Holes in the Highway

file2431291017257My latest story I’m working on has to do with a ranch, a highway, and hope. It’s been fun to write, even though I know it will have to be reworked here and there after I get it back from my first-readers. As an author, I get super close to my story and I’ll admit, I get trapped into certain ideas and can’t see beyond what I write at times. That’s when it’s nice to have others read it and give me their honest feedback to help me climb out of certain holes where my story catches and makes readers fall.

Readers describe those writing ‘holes’ in different ways.

  • I can’t get beyond this part. (a reader whirlpool–hole in the water)
  • This part tripped me up and confused me. (A pothole)
  • This part took me out of the story (uh-oh. Big dangerous hole that will make a reader shut my book and never finish)
  • This character irked me. I didn’t like them. (When this is my main character, that comment means my reader found a huge hole full of snakes. Ick!)
  • The character seemed weak here. (a ditch that can carry a good character down the stream to failure)

I haven’t received all comments back yet, but I already know my story will have lots of these holes I’ll need to fill in and fix so I don’t make you as a reader have to dig yourself out of a sub-par crummy story. That is why my first-readers are priceless and I consider them my dearest friends. They read my rough first version and find all my holes I’m too blind to see and too calloused to feel myself falling into after reading it so many times. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for helping me apply first aid to my baby. They are the first-responders…the ones who apply triage and decide what sections in my story are in the direst need of medical attention.

Now, on a more personal note…I have several holes in my life that are fixing up quite nicely.

  1. My missionary daughter comes home one week from today from Korea. I haven’t seen her in 19 months (besides skyping her on Christmas and Mother’s Day). The hole in my heart that has been missing her will be filled.
  2. The trial I was to serve on as a juror just got a continuance and I was dismissed…which means August is now free to make plans. The hole of ‘limbo land’ I had planned on living in during the trial is now boarded up so I can do things with said daughter instead of going into court each day. Double Yea!!
  3. The hole in my fence where wasps were making a nest was annihilated today. Bless those pest control businesses that make wasp spray. I’m sick of getting stung every time I pick berries.

Whether you’re writing or walking through your daily routine, you’ll come upon holes that need fixing. Sometimes you see them ahead of time and can fill ’em in nicely before they become a problem. Other times, you might fall in them and get bruised up a bit (I feel that way with my story…and the dang wasps). But the silver lining is that holes can be filled and smoothed over. They’re not insurmountable. Have a great weekend!

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Worth Waiting For

I’ve read some great books this summer that I’ve received from Covenant Publishing. The latest story was an LDS contemporary romance about Sophie and Luke. Sophie’s a unique BYU student—she’s 19 and has already been married and divorced. You don’t run into that kind of character at BYU every day. Now she’s dating Luke James and can’t seem to get beyond her divorce to trust and love again. She cares for Luke deeply and knows in her mind that he’s nothing like her lame ex, but can her heart ever take a chance on love again after it’s been hurt so bad?

When Luke leaves for a semester abroad in Europe, Sophie will have to decide what to do, because when he comes home, he’s more serious than ever and doesn’t like being compared to Travis, her ex. This book has great characters, a clean romance, just enough tension Continue reading

Magic, Fantasy, Romance & Mystery

Isian blogHere’s a shout-out for an upcoming author, Serena Clarke. I’ve read her first 2 books and am excited for her 3rd story in this series that will be released some time later this summer. Fantasy has become one of the most popular genres because you’re taken into a completely new world… a world of magic and mystery… where almost anything can happen. In this series, there is an enchanting kingdom and mystical creatures that reside in the forests.

The Treasure of Isian is the first book in The Isian Series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted Continue reading

Backpacking & Quasimodo

DSC03197We went backpacking with our friends this 4th of July weekend. We hiked 5 miles into Jenny Lake, which is about 30 miles outside Idaho City. I haven’t backpacked for a number of years due to many awesome reasons (i.e., we have a 3 man tent and 4 people; my hip hurt; it sounded painful, etc). But this year, after losing weight and doing physical therapy to get my hip and knee working better, I decided to go for it. And like the American women in the World Cup, I went for it with gusto. Go USA! Continue reading

Summer Reading Gem

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I like Jennifer Moore’s stories. I’ve read several and have posted about them in the past: Becoming Lady Lockwood, Lady Emma’s Campaign, and Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince. These books were set in the 1800’s, but this new one is a contemporary romance. So fun!

The Sheik’s Ruby by Whitney Award Winning Author Jennifer Moore

Shelby wants to break away from the mold of her small town and make a name for herself in the big-city journalism world. While skiing, she meets mysterious stranger Hakim who is actually the prince of the Middle Eastern kingdom of Khali-dar. When his enemies learn of Hakim’s connection to an American girl, they target Shelby. Fleeing to the safety of Khali-dar, Shelby falls deeper in love not only with the prince, but with his country. As she struggles Continue reading

What the Goose?

2015-05-15 17.14.23Take a gander at what I’ve been up to this summer. Most importantly, I broke my curse by mountain biking on Memorial Day this year on the same trail I broke my arm on last Memorial Day. Yes, I walked more than I did last time, and I bonked super bad because we took a ‘shortcut’ back from Stack Rock that ended up being much longer than the original trail with LOTS of uphill at the end. The good thing was that it was super lush and beautiful and I don’t regret it for a second. I can walk my bike as good as the next person, and being up on a mountain next to a trickling stream and gorgeous plants and trees made me happy (even if my legs were ready to give out). Thankfully, I didn’t need to go to the bathroom or that trickling stream might have been my undoing.

Next, I planted a garden. That was another thing I missed out on last year due to my broken arm. No one else cared if we had tomatoes Continue reading

Summer Mystery

Picture emailI just finished reading book 5 in the Amelia Moore Detective series. It’s a nice cozy mystery with Amelia and Rick Bonito striking out to find a high powered attorney’s missing love of two decades before Julie marries the gubernatorial candidate that she’s not quite sure about yet. Amelia really gets into this case as she reads old love letters from Julie’s sweetheart back when they were in college. You can’t help wondering what happened to him. Is he alive? Did he get caught up in something dangerous? Is he dead? As Amelia and Rick search for him by interviewing people from his past in Arizona and Utah (Zion National Park), they pick up tails that present a mysterious threat. Are they the mafia? Are they a disgruntled ex-client or someone an ex-client had them follow years ago? Continue reading