Showing posts from March, 2013

Book Club Book Review--Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

I'm not one for long book reviews. Just thought I'd explain before I review this book. I'm often a woman of few words. (And sometimes a woman of too many.) Let's see if I can describe this book in three: fun, carefree, delightful. Regency romance isn't my favorite genre, but I liked this book. It had some suspense, some fun and quirky characters, an admirable, twirling protagonist, and great descriptions. I only got bored once for a short while, and I smiled a lot (maybe even giggled, but don't tell). It makes a great book club read, especially if the host serves delicious soup, and I'm giving it 4 fat stars.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance, especially if they fancy regency period.
What is your latest book club read? Do share!

Swingin' the 8th Notes--A Post About Writing Technique

Because I teach piano lessons, sometimes it helps me to think of analogies that involve music. There is both a wrong and right way to do many things, and learning to play an instrument is one of them. This is where the word technique comes in. Hand crossovers are better technique than hand jumping, same with finger crossovers. Rounding the fingers make it so your poor stubby thumbs get to participate in playing alongside the rest. Learning to play scales and arpeggios properly helps you to become a better overall musician because when you recognize these in a song, you automatically know how to play them and which fingers to use.

Well, when it comes to having good technique in your writing, it is no different. That's why we have grammar and punctuation rules. That's why sentence structure is important (because words on a page don't mean much unless they're coherent). Good technique means you learn the importance of point of view, voice, pacing, character and world buil…

Meet Non-Fiction Author Kylee Shields

Hello Kylee. Thanks for being a guest on my blog today. Can I offer you a virtual cookie?

Those are so much better for me than the real ones-haha.
Will you please tell us what your book is about and who it is for?

Title: Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles Author: Kylee Shields Release Date: October 2012 Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (Facebook | Twitter) Genre: LDS Self-Help Do you know what it means to be a kigatsuku person? Are you currently in a “hurricane” relationship or a “bridge” relationship? Do you know what it takes to be “righteous in the dark”? Have you struggled to find your place in the world as an LDS single? Do you feel like a misfit or a menace—like a circle trying to fit into a square?
If so, you’re not alone. It used to be an anomaly to be twenty-one and single in the LDS culture, but now there are entire stakes filled with single adults. In this book, author Kylee Shields explains how you can make the most of your single life, even if your current situati…

Guess What! Pobody's Nerfect

Because I don't rant nearly enough:

It really irritates me when I'm watching a youtube video, or reading a quick and dirty tip on grammar girl, or looking up the answer to a question I have that fortunately another human being has thrown out to the wide world through the blessed (and often cursed) internet and what do I find? People being mean in the comments. "You talk too much." "You're an idiot." "You have no idea what you're talking about." "You misspelled 'cat.'" Really? And it's your job to point this out because...? You're an expert? You've never misspelled anything and it actually matters that a word is misspelled?And it's even worse when the creator of the video, tip, question, etc., gets in on the nasty and it becomes that moment in middle school when you walked unsuspecting around a corner to see two 14 year old girls pulling each other's hair out. First you think, "Where are their moth…

Book Club Book Review-The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

So I went into this book with virtually no knowledge about Tsar Nicholas and the Russian royal family. And I feel like I left this book with little more than speculative tidbits. Frustrating? A little. But I did enjoy the suspense. And I'm not gonna lie, writing this book was genius, especially considering it came out just a few short years before the last two bodies were found. Coincidence? Probably, but I had to ask. I'm not really sure why, but I'm giving this book three stars. Maybe because it just left me feeling...yucky, and empty. I have found it interesting since to read a little more about the Romanovs. Here are a couple of wikpedia choices. House of RomanovExecution

I recommend this book to Russian history buffs and Anastasia fanatics. (Be warned that it has some disturbing content.) What is your latest book club read? Please share it with me!

