Monday, October 29, 2012

TRQ is nothing if not surprising

This is the phone conversation I just had with TRQ.

TRQ:  Hey.

Me:  Hey.

TRQ:  You know where we should go the next time I'm in Salt Lake?

Me:  Where?

TRQ:  That cigar store.

Me:  (surprised on several fronts--a) that she wants to go to a cigar store and b)  that she also assumes I know which cigar store she means, as if she and I were having a previous conversation about cigar stores in Salt Lake that was interrupted, possibly by my father who wanted to know what he should do with the ironing he just finished)  You want to go to a cigar store?

TRQ:  Yes.

Me:  Why?

TRQ:  Remember?  That guy at the Cinegrill told us you could buy Sen sens there.

Sometimes . . . there are just no words.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Good news for now!

Thanks, you guys, for your nice comments.

I spent some time at the doctor, who told me that the retina has not detached (yay!) . . . yet (boo!).  Actually, I'll probably be fine.  Most people get "floaters" and "flashes" as they age.  AGING!  WHAT AN ADVENTURE!  I just have an extreme case of it.  However, the onset was a little dramatic.  Also, he said, people who have had cataract surgery and who are as near-sighted as I am have a twenty times greater chance of having the retina issue, so we are in observation mode for now.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Elder Cannon and TRQ

Here's the phone call TRQ and I had yesterday.

TRQ:  Q called me from LAX yesterday.

ME:  Awesome!  What did he say?

TRQ:  That he would watch out for spiders on the airplane.

ME:  He did?

TRQ:  Yes.  I like a boy that listens.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A brief non-encounter at SLC International

Q. left the MTC this morning and arrived at the airport around 8 a.m.  He requested (wisely, I think) that we not be there.  But as it turned out, I had to give my friend Stephanie a lift to the airport at about the same time.

I handed her off a bag of cookies (awesome gingersnaps btw--my secret ingredient is a little chili powder, in case you're interested).

"Give this to Elder Cannon if you should run into him.  Which I doubt you will."

Moments later, as I was heading for I-80, Stef called and said, "Q. was the first person I saw when I walked into the airport.  And he looks great."

"Tender mercy" is a phrase that is overused in Mormon culture these days.  Still.  That's how I felt about this morning's events.  My boy saw a familiar and loving face as he embarked on his great adventure, which meant the world to him.

And to me, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Here's What I Learned Today from TRQ

TRQ:  Did you hear about the poisonous spiders?

ME:  Which ones?

TRQ:  The ones that hide beneath the toilet seats on airplanes.

ME:  There are spiders on airplanes now?

TRQ:  Yes.  And when you sit down they bite you right there on your bottom.

ME:  Ouch.

TRQ:  Yes.  And then you die.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Have a little faith

I've been working on another YA off and on and off and on and mostly off but sometimes on.  I asked myself why it was taking me so long to get it done.  Haven't I written books before?  And didn't I write those books when I was chasing after five maniac boys and teaching a little here and bookselling a little there and just generally living my life at full tilt?  So why haven't I been more productive now that I have more of the life I used to fantasize about--at least where the writing part is concerned?

Here's what I realized.  I was finding all kinds of ways not to work on the novel because I was (am!) afraid.  What if this just turns out to be another manuscript that no one wants to read, let alone publish?

Well.  It might end up being that.  But that's no reason to stop.  It really isn't.  There are legitimate reasons to walk away from writing, but fear isn't one of them.

So I ran off what I've got and read through it and discovered that it is, in fact, a hot mess.  And if it were set in the south, then it would be a hot southern mess.  But lo and behold!  There are parts of it that are pretty darn good.  And I do think I see a shape, a direction, a point.

It was a good reminder that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and hope the river currents below will carry you along kindly.

Friday, October 12, 2012

UGH. It's that time of year again . . .

when all I want to do is (you've heard it here before) to fall face forward in a trough of Mexican food and eat myself into a bean-and-cheese-induced coma.

Help me, Obi Wan Kenobe.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What they don't know won't hurt them

Beginning writers often ask me if people's feelings are hurt when they show up (disguised as a character) in my books.  I tell them no.  Why?  Because while people are good at recognizing other people, they never recognize themselves.

Case in point.

When I wrote CAL CAMERON (a million years ago and on another planet), I modeled Cal after my youngest brother, which everyone who knew our family recognized.  However, when Jimmy finally read the book, he was concerned that our brother John--JOHN-- might resent being fed whole into the word processor.

