Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm Blamming Pinterest

I have a tendency to fixate on things. I can't put a book down until I've read the whole thing. I start writing and dinner doesn't happen. I decide to clean and end up reorganizing cupboards. I lay in bed at night planning the next day, only to not get any sleep. Lately it's been baby projects that keep me awake. I imagine how things will look, how I will reuse things laying around the house, and how I will end up being a great frugal mom.

Just so you know, nothing ever works out the way I expect.

A year ago, I dreamed up grand visions for a quilt made from old jeans. I finished it this week. That was after it sat for months in storage waiting to be tied, only to discover pre-washing the back fabric had shrunk it, finding a new back (an old sheet, thank-you Mom), sewing the binding on wrong, thinking my sewing machine was broken, and discovering it was just the needle. I was ready to pull my hair out. And that thing was heavy. And interrupting my dreams for cute little baby girl dresses. I somehow felt it HAD to be finished before I started anything new.

Here is the end result. I got to the point were I just wanted it done. So don't look too closely.

Okay, minor detour, but I put together a book about a year ago. (Yes, I'm taking about A Circle of Sisters.) The editors suggested I set up a Pinterest account to help advertise my book. I'd been steadfastly avoiding Pinterest for a long time. But for the book, I'd do it.

I think the first thing I pinned was a link to how to make a cool building toy out of cardboard. My first board ended up being called "Homemade Toys." It's just gone downhill from there.

Aside from writing, I love making things. Pinterest is the black hole of "making things." I'll admit to attempting to include boards that help me with writing, but seriously, I'm spending most of my time looking up craft projects.

So after finishing my grand levi quilt yesterday, I finally felt free. Free to start DOING those things that Pinterest waves in my face. Six hours later, I had this.

You'd think a diaper bag made from material leftover from sword bags I made for my husband (don't ask) wouldn't make me so excited, but this was just so cute! It has pockets on the outside AND inside! (I figured out how to do that myself!)

It was midnight (actually 12:30.) I was worn out. I'd unpicked so many seams it was ridiculous. But I was so pleased that I stayed awake planning my next project.

I'm blaming Pinterest. It's cursed me with a never ending supply of "projects." I hope this baby appreciates homemade things. I'm thinking I'm going to make burp cloths and baby shoes next.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Screaming Girl Inside Me

In jr. high I was in a play called Bye, Bye, Birdie. I played a screaming girl. We followed singer, Conrad Birdie, around the stage screaming and collapsing at his feet.

I never understood the screaming girls. Oh, I like music, and maybe I've just not had enough opportunity to meet my favorite singers, but screaming? Really? I'm not like that.

Or so I thought.

Until I encountered Brandon Sanderson at a book store. My husband might have wanted to take several steps away and pretend he didn't know me.

A screaming girl resides inside me. Maybe not a full on vocal screaming girl, but one that starts sweating like crazy, looses her mind, grins like a manic, gushes over how wonderful they are, and says other stuff she can't remember.

She appears when she meets authors I love.

I drove to Salt Lake last Thursday with as much enthusiasm as I imagine the screaming girls of Bye, Bye, Birdie might have tracked down Conrad. I was going to meet none other than Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, an Amazon Break Through Novel of the Year. I already had the e-version on my phone, but I was going to buy the book in hard back, no matter what the price was, and have her sign it. To me. I'm selfish like that about books I love.

Maybe I should mention a basic difference I've noticed between a get-up-on-the-stage-and-belt-your-heart-out singer, and a write-from-the-comfort-of-your-silent-bedroom author. Maybe that was enough explaination.

The bottom line? Most writers aren't performers. And even if they are the best speaker in the world, the nature of writing is solitary, personal, something you hide on your computer until its perfect. So here I come, drooling a little and spouting off love.

I might have scared a few authors.

Regina is a soft spoken, gentle person. I could listen to her talk about writing forever. I mean it. Forever. By the time she finished a question and answer session and I made my way to the line, new book in hand, I was sweating.

I think about things too much. The panic part of me dreaded the encounter, knowing I'd likely gush praise that would make such a quiet person uncomfortable, and smile so much my jaw would hurt after. I'd had some contact with her online, and worried both that she wouldn't know me and that she would. The inner voice whispered "what are you doing here?"

The screaming girl inside me refused to walk out. She'd driven to this tiny bookstore using only her GPS, down tiny winding streets in the big terrible city of Salt Lake. She'd shown up late (oops) and already faced the awkwardness of that. She wasn't going anywhere, no matter how uncomfortable anyone felt.

And yes, Regina remembered me. And yes, I'm sure I said something silly. And yes, I meant every word of praise I said. And a bunch more stuff that I should have said. I had my picture taken with her. That's a new thing for me. The screaming girl is still doing a little dance over it.

I'm really as happy as I look.

I started rereading the book again. Sigh. Did I mention I love it?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guest Interview: Dana DiGirolamo

I'm excited to feature another contributing author for A Circle of Sisters this week. Dana DiGirolamo contributed two stories about her experiences serving in a Relief Society calling in a prison. A quote from one of her stories is featured on the back cover of the book. Here are her responses to my questions.

What are your likes, interests and hobbies?
I love to read, sing, play piano, and crochet. I like to write, and I love to teach.  But most importantly, I love to spend time with my grandchildren and family!

What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done?
The most unusual thing I have ever done was marry my sweetheart after only physically seeing him for ten days, even though we spoke on the phone for hours for seven months!

If you could go on a dream vacation, were would you go?
My dream vacation would be to go to FIGI.  Awwh. So beautiful!!

It is very apparent how important your family is to you. What are some of your favorite things to do with them?
I love my family very much. Some of my favorite things to do with them are reading scriptures, going in our RV, movies and BBQ'S!!

One thing I always remember about you is your love of music. What are some of your favorite songs? Why?
I do love music.  Some of my favorite songs include the hymns, especially "A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief" and "As I Have Loved You".  I love Broadway songs, especially from Les Miserables, and Phantom Of The Opera.  I LOVE Frank Sinatra - old style music!  I live country music.  I enjoy some pop music.  I think most genres of music are good.  But in this day and age you have up be very careful because the music can be so bad.  I like to think I sang with Heavenly Choirs.  : )

To read Dana's stories and learn more about her, check out A Circle of Sisters, now available in LDS bookstores and online at Deseret Book and Amazon.