Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Website and Other Assorted Topics

*My website ( is down at the moment. My old website host stopped hosting, so I got a new host (now I'm starting to sound like a parasite), but I haven't figured out how to upload my site. This is not surprising, because I'm very un-techy--I have to ask my children for help for anything complicated, like using the remote control--but I don't feel too bad that I'm clueless this time around, because my husband was having trouble with it too, and he's a genius. But never fear: tech support will save me. I suppose I'd better get that website up soon, since Shadowed will be released in September, which is coming up fast, and how sad would it be if someone got interested in my new book and wanted to check out my website, and they typed in the URL and all that showed up was a blank, white page (which is what comes up now) and they're like, gee, that was underwhelming.

*Speaking of Shadowed, it's now available for pre-order from Deseret Book. Yay!

*For her birthday, my oldest daughter got a 1500-piece puzzle of Van Gogh's "Cafe Terrace at Night."

It took her and her sister two months to put the puzzle together. Since it was such a complicated puzzle, she figured she wouldn't want to do it again, and I suggested hanging it on the wall, like my mother does with puzzles (she has a bunch of completed puzzles decorating the long hallway in her basement). My daughter liked the idea. Sadly, it turns out I lack both skillz and common sense when it comes to turning a completed puzzle front-side down so you can put packing tape on the back (the method my mother uses). The puzzle is now, um, not as done as it used to be. The question is: do I try to reassemble the broken parts, or do I just go online and buy a Van Gogh poster, which I can get for way cheap?

*I wrote something! After a long dry spell when it came to writing new things, I finally started a story yesterday while my son was at his trumpet lesson. I've been brainstorming this project for a while now and almost have the basic story figured out, but I've been stumped when it comes to figuring out who the villain is and what his/her motive is. So this time, I decided to start writing without knowing the villain and see if ideas develop along the way. I have trouble brainstorming for too long--I love writing stories, not brainstorming stories, and tend to get bored quickly when I'm brainstorming. But I need to get moving on this project, so we'll see what happens. Will I come up with a good villain idea while I'm writing or will I get all the way to the end of the project (it's a novella, so I'm aiming for around 100 pages) and realize there is no villain--in fact, everyone is peacefully fond of each other? Oooh . . . maybe it could have alternate endings! Choose Your Own Villain! If you think the ex-boyfriend did it, turn to page 92. If you think the long-lost grandmother did it, turn to page 102. Could be a fun idea . . .


  1. I say fix the puzzle. But a poster is nice too.

    I think we're in the same boat. I just finished a story and I need to get working on something new, but the brainstorming intimidates me. How have I already done this three times? Because now it seems absolutely daunting...

    1. Fortunately, we have a the daughter of a friend staying with us for a few days and she's good at puzzles! Yay! She can fix it for us!

      Yeah, brainstorming is my least favorite part of the process. Poke at it for a few minutes . . . go check email . . . read blogs . . . fall asleep . . .

  2. Packing tape! I always assumed you painted the front of the puzzle with some kind of glaze, like polyurethane, (or in other words, gave it a good shellacking!) In other news, I hate jigsaw puzzles, but my wife's family loves them. The poster will be easier, except for the part where you have to trace the puzzle piece lines in.

    I'm curious as to what sort of tone your story has, given its beginnings of sustained booming sounds. Also, it seems like your style would lend itself well to collaboration - someone else brainstorms ideas and you write them. Like, how long would it take you to flesh out this story idea:

    In a not-too-distant future, citizens are entertained by combat to the death of captives who are vampires and werewolves. While each group has traditionally been sworn enemies, a zombie born of an old casualty has discovered latent wizard powers that may signal a way to freedom, particularly if they can utilize the animal lust between a wolfen maiden and a ridiculously wealthy spectator.

    Once upon a time, I would have thought it odd that you could come up with a story without having a villain in mind, but now, now I understand. Since it's a novella, you can just leave it open and have certain clues point to several different people so that the reader can wonder.

  3. Hahaha, actually the room is so well sound-insulated at the music shop where he had his trumpet lesson that I can't hear him, so the beginning of the story is fairly quiet so far. Now, at night when my husband practices the trombone and my son practices the trumpet simultaneously, that's a bit noisier . . .

    Jon, sounds like you've got a great story idea :) And it would take me forever to flesh it out--that's the thing with writing a novel; you finally get an idea but then you realize what about THIS and THIS and THIS and what's the backstory here . . . that's what happened with my sci fi project, which I intend to get back to someday.

    I seem to recall Josi Kilpack saying something about not knowing who her villain was yet (don't know which book it was), but I figure if Josi can do it, I'll try it too :) I'll nail him/her eventually. The project is actually three of us writing totally separate novellas, united only by the fact that they're some form of mystery/suspense and they involve Halloween.

  4. Can't wait! Also, love the idea of picking a villain. Reminds me of the movie Clue.