Friday, October 31, 2008

Princess Rosabella Eliza Alice

Halloween 2007

I had just had this beautiful baby girl six weeks before Halloween, and of course I wanted to dress her up in pink from head to toe. Her dad wanted her to be something hard core like a ninja or a Volcan (since she already had the right hairstyle.) Of course we did nothing about finding a costume until Oct 30th. That morning as Lander was leaving for work he kissed my forehead and said, "Rosie can be a princess if you want." Hooray!

I rallied my sister and the three of us set off to find a costume. If you wait until the absolute last minute, costumes are 75% off at Toys R Us. Amy and I found this cute pink princess dress that was clearly marked 3-6 months for $6.89. After we wrangled it over Rosie's floppy new baby frame in the store, we realized that it was a bit big, but would probably be fine with some strategic safety pins.

No one has accused Rose of being a large child, or even regularly sized, but I thought she was getting so much bigger lately, thanks to her mac & cheese diet. I was positive that her princess dress would be too small this year, but I dug it out of the disaster area- I mean storage closet just to check. It's actually still a little big.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've got something to say

I cozied up with the latest installment of Boston Legal on the DVR this morning, only to find my home state of Utah being ridiculed. Since I lived in California for several years, I am adept at defending our strange, but beautiful state. In fact moving away from Utah only taught me to love it more. I am so happy to be back, and I wouldn't want to live any other place.

So I thought- yes! I have something to say on that blog thingy. I can tell people about what a wonderful place this is to live. But then I remembered the day that NPR told me that my fellow community members have sent millions of dollars to California in order to suppress basic human rights. In fact $19 million dollars have been donated by members of the LDS faith to take away some people's civil right to be considered EQUAL under the laws of our country. That is about 40% of the total funding for Proposition 8, a ballot measure in California that would once again make gay marriage illegal.

It was not very long ago that America had laws which took away the civil rights of its citizens based on their skin color, or their gender. I remember learning about slavery, Jim Crowe, and women's fight for sufferage, and wondering how moral people stood by and did nothing. I believe that in the not too distant future we will look back on our country's effort to punish yet another group of people for being different with the same shame we feel for Jim Crowe laws, but here I stand doing nothing.

So it turns out, I don't have anything nice to say about Utah today. I don't mean to disparriage every member of the LDS faith. In my experience they are kind people, who are genuinely concerned for well-being of others. In every group there are those who take their beleifs to the extreme. However, for a group of people who were once persecuted unfairly by the government, one would think they would pause to think a little more deeply in this instance.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Authonomy, I want my life back

About two months ago, Kris sent me a link to a new website called run by HarperCollins. It is a place for writers to post their work and get feedback from a lively community of other writers and avid readers. The top five books that receive the most support get sent to an editor at HarperColins each month. Most of you will remember my constant and annoying plea for votes. My book was doing great until they changed the rules in the middle of the game. Suddenly votes from friends and family didn't count as much as votes from regular users of the site. I dropped from 17 to 55 in one day. It was heartbreaking.

The book is back up to about 25 these days, but I'm convinced it will wallow there forever if I don't start working the system. I need to get active in the forum and make some friends, but I find their conversations and arguments silly. I can't imagine spending any more time on that site than I already do.

I did receive the nicest comment shortly after the last agent rejected me, which made me feel a lot better.
A perfect stranger who didn't have to say a thing about my book said this:

Lissa. I think this is a wonderful read.

I'm sure that everyone believes their lives to be worthy material for a biography or film or both, but often as not, even when the material is strong enough, the presentation is not. I found this well written, easy to read, and somehow familiar? Not that I have heard this story before - how could I?! - but the style and flow seemed very... comfortable as a reader. The sort of thing you could pick up and return to as if you hadn't been away from it for a while.

For some reason I found myself reminded of Angela's Ashes - yet neither your writing style or plot are actually anything similar! There was just something about the 4 chapters I have read that gave it that feel of being more than a run of the mill biography, where someone preaches about their life as being either special or extraordinary.

So I've shelved this for a while. Books are meant to make you think. I have always felt a good book is one that you think about after you have finished it, and not just one you can lose yourself in when reading it. I find the American style so different for many reasons, (Mom v Mum, etc etc), and thinking about the differences between our childhoods is thought provoking enough for me. Also, the ending to chapter 4 caught me, so I know I will try and come back to read more - another good sign.

A lovely book, and you have my best wishes with it.

I love it when strangers are nice. For all of authonomy's faults, a few people there have inspired me to continue my quest to be published. So I will rewrite my pitch for the 9th time and start sending it out to agents again.

If you want to take a look, you can find some of my book here:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Keep on Keepin' on

Picture it: A book signing at Borders Books and Music about two weeks ago.

My target: Richard Paul Evans.

I dragged Kris and Rosie to Murray on an insane mission. For weeks I had been obsessing over finding someone who knew Mr. Evans, hoping for an introduction. I was coveting his book agent, and hoping for a recommendation that would send my manuscript to the top of her slush pile. After another tenuous connection to Mr. Evans fell through, I decided to just make my own. Since I had been studying his website in an not-at-all-stockerish way I knew that he had a book signing coming up.

The line was much shorter than I had anticipated, leaving me very little time to muster up the courage to talk to Mr. Evans. As people trickled through the door, I let them go in front of me, not wanting an audience.

Finally it was my turn. A few chapters of my book shook in my hand. I opened my mouth and begged the Universe to let something intelligent come out.

"Um," I said. I was off to a great start. "I wrote a book... about my life..." I swear I went on and on for roughly 17 minutes. I couldn't stop myself. The look on his face was painful. He set his pen down on the table and sat back in his chair, simply waiting for me to stop talking.

Then he said, "I don't read manuscripts anymore, since someone sued me a few years ago."

My eyes popped out, and I shook my head. "I would never..."

He held up his hand and finally smiled. "I can still recommend you." He picked up his pen again and wrote down his agent's phone number in New York.

I called the next day, and was told to email the whole book. Then I waited.

And waited.

Most agents had sent me a quick reply that they were too busy, so I tried to convince myself that a 14 day delay was a good thing.

Then the email finally arrived. She was too busy. Best of luck.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I think I can, I think I can...

I'm terribly afraid that I have nothing to say. I suppose we'll find out, huh?

I could rant about trying to publish my book. It seems like the dumb book is all I can talk about in person. Now my friends, you can treat yourselves to a healthy dose online too. I know I am selfless. I live to please.

I could talk about pain... I don't know that I have a lot to say about it. I've had chronic pain for 19 years, and I hardly breathe a word about it. I have decided that I am not doing myself or anyone else any favors. Perhaps someone else can learn from my experiences, so I will do my best to write about them. Maybe even I will learn from them.

Of course I could just talk about Rosie, Lander, Steve and the rest of the fam. This could be a one-stop Lander gossip tell all. But there's rarely any gossip, so don't get too excited.

See- I've said nothing at all, but I have filled up this little box. I will take my vague sense of accomplishment and run (figuratively, of course.)