My muddled, addled brain often needs to have some cleaning out. The best way is to put it into words and save it to a computer so that it can file things for me that are not really necessary and possibly detrimental to my health by leaving inside to fester. So that is what this blog is for. It is my therapy to help release myself from my worries and and frets. To unravel the chaos and revel in creating thought out of words that are otherwise irrelevant. You are more than welcome to unmuddle your mind along with me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Only Alien on the Planet: My brief review

The Only Alien on the Planet sounds like it ought to be an intriguing story about some unknown creature all alone in a far away world. But it's NOT!

(I am not much of a book reviewer to date. I am pretty new at this. So bear with me.)

No, this alien is far more intriguing because it is the boy next door. Kristen Randle has done a marvelous job of telling the story of a boy who's been alienated by his peers and how the heroine unravels the truth behind his disturbing history.

I love how the characters develop and grow and how well she brings things together. This was an especially interesting story to me because I am rather drawn to people who are different from the norm in any way. Whether by their own choice or by birth or any other circumstances. It is a great book.

It doesn't hurt that I got to meet the author and talk with her about her books. She is a talented writer and a woman I admire. Below is a link to her website. She is doing a giveaway of a couple of her books that have been finally put to print after years of being available merely through the digital medium.

I admit, I am not good at actually giving a summary of a book, because I don't want to give anything away. So, if there is not a enough info for you here than go check it out on Goodreads or you can go to Kristen Randle's website and check it out here .

Friday, March 30, 2012

New book by Shannon Hale

I feel like half of what I have put on this Blog has had something to do with Shannon Hale. Maybe I should get paid for helping to give her some plugs. Hahaha! Her newest book Palace of Stone a sequel to Princess Academy is coming out in August this year. I am so excited to read this book. She has four ARC's of it in hand that she is doing a giveaway for on her blog. Here is the link:
I guess I really need to learn how to do the click "here" thing instead of making people copy and paste. I'll put that on my to do list.
So if you want a chance to win one of the four copies go to her page and comment. She's only allowing one entry. Happy commenting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I don't know why my mind wondered to this topic, other then the fact that I tend to have repeated episodes of this Foot-in-mouth-disease. It's partially an inherited trait, or maybe it's contagious, I don't know the origin.
I grew up as the quiet kid who's main goal in my family was to be the any cost. Somehow I learned that when you can't bring peace about in a peaceful manner it must be brought about by the wrath of Ariell. Such a sad contradiction. Yet, it was the only solution I could figure out at the time. Admittedly, it is still hard sometimes to keep peace in a family without pulling out the lightening bolts, killer glares and the banshee voice.
(This isn't going exactly where it did when I was thinking it through a few moments ago. But, that's what this Blog is for. To utterly alleviate the burden of too many thoughts from my mind. So it will stand as it flows. Or maybe something less firm than standing. Meander may be a better word.)
I once had a missionary companion tell me that every time I opened my mouth I said something offensive. Now I think she must have been exaggerating, just a little, at least. I was shy and quiet remember. I also wanted to be kind. I never wanted to offend people. In fact I still hate the thought that I may say things that might offend someone else. I have this tendency to think back on every conversation I have in order to pin point something offensive I might have said so I can apologize. I don't like being disliked. I don't like hurting peoples feelings or having them angry with me or deciding not to be my friend anymore. It even kind of stresses me out if I think any of those things have occurred.
Okay, moving on. This companion gave this example to show me my sin: We were invited into someone's home while out knocking on doors one day. We sat down and started to talk to the woman in her dimly lit room. I began to sneeze. She asked if I was okay. I said I was and tried to brush off the sneezing by saying that I was allergic to dust. And the conversation continued. My companion told me that what I had said about being allergic to dust was offensive. After I thought about it I could see how someone could take that as an offense. It may have come across as implying their house was dusty, maybe they would assume I was even judging them on the cleanliness of their home or their skills at cleaning.
Wow, so not what I had meant. To me it had been a completely harmless thing. There is always some form of dust floating around everywhere. I have seasonal allergies and allergies to dander and other allergies of that nature. I took it as just a natural everyday occurrence.
Now I have to say a bit more about this companion. She also had made a judgement about me and my intelligence long before we were companions. She had heard that I was home schooled and had therefore decided that I was socially inept and far below average intelligence. Sometimes I wonder if she conjured a belief that I had a mental disability. I don't know what was in her head. Nor am I angry or holding a grudge with her about her feelings towards me. I am merely using her, and my experience with her, as an example. She didn't like me and treated me as an inferior.
I began to watch more closely the things that I said. I also began to watch more closely the things that she said. Although she prided herself on her ability to speak without offending others, I noticed that she was not so perfect at not giving offense. I can't remember things she said. I don't try to remember things like that. But, I knew that I was not so terrible and she had misjudged me greatly.
I know that I still find myself in situations where something I said may have offended someone. Not because I meant to offend, but that others may choose to be offended by something I said. My intention is not to offend. I worry and fret over that far more than I ought to because I don't want to have it happen.
Sometimes I have found that I have swallowed my foot so far that I can almost walk on it again. The point is, that I am bursting with a desire to be friendly and to say things that build a relationship out of common interests and to become close to people. I love being around people and making friends. I am just so bad at it. So, if I am talking to you and I say something dumb or offensive try to give me the benefit of the doubt. I am admittedly lacking in social skills. But I am not totally inept. I hope. Remember that what I say doesn't come out of my mouth the way I meant it.
I tried to compliment a gal once on her lesson. She had shared it in a creative, attention getting way that I really liked. I told her that I liked her lesson and said something along the lines of "I wouldn't have thought to do it that way." I wanted to say how I thought it was so creative and that she was a really great teacher and by the fact that I wouldn't have done it that way meant that I am not creative enough to make my lessons so interesting and interactive. But I think she took it as, "you didn't do it the way I would have, so it wasn't as good as my way." NOT what I meant.
Oh, how misinterpreted and misunderstood. I know that my ability to speak clearly and intelligibly is thwarted. My mouth always betrays my heart and mind. My mouth can never form the ideas into anything as straightforward as I intend. Especially in impromptu situations. I might be able to say things fairly well if I can write them down, having time to come up with the right wording.
But even then there are no guarantees. Like this post, for instance.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Writing For Charity

