Saturday, December 8, 2012

Surround yourself with great literature!

Love to read, but tight on space? Here's an instant reader's nook for any bookworm's special corner.

For people who love to read and don't have enough space for their treasures!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How do you write a bestseller?

                                               by Trina Boice

Once you've gone to all the trouble of writing a book…

It just makes sense to put in the little extra effort it takes to make it a bestseller. In fact…

It's almost ESSENTIAL for anyone hoping to turn their book, their message, into a solid income-producing career of coaching, public speaking, and further publishing success.

You see … a book, by itself, is not a business.

But when you can add “best-selling author” to your resume, you throw open the doors of possibility.

The trouble is:

Most authors have no clue how to do it!
But Peggy McColl sure does.

And on Monday, October 30th at 3pm ET you can join Peggy as she explains not only how to make YOUR book a bestseller (whether you’ve written it yet, or not) … but also how to use your new bestseller status as a springboard for spreading your message through speaking engagements, coaching programs, and more.

…and hopefully make a VERY comfortable living from it, too! (As she does.)

If you'd like to see how it's done, simply use the following link to visit the registration page. (Yes, you do need to register even though it's free because attendance is limited.)

You'll also find more details on this event there, too.


P.S. – This special online training event is for ALL authors who are serious about doing more than merely “write a book”. If you too would like to become a “bestselling author” and leverage that success into a full-blown, high-paying career…

Then this definitely is for you! Please act quickly so you won’t miss out – use the link below to register today:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Howdy folks,

I haven't blogged for a while. Life's been busy. You know how it is. I read The Lost Stones back in August but haven't shared yet so here we go.

The Lost Stones is an intriguing, LDS centered treasure hunt in the tradition of National Treasure and Indiana Jones. I always love a good treasure hunt, thus my upcoming December release, Gold Clash. Who doesn't enjoy a mystery wrapped in hidden clues of ancient artifacts? Like any good hunt, the good guys aren't the only ones searching.

Evil assassins and criminal masterminds threaten Ammon, John and Sariah as they search for the lost stones that lit the the vessels that carried the Brother of Jared and his people to the American continent. This wild search may even help Ammon uncover mysteries from his past.

At first thought, the premise of searching for the lost stones of the Brother of Jared caught me off guard and struck me as a bit far fetched, but as I considered the theory and suspended disbelief, I really enjoyed this story. Why not? For Mormon's who believe in the literal history of the Book of Mormon it is fun to speculate about artifacts such as lost stones that may, or may not, hold the key to an unknown power source (how else could they be lit up in the barges). They existed thousands of years ago. Where are they now?

At times the Mormon lore and faith promoting testimony may seem a bit heavy handed, but its all in good fun. I enjoy a book that forces you to consider new possibilities. This is a solid first effort by Paul Rimmasch and I congratulate him on this fun adventure.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Learn more about Ning writers

                                                 by Trina Boice

I love it when you can attend workshops in your pajamas!   Check out this informative list of presentations that will be offered this month online:

Fall on the Ning

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Fall on the Ning—a free online writers conference sponsored by iWriteNetwork.

9:00 - Tristi Pinkston will walk you through some of the basic steps of editing your first draft—identifying and filling up holes, strengthening character motivations, and of course, those dreaded typos. Be prepared to take lots of notes, and have your first draft handy!

10:00 - Canda Mortensen will lead the discussion for the "Brush Strokes" class which will focus on 5 techniques by Harry Noden for improving the action, emotion, and style of sentences. Come prepared to rework and share sentences in your current work in progress. This type of revision works best with important scenes. Identify key sentences to rework during the class.

11:00 – Deanna Henderson will teach you to use Animoto, a program you can use to make short book trailers, create contest advertising, or just for fun. For our purposes, we’ll be making a book trailer, even if you aren't done with the book. Come with a few images downloaded to your computer that relate and that you want to use.

Be sure to sign up for the Ning at ahead of time so you can join us for this fantastic event!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grammar Geeks Unite on National Punctuation Day!

                                                     by Trina Boice                                             

Did you know that September 24th has officially been declared as a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis?  Well, now you do, so let the party begin!#$?!  

Our words, both spoken and verbal, really affect our brand and how others perceive us.

