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Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Things You Need To Believe to Write

Mette Ivie Harrison has written some amazing young adult literature, so when she speaks, I listen.
Recently she posted a list of 10 Things You Need To Believe To Write. I thought they were pretty good stuff so I've posted them here.

10 Things You Need to Believe to Write
1. Only you can write this.
2. You were born to write this.
3. People need you to write this.
4. The world is waiting for you to finish this.
5. One day, someone will tell you how much they needed to read this.
6. You can write anything you set your mind to.
7. This has a glimmer of brilliance in it.
8. The crappy words will fall away in revision.
9. My vision of the world matters.

10. I see people in a new way.

She also went on to say:

You don’t need to believe that this is going to be a bestseller. You don’t need to believe that you’re going to be a household name. You don’t need to believe that someday people will study your book in college. But you do have to work to counteract the relentless voice of defeat in your head that says:

1. No one will ever read this.
2. I am banging my head against the wall here.
Mette Ivie Harrison
3. Who am I to think I could be a writer?
4. My father/mother/partner is right. I should give up.
5. I don’t know how to do this. I never learned. No one ever taught me.
6. My voice doesn’t matter.
7. My experience is too different from anyone else’s to connect with readers.
8. I don’t know what happens next.
9. I feel too exposed. I want to hide and protect myself more.
10. I can’t expect anyone to pay me for this when they can get so many other things for free.

Thanks to Mette for letting me share your words.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Story Painter Designs now on Etsy

I have opened a new shop on Etsy. It is called Story Painter Designs and it features the folding doll house I originally designed for P.J.'s Forgotten Children. What is P.J.'s you may ask. It is a non-profit organization that puts together back to school bags and Santa bags for underprivileged kids.
See - pjsforgottenchildren.org
 Last year with the help of the community we filled 900 bags. It was amazing.

I volunteer with the organization as their book person. I make sure we have enough books on the shelves to give at least one book to every child.

Last year, as we were putting barbie dolls in bags, it occurred to me that it would be really fun if the girls could have a house for the doll to play in. But how do you put a house in a bag. Voila, I designed  the folding barbie house. It can go anywhere. And to make it even more fun, I made the kind that you can color over and over.


Find this doll house on my Etsy Shop - Story Painter Designs

Then it occurred to me that it needed furniture. We couldn't really build furniture for every child and put it in their bags, so I made a sheet of DIY instructions for furniture so kids can make it themselves.


This has been a fun project and kids at P.J.'s will be getting these in their Santa bags. But it costs me every time I have to print and laminate and purchase erasable crayons. To help with the cost I am donating a portion of the purchase of these doll houses on my Etsy Store to P.J.'s. 

Come take a look at the printable folding doll house. It could be a traveling toy or gift for someone you love. It also come in a fully colored version for kids who just want to play and skip the coloring. 




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My First Story in The FRIEND

I am so excited, I was told my story would be coming out in August, but here it is in the July issue. 'A Big Wind and A Small Voice' is on page 8. I got a funny call a few months back from one of the editors asking me if it would be okay if they change the name of the main character in the story. When I asked why, they said that there is a story about 'Tommy Monson' just before my story and they didn't want kids getting confused when my stories main character is a Tommy as well. So I changed my Tom to Tyler. Now the story is about Tyler, Brad and Adam.

I kept my kids real names in the story. I wondered if Tom would be sad that his name was changed, but he's 18 now and he said, "It's all good,". He's kind of easy going that way.

The story is about a burst of wind that blew down a forty foot box elder in our back yard when the boys were in elementary school. Tom listened to the still small voice and moved from the monkey bars just before they got crushed by the tree. Now Tom is a tree. At 6 foot 7 inches, he tall in many ways. He is one of the most reliable, dependable kids I know. I'm so grateful to be his mom.

Another fun thing about this issue is that my cousin Elder Randal K. Bennett of the Seventy has a story in it as well. It's kind of a family issue. The story is called, 'He Gives the Best Answers'. Lauren Mortensen wrote the story after an interview with Elder Bennett.

I hope you enjoy the fun stories in this issue of the FRIEND. Maybe you will have a story there some day.












