Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just Keep Writing


So, writing has been insanely slow lately. It's like I'm trying to force words where there aren't any. It's okay though. I read a quote (and if I wasn't so lazy, I'd get you the source), that basically said, a page that you've written is better than a blank page. You can't edit a blank page.

AMEN! I am writing and trying and squeezing out sentences. In the end, it doesn't matter if a single word stays because it's more words than I had yesterday, or last month.

It's September.

I began writing this novel that I'm not completely REwriting last November. I've been at this for almost a year.

And I still don't have a finished project.

I can't get discouraged. I can't. I just have to keep going.

(See Morgan. See Morgan be her own motivational speaker. Go Morgan go!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What's up?

I've been working pretty consistently on le novel, and also on a nonfiction book for the LDS church membership. That book's working title is PRACTICING PERFECTION. It's about LDS women and their need to be "pefect" when in reality that is absolutely impossible to achieve. This project has a blog all it's own, found here. 

It's been crazy to try and balance all that writing with the house, the kids, the animals, etc etc etc. It's all going well, and there isn't much to complain about, except maybe the lack of 28 hours in the day and the energy to use it!! :)

BELONGING has gotten three new chapters in the last little while too. The characters are always on my mind. I'm always writing snippets here and there.

I need a body double.

Peace out.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Excerpt From BELONGING

“Please don’t let them see me,” she whispered to herself running full-speed now, dodging trees and brush at every step. She hit a hole in the ground and went sprawling, her ankle twisted painfully. The people were coming directly at her. She could make out what looked like a few men walking through the thick trees a hundred yards away.  After her experience with a strange man in her bedroom the night before, the idea of being alone with multiple males was beyond terrifying. “I need to hide!” she said to no one. Suddenly, to her left, she saw a small crevice beneath a huge boulder. Without thinking, she crawled toward it and wedged herself between the muddy rotting earth and the rock. Charlotte’s twisted ankle throbbed painfully.

She watched as they crashed nearer, and she held her breath. They were going to pass by her! Everything was going to be fine.

Then right in front of the rock, they stopped. She counted three pairs of legs, all clad in what looked like leather leggings and brown, old-fashioned looking boots. “Why are they stopping?” she thought desperately. She tried to make herself small and invisible.

“We know you’re under that rock,” said a funny lilting accent. “You may as well come on out.”

Crap crap crap.

Charlotte didn’t move. Maybe they didn’t actually know she was there. Maybe they were just trying that trick at every crevice they came to.

A bearded face appeared at her eye level. “Come on Miss. You’ve got to come with us.” Charlotte screamed as loud as her lungs would allow. She wasn’t going anywhere with anyone, especially not three dudes she didn’t know. She sucked her breath in and started to scream again, when another face appeared. This face was younger, no beard and she recognized it, she thought his name was…

“Charlie?” she asked, bewildered.

“That’s me. You know me from school,” Charlie said.

“Yeah, I know,” Charlotte said, suddenly extremely embarrassed to be seen screaming her guts out hiding like a wounded animal under a rock.

“Come on out. We don’t bite. I promise.”

“Um. Okay.” She clawed her way out from under the rock and pulled herself into a lopsided standing position, her ankle refusing to hold her weight.

“You’re hurt,” said the first voice. It belonged a small, stocky fellow with yellow gold hair and beard to match. Charlotte was struck with how ridiculously dressed all three of them were. In leather leggings, linen tunics and leather breastplates with a lion wearing a crown burned into the center, they looked like they were bound for the renaissance fair.

“I’m okay, I just twisted my ankle,” Charlotte mumbled, looking at the ground. It was an understatement, standing up had hurt so much, Charlotte’s breakfast rumbled in her stomach, nausea rushing up her throat.

“Come here,” Charlie said kindly. Charlotte looked up at him. She knew him only barely, having had a couple of classes with him the year before. They’d never had a real conversation before. 

Charlotte was struck with how ridiculously cute he was. Tall, broad and tan, he looked like a surfer, with light brown hair and sparkling blue eyes. He had perfectly shaped red lips and…woah. Charlotte was completely distracted for moment, just staring at him.

“Can you walk?” Charlie asked warily.
“Uh. I don’t know.”

“Okay,” Charlie sounded highly amused at something. It irked Charlotte. A lot. He strided over to her and squatted down next to her foot. He gently placed a hand on the bone. Pain shot through Charlotte so intense she nearly toppled over. The nausea returned. She was going to puke if he didn’t stop.

“OW!” she hollered.