The ninth annual National Punctuation Day®, the September 24 holiday that reminds America that a semicolon is not a surgical procedure, will celebrate the 2012 presidential election with a literary challenge — vote for your favorite Presidential Punctuation Mark in one, highly punctuated paragraph!

The rules: Write one paragraph with a maximum of three sentences using the following 13 punctuation marks to explain which should be “presidential,” and why: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. You may use a punctuation mark more than once, and there is no word limit. Multiple entries are permitted.

In short, persuade them that your favorite punctuation mark should be the official punctuation mark of the President of the United States.  Contest entries must be received by September 30 to be considered for prizes. The winner(s) will receive a box of punctuation goodies, including a National Punctuation Day® T-shirt. Send entries, including name, address and phone number, to National Punctuation Day® headquarters at

In 2011, 220 entries in their paragraph contest were received from the United States, the Netherlands, Malta, Canada, England, and India.  In 2010, 356 people from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy (in Italian!) submitted more than 3,000 entries in our haiku contest, including 73 from a certain New York State employee who shall remain nameless.  

Have a great punctuation day!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Your word is your brand

As technology advances, new forms of communication etiquette emerge. Such is the case with e-mail. Who was it that officially decided that WRITING IN ALL CAPS WAS CONSIDERED YELLING IN CYBERSPACE? I don't know, but now that's an accepted rule.

During the past decade or so, email "Do's and Don'ts" have evolved and will probably continue to do so. One of the classes offered at Workplace ESL Solutions is Business Writing, where you'll learn how to write concisely and professionally. Every word that leaves your mouth or your pen reveals a little bit about you and creates your brand, whether for good or for bad. It's important to know how to do it any language!

To help get you started, below is a list of some helpful tips to improve your email writing:

* Write a clear subject in the subject line
* Divvy up a long email with several topics into separate short emails that address one topic
* Press the send button after doing a quick edit and spell check
* Keep sentences short
* Don't use text abbreviations in emails
* Keep paragraphs short
* Use white space between paragraphs
* Respond quickly to an email you receive

* Write in all caps
* Reply to "all" without paying attention to who is going to read it
* Forward inappropriate jokes at work
* Write long, long emails so the reader has to scroll
* Use "urgent" or "important" on every email you write

Happy emailing!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
— William Strunk Jr.
in Elements of Style

Do you write for your company? Newsletters? Emails? Grants? Copy for collateral? If so, then everything you write reflects upon the company. Our words, both spoken and written, create images that either build or hurt our brand.

Good grammar can instill confidence in your customers and employees. We all make mistakes, but don't worry that the Grammar Police will arrest you or fire you. Just pay attention to what you write before you send it out.

Below are a dozen words that are commonly used incorrectly. Just a quick review of your writing can avoid embarassing mistakes. Feel free to print this out and keep it by your computer for future reference. 

1. The verb “accept” means “to receive” or “to believe”. The preposition except means other than. The conjunction means “unless” and the verb means “leave out.”

a. Tim accepted Jeff’s reason for being late for work.

b. Everyone – except Chris and his supervisor – had remembered to switch to daylight savings time.

c. Only in rare cases are employees excepted from the policy on punctuality.

2. Adverse means “hostile, unfavorable, or harmful.” Averse means “to have a definite feeling of distaste.”

a. Adverse weather conditions grounded all airplanes.

b. The tired staff was averse to the idea of working till midnight.

3. Advice is a noun that means “recommendation or information” and advise is a verb meaning “to counsel or recommend.”

a. Ralph advised me to value good advice.

4. Affect is a verb that means “to influence.” As a noun, effect means “the result”; as a verb it means “to bring about.”

a. Your performance in the coming year will directly affect the amount of your bonus.

b. The effect of the economy is hard to predict.

c. The new procedure will effect significant savings in time and cost.

5. Anxious indicates that one is worrying; eager, that one is gladly anticipating something.

a. Sarah has never been anxious about speaking in public, but she was eager to play the old hag in Snow White last month.

6. Beside is a preposition that means “next to.” Besides is an adverb that means “in addition to.”

a. Put the file cabinet beside the desk.

b. Besides the new cabinet, we need a new computer.

