Monday, November 28, 2011
I'm participating in the Give Books for Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Inksplasher.
What's a Give Books for Christmas Giveaway Hop? It's a group of bloggers who are giving away books as prizes!
The hop runs from December 1st through the 15th. All books will be shipped on December 16th. We can't guarantee books will arrive in time for Christmas, but we're going to give it a good try!
I'll be giving away four books:
Pride and Popularity by Jenni James,
Cold River by Liz Adair,
Crossed by Ally Condie,
and Variant by Robison Wells. I'll be posting my reviews of each of these books between December 1st and 15th.
At the end of this post, you'll see a long list of the participating blogs. Just click the links and go check out the contests.
Deadline to enter: Thursday, December 15, 2011.
To enter to win one of these books:
Become a follower of my blog. If you are already a follower, just say so. (That's good for one entry.) Tweet or Facebook (or Google+ if you're one of those progressive people) about this giveaway or my Musical Advent Calendar to spread the word. (One entry per post.) Comment to let me know what you have done. You will get one entry per day for leaving a comment on my blog. That is a possible 61 entries. Theoretically, with so many entries possible, one person could win all four books, so I'm going to limit it to one prize per person. Every entry will be placed in order on a spreadsheet, and on December 15 at midnight, I will use a random number generator to pick the winners.
That's it! The winner will be posted and notified at the end of the hop.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
1. The gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. My mother, who didn't just read to me. She showed me that she loved to read.
3. My father, who told me I could have anything I wanted, if I worked hard enough.
4. My husband, who tells me I look pretty even when I am at my worst.
5. My son, the genius.
6. My daughter, the other genius.
7. I live in an area some people dream of visiting at least once in their lives.
8. Chocolate. Duh!
9. Seven sisters.
10. One brother (poor, long-suffering guy).
11. The spouses of numbers 9 (most of the time) and 10 (always).
12. My 48 nieces and nephews.
13. My numerous great nieces and nephews, who are multiplying exponentially. I've lost count lately.
14. 5 great-great nieces and nephews. No, I'm not that old. My niece Vai is.
15. Attention deficit disorder. I am a master of brainstorming.
16. ADD meds, so I can get something done once in a while.
17. My day planner (which keeps me sort of organized, when I remember to use it).
19. Smooth pens.
20. Mechanical pencils.
21. LDS General Conference.
22. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
23. The Holy Bible.
25. Yak Tracks.
26. Modern medicine, without which I would not have a day job.
27. The internet, also without which I would not have a day job.
28. Personal computers, which are very useful when accessing the internet, and writing.
29. Blogging, wherein I give everyone my opinion, whether they want it or not.
31. The new Hawaii 5-0.
32. The right to vote.
34. LDStorymakers annual writers conference, my right brain spa vacation.
35. David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants.
36. Wood stoves and radiant heat.
37. Four seasons.
38. Especially summer.
42. Internal combustion engines.
43. Words. They are so fun to play with.
44. The English language. It is so versatile. If you can't find a word to express what you mean, make up a new one (or just steal it from another language).
45. The French language. Vous ne pouvez pas inventer de nouveaux mots, mais qui s'en soucie. Parce que même le plus laid des mots sonnent si beau en français.
46. Vicks Nyquil.
47. Vicks Dayquil.
48. Puffs facial tissues with aloe and Vicks Vaporub. (Why yes, I recently had a bad cold. Why do you ask?)
51. A good night's sleep.
52. Facebook. It's a love/hate relationship.
55. Duct tape.
56. Macaroni and cheese.
59. Edited movies.
60. Good friends I may not see for ages, but when we get together again it's like we were never apart.
61. Shadow the Cat.
62. Scoopable cat litter.
63. A decent WiFi connection.
64. Good music.
65. Specifically Journey (old incarnation).
66. And Mozart.
70. Snow days.
71. Cell phones. How did we survive without them?
72. MP3 players. Remember vinyl records? 8-track tapes? cassettes? CDs?
73. Jump drives. Remember floppy disks when they really were floppy?
74. Old Faithful.
76. Lavender aromatherapy.
77. Yerba mate.
78. Blue Delft.
79. Pretty much anything blue.
80. Big chunky sweaters.
81. Family reunions.
82. Meeting cousins I didn't know I had.
83. Automatic washings machines.
86. I can breathe without thinking about it.
87. Mostly good vision.
88. Reading glasses.
89. Other people who are willing to do the icky jobs.
90. Talents, mine and other people's.
91. Good neighbors.
92. Unbiased journalism. (That could be an oxymoron.)
93. A really good story.
94. Snow tires.
95. 100 watt incandescent light bulbs.
97. Teachers who really care about their students.
98. Clean humor (like Ryan Hamilton and Humor U).
99. Digital cameras.
100. Indoor plumbing.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
To All Our Family and Friends:
Just a note to let you know we are hoping to see you Thanksgiving Day, but . . .
Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I’m telling you in
advance so don’t act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won’t be coming, I’ve made a few small changes:
Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.
Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I’ve gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea.
The dining room table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.
Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.
We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I’m sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.
As accompaniment to the children’s recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don’t own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We’ve also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.
Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress “private” meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that “passing the rolls” is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread.
Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance.
Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice - take it or leave it. I hope you aren’t too disappointed that Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won’t come next year either.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
This song, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, has been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, but I've never heard this version with Mercy Me and the London Symphony Orchestra. Combine THAT sound with THESE pictures and . . . it leaves me breathless.
So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is music in praise of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in celebration of the beautiful world He created for us. Try to remember to breathe.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
So I want to book bomb the HELL out of Variant. I want to shove that thing up the bestseller lists on Amazon and I want to give my friend a hand.
What is a book bomb? Well, Amazon has its own bestseller list. It is calculated hourly and you are given a sales rank based up on how you stack up against the other six million books on there. It is some sort of strange rolling average algorhythm, but what it comes down to is, the more books that are purchased during that particular time frame, the higher you rank. The higher you rank, the more of their top 50 or top 10 lists you show up on. The more of those you show up on, the higher you go, the more attention you get, the more books you sell.
By getting as many people as possible to purchase the book on a single day, it really kicks a book up the rankings.
So if you want a really good book to read, and wouldn't mind helping out a really nice, deserving guy, buy Variant by Robison Wells on Amazon, November 10.