Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Answers to Monday's Blog and Secrets of a Good Chapter One.

I left you Monday (after much frustration from Blogger) with quotes from the movies, promising you the answers today. Please find below the quotes, who said them, and the movies they are from.

10) You talking to me? --Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver.
9) Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night. --Bette Davis from All About Ever.
8) May the Force be with you. --Alex McCrindle, Star Wars.
7) All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up. --Gloria Swanson from Sunset Boulevard.
6) Go ahead make my day. -- Clint Eastwood from Sudden Impact.
5) Here's looking at you, kid. -- Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca.
4) Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. --Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz.
3) You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. --Marlon Brando from On the Waterfront.
2) I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse. -- Marlon Brando from The Godfather.
1) Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn --Clark Gable from Gone with the Wind.



I've only seen a few of these movies, but I've heard the quotes. There were some I thought should have been listed in the top ten such as: "Houston, we have a problem" from Apollo 13 and "E.T.  phone home" from E.T. the Extraterrestrial

Are there other memoriable quotes you would have liked to have seen in the top ten?

Now for Wednesday's writing tip.

Okay, you've decided you're finally going to sit down and write a book. You've always wanted to do it, but now you're actually going to type the words...Chapter One. You know what you want to say, but you're just not certain where to start.

How about...In the beginning...? Wait a minute that has already been done. So what about...It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...? Used already. Then there's the good old standby...It was a dark and stormy night... Okay, so I was only teasing, but my point is your beginning needs to be orignal. Not something from a book you've read before, nor a quote from a movie. Of course, you already know this. But while we're on the subject avoid cliches as much as possible. That said, let's move on and discuss the secrets of a good chapter one.

The first secret is start your book at the point where change comes into your character's life. This change can be many things: a stranger, a murder, a missing person, an illness, a new love and etc. But whatever the change is, it should affect the protagonist's status quo. It can be good or bad, but whatever it is life will never be the same for your protagonist.

The second secret, this change will affect your character's everyday life, so you have to also set up his/her world. Before your story started your protagonist had a life and you need to show us a glimpse of it. A tricky thing to do, but if done just right you'll evoke empathy in your readers and make them want to follow your character to see how he/she will handle this "change" through the book. And please don't forget to show how the protagonist feels.

A couple of weeks ago in my writer's group one of my friends said, "Kathi's a head person." I wasn't sure what she meant by that, so I asked her. She said, "You're always telling us to write our character's inner thoughts." I thought about that for a while, and she's right. I do like to know what's going on in the main character's mind because that shores up motivation for their actions, plus builds on emotions--emotions of not only the character's, but the readers as well.

After you show a glimpse of your character's everyday life and the change that has happened you need to apply the third secret, the continuing result of the change. This will carry through to the end of the book.

To show you how these secrets work I'll give you an example: your protagonist is a thirty-six-year-old waitress, who has always dreamed of owning her own bakery, but she's in a dead-end job with no prospects of saving enough money (this is her world, her everyday life). One day her friend tells her of a cake decorating contest and the winner will receive $20,000 (enter the change). But there's an entry fee, and  she'll have to take time off work. If her boss were to learn of her plans, he'd make sure she worked a double shift on the day of the contest (danger and conflict). She starts saving (continuing result). Notice we added danger and conflict. Does that remind you of another writing tip from a few weeks ago: want, tension and outcome? It should. They are all working together in chapter one and helping you set up your story.

There now, you have some of the secrets of a good chapter one.

Do you know other secrets to a good chapter one? Please feel free to share them, and I'll add them to the list.

Monday, March 29, 2010

OH MY STARS!!!


OH MY STARS!!!
I just posted and checked my blog and you can't read it!!! I'm reposting again and will calmly walk away from the computer. Hope y'all are having a better day than I am.

So this morning, I'm working on my blog for today and tried to post my pretty pictures and they weren't posting. I would get this irritating x instead of my picture. I decided to shut the computer down and start over, but I wanted to save what I'd written so far. I went in and told it to post at a time in the afternoon, thus it would save and not post onto the blogosphere. Well, as luck would have it for some reason, only the blog gremlins know why, it posted for everyone to see. Talk about frustration.

And I'm still unable to post pictures to this blog. What the hey??? I even switched to my laptop and tried a different server.

Anyway because my post is already out there, I'm posting again to explain my blunder. Talk about major frustration!!! Hang in there with me and I'll try to paint a picture with words.

(insert here a picture of fireworks bright reds, whites, and blues)

The winner of the book drawing this week is Carol Kilgore. Carol has a great blog. You should check out her blog.

(imagine a row of nice looking books)

If you would like to win a Love Inspired book please enter the drawing by leaving a comment and becoming a follower of my blog. Easy peasy. Each Monday I will announce the winner.

Now for today's post...
Something usually comes up over my weekend that I blog about on Monday, but last weekend was unusual. I didn’t even go to a movie.

Movies have long been a favorite pastime for me and my family. We go to the theater a lot. And it is soooo convenient that a megaplex theater is within walking distance of our home. It’s awesome. Anyway, we’re one of those families where you can say a movie quote and someone will know what character said it and exactly what movie it was from. Well, the other day we received a magazine with an article titled 50 Movie Zingers. We had so much fun trying to see if we knew the top ten quotes that I thought you might like to join in.

What I’m going to do is list the quote and you see if you can guess what movie it came from and who said it? I’ll post the answers Wednesday. Some of these you’ll know right off. Have fun and no cheating by looking up the quote… :0)

10) “You talking to me?”

9) “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

8) “May the Force be with you.”

7) “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

6) “Go ahead, make my day.”

5) “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

4) “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

3) “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

2) “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

1) “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Have fun and let me know how you did.

Major Frustration!!!

So this morning, I'm working on my blog for today and tried to post my pretty pictures and they weren't posting. I would get this irritating x instead of my picture. I decided to shut the computer down and start over, but I wanted to save what I'd written so far. I went in and told it to post at a time in the afternoon, thus it would save and not post onto the blogosphere. Well, as luck would have it for some reason, only the blog gremlins know why, it posted for everyone to see. Talk about frustration.

