Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
I believe that God speaks to a living prophet today. There are apostles on the earth right now. Their job is the same as the apostles in Christ's time. They are to testify of Jesus Christ in all the world. God has not left us to fumble around in this world all alone.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I have an ongoing offer that if they memorize a scripture every week, they get to pick a prize from my bag. One girl memorizes something every single week. One girl was finally able to recite a scripture from memory a few weeks ago and was so pleased with herself. I love to watch them grow and progress. I'll only be their teacher officially for another month, then in January they'll move on and I'll get a new class. But I love these children, and I'll always be their teacher.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
But this was my chance. I grabbed a box of 100 watt incandescent bulbs (did you know you can still buy those things?), and replaced that one wimpy compact fluorescent bulb with two of the real thing. I flipped on the light switch. Hallelujah! Glorious light blazed from those two lightbulbs, bounced off the white walls, and reflected from the mirror. We had so much light it nearly blinded me for a second. Then I turned and saw myself in the mirror, clearly, for the first time in a long time. Ouch! I'm thinking maybe we should try a slightly lower wattage.
Friday, November 22, 2013
That conference was where I began to see that some of my favorite authors were real people. They were just like me, but further along in their writing careers. There were only about 35 attendees that first year (now it's in the hundreds), but I realized that this was a group of people who actually thought the way I did. Where else but a group of writers can you talk about the conversations the imaginary people in your head are having, and not be considered crazy? I've gone to the Storymakers conference every year since then, and every year I learn something about my craft that I didn't even know I didn't know.
I'm almost over being star-struck every time I see one of my favorite authors there. (But I still have to have them sign a book. I'll always be a little bit of a fan girl.) In general, authors are really nice people. So many of them go all out to train other writers who may end up as their competition. I suppose that's one definition of a mentor.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tonight my husband and I were discussing what we might like to have for dinner. It's been a cold, windy day. I've had my little space heater going next to my desk while I slave away at the keyboard. We decided some nice, warm soup would really hit the spot tonight. The next question was, did we have any varieties of canned soup in the cupboard that sounded really appealing? I'll check, but I may jump in my car and drive a few blocks to the grocery store to buy something. Maybe some kind of stew, or a nice corn chowder.
I lead such a pampered existence.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Some authors, like Shannon Hale, have a style that begs to be read out loud. With the right narrator, some books, like the entire Harry Potter series, sounds so much better than I could ever imagine in my head. (And of course, the books are better than the movies.) Most recently, I listened to Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson's latest book. It's a departure from his usual epic fantasy style, and more of a near future, dystopian, epic style. Everything Sanderson writes is epic, by which I mean long. I can get a lot of boring stuff done while listening to one of his books. But now that I've finished that one, I'm hunting for another good audio book. Suggestions, anyone?
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
For me, there are some days when I come home from the office (I have an office!) and it's just good to be able to say, "I'm done for the day." Then I can just put my brain in neutral for the rest of the evening, and enjoy my dinner, which was produced by farmers.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
It's actually pretty hard anymore to find businesses that share the conviction that Sunday is the Sabbath, the Lord's day. So I've decided to give Chick-fil-A more of my business, at least when I'm in the big city. The food is really pretty good, too.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
We took an afternoon and drove to the big city and I thought maybe we should try a certain big department store first, because they had a huge selection of everything. (Turns out that was a little bit of inspiration.) There was a sign at the front entrance that said we could get an additional 15%, 20%, or 30% by using our store charge card. Normally, I don't like to use department store cards, ( although I have one) except for super awesome discounts like this. When we reached the shoe department, we saw they were having a major sale on exactly the type cute walking shoes, we were looking for.
The best part of the day, though, was being able to spend some quality girl time and talk about anything and everything with my daughter before she leaves for another hemisphere for a year and a half.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Have you ever received something like that? Sometimes someone will say or do something, just out of the blue, that may not mean much to them, but has a whole world of meaning for you. Sometimes you find something in an unexpected place that you had even forgotten you lost. But sometimes the realization hits that this is something that God had a hand in, just for you.
Monday, November 11, 2013
This is one of the coolest military tributes I've ever seen. I hope you all enjoy it.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Some time after our family moved to the town where we currently live, I was lucky enough to be invited to join a really great book club. We get together once a month to talk about the book we were supposed to read, all the other books we are reading, movie adaptations of books we have read and whether or not they worked. We eat some sort of yummy treat that may or may not fit the theme of that month's book. Once we tried vinegar pie. It was actually good. The conversation always eventually moves away from the book and into anything and everything, usually something hilarious. I fit very few of the demographics of the other members of the group. ( I'm old enough to be their . . . babysitter.) But we all share one thing. We're just a bunch of book nerds. And we're okay with that.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
There were also these things called letters. You would take a piece of paper and a pen, write whatever you wanted to say to your friend that lived far away (because it cost too much to call long distance all the time), put it in an envelope with their address on the outside, stick a postage stamp on it (which cost less than a phone call at the time) and put it in the mailbox. Hopefully, your friend would get your letter and send one back to you, and in this way you kept in touch.
These days, I can keep a cell phone in my pocket or purse. I can call my mother or my best friend any time I want. It still costs money, but I don't have to have a pile of change in front of me to have a conversation. I learned how to text when my children were teenagers. It was just another version of learning to speak someone else's language. Now that my children are older and living away from home, I don't have to wait by the mailbox and hope they are okay, living off in the big city. I can communicate with them any time, as long as I remember to charge the battery.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
We've all seen people who have such a strong stammer or stutter that they can barely speak, but who sing flawlessly. I'm posting this video that a friend shared on Facebook, because it shows the way music can work miracles. You may want to have a tissue handy. I am thankful for the miracle of music.
Monday, November 4, 2013
I'm thankful that I have hands. I use them for almost everything, except walking and breathing. My father insisted I learn to type when I was in high school. Now I use my hands for my vocation, which is transcription, and my avocation, which is writing. I use my hands for hobbies, like needle work, or holding a book (or plugging in my ear buds and tapping the screen of my tablet to start an audiobook). I use my hands to touch, to feel, to create, to serve.
I've seen people who have lost the use of their hands, to accident or disease, or who have been born with conditions that affect the movement of their hands, or who have been born with no hands at all. And I look at my hands and think, "I am so blessed."
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
See that pretty, old-fashioned key? That is for the lock on my office door. I finally made the jump from a home office to an away-from-home office. It's a tiny little place, about the size of your average cubicle (maybe smaller), and thankfully has an equally tiny rent. I've only been here for just over a week, but already my production has doubled.
For several months now, I've been trying to spend an hour a day, every weekday, at my friend's little coffee shop, nursing a hot chocolate (iced chocolate over the summer months), and writing. With my day job, that's really all I felt I could carve out of my day. Now this coffee shop is located on the main floor of a historic old building that used to be a hotel, back when door locks had keys like the one in the picture. I heard that there were office spaces on the second floor. I talked to the building owner. She gave me a tour, and I picked the smallest space. My desk, chair, computer, and I would all fit into a broom closet, but that might be a little weird. So I have room for a space heater and an easy chair, just in case I get visitors.
I'm thankful today that God led me to a place where I can have my own little hermitage away from home.