Friday, November 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo: 30 days, 50,000 words, 0 Excuses!






Boo yah! It is November 30. After 30 days and nights of writing, writing, writing, I am officially the winner of National Novel Writing Month. Bring on the victory dance.
 
Ok, so winner may be a slight exaggeration in the true sense of the word. But that's what they told me when I copied and pasted my new novel on their website. So I'm going to go with that. How often in life do we get to be winners?

"Ahhhhhhh..." That is one seriously long breath of relief. I've shirked responsibility. I've let dust bunnies form. I've ignored my husband. My kids think my laptop is just another appendage to my body. My Christmas decorations are still in their boxes. I'm four weeks behind on ironing (sorry, honey, you're just going to have to wear a polo shirt again). My "to be filed" pile is more like a mountain. BUT, heck with it all, I just cranked out 50,000 words in 30 days.

It was super hard and super fun at the same time. Now I could go on and on about how difficult it was, how I had to miss out on some November fun because "I have to get my words in for the day." Honestly, though, I think I've got carpal tunnel syndrome, I need to catch up on about 100 hours of sleep, and my favorite TV shows have been piling up in Hulu.

Don't worry, I'm not taking a long break from writing. On Monday, I'm starting a month long venture of agent/publisher querying for my first book, Remembrandt. Then in January I'll be back to the grindstone for my second book--finishing it off and beginning the process of editing.

Until then, I'm setting my laptop aside, putting my feet up, and flashing a smile because I'm a WINNER.




Thursday, October 18, 2012

James Dashner: Author of the Future?

 I recently had the opportunity to attend an author panel celebrating the release of a new middle grade series called The Infinity Ring.


James Dashner and I
 
I'm currently reading the first book in the series, Mutiny in Time, with my son and loving every minute of it.  The story follows these kids who have to travel in time to fix the "breaks" that have altered history.  There are going to be 6 books in all, the first written by James Dashner (author of The Maze Runner, The Kill Order, etc.).  This book series is one of the future - meaning that the book also has a companion website (http://www.infinityring.com/) with games and activities for kids to follow the characters in the story.  It's a whole multimedia experience. I love this idea!

Since this idea fits perfectly in with our society today, I'm wondering what everyone thinks.  Will the digital world eventually take over the paper one?.  I know I love to sit down with a hardback book and thumb my fingers on its beveled edges, but I also like listening to audio books, and reading electronic books too. What do you think? Do you think printer and paper will eventually die out and be replaced by everything digital?





Monday, October 8, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I admit it.  I'm not the fastest at anything.  I'm not the slowest either, but that's beside the point. The point is that I am perfectly happy at being the turtle, enjoying everything and appreciating the good when it comes my way.  I feel fulfilled.

That being said, I ran a marathon on Saturday. My 10th!

I trained for months, got up early every Saturday to get in the "long run." I cross trained with swimming and biking. I lifted weights and stretched. And, of course, I still got the dreaded overuse injury, plantar fasciitis, in my foot. I'm giving you the background because when you say you've run a marathon to people that haven't done it, I think maybe they don't entirely understand the back story that gets everyone to that 26.2.

It's kind of like your wedding day. You plan it out for months in advance, choose locations, start working out harder to look fabulous, get invites ready, dress shopping, hair appointments, reception plans, honeymoon, and don't forget the DRESS. You do all of this and the actual event is usually just a few hours. Not that marathons and weddings have that much in common except both gave me blisters on my feet, but they are both big deals. Get it?

All of my friends PR'd (got their personal best times) on this marathon. I am so proud of them! With circumstances being beyond my control, this year my mantra was "finish strong." And I did. Yay me!



I started off strong too. At mile 8, I had to remind myself that I paid $80 to run it. At mile 11, when I saw a younger runner bawling like a baby while leaning against the first aid vehicle, unable to go on, I felt her pain and wanted to give up too.  At mile 13, I noticed that everyone that I ran next to had that same despondent look on their faces, the look that said, "We're only halfway?!?" and in my mind I was saying, "I really want that medal at the end!"  At mile 18, I thought, "I can do this, but it really hurts."  At mile 20, "You can't stop now!"  And eventually I made it to the last 3 miles where cheering crowds kept me moving.  A few running friends came by around mile 25 and pushed me to the end. Then I bawled too.  Only for like 5 seconds and then I was good.
 