Writing for Charity was my first time experiencing a writers conference. I admit I was nervous about going and especially about the manuscript critique. I was afraid the author critiquing mine would tear it apart. I wasn't sure what part of the manuscript to bring either. I now know they expect to read/critique the first page or two. At least at this conference.
Jennifer A. Nielsen was the author who read mine. Her feedback was positive and encouraging. She gave me some tips to help improve what I have written. Unfortunately, one page is such a tiny portion of a book. Maybe I am just selfish, but I want to get feedback on a lot more than that sometime down the road. Admittedly, I only have about 25,000 words down and have a long way to go to even get the first draft done.
I recognized the names of many of the authors there. I had read books only by a few of them. Shannon Hale was one of the more popular names. Of course this is her baby. Brandon Sanderson was another more well known name. I have actually read his Mistborn books. Lisa Mangum was there too. I read her Forgotten Locket trilogy not too long ago. Bree Despain was another author, whose books (The Dark Divine trilogy) are sitting in my library bag right now. They are what I will be reading next.
Writing for Charity is a one day conference that Shannon Hale started 4 years ago. The authors involved give their time to this conference to share lectures, critiques, sign books, answer questions and donate books and other goodies to a silent auction. All of the proceeds from the conference go to the buying of books on wholesale to give to children. Children who may not have ever owned their own book. The intent is to encourage and promote literacy. I am all for giving children a chance to learn to read to help them prepare for their future. I have 5 children myself and I am always trying to encourage them to read. Let alone be an example, by reading far more books than I actually have the time for. But when you love to read as much as I do you fit it in, between and during the other things you are doing. Or you stay up far too late.
I heard some great lectures from authors I admire. I met some wonderful aspiring authors. I had a fantastic, memorable experience that I hope to repeat and enjoy again next year.
Thanks to all the amazingly talented authors who share their talents and time to help others in so many ways. I also have to thank my husband who bought me the ticket and, although it seemed impossible for me to go to this conference, worked it out and sacrificed his time and other things to watch the kids and be nearby when our youngest needed to eat. Yes, I have one young enough who still nurses. And yes, he took care of her and the other 4 all day. So that I could participate in Writing for Charity this year.
If you want information on the conference here are their blog and facebook page links. You'll have to click and paste, I am still learning how to make my blog work like magic.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing with a purpose

