Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Writing the Novel

Here's a note about a class being taught by my friend, Carol Lynch Williams and Cheri Earl.

Carol Lynch Williams and Cheri Pray Earl are holding two one-day novel-writing classes in January and February 2009. The January class is for writers who have never written a novel before (Level I) and the February class is for writers who have perhaps begun a novel but need work completing and polishing it (Level II).

Dates: Saturday, January 10th, 2009 and the tentative date for the Level II class is Saturday, February 7th.
Place: The Provo Library, Bullock Room
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (brown bag lunch discussion at noon: Plunging into Publication)
Cost: $50 for each workshop

What you can expect to learn from each class:
Both classes are interactive and discussion oriented and will include some hands-on writing exercises; neither includes a formal critique/workshop session.

Level 1: Structure; coming up with ideas; voice; good versus not-so-good prose; genre distinctions; plotting the novel; beginnings, middles, and ends.

Level II: *For this class students should have a novel-in-process or the outline of a novel to work from in class.
Diagnosing structural problems; developing ideas; strengthening voice; identifying strengths and weaknesses in the prose; defining the genre; improving the elements of the story arc; writing spectacular beginnings and unforgettable endings; brainstorming the murky middles.

If you’re interested in either or both of these classes, email Carol (carolthewriter@yahoo.com) or Cheri (cheri_earl@byu.edu).

Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 20 books for young readers. Her novels include The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson, If I Forget, You Remember, Pretty Like Us, and her most recent book The Chosen One, due out in May ’09. Her books have been recognized as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, IRA Teacher’s Choice Award, PEN Nomination among others. She co-writes the early mid-grade novel series George and Gracie, Just in Time (Fall ’09) with Cheri Pray Earl. She has her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is the mother of 7 children.

Cheri Pray Earl graduated with her M.A. in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University in 1995. She began teaching freshman and advanced writing courses for the Honors program in 1993, where she continues to teach. As a part-time instructor, she has created and helped to write courses for Honors, including "Writing for Publication" as well as "The Publishing Lab,"
to encourage students to write for publication. She also teaches Creative Writing for the BYU English Department and the BYU Honors Summer Scholars Academy and was awarded Honors Professor of the Year in 2005.

Cheri considers herself a young adult novel writer, winning the Utah Original Writing Competition in 1994 in the YA novel category and taking honorable mention in 1997. However, her first publications are for younger readers. She is the co-author of an early chapter book series with Carol Lynch Williams, published by Peachtree Publishing (the first two books in
the series are scheduled to come out in the fall of 2009). Cheri also co-authored an American Girl non-fiction book with Rick Walton (scheduled to launch in the spring of 09). She lives in Provo, Utah, with her husband and three of her five children, two cats, and a dog.

Carol and Cheri organize the annual BYU-sponsored Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop which is now in its 10th year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Star Trek - The Wait is Over

My husband got the chance to work on a few days of the new Star Trek movie, and finally the trailer has been released so we can see how those scenes came together. Click the link and you can see it, too.


My Crazy Life

If you haven't been over to check out Josi's blog on Writing on the Wall about "Write What You Know," and this comic rings all too true for you, then now could be the time to read what she has to say.

In the meantime, I have three minutes to write an update of my crazy life. Two weeks ago, I attended and presented at the Book Camp for WriteWise in Salt Lake City. Heather Moore and I teamed up for two classes: How to Work with Your Editor and Self-Editing Your Manuscripts.

Last week, I was again off to Salt Lake to attend T. Harv Ecker's Millionaire Mind Intensive where I learned lots of ways to increase my income and avoid the pitfalls of today's economy.

I took a few hours off from that on Thursday night to take my boys to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert at the E-Center. I've been to a tons of concerts in my life, and I'm here to tell you this, one ranks as #1. The place was sold out, the concert was rockin', and I think we've just found a new Christmas tradition in our house.

Today I was the guest lecturer for Dr. Kay Smith's Young Adult Literature and Literacy Methods classes at UVU. It was really great to have the chance to talk with next semester's student teachers, as well as future English teachers and writers about the things that I know from all these years in the classroom and as a writer.

Tonight I taught my online class for WriteWise, and tomorrow night it's back to the E-Center for the Carrie Underwood concert.

Wrapped around all of that were actual days teaching my regular classes at Payson Jr. High School, working on a screenplay and the Herrin book, and trying to balance time with my family. It's a good thing Thanksgiving break is almost here. Maybe I can stop long enough to think about all that I am grateful for!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

PARENT Job Description

Alan Osmond sent this to me awhile back and I never got around to posting it. I ran across it again tonight and thought I'd go ahead and share.

PARENT Job Description

If it had been presented this way, I don't believe any of us would have done it!


Mom, Mommy, Mama, MaDad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life! Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.00. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!! ** If you are fortunate enough you will become grandparents!