Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Agent Requested my Manuscript

My manuscript is now at the hands of another agent that wants it exclusively for four weeks. This agent also happens to be the agent of my friend Jenni James. Having friends in the business definately helps! Hopefully her agent will either be interested or be able to refer me to someone that might be.

It's crossed my mind that some of you might not know the process for becoming a published writer. It's something I've had to research extensively so now it doesn't seem so daunting to me. I will try to give a quick overview of the process. First you have to write a book. That is easier said than done! For the past five years, being a published writer has been my goal but I haven't quite been able to get past the first step until recently. I knew I wanted to write and had begun several books, but the "magic" never seemed to happen. If you've ever tried to take pen to paper then you know what I was looking for. I expected to suddenly be inspired to write and not be able to stop. Well it wasn't until I read a book entitled "Becoming a Writer" by Dorothea Brande, that I was able to find that magic. It is there, ready for the taking, you just have to be willing to do the work to find it. Her book helped me to harness my own magic. Another thing that helped me was online writing groups. They are full of advice and inspirational posts.

Second, you have to rewrite, edit, reread, edit, have friends read, edit, etc. Once your story is something you are proud of (not perfect mind you, because I could sit on my book forever with the excuse that it's not perfect if I let myself.) then you write a query letter. This is the point where you decide if you want to find an agent or send to publishers without an agent. I personally would love to have an agent. For one, some of your bigger publishers only accept agented works. For another, the book business is about connections, when you get an agent you are getting connections. This can only help. Plus the agent only works on commission so you know they will do all they can to sell your book and get you the best possible deal. Once you have decided which way you are going to go check out "Writer's Market" from your local library. It is full of advice on how to write a query letter and how to approach agents or publishers. It also has a full reprotoire of agents and publishers. It gives you detailed information on what each agent/publisher is looking for, who to contact, how to contact them, and what to submit.

So now that I am submitting query letters to agents, I hope for them to request the manuscript (which is what happened today) and review it. Now I wait. This is the hard part. Now let's say she likes my manuscript the next step is a contract, then she will give me some edits for my story to make it more marketable. Then I have to have a synopsis, and any other things the publishers may require, that I can give to my agent so she can get a novel proposal together. She would then approach a few publishers at a time using her connections. Once I land I publisher I am told the real work begins, but I'm not quite sure what that is yet. As I move through this process I will keep you all informed.

If you have any questions I will try to answer them. Also check out my friend Jenni Jame's website. www.authorjennijames.com There is a link to her blog on there as well. Pretty soon she will posting an interview from her agent about how the publishing world works. It should be pretty informative.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I feel so rejected!! LOL!!

So the agent that asked for my full manuscript said that it was a very strong concept and the writing was good, but it wasn't right for him. I'm up to 11 rejections right now and 15 agents haven't responded. My favorite rejection was today when I got a personal email, (not a form letter) but she put a different title down instead of Dream Swords. I couldn't help but laugh. She wrote back immediately and apologized for mixing it up with another story, but it was still a rejection. I wrote her back and told her that I've been dreaming about all the rejections I've been getting but I never dreamt I would get rejected for something I didn't write!! I thanked her for the laugh and the personal email. She wrote back and laughed with me. It was a good moment. If there are any good moments when your are being rejected anyways!!

Thanks for all your encouraging thoughts and words!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Update

Life is crazy here! Let me give you just a quick update on my agent searching endeavors then I have to get back to studying for finals next week. I have queried 20 agents in the past week. I have a total of 7 rejections so far, and one agent requested my full manuscript!!! I sent it to him today. I should hear back from him by Dec. 23rd. So keep your fingers crossed for me!! I can use all the help I can get!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Writing update

Well I have finished editing my book for the third time. I sent out query letters to seven agents on Fri. So far I have recieved my first rejection and that's it. So now I just get to sit back and wait. Oh, and get another list of agents together for my next round of letters I will be sending next week. Thanks for all your help and support!! I will continue to keep you informed, but I won't bore you with every rejection letter that I get.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Summary of my story

Once again I need everyone's help. I am writing a query letter to send to agents and the summary of my book needs to make them want to read it. So I am pasting my summary below and if it made you want to read my book go to comments and say "It worked". If not, please, please tell me why so I can fix it!! This is VERY IMPORTANT. I will be sending query letters next week!! Please help me!!!