“Sorry, sorry. I’m not the best at healing spells. Kent! You want to try this? I think it’s broken.”

The darkly bearded one hurried over to Charlotte and bent down next to Charlie. He softly placed his own hand on Charlotte’s bare ankle. Instead of pain, which Charlotte was expecting, she felt warmth and a weird tingle in her ankle. Then all the pain was gone.

“Um. What did you just do?” she asked.
“Can you use it?” the blond-haired man asked.

“I…think so.” She took a tentative step. All the pain was completely gone, and her ankle felt fine. “How did you do that? What do you mean, ‘healing spell’?” Charlotte was feeling a bit dizzy.

“Yes, like I said, you’ll have to come with us,” the blond one said, sounding bored.

“I’m not going anywhere with you,” Charlotte repeated empathetically. She turned on her heels, grateful for a newly fixed ankle and started running in the direction she hoped was the road.

She had made it all of ten fast steps when she hit an invisible wall and bounced off it, hard, falling on her butt to the ground. She heard chuckling behind her. Standing up, she started forward again, only to run into the invisible wall again. She turned 90 degrees and started again. Once again, she found the way blocked. She turned around furiously. “Let me go!” Her mind was reeling. How were they keeping her here? How had they fixed her ankle? She started to scream again, desperately hoping someone would hear her. Immediately, the dark haired man waved his hand and her voice was silenced. Panic and terror were rising up in her. She was trapped. Trapped, and she couldn’t even yell for help. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Good Things!

Things are going GREAT with the rewrite. (I feel like I might jinx myself saying that, but it's true!) I got a ton done yesterday and am finally getting to the point where I'm not mourning the first much.

I'm happy with the new way it's going, and the main bones of the story seem to be finding their back in. THAT was my fear, that everything I loved about version 1.0 would be gone, and that doesn't seem to be happening.

A friend and I have been exchanging chapters (she's writing an awesome book too!), and that has helped motivate me to keep at it.

Good things!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Writing a Hard Thing

In the newest attempt at novel writing, I came to a bumpy spot. Not bumpy because of difficulty... but bumpy because I didn't want to write it.

The story absolutely had to go a certain way. But I didn't want to write it. The subject matter was a bit delicate, and well, I just didn't want to do it.

So much in fact that it took me almost a week to get the guts to write it out.

As I was writing it, I nearly chickened out. I literally paused, my hands over the keyboard, and almost, ALMOST made it different.

But I was brave. I swallowed my fears, and I wrote it.

It was the right move. What's strange to me is how personal it felt, writing that tidbit. I just can't describe it, but it was a challenge.

This being-a-writer-thing is weird. And kind of hard. And good.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Spark

Truth: I got really grumpy at my novel.

Like so much that I haven't touched in almost a month.

It's SLOW work, and I feel frustrated trying to balance the "right" way to "write" a novel, so that someone will want to publish it, with the story that I want to tell how I freaking want to tell it.

Ya know?

So. I'm taking a step back from it. I need to let it be. I was trying to force it, and it was coming out garbage.

I have a new idea that is percolating. It's going to be fun. Publishable? Maybe. But I feel that spark of inspiration. I haven't been feeling that lately.

Over and out.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Okay. I'm Back.

I had to take a break. I was becoming SO overwhelmed with rewriting, and frustrations about "what the publishers want" verses "what I want to write."

It's a tricky tricky biz.

But I'm at peace now. I'm cool. I'm writing again after a week off. I got this.

I can do this!

I am doing this.

(Forget writing. I should be a motivational speaker.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Artist Ego

I have a problem.

I have an EGO problem.

And it is the opposite of what most people consider an "ego problem."

I haven't got one.

Okay, I do, but she's a wee little lass, so, perhaps, she's like leprechaun sized. No, no! Fairy-sized!

She's tiny.

She is the reason I didn't get a BFA in acting.

She is the reason I cringe away from praise or criticism of any kind.

She is the reason I'm afraid of querying my book.

She is the reason.

She's a real brat.

If she could grow a foot or two, perhaps I'd have more confidence. Perhaps I'd be able to toot my own horn enough to get somewhere in this here writing world (which is a confusing, twisty-turny, uppy-downy, motion-sick-vomit-inducing machine.)

So. I'm going to work to tell my ego to step it up a bit. I need a bit of her to carry me through as I start this process.

