Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Almost Done with the Craziness

Girls camp was absolutely fantastic, for which I am extremely grateful--so many blessings! Sitting there at the testimony meeting on that last night and listening to the girls share their testimonies of the gospel and hearing how girls camp had blessed them--that's when you really know that all the stress and work is worth it.

What great staff and great YW we had! It's an amazing experience to work with such a dedicated group of leaders, all of whom were willing to take time out of their lives to come serve up at camp. And I'm thrilled to report that we had no stomach flu epidemic this year--in fact, our camp nurse reported that for the first time in three years of being "nursie" she got a full night's sleep and woke to the rise-and-shine music. Mind you, I think she only got one full night's sleep, but that was a big event!

The rise-and-shine music amuses me--there's just something about blaring music through a silent camp at 6:30 in the morning that tickles my soul. My daughter put together the playlist for our campfire leader to use for rise-and-shine, and the first song on the first morning was a Leroy Anderson tune called "Bugler's Holiday," which really amuses me, because it's like Extreme Reveille. Good morning, everyone! It's also a good song to dance to when you're trying to shake ping-pong balls out of a Kleenex box, a task for which I now have some skill. One thing I've learned as camp director: you WILL end up on stage at some point, participating in funny competitions.

After five years at camp, I still haven't done the polar bear swim, which involves jumping into a cold lake at 5:30 in the morning. I did go down to Waterfront one morning to help with the canoeing (leaders in canoes and kayaks keep an eye on the swimmers for safety), but I stayed out of the water--well, mostly out of the water; I ended up with soaked jeans from water in the kayak--not sure how that happened, but maybe it was from my stellar paddling skills). Maybe someday I'll do the swim . . . or maybe not . . .

I returned home from camp to the typeset proof of Rearview Mirror, due on Tuesday morning. Finished that up--whew, that's a lot of proofing in a short amount of time--and got it turned in. It's funny--when I first turn in either final edits or my final changes to a typeset proof, my initial feeling is not relief or excitement. Instead, it's usually anxiety/panic. I'll have something that I'll focus on and worry about--"Should I have changed that? Do I need to take that out? STOP THE PRESSES!" Having the manuscript move beyond the point where I can change and tweak things is scary to me, so I tend to get freaked out. Then, after a little while, I calm down. Then, I start getting excited.

Now, it's time to get ready to take my son to high school registration, followed by school shopping--now that camp is over and the book is finished, it's time to, oh, maybe think about the fact that I have two daughters heading off to BYU next week . . . oh golly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Going Starless

I've decided to follow the example of a writer I greatly admire, YA author Janette Rallison. Janette mentioned a while back that she was going to stop giving stars on Goodreads reviews. I see another author I greatly admire, Annette Lyon, is also going starless (is that right, Annette?). I totally want to be like Janette and Annette (even though my name doesn't rhyme with theirs), and I'm going to try the star-free system too.

I have a lot of friends in the writing industry, and I'm always super conscious of not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. Going starless will free me up to leave a lot more comments, because if I want to make a positive comment about a book--even a book that I didn't love--I can do it without being hampered by the need to rate it. Sometimes ratings are complicated--what if I thought the book was really well done, but personally didn't care for the story? How do you rate that? Or thought the story was great but didn't care for the writing? Or loved this aspect but not that? Without stars to worry about, I can just comment on whatever I want to comment on, not comment on whatever I don't want to comment on, and have a lot more fun on Goodreads.

Why am I posting this on my blog? Because when I start posting reviews sans stars, I don't want anyone thinking that the lack of rating means I didn't like the book. I just want to feel free to comment without giving an overall rating.

Any other authors out there going starless?