Mikayla is a normal twelve year old girl with an average, boring family; at least that’s what she thinks until her grandmother dies. Trying to make up for the loss, her father takes her to the annual Renaissance Festival she normally attends with her grandmother. The festival takes a different turn this year when she is given an extraordinary sword with mystical powers that allows her to enter the dream realm. Before she knows what’s happening, Mikayla is escaping from kidnappers, fighting duels, training for battle and balancing the good from the evil that controls the dreams of the waking world. And as if that isn’t enough, Mikayla’s dad has his own sword and could save her—the problem is, his sword fights for the wrong side.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wow! Here's a nice article Thanking the Mormons for help in fighting Prop. 8

Evangelicals Thank LDS for Proposition 8 Work, Call for Christians to Stand Against Attacks
John Shroeder, Article VI11/12/2008 01:59 PM MST

Though Proposition 8 has caused divisiveness in California and within the Church, one incredible by-product of this campaign has been increased brotherhood and unity among Christian churches. While the LDS Church has been under attack, prominent priests, ministers, and writers—as well as common members—have come out against such attacks and shown their support of the Church.
The following blog entry, communicating such support, was recently posted by John Schroeder, a well-known Presbyterian and an Evangelical writer, on his Article VI blog. It is reprinted with permission:
Proposition 8 is now a part of the California constitution!
That is probably the best news from an otherwise difficult election for conservatives and Republicans. In very large part, we Evangelicals must thank our Mormon cousins for that fact. They, along with our Catholic brethren, were better organized than us and that provided a base from which we could ALL work together to get this job done What more, as we have chronicled here, Mormons took the brunt of the abuse, derision, and even threats of physical harm that came with this effort.
And like us, they have given thanks to the Almighty that is ultimately in control, even if their understanding of that Almighty is a bit different than ours.
I cannot help but wonder how much more thankful we ALL might be today if we had been more willing to embrace these religious cousins a few months ago - but alas, politics is always about governing today and looking forward to the next election.
Said John Mark Reynolds:
“In the battle for the family, however, traditional Christians have no better friends than the Mormon faithful. It would be wrong if that support were taken for granted. We are intolerant of the false attacks on Mormon faith and family. We stand with our Mormon friends in their right to express their views on the public square. We celebrate the areas, such as family values, where we agree.
“A heart felt thank you may not win points from other friends who demand one hundred percent agreement from their allies, but it is the decent and proper thing to do.
“Thank you to our Mormon friends and allies!”
Hard to do better than that. The “Ruth Youth” ministry proclaimed yesterday “International Mormon Appreciation Day.” Very appropriate, yet still inadequate.
In addition to our thanks, Mormons deserve our protection. They have been oppressed in ways during the Prop 8 campaign that this nation has not seen since the 1960’s and the civil rights movement. The rhetoric has been deplorable, but moreover. we have seen instances of vandalism, property destruction, and some leaders in the fight currently find themselves with armed protection because of the threats made against them and their families.
Our nation will not and cannot tolerate this sort of behavior - it is incumbent on all of us to stand against it, and the best way to do that is to stand between the Mormons and the forces that would perpetrate such evil.
Now I am sure the Mormons can, and probably want, to take care of themselves, but as a Christian, it is my duty to protect the innocent and free the oppressed. To turn a blind eye in this circumstance is not only ungracious, it is simply un-Christian.
Make all the theological distinctions you want, but in the political arena we are yoked with the Mormons (he said borrowing some religious imagery) and it is darn well time we started acting like it.
Absolutely, positively thank the Mormons - but don’t stop there. Stand up and be counted against the evil that has been perpetrated towards them in this campaign.
As Christians we can do no less.
*To read what has happened since this entry was created, click here.
Nikki here - Whatever your view may be on this topic I think we can all agree that violence is not the answer. Let's continue to love the people even if we don't agree with their actions.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cool Website

Noah came home from school today with a cool website. http://www.freerice.com/ You answer academic questions and for each one you get right 20 grains of rice is donated to the UN World Food Program. It's great for kids...ok adults too. I'll admit it, I got sucked in. I loved the art questions, it's good to know that somebody is finally going to benefit from all the art classes I took in high school!! Have fun!! And let's donate some rice people!!! Noah's at 11,500 grains of rice, who can beat that??

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I FINALLY finished the rewrite of my middle grade fantasy novel, "Dream Swords". I'm so excited that it's done. Now I can work on book 2 of the series and I can perfect a query letter to send to agents. And of course I will be rereading what I wrote and perfecting it so that agents fall in love with it!! LOL! So, you have all been devoted fans for so long without any pay off. Here it is, a sneek peek at Chapter one of Dream Swords!

Sorry all, I took off my sneak peek. If you didn't get a chance to read it and still want to, let me know. But you have to promise to give me feedback!! Thanks for all your help!

Pictures: Birthdays, Chicken, and Halloween

I'm a little behind on my pictures again. Sammi and Jessi had birthdays in September. Sammi turned 12 and Jessi turned 9. We had big family get together for both of them. It was great, thanks to everyone who came, the girls loved every one of their gifts!!