*Except I'm desperately afraid my writing actually sucks*


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: DISPIRITED by Luisa Perkins


Goodreads synopsis:Cathy sees things that are invisible to everyone else. Her new stepbrother's bizarre behavior. A ghostly little boy. An abandoned house in the woods. But she doesn't see how they're all connected. And what she doesn't see might just kill her.
Image source, Goodreads link

My thoughts: 


This book was creepy! I do a lot of reading in the dark, middle of the night while I'm nursing a baby girl, and I couldn't do that with this book. TOOOOOO creepy. 

Even though, at first, the house is supposed to be all welcoming and good, it's CREEPY. A house that no one else can see? 


The storyline was great, captivating and fun. It is ghostly and wistful and a nice comfortable scare. 

I didn't love the end, but I know that it was the ONLY way to go with the story. I don't disparage the choice. 

Great read. Fun read. CREEPY read. 


So. The more I research, the more I realize my book sucks.

Okay, that's not true, but the rewrites just feel so so endless. I want it to be good, and I'm not interested in querying too soon, but good heavens.

Next step: I need to print it out, and highlight the conflict in every single scene. Apparently, if there isn't conflict then it's bad. BAD.

I thought I knew how to write.

Looks like, maybe not so much.

It's a good thing I LIKE writing.

Now, if only my children LIKED me writing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: BIG IN JAPAN by Jennifer Griffith

Goodreads synopsis: Buck Cooper doesn't remember when he became invisible. It was probably around the time he hit 300 pounds, and that was quite a few pounds ago. At six-foot-six, he's the elephant in the room nobody notices. Still, his social leprosy doesn't keep him from putting in for a promotion in the stats department, or from carrying a torch for the gorgeous Alison, who just might see through the blubber to the real Buck inside.

So when Buck gets Shanghaied to Tokyo for a family emergency, the last thing he expects is to be marveled at everywhere he goes. Little kids run up to him and want to pull the hair on his arms. He's suddenly the Jolly Blond Giant.

As his life takes a new turn in a country where being big can mean fame and fortune, Buck must embark on the most dangerous yet adventurous ride of his life--to find the ultimate meaning of love and acceptance. Even if it means risking his life and giving up everything he has.

(image source) (Good reads review)

Truth: I didn't expect to like this book.

There, I said it.

But I did!

I didn't expect to care about a white guy sumo wrestling in Japan.

But I did!

I was captivated by Buck's experiences, horrified at the conditions that he was put into, and really quite afraid for him.

Add to that the fact that I did NOT want him to succeed when it came to his quest to "win" his love interest, (I didn't want ANYONE to win in that competition) and I was turning pages as fast as I could.

I was skeptical at the author's ability to portray a big white boy Texan, and there were moments when I wondered if she was just writing how she THOUGHT a big white boy Texan would think/act as opposed to how a big white boy Texan actually would (I feel only slightly at the advantage here, being married to exactly that, minus the sumo wrestling and a hundred pounds). But it wasn't enough to really bother me, just to make me go "hmm" a couple times.

All in all, a recommended read for certain.

When You Work From Home...

Am I fraud if I claim to be working from home? 

Because let me say that writing a book is WORK. I love it, it's fun and all, but that doesn't mean that it's not work. 

Working means that I'm forgoing other things, like doing the dishes. 

And putting clean laundry away. 

It becomes a game of give and take every single day. When I can hammer out some words? I tend to lean toward writing during our daily sanctioned "Netflix" time, but the problem there is that I'm tempted to let them go passed the strict "2 episode" rule when I hit a good groove. More Power Rangers from 1994? SURE WHY NOT? 

See the problem here? 

Let's not forget that we homeschool. This means that at least 3 hours a day is devoted to educating. That isn't a lot, compared to a full-time traditional school schedule, but I only have two students. We get lots done. 

Oh, and remember that 3 year old, oh right and the 2 year old? They are awfully grumpy if I ignore them. 

The baby doesn't do much napping. 

Then, let's remember that I don't want my children to suffer while I "work", so when they bring me a book and beg me to read, it's not like I can say no. 

3 meals a day? Try 13. They are ALWAYS HUNGRY. 

Which means someone is always in need of a clean diaper. 

The house? In shambles most of the time. I *could* keep it neat and tidy 24/7 but THAT would be my full-time job. 

I'm just squeezing in moments to "work from home" where I can. 

I may never finish this book. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I am rewriting. Again.

It's such a learning process! I am so thankful for the internet, for the online support that gently prods me to do better and to be better.

I am determined to make this a book worth reading. It WILL be a book worth reading.

