Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Just in time for the holidays!
I was blessed to have the opportunity to have one of my stories included in a Christmas collection with fellow authors and friends Jennie Hansen and Betsy Brannon Green. Below is a short description of the stories.
Jennie Hansen, Betsy Brannon Green, and Michele Ashman Bell Rekindle the spirit of Christmas with this touching trio of timeless stories told by some of the finest LDS storytellers-each with a heartwarming message for the Season. Will Sophie really be able to get what she needs by spending the holidays alone? Will Miss Eugenia be able to give a struggling family the Christmas they want? Has five-year-old Janie's visit from Santa really been cancelled because she was bad? Take a journey into the minds and hearts of three engaging characters who each need to believe in their version of Christmas-and discover that believing in people is what the spirit of Christmas is all about. A perfect assortment for sharing and celebrating the holiday season.
I hope you'll enjoy the gift of reading this Christmas with this wonderful book!
Monday, October 20, 2008
We had a great time and I'll be honest, you can't look into that big, deep hole and not stop and ponder the creation and the grandeur of this world.
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, right in our back yard. Don't miss it!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The main reason I even came up with this idea was the fact that I’ve learned over the years that women need women. We need men too, I’m not saying that, but there is nothing that can compare to that bond of sisterhood and friendship that comes from other women. As I’ve done booksignings at Women’s Conference at BYU over the years, I’ve spoken to many women who tell me they come every year with groups of friends, or sisters, or neighbors, etc… I realized that this series would ring true for most women because of the support groups we naturally create for ourselves out of the need to have women in our lives for friendship, support and strength.
I have been blessed to have the example of strong, amazing women in my life. For the majority of my adult life I had both of my grandmothers with me. Several years ago I lost my matriarchal grandmother, but my dad’s mom is still alive, at 99! Both of these women were pillars of strength, vital, active women who shaped me and showed me how to face challenges head on and not back down. They taught me that a testimony acts as a life preserver during the storms of life.
My mother has also blessed my life immensely with her powerful example of Christlike love and devotion to family. She’s an amazing woman, who has raised four incredible daughters, and never waivered in her faith, no matter what we put her through. Her example continues to inspire me everyday.
My three sisters are my most valued and important friends in my life. I have to include my niece in that too, because she is like a sister to me. These women provide me with friendship, laughter, support and love. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend eternity with than these wonderful, crazy girls. When I think of stories like Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility it is the element of sisterhood that gives them such a profound and lasting quality to make them the classics they are. I feel this with my sisters, a thousand percent.
My daughters and daughter-in-law have forged this same bond. They are my children, but they are also my friends. Whether we are shopping in New York or watching chick flicks at home, we have more fun together than I can even begin to explain. There is a level of understanding and acceptance that allows us to be who we are and feel safe doing so.
I am blessed to have many friends in the writing community. I have met some of the most incredibly supportive and encouraging people through my career as an author. I can’t speak for the national market, I would imagine the competition is fierce, but in the LDS community, there is a wonderful and special bond we share and I am so thankful for the wonderful people I am able to associate with. The women of this blog are especially dear to me and have always been there for me whenever I’ve needed them. I love them as sisters and definitely as friends that will last for eternity.
And finally, the women I know where I teach aerobics. We spend several hours a week, at six a.m. together, and if that doesn’t forge a friendship, nothing will. I keep saying I’m going to retire someday (I’ve been teaching twenty-eight years), but these women are so important to me, I don’t want to ever lost that connection with them (plus the fact that I’d gain fifty pounds) so I keep teaching and, bless their hearts, they keep coming. We figure, we’re all growing old together so we might as well keep working out while we’re doing it.
And really, isn’t that what it’s all about; experiencing life, overcoming challenges, laughing, crying and growing old together?
To all these wonderful women in my life who bless me more than words could ever express, thank you. My challenge for you today is to take a moment and tell all of the wonderful, special women in your life how much you appreciate them and love them. And even better, eat some chocolate together.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here is my list, in no particular order, and I reserve the right to add or take away from it.
