Friday, March 1, 2013

The Knight of Dreams

This past weekend I was at a writer's conference. I entered the BOB (Beginning of Book) Contest. I was excited when my non-fiction entry won 2nd place in that category! But I was in complete shock when my Young Adult fantasy book won the grand prize having received the most points out of all the entries! (Check out MMW to hear more!) So many people have asked to read my entries so I have put them below. Though "The Knight of Dreams" has already gone through revisions since the draft below!

If I am a Temple, Why do I Feel Like a Condemned Building?

In this day and age we hear a lot about finding oneself. Many women go on trips, or start new careers, or end careers, or even leave their families in search of themselves. Some women, after spending thousands of dollars and finally finding themselves, still want a refund!  Why are we so hard to find?
Women in the church are not immune to these feelings that lead us to wonder who we really are. You may be saying: But I know who I am. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father. Well of course we are, but what does it mean? I used to think if I just repeated it in my head over and over I might actually start to believe and understand it, but it didn’t work for me.
Here's the thing: God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is the architect of our lives and the Father of our spirits. But, and this is a big but, we are the contractors of our lives.
A few years ago, my step father and his brother and sister decided to build a new house on their parent's property. They had an architect draw up some beautiful plans. Then they had a contractor who said he could do it. He took a big chunk of money and then left. This was devastating to our family and to the project. We thought this person was going to help build a dream house but instead the whole project became a nightmare. The designs were wonderful, but without people committed to build it, it would remain a fantasy.
Likewise, we often walk away from the whole project of building ourselves into temples. We often want the payoff without the work. This is when we need to fire our old contractor (yes, ourselves) and hire a new contractor (again, ourselves, but with a new attitude).
As women and young women in the church we are told the gospel brings happiness. However, if we don’t feel happy we blame ourselves. We sit in General Conference and our church meetings armed with a pen and a “to do” list that includes things like pray, read scriptures, attend all our meetings, fulfill our callings, visit the sick or lonely, start our family history, be a good example, learn self-reliance, start our food storage, and the list goes on and on.
Is it any wonder some women find the gospel exhausting? We do everything on the list expecting to be happy. It’s easy to blame our empty feelings on the church, turn our backs on the gospel.
So what is the real problem and does it have an answer? Satan doesn't want us to be happy and he will lead us from one extreme to the other in no time at all.  We have a loving Heavenly Father who gave us both a body and a spirit and He wants us to find the balance between them. This balance will bring the happiness and peace we seek.

The Knight of Dreams
It didn't matter that it was almost midnight--the heat of the Arizona sun, trapped in the asphalt, still radiated under Joe's feet as he trudged through the trailer park.  He wanted to be angry with his mom for forgetting his game...again. But he’d learned not to show it after awhile. This wasn’t the first time he’d walked home, and it wouldn’t be the last.
He let himself into the trailer and turned on the single lamp. On the couch, illuminated by the sickly yellow light, lay his sleeping mother. Her rumpled hospital uniform smelled of disinfectant and floor cleaner. Callused hands clutched car keys. He hated that she worked two jobs to keep them afloat. Seeing her worn out always reminded him of his fatherless status. The jerk didn't even pay child support.
Joe sighed and slowly pulled off her shoes. She stirred, "You and me," she mumbled. Joe smiled. That had always been their motto. As a child, whenever he asked about his father, she would rumple his hair and say, "It's just you and me kiddo, but together we can slay any dragon, defeat any enemy."
He'd believed her.
He shook his head at his naivety. Looking around the tiny trailer and its meager furnishings he just snorted. Dragons? They couldn’t even pay their bills. She wouldn’t let him get a job. Said he should be a normal teenager. Fat chance! A normal teenager had a father. He pushed down his resentment.
"You and me and Joe of course," his mom's slurred words caused him to freeze. "He looks like you."
She was dreaming of his father. How could she still love the man who abandoned them at his birth?
"Should tell him...truth," her words were getting harder to understand, "He'll never…your world." Joe bent over her, waiting to hear more. She never spoke of his father and he wanted – no needed – to know more.
She stopped talking and Joe became desperate. "What world?" he whispered in her ear.
"Tell me the truth." His voice rose.
She stretched and her eyes blinked open. "Joe? You're home?" Her eyes went wide, and she sat up.  “Is the game over?  Did I miss it?” 
Joe nodded, not sure what else to say.  He suddenly didn’t care about the game anymore.
“I sat down to change and...”  She looked up, her eyes big and watery.  “I messed up again.” 
Joe didn't reply. She took his silence for anger. "Please forgive me, Joe."
He looked up and blurted, "Do I look like him?"
She looked confused. "Like who?"
"My father."
Her face went white. "What do you mean?" She was trying to avoid the question, like always. But he couldn't let it go this time.
"Just answer the question!" He hadn't meant to yell.
She sighed, then answered, "It was so long ago, Joe. I really can't remember."
She wouldn’t meet his eyes, and he finally knew the truth. She’d lied.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

15th Anniversary

Mike and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary this month. We took a quick weekend trip to San Diego. We enjoyed driving down by the Harbor, going to Point Loma, and visiting Sea World. It was a relaxing trip. Here's a few pictures:

Women of the Book of Mormon by Heather B. Moore

I was priviledged to read "Women of the Book of Mormon" by Heather B. Moore. The thing that struck me as I read this non-fiction book was the overwhelming feeling of strength exuded by the women she speaks of. The first woman she talks about is our first mother, Eve.

