Thursday, January 31, 2008

It is done

For the last three years I have had one story always in the back of my mind. I have read so many Church Histories, John Ray Young's memoirs, science books, talked to various people-including some very helpful BYU students working at the Bean Museum...all to research this one story.

I have learned the difference between crickets and katydids,struggled to understand the challenges of polygamy, felt John Ray Young's loneliness and helplessness as he crossed the plains, and learned about wheat. I studied houses built by early pioneers, read recipes involving ox hide and sego lillies and sorrowed for the first pioneer baby born and burried in the valley.

I have developed a thicker skin when faced with criticism of my own work. I have developed a story telling style, then thrashed it out ten more times. I have learned who will criticize my work and who will say "oh that's nice", and for whatever reason gone back to those with red pencils. I have become VERY grateful for spellcheck, computers and email. My last version was called "Screech the cricket" because I was running out of different ways to say the title and was tired of Miracle1, Miracle2...

I have learned about publishing companies,and researched them. I chose a company and found as many of their children's books as I could, to read and study them. I learned how to type with just one space after the period.

I have had obstacles. We have welcomed three little girls to our family since I started this story. There have been all sorts of family life. My parents have returned form their first mission, gone and come from a second and had various health issues. My husbands parents have struggled through Dad's partial paralysis. There were always a thousand other things clamoring for my time and attention.

For the last fifteen minutes I have had an email drafted and waiting to be sent. It was the manuscript of Miracle of the Gulls. My last three years of sporadic effort all encapsulated into one email. This was my husbands advice "You'll never get a rejection letter if you don't send it!" Off it went. 10 little pages, and the cover letter, author questionaire and plot summary (HOW can a plot summary for a ten page story be so difficult?). How could it take so much effort to write one simple little story? I remember thinking three years ago, that it really couldn't be THAT hard!

Tomorrow I'm going to the library to research Utahraptor and Henry Knox.

I'm not waiting for the rejection letter. I am a writer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the great marshmellow attack

We had a wonderful time at the homeschool toga party. We wrestled like Romans (that would be twister), we wore togas-with little bears on them, long jumped and of course catapulted. I learned that togas are wonderful to nurse discreetly in. Who knew? I don't know how that knowledge will help me in my daily life, but I appretiated it for the night.

There is nothing so heartwarming as seeing your darlings shooting marshmellows at each other.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Abigail's mirthday!

Time goes so fast! Our darling little girl is one month old! I am really enjoying Abigail. Here are a few pictures we HAD to take...

The last picture is a train game we played celebrating that Raymond read the Pearl of great Price.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

no small feat

The other morning I couldn't resist getting all the little piggies closer together and taking these pictures...

and this

Deep thought of the what point do feet become..not so cute? How about noses and ears? On Abigail EVERYTHING is cute. I do think somewhere around age 12 noses lose their cuteness. I think feet seem to lose their cuteness earlier. I had argued that feet are no longer cute by age 8, but all the feet in the first picture still look cute to me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Some of you may know I'm writing a children's book. The whole process started three years ago. In our homeschool we were studying the state of Utah. In our local library, with out wonderful librarian I was searching out books to read with my children. One of the first stories I thought of for my younger children was the miracle of the gulls. I figured surely there would be a children's book or thirty, and I love the story. The librarian told me there wasn't a book about it and challenged me to write one.

The entire ride home I thought of the millions of reasons i didn't have time to write a book. I was pregnant with the twins at the time, and had five children, a husband and a home that all demanded my attention. No matter how many excuses I came up with, the idea kept coming I started to write.

I discovered that I really enjoyed writing. I enjoyed doing something that stayed done...assuming you don't mind ten or twenty rewrites. I don't mind people commenting or criticizing my story and I really enjoy having a focus for what I am studying. I loved doing the research, though I was surprised at how much research a simple picture book required! The story is still the same simple story I knew as a child, but the form has taken a thousand different shapes. Through the rewriting process I have found a few people who have given me great advice, and I am close to sending this in to a publisher. My goal was to send it in before I had Abi. I always go late, so that would be the middle of January...except Abi came early and here we are.

I stumbled across this blog and decided to join up and get the book sent to a first publisher this month. I'm really close to sending it in, so this really is possible. After all I only had one baby this time! I also figure writing this little blurb will get me going. After all everyone will want to know when I get my first rejection notice right?! Then I will be able to say I really am a writer

Grandma Hamson's birthday

We celebrated Grandma's plenty ninth birthday at David and Tresa's. We had a great time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

hug o war

Who can resist this invitation for a hug? Rebecca is a great hugger!

Susie obviously loves being hugged! I love to see my Becca and Susie hugging, especially now that they are balanced enough to not fall down!