One Thing I’ve Learned in Class

I am a strong believer in continuing our education. Whether it be college, community classes, workshops etc. Whatever works best for our individual situations.

One of the things that I do, for my writing, is I am a member of the League of Utah Writers. The chapter I belong to likes to focus on learning and improving our writing skills. So we have speakers, workshops and sometimes we critique each other’s work.

I loved one thing that a former member of our chapter, Clint Johnson, taught us and that was to write for 15 minutes each day. No matter what. This is something that I struggle with, and this year I am going to focus on achieving it. The reason it is so important to write for 15 minutes each day is something amazing happens subconsciously. Not only will it become a habit, but after 3 weeks, your subconscious will continue to work on your book. See, your mind thinks there’s a problem and it needs to solve it. Since it is always on your mind, it must be important. Even while you sleep, your brain is working on your book.

While I was following this guideline, I was just to the point of the “final battle” in my book. Before I was going to write I was walking my dog, and a whole new twist in my story just slammed into my brain! There was no way I could finish the book now!!! So I went with it. It opened up my book to become a trilogy instead of just one book. It was awesome!

Then I let life get in the way ~sigh~ and I started skipping days because my schedule became so horrendous. But I really need to get back into writing everyday because, not only do I enjoy it, but I am at that point again. I am just starting to write the final battle and I need as much help with it from my brain as I can. AND, I am already getting ideas for the trilogy that follows after this one, and a prequel trilogy. My brain is getting so full of ideas and story lines that I’m getting antsy to start on it. But first things first, I need to finish my book I’m doing now. I’m sooo close!

So, until next week. I’m now off to write for my 15 minutes.


Update on “The Gathering: Book 2 in the Ceramia Trilogy”

Our business, Keep It Marketing, is always crazy busy during the holidays with tons of orders for embroidery, so I don’t get much time to work on any writing. I know this, so I don’t get upset, after all, it’s nice to have food on the table. Then, in January, we are gone to two trade shows and so our time is busy getting ready to go, and then all the catch up after we get back home. It is finally at the end of January that I can start to breath again.

However, this year, I was able to get my second book to the editor the week before we left. I am very excited about this.

My editor rocks! Her name is Sarah Johnson and not only is she a good friend of mine, but she does good work. Always a bonus! She called me the other day to give an update and she is about halfway through the book. She just needed to tell me that my demon queen, Zaldron, is HORRIFIC!!!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! That totally made my day. I think I had a little too much fun writing about her.

But, back to business, she should have the book back to me, with her suggestions, by the second week of Feb. Yes!!! So then I have given myself the rest of Feb to work on the re-write to polish everything up. So until then, I will work on the back cover blurb and order the book cover so it will be ready to be up on Amazon mid to late March. Wahoo!!!

Until next time, have a fabulous day!

Eagle Scout

What does it take to become an an Eagle Scout? Years of hard work, for not only the scout, but for his family and scout leaders as well.

This last Saturday, my youngest son had his Eagle Court of Honor, and I couldn’t have been prouder. We had to change this date four times because of so many conflicts, and Saturday was no exception, but we went ahead and held it anyway. Very few extended family members could come, but our immediate family was all there. Very few of his friends could come, but we knew that about half of his scout leaders could come. He did not want to change it again, so we held it anyway. We weren’t expecting even 20 people to show up, but nearly 60 people did! They were all neighbors who have known him throughout the years. What a surprise! Most of them are all involved in scouting in one way or another, and they were there to support one of their own.

As I looked out upon the audience, I couldn’t help but think of what it means to be an Eagle Scout, and when all the Eagles moved to the Eagles Nest, my husband and oldest son included, tears welled up in my eyes. Everyone of these men and young men sitting there are all phenonmenal people and exemplify what it means to be an Eagle: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

I am so grateful for the scouting program, and wish that more young men would get involved into the scouting program. The examples of the great leaders and what the scouts learn, carry throughout their entire lives.

A neighbor of mine, while hiring for jobs where he worked, would always look for the title Eagle Scout on the application, and if he found it, would hire the man. Every time. You see, he knew what it means to be an Eagle Scout. And he knew the applicant would be an honest and hard worker.