Right after the race - I'm still standing!
 
When my son saw me after the race with my medal and asked, "So did you win, Mom?" I smiled and answered truthfully, "Yes. Yes I did."  I've read The Tortoise and the Hare and we all know how that race turned out.  I'm happy to say that I'm the good ol' tortoise.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Wisdom: Just open the door!

At dinner the other night, my family sat around the table telling jokes.  After several pretend laughs on my part, my nine-year-old son, Henry, decided to tell a joke to his youngest brother, Trevor, who is four.  Here is their conversation:

Henry: Knock, knock.
Trevor: Who's there?
Henry: Orange.
Trevor: Orange who?
Henry: Knock, knock.
Trevor: Who's there?
Henry: Orange.
Trevor: Orange who?
Henry: Knock, knock
Trevor: Who's there?
Henry: Orange.
Trevor: Orange who?
Henry: Knock, knock
Trevor: JUST OPEN THE DOOR!
He may be only four-years-old, but he is wiser than me!

I'm seriously still laughing . . . My clever four-year-old, though he probably didn't mean to, taught me a great lesson at the dinner table:  Sometimes in life we are waiting for the people around us to do something or for opportunities to come to us.  But just like in the joke, it may be time for us to turn the table and make things happen.  One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "If you continue to think as you've always thought, you continue to get what you've always got."  So true. 

How many times in life are we frustrated that we don't have enough money, we can't fit into our skinny jeans, our house is disorganized, we have no direction.  Nothing is going to change if we don't help it along.  Most of the time I think I am cautionary as to how I repond to people, careful to think things through so I can make sure that no one has hurt feelings.  But sometimes, I just want to shout like my son did, "Stop talking about it and make a change!"

That's not to say I don't just stand at the door and wait for someone to open it for me now and again.  I am still learning. I just hope that we can all learn some wisdom from a four-year-old and make our dreams happen by opening the door for ourselves.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum



Star Rating: 4/5 Stars

A curl-up-in-your-window-seat-kind-a book.

Summary: Abby thought she was perfectly happy with her normal, scheduled life - good friends, reliable boyfriend, and awaiting to hear from her planned college.  But when Dante shows up at her play rehearsal, Abby is mysteriously drawn to the Italian foreign-exchange student.  Time literally disappears the first time they are alone together and other unsual things begins to happen - like seeing flashes of the future. When she finds out that Dante isn't exactly the person he claims to be, Abby discovers a dangerous secret invention that sent him forward in time - and somehow she is connected to it. 

Review: Cute, sweet, and attention-grabbing until the very end.  I love the character of Abby and how she is willing to give up her seemingly perfect, but average life to "Live without Limits."  Of course, Dante is the dreamy male hero that makes my heart palpitate.  I loved that this novel had romance, but also a mystery that I had to keep reading to find out more clues as to Dante's arrival and past. 

I'll admit, I was a little thrown off by the whole time-travel side of things, but I love that Mangum used Italy and da Vinci in its explanation.  I am definitely reading the next book!

Content Rating: PG
Language/Profanity: Mild if any
Sexuality: Mild (kissing, hand-holding)
Drug/Alcohol Use: None (in fact, Leo at the Dungeon prohibits it)
Intense/Scary Scenes: Mild
**Approved by Robin for teens**  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


We all have it.  It is a contagious sickness.  It starts off with an idea entering our ear drum or our optic nerves.  Pretty soon that idea attacks our brain.  That is sometimes followed with a feeling of emptiness and aching in our stomachs.  We've got to do something about it!  Then we start spouting things like: 

"I'm going to do that someday!"
"As soon as I'm done with [something], I'll do it."
"Someday, I'll check that off my list."
"I want to do that."
"When I'm [age], I am so going to . . ."

That's right, we've got Someday Syndrome.  We watch "Dancing with the Stars" and suddenly we want to learn to salsa.  We hear about that guy that climbed Mt. Everest and wonder how tough we are.  Our best friend reaches her goal weight and suddenly we want to as well.  Weeks pass by and a few of the things slip from our brain, but some of them remain.  These items are often moved onto the famed "Bucket List".

