Saturday, February 26, 2011

Upcoming Writers Conferences

Writing update: This past week I turned in edits for AMMON, as well as the preface, chapter notes, and bibliography. I'll be working on the map next.

I recently went to the LTUE conference in Provo, Utah. A 3-day science fiction/fantasy conference with tons of authors, editors, and others in the community. I went to a reading by NY Times Bestselling author James Dashner where he read the first 3 chapters of The Death Cure. And we saw the cover (which is not public yet). I also attended a few panels and learned a thing or two. And it was great to chat with my own editor and others.

Here are some great conferences you might consider attending:

Award winning author Lu Ann Staheli's Writing Workshop: April 9, 2011 Confetti Books in Spanish Fork, UT

Storymakers Conference--May 6-7, 2011 in SLC, UT

Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers Conference, Jun 13-17, 2011 Sandy Utah

THE Teen Writers Conference--June 18, 2011 in Ogden, UT

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Loving Memory

Today I'll be at the funeral of my grandmother (in-law). Even though she reached the age of 89 and spent the majority of her life, with the exception of the last couple of weeks, in excellent health, today is a sad day. It's also a day of joy in that my grandmother has completed her earthly journey, and, I believe, has lived a good life, fought the good fight, and came out victorious.

When my oldest child was born, both sets of his grandparents were living elsewhere, my parents in Israel, my in-laws in Hawaii. My husband and I lived a couple of streets away from great-Grandma and Grandpa Sjoblom (pronounced Show-blum). For the early part of my son's life, they were the grandparents he knew.

The obituary below sums up Grandma's life, but there are things that can never be fully described on paper. Her laughter, her humor, the scent of her perfume, the softness of her cheek, the way she always dressed to the nines, the stories she told, and "the loves" she gave her great-grandkids.

My six-year old said last night, "Why couldn't Grandma 'Shoulder' live until she was 90? Then we could keep visiting her." Agreed. But I thought of her husband, her siblings and her parents, all who have been waiting for many years to visit with her. The wait is finally over.

Marjorie Newbold Sjoblom 1922 ~ 2011
Our dear mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend peacefully passed away on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 from causes incident to age. Her passing was a sweet experience for all as her loved ones surrounded her and each took an opportunity to express their love and farewell. Marjorie was born January 17, 1922 to Charles Henry and Annie Ada Sadler Newbold in their Draper, Utah home. She was the youngest child of this wonderful family consisting of Verl Newbold, Eldred "Jeff" Newbold, Bernice Newbold Johnson, Ralph Joseph Newbold, Myrth Newbold Bills, Willis A. Newbold, and two other siblings who died in infancy. Her heritage, which included strong ties to pioneer roots, was very important to her. Mom's childhood and teen years were spent in Draper where she and her brother, Willis, were inseparable. They were both members of the Draper school band. Marjorie graduated from Jordan High School where she made friends easily throughout her school years, and many turned into lifelong friendships. She was a good student who participated in leadership roles and excelled in math and reading. She made learning her lifelong pursuit. She also enjoyed singing and loved the choir.

The Great Depression years had a profound impact on her. As a teenager, she worked at Rasmussen's Market. She learned the importance of hard work, frugality and effectively managing family financial affairs. She prided herself in always having a savings, being able to meet the family's financial obligations, and in paying her bills on time. She was never late on a single bill in all her years! Mom married her childhood sweetheart and fellow Jordan High Beetdigger, Boyd Robert (Bob) Sjoblom. Bob set several high school records in track and football, and Mom was always there to cheer him on. Their marriage took place in 1942 and was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on June 11, 1951. Prior to Bob's passing, they celebrated 57 years of marriage. Her family was the focus of her life. As the children married, Dad and Mom added a large family room with a fireplace for ongoing family gatherings. These were joyful times with good food, games and, most importantly, family bonding. Mom was a great cook. Her lemon pies and "melt in your mouth" rolls are still legendary. Sunday at Mom's included a tender roast beef dinner with the best gravy in the state. Every holiday and monthly birthday celebration was a memorable and joyful experience. Especially meaningful to her were Easter, Pioneer Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These gatherings created family traditions which are still observed by her family which humbly began with two and presently totals over 100. Mom supported her children in their school activities and took joy in their accomplishments. She was especially proud that her three oldest daughters were all crowned Miss Draper.