Meet Author Chad Morris

I'd like to introduce you to brand new published author Chad Morris. Sorry Chad, I'm out of cookies today. Not to mention I'm trying to quit. Pretend for a moment that your books are your children. Please introduce us. We’d like names, ages, quirks, birth story, any details you would like to share.
Alright, well I only have one—an only book. He’s pretty fantastic though. I’m a proud dad. He’s only a week and a half old, and I kind of like to show him to everyone.  
I actually got the idea while sitting in an auditorium of several thousand people listening to David McCullough, the famous historian. I know—probably not where you’d think ideas for kids fiction would pop up. It surprised me too. I found myself thinking, what would be the absolute coolest way to for kids to learn history?  Answer: For them to see it, almost experience it! Have a pirate ship sail through front wall of their class. See armies rushing each other from two sides of the room. Hear from Lincoln himself.…

Meet James Duckett

Today I am featuring a writer who is working toward publication. I thought this would be a great post for everyone out there who is just beginning to write a book, and for those who are stuck in that awkward "middle school" phase of the publishing process and could use some commiseration. I stole this picture from your blog, James. I hope you don't mind. :)

Where are you in the writing process? I've got one book of Novella length complete and am working on a full-length novel right now. My Novella, called Pushing the Wall, was recently edited by Tristi Pinkston. I've been alternating between implementing the edits and working on the novel. And by working on the novel, I mean I'm still polishing the outline and have written the opening scene to it, which seemed to meet the approval of my critique group.
Where are you in the publishing process? I pitched Pushing the Wall to a publisher last month at LTUE, but it wasn't a fit with their company. I've been…

Question and Answer

I received an e-mail from Sydney and thought I would answer it here where it can help other beginning writers as well.

"I am a beginning writer and was wondering if you have any advice for me. I would like to improve my writing and I thought that the only person that could give me good advice was a professional writer. I love your book, Cinder and Ella, and I can't wait until I get to read your newest book, Snow Whyte! I LOVE to read and I enjoy writing so much. I am only in 7th grade but my creative writing teacher says I've got potential."

I do have some thoughts on this subject, Sydney, and I'm glad you chose to send me an e-mail and ask.

First of all, I can see that you already have a few things in your favor:

You have guts. And courage. You took the time to e-mail an author you are interested in. When you get a little further down the road, and are ready to query agents and publishers, that is exactly what you need. Never lose it!You have a teacher who believes …

A Story About Punctuation

When I began writing my first novel, I struggled with punctuation. It had been years since I had written anything, and even more years since I had really cared about the topic. Lucky for me, I don't have cable. One night as I was flipping channels, a basic English course came on one of my local PBS stations. (Yes, I watched it. Yes, I realize that's pretty lame.) I learned everything I needed to know about punctuation. It's pretty simple, really. I wrote down the basic rules. (Yes, I took notes.) I began practicing, and by the time I finished that first novel I felt pretty confident about punctuation. Amazing what a little simple instruction will do. Now I'm known as the Punctuation Nazi to members of my critique group. Not that I mind the title. I've even created a few basic rules of my own to help me remember what certain punctuation marks are for. Here they are:

The Semi-Colon Use when two sentences want to hold hands; some things are better together.
The Em Das…

I Want to Be a Painter. I Want to Be a Nun.

And in short, any book that can do THAT, gets 5 stars.

"This is the great secret of color, child. Inside every color, other colors live. Thus we can create green from yellow and blue, or paint a purple robe by laying blue over a red ground. That's why a poppy is not simply red, it is yellow red, and an olive leaf is not merely green, it is gray green. There is no color for which this isn't so."

This book was a once in a lifetime read for me. (Except it also happened before with Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, so I guess it's actually a twice in a lifetime thing. Dare I hope for thrice or more?) This book spoke to my soul. It said, "I love blue, too. It's amazing. It's my favorite. It's so precious to God that he shares very little of it with us." It spoke to my current life challenges. "You can do it. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. You will make mistakes, but everything will work out. 'Yes. All will be well.'" It sp…