7. Complement means “to complete or go well with.” Compliment means “to give praise.” Both words can also be used as nouns. The adjective complementary means “serving to fill out or complete.” Complimentary means “given free as a favor.”

a. That was a nice compliment for a job well done.

b. A fine grape jelly is a complement to any peanut butter.

8. A conscience gives one the capacity to know right from wrong. Conscious means “awake or alert, not sleeping or comatose.”

a. Your conscience will guide you.

b. Earl needs two cups of coffee to be fully conscious at this hour.

9. Imply means “to suggest, hint, or communicate indirectly”; infer means to “deduce or conclude from.” (Writers and speakers imply. Readers and listeners infer.)

a. I thought she was implying that I would receive a raise; apparently I inferred incorrectly.

10. Lay means “to put or place something.” It must be followed by a direct object. (lay, laid, laid)

a. Please don’t lay that report there.

b. Jerri’s assistant laid down the new carpeting yesterday

Lie means “to rest or recline.” It does not take a direct object. (lie, lay, lain)

c. Tim likes to lie down for a nap after lunch.

d. He lay down Monday at 12:30, but often he has lain down by 12:15.

11. To precede means “to go or come before,” while proceed means “to move on or go ahead.”

a. A note that preceded today’s meeting told us to proceed with part two.

12. “Than” indicates a comparison and “then” refers to time.

a. Kevin didn’t know any more about this than I did.

b. First write your resume. Then look for a job.

b. The tired staff was averse to the idea of working till midnight.

Trina Boice

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What Do YOU Read in Bed?

            Let's get some fun comments going....what book is on your bedside table RIGHT NOW?
            Me?  I'm reading "Get Rich Click."   Your turn...


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is Chicken Soup in Your Soul?

By Trina Boice

The Chicken Soup book franchise has been hugely successful over the past years.  If you've never read one of their books, you really are missing out on a soulful experience.  If you're a writer or someone who has had an inspiring experience that could be shared with others, you can submit your stories at:

I tried submitting an idea for a great book I thought they should write, but they're not accepting that kind of proposal.  They are, however, actively looking for contributors for the following books:

20th Anniversary Reader's Choice
To celebrate our twenty-year anniversary next summer, we are planning a book in which contributors tell us how a Chicken Soup for the Soul story changed their lives. If a Chicken Soup for the Soul story made a big difference to you, tell us the name of the story and the book in which it appeared, and then write us a new Chicken Soup for the Soul story all about how the old story helped you. We'll publish the stories in pairs -- the old ones and the new ones. The deadline for story submissions is November 30, 2012. 

Angels Among Us
We are looking for stories from people who believe that they have encountered or been helped by angels. How did your angel manifest himself or herself? How did your angel help you or someone you know? Please do not send stories about people who are "angels" because they do nice things, and also please do not submit eulogies where you say that your loved one is now an angel. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is July 31, 2012. 

Great Advice for Making Changes in Your Life
Have you ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story that had a wonderful nugget of advice in it that made a difference in your life? We are looking for stories that contain great pieces of advice, whether they are little things that improve our everyday lives, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely. Topics we will cover include advice related to work and personal relationships, marriage, parenting, health and fitness, finances, constructive criticism, taking chances, and following your passion. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2012. 

Independent Woman
Whether you are single or married, widowed, or divorced, you are in charge of your life and the lives of many other people. Tell us your story about running your independent life, achieving independence, and being a complete person. We are referring to all kinds of independence, not just financial or emotional. Share your story of empowerment and independence to help women of all ages feel stronger, more capable, and more confident. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is July 31, 2012 

Raising Kids on the Spectrum
If you are the parent of a child with autism or Asperger's, we invite you to share your story about raising your child - the ups and downs, the effect on your family, your child's special attributes and talents, and the lighter moments too. You may use a "pen name" on your story. These stories will provide advice, comfort and insight to other parents in the same situation. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is September 30, 2012.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Get Dan Poynter's newest book on writing for FREE!

                                                  by Trina Boice    

Dan Poynter is know as an author's "guru" and now he's sharing his great wisdom for free!

