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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Final Hours for Whitney Nominations!

Just a reminder that reader votes for the first annual Whitney Awards are due by midnight on December 31st 2007. However, since at that time many of us will either be snogging with someone special, or eating that last piece of pizza, or taking another aspirin so we can deal with the kids for another half hour, you might want to get your votes in earlier than rather than later. For a list of books check out LDSpublisher’s blog, where she has kindly kept a runny tally of the eligible books, though it might be missing some.

There has been a lot of flack for LDSfiction and some of it has been deserved; poorly written, trite storylines, peachy, unrealistic, cheesy—all those things can apply to certain books—which is why it’s so important to reward those titles that break those negative impressions and make a difference. The whole goal of the Whitney is to recognize those books that are of the quality readers want, but it only works if you take the time to nominate those books that you felt are worthy of emulation in the industry. This really is a pinnacle achievement for LDSfiction as a whole, as it’s the first time a reader driven “rating” system has been put in place. Please, please, please, if you read any books from the list that really made a good impression on you, take the time to nominate. You can nominate multiple titles in multiple categories or in the same category (though only one vote per book per category), you can nominate both traditionally published and self-published books, national market and LDS market so long as they were written by and LDS author. Don’t be shy, the award depends on YOU! (picture Rob Wells with a beard, a red, white, and blue top hat and his finger pointed)

For more information on how the award works, or to nominate a book, go to www.whitneyawards.com

Awards will be announced at the first annual Whitney Awards Gala that will be held March 22—reservations can now be made through the LDStorymakers writers’ conference registration page at www.ldstorymakers.com

Thanks for all the great support!

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 'Tings bout Christmas

Mothering on the Edge tagged me for Christmas so I gotta hurry--

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word (Josi doesn't even know what the m-word is but she's trying really hard to think of all the dirty words that start with M that she's ever heard.)
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

1. My husband left for his mission on December 19 18 years ago (holy cow that's a long time) And he gave me this Christmas mouse made out of a 2 liter bottle he bought at a craft fair at his work. I kept it up for two years and it has survived all 4 kids. It's super cute.
2. My parents make fried oysters every Christmas morning. total yuck-fest. And they are spending Christmas with me this year, gotta clothespin? (do clothespins on your nose really work?)
3. My favorite Christmas song is "Oh Holy Night" Glen Beck did a version of that song where he took out all religious references so it went like "Oh beautiful-non-religious night ... it is the night of no-one-mportant's birth" makes me laugh my head off, but I still like the original version better.
4. I couldn't point out a Bing Crosby song if I would make $1000 getting it right.
5. I used to get into the "designer" tree but I've repented. Now my tree is full of all kinds of hideous ornaments made by my children and I love it.
6. We have English trifle for Christmas Eve every year--without the sherry.
7. I have a sister and a nephew and a second cousin all born on Christmas day--sucks to be them.
8. I have never put up Christmas lights
9. For years my kids were convinced we didn't have lights because their uncle wouldn't put it up for them. I was awesome. However, they are on to me now and know that I'm just lame that way.
10. I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time five years ago. It's really a pretty good movie even if it is black and white.
11. I'm waiting for someone to remake it, staring Mathew McConehey (can't spell his name, sorry) and the girl that Mr. Holland wanted to have an affair with in Mr. Holland's Opus.
12. I hate most holidays--they're dumb--but I do like this one so long as I don't tell myself it has to be just right.

As for who I'm tagging--Barbara, Marcia Mickleson, Tristi, Piper of Love.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elf Wanted: Must be Reliable!

Our tooth fairy sucks. I don't know how we ended up with her, but she should never have been graduated from tooth fairy school. Not only does it take her weeks to actually do her job, but she seems to forget from one tooth to the next how much she's supposed to leave. My children have grown up with a complex about it, worried they aren't as important as other kids and therefore she doesn't give them priority. And then when she leaves a dollar for this one and fifty cents to another it causes all kinds of problems. If I paid her, I'd fire her, but I don't pay her, she pays the kids for freaking teeth, so it's hard to complain, but it would sure help me out if she'd be consistent in the execution of her tasks. If I knew how to contact the tooth fairy board I'd be sorely tempted, however, I don't believe it's any kind of accident that this information is not public knowledge. The tooth fairy I had growing up wasn't much better, so maybe it's an overall moral issue going on among the organization.

I think I figured out why she's so horrible though, I've determined she's an elf. A small elf, with wings and a dental fetish, but an elf all the same. And elves, I know without a doubt, are the most unreliable of creatures. If I ever doubt this I need only wait for Christmas to be reminded of why elves are not to be trusted.