And I'm still unable to post pictures to this blog. What the hey??? I even switched to my laptop and tried a different server.

Anyway because my post is already out there, I'm posting again to explain my blunder. Talk about major frustration!!! Hang in there with me and I'll try to paint a picture with words.






(insert here a picture of fireworks bright reds, whites, and blues)

The winner of the book drawing this week is Carol Kilgore. Carol has a great blog. You should check out her blog.

(imagine a row of nice looking books)

If you would like to win a Love Inspired book please enter the drawing by leaving a comment and becoming a follower of my blog. Easy peasy. Each Monday I will announce the winner.


Now for today's post...
Something usually comes up over my weekend that I blog about on Monday, but last weekend was unusual. I didn’t even go to a movie.

Movies have long been a favorite pastime for me and my family. We go to the theater a lot. And it is soooo convenient that a megaplex theater is within walking distance of our home. It’s awesome. Anyway, we’re one of those families where you can say a movie quote and someone will know what character said it and exactly what movie it was from. Well, the other day we received a magazine with an article titled 50 Movie Zingers. We had so much fun trying to see if we knew the top ten quotes that I thought you might like to join in.

What I’m going to do is list the quote and you see if you can guess what movie it came from and who said it? I’ll post the answers Wednesday. Some of these you’ll know right off. Have fun and no cheating by looking up the quote… :0)

10) “You talking to me?”

9) “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

8) “May the Force be with you.”

7) “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

6) “Go ahead, make my day.”

5) “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

4) “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

3) “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

2) “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

1) “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”



Have fun and let me know how you did.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review - Women of the Book of Mormon: Insights and Inspirations by Heather B. Moore

When I read the title of this book, I thought, well that’s going to be a short read since there are only three women even named in the Book of Mormon: Sariah, Abish, and Isabel. Well, guess what? I was wrong. I hate to admit it, but every once in a while it happens.;)

Who were the other women of the Book of Mormon? The author, Heather B. Moore, shows us that there were quite a few: Sariah, Eve, Mary, Sarah, twenty-four Lamanite Daughters, Queen of King Lamoni, Abish, Queen of King of Lamoni’s Father, Isabel, mothers of the two thousand Stripling Warriors, daughter of Jared, and the wife of Mormon. Women of the Book of Mormon Insights and Inspirations gives depth to all of these women and helps you understand what they might have been thinking during the perilous times they lived in.

For instance, I’ve often wondered how Sariah had the courage to go with her husband, Lehi, into the desert, leaving behind everything they’d worked for all their lives. Moore gives you a peek into this brave woman’s world and how her faith enabled her to take her family to the promised land.

Another story near and dear to my heart is about the mothers of the stripling warriors. What faith and courage these women had to send their boys, and I do mean boys, off to war! These women had already suffered so much. Many of their husbands were killed because they refused to take up arms against their enemy, yet these women had faith that the Lord would keep their sons safe. Moore explains how these mothers not only taught their sons to have faith in God, but they taught them where their people came from, the story of their conversion, and also the righteous principles of the gospel. The two-thousand stripling warriors had knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s love. This knowledge taught to them by their mothers enabled them to face a mighty foe.

And then there's the story of the daughter of Jared—I’ve read the Book of Mormon many times, but for some reason the story about the daughter of Jared slipped by me. Moore tells us about this conniving, wicked woman and her plot to regain the throne for her father which included murdering her own grandfather! It's important to remember the bad along with the good to truly understand their history.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the wonderful and touching stories in Women of the Book of Mormon Insights and Inspirations. But wait a minute… Eve, Mary, and Sarah were in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. Do they really count as women of the Book of Mormon? Of course, they do. These legendary women of the Bible influenced many generations who followed them, plus they were referred to in the Book of Mormon. Moore opens our eyes with more information about these women, such as in the story of Eve. Many have debated about Eve being created from the rib of Adam. Moore explains exactly the biblical meaning. And did you know that Mary’s story began well before she became the mother of Christ? Moore gives context and depth to this beloved story. And what about Sarah, the wife of Abraham? Moore helps us understand the emotions of this noble woman and how she probably felt to become a mother long after her child bearing years were over, and then, how she felt as she watched her husband and adult son set off for Moriah, where she knew the Lord had asked Abraham to sacrifice their son. Moore gives depth to Sarah’s story and shows us how her faith carried her through so very much.

The talents of many artists are on display in this little gem of a book and anchors the reader to each chapter with a visual. This is a book that every woman should own and read several times for these are stories of faith, perseverance and love.

(I received a free copy of this book to review and have no vested interest in its success.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Elements of a Story

What makes a good story?
Think about this for a while, don’t answer right off. While you’re pondering think about the stories you have loved. You know, the ones that instantly pop into your mind whenever anyone asks you “what’s your favorite book?” What is it about that story that you admire? Is it the protagonist, the circumstance, the purpose, the adversary, or the catastrophe that appealed to you? There’s a pretty good chance that it was all of those things because a good story juggles all five:

  • Protagonist
  • Circumstance
  • Purpose
  • Adversary
  • Catastrophe
It would be rather blah to just have a story about a character living in perfect circumstances and never wanting anything, never overcoming something and never living through a crisis of some type. What’s the point?

As writers our job is to tell the best story possible and to do that we use all five story elements. Yep, all of them.To get you going, see if you can write a paragraph that explains your story using all the story elements.

For example I’ll use my book, The Forgotten Warrior.

Sydney Morgan (protagonist), a sixteen-year-old girl with a black belt in karate,
learns (circumstance) her mother has cancer and is forced to tolerate her absentee father (adversary) who comes back into her life. She can’t forgive him for leaving, plus she’s worried (purpose) about her mother and little sister and has to take care of them. Just when she thought things could not get worse, Syd is given a clear stone that sends her back in time (catastrophe). Syd’s desperate to find her way back home.

