Friday, November 28, 2008


Perhaps I am a little biased (refer to my 'Super Heroes' post), but yesterday I saw the movie Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, and I am in love. This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. It shot straight into my top five favorite movies of all time. Three hours have never passed by so quickly. So grab your husbands (because even though it's a romance, I promise you they will like it too) and go see this amazing, action packed, heart wrenching movie, you will not regret it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My True Hero

My last post on super heroes and this time of year make me think about my first hero—my dad. As a child he was larger than life to me, at 6’4” and over two hundred pounds, he really was larger than life. And I was always daddy’s little girl. I sat in his lap until I was fourteen. I could get nearly anything I wanted with a flash of my dimples. My father loved books and we (my brothers and sisters) would often pile in my parents’ queen sized (too small) bed while he would read to us C.S. Lewis or Tolkien.

In the pool he was the shark, we were the fish, and he would really bite us. In the house, he was the tiger we were the prey, and, yes, he would really bite us … but we always wanted to play.

When I was a teenager he was the protective grizzly bear, scaring nearly every boy I brought home. I’m sure he laughed about it when they left. It drove me crazy, but I always knew he cared.

When I became a mother he was the teddy bear, big and cuddly. When my kids were little they couldn’t wait to see him. They wanted to play shark in the pool and tiger in the house. For some reason they never got bit though. He’d gone soft. He was still protective though. One time I was going to take my two girls by myself and travel to visit my husband’s family in Utah, my father said, “No.” I told him, “I wasn’t really asking for your permission, dad.” He looked at me, then at my husband and said, “You aren’t going to let her go, are you?” My husband said, “She’s a big girl, dad, I have no control over what she does.” My dad laughed. I went. Even though I was all grown up I was still his little girl.

Two years ago my father passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 55. I miss him terribly. I will forever be grateful for the 29 years that I was blessed to know him in this life. I can’t wait to see him again. This time of year especially, I think about how grateful I am that I had such a loving father. He is my hero.

So make sure you take the time (the holiday season is always a good excuse) to tell your family that you love them. You can never say it too much.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quote of the Week

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. --Charles Dickens

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Super Heroes

I know this has nothing to do with writing, but in light of a recent comment left on my blog (located under the ‘Raw’ post in case you missed it) I feel the need to explain myself. Is it my fault that Wolverine is so hot? There is just something about a man that has to rip apart his own flesh in order to use his super power that gets to me. I mean, come on, the self sacrifice, the will power ... the biceps.

Now, honey, (I do consider all of you my honeys, but in this instance, I am referring to my husband) don't get me wrong. I'm hot for you too. And I’m not saying that your super power doesn’t come in handy. When we are boating and I need someone to shoot lasers out of his eyes at the threatening tubers, I'll call Cyclops. Oh, wait, just kidding, what I meant to say was that I'll call you. Yes, that is my awesome husband below, defending our boat from killer tubers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three Cheers For Rejection

A rejection letter went straight to my spam box yesterday. Apparently even my computer is starting to sort them for me. I figured it wasn’t a good sign so I just went ahead and deleted it without opening it. Did you all collectively gasp at that last sentence? I’m just kidding, of course. I would never deny myself the opportunity for pure torture. I read every last word. I’m glad I did too. It was the most personalized rejection to date. It felt especially gut wrenching, more so than the generic ones. Yay for rejection!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Okay, since I very much enjoyed both Natalie and Kiersten's posts, and since I can't very well revel in their bravery without presenting my own offering in return, I give you: Kasie without make-up. You might want to shield your eyes, it's pretty scary. No, but seriously, I am now 32 years old and I can say, I have never been happier with myself. I definitely wasn't happier when I was a super skinny teenager and yet still always worried about what everyone thought about me. I wasn't as happy in my child bearing years when my body was always somebody else's and up and down in weight and emotions as I went through seven very difficult pregnancies. Now, maybe my body isn't as tone and thin as it was in high school, and I have crows feet and dark circles around my eyes. But I have always loved my smile, which is a good thing because I love to smile.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Sister, The Rebel (part 2)

“We’re going to take some pictures of you doing crazy things in your town,” my sister informs me as we walk down the sidewalk.