See, we have a Christmas elf stay in our tree every December. Some might say that it's nothing more than a demented need to lie to my children more often--whatever. I have plenty of opportunity to lie to my children (your face will stay that way, I don't have any money, I love watching the plays you make up) I don't need to come up with such detailed and effort-invoking lies such as this.

So we have an elf. And every morning in the month of December the elf leaves candy for the kids if they've been good the day before. He leaves these treats in the match box bed I made him some fourteen Christmases ago (I'm nice that way) and the reason he stays in his match box bed in the tree is so he can report to Santa how the kids are doing. Never mind that he somehow watches the kids during the day, they can't see him, but he supposed to making toys too--let's not get distracted. Sometimes he leaves little notes for the kids--they love that. However, he, like his cousin the tooth fairy, sucks at his job. Too often he forgets to leave treats, making them question ME about why he didn't come. Well, how am I supposed to know?

"Weren't we good yesterday?"
"Is he telling Santa we were bad?"
"Does he hate the tree?"

And so in addition to the issues of tooth fairy malfeasance (not sure if that's the right word, but it sounds really cool) they have the additional weight of being unfairly treated by the Christmas elf as well. I have to ask, is there no shame for these creatures? Have they no respect for the role they play in the lives of my children! I mean, really, I'm not sure it's all that necessary for us to have these kind of "Helpers" if they can't be reliable. More trouble than they're worth says I.

Anyway, if you know any GOOD elves out there, the kind that follow through and give the children they serve the delight and joy they are supposed to create, send them my way.

At least our Christmas elf goes when the tree does. Unfortunately, my kindergartener has four loose teeth. I better buy some kleenex, or heck, maybe I ought to do it myself . . . nah, I've got enough to do.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

10 Random Facts about me

I got tagged and y'all won't believe who tagged me. MY BROTHER. Yeah, I know I've said my family doesn't read my blog, and they don't (cause if they did they would have claimed the reward $$ and they haven't), but he tagged me on myspace, but I, like, have to play cause a family member actually tagged me! Makes me feel all kinds of special. The tag is 10 totally random things about me, then I tag 10 people and tell why I tagged them. So here we go;

1--I threw away a dead chicken today. Don't know how it died, it was a real pretty one too. Were I a REAL woman I'd have made it into soup and stuffed a pillow. Instead, I used a KFC Bucket (ironic, huh) to help scoop it into the garbage sack, then I threw it in the garbage like I do with all my dead chickens.

2--I was listening to Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" when I got my tattoo.

3--I took cookies to my tattoo artist a week later, I'm pretty sure he thought my friends and I were the freakiest people he'd ever tattooed before.

4--I once had a pet iguana named Cruncher. I made a mug with his name on it in my high-school pottery class. He ran away anyway, danged ungrateful reptile. Cold blooded, that was.

5--I've watched 4 of the 5 Harry Potter movies in the last two days--the one I missed is #4 cause it's in the car and it's cold in the garage.

6--I absolutely despise the Simpsons. You will never find the show on in my house, you will never find a sticker, t-shirt, post-it note, or mug with a Simpson anything on it.

7--About once a month I dream that the fronts of my teeth fall off. Totally freaks me out.

8--About once a month I want to throw rocks at the world and everyone in it, that has nothing to do with the dreams though--it's a girl thing.

9--I once took a cat to the animal shelter and let my kids believe it ran away. It was a mean cat though--even if it's name was Rose Angel Star Princess (I had two little girls at the time) It's name would have been pukeface-meany-cat if I'd have named it.

10--If I had to choose between feeding, bathing, rocking to sleep, or changing the stinky diaper of a baby--I'd choose the diaper.

To tag:
Jules--cause she's funny and I like to see if I know everything about her yet
Crystal S--cause she just started a blog and I think she runs deep, very very deep.
Tami--cause I haven't tagged her for awhile.
Luisa--for no good reason other than the fact that she's entertaining.
Kymburlee--same reason as Lousia
Annette--Cause she's annette; I always tag annette.
Heather--Cause I always tag her too.
Jeanette--cause she makes me laugh
Sandra--cause I don't think I've ever tagged her before
Ajoy--cause she wants me to tag her, I can FEEL it

Have fun y'all. Let me know when you're answers are up.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Neighbor Gifts via. Utah Mormons

