Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The gifts that keep on giving...

Who didn't love the bunny suit Ralphy got for Christmas, in a "Christmas Story," right? Or the gift of jelly beans given to Clark Griswald and his family when he was preparing for a pool, instead. He should have listened to his crazy rednecked brother-in-law Eddie; It is the gift that keeps on giving!

As I think back to all the gifts I've given, or received, I can say with assurity that most were items Ralphy's Aunt Clara would have salivated over.

So as things go around this time of year, my husband and I were swapping favorite gift stories. His was a wooden toolbox with real tools inside: Screwdriver, hammer-- the works. He couldn’t have been more than ten. Actually,now that I think of it, a toolbox was one of my favorite gifts at my wedding shower, too. You can’t go wrong with a shiny new hammer, but I had to think for a minute about what my favorite Christmas gift was. I think the year I got a roll-top desk, and a pair of ice skates was a banner year, because most of the time my gifts have been, well, let's just say...interesting.

Here’s the deal, the 411, the big kahoona; most people know my dad likes to hunt, but few know that my mom does, too. She likes to hunt bargains. She isn’t big into gifts, and never asks what you "want" for Christmas or your birthday, but where she lacks in sentiment, she doubles in efficiency, scouring the sales all year long. Then around July, when everything is 80% off, she goes crazy and buys seven sweaters, seven bathrobes, seven flashlights, or whatever else she can find in multiples of seven, and then buys 23 come-what-fors, for her grandkids. I admire her creativity and her tenacity because I rarely bargain shop. And it's not because I don't have to, like she will argue, it's because I don't want to. I refuse to. Call it surpressed rage, whatever. I get what is on the list. And it is never on sale when I go to buy it. I would be a horrible accountant or budget-er. Sometimes I hate coupon clippers for the guilt that I feel after I hear how they got the same item I paid full price for, at 75% off by shopping when it was 20% off and then double couponing. I do not hunt. I buy. My mom says that was never an option for her. Whatever, Mom. Haven't you ever heard of a credit card? Just kidding, of course!

First the background: My parent's have a large posterity. Seven kids, seven in-laws, and a bushelful of grandkids. Growing up we were spread out. Some in college, some on missions, and the rest stretched from high school to grade school. Add to that, a business of her own--not Mary Kay, or Avon, Nooo--but a furniture store, where she also sold carpet and drapes, and it is safe to say she was spread thin. Extremely busy would be an understatement. I have no idea how she came home every night and fixed us dinner. Kudos to all moms who can work and still make time for other things--like dinner. I couldn’t do it. I can barely keep up as it is. There I go, getting off topic.

So, if you are wondering what to give, or what not to give, or still don’t know yet, here is a master list of some very forgettable, or unforgettable, albeit by infamy, gifts to consider:

• A lovely head scarf. Not some beautiful flowing hand spun silky thing from India, but a plain blue cotton one, meant for tying around your head in a practical manner, like my grandmother wore on windy or rainy days, because she only got her hair “fixed” on Saturdays. This is what my mom had me wrap up for a friend's sixth grade birthday party.

What sixth grader is going to wear a scarf around their head for crying out loud?

You can only imagine my mortification when the girl opened her gift. “A scarf? Thanks.” I swear I could hear some postal toy pig saying, “A head scarf? Who invited that kid?”

Usually when it was time to open presents I was nowhere to be found. Humiliated at what lie within, I made myself absent. Washing their dishes, sweeping their floor, cleaning their gutters, anything other than having to be there to see the look of disappointment and confusion on their faces.

• Socks. They were crocheted looking, and I thought they were cute. But I still disappeared when it was time to rip open the goods.

My trick? I didn’t put my name on anything. Then, they’d never know who brought the lousy puzzle, sporting different birds in flight, to a third grader's birthday party.

• Deodorant. That was for my brother. You can imagine how this went over. Don’t worry, I blamed my mom. She was the one who gave it to me to wrap up. Not my fault, Eric, now get over it, already!

Okay, this next one was my idea. A neighbor came over and I was eating a carrot and I wanted to give her something nice, so I wrapped the half-eaten carrot up, and gave it to her. Look I was three. And I was missing a few connections in the brain. I think she left, offended. Moral..if a kid wraps up a half-eaten carrot at Christmas for you, know that it is given with love.