I searched and searched for the bucket list I made when I was 14.  I'm not sure where it went, but I'm guessing it has joined ranks with my Honda's missing remote and that black tie sweater that made me look skinny.  I do remember a few items on the list: get married in the temple (check), run a marathon (check), and become a pediatrician (still working on that one . . . does being a mom count?).   I know there were some other items that seemed super important at the time.  In honor of those forgotten goals and the disease associated with it, I have created a new list that will forever be etched in internet history.  Now this list below contains items that I not only want to do, but I believe could really happen.  So I guess it isn't just a bucket list - it's a inventory of my goals in no particular order. 

  1. Publish a book
  2. Go to Law School
  3. Perform a solo in a Broadway musical
  4. Speak at General Conference
  5. Be in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  6. Go sailing
  7. Hang glide off the Point of the Mountain
  8. Climb Mt. Everest 
  9. Go on a week long backpacking trip
  10. Write a top 100 song
  11. Read the Book of Mormon in one sitting
  12. Visit Europe
  13. Run a half marathon with my husband
  14. Learn to surf
  15. Take a spontaneous trip (no packing, just leave)
  16. Make a dress patterned after a designer one
  17. Meet my husband at a new restaurant and pretend we've just met
  18. Go to a Broadway Musical in New York
  19. Visit each of the 50 states (only been to 14/50 - AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, MO, NV, NM, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY)
  20. Run a marathon outside of UT
  21. Take a kayaking trip
  22. Go to New Zealand
  23. Move from Utah and live in the Northwest
  24. Live within half hour to the beach
  25. Do a half ironman
  26. Win an award for something I write
  27. Get a framable family portrait on the beach
  28. Live in a beach house
  29. Design and make my own piece of jewelry
  30. Record a CD of songs I perform/write
  31. Teach voice lessons
  32. Learn to play a hymn on the piano
  33. Be debt-free
  34. Have Dad teach me to play the guitar
  35. Sing a duet with someone famous
  36. Write a non-fiction book
  37. Have 6 kids
  38. Reach my goal weight and stay there
  39. Live near my parents
  40. Run a 5k in under 22 minutes
  41. Be one of the top 3 women in the Apple Blossom 10k
  42. Host a fundraiser that earns $10K or more towards a good cause
  43. Be the mayor of a city
  44. Write a series of novels for teenage boys
  45. Make my own cheese
  46. Read 50 books in 1 year
  47. Design and sew a wedding dress
  48. Swing on a rope swing into a lake
  49. Go fishing
  50. Get a nice telescope and learn the main constellations
  51. Be secret best friends with someone super famous
  52. Have a bikini beach body and still wear a fabulous modest one piece
  53. Buy three new oufits and never look at the pricetags
  54. Own a swimming pool
  55. Be on a tv show/movie (I'd be content with being an extra)
  56. Teach a class at a university
  57. Ride a motorcycle (by myself)
  58. Go on a 100 mile bike ride
  59. Create a photobook for each year for my family
  60. Build a treehouse
  61. Go on a cruise
  62. Paint a picture (that I can hang in my home)
  63. Own a bonzai tree
  64. Learn the basics of ballet
Thanks to a friend (fellow writer and blogger), I decided to put together a "Before Bucket List" as well (things that were on my bucket list, but I have already checked off).

