Monday, April 28, 2008

Climbing out of my hole.

I finally got my manuscript and other requested documents off to the publisher. I've been working on it a little bit here and there for the last month, and when I thought I was close to being done I sent an email off to the publisher saying I should have the materials there by Friday, the next Monday at the latest. I woke up that Monday with the goal of getting it sent off by lunch. Same for Tuesday. Wednesday, at around 4:00 in the afternoon, I felt bit light headed, and wondered what that was about. Then I realized I hadn't eaten yet that day. Did the same thing on Thursday, except it only took until about 1:30 for the dizziness to start. I had no idea it would be so difficult. I did however finally get everything off on Friday afternoon - the manuscript, marketing ideas, my bio, my picture. Whew, it's feeling kind of real now.

I spent the rest of the day shopping, since my kids seem to think there should be food in the house. The sun's out today, and I've been out enjoying it, which is just what I needed after sitting in a hole for two weeks.

And just for the heck of it, here's my suggestion for a back cover, tell me what you think!

The heart can’t hide from a current of love that flows as steady and strong as the river.

January 11, 2005: A massive storm rages throughout the west. Angry, churning water spills over the banks of the Virgin River, already at twice its’ normal capacity, resulting in what will become known in the area as the flood of the century.

Carmen Anderson has spent her entire adult life avoiding the place she fled as a teenager—Prosper, Arizona, a tiny town sitting on the banks of the Virgin River. But when her teenage daughter Paige begins to act rebellious, the devoted single mother makes an impulsive decision to move back to Prosper and its’ wholesome values. When Paige is unexpectedly stranded in the town during a flood that takes out its only access bridge, Carmen sets out on a desperate journey that jeopardizes both her career and a proposal of marriage from a dashing coworker to get to her daughter before she uncovers a painful secret—the mystery of what could have driven Carmen away from a people who still love her fiercely, even after fifteen years of painful separation.

What I Would Have Said...

My husband and I went to church with our oldest daughter yesterday. She's in a married, single's ward at USU, and goes to the same building we attended in the long ago days that we were also in a married, student ward at USU. I was smacked with a face full of deja vu, and struck with how little has changed. There were a whole bunch of young people, even more babies. The thing that was obviously lacking was money. But the nice thing is that it didn't matter much. None of them expect to have money, or to dress in the latest thing, so it doesn't matter.

While in the meeting, I had a crazy wish that the bishop would call me up to speak. Trust me, speaking impromptu in church is not something I generally, or ever, hope for. But I did have my reasons. In the years that I attended that long ago student ward, it seemed that the speakers from the "outside" world had a recurring theme. Time and again they would get up and say "It's not going to get any easier once you graduate." I would get so annoyed with that. I wanted to stand up and say "So why are we here then? Why don't we just give it up and get jobs and get on with our lives if it's not going to get any easier?" I told myself that if I ever came back, I would tell those students that the sacrifices they are making to be in school are worth it, that it does get easier!

Now that I've had a couple of decades of perspective, I can better see what those old folks meant. In a lot of ways they're right, it doesn't get easier. The struggles they're facing now are still there, multiplied. The bumps that they are navigating will turn into such highs and lows that they'll think they have whiplash. They'll face challenges they can't even dream of, hardships they wouldn't think they could endure.

But despite that, or maybe because of that, I can tell them that the sacrifices they're making to start their families with a foundation of education are well worth it. Their educations will strenghten them, and their children, in a way that will cushion all those bumps they're bound to face and make the ride bearable.

Sitting in that meeting reminded me of being a spectator at a marathon, as if all those bright young faces were lined up, poised for the gun to go off. I didn't get to tell them to hold on for the ride, but if had, that's what I would have said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The News We've All Been Waiting For!

Okay, maybe not all of us have been waiting for this news. But I have.

Yesterday I signed a contract. It was an offer to publish my novel!

Woo Hoo!

Yes, it's true. Cedar Fort has offered to publish my manuscript entitled 'Still Here'.

