Monday, December 24, 2007

Joy to the World/Hallelujah - Advent Calendar Day 25

It has been difficult at times to choose what music to include in this musical advent calendar. There are so many wonderful pieces to choose! But today, it's easy. Today is the day to rejoice! Merry Christmas, everyone!

"Joy to the World" - Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square

"Hallelujah" - Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus

The First Noel - Advent Calendar Day 24

"In the Bleak Midwinter/The First Noel" - Celtic Woman

"Pastoral Symphony/There Were Shepherds/Glory to God" - Bow Valley Chorus

Sunday, December 23, 2007

O Little Town of Bethlehem - Advent Calendar Day 23

"O Little Town of Bethlehem" - Anglican's Choir and Kiri Tikanawa

"It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" - Susan Paree

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Carol of the Bells - Advent Calendar Day 22

"Carol of the Bells" - Utah Valley Handbell Ringers and the Utah Baroque Ensemble

What a difference another arrangement can make! Here is "Carol of the Bells" again, this time done by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with just a touch of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" thrown in the arrangement.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Song - Advent Calendar Day 21

He did it first, and it's still the best! "The Christmas Song" - Nat King Cole.

Here's another song I always have to sing along with, even on the Spanish verses where I have no idea what I'm saying and I can't pronounce it right. "Feliz Navidad" - Jose Feliciano

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Advent Calendar Day 20

"Mary, Did You Know" - Donny Osmond

"Guard Him Joseph" - Fun School care center performance

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We Need a Little Christmas - Advent Calendar Day 19

No, I didn't skip a day. I noticed just now that I had two Day 7's. Must have been one of those days when I had more things to do than time to do it. Oh, wait, that's every day. In any case, I'm looking forward to my Christmas vacation. I have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. Counting the weekend, that's four whole days in a row! I haven't had that many days off work since . . . I can't remember when. I really need this Christmas!

Here's Kenny G's video of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." (Side note: Back in the 80's I went to a Michael Bolton/Kenny G concert at Park City, Utah. Kenny asked if there were any little kids in the audience. There was one little boy sitting with his parents near the front. Kenny had him come up on stage and gave him a clarinet! Then he told this boy to come backstage after the show to get a quick lesson on how to play the thing. What a nice guy! And I wish I had his hair.)

Another Auld Lang Syne - Advent Calendar Day 17

I was saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Dan Fogelberg at age 56 of cancer. He was a wonderful musician and lyricist. His lyrics could be bound and published as a book of poetry. His song "Another Auld Lang Syne" is a new Christmas classic.

Here's a tribute to Dan, set to another of his songs, "Leader of the Band."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bring Him Home - Advent Calendar Day 16

I heard this song for the first time last Saturday on the car radio as our family was driving home from a major Christmas shopping expidition. This one is going to be a new Christmas classic.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Have You Heard Paul Potts Yet? - Advent Calendar Day 15

Here are Paul Potts and Lesley Garrett singing "Silent Night."

Paul Potts was the winner of "Britain's Got Talent." You can see his first performance on the show here at Anne Bradshaw's blog. Paul now has a CD out called "One Chance."

Here is Paul singing "Con Te Partiro" (Time to Say Goodbye).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Advent Calendar Day 14

This is a fairly new group called "Celtic Woman."

Now staying in the classical vein, but a little more innovative, here is Belle A Capella with their version of the "William Tell Overture."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'll Be Home For Christmas, A Message of Support to the American Military - Advent Calendar Day 13

This is dedicated to the men and women serving in our armed forces. They are sacrificing so much for the cause of freedom. The United States does not mandate military service, as some other countries do. There is currently no draft, as there has been in the past. The members of our military volunteered to serve their country. They deserve our love and respect and support.

I'll Be Home For Christmas - Josh Groban

In memory of PFC Jacob Hamilton Allcott. Born July 26, 1984, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Killed in the line of duty April 22, 2006, Baghdad, Iraq.