Writing Your Book:
Cashing in on Publishing, Faster, Easier, & Cheaper.
by Dan Poynter
What should you write about and how should you write it?
Discover the resources to research your market, title, and information sources. Then follow the steps for writing your book. A superb, easy, and fun guide.
Essential recommendations for fiction, non fiction, ebooks and printed books.
You can get the Kindle edition FREE.
Download the book free on one day:
Friday, July 13 & Saturday, July 14, from midnight to midnight, Pacific time.
Log on to the Amazon page for this book and you will note that your price on Friday & Saturday is $0.00
Any time Friday or Saturday, log on to

or Copy\Paste:
AND, please forward this announcement to your colleagues who have a book inside them.
Reference\Book Writing
Write Today—Earn Tomorrow
New equipment and advanced techniques make writing a book faster, easier, and cheaper.
You will discover:
--What fiction and nonfiction subjects are in demand.

--How large is your potential reading market
--Where to find the information for your book
--How and where to sell your book online
--Organizational steps that make writing your book quick, easy, and fun.
“Dan Poynter is the top coach for writing, publishing and, most important, promoting.”
—John Tullius, Director, Maui Writers Conference.
“One essential ingredient to our Chicken Soup success was consulting with Dan Poynter in the early stages.”
—Jack Canfield, co-author,
Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
“Dan Poynter has generously guided thousands to authorship. Their books make this a better world.”
—Dr. Robert Müller,
Author & Past Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.
Dan Poynter is the author of more than 130 books. His seminars have been featured on CNN, his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal, and his story has been told in The New York Times. He is the leading authority on how to write, publish, and promote books.
This ebook provides the shortcut to becoming a published author.
54 jam-packed pages
ISBN Ebook Edition: 978-1-56860-154-0
ASIN: B007VP66Z0
Get your free copy on Friday or Saturday (only).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Well Do We Know Our Characters?

Today is officially the first day of Summer! YAY! Or BOO! Depending upon your perspective, this is a great day or a sad day. Great because it means summer is really here or sad because this is the longest day of the year, which means it’s all downhill from here as we roll back towards winter. Hmmm. Are you an optimist, a pessimist or indifferent? Do you prefer summer or winter? Do you care? What about the characters you write about? Do they care?

So much of what we do and how we interact in the world depends on our perspective and viewpoint. It may seem like a subtle question- The first day of Summer- Good or Bad? But it can reveal a great deal about us as individuals OR about the characters living within the pages of the books we write. In life, it would be improbable to be surrounded by only one type of person. It is much more likely that we are surrounded by complexity of competing values, opinions and even points of view, in the sense that not everyone can view the world in the same way. What a boring place that would be. Even as individuals we may find that we are both optimistic/pessimistic/indifferent depending on the circumstances around us or the subject we face. A mixture of these attributes amongst our characters adds interest and complication to our stories. It adds angst, conflict and depth. Without these qualities, a story will just be words on pages that don’t really speak to or move anyone. So, take a look at your current characters. Are they the same? Different? Are they cheery? Do they have a fatal flaw? Are they optimistic or pessimistic? Can they change? Should they change? Answering these questions and many more will help us to truly know our characters and make our writing more enjoyable and the experience for our readers more meaningful.

Oh, one more thing. Don’t forget about the inaugural Storymakers Midwest Conference on September 15th. Find out more information here.
I had originally planned to attend the Provo Storymakers Conference this year but was unable to attend so I’m thrilled to have a second shot at meeting many of my favorite LDS authors. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to attend a great conference near Kansas City. I am also very excited about this as I will be presenting two workshops: 1) The First 5 Pages  and 2) YA genre. It should be loads of fun. Sign up today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Transformational Author Experience

TAE is like an on-line author workshop. I decided it would be a good learning experience, and it was. I'd like to share some advice from the author, Lisa Nichols.

Lisa struggled in school only to find out later that she is a creative learner, a kinesthetic, tactile learner. In her last English course, she failed the class. In front of the entire class her teacher said, "Lisa, you have to be the weakest writer I've ever met in my entire life."  In her first and last speech class she got a D. Her teacher recommended that she never speak in public.

What she learned from all of this is that some motivation comes wrapped in sandpaper or covered with nails.The words of her teachers became her motivator . . .her fuel . . . giving her that "I'll show you" motivation.

In her words; "If you can place situations in your life that are challenging or hard . .  . that may not be all they are because you can't determine or define every situation to be the way you want them to be, re-purpose them to serve as your fuel,  not your fortress between you and your goal. You can change any situation from being your reason why not to becoming your reason why to."

