Saturday, March 28, 2009

10,000 Hours of Practice

Dr. Daniel Levitin has figure out that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. That's 20 hours a week for ten years. I figure I only started writing seriously two years ago but I've spent far more than twenty hours many weeks and completed at least first drafts on three more projects in the last six months.

One of these was The Amazon Break-Through Novel Award. It had come and gone, and I was eliminated. Bummer. A few people I know made it to the next round, but I can take solace in the fact that it may have just been a bad synopsis and excerpt and not the book in general.

Speaking of synopses (plural for synopsises) I have been working on one for my rejected manuscript of "An Angel in the Family." I'm preparing it for a pitch with Deseret as we speak. Cross fingers. I've got a few more weeks to get it in and then the rest of this month to get the manuscripts squeaky clean before I sit before the great Editor and try to sell it face to face.

Lipstick Wars is still waning in cyberspace, on vacation from thought but not forgotten. If only I had more time or perhaps used the time I had more efficiently. Good things are in the future so I guess I'll just keep chipping away at that ten thousand hours and eventually I'll get there or at least enjoy the journey.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Schools of Thought

So the HBO temple thing has brought interesting reactions from the peanut gallery. One school of thought is that any publicity is good publicity.
Another is that because the church as a whole didn't do anything, we shouldn't.
And the last is total disinterest.

I agree that we shouldn't picket HBO or send them anonymous hate mail but to log a well-formed logical response to the FCC is valuable.

The biggest problem in the debate is that for many people there is nothing sacred in their lives. Some still hold physical intimacy sacred, but that debate has been so trampled on the public airways that any discussion on that point seems mute.

Big Love aired, their ratings were probably stupendous and life moves on, but it certainly makes me feel as though we are getting closer and closer to the end of the world when such desecration is permitted.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mock Temple Ceremony on HBO

This is real. I couldn't believe it, but it's true.

On page 48 of the TV guide this week there is a person wearing the sacred ceremonial temple clothing. Go look.

Big Love is planning on depicting parts of the endowment and sealing ceremonies on HBO.

If this horrifies you as it does me, you can send a complaint to HBO and the FCC. It will only take a few minutes. Please take the time. If there is any way we can stop this desecration of what we hold so sacred, I think we should.

To write HBO, click

To File a complaint with the FCC go to:

-Choose "Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues" and then click "NEXT."

-Choose "Broadcast programs showing obscene, profane, and/or indecent material" then click "NEXT."

- Click on "ONLINE FORM" Fill out the form with your complaint and submit.

Big Love airs on HBO on 03/15/2009 at 9:00 pm

Here are two things your want to RESPECTFULLY say in your own words to HBO:

-I believe it is wrong for HBO to publicly air portions of sacred ceremonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without permission from the church and based on information given you by someone who has left the church and may harbor bad feelings toward the church and wish to do it harm.


- If you air such an episode, I will cancel my subscription to all HBO channels (if you have them), and will not purchase HBO DVDs or any other HBO entertainment products or packages ever again. Furthermore, I will encourage my friends and associates to do likewise.

Tell everyone you know.

Sister Beck reminded us in the October 2007 conference,

President Hinckley said in a worldwide leadership training meeting: “I am convinced there is no other organization anywhere to match the Relief Society of this Church. It has a membership of more than five million women across the earth. If they will be united and speak with one voice, their strength will be incalculable. … It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord.”

Maybe this is one of those times.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where Have I Been and Angels

Wow, it's been a while since I was here. A lot has happened. My son is back from Tennessee, and it is so great to have him here that I could sing. He also loves to write and always has two or three amazing story ideas.

Last weekend I went to Texas and had a wonderful time seeing my seven sisters. Everyone of them is a treasure, and it was an incredible weekend. One of the things we did was to share something with each other, and I wrote the following little poem. I don't usually write poetry but I've been happy with this one, hammering it out in the middle seat of the airplane, squeezed between two complete strangers. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think.

