Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I've been tagged!

Someone started a "5 Things No One Knows About You" game of tag, probably years ago, but it's gotten into the blogosphere, and Tristi Pinkston tagged me. So, here's 5 things you probably don't know about me.

1. I sang a solo with the Rose Lane Elementary School chorus on television (Channel 3 in Phoenix). IIRC, the song was Jesu Bambino, it being Christmas time. This was during 7th Grade.

2. I was offered two full-ride four-year scholarships to Arizona institutions of higher learning because of my singing voice. There were a couple of other offers, but not full ride. I accepted the one from Arizona State College at Flagstaff (now Northern Arizona University).

3. During a half-day off on my LDS mission to Colombia and Venezuela, I hiked up a river into the jungle near Maracay, Venezuela, in search of monkeys. I was with two elders and a sister mssionary. The least I can say about the trek is that it was strenuous. Even though our usual mode of transportation was to walk, for a couple of days afterward, every step I took was torture. My thigh muscles seized up when I stepped off a curb. This caused a curious jerking motion. I'm sure it was amusing to the passersby.

4. I worked for a while as a nanny.

5. My first novel was published 38 years after I began it. I lugged the nucleus around for a long time before I got serious about finishing and submitting it.

Okay, now let me think. Who can I tag? How about:

Liz Adair, Jennifer J. Stewart,
C. K. Crigger, ChillyGator, and H. B. Moore.

Monday, January 08, 2007

On tenterhooks

Since I've been using the phrase "tenter hooks" a lot lately, I decided to get out the ol' dictionary and make sure I was using it correctly. I have been, but imagine my surprise that the dictionary closest to hand lists the phrase as a single word: tenterhooks. I've always broken it down into two words.

A tenterhook is defined as a sharp hooked nail used for fastening cloth on a tenter (which is a framework or machine on which cloth is stretched so as to dry evenly without shrinkage). If you have ever bought yard goods (fabric, cloth), you probably have noticed the tiny holes along the selvage (narrow, tightly woven edge on a fabric that prevents unraveling). These holes come from the tenterhooks used in the drying process.

The phrase "on tenterhooks" means to be in a state of suspense or anxiety. That's how I've felt lately, stretched tight as I await a critique of my newly minted novel by a trusted and highly valued friend and multi-published author. She said she would read it this weekend. When I didn't hear anything after midnight Sunday, and because I worried that my request might have put a good deal of stress on her, I sent her a hesitant little query as to how it was going.

Life happened, and she hadn't had the time she wanted to finish reading my draft, but she had read up to a certain event in the course of the novel. Ironically, this is the point to which I have polished the work.

Oh, the things she says about what she read thus far make my innards writhe in an agony of delight! Now I sit with my head in my hands, worrying that the second half won't be up to snuff. What torments of insecurity we writers suffer! I cringe at the thought of disappointing her, after the wonderful things she has said about the book up to now.

I cry out to God for the strength and the talent to pull the words tightly together in a whole that will entertain, inspire, and uplift. As I struggle to heal my characters' aching hearts and souls, I strive to bring peace to my own being. I crave praise. I need validation that I'm not just playing around, or wasting the time I have here on earth on something of no substance. My Maker gave me so many talents, and I have tried for many year to magnify this one, of using words to affect my readers' emotions and thoughts, into a worthy gift I can place on the altar of God.

As much as I love my friend, being on tenterhooks waiting for her praise is nothing compared to the tenterhooks I feel pulling me taut in my desire to do the will of my Heavenly Father. When my life on earth is past, I yearn to hear His dear Voice saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Friday, January 05, 2007

What is it about snow?

I love to eat ice cream when the white stuff is coming down. It's doing it again, and I just finished a pint of Haaagen-Dazs Butter Pecan. Since it's about 65 degrees F in here, my core is not only fluffy, but warm, as well.

My son is staying for a few days, and he's been surprised at the cold. Having been raised in the desert, he's only had a visitor's relationship with cold weather and snow. Well, maybe a scout ice-camping relationship, but that's been years ago, and he must have forgotten. He may be re-thinking his desire to relocate to the nearest town in favor of somewhere a bit warmer.

I'm still working on the second draft of my novel. One of my highly esteemed readers didn't get the half-revised first draft copy I sent her, so I just fired it off again. Now I'll be on tenter hooks all over again, waiting for her estimation of the value of the book. First drafts are filled with puck-green dreck, so I hope she can spot any gems buried therein.

Getting back to the title question, I must confess: I love to eat ice cream in any weather. That contributes to my fluffy core, I'm sure. Do you find yourself eating ice cream under certain circumstances? What are they?
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