See what I mean?

So today's writing advice is this:  feel free to exploit your loved ones for fun and for profit.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unfriending me on fb

Today while I was going through my g-mail e-mail, I saw this ad posted to the side (which, BUGS ME ABOUT G-MAIL!  Stop reading my g-mail, G-MAIL!  Who are you?  Big G-Brother?)

Anyway.  The ad.

"3 people unfriended you!  Free FB tool that shows you who unfriended you!"

Really, my jaw dropped.  And clanked loudly on my desk.  Which hurt a lot, actually.  But whatever.  That's not the point.  The point is this--what would I even do with information like that?  Send my new UnFriends snotty notes during fourth period biology class?  Get all the rest of my friends to give my new UnFriends the silent treatment during lunch hour?  Bully my UnFriends until they're begging to be my friends again so that I could turn around and UnFriend them?  In other words, are we all still in the seventh grade?

I didn't act like that then (at least I'm pretty sure I didn't), and I don't think I'll start up now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A post mortem

So.  The race.

First, the upsides.
1.  I finished.
2.  The weather was gorgeous.
3.  Ken and Geoff were there to cheer me on.
4.  My dad put a medal around my neck at the end.
5.  I can cross that mother known as "marathon" off my bucket list.

Next, the downsides.
1.  I finished--in the top 90% of my age group.
2.  Go ahead.  Read that again.
3.  In other words, I finished in the bottom 10% of my age group.
4.  This bothers me.
5.  Which means I am more competitive than even I thought I was.

Will I run another marathon?  Probably . . . not.

Am I glad I did it?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Loved being in that canyon for almost the whole damn day.  Still seeing sage blooming gold in my mind's eye two days later.

Friday, October 5, 2012

So I'm heading out the door soon to St. George where I will PARTICIPATE in the annual St. George marathon.  Notice how I said PARTICIPATE!  ALL IN CAPS!   If I said "where I will RUN in the annual St. George marathon," that would have been setting the bar way, way, way too high.

Meanwhile, here's this week's column.  Regular blog friends will recognize the subject matter.

Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm not going to post this on facebook

Because I don't want to listen to people's political rants right now.  But it's been perversely entertaining to switch back and forth between MSNBC and Fox to listen to the Talking Heads.  Everyone on Fox is acting like they! just! got! invited! to! THE! PROM! BY! THE! COOLEST! BOY! IN! THE SCHOOL!.  Everyone on MSNBC is acting like they just got home from a funeral.

Tune in (if you can stand the noise) and you'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why I am Happy I Live in the Year of Our Lord, 2012

Because I can watch football.

I seriously think 100 years from now there will be no more football.  And, in fact, people will look back at football the way we look back at gladiators.  Or those Mayans who played lacrosse with real heads.  Or whatever.  Really?  People will say to each other?  People actually played football?  AND WATCHED IT?!!!  How barbaric!

But I love to watch it.  So much.  So, so, so much.  And I will keep watching it until I die, along with drinking soda until I die, although I may be forced in a few years to stand 20 feet away from all public buildings while doing so.  Watching football.  And drinking soda.  And drinking soda while watching football.

Monday, October 1, 2012



That's what I alway say when a person decides to re-read a childhood fave.  Like, I LOVED Little Women for years and years and years.  Jo March inspired me to grow up and write and have only sons.  But when I re-read that book for the first time as an adult (about 15 years ago), I was sooooo disappointed.  It's just blah blah blah one Sunday School lesson after another and Marmee Dear is seriously no fun at all.

I've talked about this here before, right?  So now not only am I repeating myself in real life, I'm repeating myself on my blog.  There is no hope for me.  None.


I ignored my own advice and have been listening to HEIDI, and I'm still enchanted.  Yes, the child Heidi is too good to be true.  Yes, the governess (aptly named Frauline Rottenmeier) it too mean to be true.  And yes, there are little moral lessons lurking everywhere.  Also, I have to laugh whenever the reader (a man) does his Heidi voice, especially when he does his Heidi voice when Heidi is talking to the goats.

"Oh, don't bleat so little Schneeflocke!"  

But the love of the natural world and all its beauties is so real, so profound in that little book that I want to be there on the mountainside drinking milk and eating cheese with Heidi and Peter--just like I did when I read that book as an eight year-old girl.  Kind of nice.