1. Webkinz - if you don't have young kids you probably don't even know what this is. Webkinz are stuffed animals. You log onto the Webkinz site and register your animals then you have these cute little virtual pet animals that you can create homes for and buy stuff for and interact with other Webkinz online. Wish I would've thought of them because they are hugely popular. I do not own my own Webkinz, I just play the flipping games and earn money for my daughter, Rachel, so she can buy stuff for her Webkinz (I think she has 14 of the crazy things). I could play the games ALL DAY LONG! My favorite is Colorstorm.
2. Cinnamon - pretty much anything cinnamon works for me. The fragrance, the taste, doesn't matter. I love cinnamon candles, problem is I crave the taste all day. Those cinnamon scented pine cones? LOVE THOSE!!! I want to lick the cinnamon scent right off of them. Which brings me to my cinnamon delights. Cinnamon gum (I had withdrawals when I couldn't find Trident Cinnamon gum anymore), cinnamon bears, Hot Tomales and Brachs cinnamon disks (big withdrawals when these left the shelves). This addiction is serious!
3. Doris Day movies - I own every Doris Day movie ever made. I have them on VHS and now I have to get them on DVD. I love her movies. My dream is to go to Carmel and stay in the Cypress Inn that she owns. Of course, it would be amazing if I could meet her. My favorite movie is "Pillow Talk" of course, but I really like her in "That Touch of Mink."
4. The Office - I live for this show every Thursday night. I barely survived the writer's strike last year. Andy and Dwight . . . so funny!
5. American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance - These are my favorite reality shows of all time. David Archuletta should have won idol. End of story.
6. Disney-anything - It is the happiest place on earth. I wish I could live there.
7. New York and Broadway shows - I LOVE New York and going to shows. Can't get enough.
8. Texting - my kids got me started. A necessary evil turned obsessive.
9. Steinbach nutcrackers - this probably should have been first on the list. I adore nutcrackers. I collect them to excess. Luckily my husband feeds this addiction too, so it's a win/win.
10. Books - both writing and reading. If I could wish for anything it would be for more time so I could read more and write more.
11. Cheesecake - need I say more?
12. Chocolate - when I turned 40 I developed a serious addiction. Up until then I could take it or leave it. So weird. But I'm weird too, so no big surprise. I do like white chocolate better than dark, or milk chocolate.
That's all for now. I would love to hear some of your obsessions, the stranger the better.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The extraordinary love story of Joseph and Emma Hale Smith is tenderly
portrayed in a unique new Covenant release entitled, Of One Heart: The
Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, by Angela Eschler.
As an editor at Covenant, Angela Eschler has long exercised her writing
and editing talents to improve the works of other authors, including my
own. In Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, Mrs.
Eschler's first authored work, her exceptional writing skills and
knowledge of the Prophet and Emma is evident. Punctuated by the
emotional artwork of Liz Lemon Swindle, Eschler has carefully selected
poignant excerpts from the Smith's private correspondence and
wrapped them in beautifully crafted historical content and corroborating
The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma is divided into five concise
chapters, each one correlating to a period in Joseph and Emma's
marriage-- Love and Devotion, Sorrow and Separation, Consolation in
Companionship, Faith in Adversity, Reunion and Peace. As a historical
examination, "Love Letters" illuminates the great love that
succored Joseph and Emma through the too frequent separations, the
exquisite sorrows and the sweetness of the joys that defined their
But there is much more here for the reader. From Mrs. Eschler's
intimate Dedication, which is drawn from the example of Joseph's
ministrations to Emma, to the triumphal promises of eternal reunion
expressed in the closing scriptures from the Doctrine and Covenants,
this book is a delicately crafted celebration of the power of marriage
Counseled as we are to seek for "patterns" in our lives, Of One
Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, provides readers with a
unique vantage point from which to observe the Smiths' enduring
love. From the secret elopement to Joseph, to which Emma consented
saying, "she preferred `to marry him more than anyone [else she]
knew,'" through seventeen turbulent years, theirs was a marriage
imbued with loyalty, tenderness and faith. Being perhaps the ultimate
example of enduring love under fire, Joseph and Emma may therefore
provide the ultimate pattern for building a strong marriage.
In Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, by combining the
power of Angela Eschler's beautiful writing with samples from Liz
Lemon Swindle's evocative portraits of the Smiths, Covenant has
produced a work that reaches deep into the hearts of readers,
personalizing the Prophet and Emma to a rising generation of Saints who
may confidently draw upon their example of marital love and loyalty.