29 March 2013

For My Mama

There are few people easier to love than my own dear mother.  And it's not just me who thinks so.  Many of my sisters and sisters-in-law got together today for a birthday lunch in honor of my mom.  We all chatted and ate sinfully good soup and generally remembered what it feels like to be family.  While I lived away from family, it was occasions like this that I missed most.

So, my mom is turning 76 tomorrow (I hope it's okay that I told everyone your age, Mom, but really you don't act it.  So, don't worry about it).  In her 7 and a half decades she has climbed mountains, eloped to marry her high school sweetheart, bear and raise 13 children, foster innumerable other children, clean the house so many times she should win a medal, bake countless loaves of bread, serve two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (one to Micronesia and one to Greece/Egypt),  serve faithfully in any capacity she's been called upon to do, and all through that she's had the energy to make sure each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren know she not only loves them, but likes them.

I'm sorry to say to the rest of the family that I am her favorite.  I wouldn't mention it, but I have to tell everyone since they all seem to think they are her favorite.  Wrong.  It's me.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to say to my eternally youthful mother/friend/example:  Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day!

26 March 2013

I'm Pouting on the Inside

This year, as well as last year, I was asked to vote on my favorite books for 2012 for the Whitney Awards.  If you're unfamiliar with the Whitneys, the awards go to LDS authors, who don't have to write LDS fiction, as long as they have membership in our Church.

I chose several categories to vote in, which means I have to read each book chosen in each category I want to vote in.  I'm finding it... interesting.

I don't read a lot of LDS books in general (which may sound odd, since that what my book is).  I like a few authors, like Sarah M. Eden, who only write LDS fiction.  Mostly, I like to find LDS authors out in the mainstream and then feel cool because we have something in common.  The books I've been reading for the Whitneys have been mostly written for LDS audiences, and some of them have given me a hard time.

I have to admit that I didn't actually read every page in the harder ones for me to get into.

As my BFF Shannon Hale says, it's not the book that's bad, it's just not a good fit for the person reading it.  And I have felt that to be true in some of these cases.  I'm sorry to say, I won't be voting for the ones I didn't like.  After all, isn't that kind of the point?  To vote for what I like?

Now, because this is my blog, and I am an LDS author and the Whitneys are for people like me, I will confess to something:  I'm wondering why wasn't my book on the list?  If you have an answer for me, I'd like to hear it because my book was something to be awarded, even if it is just by me.

Look for the Whitney Awards to come out in April.  And when that happens, I'll tell you if the ones I voted for won.

18 March 2013

Part-time Jogger

Last week I began jogging again.  I don't like jogging outside during the winter months because the polluted, cold air does strange things to my lungs.  But since it's getting warmer, I got braver and put on my running shoes.

I went three times last week.  I feel so strong and fit and old.  Yes, old.

Since when does my hip hurt?  Except for noting their growing size, I've never thought about my hips before.  But this week I've been limping around thinking about them regularly.  Also, my waist muscles are sore.  Who knew a person uses waist muscles to jog?  My knees and legs and shoulders are all acting like I'm beating them up as well.

I could understand all this fuss if I had been inactive all winter, but I've been exercising!  Yes, I have!  I have worked all those muscles and ligaments and joints pretty much every day.  But I change the impact a little and suddenly I'm a geezer.  (I'm shaking my head in disapproval.)

Maybe I'll just sit down for a while and mourn.

10 March 2013

Speed Typing = Ask Me! Ask Me!

I got a call from my mom earlier this week, which isn't unusual, and usually doesn't have anything to do with speedy typing.  But this time it did.  She told me my Uncle had brought around a stack of my Grandma's old journals to her house.  Every one of her children received a stack of journals, but my parents got the biggest stack presumably because they have the biggest family.  Eight journals, to be precise.  My Uncle asked if we, as a family, could find a way to digitizing these journals so everyone could enjoy them.

Guess who got that job?

Evidently, my grandma was a prodigious journal-writer.  She wrote every day.  Most days, she wrote the date, then under that wrote, "Prayer. Exercise. Scriptures."  I have wondered every time I've typed these words out, why she felt the need to document that every day.  Was it just so her posterity would know what things she found important?  Was it (as I believe, but my husband disputes) that she was the type of person that needed some sort of accountability for things she did, and since she lived alone this was the best way to account for that time?  Was it because she'd been told by the leaders of the church to write a journal and did so, even though she really didn't know what to write?

I don't know.

After only a couple of hours working on this, there are several things I've learned about my Grandma, but I haven't discovered her motivation.

I have learned that she was meticulous about taking care of people.  That she enjoyed riding in the car to her temple assignments with her friends, but hated being kept waiting by those same friends.  At 81 years of age, she kept a careful accounting of all her income and spendings, and walked regularly to the bank.  She wrote of having physical ailments, but never complained about them.

Now, I've only transcribed one month of her journal, and I'm beginning to feel the weight of the task I've undertaken.  This is going to take a while.  But I'm hoping that some of Grandma's spunk and generosity will rub off if I stare at her handwriting long enough.

04 March 2013

Writing Class

I just signed up for Brandon Sanderson's FREE writing class that begins this June.  It'll be an interactive type over-the-internet class.  Did I mention it's free?  Go to his website to sign up.

My writing could use a small (or large) kick in the pants.  Maybe a jump start would be an accurate description.  Actually, it's more like I need the jump start.  Every morning.  At about 6:00.

So, I'm hoping that by signing up, and committing myself, I will actually DO it.

Anyone want to commit themselves with me?