It's inspirational fiction about a mom, her daughter, and a flood. Here's a summary in a sentence:

A dedicated single mom discovers the resilience of family, faith, and love when she returns with her rebellious daughter to the small town on the Virgin River that she fled as a teenager, at the same time that a massive flood hits the area.

Right now I'm caught up in getting it polished and off to the publisher, but I'm slowly starting to realize the many ways that my life is going to change. It's all exciting and good. And trust me, there will be more to come on this subject!

Preen, Poop and Other Stuff

Life has been happening. Yeah, yeah, it always does, but sometimes with more oomph than other times. There are so many things I could blog about, and so little time to blog, I'm just going to give a reader's digest version.

First the Preen. I love the stuff. I love Preening. I have been waiting for weeks to get out and do it in my garden. And just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, that does not mean snipping the pretty flowers and making the garden look tidy - though I did do a little of that - what I am talking about is the pre-emergent called Preen. I buy it in an industrial size box at Costco, and spread it liberally around my garden several times a year - that's Preening. The box has a list of flowers that it shouldn't be sprinkled around, but I've developed a philosophy that if it doesn't get along with Preen, it doesn't belong in my yard. Have I mentioned that I live on 2/3rds of an acre? Lots of weeds, lots of Preen. But the weather has been so crazy, I haven't been able to get out. For weeks now little weedheads have been poking up through the snow, taunting me. Finally, Monday, the sun came out and I preened. It was great. Used half the giant box. Tuesday snow fell. It's still here today. Unbelievable. But at least I've preened. Take that you nasty weeds!

Second, poop. Not mine, don't worry, I haven't gotten quite old and senile enough to go there. My dog's to be precise. The little guy's been constipated for two days now. The vet didn't seem too worried when I called his office. Gave me some little tidbits of advice, said to bring him in today or tomorrow if it hasn't cleared. And it has improved, but not cleared, so no decisions yet on what I'll do. But let me tell you, for two days now I have lived, breathed (literally) nothing but poop decisions. I won't go into details, other than to say my carpet and my sanity are in serious jeapordy here.

Third, big news! My son, the talented guitarist who I talk way too much about, the one who has rocked my world since the moment of his conception, has done it again. As you may know, Brandon likes to do musicals. He likes it a lot. So I'm always on the lookout for productions he can audition for. I was watching for a Broadway Kids show that's done locally, but missed the auditions by a day. Then I learned about auditions for a production of Ragtime, and since there wasn't anything else on the horizon, decided to suggest it to him (to suggest is the same as to do with the little guy, so I always suggest with caution.) I told him there was no way he would get into the show, and I mostly believed it. There is only one part for a young boy, not even any in the ensemble, and it is big, bigger than the community theatre he's done in the past, and they are looking for an older boy than him. But I also told him it would be a good experience, so that when there's a part he really wants, he can do it confidently.

It mostly worked! After his audition he told me that he was not nearly as nervous as the last time he auditioned for something, but still nervous enough that you could hardly hear him the first time through. The patient director asked him to do it again in a big voice, and he did. So, he figured, the next time maybe he wouldn't be nervous at all.

Great plan! Way to go Mom!

Except for one thing:
He got the part! The director was blown away that Brandon, a kid who doesn't do anything small, had memorized the line he gave him to read at callbacks. And so he will be 'Little Boy' at the Sandy Amphitheatre's production of Rag Time this June. It's a big part, on a big stage, and he is stoked. I'm a little nervous. The cast meeting was filled with a group of very professional and talented adults...and my Little Boy.

So that's been my life this week...crazy, stinky, and busy...minus one more huge detail that deserves it's own blog. So stay tuned...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Blatant Bragging

My littlest son has been way over-billed lately, but I just couldn't resist putting this on. His guitar teacher asks the students to write a song in order to earn a trophy, and since his school is holding a music composition contest, this was the perfect time to get him motivated. Maybe it's just me, the nauseatingly puffed-up and proud mom, but I'm thinking it's kind of amazing for an 8-year-old. Now if my technical skills are a fraction of his guitar skills, we'll see if I can actually get this posted!