Then there were the gifts I received. The thing is, they usually came a tad too late in life, like the Barbie Car in fourth grade, or the Cabbage Patch in fifth grade. Just a little behind the curve ball. What girl with a poster of Menudo and Madonna hanging on her walls, still plays with dolls? This happened to my husband when he received a letterman's jacket his senior year for Christmas. By then he was nearly out the door and didn’t want anything to do with high school. So he has this really lovely letterman’s jacket in our closet that has only been warn a couple times. And from the feel of it I am sure it was not cheap.

I got some material for Christmas one year. That was interesting. I get what my mom was thinking, so it’s fine, just not very exciting. And one year in high school I got a camera, the kind you have to move forward yourself. I think they are extinct now, except for the disposable ones you can grab at the check out lane. Disposable? Who would have ever imagined such a thing. So except for the miracle of '86, when I received a pink caboodle for my birthday,(I didn't think she even knew what a Caboodle was,) most of the gifts are fun memories we tease her about now. Like the time she sent my brothers’ cans of sweetened condensed milk for their birthdays when they were far from home. Neither one even knew what sweetened condenced milk was, let alone what they were supposed to do with it. And who could forget about the fifty key chains she sent to my brother who was on a mission in Spain and didn’t even have a car to drive.

Oh there just isn’t time, or space. I’ll have to post on mission packages another day.

The point is, I love Christmas. LOVE IT. So if you are worried that the gift you are giving is not up to par, or will ruin their life because it is a knock-off Cabbage patch doll? Don’t worry. Wrap it up nice, sing some songs, make treats, read the Christmas story from the Bible, leave Santa some cookies, (and make sure he eats them,) and your kids will remember Christmas as the magical and exciting experience I always felt it was. As my mom would say, “It’s all about the presentation.” Be aware that if you give any of the above items as gifts, there is bound to be some backlash,though, oh, and fewer birthday party invites, too.

What was the craziest gift you ever received or gave? Do you remember any gifts I gave you? Did they scar you for life?

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stories from my very priviledged life...

Growing up, my parent's motto was to never have a car that looked too good, for fear it would create "egotistical, vain and um...well...proud children." Once, while shopping for a car, the dealer showed them a sporty looking Geo Metro. Did you catch that? A 1989 Geo Metro. Apple red, no doubt. And my mom turned to him and said, "Oh no, that will never do. Our kids must drive something a little more humble." So we ended up with a 1983 Powder blue Chevy Sprint, which we were thrilled with, as we'd driven a 1978 frog-green Dodge Colt, lovingly nicknamed "The Green Machine," into the ground before that.

Soon after we bought the Sprint I had a brother get married and for a wedding gift my parents bought them a car we nicknamed "The Peach Blossom." I had just read, "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck and Peach Blossom, as you'll recall was one of Wang Lungs Concubines. It was my first attempt at satire. It was probably a Datsun of some sort that I had never seen before, nor since. A lovely salmony-peach thing that smelled of smoke, moldy cheese, and spilt milk.

Sorry Eric and Jana, but that thing was a beast. The front seat was broken, so when you drove you were actually looking out the back seat window, causing people passing by to pull a double take, wondering who was driving that peach contraption, anyway. While I still had an ounce of pride I sat upright and away from the seat, which could account for the bad back I suffer from now. I've driven some ugly cars, but that one took the cake. I bought a car tree freshener, but that did little to mask the sour,moldy,stinky smell. I had no desire to cruise, pick up boys or do anything other than travel from point a to point b incognito if at all humanly possible. Hey, I'm finally catching on that that was probably my parent's point.

You may wonder what I was doing driving a car that was supposed to be a wedding gift. Well, my parents drove it around themselves before the wedding. Much like using the toaster before you give it away as a gift, maybe. Hey, don't judge. Everybody needs a little toast now and then. Oh, gift giving. I could share some fun stories about some of the gifts both given and received at our house, but I'll save that for a later post. One closer to Christmas. But first I have to tell you how this story ends. The car eventually was left for dead, I mean, put up for sale. Eric and Jana, deciding that their wedding gift was no longer a viable mode of transportation, or were just totally P.O.'d when they found out I'd been doing doughnuts in their wedding gift, parked the Peach Blossom at my parent's store with a sign in the window: "For sale, cheap. Real cheap. Please take." I was probably sixteen or seventeen at the time, and as it is when you are that age, I was in a hurry one day and forgot about looking over my shoulder when I backed out and smacked right into the side of it. It was an inevitable ending to a doomed relationship. One that I have never regretted ending.