"And now if Christ had not come into the world,...there could have been no redemption. And if Christ had not risen from the dead . . . there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." (Mosiah 16:6-8)

At the end of the following video, there is an address for sending cards and letters to soldiers. Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service is not delivering letters sent to this address. See this news story. If you want to send a message of support to our troops, go here or here or send mail to these addresses:

Soldiers’ Angels
1792 E. Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, Calif. 91104


We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419

Let There Be Peace On Earth - Vince Gill

The 12 Days of Christmas - Advent Calendar Day 12

This version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" from the Muppets and John Denver is my favorite. I took one of those Blogthings quizzes that said I am most like Fozzie. But really, my favorite is Animal.

Sometimes, when I get a little too caught up in all the secular parts of Christmas (and stuck in traffic in front of the mall) Bob Rivers' "Twelve Pains of Christmas" fits my mood. Then something like "Silent Night" comes on the car radio and helps me remember what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Traditional Carols from Other Countries - Advent Calendar Day 11

For anyone who didn't know, "Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" is a French carol. I love the way it sounds in the original language. But then, everything sounds beautiful en Francais.

Here is a medley of Scandinavian Christmas music. Apparently, they are singing in Norweigan, Danish, Swedish, and Finnish. I can't tell which is which, but it sounds very Scandinavian doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deck the Halls - Advent Calendar Day 10

Christmas lights synchronized to "Deck the Halls" by Mannheim Steamroller.

This is "Winter Wizards" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear? - Advent Calendar Day 8

I remember singing this song with my sisters at Christmas time, but I don't remember trying to learn the words. I must have just known them because I heard my family singing them every year.

I've wondered sometimes about the "multitude of heavenly hosts" with the angel who announced Christ's birth to the shepherds. I would have volunteered to be in that choir!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing - Advent Calendar Day 7

Here is the angelic voice of Jewel singing "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." That's the Trans-Siberian Orchestra backing her up.

And now a cautionary tale. Perhaps these young people spent a little too much time playing video games. They call themselves Redefined.

Come back again tomorrow. There's more!

The Prayer - Advent Calendar Day 6

"The Prayer" is actually from the Phantom of the Opera, but seems to be gaining popularity as Christmas Music. I think it is beautiful and I'll listen to it any time of the year. There are several great artists who have recorded it, like Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, or Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. I'm posting this version by Rinaldo Viana and Liriel Domiciano to spotlight Liriel. This is the young LDS woman who won the Raul Gil talent show in Brazil (like American Idol). They told her she couldn't mention her religion, so she wore her Young Women's medallion throughout the competition. What a voice!

Here is Liriel singing "Over the Rainbow" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Check back tomorrow for more wonderful music!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Advent Calendar Day 5

This one is from "A Welk Family Christmas" in 1995, the Osmond Brothers and the Lennon Sisters.

I just had to throw this one in. Aren't they cute?

See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Amy Grant - Advent Calendar Day 4

Today's post is for Kerry.

I always thought Mary must have been a very special young woman to be chosen as the mother of the Savior. But when I first heard "Breath of Heaven" sung at our community Christmas concert a few years ago, I was struck with the thought that Mary was very young and was dealing with a huge responsibility. She must have been overwhelmed at times. But she could call on God for help. Sometimes, my prayers echo the line from the song, "Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me." And God makes me just a little stronger.

Here's another song by Amy Grant called "Heirlooms."

Thanks for visiting. Come back and see what's here tomorrow!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Little Drummer Boy - Advent Calendar Day 3

Is anyone else old enough to remember seeing The Little Drummer Boy special on TV? I think the song came first, but this is what it always makes me think of.

And speaking of Christmas miracles, what other than Christmas could cause Bing Crosby and David Bowie to sing a duet? They're on opposite ends of the spectrum. But they really sound good together, don't they? Little Drummer Boy has been done over and over again, but I especially like this one because they harmonize so well, and the "peace on earth" part. I heard David Bowie give an interview once where he said Little Drummer Boy was actually not really in his vocal range (could have fooled me), but he really wanted to sing with Bing Crosby, so they stuck Peace on Earth in the middle so Bowie would sound good too.