Here's a picture and Sammi and girls in Uncle Jason's car. They think they are so big.

Then we have our chick, Bob. We tried to hatch a chicken out of an egg again and this time it worked. Noah was still upset about last time when Kentucky had died trying to get out of his egg. But Bobby Q was a fighter and Noah felt good that it worked this time. But we couldn't keep Bobby, so we sent him home with Jason since his dad is the one with all the chickens.

For Halloween Jessi was a bride, Kassi was sleeping beauty, Sammi dressed up 80's style (yes I still own my very first crimper that I got in 1987) Noah was a paintballer and I was a hula Dancer.

Noah told me I should tie my skirt tighter cuz it made me look fat. I told him I didn't mind but he looked like he did!! LOL!

Friday, October 31, 2008


You are probably wondering what that is. It is short for National Novel Writing Month. Once a year people sign up to take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word book in thirty days. This is a great feat but it is achievable. Not that I've done it yet, cuz I haven't, but I'm going to give it a shot. On the side of my blog is a little icon that should show you my progress on this challenge. It starts tomorrow Nov. 1st. I'm not quite ready for it because I'm going to do book 2 of my YA fanatasy book for Nano, but I haven't finished the second draft of book one yet!! I may be trying to do both at the same time!! How crazy is that?

Anyways for more info about Nano, check out www.nanowrimo.org It's a really cool challenge and a fun thing to be involved in. Be sure to cheer me on, I'll need all the help I can get!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

***Warning to Parents*** Please Heed!

To all you parents out there who participate in the yearly LDS ritual of the Primary Presentation, please heed my warning. When your children beg you not to take them to the practice the day before and assure you that they know their parts, "besides," they say to you. "I can just read my part up there." Don't listen to them. Don't do it I tell you!! THEY NEED TO PRACTICE!

To make a short story long, let me start by telling you about our day yesterday. We had no less than 4 things scheduled at about the same time. I told my family weeks ago I would help with the yard sale at my grandmother's house yesterday. Which is a major undertaking for any average home, but for my grandmother's house it's a feat of astronomical proportions. My aunts and Grandfather had been working really hard in the house to prepare for it. The least I could do is help at the yard sale. First let me tell you what our schedule was supposed to be for the day.

6am - Yard Sale
8am - Mike and Sammi clean the church building with the youth
10am - Primary practice
10am - Humanitarian Project (I am one of the people in charge)
11am - Baby shower for an old friend.

So to say that my head was spinning was an understatement. I woke up my kids at 5 am to go to my grandpa's house. Sammi came with me instead of going to clean up the church building. Mike stayed home to attend the service project. It took us until noon before everything was out for the sale. People started shopping around 8am but Bonnie continued to work hard at bringing more items out for the sale. It went really well I think. My kids were having such a good time that they didn't want to leave which is when they began begging to skip the practice. I had a conversation with Jessi where I asked her if she knew her part for the program. She said, "I just need to tell my favorite Book of Mormon story which is easy. My favorite one is where Nephi gathers his sons and asks which of them want to be king. They all say none of them because they want to go on a mission." She says confidently. I then correct her and say, "That wasn't Nephi who did that." She says, "Oh yeah, it was Alma." Again I say, "NO, it was King Mosiah and one of his sons was named Ammon. Is that who you are doing the story on?" She smiles and says, "Yeah, that's what I meant." I then told her we would talk about it later as the hot AZ sun didn't seem to own a calendar to remember that October shouldn't have weather near the hundreds. The sun was frying my brain, and I was too tired to deal with it all at that moment. So I blew everything else off, primary practice, humanitarian project, baby shower. Everything except the yard sale. There we stayed helping as long as we could. Going home I was too tired to deal with anything. Did I even remember my conversation with Jessi earlier? No of course not! When did I remember that conversation? Oh, how about when we are sitting in the pew at church, the program had already started and a little boy got up to talk about his favorite bible story. His story was written out and beautifully rehearsed. I could tell his mother had spent plenty of time preparing such a great little talk. I was feeling quite relieved that I hadn't had to do that with any of my children when the conversation with Jessi from the day before popped into my head. NO!!! I must have looked like a deer in the headlights as the children began to sing "Book of Mormon" stories. I turned to Mike and told him in my most terrified voice what was about to happen. Because we both know Jessi well enough to know that she wouldn't be daunted by the fact that she hadn't practiced what she was going to say. What was his loving, supportive response? He laughed. Before she even said a word his face was beet red from laughing. The singing stopped and I look up to see my Jessi at the microphone glorying in the moment. I put on my best I'm the mom and I know exactly what my child is going to say face. Then she began to "wing" it. "My favorite Book of Mormon story is when King Mosiah's sons went on missions to the Nephites. Then when they came home their dad asked them who wanted to be King." So far so good, she even got King Mosiah's name right. I'm starting to breath easier and even gave her a thumbs up. "They told him that they didn't want to be king because they wanted to preach to the Nephites." At which point I mouthed the word Lamanites. "Oh, I mean Lamanites. So Ammon went to the king of the Lamanites and asked if he could be his servant. He said yes and Ammon watched the sheep. So he was watching the sheep and everything and these people came and ran at the sheep and made them go here and there." She was using hand gestures at this point to show the sheep being scattered. "So Ammon told his companions to gather the sheep, but then the guys came again, so Ammon got out his sling" She starts swinging her arm around in circles to show how he would have used the sling. "And he threw rocks and stuff at them" please don't talk about the cut off arms, please not the cut off arms... was going through my head. "Then the brother of the leader of the other guys got killed cuz, well Ammon killed him." well at least she didn't mention the cut off arms. "So what happened was a while later the king was sleeping for like two days" I really have to apologize to those people reading who have never heard this book of mormon story before, because this is no way an accurate telling. "Everyone thought he was dead, they were saying 'he's dead' and all that stuff" I no longer am looking at my daughter at this point, my head is bent down with my hands over my face laughter shaking my body like an earthquake. "then the other people fall down on the ground like thier dead too. And the the leader of the sheep guys wants to kill Ammon because he's on the ground but he couldn't." The whole congregation is laughing, no one can help it, politeness can only go so far. She looks out at the laughter and starts laughing herself. "Well, I guess that's all." She says then she walked off. The whole bishopric was red with laughter and everyone of them was looking right at me! Of course they were, I'm the mom after all, I should have known what was coming. I know they probably thought it was just cute and endearing, and if it was someone else's kid I would have thought the same thing. Mike pointed out to me that she was just repeating the video version of the story that we haven't watching in eons because we have it on VHS and no longer have a VCR, which I then realized was true.