So why am I telling this story? My son is turning 15 next month, and has informed me that if he takes and passes a test he can get his learner's permit. I started reading the classifieds for a used car. Perhaps one at least fifteen years old, with a hundred thousand miles, and preferably the color peach, or salmon.
Anyone know where I can find something like that?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brandon Flowers - Behind the Scenes of Crossfire

Brandon Flowers - Only The Young

Brandon Flowers concert Review

So I went to the Brandon Flowers concert last night at the Depot. If you are not sure who he is, he is the front singer for the band “The Killers,” who has taken a heitis while they get some much needed R&R (and who knows, maybe a little rehab?) Just kidding, that was sooo judgmental... Anyway, Brandon had stated in an interview last summer that he wanted to keep going, so he wrote his first solo album and is now touring the world. So here is my review…


How was that for getting to the point? Do you think the local paper would be interested in hiring me to write reviews of concerts? No? Okay, well, here’s a little more to be said on the matter:

Brandon is the new Johnny Cash of our time. It’s a bold statement, but I think one that he deserves after hearing his gut wrenching, soul searching songs from his first solo album “Flamingo.” He is just as tormented and honest about his demons as Johnny was, and because of that you can’t help but love him. And isn’t that what it is all about anyway? Loving people through their struggles, holding a hand out so they can lift themselves up? It’s obvious by his songs about redemption, faith, prayer, and not giving up that Brandon has not given up on himself. But because he does not live his Mormon faith perfectly a lot of people have written him off and that is where the demons show up in his haunting songs.

His voice was strong, his energy was awesome and he looked fantastic. Okay, so they started forty-five minutes late, and this old lady was wearing boots, but once the show began and Brandon’s amazingly versatile baritone voice sang out, all was forgiven, at least by this particular victim. My favorite songs were Margarita, Crossfire, Only the Young, On my knees and his acoustical surprise with his Killers drum pal Ronnie Vannucci, who surprised us all when he appeared on stage with a guitar in his hand, and sang When you were young.
All in all a great show. I only have one request: When the backup singers get sick, or need a break, CALL ME!!! Oh, I have one more request. Do a Johnny Cash song. Please!! He has soo many great ones that Brandon could real croon to.

What is your favorite Brandon Flowers or Johnny Cash tune? What do you think about me joining their band? What band would you join if you could. AAHHH, the life of a rock star. Sun glasses and autographs. Wait, didn’t Kristy McNichol tell us it wasn’t all that? By the way, where is she now?

A few extra pics. Ilove this one of Dan doing e-mails while we wait. Argh! work never ends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 2010

I haven't written on here for a while for several reasons. First, I was trying to sell a house, buy a house, move into a temporary situation, while looking for a home,and finally move into a permanent home. Then it was time to sign kids up for school, give proof of residency, birth certificates, and shot records, find sports, dance and piano teachers, and oh yeah, unpack and make your new house a home, and then find time to write. No problem...

So the whole blog thing has been way on the back burner, like, not even on the back burner, more like under the cupboard getting mummified in spiderwebs. Plus I've had a hard time being positive and I didn't want to be a Debbie downer all the time, but I've decided, what the hey, I tried, and now I've got to vent! So if you are still reading, hold on to your seats, 'cause Becky is about to blow.

October started off nice enough. We'd unpacked more than two hundred boxes, found piano teachers and bass guitar teachers, and drum teachers, and dance/singing class teachers, and I found an awesome trail to run on, so everything seemed to be going great. Plus our hugeormous ward was split and we were put in a brand spanking new ward. This is great because we only had sacrament meeting the first week, because there were no teachers. Cool, huh? Then we had this amazing Indian summer to boot. Perfect fall weather for like, a month, at least! If I'd actually had a garden this summer I'd have still been pulling out tomatoes, and carrots and zucchini and pumpkins and who knows what else, but I didn't have one, so I cheated and found a farmers market, where I bought all those great things and brought them home to my family and looked impressive while doing so. (So they are easily impressed, what can I say?) Then to top it all off we had General Conference, and I was able to bask in the spirit for two days. I went away feeling love, hope, and a desire to do more, be more, and felt inspired to share my testimony of God with those around me.

Then the whole GL community decided to get offended, read things into a talk that were never there, and had the audacity to point fingers at a church that does the absolute opposite when it comes to bullying, intimidating, hating, etc. It was so ironic that I found myself growing hot under the collar, while the wonderful spirit I had felt all but disappeared, and I began to ask God how long He would stay his hand.

