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Three Thing Thursday

I signed up, months ago, to receive information from The Authors Publish Magazine on line. I don’t think there was any cost to signing up, but I’ve been on their site for a fairly long time. They send out a lot of updates on which publishers are looking for what kinds of materials, and occasional other writing goodies. This week they offered a free pdf down-load for a book they’re calling The Authors Publish Compendium of Writing Prompts.  I’ve already got my copy. It’s 148 pages with various sections: Regular Prompts, Classic Prompts, Prompts for Novelists, and Prompts for Groups — with each of the larger groups having a further break-down of topics. The only thing they wanted back was some information on errors, perceived problems in the book, suggestions of ways to improve the offering, etc., so they can revise and then offer it to the general public again.
For Carol (or any other teachers of writing) this might be a help when you’re looking for something new and fun
and QUICK to do with your writing classes.
And, for the rest of us, we can always use something to jolt us with a few new ideas — check it out and see if they still need some feedback!  The more the merrier, I say!


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This Gorgie Lady

Yesterday, instead of packing or writing or getting a syllabus ready, I cut my bangs.

Short. Really short.

I’ve always wanted to do it and so I asked the new girl at the hair salon go for it. I even showed her a picture. This picture, actually.


she looked at the is famous, young, gorgie actress and then looked at me and my face and my clothes and the hair growing out my chin and said, we’ll go a little conservative.

Then she gave me a mom cut. I always get mom cuts no matter what I do.

So I kept the mom cut for a few days.

And then, maybe because I was sad, or maybe because I was overwhelmed, or maybe because I really wanted short bangs, I got the scissors and did something I have never done in my life. I cut my dumb own hair.

It doesn’t look gorgie like her and It may look a little Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber but it’s deliberate and it’s different and it’s not a mom cut.

Get your manuscript.

Stop being conservative.

Stop doing what you’re always doing.

Stop letting other people dictate what you do.

Use your gut.

Decide what the book really really really needs.

Get your scissors and stop being scared and go for it. You deserve it and your book deserves it.

The end.

Please let me move to a new house by the end of the week, short bangs and all.


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Three Things Thursday

Brenda Bensch

Hip, Hip, Hooray ! ! ! My 2016 WRITER’S MARKET DELUXE EDITION just arrived.
OK. Well, it was here when we picked up our newspaper this a.m. It must have come while we were out last night seeing an absolutely hilarious version of Hairspray at a small, LIVE theater in Ogden: The Ziegfeld. For such a TINY stage (it’s an old movie theater) and GOOD, but recorded, music — you should SEE what they do with what they’ve GOT! ALWAYS fantastic dancing, singing, staging, costumes, etc. And the professional credits of many of the performers is astounding: people who’ve performed at various colleges like the U of U, Weber, BYU, etc.; others in small professional theaters, many from Utah’s Hale Theaters, Wasatch Theatre, Utah Rep. They’ve also appeared in various elementary, junior high, high school productions. We’ve seen some who were even CURRENT students in junior high and elementary schools.
Others have done commercial work, or have been on television. Many have college degrees and/or MFA’s. Some have been on stages in NY, LA, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, or have even performed at the Kennedy Center and/or the White House.
Why am I telling a bunch of writers this? You want to learn to write dialogue? Listen to what works in a well-rehearsed play where every word counts and must add to the story portrayed. Look at the length of time it takes to get from one place to another on even a small stage — do you have things happening too closely together, taking more time than is realistic? Note body positions as actors interact with each other, romantically, or physically fighting, or walking, running, skipping, dancing from one place to another. What is PHYSICALLY not possible that you’ve written into a scene? Go to a well-produced play or musical. There’s a lot to learn.


Cheryl Van Eck

I’ve been thinking that I need to start journaling again.
It’s one of those things that I love when I do it, but I have trouble getting back into the habit once it’s broken.

I think the reason I like it so much is that I have a terrible memory. Everything in my past either turns rosy or black…for instance, I can’t remember a single good thing about middle school, but I also can’t remember a single bad thing about my first year of college. I know my life was somewhat balanced at both times, but without journals I can’t remember any of it.

When I do go back and look at old journals, I find it incredible how much I’ve changed. I still feel like I’m 16 sometimes…until I look at what I was actually like at 16. I mean, really, did I ever think about anything besides boys?? I feel like I could have cured cancer by now if I’d redistributed just half of my brain power.
Anyway, now that I’m writing YA, those journals are invaluable. My teenage logic, hopes, dreams, and actions can create valuable insights to my characters.
Do you journal? Why or why not?