She continues. "That's what I did. I put a placeholder in my life and I said, 'Listen, this was the first 6 chapters of my life, but the next 6 chapters are blank sheets of paper and I hold the pen in my hand. I can either copy and paste the old story into a new chapter or I can re-write or write, for the time, a new experience."

Have a great day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Show The Love for the Storymakers Midwest Conference!

(Reposted from

Show The Love for the Storymakers Midwest Conference!

We are so, so excited for the Storymakers very first Midwest Conference in Kansas City on September 15th. But we need your help to spread the word to let our friends, neighbors, and cyber-buddies know about this great opportunity to learn from incredible authors and the fabulous Lisa Mangum, editor at Deseret Book & Shadow Mountain.

And of course, we at Storymakers never ask for help without some awesome prizes up for grabs . . .

Now that you're drooling, let me share how you can help & enter for a chance to win. Everyone is welcome to participate!

  • Blog about the Storymakers Midwest Writers Conference and link to the conference site. This is worth 5 entries.
  • Blog about the Show Your Love contest and link back to the original post. This is also worth 5 entries.
  • Grab the html for the conference button and add it to your blog or website. Be sure to use the html so the link works.  =)  This is worth an additional 5 points.

  • Become a fan of the LDStorymakers Conference Facebook page and invite 5 friends to become fans. This is worth 1 Entry (limit 5 entries).
  • Mention the conference and/or the contest on Twitter. Either post the link in your tweet, or use the hashtag #StorymakerMW. This is worth 1 entry per day, up to 5 per week.

Shout It Out Loud!

Be sure and go to the original post and leave comments to let us know what you've done. Keep the hype up and return often! Everyone is welcome to participate, including attendees, presenters, and those who wish they could attend. The Show the Love Contest ends at midnight (CT) on July 31st. We will announce the winners before August 10th. If your e-mail isn't accessible through your Blogger profile, please leave it with one of your comments so we can contact you. Winning, and not knowing it, would be pretty rotten.

Join Us!

If you haven't registered for the Storymakers Midwest Conference, you can learn more about & register here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lightning Tree by Sarah Dunster

Lightning Tree, by Sarah Dunster is an intriguing and often sad story about the life of a pioneer orphan, Maggie. Set against the political and social intrigue of the "Cedar Incident" Maggie must find ways to cope in a new and often inhospitable environment with a heartless adopted mother and a sometimes indifferent adopted father. Nightmares slowly remind Maggie of the terrible events that have unfolded in her life, events that she suppressed because they are too awful to remember, but her memories are not always accurate which adds to the pain and confusion she feels. Dunster does a wonderful job of exploring Maggie's pain. It really is heartbreaking, but she does it in a way that is exciting enough to keep me turning the pages. While I admit that I found myself most drawn to the political intrigue and secrecy surrounding the "Cedar Incident", Lightning Tree successfully mingles the emotional struggles of the individual with the social struggles of the community. This was a fascinating read, and while Maggie's dramatic personal conflict sometimes overpowers the political I think there is plenty in this book to keep both the male and female reader engaged.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We Never Quite Learning.

I’ve had the opportunity to be on the listening end of an on-line “Transformational Author Experience.” It has been well worth my time and the expense of downloading the scripts and recordings. I’d like to share with you some of Lisa Nichols comments.

Lisa Nichols is a bestselling author as well as a popular public speaker. Yet in high school she was told by her English teacher that she had to be the weakest writer she had ever met in her entire life. Her speech class teacher recommended that Lisa never speak in public.

When asked how she overcame the “You can’t write nor can you speak,” attack, her comment was, and I will paraphrase.

“Some motivation will come wrapped in sandpaper. Some of the things that inspire you the most aren’t covered with glittering gold and hearts all warm and fuzzy. While it’s disheartening that my educators would say such a thing, it became a challenge and at some point, it became my fuel. So, instead of having inspirational motivation, I had a little bit of ‘I’ll show you’ motivation.”

Lisa allowed this experience to be her fuel to change her situation from reasoning why not to—to why not. She went on to explain that she put a placeholder in her life. In her words, “This was the first 2 chapters of my life but the next 6 chapters are blank sheets of paper and I hold the pen in my hand. I can either copy and paste the past or I can re-write or write, for the first time, a new experience. And that’s what I chose to do.”