  1. Run a marathon (9 times)
  2. Get married in the temple
  3. Live in another country (2 months in Mexico)
  4. Learn another language (Spanish)
  5. Be a teacher (one year of 3rd grade, still tutor)
  6. Get my Bachelor's degree from BYU
  7. Do a triathlon (2 done)
  8. Write a book
  9. Plant my own apple tree
  10. Never swear
  11. Learn to sew
  12. Perform a solo in front of 1,000 people
  13. Have a baby (4 so far)
  14. Have a photography business
  15. Go sky diving
  16. Qualify for the Boston Marathon
  17. Learn household repair (fixed dryer, washer, disposal, fridge, toilet)
  18. Sing the National Anthem at a football game
  19. Read all the Standard Works (Bible, BOM, D&C, NT, OT)
  20. Memorize all the Articles of Faith
  21. Build my own garden boxes
  22. Grow a vegetable garden (and strawberries & raspberries)
  23. Refinish my own furniture (piano, dresser, chair, bookcase)
  24. Tile my kitchen backsplash
  25. Go skinny dipping (not giving the details)
  26. Lay my own wood floor
  27. Scrapbook my photos (still working on this)
  28. Sew a blessing gown and tuxedo (I still love these!)
  29. Be in a musical (8)
  30. Design and sew costumes for a musical
  31. Become a couponer
  32. Learn Photoshop
  33. Create my own website
  34. Have a blog
Come on, get a little closer to the screen.  Have you caught it yet?  You starting to feel the itching to do something? It's time now to make your list.  If you write it down, it's more likely to happen.

**I give myself the right to add to my bucket list each time a new symptom presents itself**


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My New BFF - Veronica Roth

Disclaimer: The blog post below has not been endorsed by Veronica Roth, her agent or publisher
Veronica Roth, right, and I during the Dark Days Tour, July 2012

My new best friend and I have done a lot together lately.  We've gone running together.  She joined me at the park one day. We worked side by side doing laundry and dishes.  I went to her Dark Days Tour and she came with me to get my hair done.  She even helped me cut coupons one day.  Veronica doesn't know it yet, but we are best friends.

Ok, so we are really not BFF's, but if I could chose an author that I'd like to be best friends with right now, it would be Veronica Roth, author of Divergent and the recently released, Insurgent.   For the past week, I have taken my book with me everywhere or I've been listening to her book in my iPod. My favorite young adult books are ones that have a little bit of everything: adventure, romance, mystery, friendship, supernatural, coming of age, and action.  When I find one that has those qualities and is clean (no sex, foul language, drug abuse, etc), it is a keeper for me.  Insurgent was one of those books for me.

My Book Review for:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth


My Star Rating: 4/5

My Content Rating: PG-13 (Violence, Kissy Moments)

My Summary:  Beatrice Prior (Tris) lives in a society consisting of five factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  Tris is Divergent, meaning she doesn't levitate to just one faction, but three of them.  She left her family's faction, the Abnegation, to join the Dauntless where she found friends to relate with and a boy she cares for.  Unfortunately, the factions who supposedly hold society together are falling apart and war is looming all around.

Tris is haunted by her parents' selfless death to save her and the horrible memory of choosing to kill her friend, Will, whose mind had been overtaken by the simulation serum.  As the old Dauntless and Erudite wage war on the remaining factions, Tris has to chose which side she will join.  She must choose to support her friends and love, Four, to join with the Factionless by overtaking the Erudite OR she must chose to fight against them to save the Erudite information that holds secrets her parents tried to reveal before they died.

My Opinion:  This book really did have it all.  The action kept my attention throughout all 525 pages.  My heart ached and fluttered along with Tris the whole way. The romance was still there, although I missed the sweet, quiet moments from the first book that didn't surface because both Four and Tris had a hard time trusting and confiding in each other.  There were many moments where I wanted to shake both of them and yell, "JUST TELL EACH OTHER YOUR PLANS AND WHAT YOU ARE THINKING!" Unfortunately, since they are real people, , and make mistakes, they kept each other in the dark.

I'm glad that Roth didn't let Tris get over Will's death quickly.  She is a strong and brave character, but like her divergence shows, she has a selfless side that wouldn't let her get past it so easily.  I feel like I understood her need for self-sacrifice as she tried to overcome her hardships and discover more about her true character. 

Throughout the book, I kept wondering if we would find out more about the outside world and how the Five Factioned Society came to be.  I won't ruin it for everyone, but it made me happy to find out more at the end.  I'm a little disappointed that I'm going to have to wait more than a year to get the rest of the story. Darn you, Veronica!  Since we're friends now, maybe she'll give me the inside scoop :).


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Give It Up or Stick It Out?

Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. - Josh Billings

Though I still feel pretty young, I'd like to think that I've been around the block a few times and can give good advice.  Sometimes I pretend that I could be an expert at anything.  You know the show that aired in the late 1990's, The Pretender?  At one point I think I even had a crush on the main character Jarod (Michael T. Weiss).  I loved that he had the ability to be anything he wanted to be from a doctor to an airplane pilot. 