Kyra Leigh!

Things are changing and I’m back to this blog.

I have been working my ass of to just stay above water, but I think I have finally found my groove. I’m cooking again, I’m working out, and most importantly . . . I’m back to writing.
I’ve also been reading a lot

This is just a quick note to let the few followers we have know I’ve got a plan. A grasp on my blog posts and on writing.

I just gotta get it done.
Let’s write!


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it’s three in the morning and I’ve been up for a couple hours.

I found out that I’m my mom’s daughter. She used to stay up all night worrying. I am worrying. And not sleeping.

Sometimes when I’m up at this time of night, I sit and listen to the breathing of my babies all through the house. This is a sleeping house, a house that in a few short hours will be bustling with laughter, crying, fighting, running, legoing, whining and jumping and loving.

Oh the potential of all these little people. The thoughts and wonderings and sadnesses that will come with a full day of exploring.

I joy in seeing them toddle out of their beds, their hair a mess, their pajamas mis-matched, asking for milk or a hug or cereal. I don’t even care if they’ve peed the bed. I just love their freckled faces.

Sometimes I think about my manuscripts in similar ways: sleeping. breathing in and out. but oh, when it wakes up. when it toddles out and has the whole day in front of it. What will happen? What will be discovered? What joy and horribleness and heartache will come.

I don’t have a lot this morning to say.

I should go back to sleep because I will be so tired all day and what if I snap at these littles that I love?

I love being a mother.

I love writing. I think.

I’m not sure.

But I love people.

And people are writing. I think.


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Freaky Friday

An Assortment of Topics


A writing challenge– There’s a Nudist Camp in CA that’s been accused of stealing water.

I don’t know about you, but I can see (no pun intended), all kinds of ways one could write a story with this idea in mind.

So why not?

Write a 500 word opening of a mid grade or YA novel. We’d love to see what you come up with.


Just finished Fiona Wood‘s YA called Six Impossible Things. LOVED it. I actually laughed out loud several times. That’s hard to do with me. What’s the best YA or MG you’ve read this summer–not including the one you’re working on? And that should becoming the best. FYI–I participated with Fiona and Marie Marquardt (Dream Things True–haven’t read it yet. Hope to soon.) yesterday on a panel for SLJ. We spoke about romance in YA. Those women are smart.


Ooops, be careful PW Daily. Can’t be good to spell Newbery wrong!
“Newberry Medalist Katherine Applegate’s new novel ‘Crenshaw’ features a fifth grader whose  . . . .”


School starts soon. I’ve got till the 31 to do whatever I want (as long as I do it here at home). I’m going to organize and write and clean and hang out with my girls. What would you do? Really. I want some ideas.







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Three Things Thursday


Thank you for all who came by the wedding last night. I lost my best earrings. Worth a couple grand.

Please pray I find them.



Writing prompt: Write about the worst hour of your life. 

The catch? You can’t use any words that aren’t concrete. Think along the lines of: angry, hurt, sad, joyful, silly, death, sick, etc.
Instead, focus on: linoleum, soup, birds, window, music, coffee, perfume, clock, wood, rubbing alcohol.
If you can’t see, hear, smell, taste, or touch it, you can’t use it.
What happens to your writing? Are you still able to get your point across?
Think Happy Thoughts (and a few women’s quotes to help you get there) !
“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” ~ Ingrid Bergman
“To have meaningful work is a tremendous happiness.” ~ Rita May Brown
“The Greeks said grandly in their tragic phrase, ‘Let no one be called happy till his death’; to which I  would add,
    ‘Let no one till his death, be called unhappy.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“Our happiness in this world depends upon the affections we are enabled to inspire.” ~ Duchesse de Praslin
“Instant gratification takes too long.” ~ Carrie Fisher
“I wouldn’t be satisfied with a life lived solely on the barricades. I reserve my right to be frivolous.” ~  Betty     Friedan
“To attain happiness in another world we need only to believe something, while to secure it in this world  we     must needs do something.” ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more fun? ~ Katherine Graham
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before  you     depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you  while I may,     for it may not always be so. One day I shall  dig my nails into the earth or bury my face in the pillow, or     stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~ Mary Jean     Iron


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15 Minute Monday

So how did you do on the marathon?

I didn’t get as much as I wanted rewritten, but I am thrilled that I wrote.

For the next few days I’m gonna work on rewriting this novel.



You all are mostly silent, but I need a bit of help. I’d love some freewrite ideas for my classes at BYU.

I want them to be flash freewrites. Something that can be done in about a minute.



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