Of course, there’s much more to the story such as she meets Tarik, a stripling warrior, and falls in love. She also meets Chief Captain Heleman, who asks her to train the stripling warriors to fight. But through everything that happens to Sydney, the five elements are the pulse that beats throughout her story: protagonist, circumstance, purpose, adversary and catastrophe.

You’re probably thinking that was easy for me because my story is already written. Okay, let’s plot a brand new story using the five elements.

Protagonist – Jesse, a sixteen-year-old girl,
Circumstance – has no idea who her parents are. She’s lived in one foster home after another.
Purpose - Jesse wants to belong to a family. The Davenports’ are her last chance. They do volunteer work at an assisted living center and take Jesse with them.
Adversary – As Jesse listens to an elderly woman trying to recall a memory, Jesse is suddenly thrown into the scene in the elderly woman’s mind.
Catastrophe – A shadowy figure threatens to kill Jesse if she intrudes on the woman’s memories again.

Okay, this is a story I’m toying with right now. I have a basic idea and know where I want to end up. Story elements help reinforce and flesh out the character’s inner and outer conflict, which will continue throughout the entire book until the very end.

Do you think using these story elements will help you as you write your book?
Let me know what you think, and give it a try.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ya Gotta Have Friends: A Winner, A Blog Award and Kung Fu Fighting

So--how in the world am I going to tie a winner, a blog award and kung fu fighting together with friends? Hang on, I can do it. Just bear with me.

I want to thank everyone who has become a follower of my blog and left a comment! You rule and I consider you my friends. I’m so happy that this week’s winner of my book drawing is Jemi from the blog Just Jemi.

One of my blogging friends sent me a blog award! My first!!! And believe it or not, it was Jemi. It is purely coincidence that she won my book drawing this week. She must be on a lucky roll and might consider going to Vegas. ;)

So I’m honored to pass this wonderful award along to some other fellow writers and bloggers all of which are friends.
Jaime Theler at BookMom Musings
L.T. Elliot at Dreams of Quill and Ink
Lori Nawyn at Heart and Hands
Mary Grey at The Ethos, The Logos, The Pathos
Suzanne Reese at Chocolate Daydreams

Now for the Kung Fu Fighting:
I’m a member of LDStorymakers. Our conference is April 23-24th. I’ve attended a number of writing conferences (national and regional) and this is the one I absolutely love. There are classes for everyone: those just starting in their careers and those who know the ropes and need help with promotion. There are classes on blogging, networking, nuts and bolts of writing, where the book market is heading and how to survive. For more conference information click here.

ANYWAY, Saturday a few Storymaker friends got together to make a video clip for the conference. We were to bring something that a character from a one of our favorite books would have. You know, a wand for Harry Potter, a sparkling face from Twilight. I had nothing like that, so I borrowed my son’s gi and went as Syd from my book, The Forgotten Warrior. Rachel Ann Nunes came with a Matrix coat so the film makers had us do some kung fu-Matrix moves for the video. It was a riot. I made moves I haven’t done for years and the bruises to prove it. I’m not going to tell you who won (though Rachel does have a hard left kick ;0)). You’ll have to come to the conference and see for yourself.

In this business of writing, ya gotta have friends, fellow writers to help you learn the ropes of this crazy career we’ve picked. Come make some friends either on the blogosphere or at the LDStorymakers conference. You’ll learn a lot and have a good chuckle.

I don’t have the video clip Rachel and I were in, but take a look at this and picture me kicking this high…okay, quit laughing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Summer in Paris - Book Review

Writers dream of being published, while authors dream of having a national best-seller. This dream may come true for Michele Ashman Bell with the release of her new young adult book, Summer in Paris. It's an exciting  romance with a little mystery that young women will enjoy. This is Bell's 20th published book, but her first novel released to the national market.

Some may be disappointed to learn this story isn’t set in Paris, France. But did they look at the book cover? The sign says, Paris, Idaho.

Here’s the deal . . . have you ever been to Paris, Idaho? I have. If you blink you might miss it. This little town is a far cry from the romantic city of Paris, France:
  • No art galleries, unless you call nature art.
  • No Eiffel Tower, unless you call a giant cottonwood tree a tower.
  • And no French pastries, though good, home cooking can’t be beat.
Nope this Paris could be a spoil, citified teenager’s worst nightmare . . . or dream come true.

Which is it for Kenzie? I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Here’s the blurb on the book:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parent’s solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris . . . Idaho!

Bell is a master storyteller as she weaves wonderful details of a girl whose hopes and dreams of becoming a ballerina take a detour when she learns some of life’s finer lessons. In this small town, Kenzie becomes involved in a wonderful mystery-drama which takes her right into an unexpected romance. This book is good, clean fun with delightful twists and turns that keeps the reader wondering what’s going to happen next.

If you’re a teenager, know of a teenager, or just want a fun read, buy this little gem of a book.

Here is the purchase link for Summer in Paris click here.

And while your at it, check out the author’s website to learn more about her other wonderful books click here.

(Summer in Paris was published by Valor Publishing. I freely reviewed this book and have no financial interest in it's success.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Disaster to Dilemma to Decision—How to Gain Control?

Recap of last week:
Three parts of conflict—want, tension and outcome.
Want: what does your character want.
Tension: how badly does he/she want it.
Outcome: should be a surprise (disaster) but could be pleasant depending upon where you are in your story.

So you’ve had the drama with a scene full of conflict ending with a disaster. What do you do between scenes of conflict? There needs to be something there, some kind of  down time where your character can catch his/her breath and so can your reader. Always keep in mind that your reader has been through the grinder right along with your character, and they both need time to take stock of the situation. As your character thinks about what he/she should do next, so will your readers. They want to follow your character through the transition between conflicts. But there’s more going on here because transition is where you will control the path your character takes.

What will you do? Or, to put it another way, what will your character logically do? Always remember there is a process and it must be logical or you’ll lose your readers.