In real life, being an expert at everything can have its hardships.  First of all, it's difficult to stick with something long enough to really become an expert.  A true viruoso spends years and years practicing, rehearsing, performing, failing, and starting over again.  Second, there isn't enough time in the day to spend those years and years working at many different things without being spread too thin. 

A friend of mine recently came to me saying she wanted to give up on something - she didn't know if it was worth it to continue since she wasn't at the level of success she desired to be at during this time in her life.  "It's like it's never going to be good enough," she told me.  I thought on what she said for a long time.  I'm not one to give up on something, but at the same time I believe that there comes a point when its okay to let something go. 

For example, I love sports.  I could really play just about any sport and I enjoy it.  During The Pretender era, I participated in volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, and diving.  I worked hard at all of them.  By the time I reached my senior year of high school, I realized that I was never going to be Varsity material at any of them (unless I liked warming the bench).  I made the decision that I wanted to do something my senior year that I loved and could do successfully.  I ended up not trying out for any teams, but instead participated in a musical.  Was I a quitter?  Some might say so.  Did I care? NO!!  As an adult, I am glad that I stuck with the sports long enoughso  that I can join a pick up game without the fear of being a complete klutz.  And being in that musical confirmed in me a love of music that I have continued to enjoy through the years.

I love the Josh Billings' (a famous writer and speaker in the late 1800's) quote from above: Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.  My expert advice is to stick with something until you get there and stay with it while you love it.  If you dream of being a famous cook, do all the work it takes to get there (practice, schooling, apprenticeship, etc).  If you love it, keep doing it.  Even if you don't open a famous restaurant and earn millions of dollars.  Share your love of food with friends and family.

Of everything, the best advice I have for those Pretenders out there who aren't sure if they should continue or give up is to read this letter by Rainer Maria Rilke .  If you don't want to read it, you can get the condensed version from Sister Act 2:



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Playing Dress-up

I love to be something I'm not. 

Me at Book Club Night for
Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor
Now most people may think by making that statement that I have a low self-esteem or that I don't like who I am.  Not true!  Most days I love my life and sometimes I think too highly of myself.  The reason I love being someone or something else has more to do with making life interesting by experiencing something out of the ordinary. 

The first musical I ever tried out for, I got the leading female role.  Don't worry, it wasn't necessarily because I rocked the stage or even looked the part.  I was just in the right place at the right time. It was also called Little Luncheonette of Terror, basically a teeny bopper remake of Little Shop of Horrors. The sub-par script was overshadowed by the catchy music.  My favorite part: I got to pretend to be someone else.  That someone else also got there first kiss on stage, a traumatic slobbery surprise! Shame on him.

I've only been in seven or eight musicals since then.  Each one of them, I played someone new, and each time I've loved it.  I've been a ballerina, ghost, singing tree, one of the ten virgins, diva, angel, and fairy.

Besides acting the part, the best part, hands down, is dressing up.  Putting on a costume is like stepping into someone else's life.  Want to feel like a princess?  Dress like one.  Wondering if you'd make a good Scarlett O'hara?  Be her! Wish you'd grown up on a farm?  Throw on those chaps and cowboy boots.  Yee Haw!

I dress up for everything.  Halloween starts months before October 31 so I can get a head start of my costume.  I know some of the members of my Delicious Reads Book Club cringe at the thought of sometimes dressing like characters in our books.  Not me! I get all giddy and then my mind starts turning the gears on what to wear.  I run the Provo Halloween Half Marathon every year now. Not so much because I want to stay fit or prove a point.  I just want to dress up and enjoy seeing others do the same.

Me as Velma with The Scooby Gang

Me as Padme and the Star Wars Crew

Pink Lady at the Provo Halloween Half Marathon

Woman in White Book Club

I always wanted to be Harry Potter!
In Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card wrote, “Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”  To a certain extent that is true.  If I play a role, I own it and the result is: part of that character becomes part of me.  The same is true with writing.  Each character I add to what I'm writing takes on a part of who I am.  There are also times when I write a character and I find that I adopt some of their characteristics.

