Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Okay, so I took a personality test after hearing the fun stuff a family member had said about them. The one I found was personalityonline.com. It was labelled "Enneagram".

There were over a hundred questions, but it didn't take too long and boy was I floored when the results came back.

Totally right on the nose...from the frightening early life to the escapism into the imagination, it had me pegged. I laughed outloud when I read under occupations that these types are often editors, writers and storytellers.


I never knew I was and Epicurean!!!


Click Here! Sevens have a fear of being deprived, of being in pain. They tend to be lighthearted and sunny, often addicted to planning and play. Sevens are buoyed by a belief that life is unlimited -- there are always interesting things to do.
Possible origins. Faced with a frightening early life, Seven children diffused their fear by escaping into the limitless possibilities of imagination. They have pleasant memories of their childhood years. Even with an objectively bad scenario, there is little residue of hatred or blame. The skew of attention is toward positive memory. By moving toward pleasure and away from pain, they tend to remember the best.
Flawed Sevens can allow their appetites to get out of control. This is characterized by a bodily hunger for excitement and experience. Sevens have a gourmet taste for experience, little tastes of the very best, rather than an overdose of a single experience meal. Typically they cannot stand inactivity. They stay active, but that activity is not necessarily productive: it has a restless quality about it. They delight in making plans for the future but are not good at following through on them.
As managers, they may introduce fascinating but conflicting options. They don't like to give and enforce direct orders. They try to make everyone feel like an equal participant in order to eliminate the possibility of confrontation.
Well-Adapted Sevens get over their intense fear of being deprived. Instead of consuming life, they learn to contemplate it, to plumb the depths of experience rather than to merely skim its surface. They overcome their wariness of others sufficiently to form, selectively, close and long-term attachments. They stick with tasks and occupations long enough to do them justice. Their enthusiasm and pleasure they take in what they do is infectious. Sevens are sought after for their enthusiasm and vitality and for their desire to share the enjoyment they feel.
They bring an optimism to their work, and once they get engaged they can get a lot done and take contagious pleasure in their accomplishment. At their best, they are highly productive generalists, talented in a variety of areas. Precocious as children, they grow up to be especially intelligent and multi-talented. They may settle successfully into roles in which they can apply their abundant practical intelligence to executing short-run plans or exploring new territory.
Occupations. The entertainment field is filled with Sevens, both well-adapted and flawed. Sevens are often editors, writers, or storytellers. As managers, they are the jacks-of-all-trades, knowledgeable and skilled in a number of areas. Because they learned at a young age to fend for themselves, they are survivors who are good people to have around when an organization is having trouble keeping its head above water. They are planners and synthesizers and idea gatherers.

Finding Oneself:

Sevens will probably agree with most of the following statements:
1.    I tend to make things interesting, to make things nice.
2.    There are very few things in life which I can't enjoy.
3.    I usually look on the bright side of things and don't look for the negative side of life.
4.    "I must be defective if I need help."
5.    People say I'm often the life of the party.
6.    I often feel stuck and bored with commitment -- I like to keep my options open.
7.    I tend to be very enthusiastic about the future.
8.    I seem to be attached to youth and energy.
9.    Most of the time I avoid getting into really "heavy" issues.
10.  I find myself expressing anger by making fun of the problem

Jumping into Something New

I love the freedom of writing. Being able to come up with something new and fun and (often) exciting. I love the quiet time all to myself with no stress to get something done by a dead line.

So, why did I just finish the orientation for a new online writing class?

 I am officially feeling over my head! Thank-you-very-much!

I can hear the voice in my head singing "Pressure! You really don't do well with pressure...are you sure you want to do this?"

Yes! I do. This is the next logical step. It is a free class that is, after the first week, peer review. So, its a good format to get a lot of other writerly folk to take a look at my writing and give an honest opinion.

And its free.

And I have found out the past six months that every critique, no matter how painful, offers wisdom and understanding into your own writing. I know I need this now. The novel is shaping up so beautifully. But there is dross that needs to be burned away. There is excess that I need the courage to dump out of the story.

