Reading at the Elementary School and The Trailer

My daughter’s 4th grade class is reading my book, Jake Bowers vs The Firebird every day at lunch. Today, her teachers invited me to come and read the chapter. It was adorable! Those kids were great. No guile!

One said to me, “Are you working on the next one?”

“Yes, I am,” I said.

“Well, it better be good!” the kid said.

“Ok, I’m working on it!!!!”

They make me smile!

Another kid gave me a Nestle’s Crunch bite size candy from his lunch because I was a good storyteller and because I have an amazing daughter. ūüôā

I could be with those kids all day!!!

A girl from the class cornered me and told me all about the story that she’s been working on.

And that, is why I write. This post is to remind me that I write for them! To put a smile on their faces. To inspire them to write and create their own stories.


And here, is the trailer for the book –

Gotta give a big shout out to the guys at Cinema Book Trailers who created this teaser for me. They have been so professional to work with and so supportive of the book.

Presentation on Editing – 3/12/15

I will be doing a presentation on editing for Utah Valley Writers this Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm (there will be a critique of writing just before that at 6pm). The meeting will be at the Orem Public Library (58 North State Street // Phone: 801.229.70500) in the Media Room (downstairs).

I was planning on talking mostly about being an editor of one’s own work, or an editor in a peer group (levels of editing, etc.). Then I asked my friend, Tiffini Knight (community outreach director for UVW) if she could query some of the members as to what specific questions they had for the presentation, and I’m so glad that I did. Their questions took my planning in new directions and I am excited to incorporate them into the discussion.

Here are some of the questions –

  • What kind of training will a good editor have had?
  • Should we stick with an editor of our genre?
  • At what point can you tell your editor “no”?
  • What are fair charges for editing?
  • Talk about the contract; what components does it have?
  • Can I expect that an editor will help me if I’m stuck?
  • How many drafts can we expect to go through before our manuscripts may be ready to query?
  • How about what to look for in edits? In editors?
  • How to revise or rewrite (or get unstuck) during an edit if we are overwhelmed with the feedback we’ve received but know we should follow it?
  • How to go about finding an editor? There are so many freelance editors, how can you tell if they’re good?
  • In the past, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the difference between line, content, copy, etc. editing . . . having her explain the difference?
  • What are her thoughts on hiring a freelance editor before you submit your ms to a publisher/agent in the case of traditional publishing as your goal? Waste money, time, etc.? or Powerful education, helps your chances, etc.?

I am so excited about the direction and the feedback. What a great group! I am planning on posting any materials, etc. here for reference.

Hope to see you there!!

Book signing for “I Can Do Hard Things With God”

I will be attending a book signing for “I Can Do Hard Things With God: Essays of Strength from Mormon Women” tomorrow at the Fort Union Deseret Book from 1-3 pm. If you can be there at that time, I’d love to meet and talk with you and answer any questions that you may have.¬†I’m excited to meet others and hear your stories of strength with God. I find so much joy in hearing other stories, the journeys of others. I had a Muslim student once and she and I bonded over the strength that we each gain from prayer.

See you there, and HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Jane Austen v-day

TED Talks and an Interview

First, I want to share one of my favorite TED talks of ALL time, Shawn Achor – “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance”

Shawn Achor is an educator, author, and speaker known for positive psychology which links happiness to success.

If you are unfamiliar with TED talks, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, which¬†began in 1984 as an annual conference in Monterrey, California,¬†and since then, a set of very interesting lectures have been recorded and shared free of charge via the internet. The tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” You can find out more here, TED talks, but I warn you, it is very addicting! Though I don’t agree with everything that everyone says, I always come away with amazing ideas – ¬†lovely brain food which keeps me nourished for days.

I also¬†want to thank everyone who read along with me. I’ve always wanted to do a serial writing (in the style of Charles Dickens) and those six chapters were the closest I’ve come. It was really amazing to interact daily with those involved and I’ll have to do it again soon. ¬†Finally, I had an author interview at Smashwords, you can read it here – Laryssa Waldron Interview.

Hope your day is well, and that you chose to be a magic unicorn as you focus on the privileges of your life! ūüėČ