So the moral of the story is when your children comes home with their parts for the primary program, read them (I know I'm a slacker.) Don't assume that they can just read their perfectly scripted part off the paper on the podium (I bet you she gets a scripted part next year.) And DON'T, I repeat, DO NOT believe your kids when they say "My part's so easy mom I don't need to go to the practice."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Have you ever noticed that when you are confronted with opposition in your life it only makes you stronger? Of course you have. So why do people that oppose you or your views insist on making your views stronger by confrontation? It's always interesting to see the different opinions and views that come out especially around a presidential election. I inevitably come across someone who thinks the opposite of me. It is always stimulating to hear their views and I enjoy seeing both sides of the arguments. I like to read both sides to verify my views. And I usually come back feeling stronger for it. I don't like to argue my side I just state my opinion and encourage the other person to state theirs. It's wonderful to have the freedom to say what we think and feel. So I am grateful for the opposition in my life and for the soldiers and founders of our country that have made this freedom possible. Please remember to vote no matter what your opinion is. Many people died for our ability to voice our opinions through the polls. Did you know that our country has some of the lowest voting rates. Less than half the citizens in our country vote in most elections. That is a sad fact. Let's change that this year! VOTE!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An FHE idea

Here is the link to a blog that offers a new FHE lesson each week. The link I'm posting is to a lesson about marriage and family. I think it is a great way to teach our children about temple marriage and forever families.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Standing up for what's right

This November, the State of AZ will be voting on Proposition 102. This is an important proposition that will decide if the government is allowed to teach my children about what marriage and family is. Please watch the following videos and be sure to register and vote at the upcoming election!

3 short videos that show what has happened and what can happen if marriage isn't protected.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Perfect Day

Have you ever noticed that perfect days are filled with many imperfections? I'm so grateful for the many perfect days I've had lately and I just want to share one such day with you. Yesterday was one of those perfect days where I can't help but see what I have and be extremely thankful. In the morning I tried to get everyone ready for church. I sat Jessi down to do her hair amongst her several protests that she didn't want this or that. To which I responded, "I'm the mom, I'll do whatever I want!" --imperfect moment in my perfect day.

After church, if Mike doesn't have a meeting afterwards we always race him home (He goes to church 2 hrs early for meetings so we have two vehicles there.) As we all walked out of the church doors I counted quietly to the kids, "1, 2, 3 GO!!" We ran across the parking lot, (in my heels no less) in a hurry to pile in the car. Driving like I mad woman, I still didn't get out of the parking lot faster than Mike. But after a few lucky lane changes (responsibly done of course), we were finally in the lead. We pulled into the drive way seconds before Mike did and the kids ran to the front door, (because the race is to see who can get there faster). I look over at Mike who bailed out of his truck as fast as he could, only to see his truck slowly rolling backwards out of the driveway. The look on his face when he realized what happened was soooo funny. He ran back to the truck and jumped in and stopped it. We were both laughing so hard! The laughter on his face at that moment is something I don't think I will ever forget and it made my heart swell. --imperfect moment in my perfect day.