That it is all.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Query Letter Purgatory

It's not that it's hard, exactly.

It's just that it's hard.

I figure while I'm awaiting feedback from my editor *coughsistercough*, I may as well accomplish something. So, even though I'm at least one rewrite away from actually sending out queries, I can get the letter ready-ish.

The cool thing is there is an incredible amount of help online. Thus far I have discovered: and FABULOUS.

Now, if only I could get it exactly right...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: The Sweetest Spell, by Susan Selfors

The Sweetest Spell

(image source)

Goodreads synopsis:
Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher's daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.

Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman's son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline. 

Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all.

My thoughts: 

This book was yummy. 

I'm being serious. A book about chocolate as magic? Yes please!

I've read all of Susan Selfor's YA novels, which are usually set in modern times, with magic as an undercurrent to the real, modern world. I enjoyed them all as light, fun, cute and romantic reads. 

The Sweetest Spell sticks with the formula that magic is more in the periphery rather than the main theme, while telling a story of love, acceptance, friendship in unlikely places and good verses evil, in a mythical renaissance-like world. 

The story has two narrators which is enjoyable. It did take me a couple of sentences in some chapters to catch that a switch between story-tellers was made, but it  wasn't really bothersome. Owen's narration was fun and pithy. Emmaline's is honest and innocent. It makes a nice contrast between the two, while drawing the tale together nicely. 

Like all of Selfor's novels, the story is all wrapped up nice by the end, which I'd say is a spoiler but really, would you expect anything else? 

It's a fun weekend read for sure. 

First Major Rewrite: DONE!

I have the second one coming right on its tail, but the first major rewrite is DONE.

I have officially made it beyond any point of book-writing I've done in the past! GO MORGAN GO!

(Yes, I just pep-squad cheered myself, I'm okay with that.)

My fabulous sister is acting editor right this minute, and as soon as she's done her thing, then begins round two.

I love this work. Rewriting is sometimes a drag, but oh my goodness, I love that there is always improvement (is that weird?). I feel like even when this book is all done, published and in the hands of readers that I'll be like, "Oh, I should have done XYZ on page 123!".

I think that is fine because nothing is ever perfect. We are aiming for near-perfection here, and I'm happy to be working toward it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Social Media says What?

I'm overwhelmed with the task of social-media-ing. I mean, facebook, blogging, pinterest twitter, instagram, oh my! There is so much!

I don't do much of it either. I am on the Facebooks, and then there is this silly little blog. And...that's about it.

I think maybe I should be doing these things? Twittering and instagraming and and and...

oh, there is that bit about writing the actual BOOK that I'm hoping will actually be a BOOK that PEOPLE READ.

But how can people read it?? If no one knows it exists?

See? Full-circle, back to social media.

I am failing at something I haven't even done yet...

Friday, February 15, 2013


I haven't had much time to write this week. It's been a busy, long week. But I find in the rare quiet moments my brain drifts into that spot where the characters are real, and the stories flow. And I'm never near a computer or a post-it.

I need a pen and paper or a recording device or something. I don't know, I just know that if my book was linked directly to my brain the whole thing would be done already.

Why hasn't anyone invented stream of consciouness computing? This is something I would pay money for.

I just know that so much of my life is NOT writing. But much of my thinking is.

That *should* count for something.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

All in a Day's Work

I so wish there were more hours in the day.

I know! It's ridiculously cliche to feel that way, but it's true. I can not get everything done that I need to, let alone the things I WANT to. Children must be educated, fed, cared for, loved on, laundry done, meals prepared, errands run, on and on and on...

And what do I WANT to be doing?

Playing my cello or piano, reading books to the kids, reading my own books, napping and oh yes, writing that book of mine.

I find moments to squeeze most of what is required of me, some of what would be good to get done and almost none of what I want to be doing in a day.

I need to work on balance more. But really, with five tiny children, there isn't much wiggle room.

Unless I get less sleep, which doesn't sound appealing.

I better stop writing this blog post and get to work!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Insanity, Thy Name is Author

I found a new character yesterday.

I wasn't expecting that. I mean, I'm in editing! I wasn't expecting that rewrites would birth NEW people to deal with.

This book-writing thing is an absolute trip. I texted my sister (aka EDITOR-FANTASTIC) to explain the new character (I am ruining everything she is trying to edit) and told her that when stuff like this happens (Characters appearing and talking to me in my mind), I feel literally insane.

Or perhaps, a more apt term- literarily insane.

Yes, that's it. I am literarily insane.

And I kind of like it.