Thursday, April 11, 2013

Esther the Queen

Esther the Queen is biblical fiction written with sensitivity and historical detail. I love reading fiction where it’s obvious the author has taken time to research facts that build a realistic setting and add depth to the description. Here’s an example:
     
One of the dishes held meat that looked like pork with an orange glaze, which Esther couldn’t eat because of the law of Moses. There was also a milk mixture with bits of meat—probably squirrel or rabbit. Esther bypassed that one too. She reached for the moist figs and scaled fish, both of which were permitted. Every thing inside Esther seemed to have shrunk, and she could only eat a little. Fortunately, Nan didn’t comment on her food choices. 

 Heather has a gift for creating characters that are believable and likeable, or downright despicable. I found myself caring for Esther and her people and wanting to know more of her story even when it ended. On the flipside, characters like Biniti, one of the king’s concubines, leave you wondering who put sour milk in her cereal.

 “The boy is awake,” Bitini said, her emphasis on boy. Following the woman to the basket, Esther peered down on the tiny infant. Another innocent child of the king. Biniti picked up the child and thrust him at Esther. She nearly grappled to hold on to the child; he was so light in her arms. Even Samuel hadn’t seemed so small as an infant. Esther looked down into the babe’s murky gray eyes. She didn’t exactly know what she was supposed to say or do, but perhaps Biniti didn’t either. “What’s his name?” “Ramin,” Biniti said in a proud voice. “It means warrior.” Biniti’s tone stung. “I know what the name means,” Esther said. 

 This is a mixed tale of romance and political tension. Although it mentions concubines, harem life, and even a wedding night, these topics are handled briefly and tastefully. As for politics, the timing of events is explained at the beginning of the book, and events that occur as the story proceeds are clear and well defined. I would recommend Esther the Queen to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or fiction in general.

You can find Esther The Queen for purchase at Amazon and  Deseret Book. To learn more about Heather and her other books she has written, visit her site at http://hbmoore.com.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Key of Kilenya - Free

My friend, Andrea Pearson, has just had the fourth book in her young adult fantasy series published. In celebration, the first book, The Key of Kilenya, is available for free as an eBook, and the second book, The Ember Gods, is available as a $0.99 Kindle eBook until March 3rd.  

The Key of Kilenya has been in the top 100 for teen fantasies on Amazon since last May and has been very popular with young (and adult) readers. They compare it to Harry Potter along with Brandon Mull's Fablehaven and Beyonders books, with a hint of Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

To download a copy of The Key of Kilenya for Kindle, click here. Check out Andrea's blog post for other formats of the eBook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Make a pop-up nativity card.


I have a son on an LDS Mission in New York City. I wanted to send him a nativity set for Christmas, but the boy is pretty much living out of a suitcase for the next two years and I didn't want to send him anything bulky. My solution, a pop-up nativity card. After I finished making it, I wanted to share it. So here it is.


pop-up nativity 
If you click on it, it will take you to Picassa where if you click on it again you have the option of downloading it onto your computer in the form of a jpg. from there, you can print it.
You will notice on Picassa that there is an arrow, indicating that there is more than one photo on the site. If you click on the arrow, it will take you to a colored image. Again, you can download that image and print it on your computer if you'd rather skip the coloring part.

After you have colored your page, you will notice there are lines to follow. Take an exacto knife and using a ruler as a guide, cut all the vertical (up and down) lines. Using the back of a butter knife, score or indent it along the horizontal (side to side) lines. Don't forget the horizontal line where the stable meets the floor and the picture folds. You can cut out the stable and the hay as I did in the photo above, or you can simply cut the paper around it a bit smaller to fit in your card.

On the side bar, you can see the card cover. If you click on it, it will take you to Scribd where you can print a pdf of the cover. It's in black and white, but as you can see from the card above, I printed it on red card stock.

I hope this activity works for you and that you have a wonderful holiday season.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's a WIFYR

WIFYR, it sound's like a dog sneezed, but it's actually an acronym for Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers. It is a wonderful conference held at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah each year that has specific classes tailored to picture book, middle grade, young adult and branches into fantasy, science fiction and paranormal writing, as well as illustration. The morning consists of a small class with writers in your genre honing your skills. The afternoon is open to a variety of classes to chose from, more like the traditional conference.

I learned so much at this years conference, both in the morning and the afternoon. The presenters are top notch authors and illustrators who really know their stuff. You can learn more about the conference by checking out this link http://www.wifyr.com/

It's a little pricey, as conferences go, but it's well worth it. Attending the afternoon classes cuts the price way down and you still come away with a wealth of knowledge. If you can go, do it. All the dogs are talking about it.
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