Come back tomorrow. There's more.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jesus Christ is the Reason for Christmas (Advent Calendar Day 2)

I'll be posting both religious and secular Christmas music in the next few weeks, and a few things that have nothing to do with Christmas, but they're fun anyway. I hope we can all remember, though, that without Christ, there would be no Christmas.

If you couldn't tell, that was Josh Groban singing. Doesn't he have a wonderful voice? Sometimes, when the voice and the music are perfectly matched, it creates something divine.

I hope you all are enjoying this musical advent calendar. Come back tomorrow. There's more!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas is Coming! (Advent Calendar Day 1)

Christmas is coming! Are you ready? I love Christmas music, and from the day after Thanksgiving my radio is tuned to the all-Christmas stations, and my CD player is full of Christmas CDs. I would have Christmas carols on my MP3 too, but I don't have one yet. (Honey, that's a big hint for your Christmas shopping list.) In my Christmas music collection I have "John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together." Hope you enjoy Miss Piggy's rendition of "Christmas is Coming."

While I was surfing YouTube for Christmas music videos, I found this guy. I think Mozart would laugh (and add more bottles).

Please come back tomorrow. I've found something that just gives me chills (the good kind) and I want to share it with you! (And it is very Sunday appropriate.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thought for the day . . .

I slept, and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke, and saw that life was service.
I acted, and behold, service was joy.
-Rabindrath Tagore

Saturday, November 24, 2007

BYU vs. Utah

As I was checking out Candace Salima's blog this morning, I was reminded that today is the big annual BYU and Utah football war. I must confess, I am not really a rabid football fan, although I am always interested in the news about the local team or BYU. I actually went to every home game and most of the away games in high school, but that was because I was in the pep band and I was required to be there. Once I was at a game, I would cheer just like everyone else, because I knew the guys out on the field. That's what made the game interesting for me.

But Candace's post reminded me of another year when I attended every football game at BYU. I saw a notice on the job board on campus that they were hiring students to work at the stadium during games, and you were allowed to work this job even with another on-campus job. I was already working as a part-time secretary in the Statistics Department, so I had to wear a dress to school every day. I showed up to the interview and then the orientation in a skirt and heels versus everyone else's jeans and sweatshirts. I'm pretty sure this is why I was singled out to run one of the VIP elevators to transport visitors up to the boxes at the top of the stadium.

They stationed me inside the visiting team's elevator. The other elevator was for the BYU VIPs, like visiting general authorities (I was sooo jealous). My job was to transport the visiting assistant coaches who would be watching the game from above and doing whatever it is assistant coaches do up there. They were priority and when it was time for them to go up or down, the elevator had to be waiting and ready. The rest of the time I ferried the other team's supporters who had purchased seats in the box. These people were invariably well-dressed and important looking. Occasionally, I could lock the elevator up at the top and walk out to ask the concessions workers what the score was. If the cougars happened to score while I was up there, we all looked pretty weird, silently jumping around and giving each other high fives. (We couldn't make any noise because we were right behind the broadcasters.)

My favorite memory is of some team from Texas. Their fans were dressed just as you would expect, from the top of their big old sweat-free cowboy hats to the tips of their snakeskin boots which had never come closer to a cow than being worn to a steak house. I was wearing my best BYU blue dress. Well, on the way up these good ole' boys were pretty confident and loud. The Cougars proceeded to kick their butts (the team, not the dignitaries). As they filed back onto the elevator, the good ole' boys were ominously silent, except for one man who looked at me and growled, "Don't you say a word!" I had a hard time holding back my grin on the long, long ride back down.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Short English Lesson

A friend of mine from Mexico, who is currently living in Idaho, tried to convince me that English is a very hard language to learn. Why in the world would he think that?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What color is your aura?

Your Aura is Violet

Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.
And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don't always use it!

