Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Storymakers Trip Overview--Or in Other Words, Suffering From Withdrawal Symptoms!

  Storymakers--*sniff, sniff*.  I want to go back RIGHT NOW.  RIGHT NOW, DO YOU HEAR?

  That was one of the best events I've ever gone to.  It was life-changing.  I'm already seeing a big difference in my writing, and in my mind and confidence as well.

  I got to meet so many wonderful people I knew online, and some new friends: Kimberly, L.T. Elliot, DaNae, Dedee, Tristi, Annette, Elizabeth, Brillig, Kazzy, Sue, Terresa, Elizabeth, Aimee, Danyelle, Wendy, Keith, Don, Tobyn, and on and on.

  I'll give you a brief overview.  Sorry, no pics yet, they're in James' phone.

  Thursday morning we left for the airport.  Three of our children had Grandma stay with them, Bean came with us.

  It was my first time on a commercial airplane, and I discovered one thing--I like mild turbulence.  James thought I was a bit off my rocker because of it.  I think the actual exchange went like this:

 James:  "You actually like this?"

 Rebecca, noticing the mild bumpiness again now that James mentions it: "You mean the turbulence?  Yeah!"

 James: Shakes his head at his crazy wife.

  Seeing the Rockies from the air was a spiritual experience, and I admit to shedding a few tears.  I got some great pics of them too, all in James' phone.

  Bean traveled well.  We were supposed to have a mid-size car, but since Enterprise was out of mid-size cars due to BYU commencement, we got a free upgrade to a shiny, black Ford Expedition.  It was nice, and by the time I got into the SUV for the last time before we returned it, I had figured out how to climb in gracefully.  The other times?  Not so pretty.  My behind, showcased by the black door frame, must have made a lovely target.

  The event on Thursday at Borders was so fun!  I admit to being pretty nervous at meeting bloggers in Real Life, but they were all so lovely, friendly, and sweet, and I felt right at home.

  The workshops at the conference were spectacular.  I didn't enter any contests as I wanted to attend the most basic workshops to improve my skills first.  Next year I plan to enter, though!

  All the presenters and people in charge were incredible people and did amazing jobs!  I thoroughly enjoyed the bit of visiting time I had with Annette Lyon, Julie Wright, Heather Moore, Candace Salima, Karen Hoover, and others.  Julie was so sweet and encouraging to a young, aspiring author that it brought tears to our eyes.  I'd bet that she doesn't know how much that must mean to the girl she was speaking with.  James and I just watched the girl blossom while Julie was talking to her.  Julie is an incredible example and I hope to get to talk with her again someday.

  It was totally worth it to stay at the hotel.  I ran up and downstairs so many times with Bean I lost count.  James and I traded holding him, and Bean did really well.

  He did so well, in fact, that while he was army-crawling around the hotel room on Friday, he disappeared around the corner leading to the bathroom.  James went to check on him and I knew that the "oh no, Bean" that came out of his mouth could only mean one thing.  I winced as I said "Is there blood?" because I already knew the answer.  After hearing James' "Yes." I walked around the corner to find the words Red Rum drawn on the mirrored panel closet door in blood.

  Well...ok, there were no actual words.  But it did look like something small had been murdered there.  Blood was all over the carpet, and Bean had been merrily playing on the mirror while his finger dripped, not even crying.  He was only drawing in his blood, nothing to worry about, right?

  I had to actually nurse him so he'd let me hold his finger to stop the bleeding.  We figured that he must have slid his finger down the mirror panel at just the right place to slice it.

  Bean was pretty wonderful through the workshops. We sat at the back of every one to enable a quick getaway, but he gave nary a peep until the very last workshop on Saturday, and at the closing ceremonies.  He even fell asleep on Elizabeth Mueller's shoulder on Friday night at the Shaun Barrowes concert, and James and I got to dance.  That was very romantic!  Thanks again, Elizabeth!

  We also got to visit with Shaun for quite a while.  He is incredibly talented!  We're hoping to work the details out for him to visit our hometown.  He does musical concerts with high schools to promote the importance of music in schools.

  When it was all over, I was so worn out both physically and emotionally, but I would have done it again in a heartbeat.  I learned so much, and met so many wonderful people!  It was very hard to leave the hotel.

