Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gender roles

I believe that we are all God's children. He loves us. He created us all in His own likeness and image, as we can read in Genesis 1:27. We all have the potential to become as He is and receive the blessings He has prepared for us. However, none of us can do this alone. I have a firm testimony that both men and women are necessary to God's plan. We need each other. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many teachings on this subject, which are summarized in "The Family: a Proclamation to the World". Because of these teachings, I believe firmly that men and women are equal. It's very easy to start questioning particular doctrines, but if we know that God loves us, we can trust that He knows what is best for each and every one of his sons and daughters.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Almost there

I'm almost done with my novel! This has been eight years in writing, and I'm closer than I've ever been to actually finishing. I've just got a few pages left to rewrite and edit, and then I will publish it via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It will then be available for anyone who's interested in reading it. If you like fantasy, watch for it within the next few weeks.  I designed a possible cover today and that was fun.
The working title for now is Arden: Shirina. It's several years after the Empire invaded the country of Arden, and a group of spies is still fighting for freedom. In the midst of this struggle, Shirina, one of the spies, must rescue her captured cousin and help a young soldier escape service to the Empire. There are other stories yet-to-be-finished about the same country, including some of the same people, which will probably turn into more novels and perhaps a few short stories. I'll work on those in the future. For now, I'm going to finish this novel and then concentrate on my Masters program.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Clear communication through writing

Why write?

Everyone needs to write something sometime. So much of our communication is written these days. Texting, Facebook, twitter, blogs, school assignments and job applications all require us to write. The first thing we need to realize is that writing is NOT the same as speaking. It's a separate skill that we need to learn and practice if we want to improve. I've adapted this blog post from a handout that I prepared for a writing presentation at a Relief Society activity in my ward. I believe that the internet is turning all of us into writers. The better we know how to communicate through writing, the more likely others are to understand our ideas properly when they read them. 


One of my favorite books is Education of a Wandering Man, by Louis L'Amour. It's a wonderful adventure story about reading and traveling and writing. I love seeing how L'Amour's own adventures show up later in his novels. I first read that book as an assignment in my twelfth grade English class, and it has stuck with me ever since. It has had a great influence on my own education.
Education is made up of more than books. It means learning to work, learning to think, learning to see the world around us through new eyes. For me, it also means learning about God and my relationship to Him. I firmly believe God wants His children to be educated about many things. In Doctrine and Covenants 93, verse 36, we learn that the glory of God is intelligence, or light and truth. In D&C 88:78-79, we find a list of all the things God encourages us to learn.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Musicals and movies and books, oh my!

Last night, I got to see The Scarlet Pimpernel at the SCERA theater. It was pretty amazing. I've loved musicals for a very long time and haven't gotten to see one in a couple of years. Also, I think this was the first time that I've seen a musical made from a book. (Fiddler on the Roof and Guys and Dolls don't count because they were based on characters from various short stories.) So it was fun for me to compare the musical to the book to the movie, both of which I enjoyed greatly. The musical was great. I probably would have fallen head over heels in love with it right there if I hadn't seen and read the other versions.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Creativity and Productivity

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. 
~Thomas Alva Edison, quoted in Harpers Monthly 1932, according to Wikiquote

Ideas are funny things. Something can sound truly brilliant in your head, but to get it to come out right on paper takes a great deal of work. As I was thinking about this today, I remembered the quote from Thomas Edison. I think creativity is a lot like genius; it takes a spark of an idea plus a whole lot of work and a great deal of perseverance to finish a creative project. I'm in the middle of editing my book. It's been about eight years since I started. I never counted how many drafts I've been through so far, and I want it to be done. But books don't spring fully formed from an author's brain like Athena from Zeus' head. The idea is there. I know, more or less, how I want this story to turn out. (Actually, the ending's still quite up in the air. I should give it a parachute so it'll land safely...) But I have a tricky middle section to get through first. I changed one detail and now there's lots of other details that hinged on that one, and so I've got to go through and make sure that everything makes sense. Which is one reason I'm writing this blog post instead. (I take breaks. Also, on an unrelated note, facebook is to productivity as a black hole is to space and time.) But I'd really like to get this story finished, because I want to see what happens. I'd better finish up here and get back to work.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Journals and remembering

I decided to write a post about journals. I love keeping a journal. At first it was difficult to think what I wanted to write, but as I kept at it, I discovered that keeping a journal helps me remember the past and have hope for the future. It also helps me sort out my thoughts as I'm writing them down. This is the first time I've taken photos specifically to post on this blog, and it was kind of fun. I got out all of the journals I've filled up over the years and started taking pictures. You'll see from the photos that I've used many different journals. Each one is. And they're all quite special to me.