solves a messy problem.

A Valentine Disaster is an e-picture book.  Get it today.  Click here to order.

Linda Garner

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fractured Soul

Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she's not in her writing lair, she's partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel's love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was...

Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat. This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

Rachel’s first book, Fractured Light, kept my interest with its intense action, and Fractured Soul will do the same. Readers will love the twists and turns the plot offers. Here are a couple of reviews for a great book. Congratulations, Rachel on another block buster.

Fractured Soul is a brilliant sequel, exceeding even the remarkable first book in the series. It will haunt your every waking moment between the times you’re reading it, and it will stay with you long after you’ve finished. It’s an amazingly well written and engrossing story that I highly recommend—after you’ve read the first one, of course.”

Cindy Bennett, bestselling author of Geek Girl and Rapunzel Untangled

 “When I read Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan, I was intrigued by the original story line and engaging writing. Fractured Soul picks up where Fractured Light left off and Llona is a strong heroine. I loved following her throughout the book as she learns more about herself and her powers. Lucent Academy was not what I expected it to be. Instead of being a safe place for Llona to train, it is filled with clueless girls and leaders that don’t want to face the truth of their existence. Full of heart-pounding action, breathless romance, and killer drama, Fractured Soul by Rachel McClellan has it all, and I can’t wait to read Fractured Truth!”
Christie Rich, author of the Elemental Enmity series