As her children became older, she worked at Bowen's Dry Goods in Draper. She was reliable, honest and had a stellar work ethic. She loved associating with many wonderful customers. As the family grew and the children moved away, Mom was still always there to support them in times of grandchildren's birth, sickness and emergencies. Mom was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in the Draper 3rd and 7th Wards as a member of the Primary presidency, and in Relief Society and Sunday School organizations. She taught the same age group for over 20 years. Her Sunday School boys were special to her, as she was to them. Many of her former students continued to visit her on a regular basis to express their love and respect. Generously and compassionately, she quietly helped many in need. In later years, she and Dad served as ordinance workers in the Jordan River Temple. She was very supportive of her nine grandchildren who served honorable missions throughout the world. She was also able to see her three oldest great-grandsons (Dane, Cooper and Bo Smith) enter the Missionary Training Center and are currently serving in different parts of the world.

Mom is survived by five children: Becky Smith, American Fork, Utah; Margene "Jeanie" Moore (Lester), Draper, Utah; Judy Gay Bowthorpe (Dale), Midvale, Idaho; Boyd Eldred Sjoblom (Brenda), Draper, Utah; and Paula Bowthorpe (Michael), Sandy, Utah; 23 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. Marjorie was preceded in death by her husband, Bob (died December 16, 1999), parents, siblings, and grandson Damon Robert Moore. The family extends their deep gratitude to the staff and residents at The Wentworth in Draper, who loved her and cared for her as though she were their own. Also to the Eastridge 10th Branch Presidency and members, and the kind members of the Draper 7th Ward who provided warm friendships. We also appreciate the sensitive and nurturing care provided by Alta View Hospital's doctors, nurses and health group (hospice care) in her final hours. A very special thank you goes to Paula and her family for the continuous and loving care they gave to Mom in the past 11 years of her life. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:00 am in the Draper 7th Ward building located at 600 East 12300 South in Draper, Utah. A viewing will be held there prior to the funeral from 9:30-10:45 a.m. and also on Monday, February 14, 2011 from 6-8:00 Goff Mortuary located at 8090 South State Street in Midvale, Utah. Internment will be at the Draper, Utah Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, friends and family may make donations to Primary Children's Medical Center. Condolences and memories may be expressed online to the family at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Writers Conferences--Not to Miss!

The Storymakers Conference committee is holding a great contest this month called "Show Your Love"--prizes will include a 30-page manuscript critique from agent Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary Agency), a reserved seat next to agent Sara Crowe (#2 National best-selling YA Agent), reserved seat next to James Dashner (New York Times Bestselling author who is really cool), reserved seat next to Marcia Markland (Senior Editor at St Martins Press--agents are great, but editors make the decisions!), and more!

So I'm not entering the contest, since I know all of these people, but yeah--you should! Check out the contest rules on the Make Me a Story blog and also find out more about the Storymakers Conference here.

Another great upcoming conference is the 3-day LTUE at BYU. Cost is minimal and there are many incredible speakers lined up!

And, if you are tired of the freezing cold weather, ANWA is holding their annual writers conference in a couple weeks in Phoenix. Author Chris Stewart is the keynote. Check it out here!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2010 Whitney Finalist!

I'm excited to announce that Alma the Younger is a 2010 Whitney Finalist!

To read the complete list of finalists, go to the Whitney Award website. Also, Annette Lyon wrote up an excellent post of the evolution of the Whitneys on her blog, The Lyon's Tale.

Amazingly enough, three others in my critique group are finalists as well, all in different categories! Sarah Eden for Courting Miss Lancaster; Annette Lyon for Band of Sisters, Jeff Savage for A Time to Die and The Fourth Nephite. Also, former critique group member, James Dashner, is a finalist with The Scorch Trials. Congrats my awesome critique group.

If you read my Publishing Journey post about my experience with a copy editor, you'll know why this Whitney honor means a little extra to me. I'll venture a guess that Alma the Younger did NOT kill my series as the copyeditor predicted. Not to mention that the next in the series, Ammon, will be out this June.

In other news: The Daughters of Jared was officially accepted by my publisher--release date will be 2012. I'll keep you posted!