So in the midst of a lot of debate, which, by the way NEVER gets you anywhere, and I know better, but darn it if I don't get sucked in sometimes, I started reading my scriptures. I need to clarify, I wasn't just reading, I was searching them for answers and for peace. Twice I came upon scripture that helped me with perspective.

First was when Stephen preached to the people that they had become a hard hearted and stiff necked people, reminding them that they themselves rejected Jesus Christ and became murderers and betrayers. And when the people heard this it "Cut them to the heart and they gnashed on him with their teeth." Then they proceeded to stone him to death... Nice... Then I read a passage where Christ himself says to his disciples that "They shall deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you and you shall be hated...for my names sake. And...many shall be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

This got me thinking. What camp am I in? If I'm among those that burn churches, picket at a religious groups most holy temple, and then preach tolerance and love, am I not a hypocrite? This seems easy, but there are sooo many who do not see the hypocrisy in this. So I look deeper inside myself. When I was baptized at the age of eight, I took upon myself the name of Christ. I became His disciple, therefore it falls upon me to keep going in faith, to turn the other cheek, to love those that curse me and despise me, or rather curse my beloved religious leaders, and to obey all his commandments. It is a tall order. I'm not sure I fully understood what was expected of me at such a young age, or at least then it seemed sooo much easier.

But now I am an adult and I've got to grow a thicker skin, all while keeping God's perspective in mind. Wasn't His own son despised and rejected of man? Am I any greater than He?

I should be used to this by now, but I still don't have very thick skin, even after the ridicule I faced in high school: the mean girls that went out of their way to shove me against doors, spit gravel through their squealing tires, while giving me the finger as I made my way home for lunch because I was too afraid to face them, or who made vomiting noises while I sang on stage. While I think I've gotten over it, hate and rejection still stings. But let me clarify, hurt does not equal hate. Christ himself spent most of the New Testament chastising his people. That probably hurt a little, but he never stopped loving them. And he definitely never hated them, or made cutting jabs.

This much I can promise you. I will never run for politics. People would have a hey day digging around looking for every negative thing on me and splashing it all over the news. And I'd never make it. I still believe that the world is generally good, and that people are generally good, and it would really tear down my Pollyanna belief that people are what they profess to be. So hats off to all the leaders out there who are willing to take one for the team. I only hope I'm never one that adds to the slush pile.

I'm done on this topic for now. I've got more waiting in the wings, but for now maybe I can get some sleep.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Irish Spring Soap Commercial (1980)

"As I C it"

Remember that Irish Spring Soap commercial where the woman is showering out in the bushes? I remember wondering if my mom was going to make me turn the channel, but when she didn't I started reevaluating my moral code. Maybe it was okay to shower outside, or maybe she was locked out of her house by those wicked children of her's, but needed to get that morning shower in regardless. Hey, women can be quite innovative you know! Those were the days when a soap commercial was the sexiest thing on TV, unless you counted the Professor from Gilligan's island, or Ponch from Chips. Ok...I guess I could add Farah Fawcett to the hottie list, but that just seems sort of obvious, doesn't it?

But times have changed. Today I can hardly sit with my kids and watch dancing with the stars, what with their loincloths loosely wrapped around their privates, or even watch American Idol on the nights they have their superstar show. Remember Usher? And what was up with the Black Eyed Peas the other night? Don't get me wrong, I'm an occasional fan, and often a fan of Fergie, but the swimsuit with hipster boots was U-G-L-Y, but more insulting than that outfit was the song itself! Talk about Dumbing down America!! There were four lyrics in the entire four minutes they were on stage. Wait. Was that all it was? It felt sooo much longer!

However, to be fair, I wanted to hug Alicia Keys. She looked beautiful and modest, and she sang beautifully, even when her voice didn't want to cooperate. But on the whole I am rarely a fan of American rock at all. The songs are just stupid. the lyrics forgettable. The beat, hypnotically nauseating. THERE ARE a few exceptions:Blue October & the killers are two of them, but for the most part the music is dumb, dumb,& dumber. Not a poet, or deep thinker in the whole hip gyrating group. (You don't even want to know what I think of our Lady Gaga.) Can you say costumey? Gimmicky?

The same goes for a lot of other sitcoms on TV. I've become a bit of a Glee fan of late. Sometimes it is hilarious. Being in a show choir in High School myself it's uncool angle hits close to home, though I am relieved to say I never did experience a slushy to the face. I love to hate Sue Sylvester, and ogle over good ole Will. The writing is clever and funny and the music is incredible. But Tuesday nights show left me feeling a little sick to my stomach. The whole "Like a Virgin" scene was more than a bit unsettling. Now I hear it was so successful they are going to do another show in the fall. Really? They know this show is geared towards kids right? Oh boy...