Thank you Baden Powell for starting this great program!

October Reading List

Every October I like to read Halloweenish kind of books. This is year is no different. So I was going through my kindle and started one about a witch. Judging by the cover, it would be a fun, easy read. Since I had downloaded it awhile ago, I couldn’t remember what it would be about. Well, by the second page of chapter 1 I closed it up and deleted it from my devise. The language was so filthy, it made me sick! Why do some authors feel the need to drop the f-bomb and other disgusting words every few lines?

So, instead, I started re-reading The Shining by Stephen King. It has been MANY years since I’ve read that. Oh, what a treat it is to read something from a master!!! I have decided to read it so that Danny, the young boy, would be fresh in my mind because the great Stephen King has written another book with Danny as the main character, and I want to read that. Dr. Sleep.

The only problem is: I only want to read! It is so hard to put the book down and get to work myself!!! Hahaha! Oh well, back to work Sherry. See you later Danny. I’ll read again during lunch.

Quick update on book

Wahoo! We finally got the formatting figured out for my book and so now we know how many pages will be in it. I sent the info over to my graphic designer and she said that she was just leaving for vacation and that when she came home on the 22nd, she would finish up the wrap-around cover for book 1.

So it looks like my book will be available on Amazon in November, just in time for the Christmas shopping. ~happy dance~

Exercise for Creativity

You always hear the advice to stay active and your mind will be able to solve problems or come up with creative ways to solve dilemmas. If nothing else, it will clear your head.

I love my morning walks, but lately with my work schedule, I miss more walks than I can make. But I went on my walk this morning and it was beautiful! This time of year is my favorite for walking. It’s usually a little bit overcast so it’s cool, the kids are skipping and laughing as they walk to school and it makes me smile.

It was at this time two years ago that I was walking my dog. In my writing, I had come to the point where I was just about to wrap everything up in a big climax to finish my book. Wow! During my walk my mind threw me a curve ball. So now, because of that curve ball, I am finally about to wrap up this story of mine, but it is now in book 3. My fun little story totally took on a life of its own and became a trilogy. Wahoo!

During my walk this morning, I made a committment to myself, that no matter what, I will go on a walk everyday, even if it’s in the evening when my injured foot/ankle is the most tender, because I need my brain to be very creative right now. I am just starting the final battle and I need to be able to have surprises and twists throughout so it’s not boring. There’s nothing worse than a lame ending to a book, especially if it’s a series.

So wish me luck, and I’m off to write.

Continuing Education

I love learning new things! I constantly try to improve myself, both in my personal life and business practices. Some of the education I get is from classes I take, but most of them are from seminars, or self-help books/tapes that I come across.

Last week, my husband and I had two trade shows to go to for our business. The first one was in Vegas, and the second was in Long Beach, so we went directly from Vegas to Long Beach.

During the drive, both coming and going, we listened to tapes. They ranged from Organization to Improving our Memory to Time Management. Wow! Some of them were better than others, of course, but my favorite two were about organization and time management. After living in our home for nearly 28 years, we feel we have collected WAY too much stuff!!! So now we have a plan.

Every evening, from 7-9pm, we will work on our house. We have designated which room to start with, and which room willl be next, and so on. I couldn’t be happier. Then, with all the extra stuff that we are getting rid of, we will box it up and have one massive garage sale in the fall of 2014. The boxes will be stored in the utility trailer out back, so they won’t take up any space. Yay! Every room and garage will be gone through and put in order.

We’ve done it for one day now, and it’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have someone to work with and it’s not all on one person’s shoulders.

So, if you want to improve your life, start listening to self-help tapes, or reading books. But just make sure that you actually follow through and implement what you learn. That’s when the magic happens. If you don’t know where to begin, you can go to the library, or better yet, start going to garage sales. You can find lots of these kinds of tapes and books at garage sales. That way you can own them, and you can refer back to them over and over if wanted.

Have fun, and hopefully I’ll start seeing you bright and early Saturday mornings shuffling through boxes of books and tapes.