Lisa had much more advice and insight that has inspired me but it’s time to close my post. My eyes lids keep falling over my eyes because it’s almost Monday, midnight.

Everyone have a great Tuesday. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting Paid To Give Away Free Books


How would you like to get paid to give your books away for free?   Amazon has a new program that does just that!  Their KDP Select-Free system helps you get your name out in front of millions of customers.  Book sales will not take off until your words are read, enjoyed, and recommended. Word-of-mouth publicity is made possible by Amazon’s KDP Select Freebie Days. Amazon pays you to give your ebooks away!
 Have you discovered Dan Poynter yet? He's considered one of the top gurus in the book industry, helping thousands of authors navigate the publishing world and become successful.  He even has a free newsletter you can sign up for with terrific tips each week.   Now he has a new book out that teaches authors how to understand the KDP Select-Free program at Amazon.  In his book you will discover:
--The step-by-step details on how KDP Select-Free works.
--How to set up your ebook for the Freebie Days.
--Promotion. Where to send announcements. A valuable, long list.
--Tracking your downloads and sales.
--Responding to emails from your new readers/friends.
--Detailed steps and advice. No generalities. 
Dan Poynter is also a master at advertising his book, as evidenced by some of the big names he got to endorse his new book:
“Dan Poynter is the top coach for writing, publishing, and, most important, promoting.”
—John Tullius, Director, Maui Writers Conference.
“One essential ingredient to our Chicken Soup success was consulting with Dan Poynter in the early stages.”
—Jack Canfield, co-author,
Chicken Soup for the Soul series
“Dan Poynter has generously guided thousands to authorship. Their books make this a better world.”
—Dr. Robert Müller,
Author and Past Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.
Dan Poynter is the author of more than 130 books.  He has been a book publisher since 1969, and is a Certified Speaking Professional. His seminars have been featured on CNN and his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. 
If you're interested in checking out this book, you can find it on Amazon at:

To sign up for his free author newsletter, go to: 

Good luck out there in the book world!

Monday, May 28, 2012


checking older posts

Win a FREE Roku by submitting ideas!


Win a NEW Roku HD player with 450+ entertainment channels available, including hundreds of free movies.


Submit a topic for the final episode of my online book How to Stay UP in a DOWN Economy. If your episode idea is selected, you will win a ROKU HD Streaming TV player. If there are multiple suggestions with the same topic, we will hold a drawing for the winner.

Submit your ideas to Be sure to include your first and last name. The winner will be notified by email. Contest ends Friday, June 15th at midnight. The winner will be announced June 25th, and the season finale episode will air on July 25th.

By submitting your suggestion, you agree that your topic may be used as an upcoming episode, even if it isn't selected for the first prize as the Season 3 finale. Sponsored by Trina Boice's How to Stay UP in a DOWN Economy and

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Better Late than Never

Sorry I'm late in posting. I have no excuse except for the fact that I let other things get in the way. However,
I have good news. I just finished the final rewrite on a manuscript I've been working on for over a year. There were many times I wanted to just delete it from the computer and go on with life in a different story. But a little voice inside me just kept nagging at me, saying "Don't give up. Don't give up." Now we'll see where it goes from here.

This morning, while cleaning out my office closet, I found, inside one of my larger than large art envelopes, several portraits I had done in pastels, in the year 2002. I looked at them with renewed interest, thinking they were truly well done, and I asked myself, "What if I had not simply put them away, but used them as a guide to create even better pastels?"

I found a jacket I had crochet over 10 years ago, that only needs back, front and sleeves stitched together.  That's all that's left to do.( My excuse? I ran out of crochet thread.) Wow! and that why its still folded up in a sewing bag? Then I found a baby afghan I was crocheting  with only another 8 inches of length to go. Plenty of crochet thread is laying with it.(No excuses).

I have an idea. While I've been writing this, I had to stop and help my husband find a birthday card for our granddaughter. That took all of 5 minutes. Now, if you add up all the minutes of interruptions to get something else done, would it make a good excuse for all the undone things in our lives.