What follows disaster? Dilemma. Your character needs to regroup. To help with this, think about the five phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Will a character experience all five? It depends on your character and the disaster in his/her life. There very well could be denial and a good dose of anger. Bargaining may take the form of reasoning. I would caution against too much depression, but by all means if the situation calls for it show sadness. And then, at the end of all this . . . acceptance and a decision to act.

During this transition time always make sure the story is progressing down the path you need it to go. If you pave the path correctly the disaster, dilemma and decision will be logical and a path your reader is willing to follow right along with your character. How about an example of all this so you can see it in action?

We’ll use the example from a few weeks ago when we discussed “the push”. We had a man in his late thirties, who had just broken up with his girlfriend. His girlfriend leaving him is his disaster. Next he’ll go through some of the steps of grief, as he walks through his workdays in a haze. He experiences a good dose of dilemma for he is angry with his ex for leaving and sad that his dream of a family has vanished with her. On his lunch break he decides to go to the park. He sees kids on a swing, a boy with a dog and a woman with a stroller. Deciding to take a look at the baby, he stops the woman with the stroller.

NOW we’re leaving the transition and going into a scene. See if you recognize want, tension, and outcome (three parts of conflict). He gazes down on a beautiful sleeping infant. As he chats with the woman, he notices her beautiful dark, chocolate-colored eyes, her easygoing nature and her low, sexy voice. In their conversation, he learns she is the baby’s nanny. (Suddenly his “want” awakens.) The clock on the courthouse tower bongs. She immediately excuses herself saying she has an appointment and leaves. (Here comes tension and outcome in one big swoop.) (Another transition appears as he leaves the disaster.) He has no way of getting in touch with her (sadness), so he decides (decision to act) to go to the park every day at the same time in hopes of meeting her again.

Did you see the pattern of control, conflict, control? Can you have conflict, control, conflict? Sure. Once you understand this concept of conflict and control it will become second nature to you as you learn to think, live and breath through your characters as they travel through your story.

Next week let’s talk about the elements of a story.

May your writing muse be with you. ;0)

Monday, March 15, 2010

WHEN IS A RAVEN LIKE A WRITING DESK?

First let me tell you the winner of the weekly book drawing. Drumroll please...
Mary Grey.
Congrats Mary!!!

I still have a lot of books to give away, so please enter my contest: by leaving a comment on one of my posting this week and by becoming a follower of my blog. I'll draw the name Sunday night and notify the winner Monday morning. :0)

Now for today's blog. Last Saturday I went with my daughter and husband to see the new Alice in Wonderland. What fun to visit this old fairytale made new. I loved it. And, of course, Johnny Depp was awesome in his role as the Mad Hatter. He asked Alice several times, "When is a raven like a writing desk?" The question is never answered in the movie, but it really made me think. Another line from the show that struck a cord had to do with thinking of "six impossibilities before breakfast." Talk about lighting the creative flame. What a challenge! Aren't all writers like Alice in Wonderland as they cobble together stories and think of ways to get their characters from one place to another? I believe so. But whether you're a writer or not, can you think of six impossibilties that early in the day? Well, I'll give it a shot.

#1: My house will clean itself...(What's the shoemaker's elves doing?)

#2: Time will stand still while I finish my book...(Isn't there a pause button somewhere?)

#3: I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight...(Donuts, milkshakes, etc. w/ no calories.)

#4:  My printer will never run out of ink...(The perpetual ink-filled cartridge. Hasn't it been invented yet?)

#5:  My hair will always look great...(Thick lucious locks fall into place just by shaking my head. Yeah, right.)

#6:  New clothes that fit and look great will magically appear in my closet...(Where's Cinderella's mice?)

Okay how about six impossibilities that are more fun.

#1:  Time travel...(I'd love to meet the prophets and witness great moments in history, etc.)

#2:  Love at first sight...(I love my husband, but for some people I know this would be nice.)

#3:  Mind reading...(Wouldn't you like to know what people are thinking? Maybe not.)

#4: Transporting...(Beam me up, Scotty.)

#5: Fortune-telling...(Would definitely help the stock markets!)

#6: Live in your dreams...(I mean the dreams you have while you sleep. The one where I can fly would be nice.)

This is a great exercise for opening your mind to possibilities and "what-if" scenarios.

Have you been thinking of the question--when is a raven like a writing desk? There is no wrong or right answer, but I thought of a possiblity--A raven is like a writing desk when Edgar Allan Poe sits down to scribble a poem. (Thanks Google Images for the pictures.)

Your turn now. Tell me your six impossibilities. AND come up with an answer for--when is a raven like a writing desk? If I can do it, so can you.

While you're thinking about it, take a look at the trailer for Alice in Wonderland. (Thanks Disney for the trailer)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Interview with Josi S. Kilpack author of Devil's Food Cake

I learned of Josi Kilpack last year as I was on book tour for The Forgotten Warrior. Many times as I sat signing books, I saw a yellow book titled Lemon Tart. I was surprised to learn it wasn't a recipe book, but a murder mystery. I really felt foolish, but I watched this book grow and grow into a number one bestselling novel for Deseret and Seagull Book Stores. I was fortunate to meet Josi at the LDStorymakers Conference last spring and took a class she was teaching. She knows her stuff. When I heard her new novel was out, in fact out six weeks early (which is almost unheard of), I knew I wanted to interview her for my blog and let you, my followers, learn more about this awesome author.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No. I never even thought about being a writer until a few weeks before I sent in my first book. I had been a voracious reader for several years and then written a book while on bedrest—but although it was fun, I didn’t write it intending to get it published; I didn’t know anything about publishing. I just had a good time. After friends encouraged me, however, I did find out how to submit and only then did I imagine what it would be like to be an actual author. It was a strange thing to contemplate . . . it still is, really.

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
Devil’s Food Cake is the 3rd book my Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Sadie has helped coordinate a fundraising dinner for the library, only to have it come to a horrifying end when a man is killed on stage. This is the third murder she’s been involved with in six months so she, of course, considers herself an expert. However, the police don’t agree, but even when she tries to step out, aspects of the case seem to come to her. So, she ends up all wrapped up in things.