Will dress-up ever get old?  Strangely, I think it would feel like I wasn't being me.  Trying on different characters is how I discover parts of who I am.  In a life where many things can seem mundane and ordinary, why not try on something that makes you feel extraordinary.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WANTED



WANTED: The King Family in Virginia City, Nevada

Not to brag, but I have the cutest little rebel family! We recently took a trip to Lake Tahoe for a family reunion and while there spent some time in an old mining town where we had this picture taken.  We spent the day riding a train and touring a real underground mine (Forget the gold, I'm still amazed at the phosphorescence of some rocks. They really glowed!).  Afterward, we took a fun little ride on a trolley.  The guided tour given by a hilarious man that resembled an old miner took us through the town and past a few places that were named after Mark Twain because he tried and failed to become a miner there.  It got me thinking about failures. 

What have I tried and failed?  Golfing (not exciting enough), playing the piano (apparently I can't read music and play keys at the same time), doing a triple off the diving board (yeah, I had a brief stint as a diver), losing weight (who hasn't failed?).  Should I go on?  Let's just say that I like to try everything.  I wondered if back then, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) had any idea of the popularity of his written works. 

I'd like to think that writing has been one of the constants that I have been successful with over the years, along with singing, running, photography, and teaching.  I just hope that my written works are published and popular before I'm long gone. 

So here are my questions for you: What have you tried and failed?  If there was a WANTED poster out there for you right now for your successes, what would it say?

Me standing under the sign of the Mark Twain Museum

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Dynamos: My first giveaway contest!

Ever since I started writing my book, Remembrandt, I have been obsessed with anagrams (several of which you will find in the book).  Now for those of you not familiar with what an anagram is, let me explain. An anagram is a word or phrase that can be rearranged to create a new word or phrase.  For example:

Astronomer = Moon starer
Agree = Eager
Float = Aloft

Where you put a space or how the words are separated do not matter.  For my own personal rules, it's only a real anagram if it makes sense or is clever in some way.  Like my name, Robin King, could be rearranged to be "brink go in".  Even though all those words are real words,  it doesn't really make sense and has nothing to do with me.  On the other hand, you could rearrange my name to say "boring kin'.  Now I can surely see a few of my family members huffing up in anger right now, but we are a boring lot!

So for my Monday Dynamos, your challenge is three fold.

1.) In honor of someone quoted in my book, find the anagrammed name in this phrase (don't forget that is doesn't matter where the spaces are - you just have to use all the letters):

Hear me as I will speak = ?

2.) Find an anagram for your name (you could use your middle or last name too, or just your first name).  See if you can find something clever that works for your name!  Just post your answers in the comments section.

3.) Follow me on this blog!

***PRIZE*** 

The first person to come up with the correct answer for #1 and the cleverest (is that a word?) anagram of their own name:  You will receive a hardback copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, one of my new favorite books.


I'm excited to see what you all come up with.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ahhhh (sigh of relief) . . .

It's official!  I have completed the first draft of my book!  I feel like I deserve putting up my feet and lounging outside my imaginary beach house, eating a thick strawberry cheesecake shake (oooooo, or maybe Oreo??), and watching the waves as they crash to the shore. Ahh.....
But alas, no, this soon-to-be author, will immediately be getting to work brushing up this novel to get it ready for publishing.  This book has been in my mind for over five years, but I didn't start the writing process until about nine months ago.  That's funny.  I just realized it took me just as long to write this book as it takes to wait for a baby to come.  Well, I guess this book is my "baby" right now.

I know all you curious ones out there are wondering what I've written, so I've come up with what I'd call a book jacket for this Young Adult novel.  I still have some kinks to work out, but this is what I have so far:
Remembrandt
some things are better left forgotten


Forgetting the past is hard to do when you have an eidetic memory, but Alexandra Stewart decides to make her first year at Brown University one worth remembering. After she runs into William on campus, she begins to feel like she can have a normal life and ignore the flashbacks that haunt her at night. Solving puzzles becomes more than just a compelling game, when her Russian professor gives her a puzzle that seems impossible to complete, catapulting her into a world of secret codes and intrigue. As she tries to find a balance between the two different worlds vying for her attention, she wonders if she can have relationships with the ones she cares about while hiding a clandestine life, uncovering the truths of an underground enemy. Will this new found life help her forget her past or is it all somehow connected?