  Saturday night after conference was over, we went to Alpine to visit someone who was James' Teachers Quorum Adviser years ago.  He and his wife are lovely people. 

  Sunday we went to Temple Square and the Church Museum, but only got to stay for 45 minutes or so before we had to leave for our flight.

  Now, all I want to do is work on my book, so I'll leave you with some wise information:  if you want a warm, melty Lindt 85% (I'm hardcore, plus it has much less sugar) dark chocolate bar, leave it by the side of your laptop where the fan is blowing.  Gooey.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If You'll Be at Storymakers This Week

Ok, it's Tuesday night.  I guess I'd better do this now, I've been meaning to.  I was hoping to be in far better shape before I posted, but since we writers are all about inner beauty, I'm counting on that.  Because man, I'm a little nervous!  However, I do want people to recognize me. :)

I can't find my camera, and even if I did, I don't remember how to get those darn pics online.  So, I swiped a recent pic my sister took two Saturdays ago, at her daughter's birthday party.

At least this is an awful picture of me sans haircut, hairstyle or makeup, so it's only up from here.  I still weigh 23 pounds more than I did in my profile pic (Thanks, Bean!), but at least it's not the 45 it was in January.  I've had a haircut since that pic, and I promise I'll be wearing makeup and will do my hair.  (James will like that, I'm sure.)

That hot guy sitting on the bench is James.  He still looks the same as he does in his pic.  The adorable little Bean he is holding will be coming with us to the conference.

So, there you have it.

Oh yes, and I have bangs again. :)

I am so looking forward to meeting you all!

Edited to say that yes, I do wear glasses all the time now.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Glitteringly Hilarious

I view the Twilight books as mind candy.  Airy, devoid of redeeming substance, consumed for escapism entertainment purposes only.  Stephenie Meyer does have a pretty good imagination, but her is interesting. Still, the books were a fun read.  The lack of character-building and much else of substance worked only because Bella was a tunnel-visioned, obsessed teenage girl, and lets face it--those types tend to view the world as Ms. Meyer wrote it.  Minus the vampires and werewolves, I hope.  I had expected that the movies would at least be half as interesting to watch as the books were to read.

I should have known better.

Last night James and I watched New Moon.  I expected something a little more watchable than the first movie, since Catherine Hardwicke was replaced by Chris Weitz.

The opening scenes? Not bad.  Kristen Stewart wasn't quite as monotone this movie.  Rob Pattinson, however, looked like he'd gotten punched in the nose one too many times.  I'm sorry, he's just not Edward. The problem for me was...well...the whole movie.

Let's begin with Bella's birthday party.

Really, Edward throws Bella that hard into the wall, she lands on a table and all that happens is that she gets cut on glass?   If that were me, I'd be in a heckuvalotta pain!  Forget the bleeding arm, I think I'd have a couple of broken ribs or tailbone or something.

This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. 

  As the scene cut to Jasper Willy Wonka (Don't you see it?  The hair and crazy eyes?) James quipped, "Did you notice that he threw you in the garbage?"  I kept quoting that randomly throughout the movie and giggling.  Good stuff, Husband.

What was up with the hair?  Bella's was ok, but Jasper looked like he was wearing a dead, rabid fox.  Carlisle may not have been wearing a wig, but his hair was indeed appropriate for a doctor--jaundiced.

 See?  I told you. Willy Wonka.
Alice's stylist gets props, though.

Jacob's hair looked as if one of the costume assistants ran home to grab an old Cher Halloween wig.  "I've had this since the 70's; no one will recognize it!"

Whenever Edward professed his undying love for Bella, we laughed.  Every. Single. Time.  I mean, really.  He sounded terrible, like something a girl thinks she yearns to hear a guy say, but when the words actually come out of his mouth it makes him sound wussy, needy, and makes her head for the nearest tough with a motorcycle.  Not the words "I love you", but the "I need nothing but you, I'll kill myself if you die, blah, blah, blahgity blah blah".  I know it was in the book, but at least there I could hear Edward's voice in that old-time cadence, all Victorian-y.  He looks different in my head, too. At least there was no spider-monkey business in this movie.

And how about those kissing scenes?  Oh my goodness, they sounded so...intimate I nearly had to look away.  Truly Bella, it's amazing you can even stand up straight when so...overcome before you actually even kiss the guy.  Ick.