Tell us about your other books.
Before this series, I had written eight LDS themed novels—most of them dealt with a contemporary issue (addiction, infertility, internet preditors) as experienced by a member of the LDS church. I enjoyed these types of books very much and will likely write them again some day.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
I just love the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that in my small way I am trying to make the world a better place—at least for those people who, like me, love to get lost in a good book. I enjoy the challenge of stretching in new ways as well.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
I don’t really have a writing mentor, but I have many writers who inspire me either with their writing or with their struggle too write. Mary Higgins Clark is a writer who inspires me on both ends—she worked very, very hard to become a writer, but not at the expense of her family. I also love her writing style and the sheer grace of who she is. I admire CS Lewis for both his words, and his passion in writing them. I admire some of my good friends who also write—Julie Wright, Annette Lyon, Heather Moore, Carole Thayne, Tristi Pinkston, and Jeff Savage are people I’m lucky enough to call my friends, but who inspire the heck out of me because of their individual strengths that pull them through hard [times]. They are likely the closest I have to a mentor as well, because they encourage and applaud me all along the way.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
I grew up in Salt Lake, and currently live less than 50 miles from the home I grew up in. I was the third of nine children—my dad was a teacher and my mom stayed home. I grew up very independent and industrious; two things that I think have been huge factors in my writing. I’ve always been headstrong, a little cynical, and felt . . . different. Maybe that’s why I make up characters, because I sometimes feel like I don’t fit very well in real life. About 11 years ago we (my husband Lee and my kids) moved to Willard, which is a tiny little town on the east side of Willard Bay, in between Brigham City and Ogden. We’re both city-folk, so it took some adjustment but we can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have chickens, a dog, 5 acres of land we lease to a local farmer, and plenty of yard work to keep us and the kids busy. Honestly, if I could live anywhere in the world I’d live right where I am. I’m not here by accident—I’m here because of hard work and intent decisions that resulted in this. That said, I think I could be happy living anywhere so long as my family was with me. My husband and I sometimes fantasize about living in a down town area, or a condo with landscapers, or even back in a suburb—we like the adventure and challenge of the idea. And yet we are both very content right where we are.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
It’s 4:30 in the morning and my laptop is open on the kitchen table. There are piles of schoolwork, dishes from last night, and some coats flung over the chairs. My daughter is practicing piano in the other room and other than the light above the table, the house is dark. I’m nursing a mug of Pero, I’m wearing warm socks, and hunching over the computer in a way that my chiropractor continually reminds me not to do. The dirty dishes are calling to me, but I’ll do those after I wake the kids up for school at 6:00, and I’m trying very hard to just keep my To Do List fuzzy in my brain while I focus on my “vacation” which is whatever book I’m working on. I’ve got an hour and a half until my day explodes, after which my writing will come in little bubbles of time I steal from something else. But right now, this minute, I’m without any other obligation. Let’s hope I can use the time wisely.

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I adore TV and movies and the TV is almost always on. I like criminal Justice TV, so I watch a lot of City Confidential, American Justice, Cold Case, and Law & Order. I also like shows like I survived and How Clean is Your House, and  Toddlers & Tiaras reminds me there are lots of “characters” in the world. If I can’t find a show that interests me, I love to watch movies—The Scarlet Pimpernell, Lord of the Rings, Return Me. I get all kinds of inspiration from things I watch. Everything from character ideas, to setting, to plot twists—I love borrowing from other people’s brilliance, then making it my own.

How has being published changed your life?
Publishing has changed my life in every possible way. I’ve met people I’d have never met before, researched and learned about topics I would never have known about. I’ve learned to speak in public, I’ve learned to really listen when people talk to me. I’ve learned the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a book I’ve worked hard on. For me, publishing has opened a world I’d have never known existed—but it’s not really “Publishing” that made the change—it’s developing the gifts God gave me into the talents I’ve used to take me there. That’s the amazing thing about gifts, abilities, and opportunities that come our way—if we grab onto those things and add our work and determination, life blossoms. Publishing is one way in which that has happened for me, and I marvel at that all the time.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell about your blog and website.
I’ll be signing at the Seagull Book on Redwood road on Saturday, March 27 from 10:00-2:00 as part of their Sisterhood celebration they do the Saturday before General Conference. I’ll also be at the downtown Deseret Book on April 3rd from 6-8:00 as part of their Ladies Night.

I’ll then be presenting at the LDStorymakers Writers Confernece April 23 & 24 and I’m helping with The Teen Writers Confernece on June 5th. Lots of fun things to do.

My website is www.josiskilpack.com and my blog is www.josikilpack.blogspot.com

Thanks Kathi,

Your welcome!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three Parts of Conflict

Last week we discussed time and your protagonist. I promised that today we would talk about conflict. Does each and every scene need it?

Yes, every scene should have conflict.
I break conflict into three parts:
  • Want
  • Tension
  • Outcome
Want—what does your protagonist want? Could be any number of things: a kiss, a baby, a new job, safety, a million dollars and etc. The list could go on and on.

Tension—has to do with how intensely your protagonist wants.

Outcome—should be a surprise: shocking, tragic, or pleasant.

Want, tension, and outcome create conflict.

If your protagonist is running for his/her life, he/she wants to live. Tension builds as want intensifies and skyrockets when you throw in a nasty villain hot on the trail. Plainly you can see want and tension. Outcome depends upon you, the author, and where you’re at in the book. Also what genre you’re writing. What about a novel that doesn’t have a lot of action? Where’s the conflict?

Okay, let’s take a look at a scene that seems devoid of conflict:

a woman sitting in a doctor’s office.

Not much going on to the naked eye. Let’s stir in some want:

Joy, and her husband, Les, have wanted a child for years.