Leave a comment and tell me what you think! Also, follow my blog so that you can hear more about the story and be the first to know where my book is at in the publishing process.  I'm excited to take this journey with my friends and family!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Debut Authors!

Fellow Delicious Reads members and I at the Fierce Reads Tour with some up and coming authors:

Top Row from Left - Kelly Dearth, Kellie Hall. Debut Authors: Anna Banks (Of Poseidon), Jennifer Bosworth (Struck), Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14), Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone), and Marissa Meyer (Cinder).
Bottom Row from left - Haley Stephens, Kate Johns, and Me




Friday, June 15, 2012

Fierce Reads Tour - A Win-Win

I never win anything.  Lots of people say it, but I'm overly unlucky. Really.  I'll never win the lottery (though that somewhat makes sense because I never buy a ticket).  I've never really won a raffle, drawing, or contest where chance is involved.  You know those sports games where the t-shirt is thrown to the crowd.  If you want to catch one, you should stand right next to me because chances are, it will hit me in the head and bounce right into your hands.  This has happened to me not once, but twice. 

So you can see that it came as a complete surprise last month when I "won" a spot in the lottery for the St.George Marathon 2012.  Now you non-runners out there are probably thinking, "Why is getting into a marathon considered a winning situation?" Think of it as the Superbowl for runners.  But for those avid marathoners out there, getting into the St. George Marathon is like getting the invite to walk (I mean, run) the red carpet.  Yeah, it's that cool.  I'll admit that I have mixed feelings about this "win". I mean it's twenty-six point freaking two miles.   But since I have tried to get into this marathon three times before and lost, I was happy to break my unlucky streak.

Running the Ogden Marathon 4 weeks ago

It turns out, my luck may be doing an about face permanently.  I recently had the opportunity to join some friends in attending the Fierce Reads Tour at their stop at Provo Library.  Don't worry, I didn't know what it was before I went either.  Basically, it's a book tour for Macmillan's new debut Young Adult authors (I'll post more on them later).  At the end of the night, they announced there was a giveaway.  I was about ready to get up and leave.  Why wait for the disappointment, right?  I decided to check under my chair anyway, and, lo and behold, I'd won a book!  And not just any book, but a book I've had on my Good Reads list for several months: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. 

Here's all the authors that attended:


So it's true I may never win an IPad or a new car, but I'm starting to feel little Irish.  Maybe I'll go to a BYU basketball game soon (but I'll wear a helmet, just in case).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's About Time . . .

I'm just going to come out and say it:

I AM A WRITER.

I can see my high school AP Honors English teacher picking her jaw up off the floor (I had to beg for an A in that class). Yes, ladies and gentleman, I have been a "closet writer" since I was about ten. I am now "out"ing myself.

So you are probably asking yourselves, "Why now? And what does it matter anyway? What's so special about Robin that makes her think that she can actually write?"

I'd love to answer those questions, but, honestly, I don't know all the answers myself. The only thing I know for certain is that I actually love it! There is something fulfilling about getting your thoughts out on paper, twisting ideas and rearranging words so that they fully reflect what you think and feel.

The seed started with poetry (someday I'll reveal these), grew with volumes and volumes of journal entries (not sure if anyone should read these until I'm long gone), and now it is blossoming with this blog and . . . drum roll please . . . A BOOK. Yep, I'm writing a book. Is it any good? If you ask my mom or husband, they like it so far (they could be biased). If you ask my writing critique group, they'd probably tell you not to hold your breath. If you ask me, it's going to be amazing someday.

What's this blog going to entail? I plan on blogging about:

1. The writing experiences I have, the good and the bad
2. Books I've read & authors I've met that inspire me
3. Life experiences that shape my writing
4. Puzzles, conundrums, and codes to solve (motivated by my latest WIP)

My inspiration for writing this next week comes from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (probably the best book I have read in the last few years - I may blog about later):

"It is important," the man in the grey suit interrupts. "someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find the treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice up of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it..."