“Like what?” I ask warily.

She looks around. Up a small hill, next to a building we see a rusty replica of a relic from the mining history of the town—a transport car, sitting on some tracks.

“Go sit in that,” she says, pointing to it.

“What? No,” I say, eyeing the busy street, which we were walking down—the main street of the small town.

“Just do it.” She gives me a shove.

I perch myself on the very end of the train car (as seen in the photo) and she takes a picture.

“I swear, Kasie, you are such a wimp. Let me show you how it’s done.” She drops her purse on the sidewalk and marches up the hill.

While the cars whiz by behind me, I take the shot. (make sure you click on it to get the close up, because her face is hilarious) I’m quickly realizing (actually I have always known it) that I have a healthy fear of getting in trouble. (My parents probably loved it when I was a teenager because I never wanted to do anything that I might have gotten yelled at for.)

The following are some other fun shots from the town:

On our way home after the incredible day, the sun setting in my rear view mirror, I decide I need one last photo—a backlit cactus. I eye the hills that surround us on the desert highway. The first one I find, we both get out of the car and trudge up a hill. (Did I already mention my brown wedges and my aching blisters?)

“Not good enough,” I say, once we’re back in the car (after much complaining about my feet) as I study the shots in the viewfinder.

My sister sighs.

We drive further and I find the perfect one. Pulling over, our headlights shine onto a barbed wire fence. “Ah, man,” I say in disappointment.

“Give me the camera.” My sister holds her hand out. I place it in her upturned palm. She exits the car.

“Are you really going to do it?” I ask, opening my own door and following her.

“Do you want the shot or don’t you?”

“I don’t know if I want it that bad.”

She rolls her eyes. “Are you going to try to kill us again by pulling off the side of the road in front of a semi and next to a railing if we don’t get this shot?”

I consider this. “Possibly,” I decide.

With a quick look around she steps over the fence. Wow, she has long legs, I note mentally. She runs towards the cactus in the distance.

“Make sure you get it from all angles!” I yell after her from my safe place on the correct side of the fence. The side that I can’t get taken to jail for. I sigh happily as I watch her take the pictures.

As she runs back towards me and moves to step over the fence I call out “Wait!”

“What now?” she askes.

“I need a picture of you and your deviant acts,” I say, reaching for the camera.

I give you, my sister, the rebel and the shot she risked her freedom for:

Monday, November 17, 2008


Okay, my series summary, in a hurry, goes something like this (as promised):

What would you do if you moved into a new house and found out that your attic held the age old secrets of a fairytale world? Perhaps you wouldn't explore them if you knew that your interference could change endings … including your own. Or maybe you would.

OR the summary could read like this:

Once upon a new town, Hailey discovers the key to a whole new world. When she unlocks the mystery, everything falls apart. Can she put the pieces back together again … and how will she separate out the pieces of her own life in the process?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My ten year old told me something that no writer ever wants to hear from her own offspring.  She said (and she was very serious), "Mom, I hate to read."

"WHAT??????"  I asked, very calmly (not really).  How could she not like to read?  Where had I failed her?  By the age of ten I had read every single book in my mother's library, devoured them, and searched for more. 

"I just don't.  I'm a sporty girl," she told me casually.  

It's true.  She plays every single sport that her school offers for her age group.  She recently finished volleyball and now basketball season is upon us.  In the spring she'll do track and all summer long she swims.  I am so very proud of her.  But isn't there room for reading?  I bring home the greatest books for her, she checks out others from the library, she just isn't interested in ever reading them.

I'll blame it on my husband, the jock. (Whoever thought the nerdy bookworm would marry the popular jock?)  Standing at 6'8", this man is one of the most coordinated people I know.  He played basketball in high school and college and still enjoys a good pick-up game.  And you should see him on a wake board. (actually I'll post a pic of him on a wakeboard)  So obviously his genes are stronger than mine.  How dare his coordination genes overpower my nerdy bookworm genes.  

Sigh.  I still have hope.  There are three other children.  My influence will not be overpowered.  :)     

Friday, November 14, 2008

Forgive me, I'm tired.