Blend in tension:

A year to the day, Joy had started fertility treatments, and finally six months ago she and Les found out they were expecting a baby. Everything was fine until Joy realized she hadn’t felt the baby kick for several days. She called the doctor in a panic, hoping she would say nothing was wrong, but instead, she told Joy to come right in. After the examination, the doctor told Joy to wait in her office while she ran some tests. Needing something to do with her hands, Joy looks at a magazine, but sees nothing because her mind is too busy with worry. She checks her watch, but the time hasn’t changed. She should have called Les and told him what’s going on, but she doesn’t know. What would she tell him? The grim-faced doctor enters the room, sitting down at her desk. She looks squarely in Joy’s eyes and says…

Now depending upon where your story is—the beginning, middle or end—you will have different outcomes. If this is the beginning or middle you’ll want a good hook, something shocking or tragic. Depending upon the genre you’re writing for, you could even have the ending shocking, but if it’s a feel-good story you’ll want something pleasant.

I’ll let you finish this tale. What kind of outcome is Joy going to have? It’s up to you.

We’ve talked a lot about conflict and I’ve barely touched the surface, but I think you have the general idea. Conflict is want, tension, and outcome.

Next Wednesday we’re going to talk about the partner of conflict and that is control.

Just what you always wanted, control of the situation.  ;0)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Give-away and the Oscars


Last week when I moved my office, I came across a box of books. Treasures really. Several years ago, I went on a book buying spree and purchased a lot of paperback, romantic-suspense and love-inspired books. Some I have read and some I haven't. The ones I haven't read are pretty much new, though they are several years old. Steeple Hill, a division of Harlequin, published these little gems and I love them. They are quick reads and there’s no profanity and no graphic sex just wonderful characters and good plots.

So here’s the deal, I’m going to give away one book a week while they last. All you have to do to win a book is leave a comment on my blog and become a follower. I'll announce the winner each Monday.

Okay, now about the Oscars.

When I’m writing a novel, I picture scenes as though they’re part of a movie playing in my mind, so it only stands to reason that I like going to the movies. Over the years, I’ve watched a ton of them, and as a result I have usually watched the Academy Awards, hoping some of my favorites would win. But for several years I haven’t watched the Oscars. There are many reasons which I won’t go into, but last night I was cornered into watching the show. Despite the major cold I was fighting, I really enjoyed it. Steven Martin and Alec Baldwin were good hosts and darn funny at times.

A couple of the movies I particularly enjoyed last year took home Oscars: Up and The Blind Side.

Up was wonderful. Loved the music, the characters and the plot. A great, great flick.


There are few movies that I see more than once in the theater. I’ve seen The Blind Side three times in the last six months. I was so thrill that Sandra Bullock, won for her role in that film.



I was also glad that Kathryn Bigelow won best director for the movie The Hurt Locker. She is the first woman to win for this category. The film also won Best Picture!!!

And trekkies, Star Trek won for best make-up!

What were some of your favorite movies in 2010? And why were they your favorites?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pictures of Book Signings

I love seeing friends and family at my signings. Here are some pictures.



These are some of my writing group buddies: Roseann, Kathleen, Brenda, Charlene, and Dorothy.


Here are some of the Young Women in my ward and their leaders (I was serving as a counselor at the time).



This is my daughter Tricia. It's always nice to have the support of my family.


The lady in the red shirt is my good friend, Brenda.


My good friend, Kathleen, is taking a picture of me signing a book.


My friends: Kathleen, Brenda, and Dorothy.


Ahhhh, family again: Greg (my son-in-law) William (my grandson) and my daughter, Kristina, is giving me a hug.


This is my daughter's friend, Willow.


Friends: Kathy and Dennis.


My friend, Linda.


Fellow writer and friend, Roseann.


This is Doug and Cheryl Fisher. I worked for Doug in his accounting firm for many years.


My friend, Jan.


This is my neighbor, Eldon. And I'm hugging Sheri, my daughter's mother-in-law.


I'm hugging the designer of my business cards, Lindsey. She is with my son's friend, Sean.


Fellow writer and good friend for many years, Char.


Here I am with David Wolverton/Farland. We did a signing in Layton together.


This was a wonderful surprise. I hadn't seen my childhood friend, Clare, since I left high school. She just happened to be in the store.


This is a signing in my hometown of Rigby, Idaho. I'm sitting at the table with my sister, Jo.


Signing books for some fans.


I'm with my nephew, Jeff. My brother, Steve, is hiding behind him.


This is Laura and Donna, some very good friends I used to chum around with when I lived in Idaho.


Standing in front of the Idaho Drug in Rigby is my husband, Bruce; me; my sister-in-law, Tonya; and my brother, Steve.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Sarah M. Eden author of Courting Miss Lancaster

I made a wonderful discovery the other day as I was blogging around. I found Sarah M. Eden's blog site. She's an author I've only met through the blogosphere. Her blog is great fun to read. I learned she has a new book coming out this month. It's a regency and looks wonderful. I thought you might like to get to know her and learn about her new book. If her novel is anything like her blog you're in for a great read.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Oddly enough, no. I went through a lot of “what I wanna be when I grow up” phases. For a long time I wanted to be an architect, until I realized just how many math classes I would have to take. I also dreamed of being the President of the United States, an Olympic gymnast, a physics teacher. Only after realizing about six years ago that not everyone's head is swimming with characters and stories and plot ideas did I give being an author any serious consideration.

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
Courting Miss Lancaster is a romance set in the Regency era of English history—this was the time of Jane Austen, Napoleon and Mad King George.

Harry Windover has fallen head over heals in love with Athena Lancaster. He, however, is essentially penniless and, in a society where marriages are most often made for financial or social advancement, a man without wealth is entirely ineligible. When Harry is coerced into helping Athena find a husband, he hatches a scheme in an attempt to postpone the inevitable: he only introduces her to men who are so ridiculous that she couldn't possibly choose any of them.

The comedy of errors that ensues is both hilarious and, at times, heartbreaking. What will Athena do if his plot is revealed? How will Harry endure loosing her when Athena eventually choses a husband?