Self-editing is like cleaning a room ( like a boys bedroom full of scattered Legos...okay, not that bad!). You have lots of good stuff in there. There is stuff you need, like a bed, a dresser, a light, a closet. But if that's all you have, the room would not be inviting. It would be bland. So you have to figure out what, of all the junk you just collected off the walls, floors, under the beds, behind the dressers and stuffed in the corners of the closets...what do you really want. What fits the style of the person inhabiting the room, the purpose of the room, the theme, the atmosphere. Then its time to throw the rest of it out. Because otherwise, it just clutters the place up.

You don't have to literally throw it out. But perhaps repurpose it in another room or save in a box for later. I.E. That character/setting/line would be perfect if I had a story about...

So keep it, just not in the manuscript. Print it out, file it away and pull it out again when you're searching for the next jumping off point. Someday that bit will find its place, and it will be beautiful there.

So, I open my mind and my arms to the critiques. Let me hear what is working and what isn't. I want my writing tight, beautiful, moving, without all the extra that bogs it down.

So, F2k...bring it on. Lets get writing!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sign Language Song - You Raise Me UP

Beautiful rendition of a favorite song. I wish I could sign like this. I can feel myself losing my skills...Augh!
Good Job, Javier!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Seven Wonders of the World Movie

Seven Wonders of the World Movie: It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle today that we naturally begin to take some of life’s most beautiful gifts for granted. I love watching this story unfold through the eyes of a child. It’s a reminder that our most priceless possessions were given to us free at birth.

I just finished writing a message for our Relief Society Newsletter. I chose the Primary's theme in August "My Body is a Temple". I had intended to stress the importance of modesty. I instead focused on how marvelous our bodies are. They truly are a gift. Sometimes we wrestle with our feelings for them...especially when our abilities or strengths have been compromised through sickness, injury or disease. Or when we feel so bombarded by the messages Satan blasts us with that tell us we are never pretty enough, talented enough, skinny enough, sexy enough, or just ...enough.

But I did close with a quote from President Hinckley, which Sister Bednar used at the end of her marvelous talk on modesty at BYU-Idaho. "Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth." (Ensign, Sept 1988, pg 11)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Other Side of the Story: Real Life Diagnostics: Getting the Action Back Into Fight Scenes

Hey Everybody!!!

I got part of one of my fight scenes critiqued by Janice Hardy (author of The Shifter, Blue Fire and 'Dark Fall'.

I regularly follow her blog, as she has AWESOME writing advice. I feel like I'm taking a free writing course, sometimes.

I have to admit that I was pleased to have a much more positive response than the last time I submitted, six months ago.

Yeah, that made me wince.

But I learned something....quite a few somethings. And I think my writing is reflecting that.


So head on over to Janice's site. And read what I wrote and how I am going to improve it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Writing and Fighting

 So glad to find this video on a post I linked up to this morning. I needed to hear this. I actually needed to hear this about a week ago when I was reading my stuff and just shaking my head. I KNOW that there is a better story than what is written down. Its there inside me. I can see it in my head like a movie. I hear music from epic movie soundtracks like Batman or Braveheart or Lord of the Rings and I can just close my eyes and SEE Cornelius fighting his way through the bad guys when he invades his own capitol city; trying to win it back from the 'evil usurper'.  I can SEE Anna struggling through the alpine snow drifts as quietly as she can, trying not to set off an avalanche, desperate to get the 'vital message' through, into the right hands. I can SEE their first kiss. I can SEE their arguments and their tears. I can SEE his expression as he watches at her, when she's working on something else and is totally oblivious. I can SEE the pain written all over her face when she thinks she's lost him.

And then I read the sentences, the paragraphs, the chapters...and they do not make the vision clear. They are like smudgy sunglasses, just making the picture more obscured.

But thankfully....Thankfully...there are moments when the words flow. There are the moments when I lean back from the computer, after a two-hour wrestle and read a page or a scene that is...Awesome! 
I'm not bragging! 
I'm telling the truth! I  will read it and I get chills and I think, "Did that just come from me?"
So, thank goodness for artists that have come before, who let you know that the first draft, the second draft, and sometimes even the thirtieth draft, will stink. Or at least when you come down from the clouds and read it when you are sober, it will stink. And the real work of writing is the revising and the editing. 
Because the story is like Michelangelo's huge block of marble. The story is in there. It is waiting to be discovered and uncovered.
Just keep chipping away...writing and editing...and the masterpiece will, eventually, be revealed.

But it does take work.
So work through it, fight through it, keep going. 
Until everyone can SEE what you've been seeing all along.