Saturday, April 26, 2008

Theme song

When I was in Kansas for the library conference, the presenters in one of the classes chose theme songs. One lady chose Happy Trails, another lady chose Life is a Highway (and told us to insert the word "information" before the word "Highway". Another lady chose the song I Will Survive because she'd had to move her library four times in the last year.

It got me thinking about what song I would choose for a theme song. Right now I'm doing revisions, which never makes me happy and is especially hard now because I just waded through revisions for Just One Wish (Or maybe it's Just One More Wish--I'm not really sure what they changed it to.)It's also been hard because my editor asked me to make some sweeping changes in this one and to cut out about 100 pages. Why is it that none of my editors seem to grasp my brilliance?

So with that in mind, my theme song of the moment is Love Song by Sara Bareilles. If the technology is working, it should be playing on your computer right now. (How cool is that?) You can sing along, but wherever Sara sings the words "love song" insert the word "novel". If you are doing revisions it will make you feel much better. In fact, I should start compiling a list of revision songs.

As far as a theme song for my life . . . well that's harder. Right now I'm leaning toward the song, I Knew You Were Waiting For Me by George Michael and Aretha Franklin. That song got me through some hard times and so I'll always love it. Although if we're talking about the song I'd take with me to that desert island which is populated with all those people who got to take only one book with them--then I'd probably take Pachabel's Cannon in D or Jewel singing Ave Maria. I didn't even like that song until I heard Jewel singing it and now it's one of my favorites.

So what is your theme song right now?

. . .Blank stares at Blank pages . . . no easy way to say this . . . your help just hurts . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fiction writers in the real world

For those of you who are wondering how the mural project went--first let me say that the box had big letters which read, "Easy to put up . . . Anyone can do it!"

Yeah, right.

This is fiction writing in the real world. Fantasy, to be exact. It wasn't easy, and there was no way I could have done it by myself.

Or as my friend Leslie, who came over to help me, put it, "By the time you realize the truth, they've already got your money." (Luckily Leslie had done wallpaper murals before, so she knew what to do, despite the box's inadequate instructions.)

But I've decided not to blame the box writer. No, I actually think it was just a case of over editing. I think originally the writer had written the description as:

It will be easy to put up pictures on the wall to cover all your mistakes! Anyone who is a trained professional--and only trained professionals--can do it!

Editors will do it to you every time, my friend. (Can you tell I just got back the revisions on A Fairy Godmother's Guide to Saving Troubled Teens? Except for that name got vetoed so who knows what it's going to be called now.) More on revisions later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The problem with writing comedies

While I'm waiting for revision notes on A Fairy Godmother's Guide to Saving Troubled Teens, I'm trying to chip away at my To-Do list. Namely, I'm putting up the mural in my daughter's room that I bought for her at Christmas. (Not last Christmas, the Christmas before--yeah, I've been busy.) I put primer up yesterday and ran out so I had to go to the store and buy more to put up today. The problem was that I splattered some on my clothes yesterday and had to furiously wash it out before it could stain. I used to have some paint pants, but I think I chucked them. (It's obviously been awhile since I did this sort of thing.)

So as I'm coming home from the store I come up with a great idea. I could just paint without my clothes and then I wouldn't have to worry about ruining anything. After all, I'm alone in the house. The kids are at school, I'm not expecting anyone, the shades are down--what could go wrong?

See, that's the problem with being a comedy writer. My mind is full of ideas about things that could go wrong, and go wrong in a big way. Getting locked out of the house is top on that list. The UPS man showing up and needing me to sign for those revision notes is number two. My husband unexpectedly bringing home his boss also ranks high.

I will go find some pants to ruin now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kansas Trip

First of all, I'm going to refrain from using any Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz comments at all. (Even though I'm a big Wicked fan--well, what did you expect from someone who skips out on their parking tickets?)

I'm here at the Kansas Library Association conference and having a great time. Librarians are so cool! Of course my computer, which has a serious evil streak, is acting up--but what else is new?

I'm giving a presentation and a keynote tomorrow. Everyone send good thoughts and prayers my way so I don't start channeling Miss Teen South Carolina. (It could happen. After all, I look like a beauty queen, right? Okay, maybe not. I don't own any sequened dresses and didn't even dress up for the Whitney Awards, but still.)

More later!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Revenge of the Bow-tied One

I suppose it served me right that after all of the stories I've told about my editor, that he told one about me to a large group of people, but yeah, he got me back. We were both just up at the LDStorymakers conference where he told all of the atendees that I was a woman of questionable moral values. Really.

To quote myself from Revenge of the Cheerleaders, "Some people should not be allowed access to a microphone."

Okay, so the bow-tied one actually just told people that I'd run off without paying for a parking spot, which may have been inadvertantly true, but still.

It all started when I picked him up from the airport and he insisted that I take him to dinner at pub. I, of course, had never been to a pub before because they are clearly dens of iniquity. Addmitedly, this one had the best taco salad I've ever eaten and I'm going to have to go back there the next time I'm in Salt Lake, but that is not the point. The point is that it is a slippery slope to a life of crime and I can blame it all on Tim for insisting I go to the pub in the first place.

The parking outside of the pub was full but there was a parking lot next door. It had one of those booths were somebody gives you a ticket and takes your money, but there was no one inside because by that time it was after 9:30 at night.

Where I live in Arizona, if they have one of those booths but it is after business hours, parking is free. (Actually, where I live there isn't much parking that you have to pay for.) Even when you go to the games at the Cardinal stadium, the ticket taker leaves at 10:00 p.m. and if you leave the garage after that, there's no one to take your ticket and it's free. I mean, you're not expected to shove bills under the booth's door or anything.

So I was not particularly concerned about parking there but as we were pulling out, Tim said to me, "Aren't you going to pay for your parking?" and he pointed to something that looked like a post office box.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but just to humor him I agreed to put five dollars in it. (No sweat off my back, the Storymakers were paying for dinner.) Unfortunately there was a car behind us and I didn't want to make it wait for us so I decided to drive out onto the street and then pull over. I did that, but almost immediately the traffic picked up and I didn't want to get rearended because I was in my parents very expensive car and I figured that the drivers outside of a pub might not have the wherewithall to notice that I'd stopped. So then I told Tim that we'd have to go down the street and do a u-turn and he told me to forget about it and just drive to the hotel.

Really, I thought he was wrong about the whole post office box looking thing being a recepticle to put money in for your parking, but when I told this story to people at conference, they all nodded knowingly and seemed to know exactly what it was.

So yes, after last conference where Bill Gardner uncovered my unwitting illegal activity that happened in our home town when I was a teenager, I'm afraid I'm going to get quite a reputation for being some sort of thug.

And it all comes from going to a pub. Let that be a lesson to all of you impressionable people out there.

Here are some other cool people from the conference. This is me with Marsha Ward, Candace Salima, and my dear cousin-in-law Shirley Bahlmann.
More cool people: Julie Wright and Tammy Norton
And here I am with James Dashner--proof that guys can be cool writers too.

One more thing--the website for BYU's week long, writers' conference is finally up! (Although I swear I gave them an updated picture of me. Honest.)I'll be there teaching June 16-21. You can check it out at:

And don't worry, I happen to know for a fact that you're clear to park in the student parking lot after 4:00. It says so on the signs. (They are ever so much nicer than certain pubs I frequent.)