When Edward was telling Bella goodbye, I truly felt how deeply Edward's words were hurting her.  In fact, she looked downright ill.  She kept leaning over slightly, looking like she was going to barf.  "Oh, Edward," *blaarrrrrggaaraahh*  "don't  lea--" *huuuurrrrl* "--ve me, plea--" *heave* "--se!"

No wonder Edward left so quickly.  He didn't want his fancy shoes ruined.

When Sam first poked his massive wolfy head out of the forest, I declared "It's Smokey the Bear!"  This picture isn't as good as his first appearance, but I couldn't find that.  See the resemblance?  If not, pay attention if you ever watch that scene.  It's the one where the wolves get themselves some Laurent jerky.

"Only we can fight forest vampires."

Doesn't this picture of Jacob's transformation make you think of  Kung Fu Panda?

And I admit that the only time I would have said "Oh yeah" was seeing the fully grown Jacob.   Although I wouldn't actually say it, because he's only 16 and I'm 31.  I can appreciate his grownupness as a work of art, nothing more.  Yes I can.

That hair?  Such fine lines, such unorganized structure!

Edward, not so much.  Yikes.  The phrase "dead fish" comes to mind.  Silvery, cold, and clammy.  I totally laughed at Edward shirtless--that pale-skinned Cullen that's outa shape. (Ok, maybe he's not in New Moon, but that line is so funny!)

That robe is just strange.  He looks like Bella pulled him out of the tub to run away from the weirdo museum guide in the background all Night-of-the-Museum style.  By the way, I figured out who the museum guide (Aro, Carlisle is behind him in the next pic, growing a third leg and arm out of his bum)--

--reminds me of.  


This guy:

Wouldn't he make a splendid vampire?  His hair is already tons better than everyone else's.  Since Lost is nearly over, he probably needs a new job.

So to sum up:

Chris Weitz + New Moon = odd-haired vampires, lusty breathing, and strangely-focused filming that made me feel like I was dreaming.  The bad thing about that was that unlike dreaming, I couldn't wake up.

Too much music. Too much Bella, too much Edward. Too much staring blankly at windows/people/nothing.

I have to admit though, I did enjoy the whole werewolf aspect.  Those guys (including Jacob) were decent
actors. I also like Alice and Carlisle, I would liked to have seen more of them.

I will leave you with this even though it's a Twilight, not New Moon spoof, because if you haven't seen it, you should.   Taylor Swift could definitely play Bella, except she's too pretty. Kristen Stewart is too pretty as well, but she can be made to look more homely. I don't think Taylor can.

Anyway, enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Bean

Bean is eight months old today.  He is such a precious gift!

I love you, my little guy. More than you will ever know.

My Bean Boy

Mid army-crawl, he pauses.
Looks up, oh, that sweet face!
Generous cheeks round in
Toothless, open grin. 
I am in awe as his eyes sparkle
Beaming, blue suns transfix me with

I cannot resist, this floor angel captivates
Me with one coo, one mischievous squawk.
Swooping him up in my arms, I cannot help
But to see the halo.
His hair, waving softly awry,
Lit from behind by lampfire,
Glows brightly.  

A kiss covers my cheek, mouth agape.
His soul glows, I am overcome.
Holding him close, he melts into me
And I am reminded of the days I was
His only breath, existence.
How can I live while my
Heart beats outside my body
Resting tenderly in my arms?

I cannot--
But I do.
Over and over
Each new sunrise.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

In the Mood for Poetry...of a Sort

I don't know why my poetry lately is sad.  I guess it's the type of poetry I like to write the best--though I don't like to read it the best.  I have this thing with nature and flowers, if you haven't guessed by now. 

I do not claim to be a poet, I just love to play with words.  Sometimes getting them out is as satisfying as removing a small splinter from my finger.  Both pain and pleasure coexist and support healing.

Bean is waiting to sleep, so I'll leave it at that.

But not Forgotten
Dripping water spigot
splashy, lukewarm

Leaning metal bucket
Rusty, melting

Acrid, dusty earth
powder, halted

Wilted, paling bud
Drooping, sighing

Faucet sobs
Bucket bides
Earth grieves
Flower dies.

Brightly laughing child
Skips near, slowing

Bud in rosy hand
Drop falls, at last.