Later that evening we went to my sister in law's house to celebrate my father in law's birthday. Most all the family the was there crowding the house to near maximum capicity. When it came time to sing happy birthday my husband tried his darndest to sing out of key, he succeeded. His brother, Matt, then began howling along with him. My mother in law (who is still fighting off cancer) was laughing as only a mother of 4 boys and 2 girls can do. The joy on her face the faces of all there made my heart grow even more. --imperfect moment in my perfect day.

I just want to say thank you to all the people in my life that make my perfect days possible!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My letter to Stephenie Meyer

Do you ever dream about what you would say to someone famous if you could talk to them? No? Ok, forget I said anything! Just kidding. I think about it all the time. Then I found Stephenie Meyer's (The author of the Twilight Saga) myspace account. There is a place where you can send her a message. I'm pretty sure she doesn't check it so I had myself some fun. Here's the email I sent her:

Subject: You're not going to read this anyway...so I can write whatever I want!

Ha!! It worked you're reading it aren't you, couldn't stop yourself from seeing what demented person is writing you this time! You're kind of morbid that way aren't you? Well I am a writer. And I need GUIDANCE!! I'm also a stay at home mother of 4 children. For some insane reason, I thought that since all my kids are now in school all day that I would add going back to college on my things to do this semester. Along with writing my second draft to the first book I wrote. Why would I possibly think I have the time for all this stuff?? So here's the thing, I'm taking a writing class and we need to do a profile on an author, I'm choosing to do my report on you. I'm fascinated with how you became a writer. There are a few questions I can't find the answers too for my report:

1) What are some of your writing habits? For example, do you revise in the morning and write new drafts in the afternoon? Etc.
2)Who, besides other writers, influence your writing? (husband, teacher, parent, etc.)
3) Is there anything about your background that has significantly impacted your writing?

You know that if you don't write back I'm going to have to make something up like...She writes while standing on her head and flossing her teeth. Or maybe...Her background as a vampire helped to contribute to her vivid details. Ok, so I wouldn't do that. But it is tempting.
While I'm venting let's talk about what other authors never tell you. How come the writer is so much more in the dark about the end of a story than the reader is? I am in constant suspense of what is going to happen next in my story...and it's the SECOND DRAFT!! You would think after writing the whole thing the first time I would know the outcome. NNNOOOOO!! The whole story is changing on me and I just want to scream!! Now don't get me wrong, I love the process of writing and all the twists and turns, it's like the ultimate choose your own adventure book!

My book is going to be the next big thing you know? At least that's what everyone whose read it tells me. Talk about PRESSURE!! My husband is looking at what you have made on some of your book deals and he's already started drawing up the plans for the house he wants to build!! How can I write with those kinds of expectations?? My kids have already taken orders at school for kids and teachers that want to buy my book!! How crazy is that?!! How do you write knowing there is so many expectations?? (Sorry phone just rang, why is it that when a conversation starts with the person on the other line saying, "Don't hang up" That's the first thing we do?")

Well as long as I'm dreaming...my teacher said we could bring an author to our class for our report instead. Since I go to Glendale Community College, I could just take you with me. We'll disguise you, you could be Gertrude a swedish foriegn exchange student. Talk about a good grade!!
If you actually read this I'm not sure if I will be mortified or ecstatic, but it would be fun to find out!!
Thanks a bunch!!
Nikki Wilson

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Kittens!!

I can't remember how many times I have heard Mike say that we would NEVER have a cat. Yet somehow, our daughters have him wrapped around their little fingers, and now we not only have one, but two kittens. The white one is Jessi's cat and she named him Tiger. The grey one is Sammi's and she named him Smokey. Those kittens are already so spoiled, the girls are so happy with their new pets! I must have about 40 pictures of these kittens, so here are just a few.

Magic Mountain

The first weekend in August, we went to CA to visit Grammy and Grandpa Stello. While we were there we took the kids to Magic Mountain for the first time. They had a blast. Some of the rides were a little too much for them, but we had fun in the kiddy land too. We rode alot of the water rides, since they were more kid friendly. We took all the kids except Kassi, on Colossus. Jessi was scared to death of any ride after that. The only thing I could get her to ride was Gold Rusher. Kassi was too small for alot of the rides which made it hard, but we still managed to have a good time. Grandpa Stello came with us too and rode the rides too. My brothers Sean, and Ryan came with some friends, but we didn't see them much! We had such fun as a family!