Could you be an Angel?

One night I was sleeping. It’d been a good day.
The laundry was done and all put away.
The kitchen was spotless; the floor shined like new.
Tomorrow I hoped there’d be little to do.

Suddenly in the dark folds of night
My dreaming was shattered by an angel of light.
His stark white robes glistened. I shielded my eyes.
He cleared his throat and said. “I apologize

“Your neighborhood angel, a Gladys by name,
Is truly the heavenly being to blame.
You see, for the last two thousand years
She’s struggled to comfort- allay people’s fears.

“Her hours are frightful; her job’s never done.
She’s not had a single break. Now she wants one.
With the world so full of sadness and crime
All guardian angels must work overtime.

“One of them noticed that you might be free.
I know it’s unorthodox, but might you be?”
“You can’t mean it,” I gasped, but his eyes filled with sorrow.
“Please, can’t you be an angel tomorrow?

“It’s just for one day, see I have here a list.”
I frowned at the thick scroll he held in his fist.
“Alright.” I took it. “I’ll do your bidding.”
Then I read the long page and laughed. “Are you kidding?

“Look at this stuff. There’s no earthly way
That I can get it all done in one day.”
But my words simply echoed, the angel was gone.
In the window I saw the pink touch of dawn.

I rushed to the shower, the room filled with steam.
I almost convinced myself it was a dream.
Like a typical morning I got the kids up
Made breakfast, signed notebooks and let out the pup,

Kissed my husband goodbye, got the kids on the bus
Walked past the counter and there the scroll was.
It glowed with a light I could not ignore,
With a quick huff I grabbed it and shot out the door.

I walked down twelve houses, hit the doorbell and ran.
From the front I heard shouting, “We slept in again!
You can make it to work if you get up this minute?”
Four bells later I was back at my car and got in it.

I drove a few blocks and screeched to a halt.
Then I called to the man there, “It’s not your fault!”
I parked in the lot and raced to the corner
And got there just in time to warn her,

“Hold your child’s hand tight.” A car swerved as it passed.
But we were all safe so again off I dashed.
I rushed around whispering, hugging and warning
Wondering why I had said ‘yes’ this morning.

At the end of the day I came home exhausted.
When by my family I was accosted.
“Honey, I don’t really mean to be rude.
But what is for dinner?” I suggested fast food.

I ordered, then noticed a mom with a mob
Of young screaming children. “You do a great job.”
She stared at me blankly as I took my place
Then a great grin exploded across her whole face.

When at last I collapsed in my bed close to one
Knowing full well that the list was all done
I expected some trumpets or heavenly choir
But I was out cold before it could transpire.

The next morning I waited when the family had gone
Thinking I’d hear something about what I’d done.
In the silence I decided to make my own list
Of all I had to do but I added a twist.

Not only was shopping and cleaning all there,
But I added a few things I thought of with prayer.
I’d drop by two friends I’d not seen in a while,
Share cookies, a compliment or simply a smile.

Two week later I’d forgotten my angelic visit.
Life had moved on, and time had moved with it.
Although we faced challenges, something had shifted.
Amid all the craziness, I felt uplifted.

As I snuggled in bed and closed my eyes tight,
I was once again shocked by an angel of light.
Only this one was Gladys, of that I was sure.
The angel I covered for two weeks before.

Her face glowed with joy. “So you are the one
Who came to my rescue when I was undone.
But that is not why I’m here,” she said glowing.
“I’m so very grateful you kept right on going.”

“Serving and loving and watching for need.
The difference you’ve made is great indeed.”
“Actually,” I smiled, “it’s been easy of late
To serve a bit more because life has been great.”

“Perhaps,” Gladys said, “with all you’ve been doing,
Helping us angels in what we’re pursuing,
I’ve had much more time- there’s been less to do.
And I’ve used all those moments I had helping you.”