Today my fiction book was spotlighted on Marsha Ward’s blog “Writer in the Pines.” This is the book that will be featured in an online magazine in September. I love this book.
Today, in the Latter-day Saint culture, is Pioneer Day. July 24th we celebrate the love, devotion, and great dedication of our pioneer ancestors. I grew up in Arizona. When I was young, there would be parades and rodeos on July 24th. I live in Utah now, and here the celebrations are gigantic. They allow neighborhood fireworks. There is a HUGE parade that people actually camp out on the sidewalk the night before to get a good place to watch. There are family parties and great campouts and cookouts.
I used to think I would have made a good pioneer because I love to camp and (sometimes) make do. But I’ve lived enough years now to realize that’s not what it’s all about. Being a pioneer is about standing up for what you know to be right, keeping your faith and trust in God, and relying on Him to see you through the hardships you encounter in life. And that makes us all pioneers of a sort, no matter what year in time we are living.
This is a 1957 picture of my two sisters, dressed in pioneer clothing, ready to walk in the 24th-of-July parade in Pine, Arizona.
Today in the Deseret News an article was published as a follow-up to the death of Lori Hacking. I co-authored a book titled Shattered: Six Steps from Betrayal to Recovery. It was released shortly after Lori’s death and had heavy national endorsement. Thelma Soares, Lori’s mother, wrote the Foreword. I felt for Thelma then, and I feel for her still today.
This morning I received a wonderful email from a woman I do not know. She wrote, thanking me for one of the books I’ve written, A Woman’s Power. I get these every once in a while because of one book or another that I have written. I know assuredly that my Heavenly Father had a HUGE part in writing my books. I’m so grateful for the amazing experiences I’ve had with my writing.
I am grateful today this woman took her time to write a personal note to me.
If you have an author who has impacted you, please do take the time to write. It truly could make the difference of rather that author feels her or his time and effort was of worth.
I’ve been thinking about life, the lessons we’ve been reading from the Bible, and my parents. I’m blessed to have amazing parents who have chosen to be steadfast in their faith, and who continue to teach me by their example. My mother is 93 years old. My father will be 96 next month. I want to be like them. I hope to be like them. I pray to be like them . . .
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7).
We have concluded our wonderful Family Slumber Party. I am incredibly blessed with a saintly husband and a marvelous family. Ten of our twelve children and their families came. Yes, that was a HUGE number of people, but that meant there was someone there (hopefully) for everyone to have fun with.
I made embroidered pillowcases for every grandchild who attended (I made 34). I was grateful for every smile of appreciation.
We did a Family Cutthroat Kitchen. If you’ve never watched that show on television, give it a try. We had a great time with that. We had flour sock dodge ball, good food, amazing fireworks (we were up above the BYU stadium so saw their display totally light up the sky as well as fireworks all over the valley), peaceful night’s sleep under the stars, and heart-warming family time.
Several years ago I made a family flag. We display it every time we have a major family gathering. Each of our children chose the colors they wanted. Larry and I are in the center. I love it when that flag is up because it signifies we are together.
Now to put my life and house back in order
At times I sincerely fear we are losing moral ground in America. In some categories, I feel we are falling off a cliff in that regard. Nonetheless, I truly appreciate being an American and the great freedoms we have. I hope God will have reason to continue to bless this land and its people.
Tomorrow starts the NewLDSFiction Summer Book Trek. You win books by reading books, and you can get an extra 10 points for reading my book I Am Strong! I Am Smart! because I’m an official sponsor on this trek. So I hope you’ll look into it and enjoy the reading challenge.
I failed to post a wonderful writeup of my book We Are Strong! It was up on Friday, the 20th of June. Marsha Ward did a beautiful job with her post on “Writer in the Pines.” She listed a couple of my favorite reviews, one by Lorene Cole Elder and one by Claire DeWitt. Here is the link.
Thank you, Marsha Ward.
Grandparents Day is coming up in September. I have an article coming out in a national online magazine that month, specific to grandparenting. I’ll give you the link as soon as it is published. I’m mentioning it here to give you a heads-up. To celebrate Grandparents Day I’m going to offer a huge special for I Am Strong! in the hopes that MANY grandparents will be given the gift of love and appreciation with a copy of that book! I’ll post all the details next month here on my website.