Tell us about your other books.
All of my books are Regency romances. They run the gamut from light and entertaining, to touching and tender. I try to create characters who, despite living two-hundred years ago, today's reader can relate to. I think no matter when a person lives or the circumstances of their life, we all experience the same human emotions, and that is what readers like to find in a book—the reassurance that we are all connected.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
The very most, huh? I should probably pick something profound. Saying “It's a good excuse to avoid housework” might make me sound too much like a dork, true though the statement may be.

What inspires me to write in the Regency era is my deep love of history. The more I learn about these fascinating two decades, the more I want to write about it and explore the struggles they had and the vast changes that were happening throughout the world.

My motivation comes from the fact that when I don't write my mind gets clogged up with ideas and thoughts that drive me mad until I get them down on paper. Writing, for me, is a sanity saver.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
I think anyone who writes Regency romances tries to emulate the late Georgette Heyer. She wrote historical romances at the beginning of the 20th Century and is heralded as the mother of historical romances. A great many of her works were set in the Regency era and she had a knack for recreating the language and quirks of the time period in a way that still blows writers and historians away.

As far as current authors, there are two I consider mentors:

• Janette Rallison, who writes absolutely delightful young adult novels, has become one of my go-to people when I need help with my writing. She has given me advice and direction that has proven invaluable. (And she's an absolute riot!)

• Annette Lyon, who writes historical fiction and women's fiction, is simply fantastic and, in my opinion, under-recognized as an author. She is not only extremely talented, but perhaps the most generous person I know when it comes to mentoring fledgling authors like myself.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
I grew up in Glendale, Arizona—a city that borders on Phoenix. I lived there more-or-less my entire life up until the very end of 2009 when I moved to a fun university town in the mountains of northern Utah. I have a feeling that desperately cold weather and buckets of snow are going to begin sneaking into my writing. This Arizona girl is still in a little bit of shock—did you know that it is possible for the current temperature to only have ONE number in it? Single digits, who knew?

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
I have three places I regularly write. If I'm not in a rush or under a deadline, I write on the couch in my living room. If I'm having trouble staying focused or need to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time I either move to my desk in our little home office nook or I take a trip to our local library and find a table in a quiet corner.

I always listen to music and I very carefully pick music that compliments the type of scene I'm writing—soft, soothing music for low-key scenes, more intense music for scenes with more tension, etc.

My laptop and I are pretty much physically attached to one another. I generally only hand write my work if I am away from the computer (which is why I always carry a notepad—just in case.)

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I don't watch a lot of televison. I realized a couple years ago that it had become too much of a time drain for me. So now I pick and choose what I watch and have found I don't really miss it much.

I'm a romantic comedy kind of girl when it comes to movies. I also am pretty picky. I don't go for sex scenes or innuendo or -shudder- badly written screen plays. Give me a good, family-friendly, well-written romance and I'm there!

How has being published changed your life?
I'm a lot busier. It has been a great deal of work and big time investment, but it has been spectacular. Not to mention it has seriously increased my enthusiasm for writing.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell us about your blog and website.
I actually have quite a few signings in the next two months. All of these locations are in Utah.

• March 12th
A 3-author Launch Party, with Annette Lyon and Julie Coulter Bellon; Orem Deseret Book 6-8pm

• March 20th
Book signing; Orem Seagull (State St), 11-1pm

• March 27th
Book signing, in conjunction with the “Celebrating Sisterhood” event; Lindon Seagull 10-12pm

• April 10th
Book signing; Provo East Bay Seagull, 11-1pm

• April 17th
Spanish Fork Seagull, 11-1pm

My website, www.sarahmeden.com, is the place to go for updates and entertaining anecdotes about my experiences as an author. The most popular part of the site is my recurring segment, “I Need Friends Friday,” in which I interview people from all walks of life, find out interesting things about them, play games and even draw them a stick-figure portrait of themselves.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Angel on Main Street


Below is An Angel on Main Street button for your blog. The code is below the picture.









An Angel on Main Street was featured on LDS Book Corner. http://www.ldsbookcorner.com/books/fiction/adventure/kpeterson/anangelonmainst.html

Here is the book trailer for An Angel on Main Street.



The blog review tour for An Angel on Main Street.
Rachel’s Ramblings
Laurie LC Lewis: A View from the Other Side of the Hill
The Dance
Writing in Berlin
One Cluttered Brain
Ali Cross
Queen of the Clan
Crane-ium
Amesbury Reads
Bookmom Musings
Heather Justesen
Random-ish
Of Writerly Things
Forethought and Purpose
Cathy Witbeck
Dream of Quill and Ink
Down Bennett Boulevard
A Writer’s Eyes
Day Dreamer
Seriously
Writer’s Mirror
Cranberry Corner

Books Your Mother Would Approve
Jenn Wilks
Scribbled Scraps
Lords of Manor
Mormon Mommy Writers
Stephanie Says So
Queen of Chaos
LDS Forever Friends
2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
There’s Always Something to Read
Why Not? Because I Said So

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time and Your Protagonist

Have you noticed how time is handled in novels? It’s very interesting how a minute can last for two or three pages and a span of years can be covered in a sentence. What gives? How does an author choose which moments to dwell on and which ones to skim over?

Time is something we all know. There are twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, and four weeks in a month. Part of the time you’re asleep and part of the time you’re awake. Those waking hours are filled with pretty mundane stuff. We exercise, eat, shower, go to work, come home, watch TV, read a book, go to bed and then the next day we do it all over again. These are the “comb-your-hair” moments in our lives, moments that everyone has but they are boring and no one wants to read about them. So, how does a writer pick which scenes to draw out and which ones to skim over?

A writer picks the emotional moments to dwell on, times of the heart. This can be warm-fuzzy moments; or it can be heart-thumping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments. Albert Einstein once said, “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute, and it’s longer than an hour.”

