Monday, November 4, 2013

Come and say hello at one of my Seagull Book book signings!

November 16th––St. George, Ut. 6p - 8p
November 22nd––Layton, Ut. 6p - 8p
November 29th––South Jordan, Ut. 6p - 8p
December 13th––Brickyard 6p - 8p

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


One of the much appreciated perks of writing Hadley-Hadley Benson has been meeting great people and hearing their amazing stories. They often share experiences they've had concerning people living with special needs––a piano teacher working with a young man dealing with severe Autism; a single mom caring for her child with cerebral palsy along with her seven other children; a woman with special needs consistently reaching out to others with special needs so "they don't feel lonely". I'm moved over and over again by the courage and compassion they offer. Thank you for trusting me with your stories! It means more than you know.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hadley-Hadley Benson!

Hi everybody! Watch for my new book in LDS bookstores starting–––NOW! (I'm so excited!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

I've coached Special Olympics for a little over 10 years and it's one of the most enriching things I do. I've made many friends and have been taught too many lessons to count by people much, much farther up the awesome chain than I. This year the State Summer Games were held at Herriman High School. First, whoa! I was amazed at the size of the school and all of its facilities! Second, the volunteers were extraordinary! I've attended almost every Summer Games since I began coaching and the people that help are always incredible, but this year, I might have paid more attention to what everybody does. The kitchen staff were always helpful and friendly––and there were a lot of people to feed, the janitorial staff was ON IT, and all of those helping with Healthy Athletes were kind and professional, no matter how many times I interrupted to gather athletes for events. 

I can't begin to mention all of the work the volunteers do, but here are a few things I noticed––they encourage, cheer for, time, announce, stage athletes to prepare for races, guide athletes onto the track, take pictures, tape lines so the athletes (and coaches) aren't confused about where the athletes need to race, ready medals and ribbons, announce medals, make snow cones, paint faces, sing, dance, set up and take down tents, organize opening and closing ceremonies, listen, share, coach, love and on and on and on. (I haven't even mentioned the trillions of hours the paid SOUT staff put in.)

In addition to all of this, there was something I hadn't seen before this year. In a corner of the school, there was a back drop, stool, interviewer and camera where people were able to tell their personal Special Olympics story. I'd walk past the area each time I retrieved an athlete from Healthy Athletes. I was always in a hurry, but I still heard little snippets. Some were given by parents or coaches or siblings, volunteers or athletes. Storytelling is always powerful, but I can only imagine the power of these stories and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one day I'll be able to tell about the many people with Special Olympics that have influenced me. I'll be watching for the stories they collected this year.

The thing is, all of these volunteers get together for the incredible, courageous, human, funny, witty, humbling athletes. And I am so thankful they let me be a part of it. 

Here are a few of the people I love! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm so not a technologically minded person...

I'm so not a technologically minded person. I'd rather sit in a fluffy chair (or under a tree, on the front steps, on a stool in the kitchen, on the edge of the bathtub––almost anywhere, actually) and read a real live, paper pages, outside-light-source-needed book than ever swype to change pages, figure out the latest programs, coolest social media sites or try to remember my passwords for itunes, Amazon or––I forget the others. Yet, although I've had a facebook account for a while, I've recently opened a twitter account, tumblr account and have begun blogging (See? Like now.).

The thing is, I will soon be a Debut Author (add flourish of trumpets here).  Sometime in August of this year, my first novel, Hadley-Hadley Benson (if Covenant decides to keep that title (fingers crossed)), will launch and I'm excited to get the word out. I can't wait to share my story with people and find out what they think, although it's all a little terrifying. Because, writing a novel is personal, and hard.

I belabor every thought, phrase and paragraph. I'm constantly characterizing, plotting, foraging for the perfect word, and rewriting. It's such a love/hate relationship but, in spite of the difficulty, I can't seem to help it. There's always––always––something cool about creating a new world. I love my fictional characters and find myself wondering what they're up to once the work is finished. The  marketing though … sheesh. It's already so about technology. I've had to email my manuscript, forms and photo (Jamie, you rock!), edit edits on the computer––and all in the proper format (what?). The book's not even out yet!

The miracle is that I'm getting it––slowly. Thank heavens for family members––especially my cheerleading husband and smarter than I am children, an incredible, generous and helpful critique group, a very patient editor, and countless, tip sharing tech-type people that share over the internet. I could never, ever do it on my own. People are awesome!

So, there are a lot of new things yet to learn during this publishing adventure, and I look forward to sharing the news about my new book, but it's hard work having your brain re-wired for technology and all its wonder. I might need to curl up with a good, bound book and then take a nap.