There are times when we have priorities that take us away from the manuscript, the art work, etc, and there are times when we get discourage, overwhelmed, exhausted, etc., and that's okay. Sometimes we need to step away. Just don't forget to step forward, again.

Pres. Uchtdorf made a statement that stays with me even when I'm struggling. He said,"The more you rely on the spirit, the greater your capacity to create."

Have a great day.



Monday, May 21, 2012

My Five Years of LDStorymakers

I attended my very first LDStorymakers conference in 2008. It was held in late March, which coincided with Spring Break here in Texas, allowing me to drive up with my girls, helping to justify the trip. I had finally decided to take my writing self seriously, and threw myself into learning about both the LDS market and the authors who had succeeded there.

I hadn't personally met anyone in the LDS writing community at this point, but by frequenting writer's blogs and reading their work, I had come to know and admire a number of people. Including the lovely and talented Tristi Pinkston, who's quarterly writing challenges played a big roll in my developing a positive writing ethic.

I loved the conference and attended both boot camp and all of the workshops. I learned so much! I did not, however, sign up to attend the inaugural Whitney Awards banquet, a decision I regretted as soon as I drove away from the hotel after the last workshop, and a mistake I will never make again.

After that conference, I knew I would be back, despite living 1000 miles away. I set two goals for LDStorymakers 2009: To enter the first chapter contest, and have my book done so I could pitch it to one of the LDS publishers.

I had a great time at LDStorymakers 2009. I was much more comfortable with myself, many of my writing friends from 2008 were there, and I met a number of new friends as well. There was still so much to learn, too!

My first chapter for Space Corp General won first place in the Youth Speculative Fiction category, I (barely) kept from passing out as I waited to do my pitch, and I took another picture with Tristi Pinkston.

By LDStorymakers 2010, I had a contract with Cedar Fort for my new book, and it was while at the conference that I learned the title: Bumpy Landings.

And there were even more new friends. So many new friends that I may have, somehow, forgotten to get a picture with Tristi.

But I remembered in 2011!

By the time this conference rolled around, my book had been out for several months, and I was a proud badge-wearing member of the LDStorymakers family. And yet even though I had a published work of my own, there were (are) still so many things for me to learn!

Shortly after the 2011 conference ended, I was asked to be on the committee for the 2012 conference. Talk about an amazing experience! Working with Jaime and Heather and the rest of the committee to help put together this most recent conference was a great honor, and a fun way to keep Storymakers in my heart all year long. I also had the chance to present a workshop this year, which was extremely fun.

And I got to hang out with Tristi again.

After past conferences, I may have, on occasion, gotten a bit choked up at the thought that I would have to wait a full year for this awesome conference to come around again. But I have been asked to co-chair the 2013 conference with Heather Justesen, and there has been no time for tears this year!

Between preparing for next year's conference and the first-ever 2012 LDStorymakers Midwest Writers Conference this September, every day has been LDStorymakers.

And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free Training for Authors Who Want To Make It Big!

                                                         by Trina Boice

Do you enjoy helping and inspiring other people?  Do you want to write a book that will keep people talking and change their lives for the better?  Think big!

If so, then you've got to see what Christine Kloser is up to!


She has persuaded an amazing group of NY Times bestselling authors, transformational leaders and
publishing industry experts to give you their best guidance, tips, wisdom and practical advice on how
to become a successful author...for free!

She calls this online event the "Transformational Author Experience" - and you can participate from
anywhere (no travel needed) and it won't cost you a penny!  Yay!  I love free!

This is a rare opportunity to learn writing and publishing secrets from the world's top experts -
including bestselling authors like...

* Neale Donald Walsh
* Arielle Ford
* Lisa Nichols
* Barbara Marx Hubbard

And publishing insiders like...

* Reid Tracy (President and CEO of Hay House)
* Marc Allen (Publisher of Eckhart Tolle's "Power of Now")
* Bill Gladstone (Agent for Eckhart Tolle and Neale Donald Walsch)
* Dan Poynter (Self-Publishing Expert)
* Sandy Powell (President of Hay House's Balboa Press)

And many others.

In fact there are 21 experts - all ready to help you write, publish and market your book so you can
get your message out to the world.

All of the classes are organized into a 7-step system for transforming your book "idea" into a
published book - and a thriving business!



