Monday, August 29, 2011

I am so excited for the LIFT women's conference coming up! I am planning on taking my mom to it. Can't wait!!! ..... I even get CHOCOLATES!


Saturday, October 29

Orem High School (175 South 400 East, Orem)

9:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.*

Featuring TV Star
Liz Edmunds
(The Food Nanny)
as your hostess and:

John Lund
Communicating with your Spouse

Meg Johnson
When Life Gets Hard, Keep on Rollin'

Hank Smith
Finding Happiness

Kim A. Nelson
Getting Past If Only

Early Bird Registration
Before Oct. 20 --After Oct 20, Price is  $29.99
All participants will receive a 
TOTE BAG & CHOCOLATES with registration!

Register by Visiting:

OR purchase tickets at any Seagull Book Store in Utah!

* 1-hour lunch break will be included—the event will not provide lunch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tell Me A Story

Some of my favorite childhood memories are intertwined with the fictional tales my father told as we gathered around a flickering campfire. Take a real event, add in a little imagination and vuala--you've got the makings of something great that penetrates our mind's vision and appeals to the creativity in all of us.

My father, during his Highway Patrol days, spent countless hours driving the roads of southern Utah, and that resulted in many great stories that have now been passed down to his grand kids. A routine assignment, like shuttling blood from our local hospital to a medical clinic on the reservation, turned into an edge-of-your-seat tale when he added in a mysterious hitchhiker with incomprehensible powers that seemed to transcend time. I used to hang on every word and then beg for more as the campfire slowly diminished to glowing embers.

Today I crave the opportunity to make up my own stories. Long trips, nights around the campfire, and late October evenings curled up in a blanket on the couch all lend the opportunity to think up a good adventure. And let me tell you--I take those opportunities to spin a yarn when I can. You can too.

Opportunities are everywhere. Recently I went on a youth camp to Mutual Dell and a few minutes of storytelling during the confidence course turned the climbing wall into a planned escape from a concentration camp. We had to time our escape perfectly between the changing of the guards. It was harrowing at times, and two leaders weren't able to escape to freedom, but their sacrifice saved the rest of our group. The kids loved it!

"Hurry--before the guards come!"

All you need is a little inspiration to get your story going. Try this story starter:
You had planned to attend a friend's birthday party and plugged her new address into your GPS system, but the system guided you to somewhere else. Oddly enough, there was a man waiting for you at this mysterious place. "Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent," said the person
Now you finish the story. You can post you results in the comments.

If you need more inspiration to get your own storytelling juices flowing, check out the the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival coming Sept 1-3.

3 days of pure fun featuring some of the best storytellers in the nation, puppeteers, and other performers!

Happy storytelling!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Art Project

ROO by David (11 yrs old), POOH by Justice (6 yrs old), TIGGER by Rachael (8 yrs old)

This is what I've been doing lately. I'm a 4-H leader for art and these are the project that the kids in my group have completed. I think they turned out awesome!!!

This year I had 7 kids in the 4-H class, 3 of which were mine. We selected to do a  close up portrait of Disney characters, and to make them a little uniqe--we made them 3-D!

Here you can see the side view of Tigger. The shadow behind him is not painted, it is created because he is raised off the Page by half an inch.

This is how we made them:
1- Each kid picked their favorite Disney character. Then we printed off a little picture of each character off the Internet. I had them stay away from human characters because it is more complicated to do human faces.
2- We painted the backgrounds. Each kid decided on where the light was coming from in their pictures and we spray painted the backgrounds accordingly using regular spray paint. For the little kids they worked on the sweeping motion and pressing the nozzle down while I guided their hand to help them get an even coat.
3- Since this class focused on light and shadow and not actual drawing, we had the kids trace their characters onto a white piece of card stalk. We used a little projector to project the image onto thier paper and they traced the main details, adding or changing the things they wanted.
4- They cleaned up their marks and straightened their lines.
5-Adding color! My son used oil pastel crayons on his and I quickly decided that it would be too hard for the younger ones so the rest of the group used watercolor pencils. These pencils are great and once you go over them with a water-damp paint brush, the colors blend well.
6- Adding the black accents with a black sharpy marker.
7- I cut them out for the kids and mounted them in the frames for them. The cut out characters were glue to small pieced of double-layered foam board. Since the pictures stood out from the background, I added another piece of mattboard to double frame them, raising that as well.

