Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Persuasion is Off the Press

My book got off the press last week.  It looks great, and I was so surprised that it has a bumpy title--okay, the technical term is debossed, but you know what I mean.  It's also got that fancy shiny stuff on it.  Anyone know the technical term for that?  Glaze?

I'm excited and nervous.  It's weird to think of myself as an author even though I've been writing for years.  Until last year, when I submitted my novel and signed a contract, writing was just what I did for fun.  And writing Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale was a lot of fun.

One of the weird things about being a novelist is that people assume that I am my main character.  I've had conversations with people who called my main character "you" instead of by her name, "Anne."  There are a few reasons why this could be a problem. 

First, my main character has a lot of problems with her parents.  I don't. 

Second, my main character is still in love with a man she dumped years ago.  I'm not.

Other than that, I'll admit that I do have a lot in common with my main character.  I can be a bit of a doormat for one thing.  I've also been known to show up at garage sales without any make-up on.  Anne and I also have the same hair.  And we share an obsession with old movies and classic novels.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Special Need

This is my Dad with my little sister when we were kids

All my life, I've had the good fortune to be surrounded by the disabled.  Time after time, they have inspired me and taught me valuable lessons.  Part of the reason for this is that my sister is disabled, but even before she was born, I had a friend with Down Syndrome, and I've had many disabled friends since then.

This summer, as I was contemplating the coming year, I had one wish for my teenager--that she would learn to see the world in a more positive way.  You know how it is for teenagers.  It seems like everyone's rated according to popularity, looks, grades, athletic ability, and test scores.  A lot of teens have critical attitudes, and I don't blame them.  In their world, everything has a score.

Well, my wish was granted.  In August, my daughter accepted a volunteer opportunity to help with a special needs church group, which we call "Special Needs Mutual."  Every Thursday night, she helps her friends with special needs.  On the days I have carpool duty, I get to walk into the church to observe what's going on, and I have to admit that I love my little visits.  The enthusiasm in that building is contagious.  Special Needs Mutual is obviously the highlight of the week for so many of the participants.  Everyone has a smile.  Everyone feels accepted.  My daughter and the other helpers freely admit that they love it.  I think it's just as much of a break from the real world for them as it is for the people with special needs.  No one has a critical word about it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The 10 Distracted Princesses LDS Young Women Skit

This is a skit based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses that I wrote for New Beginnings this year.

The 10 Distracted Princesses

by Rebecca H. Jamison 

Narrator:  Once upon a time, there was a king with 10 daughters—each more beautiful than the last.  The king knew he was very blessed, but still, he was concerned.  Every morning, when he greeted his daughters, he would find evidence of distraction.  [use props to illustrate distractions]

Princess Kate could not stop thinking about fashion.  Even though she was only sixteen and hadn’t met Prince Charming, she was already busy designing her wedding dress, her bridesmaid dresses, and every other dress to be worn at her wedding

Princess Ariel’s BFF was her phone.  She was always texting and had almost forgotten how to speak.

Ariel:  TTYL, Dad. [King looks confused.]

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I've learned from Kathryn Stockett

I wrote my first novel from the point of view of a poor African woman.  After I wrote it and started submitting it to publishers, I realized it might be a problem that I'm a white American and my character is black African.  Shortly after making this realization, I gave up submitting my manuscript.

When I read The Help, I was amazed to discover that Kathryn Stockett had accomplished what I thought was impossible--publishing a book written from another's race's point of view.  She admits in a Deseret News article, "I got 60 rejections for 'The Help,' and number 61 was the one that finally was willing to take a chance.  Just keep pushing and don't give up--because you won't get anywhere if you do!

"It sounds kind of cliche but when I was growing up there were a couple of very strong women in my life that made sure I understood that If I gave up, that was it--that I had to be tenacious and keep trying and that, most importantly, I deserved to reach my dream."

Very inspiring, don't you think?  So here's the first thing I've learned from Kathryn Stockett:  Don't give up.

Though Kathryn's excited to reach her goal, she admits that it's taken a toll on her relationships.  She had to file for divorce last June.  Though I'm pretty sure I'll never be as successful as Kathryn Stockett, I've noticed that writing can take over my life in ways I never thought it could.

So here's the second thing I've learned from Kathryn Stockett:  Don't let your dreams take over your family.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Persuasion Book Trailer

My name is Rebecca and I'm a recovering perfectionist.  This is my attempt at a book trailer.  It's not perfect, but I had fun putting it together.