Register now and discover how you could win a chance to BE the next big transformational author
in the Transformational Author Writing Contest.

Getting your book idea in front of agents and publishers has always been difficult. That's why
these prizes are so exciting...

You could win...

*  Guaranteed agency representation by Bill Gladstone (Eckhart Tolle and Neale Donald Walsch's

* Personal review of your book proposal (and consideration for a traditional publishing
contract) by Marc Allen, President and Publisher of New World Library...

* Publishing packages with Hay House's Balboa Press...

* And much more!

So, if you've ever wondered how YOUR idea can become the next great transformational book...

If you love the thought of getting your book proposal hand-delivered to the publisher who made
Eckhart Tolle famous...

Or felt frustrated you're not impacting more people and making more money as an author (or
soon-to-be author)...

This program may be the answer to your prayers!

I hope you'll see the miracle of this invitation showing up in YOUR inbox today.

And, I trust you'll accept this gift and choose to pursue your dream of becoming a successful,
transformational author (and entrepreneur).

Everything you need to know is in this program, and it's FREE... so you have nothing to lose and
your DREAM to gain!


I look forward to "seeing" you there!

To your success,


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Do writers need to be good spellers?

                                                             by Trina Boice

Do writers need to be good spellers?  Some writers will say that's what a good editor is for! 

I teach classes for Workplace ESL Solutions.  We specialize in English as a Second language, Spanish for workplace managers, citizenship, and business writing tips.  There is a super helpful article we posted on our Linked In group that lists the 100 words most commonly misspelled ('misspell' is one of them). Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word. Master the orthography of the words on this page and reduce the time you spend searching dictionaries by 50%.

Here are just the words that start with the letter "A" to get you started...


  • acceptable - Several words made the list because of the suffix pronounced -êbl but sometimes spelled -ible, sometimes -able. Just remember to accept any table offered to you and you will spell this word OK.
  • accidentally - It is no accident that the test for adverbs on -ly is whether they come from an adjective on -al ("accidental" in this case). If so, the -al has to be in the spelling. No publical, then publicly.
  • accommodate - Remember, this word is large enough to accommodate both a double "c" AND a double "m."
  • acquire - Try to acquire the knowledge that this word and the next began with the prefix ad- but the [d] converts to [c] before [q].
  • acquit - See the previous discussion.
  • a lot - Two words! Hopefully, you won't have to allot a lot of time to this problem.
  • amateur - Amateurs need not be mature: this word ends on the French suffix -eur (the equivalent of English -er).
  • apparent - A parent need not be apparent but "apparent" must pay the rent, so remember this word always has the rent.
  • argument - Let's not argue about the loss of this verb's silent [e] before the suffix -ment.
  • atheist - Lord help you remember that this word comprises the prefix a- "not" + the "god" (also in the-ology) + -ist "one who believes."
To see the rest of the 100 words, go to:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Puzzle With Plots

As a kid, I remember playing with sliding puzzles, the ones where you slide one piece into place, but you have to move a bunch of others out of the way in the process. When you move one piece it shifts everything else, and they were so tricky, I think I just gave up on them as some kind of a that-would-be-nice-to-see-what-it-looks-like-finished-but-I-doubt-I’ll-see-it-in-my-lifetime puzzle.

Well, this same thing occurs in writing, and I like to call it the plot puzzle. For me this happens not so much in the outline, but when I’ve written the first draft and am combing it through it, trying to turn it into a masterpiece. (Because sometimes I can overlook plot holes or weaknesses that could be changed to make it better.)

Unfortunately, this can lead to a rearranging of sorts—kind of like those sliding puzzles—because when I move or change even one thing, everything else in the story shifts with it.

This is how it works in my mind: How can I make the meat of the story more juicy? I can add yada-yada. But if I do that, then I’ll need to add something to chapter one to include this yada-yadaness, and maybe something else in chapter three to tie it in. Oh, but if I do that, then this means that this major part will need to be revamped. Hmmm. What else can I do to make it better?

Sometimes I just let things go. Other times, revamping is necessary. But I find that writing a detailed outline from start to finish helps to keep my thoughts on track. Often as I do this, ideas will come, and others I’ll scratch. But in any case, I find that creating an outline helps me to solve the plot puzzle to make a good story even better.