The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say

Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony

Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Rexburg Temple is Almost Finished!

This is an artist's rendition of the new Rexburg, Idaho, LDS Temple, which will be dedicated next February. This is a fulfillment of prophecy made by Wilford Woodruff in 1884 about the Snake River Valley having temples (plural), when he gave the Wagon Box Prophecy. (See sidebar.)

I grew up just outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho. When my family went on vacations when I was young, we usually arrived back home late at night. As soon as I could see the Idaho Falls Temple lit up against the dark sky, I knew we were almost home. Through the years, I have never lived more than 15 to 20 minutes away from an LDS temple (30 if the traffic was bad). Then 7 years ago my husband and I bought a house in a town a WHOLE HOUR away from Idaho Falls. That extra travel time really made it difficult to get to the temple as often as I would like. Yes, I know I could have been born in another place where going to the temple means hours or even days of travel. But I wasn't, and I like having a temple near by, okay? When the Rexburg temple was announced, I was elated. We've been watching the building progress and anxiously awaiting the dedication, and now it's almost here! Sunday, February 3, 2008, is the big day. The open house will be during January. Wear something warm.

Beautiful, isn't it?

During the construction, we were driving past the temple site when we saw this. (Luckily, we had a camera in the car.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Confessions of a Sudoku Addict

I just discovered the Sudoku widget in the left-hand column of this blog. I couldn't resist. This is one of the few math-related things that I enjoy (the other being the show Numb3rs). Sudoku has taken priority over my former favorite time waster, Mine Sweeper. But at least I can claim I am exercising my brain, and some days that's the only part of me that gets a workout.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Surviving a Stroke (thanks, Anne).

Anne Bradshaw over at Not Entirely British posted this and encouraged everyone to pass it on. It's good information. Thanks, Anne!


During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. At 6:00 P.M., Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this . . .

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke . . . totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S * Ask the individual to SMILE.

T * Ask the person to TALK--TO SAY A SIMPLE SENTENCE coherently (i.e. “It’s sunny today”)

R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

NOTE: Another sign of a stroke is this: Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If the tongue is crooked, or if it goes to one side or the other, that also indicates a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!! And describe the Symptoms to the dispatcher.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this message sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. If we all blog and email about it, think what that can achieve.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I've been Tagged!

Tristi Pinkston tagged me with this meme about books, which is a good thing since I really needed something to jumpstart me this week. I've been a little under the weather, and it's Tristi's fault really. See, she started this BIAM (see post below) and I decided to try it. Well, my main character immediately came down with the flu. It may have been the power of suggestion, or a warning from my subconscious, but I got sick too, and sitting down to write just seemed to require too much effort. But I do need to get back in the rhythm of writing, so here goes.

My Reading: My mother claims that when I was a little girl I slept with a teddy bear on one side and a book on the other. After I learned to read I went to bed with a teddy bear, a book, and a flashlight (so I could keep reading after lights out). I was the 7th of 9 children and grew up reading the stacks of books accumulated by my older siblings. I also read my mother's Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest, and National Geographic (just the captions). I was rarely to be found without a book in my hands. Things have not changed much, except now I can drive myself to Barnes and Nobel. If I didn't have a job and a husband and children I would live there. They have wall-to-wall books, Godiva hot chocolate, comfortable chairs and nice bathrooms. My kind of place.

Total Number of Books I Own: I'm guestimating over 500. That's counting the ones in plain sight, not the ones in a box in storage.