I have been thinking that it would be a lot easier to write if I had a purpose for getting it done. I mean, yes, eventually it would be nice to get a book published. But I know realistically it could be several years and books and drafts of said books down the road before I produce anything worth having published. And there is the possibility that I will never have anything published.
So what do I do to keep myself motivated? What kind of goals can I set for myself to help me accomplish something? It's not that I don't want to write. It's more that I don't know if what I am writing is any good and that I have five little time consumers that I prefer to play my time away with, rather than squish in some writing time. Partly because it feels less effective to spend only five minutes writing. I can hardly get into the thought process of writing the next sentence before I am interrupted. I love my children and they are what I chose. However, sometimes I would like to find time for writing.
Reading on the other hand is a whole different story. Pun intended. I can always squeeze in five minutes of reading. It doesn't take a lot of thought to pick up a good book and get into it in a short time. Admittedly, it can be hard to put it down when you are totally enthralled in a good story. Despite earlier said interruptions. Writing takes creative thought processes to form the adventurous escapes that the writer envisions, reading ignites imaginative escapes into anylands with very little, to no, active thinking involved.
So those questions were only sort of rhetorical. If there are people reading this who have any ideas about how to write with self determined deadlines and/or five kids running around, let me know your thoughts or advice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Experiences on My Road to Writing

Me, Nolie and Shannon Hale

This is my first time attending a book signing. This is one of my most favorite authors, Shannon Hale. I got there about 5 minutes early and put Nolie in the stroller and started walking towards the building. I turned my head to my left and saw Shannon Hale walking beside me. I said "You're Shannon Hale right?" "Yes" she said. "You're just the person I came to see." I said with a smile on my face. I know brilliant , right? Then she held the door open for me and my stroller.
As I sat listening to her answer questions and share advice, I realized that I had heard a lot of what she was saying already. I realized I'd read all her books except the two graphic novels and her newest book Midnight in Austenland. I read her blog and follow her on facebook. I knew about the movie being made and that she'd been there for the filming.
That's when I had a personal revelation that either I am a lot bigger fan than I thought or I have become a stalker. Really, I tend to be pretty indifferent about things. I don't get majorly excitable. I have a very mellow approach to my fanaticism. I gather info and read everything I can, but I don't make a lot of noise about what I think or how I fell about things.
Apparently I really do like Shannon Hale's writing. Which I knew. She is funny and clever. She is very creative and has an interesting perspective on storytelling. She has strong female characters that I can relate to or admire. And her books have happy endings.
She put together a writing conference called Writing for Charity. She mentioned it at her book signing. I really want to go. Last night Joe sat don by me at the table as I was eating a bowl of ice cream after the kids were in bed. He had a piece of paper in front of him. "I spent some money" he said. I raised my eyebrows thinking "Oh great, I hope he didn't spend too much." He opened the paper and pushed it in front of me. I looked at it. I was a little confused. So he explained that it was for the Writing for Charity conference. Considering the way he started the conversation and gave me this gift, I wasn't sure how to respond. I was happy, but a little worried that we shouldn't be spending the money on it. It wasn't as expensive as going to LDStorymakers Conference (which I also really wanted to go to,) but he did introduce his surprise with the money issue. So I sat there thinking and told him "Thank you." He seemed to think I would jump up and down or squeal with delight or something. Truthfully, that didn't cross my mind. Let alone my emotions. I just don't react that way to things that excite or please me. Hopefully I didn't disappoint him to much with my lack of a reaction.
I am very excited to go to Writing for Charity, I am also nervous and apprehensive. I have never been to a writing conference before. So another first in the book/writing/reading world for me. Hopefully neither of these firsts will be my last.