Okay, while I'm waiting on some incriminating evidence (you're not off the hook, Steph), I thought I'd share with you an emotional epiphany I had on Wednesday.  You see, even though I've loved to write for as long as I can remember, I'm fairly new to the novel writing arena.  The idea for my series came to me about four years ago and, although I piddled around with it for a while, I didn't sit down and get serious about it until January of '08.  Well, since January, in a whirlwind of obsessive behavior, I have completed my series. (Granted there is still a lot of editing to do, especially in book four).  Yes, that's right, on Wednesday I wrote the last word of book four.  (Thus succeeding in my singular goal of becoming the fastest typer in the universe.  I'm sure there was an easier way to accomplish this, but I couldn't think of it at the time)  How did I feel?  Scared and elated at the same time.  This has honestly been an amazing eleven months for me and I feel like my books are like my fifth child.  Really, my main character is like another daughter to me, that is how real she is.  I know a lot of you can relate.

Anyway, so I've been nervous to embark on a new conception (if you will).  I feared I wouldn't love it as much as my first book.  I feared I wouldn't love my characters as much as my first characters.  (I feared I had reached the pinnacle of my typing proficiency) But, I've had an idea brewing in my head for the last four months.  I had even written a page long summary of it, so that I wouldn't forget.  So, on Wednesday, to reward myself for finishing my series ... I wrote the first chapter of my new book.  (only a writer would consider that a reward).  And I haven't stopped writing since.  Today I reached 12,500 words.  I am in love with my new book.  It surprised me in a wonderful way.  Since I'm comparing this to having children, why stop with the analogy?  Why did I think that writing another book would make me love my first book less?  Why did I think that I didn't have enough love to share with another book?  I have enough love.  And I love my new book!!!  I'm so excited. (I challenge each and every one of you to a type off.  Warning, before you accept this challenge, you might want to take note that my entire four books consist of the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" over and over again.  You're having second thoughts, aren't you?) 

Yes, it's official, I'm weird.  You all knew it, now it's been firmly verified.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guess What? I'm smart and so are your other readers.

Every other Wednesday I attend a writer’s club.  I highly recommend writer’s clubs to all my fellow writers out there.  They are both helpful and entertaining.  Anyway, we critique one chapter, from three different authors, each time.  At the latest meeting my critique for a particular piece drew ooohs and awwws, I guess they thought it was good.  Since then my friends have told me I need to post the advice on my blog.  So here goes, pretty basic advice that we all need to remind ourselves of every now and again.  This is in the context of fantasy, but I believe it can apply across all genres.


"Trust in your world and trust that I will learn about your world as things come to pass.  Don’t feel like you have to tell me every single thing about it.  Part of the fun of being introduced to a new world is the ownership I (the reader) feel in it as I “discover” things about it on my own.  So, pretend as though everything in your world is completely normal then you will resist the urge to explain everything."


Same applies to characters.  Don’t tell me who they are, just let them be who they are.  It will be obvious that they are stubborn or flirty or quick witted by how they act.


I know you’ve heard it all before, but sometimes hearing it a different way is helpful. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quote of the Week

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.  ~James Michener

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America Rocks

I love the elections—Americans taking a stand for who or what they believe in.  Even when everything doesn’t turn out exactly as my heart wishes, I revel in the process.  I take pride in the knowledge that a country, so divided one night, can come together in acceptance and strength the following morning.  To think that often times such changes in power can only be had by wars or revolutions.  Our forefathers fought hard for the system of democracy we now enjoy and I thank them for it.  I have faith in our Constitution.  It has held strong for many years and I know it will continue to hold strong through all winds of change.  I am, indeed, proud to be an American.   

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I have a query for you ...

My stomach is in knots, the kind that creep up on you when you're trying not to think about them and tighten to painful.  Yes, you guessed it, I sent out a few queries over the weekend.  So this leads me to my query for you.  Email queries or snail mail, which do you prefer?  I like the ease of email queries, but they tend to make me obsess.  I can only check the physical mailbox once a day, the email box ... at least a million times.