Family Trip to the Lake

In July we took the family to Lake Pleasant for a Sat. Mike's parents and his brother, Scott and his wife Tausha came with their kids too. We took the canoe out and everyone had such a great time. Especially Spike, our dog, who loved the water. Course he swam behind the canoe wherever it would go. Until Mike finally had pity on him and let him in!!

We BBQ'd some hot dogs, drank lots of gatorade and water, and we even took a turn or two on the tube behind the motor boat. It was a great way to celebrate summer!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time to Catch Up

I'm using my morning writing time to catch you all up on what's been going on in our family the past month. I haven't posted sooner because I always feel guilty when I post without pictures. Especially when I know I have a lot of pictures I want to put on here. So the kids started school in Aug, and so did I. So it's been a rather busy month. Kassi started a week sooner than the other kids because I have her going to the school closest to us. The other kids started Aug. 11th. They go to the same Charter school they've been going to for the past few years. I just didn't Kassi to have to deal with the long bus ride her first year in school. I started school the end of the month. It's been an eye opener to me. I didn't realize how much guilt I could feel just being away from the house and mostly unreachable, during classes. My first day of school, I'm in my first class for fifteen minutes when my phone vibrates in my pocket. I look at it and realized it was Kassi's school, but I couldn't answer it. So I try my best not to picture her bleeding to death in the nurses office and continue to listen to my new teacher. She let class out an hour later (way early, since that is my two and half hour class). I immediately checked my messages and my blood ran cold as I heard the message from the school. "Your child has been marked absent please call us back to verify." I took her to school of course and logically I knew it was probably just an error, but I couldn't stop my mind from going "there". What if she's really missing? What if I answered my phone an hour earlier? All these questions were going through my mind as I called the school and waited while they talked to the teacher and verified that Kassi was indeed in class. It just figures that something like this would happen on my first day of school. Aside from that incident though, school has been great. I'm taking Anthropology and a Writing class. They are both fun and really interesting classes. I'm enjoying myself immensely.

Mike's mother, Marilyn, had surgery Aug. 29th on her colon cancer. When they went in they found that the Chemo and Radiation and reduced the mass to almost nothing. There wasn't much left for the doctor to remove. She will still have to endure more Chemo and Radiation soon, but so far she appears to be successfully treated. I talked to her after she got home from the hospital after about four or five days there; she tried to apologize for not asking me how school was going sooner!! The lady has got to be a saint!! It's a good thing we're not going to lose her anytime soon!

Sammi turned twelve Sept. 3rd. I can't believe how big she is getting. Jessi turns 9 next week. My babies keep growing up without my permission!

Well that's all the morning writing time I have for today, so I will try to update sooner next time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Check this out...Too Funny!

This You tube video is hilarious! I'm not sure why but it just is!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Things that go BUMP in the night!

Ok, note to self... don't write a scary, suspenseful story late at night when my husband is away camping with the scouts!! Here's how my night went. I started out really tired since I did all kinds of running around, (in 110 degree weather) so Mike would be ready to go camping with the scouts at the lake tonight. I almost fell asleep at 7 tonight, but the kids were still awake so I forced myself to stay up. I watched part of the opening ceremonies of the olympics then sent the kids to bed. Then I sat in my bed with the lap top deciding to write a little while I wait for the kids to sleep. So what do I write? I'm working on my first book again, the YA fantasy novel, and I must tell you it is much better this time around. Which is probably my problem!! The story has a dark presence that is after the main character. So here I am trying to get into the story and figure out what happens next when I hear noises. Actually I distinctly heard dishes being moved. So I check Noah's room to see where the dog is. Well the dog is sound asleep on Noah's bed. I stand in the hallway for a bit and finally go back to my room when I don't hear anything else. Then sitting in my room, I hear noises in the back yard!! I'm really freaked now! So I go back to the hallway and inch my way towards the living room but I'm too much of a chicken to go any further!! I'm standing in front of Sammi's closed bedroom, which is empty tonight since she is spending the night at a friend's house. When suddenly I hear a thump from her room. Jumping as much as I can I run to my room and grab my cell phone to call my husband, but guess what? There's no cell service at the lake. So here I am, holed up in my room with nothing but my laptop to keep me company!! No one to call this late at night, and very much wishing I had bought a security system from my brother!! It's going to be a LONG night!!
P.S. I'm sure it's just my demented imagination and nothing's really out to get me, so don't worry... too much!

Monday, July 28, 2008


1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.
It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

What The....???