For those reading this that are not Mormon or are Mormon and outside of Utah, here's a little information that will make this rest of this blog make more sense. A Mormon congregation is divided along geographical boundaries according to members living in that area and is then called a ward. The clergy and auxiliary leaders for each ward live in those boundaries. Since Utah was settled by Mormons and that we reproduce at higher rates than most of the country (no, we don't do the polygamy thing but the average Mormon family has 4 kids and twenty years ago the average Morman family had 7)--we have a lot of Mormons here. A ward can be as small an area of two blocks depending on how many Mormons live in that area, which means that you go to church with your neighbors, you serve on PTA, carpool with, coach and cheer for your neighbors kids who, many of them, also go to your same church. Mormons worship weekly, and the youth have weekly activities so we're together A LOT just for church things. For Mormons outside of Utah, they might be the only Mormon in five miles, so it's different, but here we get tangled up in one another's lives. It's great, except when it's not, and it's not so great when you have to figure out who to give neighbor gifts to and who not to give neighbor gifts too--hence, the following insanity:

Most non-Utahns or non-Mormons probably give some cookies to your immediate neighbors based on the 2 house rule--two house to the left, right, and across the street. Yeah, that's how it starts for us too, but then . . .

Your visiting teacher who lives one door away to one of those ‘immediate’ neighbors brings you something and you realize you should bring her something too, she is your visiting teacher and directly related to your salvation after all. So you take her some and Sister Wilson, who is in her seventies and lives in between the VT and the immediate neighbor, sees you doing it when she comes out to get her newspaper. You go home all kinds of worried about hurting sister Wilson’s feelings since you realize that you just gave cookies to the neighbor on each side of her, and she SAW you. So you whip up another batch and take some to Sister Wilson, only then realizing that her real sister, Sister Larsen, who is a dour old bat and lives a street over, probably didn’t get many cookies this year since she made that comment about women who wear make-up were practically prostitutes. Yet, Sister Wilson will surely brag (they are your ginger cream cookies after all and when you made them for the ward social last year everyone raved about them so you know she'll brag too) so you make another batch and take some to sister Larsen, who gives you a dirty look before she takes the plate and slams the door while mumbling something about Maybelline and a curse of immorality.

Amid your grumbling about her rudeness, you realize it’s just wrong that you give and ungrateful witch like Sister Larsen cookies, and don’t give any to Sister Nebeker, who’s husband died last month. And right before Christmas too! So you take her some cookies, then feel even more guilty about not giving some to the Petersons who were a big part of George getting his Eagle this year. And if you’re going to give to the Petersons, well the Pinkstons teach Fred's Cub scouts, and by not giving them a plate of cookies are you basically saying that cub scouts is a wannabe organization? Isn’t a wolf as important as an Eagle in the developing of a boys self esteem? So the Pinkstons get some, and then you have to give something to the activity days leader so that you’re not saying your boys are more important than your girls—even if they do only meet twice a month and don’t give badges. The Young Womens president is next, and don’t the councilors work hard too? By now you’re out of butter and ginger, so you’re tying up microwave popcorn with ribbon and taking it over.

Then you realize that the kid’s primary teachers deserve some thoughtfulness (though you’re down using Kool-aid packets and a cute poem—mountain berry burst is really hard to rhyme to). And what about the Primary president? And your husband is in Elder’s quorum. By now you’re putting bologna sandwiches together, but you’re almost out of bread. The Bishop is way more important than the EQ president even if all callings are equal in the sight of the Lord, so you give him one too . . . And his councilors. And then that one sister—you know who she is—makes a comment about those nice ginger creams she saw at Sister Wilson’s house and you feel bad since she did bring you dinner when you had the baby two years ago, so you rob your local veterinarian clinic to buy more butter and ginger, then you feel bad about the burglary, even though it was for a really good reason, and so you take them some cookies too while they clean up the glass and tranquilize the kenneled dogs that haven't been the same since the break in.

On your way home from that you realize that the only people on the block that didn’t get something from you are the non-members. What kind of statement does that make? So you start pulling ornaments off the tree—they look new enough. Then you worry that those non-members will say something to the other non-members in the ward boundaries, so you throw the candy set aside for sockings into ziploc sandwich bags. After dropping them off you wonder if you remembered the women you visit teach? Did you get your husbands home teaching families? What about Sunday School teachers, high-councilor and recently returned RM who’s having a hard time adjusting and still wears his name tag? You give away the chocolate Santas, baking chocolate and the last bag of cat food, but it’s the thought that counts after all.

As you finish up the last few things Christmas eve, you realize you forgot to get anything to replace the stocking stuff you used, so you run down to the 7-11 and find a nice assortment of auto decals, Dr. Pepper and allergy medication. You also determine that next year you’re not going to do this, you’re going back to the two house rule since you've used up all your food storage and haven't yet wrapped a single present. And then you get home to find a sweet card from Sister Nebeker thanking you for the delicious ginger creams and you realize that this is what Christmas is all about, stressing yourself to the max and putting all your energy into something so stupid.