I know I'm coming off as a prude, but I'm really not. I love music. I love rock and roll. I took my two boys to the Muse concert last month and rocked out with the best of them. I love movies, and TV sitcoms, and dramas. Our favorite date night usually includes a movie and popcorn. I love watching House, but wonder why a hospital administrator needs to dress like a hooker? For a time I was a closet Desperate Housewives junky until it became too unbearable, and now it seems that they are going to do the same thing with Glee. Can't you give a sister a break? I stick up for TV and music and yet that "Industry" continues to let me down. Maybe all the producers, stars and music people are too hyped up on red bull to notice, but I for one am getting tired of it. And for those of you who say you just don't watch TV, listen to music, or go to movies, I say YUCK! I don't want to live in that kind of world. Why not let our voices be heard instead of just turning out heads. I don't know...any ideas?

Maybe we need to all stock up on Red Bull so we can match their unnerving energy. Maybe we should cry foul. I don't know what works. I've written letters a few times. Once to the producers of Desperate Housewives asking them to please spare us the plunging necklines! It makes me wonder...aren't they good enough actors without showing us their cleavage? Won't we still like those shows if we don't know what cup size they wear? Are we all so simple? Are we all so dumb? Oh yes, its that dumbing down America aspect again. Well I don't know about you, but I've got to go get in line for some Obamamoney. So until next time,"That's how Becky C's it."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How not to sell your house in six months...

I know how to sell a house. Really I do. I've sold two so I must be good at it right? Our first house in Las Vegas sold in a little over two weeks. Our second place in Kaysville sold in ten days with two offers. We looked for two days, made an offer on our current house and were moved out within a month. It was over before it even started. It was great.

So when we decided to put our house on the market again it seemed like old hat. First thing- we got to work. We cleaned the place up, replaced the awful tile countertops with granite and boxed up about half of the kids toys; the kinds that have too many little pieces like barbies and legos and stuff. We scrubbed, polished and organized until we were certain it was picture worthy.

Anyway, after six months the house has still not sold. It's frustrating, but okay at the same time. Our kids are still in their same classes, have their same friends and pretty much have been blessed with an "extension" of sorts. But living in a house that is for sale is tough. I admire all the moms out there who keep a spotless house even with lots of kids. I don't know how they do it. I guess you have to be a take charge, don't mess with me kind of mom, who adores cleaning, to make sure kids beds are always made, clothes are picked up, toys are put away. I'm not great at this. Our house is tidy, but not in model home condition except for the ten minutes before the realtor gets there. I just can't make my kids not live in the house. They make forts, assemble lego skyscrappers and strange k'nex airplane thingamajigers, and spread their plethora of papers and homework out on the table, the counter, the living room floor, and my bed. Then there are the shoes. I don't know how it works, but they are everywhere, and I am constantly tripping over them, or yelling for my kiddos to put them away, or putting them away myself when I give up on it ever getting done. I must have put away ten pairs of shoes the other night. And don't get me started on the coats and jackets. It's crazy. My kids drop their coats the MINUTE they get in the house. In fact there is usually a trail of jackets, backpacks, and shoes all the way down the hall to the kitchen. It's like a strip show. I wonder if I keep the house too hot and my kids can't take it? Maybe they are allergic to the laundry soap? It wouldn't be too bad except you can times this by 5. Even my preschooler has learned to drop her load at the door.

So my point is; the house is still for sale. I have five kids who don't understand what all those hooks in the laundry room are for; don't understand why I insist they take down their multi fort/community center made of every blanket we own in the house, and cry the minute I announce that someone is coming to look at the house tomorrow. I'm barely hanging on while my husband travels the earth and I'm stuck wondering what I am doing wrong until I look out the window and see my dog has gotten out and is barking at a nice family who is attempting to grab a flyer from the for sale sign...hmmm, maybe I've had this all wrong. Bad dog Lady! Bad dog!
By the way, let me know if you are interested in a five bedroom, four bath beauty. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts about my latest story...

I've been working on a story about a girl who feels like she's made the wrong choices in her life and wishes she could do it over. I started this story last summer and then put it away for a few months when I got hung up on an idea. Amazingly in the shower the other day I was able to clear up my concerns and suddenly I am biting at the bit to start writing it again.