As a parent, I am almost 12 years old. Which means my oldest child Samantha is almost 12. I consider myself well versed in the way of immunizations. They start when they are so young getting those all important shots, that rip your heart out as you stand by helplessly and watch your precious child become a pin cushion. Today I took Sammi for her 6th grade shots and Kassi for her next Hep A. I felt relatively comfortable as I stood in line at the free clinic (I've gotten smarter over the years, and realized that free is the way to go. After all they're the same shot no matter where you get it.) I didn't even flinch as my children were given their dreaded innoculations. I was strong as a rock, after all, there wasn't anything new they could throw at me right? WRONG!!! So as lady at the counter starts highlighting all the shots that Sammi needs, she hands me a flyer about an optional shot. "Would you like your daughter Samantha to have the HPV vaccine today, it is a shot for recommended for girls ages 11-12 before they become sexually active."
I stood there flabbergasted for a moment and tried to pretend that my brain didn't shut down at the fact that she just said my daughter's name and the words "sexually active" in the same sentence!!! All reason left my mind as I politely rejected the shot, when all I wanted to do was scream at her and say, "ARE YOU CRAZY??!! SHE'S 11 I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THAT STUFF ALREADY!!" Sammi of course wanted to know what that shot was for? And why she wasn't getting it (not that she wanted anymore, mind you.) Remember that I told you my brain left my body, right? So I wasn't thinking correctly when I answered her. "That shot is given to girls before they become sexually active so they don't get viruses when they have sex. But your not going to be having sex, so you don't need it, right?" She just agreed with me, embarrassed I'm sure that her mother just said sex three times in public. Now my poor daughter probably thinks that people get a virus when they have sex unless they have this shot first!! And a big part of me is ok with that!!! How messed up is that??
I know that I need to approach this more reasonably, but I'm going to need someone with a clearer head to explain the benefits of this shot before I can get over the initial shock. Thanks for listening to my rant. And to all my friends that only have boys and always longed for that one daughter...BE THANKFUL!!! LOL!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I stole this from someone else's blog. I love to read so I couldn't wait to find out how many of the great books I've read.

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. I have read 36 out of the 100 listed. Now I can't wait to read more!! I couldn't figure out how to underline the books I love. But I loved most of the ones I read.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 De BerThe Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis nieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Woo Hoo!! I Did It Again!!

I wrote another novel!! This one is an adult romance novel. It has more drama than some romances I've read before, but it was really fun to write. I really got into the characters and was able to broaden my skills. I feel like I can go back to the first book I wrote, and revise it with a little more confidence. I do need a couple people to read my latest book and tell me what they think. So if you're interested, please leave a comment below make sure to give me your e-mail address if I don't have it already. But only volunteer if you promise to write me back to give me your detailed opinion! I'll take the first 2 people who volunteer, just because if I end up changing it, I will need some more fresh readers to give me their opinion!! Thanks so much for everyone's support and encouragement!! It really helps!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Preschool Graduation

Kassi graduated from preschool this May. They put on a cute little show.
Kassi was Little Miss Muffet.

Then she got her diploma
Then ate cake, as you can tell by her dirty face. Grandma Bonnie came to watch and brought Carrie and Jordan with her. Kassi was sooo happy they came.

Professional Artist

Every year, the principal and owners of the school pick some student art that they purchase from the student. Then they have it framed and hang it around campus. Noah was sooo excited to have his artwork chosen this year. They presented Noah with his check of $25 and let him show his framed art to the school. He is now a Professional Artist since he has been paid for his work!! His artwork is a water color with salt added for texture. He used tape to keep the trunks of the trees white. Then took the tape off revealing the white paper and decorated it like trees.
He was quite proud of his work!!

Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the ones that chose his art work. There were about 20 pieces of art work chosen out of the whole school!!

Honor Roll!!

In May Sammi and Noah both made Honor Roll for the last Trimester of the year. Honor Roll is 3.0 and up. My nephew, Jake Denny, was up to the front 3 times. Once for student of the month, once for Principal's Honor Roll (4.0) and again for Presidential Honor Roll (4.0 all year long!) Great Job, Jake!! Keep up the good work!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

5 Everything

I've been tagged by Lindsay!!