                            MICKEY MOUSE by Nathan (6yrs. old),   STITCH by Brian (14 Yrs old)

This is my son, Michael's (15yrs.). Oil pastel crayons. Purple and yellow spray painted background.

This is my daughter, Julia's (8 yrs. old) Water color pencil. Yellow and orange spray painted background.

My daughter, Sarah's (12 yrs. old) Water color pencil, Solid black background. The tree is raised 1/4 of an inch off the background with foam core, and the cat is raised 1/2 inch off the background giving this a real 3-D layered look. The missing stripes are cut out.

All in all, it turned out to be a great project for the kids. It took 7 classes to complete. They are all happy with the results, and two are going to the State Fair!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Welcome to the Hang ‘em High Hoedown, counting down the days until the release of Tristi Pinkston’s new novel Hang ‘em High, the third installment in The Secret Sisters Mysteries.

When Ida Mae Babbitt receives an invitation to visit her son Keith’s dude ranch in Montana, she’s excited to mend their broken relationship, but not so excited about spending time with cows. Arlette and Tansy go along with her, ready to take a vacation that does not involve dead bodies or mysteries of any sort—one must have a break from time to time. But it seems a no-good scoundrel has moseyed into Dodge City and is bent on causing all sorts of trouble for the ranch. Unable to keep her curiosity in check—especially when it seems her own son is the most likely culprit—Ida Mae decides to investigate. Can she lasso the varmint and get him to the sheriff in time?

You are invited to the launch party:

When: Saturday, August 13th, 12 – 4 pm
Where: Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
Prizes, games, Dutch oven cobbler (first come, first served)
Tristi will be joined by authors Nichole Giles, Heather Justesen,
Cindy Hogan, and J. Lloyd Morgan

To count down to this book launch, Tristi is holding a contest, and you can win a ton of great prizes!

On my blog, you can win:

Mark of Royalty + Music Video DVD
Unaware of her royal heritage, Sarah Benavente is taken from her home and raised with a secret which ultimately traps her between two men and their fight for the crown.

To enter:

1. Be a follower of my blog.
2. Go to Tristi’s blog at and become a follower of her blog.
3. Leave Tristi a comment and tell her you’ve been to my blog, and tell her one reason why you’d like to win my book.

All entries must be received by midnight, August 5nd, MST.

Be sure to check Tristi’s blog every day for information about the next prize – you’re in for a rootin’-tootin’ good time as we count down the days!

Everyone Loves Horses

(Mark of Royalty Music Video / Book Trailer)

Fact: I am an avid horse lover.

The horse is my favorite animal in the whole world. In fact, if there were ever committees in the pre-existance assigned to help create some form of life, I'm sure I would have been assigned to the horse creation committee. I grew up on books like Black Beauty, Misty of Chinocoteague, and King of the Wind. Now my love of horses comes through in my own writing.

Some of my favorite scenes that I wrote in Mark of Royalty were the ones featuring horses. In Mark of Royalty, the main character, Sarah, has a deep love and appreciation for the equine breed. Despite her step father's animosity towards the animals, Sarah rescues a little lame pony and brings him home. What I love about her interaction with the pony (affectionately named Pooka), is the fact that, although he is the lame one, he becomes very therapeutic for her.

Other favorite scenes in Mark of Royalty include the dashing Alex and his Friesian horse. If any of you have read the book, you know why the Friesian is the perfect horse for Alex. The Friesian is one of my all time favorite breed of horse and one that I would dearly love to own myself. They have a distinct majestic look about them. They are recognized for their silky black coat, their extremely long, wavy mane and tail, and "feathers" on their lower legs. To me, they always appear to be leaning into the wind, and it's an absolute thrill to see them in action. Their large muscular bodies have a sense of dignity and grace which adds to their commanding presence.  You'll see them in movies like The Mask of Zorro, Eragon, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Friesians have a very distinct look about them and we were very blessed to find a pure bread to feature in our Book trailer and Music video.
This is a picture of Luke (the horse) next to Warren Workman(video director), and Christie Erickon (horsetrainer/stunt double.)

Want to win your own copy of Mark of Royalty along with a DVD of the Music Video? We are helping Tristi Pinkston celebrate the release of her new book, Hang 'Em High--another book with horses! We are sponsoring a book giveaway in her contest so check out her blog and come back here on Aug. 4th to enter the drawing.


I'm always excited to release a new book, but I have to say...This one is extra special. THE WIZARD'S WORKSHOP , was born out of m...