So here we are now at Nifty Nancy, a place for everything else in my life that isn't writing. I'm streamlining, after a conversation I had with my friend, Michele Ashman Bell, today. Time to get serious about this blogging stuff. ;-)
I have a lot of favorite blogs. I look forward, every morning and throughout the day, to seeing updates and reading about people's lives and talents.
There are two blogs, however, that I've begun watching with a very close eye. One is Nienie's Dialogues. This is an incredible blog, written by a woman who, for a few years now, has amassed a following of readers who love her wit, humor, and love of life. She was in a plane crash with her husband last August, and she is just now getting to the point where she can post little snippets about her life to recovery. I have been like a watchdog waiting for her posts, as I know so many readers have been.
The other blog I've begun to watch closely, Savor Every Moment, is written by a friend of mine who recently lost her daughter under tragic circumstances. My own daughters adored this girl, and I have admired and respected this friend since meeting her some five years ago. She is an incredible woman who is experiencing a hell right now that I can only begin to imagine. My heart aches when I think of her, which happens often throughout my day. My friend is a gifted writer, as was her daughter, and the fact that she is occasionally willing to express her grief through her blog is something that humbles me and inspires me to stay close to a medium I love, even when times are painful and hard. Writing can be frustrating and hard and it is somehow also therapeutic. It is a gift, and one that she certainly possesses in spades.
So I watch these two incredibly strong women heal, one who has scars primarily on the outside, one on the inside. I ask myself why life has to be so incredibly hard sometimes, why such horrible things happen to such good, good people.
One of my favorite verses of scripture is found in Proverbs: Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. There are days when I cling to hope- I know we all do- and it is a beautiful, merciful gift. If one can grasp that hope, and hang on with the very fingertips, if necessary, there remains a little spark of light in the heart that makes it possible to see it through to the next hour, the next day, the next week. There have been a couple of isolated, very rare occasions in my life where I've experienced the temporary death of hope, and it is the darkest place I've ever been. I have come to realize what a tender mercy hope is.
So I wish for these two women the gift of continued hope, that when hope makes an exit, that it returns quickly. I wish for them that the arms of the Savior continue to enfold and comfort, love and strengthen as they move through their own painful healing journeys.
And I thank them, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to share in those journeys, that I might also learn something along the way.
It's my first contest! And a poll, which means if you lurk, now's the time to make a comment.
Here's what got me thinking about this. I am a Twilight series fan, but I admit I have yet to read book 4 in the series. It's a combination of being busy writing and hearing some lackluster reports about the book itself. My daughter is an avid fan of the series but didn't even finish Breaking Dawn. I plan to read the book because I want to form my own opinion about it. I do slightly regret not reading it as soon as it was released because now I've heard so many things about it that I wonder if I would have felt differently had I just read it fresh without any other opinions to color how I see it.
I've seen mixed reviews online, and some heated debates about the fourth book. I'll share some of the stuff I've seen after the poll, where I really do want to know what you think of the book and why.
Here's where the contest part comes in- respond to this post by Saturday, March 21 at midnight and I will put all the response names into a hat. My ever-helpful 4-year-old will draw one of the names and the winner will receive a copy of my most recent book, Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel. Now, I know I'm no Stephenie Meyer, but hey, it's all I've got. ;-) If you've already read Isabelle, I have 8 other novels you can choose from.
So have at it- love it or hate it, let me know what you thought of Breaking Dawn!
I especially liked Shannon Hale's explanation of why she thinks that many Mormon readers embrace the fantasy genre and have no problem with books like Harry Potter, when other conservative faiths take issue with it.
Good stuff! Also, thanks to LDSPublisher, who posted the link in the first place.
I know I've done it. I've judged books by their covers. And a good cover will practically have the book leaping into my hands. I think covers are so crucial to a book's sales.
Of all my books so far, there's only one that I thought was kind of lack-luster. As for a favorite- it's a tie between my second book, No Time for Love, and my most recent, Isabelle Webb. Mystery/romance is what speaks to me with both of these images.
Have you ever read or not read a book based solely on the cover?
So I left the St. Patrick's Day blog background up long enough to almost make it to St. Patrick's Day. Then I paid a visit to my cousin Nicole's blog and liked her background so much I had to copy it. It's still green and very spring-like, so that counts for something.
Speaking of spring, we're supposed to hit 70 degrees here in O-Town next week and I am absolutely thrilled. I'm done with winter. We're going to plant a big garden in my parents' backyard this summer because our yard is the size of a postage stamp with soil like Pet Semetary. I'm sure the garden will resemble the picture above. I'm all excited to make my kids weed and care for Mother Earth. It will make them responsible.
Also, in tribute to my late grandfather, Sidney Campbell, I'm copying a poem I found at Cousin Nicole's blog. Someone found it in his papers. (I say "someone," not trying to be insensitive, but there were 10 kids- my dad is #8 and Nicole's mom #9, and there are umpteen million grandkids and great-grandkids, so it could have been any of a number of people). My guess is Aunt Kathleen.
I always think the cover of a book is like a door Which opens into someone's house where I've not been before. A pirate or a fairy queen may lift the latch for me. I always wonder when I knock, what welcome there will be. And when I find a house that's dull, I do not often stay But when I find one full of friends, I'm apt to spend the day. I never know what sort of folks will be within you see. And that's why reading always is so interesting to me. ~~Annie Fellows Johnston
I can't believe I'm even admitting it! I love, love books. I love owning them, holding them in my hands, writing all over them and keeping my favorites. I never thought I'd see the day when I would actually want an electronic reading thingie. This one is the Kindle 2, and it can all but fly you to the moon.
But this is so cool! Download entire books in nothing-flat! Someone tells you about a great book- say no more, download it now!
And yet...I will always love the act of walking through a bookstore on the hunt for something really good.
This will be yet another part of life I'll learn to balance. I'll always love the old-fashioned book. Yet, this cool, sleek new toy is just too yummy to resist. Someday I'll own one. And in the meantime...I'll keep flipping pages.