Last Book I Bought: Our local library has a book sale table where they put books that people donate but the library doesn't need or want or have room for. Last Friday I found 4 hardbacks and 4 paperbacks for a total of $1.40. Such a deal! They were:
1. "Off the Beaten Path, A guide to more than 1,000 scenic and interesting places still uncrowded and inviting." (Readers Digest Books)
2. "A History of England" by David Harris Willson
3. "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century" by Barbara W. Tuchman
4. "The Plague and The Fire: London 1665/1666" by James Leaser
5. "Do You Want to Know a Secret/Do You Promise Not to Tell" by Mary Jane Clark
6. "The Warriors of God" by William Christie
7. "Outwitting the Gestapo" by Lucie Aubrac
8. "Billy Straight" by Jonathan Kellerman

Last Book Read: "Billy Straight" by Jonathan Kellerman

Five Meaningful Books: I am interpreting this as books that made such an impression I will always remember them and would recommend them to anyone.
1. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. This was my favorite children's book when I was a child. I had the story memorized and the illustrations fueled my imagination.
2. "Love You Forever" by Robert N. Munsch. This is my favorite children's book now that I am a mother.
3. "The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Sehlmeier" by Louise Plummer. Sister Plummer was my creative writing teacher at BYU. She has captured teen angst so perfectly I died of humiliation right along with Annie.
4. "Street Sparrows" by Rose Ayers. This is a story of two street urchins in 19th century London. Fascinating! It is so well-researched and detailed that if I was caught in a time warp and found myself in that time period, I think I might be able to survive.
5. "The Street Lawer" by John Grisham. I like most (not all) of Grisham's books, but this one is something special. It's the kind of book that makes people think about helping someone less fortunate than they are. At least that's what it did for me.

And now the really fun part where I tag five people. I tag Michelle, Rachelle, "Joan", Shanna, and Stephanie (who really ought to meet my handsome, single nephew, David).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It was a very good year!

I found this link over at Tristi Pinkston's blog. I'm as old as pantyhose. Who knew?

In 1962 (the year you were born)

John F. Kennedy is president of the US

John Glenn becomes the first American in orbit when he circles the earth three times in the Mercury capsule Friendship 7

Cuban Missile Crisis occurs when Soviet offensive missile build-up is discovered

Cuban Missile Crisis is averted when President Kennedy and Soviet premiere Krushchev agree to remove missiles

Maryiln Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home

The drug thalidomide is recalled when it becomes linked with severe birth defects in thousands of children worldwide

Pantyhose becomes available for sale in U.S. department stores

Jim Carrey, Sheryl Crow, Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Cruise are born

New York Yankees win the World Series

Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship

Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley cup

Lawrence of Arabia wins the Oscar for best picture

The Beatles release their first recording: the single "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You"

Johnny Carson debuts as host of The Tonight Show

I'll Do Almost Anything for a Free Book

I am so psyched! I'm going to get a free ARC (advance reader copy) from one of my favorite authors! (If I jump through all the right hoops.)

James Dashner (a tremendously talented LDS author) is having a contest over at his blog The Dashner Dude, which involves saying something nice about him on my blog and posting a comment on his blog with a link back to my blog. The first 30 people to do this get a free copy of his latest book, The Journal of Curious Letters.

As proof that I am a longtime Dashner/Jimmy Fincher fan, I refer you to my first ever blog entry, back in August, in which I recommended the Jimmy Fincher series to anyone suffering from Harry Potter withdrawals. (Hmmm, reminds me of another author whose first initial is J.) James has a talent for writing stories that are fun and engaging for middle grade readers and yet also entertaining for adults. I've read all four books in the Jimmy Fincher Saga and plan to give a set to one of my nephews who is now in grade school. (He is a smart kid, but thinks reading is boring.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Never Forget

(This was my comment over at Six LDS Writers and a Frog in reply to Rob Wells question about how 9/11 changed people's lives.)

In the days following 9/11, I found myself reassuring my children (who were still in grade school) that Ashton is so small no terrorists would ever find it and they were safe. And I found myself thinking of all the ways terrorists could cause havoc in small towns if they really wanted to.

One of my nephews had moved his family to Florida where he was to attend school to become a commercial pilot. His school was the one that trained the terrorists. The school declared bankruptcy and he lost the $50,000 tuition he had paid. (Yes, they really charged that much.)