10 years ago: I was living in an apartment, Sammi was 20 months old and Noah was 4 mo. old. They were so cute and little, did I mention cute? What happened? LOL!
5 years ago: Kassi was just born, my brother, Jason was living with us and getting ready to go on a mission.
5 things on my to do list: 1. Send a thank you note to the scholarship committee. 2. Send my sister Tiffany the Family history pictures I promised. 3. Write, write, write (I'm 10,000 words from finishing a new book!!) 4. Revise my YA novel. 5. Write MORE agents about a children's book I wrote.
5 billionaire things: 1. Travel 2. Buy a ski boat 3. Buy a cabin up north where it's cooler. 4. build a house. 5. BUY A NEW OR VINTAGE MUSTANG!
5 places I have lived: 1. Shreveport, LA 2. Tucson, AZ 3. Glendale, AZ 4. Oxnard, CA 5. Carpenteria, CA
5 things you might not know: 1. From the time I was 10 yrs old til I was 17 my biggest dream was to become a lawyer. 2. Now my biggest dream is to become a published writer. 3. I once cried when my cracker broke. 4. I have turned in a 1 and 1/2 page book report with the first page missing. 5. I have given my husband a black eye before. But to hear him tell it, it's like 3 black eyes (me rolling my eyes! MEN!)
Tag 5: Tiffany, Ruth, Kristen, Crystal, Nancy

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Air Museum

Memorial Day weekend we had planned to camping in Flagstaff for the weekend. But since there was SIX INCHES OF SNOW!! We had to improvise. Instead we took the kids to an air museum in Mesa.
Here's a picture of one of the old planes.
Mike's parents were able to go with us and so were his aunt and uncle and their children.
This is picture of me in my "big butt jeans" by the way. Some of you know what I'm talking about if you've been reading my blog!! LOL!!

Sammi's Field Trip to Benihana's

Before school was out I got to go on a field trip with Sammi to a teppinyaki restaurant called Benihana's. They cook the food right in front of you, and do tricks with their knives.

I wasn't really sure how educational it was supposed to be, but it sure filled my tummy and it tasted sooo good. So here are some pictures, Sammi took some pictures of EVERY thing. And then had me take some of her and her friends. I never knew how many pictures you could take at one restaurant!! Don't worry I will spare you from looking at all of them!!

Stephenie Meyer Book Signing

Ok, so those of you that know me might not find this too strange, but for those of you that don't know me well yet, this might seem wierd. In May I went to a book signing to see an author whose books I hadn't read!! My sister had been going on and on about this author and her Twilight series of books. I was very curious about her, but her Twilight books are YA novels and I was writing a YA novel at the time. With all the rave reviews, I didn't want to read her books before I finished writing the first draft of my own. I was afraid I would feel like my writing was so terrible compared to hers.

So instead of reading her books, I read about her. Stephenie Meyers is an LDS stay at home mom that lives in Glendale, AZ. She had a dream one night and the next morning she suddenly started writing it down because she wanted to know what happened. After reading all this about her, how could I not feel a connection with her story? It was like I just had to meet her. So I found some willing friends to go with me to her book signing for "The Host". "The Host" is an adult science fiction novel, which is right up my alley. So after promising to get my sister, Tiffany a signed copy, off I went to Tempe. My friends, Stormy and Lindsay came with me. They had both read her other books and had a great time talking about them and listening to Stephenie speak to us. I enjoyed it as well. She even talked about how she became a writer and gave tips to those would be authors in the audience.

Now after reading all her books, I can safely say that my favorite is "The Host". But the other ones were good too. I definately recommend her books.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Here I go slacking off again!! I promise I'll get back to adding more pictures, but first I must tell you my latest news. I got a $300 scholarship to use for my fall semester at GCC. It's not the scholarship that I wrote the essay about my grandma for, but I am quite happy about it!! It's from a women's group of some kind and I get to attend one of their meetings as well. I feel quite blessed to have been chosen for it and am very grateful to the people that chose me!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kassi's B-Day Party

Kassi turned 5 years old this April. We had a party for her and she was all about the princess stuff!! She got more dress up clothes than I have real clothes I think. Here she is bestowing a royal kiss on Grandpa Jeanie!
She was even in her princess clothes to hit the pinata.

Tiff, here's the picture of Bella hitting the pinata. She is so cute!!

This is my husband's impersonation of Madonna. He thinks he's soooo funny!!

Here's my brother Jordi (Get it, Jordi? I guess you have to be a Star Trek fan!)

Here's Tiffany sporting her princess rings that came off the cupcakes. Gee Tiff, is that how many cupcakes you ate??!!

Noah's Paintballing B-day Party

Noah really just wanted to take his friends and cousins, (uncles too) paintballing for his birthday. So we had the boys spend the night the night before so they could leave early to go paintballing. We made sure they all had matching bandanas. They had fun. The paintballing part got old fast so they played capture the flag and just ran around. They loved it!

Family Pictures

These are some more pictures taken after my grandma's funeral. It was the first time in about 5 years that my dad had all his kids together. We were only missing my step brother Paul and his family and Tiffany's husband, Keyth.
Grandpa with most of his grandchildren. I think Bethie had left before we took pictures.
Daddy's Girls!! Me and all my sisters!! Tiffany, Stephanie, Me, and little Carrie.