Her story is so significant that Lehi refers to it a few times in the Book of Mormon. She was an example to the women of that time. Women, who didn’t have a very high standing in their society, could find strength in knowing that Eve made the most important decision this world has ever known.
Quoting from Heather’s Book:
One of the universal truths taught time and time again has been
that there must be “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11), and
that the existence of the human family was dependent on choosing.
The prophet Lehi knew Eve’s choice was courageous and that it led
to freeing the powers of life (see 2 Nephi 2:11–13). To understand
Eve is to understand her decision. Of all the events in the history
of mankind, the Fall single-handedly “affected the entire earth and
everyone in the human family”29 in one of the most powerful ways. In
essence, we might think of Eve as a heroine, and that “Eve’s supreme
gift to mankind, the opportunity of life on this earth, resulted from
her choice to become mortal.”30
Eve understood the consequence of eating the fruit. She knew it
was correct and that it would lead to further knowledge (see Moses
4:13).31 In fact, “when [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food,”
the word saw was akin to God’s “acts of seeing,” meaning that in that
instant, Eve had godlike clarity (Moses 4:12).32
Eve knew a hard decision had to be made and she did it. We too have her strength to make the hard decisions. The world would have us think that we can make choices and they only affect us. But Eve has taught us, that though our choices probably won’t affect the world for the next thousands of years, our choices do have widespread effects. Not only that, but most of us have the same gift to "see" what needs to be done in our lives. I think most of us have had the experience of not knowing an answer, then after much prayer and thought we suddenly "know" what we have to do even when it's a difficult path we will be choosing to take. This is only a piece of the legacy of women that we can learn of as we read this book. It inspires you to read more of the book of mormon and more of what the prophets have said about these great women. It definately left me feeling empowered and strong.

This book comes out the beginning of April. It would make a great Mother's Day gift as it gives the gift of inspiration and the strength of women.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Top 10 Ways Moms are like Rockstars!!

I felt silly and decided to write the top ten ways moms are like rockstars! So laugh along with me.
10. As soon as they are spotted, they get no peace.
9. They hear their name chanted incessantly on a daily basis.
8. They often deal with loss of voice due to overuse.
7. Often they have the same set of groupies following them around. (I can't get rid of mine, no matter what I do!)
6. Their most adoring fans usually want something from them. ("Mom, I love you so much...can I have the car keys?)
5. Hectic schedules interfere with regular eating habits. ( I am typing this between bites of a sandwich that is actually my breakfast that I am eating at 11am)
4. Some people mistakenly think they have unlimited supplies of money. ("But mom, it's only $20!")
3. They often have get encore requests. ("Mom, I forgot my lunch/homework/important project please bring it to the school.")
2. Their clothing choices are sometimes questioned. ("Are you really going to wear that in public?")
1. Their autographs are in great demand, especially at the most inopportune times. ("Mom, you have to sign my report card/daily behavior sheet/test grade/homework before school in 5 minutes!!")
That was fun! Do you have any you would like to add? Feel free to put them in the comments!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wilsons are Still Alive!!

I bet you were wondering if we still lived or not! We are here! But while I was working for Uhaul I didn't really want to be around the computer when I was off, so I didn't blog. Sorry about that. But now that I quit my job, I should have more time for blogging...but don't quote me on that. Time for catching up.
The kids started a new school this year. They attend Oasis Elementary in the Peoria School District. It's nice having them all at one school. It's been working out really well since my Dad and Bonnie live really close to the school. Bonnie picked up the kids for me after school when I was working. She is a real life saver! (Thank you Grandma Bonnie!!) The kids loved going over there to swim after school. They love their new school. Sammi and Noah are both in band for the first time. They both play the trumpet, which makes for a loud house.
Sammi and Jessi both had birthdays in September. Sammi turned 13 and Jessi turned 10. We had big party at home with family and some of their friends.

Skipping to Halloween. The kids got to dress up as their favorite characters at school. Noah dressed like James Bond, Kassi dressed like the Little Mermaid in her wedding dress. Noah got real upset when he realized he looked like Kassi's groom!!

Sammi dressed up as 50's girl in a poodle skirt. Jessi was a vampiress with special vampire dentures. We had to make a special mold for her teeth so they would fit. They looked quite realistic.

These are pictures I took this morning to show their new haircuts that I did yesterday. Sammi and Jessi wanted more grown up hair styles

After I styled Jessi's hair this morning she thought she looked like Alice Cullen from "Twilight"

Kassi thought her bangs look alot like her favorite princess Sleeping Beauty. Whatever makes them happy right?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Native

Noah recieved his Arrow of Light for Cub Scouts last night. He really enjoyed the ceremony. They had someone dressed up like an Indian with the head dress and everything. They gave him the award and an arrow that had been painted with markings that represent all the awards and badges that he earned in cub scouts. I was really proud of him.
Then today, I took the kids to the Heard Museum West in Surprise. It's a smaller version then the regular Heard Museum, but once we got a tour guide it was really cool. It's a museum dedicated to Native American artifacts and art. We learned lots of cool things about their basket and rug patterns. One thing I learned today was that Navajo women weave the rugs and always make sure to purposely make one mistake in each rug. This is because they believe only a god can make a perfect rug and they don't want people to think they are a god. So I decided from this point on, I'm not going to be perfect anymore. I don't want anyone thinking I'm a god or anything. So any mistakes I make from now on are on purpose!! (Think that will fly? Well a girl can try!)