The thing with this story is that I am basing it out of St. Anthony where I grew up as did most of my friends. One day last spring I was home for a few days and I went running along the river and couldn't help but think what a wonderful place it was to grow up, and wouldn't it be a great setting for a story! You've got the picturesque setting of the Snake weaving its way through down town, a lovely little park that really could be quite remarkable if the city had the money, and come on, the sand bar would make for a great love scene right? So I had this crazy idea for a story and walla! Then I got stuck on a technical difficulty. When you're writing a story that is sort of complex that can happen. Anyway, I am back on track with this little story that I think will be as fun to read as it is fun to write.

So here is what I am asking from some of you: Any great memories of St. Anthony you want to share? Here's an example I am using in the book: She( my protagonist) reminisces about her youth and tells the story about riding her bike with her sister to the Fountain where they ordered strawberry shakes and counted a thousand pieces of previously chewed gum under the bar. (I indulge a bit more, but to keep it short, that's the gist.) She spends a lot of time at the sand bar, jumping off the well and climbing the water tower as a kid ( I know the water tower is gone now, but when we write fiction we can fudge a bit.) And goes fishing a lot with her dad and then eventually her boyfriend/husband.

Anybody want to share a rafting story? The river is a major point in the story. Especially since someone dies on the river and it turns into a bit of a murder mystery. But I may be giving too much away. Anybody jumped off the bridge? If you know me at all you'd know the answer to that question for me pretty quickly. So I'd love to hear what it felt like. Any cool fishing spots? Something near Chester Dam? Everything in this story is fictional, but I do steal from real places and real events, such as the 24th of July parade, and her house which is that really cool house across from the sandbar. I even went through it last summer and the lady was so nice about it. In fact in the beginning of the story there is a big 24th of July party at the park. I've always thought it would be an awesome place for a totally decked out party and in my story the funds, and the know how are readily available, so I was finally able to have my dream summer party at Keefer park.

You can always think about it and send me a private message via facebook, or just write a comment.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Welcome 2010 and good riddance 2009.

Sound Familiar?

I don't know what it was with 09, but I really didn't care for it. It was like an old hamburger left in the back pocket of a hot suburban. (yes, this happened to me and was not pleasant.)

So unpleasant that I'm going to expound. (By the way, don't you love this pic of Macy in the lipstick? Looks like she got in the sauce too. Naughty, Naughty.

So here's the story:

The car stunk. It does that a lot with five kids and lots of road trips. I was cleaning it out, looking for the source of the "smell", when I innocently stuck my hand in a back pocket and pulled out a BLACK, MOLDY Hamburger-- HALF EATEN-- mind you, which means that someone stuck it in there ON PURPOSE and then LEFT IT THERE for like a month! DOES IT SEEM LIKE I'M SHOUTING? Well, sorry, but sometimes the things my kids do drive me bonkers! And the memory is still a little fresh.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, Happy New Year

Resolution time: I resolve to stop eating chocolate. HA! Just kidding! NOTHING will get that to happen, but I thought I'd sound strong willed for a moment.

Real Resolution: I resolve to write a story that I can actually send to an agent with confidence. Is that possible?

Speaking of agents, one piece of advice agent Jane gave me when I met with her in December was that I needed to pick a genre. A voice. A writer wanting to be published needs to market themselves. Are you a romance writer? Mystery, Womens Fiction? Then you need to put yourself neatly on the shelf and write.

So I ask myself, what kind of writer am I? Well, the first thing is obvious. I am a romance writer, but I don't want to be one of those sappy, over-sexed Harlequins with the Fabio type male neatly painted on the front. I want my stories to mean something more. But this assignment has me stymmed. I've gone back through all my stories. There are four of them. Two are finished. I picked up the third story a few days ago and began reading. I started it in the early summer and then got stuck on an idea and put it away for a few months. Now seeing it with fresh eyes has me excited again. I like the story. Heck, I like my first story, but I'm not sure if it is publishable, though I love it. Not "High Concept" enough. I think I want to be a women's fiction writer with some romance tying it neatly in a bow. Or maybe a romance writer with some fiction tied in. I also like a little mystery, some conflict and lots of tension.Well, I've been paralyzed long enough. (One month to be exact) and I can't wait to get writing again. Whatever I am I plan to be true to it. (Isn't that what Shakespeare admonished?)

What are your resolutions?

Happy New Years everyone.