To apply this to your writing, take a look at the following moment--
A nurse places an infant wrapped in a soft, velour blanket into the waiting arms of a joyful new momma, who is ready to take her new little one home from the hospital. The proud papa stands beside mother and child, love beaming from his eyes as he takes in the scene he thought he’d never experience. He had no idea how powerful the love of being a parent could be until now.

That’s a soft, warm-fuzzy moment full of emotion. You weren’t sure who the main character was until feelings came into play, the feelings of the father. This scene could go much slower as the father sets his eyes on that perfect child, describing each detail and how the infant looks like his wife, or his mother. This is a time to slow the scene down and focus on what’s in Papa’s heart.

Let’s try the heart-thumping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat moment--
A nurse comes into the hospital room with no baby in her arms. George notices a concerned look on her face, but says nothing to his wife, Marsha. The nurse asks if Marsha noticed the baby having trouble breathing at her last feeding. Shock pales Marsha’s face as she tries to think. She shakes her head and looks to George; her eyes framed with fear. As George takes Marsha’s hand, the nurse explains to the couple that their baby girl is having respiratory problems and a specialist has been called to examine her. They should know more soon. With that, the nurse leaves. The room spins as George fights the nausea churning his stomach. Marsha bursts into tears. George cradles her in his arms as he fears their dream of a family is in danger.

Okay, so we’ve put George on the stove, haven’t we? His minutes will be hours as he waits to learn what is happening to his child. He’s not having the usual “comb-your-hair” day. He is full of fear worried about the fate of his child. It doesn’t matter that he got out of bed that morning and had a bowl of oatmeal before going to the hospital. No, the moment to write about is this moment that is full of emotion.

In the first scene the emotion was different. Emotional moments--whether they are soft, warm and fuzzy or heart-thumping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat--are the times to write about through your protagonist’s feelings.

Now, should every scene be filled with tension and conflict? We’ll discuss this next Wednesday.

May your writing muse be with you…

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Forgotten Warrior



Click here to read a review of my book in the Mormon Times section of The Deseret News.

Here's one of the many fan letters I've received about this book:

Dear sister Peterson,

My name is -------. I am a 16 year old girl from Meridian, Idaho. I just wanted to thank you for writing the Forgotten Warrior. It has become one of my favorite books. i loved it so much that i read it in one day. i really hope the sequel comes out soon so i can find out what happens to Tarik.

thanks again.

Your devoted reader and biggest fan

The following are the reviews from The Forgotten Warrior blog tour.
Life on the Funny Farm
Tristi Pinkston, Author
Tangled Words and Dreams
Lords of the Manor
Thoughts on LDS
Jewel’s World
Down Bennett Boulevard
Crane-ium
Families.com
The Dance
Fifteen Minutes of Delusion
Interview Fifteen Minutes of Delusion
Liz Sez
2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Queen of the Clan
Scribbled Scraps
A Writer’s Ramblings
Write Bravely
Wendword Review
Heather Justesen
A Future for Tomorrow
Think, Dream, Inspire
Writer in the Pines
Day Dreamer
LDS Readers
Queen of Chaos
Dream a little Dream

Check out this new interview Linda Weaver Clark had with me recently.

Linda Weaver Clark

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Like A Fried Twinkie

Last Friday morning I went to my writer’s meeting. After our critique session, we went to lunch at this wonderful little fish place. As I ordered, I noticed they had fried Twinkies. I’ve heard how good they are, so I ordered one for all of us to share. It looked very decadent with powdered sugar sprinkled on it and raspberry icing drizzled over the top. I could hardly wait. And then I had a bite…

Cut to Saturday:
Because I’d sent the latest revisions of my next book to my editor and I had a free weekend, I thought I’d move my office to the library and move the library into my office (remember several weeks ago when I blogged that my hubby gave me this beautiful white board, but it didn’t fit in my office?). You have to remember I’ve been writing in my office for many, many years, and I had all sorts of magazines, CD’s, and notes squirreled away in hidden places. It took me a while to sort through those, and then there was the big job of moving my desk. See now here’s the deal…years ago my wonderful corner-computer desk was assembled in my office. No one has tried to move it to another room. Bruce (my hubby) and I realized there was no way we could get the desk out no matter which way we turned it--upside down, backwards, or sideways--that desk was not coming out. Then we tried to move the desk within the office, so I could utilize the only wall the white board would fit on and that didn't work. Finally, we had to admit we had to take the desk apart to move it out.

After several banged fingers and stubbed toes, we finally had the desk apart and put back together in it’s new home. Next came moving the book shelves out of the library, which meant taking ALL the books out, wrangling the book cases from one room to another and then putting all the books back. I actually enjoyed this. Wiping off books that I love to read and placing them in their new home was like meeting old friends again. With the books moved, we could then tackle hanging the white board.

Here’s the thing about hanging a white board that’s four-feet high and six-feet wide—you have to measure EVERYTHING: from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. And then it’s a pretty good idea to have the instructions for hanging the white board match the J-hooks and screws that come with it. Not the case for us. Thank goodness Bruce is pretty handy with improvising. After a very long day the white board was hung, my desk was in place, but there were piles and piles of books and papers in my new office that I had to put away. I decided to save it for another day.

Now cut back to the Twinkie:
A fried Twinkie sounds really good, doesn’t it? I love Twinkies, the moist yellow cake and creamy center. And I like some fried foods as long as they're not greasy and the fried Twinkie with the powdered sugar and raspberry icing look sooooo very good. But I took a bite and found I was disappointed. Then I thought it was because I didn’t get some of the creamy center. So, of course,I tried again, and found the cream didn’t help that much.

You may ask, how could a fried Twinkie and moving my office have anything in common? Well, moving my office sounded like a good idea until I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, and then I realized what a royal pain in the neck it turned out to be. It’s like a fried Twinkie—it sounded good but when I took a bite not so much.

However, I must say as I sit here writing my blog with not only my beautiful whiteboard but also a pretty view out my new office window, I think moving my office is better than a Twinkie fried or plain.:0)

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