Then another nephew, Jacob, joined the Army. He scored high enough on his entrance tests that they offered to train him as a war correspondent. But he wanted to stay with the infantry. He was a gunner. On April 22, 2006, he was in a convoy on a road outside Bagdad when his Humvee hit an IED. He and several others were killed.

At his funeral there was a brigadier general, the interim govenor of Idaho, and a member of the Seventy. The stake center was crammed to capacity with all kinds of military personnel and local police and firefighters. (My brother-in-law was the city fire chief.) Many of them had probably never stepped inside an LDS church building. That day they were taught the plan of salvation, disguised as a funeral sermon, by a general authority, in a beautifully simple way.

When it was over and we all left the chapel, my brother-in-law was interviewed by television crews, and he was able to talk about how his religion gave his family strength during that difficult time. A man in a much-decorated uniform stopped my sister to ask who that man was that spoke (the member of the Seventy), because he had never heard anything like that before. A friend of my sister's had always refused invitations to hear more about the gospel, but after the funeral she wanted to speak to the missionaries. I'm sure there were a lot of other seeds planted, but we may never know how many.

A few weeks later, another soldier who had been a good friend of Jacob and was riding in the vehicle behind him when he was killed came to visit Jacob's family. He was distraught about Jacob's death. My sister and brother-in-law were able to share their testimonies with him and reassure him that they knew they would see Jacob again one day. They were able to tell him a lot about the gospel. He later wrote to thank them for helping him find God.

And that is how 9/11/2001 has affected me and my family.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Book in a Month Challenge (BIAM)

Tristi Pinkston, one of my favorite authors, is hosting a Book in a Month challenge over at her blog, The idea is to write as fast as you can without going back to edit anything, and hopefully come out at the end with the first draft of something you can use. I'm temporarily shifting my focus to that, and "Forever" will be shifted to the background. (It's been hovering in my mind for two years. Another month won't hurt anything.) I'll track my progress on the BIAM challenge over on the sidebar.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I thought it would be fun to chart my progress on my novel. 50,000 words is a good, average length for a novel, so I'm starting with that goal. My work in progress is tentatively titled "Forever." It's in the romantic suspense genre, aimed at the LDS market.

(Please ignore the Exercise Ticker title. I couldn't find a ticker for writing a book, so I went to and customized one.)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Post-Potter Blues

I've heard a few people wondering what to do after finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Sure, there are still two more movies to anticipate, but we already know how they are going to end. We've devoted so many years to waiting for each book in the series, then each movie based on each book in the series, the characters are almost like friends. We've spent hours happily speculating what J. K. Rowling has planned for our favorite boy wizard, visiting fan websites, and buying Gryffindor Quidditch Team t-shirts for our children. And my personal favorite part of the Harry Potter phenomenon was that with a pair of empty eyeglass frames, an old graduation robe, and a little lipstick lightening streak to the forehead, my son had the easiest Halloween costume I've ever had to create.

Wasn't it fun watching Harry grow up, and wondering if Snape was really good or bad, and learning all the rules of Quidditch, and having to wait until the first movie was released to figure out how to pronounce Hermione's name. Wasn't it thrilling to see so many children working their way through a series of books that altogether weighed nearly as much as they did, and LIKING IT!? Yes, it's the end of an era, or nearly so. Just the last two movies, (sigh) . . .

Okay, enough with the sentimenal stuff. Time to move on. Can I just remind everyone of something? Reading was a great pasttime even before Harry Potter. There are plenty of enjoyable books left on the shelves of your local library or bookstore, always were and always will be. Come on, be brave! Try something else. If the world can stop in its tracks for the story of one teenage wizard, surely it can slow down a little for Encyclopedia Brown, genius boy detective. How about Jimmy Fincher, another teenage kid who saves the world? How about the Tales of Alvin Maker series? How about the Sword of Shannara Trilogy and everything else Terry Brooks has written?

J. K. Rowling's greatest contribution may have been to make it socially acceptable to read for hours on end, stopping only for the occasional bathroom break. Finally, bookworms like me have one claim to being normal.