Monday, September 30, 2013

It's not just what he says, it's HOW HE SAYS IT!

THIS GUY AMAZED ME! He made me laugh when I was so depressed I didn't want to leave my room (yeah, I get that way sometimes)'s not just what he says, it's how he says it! And he made me think, "Do I want to be like him when I'm 93?" (Answer: Oh, yeah!) I challenge you to take 15 minutes to see if a 93 year old man can inspire you. (I don't necessarily mean the first couple of minutes when he tells about getting squished against a tall lady in a crowded room. It began for me with him rowing a boat at the age of 91) but you should hear him tell it!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Simple way to Diminish Obesity and Beat Depression!

I suspected it when I got on my bike in a grumpy mood and got off feeling happy. (It's not just riding a bike, though.)
This video lets you in on the secret of the most fun way to DIMINISH OBESITY and BEAT only takes about three minutes to find out how! Just watch this entertaining video! 

Finding A Rock in an Unlikely Place

Would you be surprised to open your car door and find a rock in your car? I mean, if you didn't leave one there the last time you drove. I was puzzled by the rock I found in my car. It hadn't been there the last time I looked. Sometimes Bron borrows my car, but why would he put a rock in it, especially on the floor of the driver's side?
It could be to put behind a tire to hold the car in place in case it's parked on a hill and the brakes give out.
It could be to break out a window in case the car plunges into a deep body of water.
Maybe it's intended for use against a car jacker... although a car jacker just might see a bright white rock coming at him. Yet ducking might not work to totally avoid injury, since rocks are prone to follow the law of gravity, and so could still fall on an attacker's head.
Perhaps it's really a petrified dinosaur egg.
There could be a diamond hidden inside.
Maybe it's an alien skull.
It could be ballast for an unexpected boat ride, or be used to hold down the corner of a tent constructed from the blankets I keep in the back of my car.
I finally asked Bron about it, and he said, "I saw one of those flags the Scouts stick into lawns tipping over, so I found this rock and used it to hammer the flag back in. Then I put it in the car and drove home."
Mystery solved! Now I can write a story about some of the things I contemplated before finding out the truth. 
What did you think the rock was for? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Dressing Room Without WHAT?

When I went to try on some clothes, I came across this most unexpected sight of a dressing room with a view.
Yes, you're seeing it right. There was no door on this particular dressing room, and no "Out of Order" sign, either.
Did they expect you to get dressed really fast so all anyone saw was a blur as you whipped off your old clothes and threw on the new?
Was there an unspoken "no looking" rule?
Was there an invisible barrier that made it LOOK like a door once someone crossed the threshold with bundles of clothes in their arms?
Perhaps this was the "bring a friend" dressing room, where someone you know, love, and hopefully trust could hold up a blanket or other large, opaque item while you tried things on, trying to finish before their arms got too tired.
Or maybe this was the dressing room for people who just didn't care who saw them in whatever state of undress they needed to accomplish their shopping in. (That makes me wonder... could anyone get arrested for indecent exposure if they were inside the confines of a designated dressing room that didn't happen to have a door?)
And why doesn't it have a door?
Ah. That leads to a whole other set of questions.
Questions are good, especially when plotting a story. If you let your mind go to the most varied ideas ever (this is the newest anti-shoplifting technique, this is a black hole to another dimension where no one uses dressing rooms) no matter how weird, then you have more material than you need to finally settle on a storyline that feels right to you. Letting your mind draw "weird" conclusions keeps your storyline from being cliche and stale.
Here's how I handle doorless dressing rooms - I almost always wear black bike shorts under everything, so I just take it all off except my bike shorts and t-shirt and try things on anyway. No waiting! No muss! No fuss! Just funny looks from other shoppers.
But I'm used to that.
What would YOU do with a doorless dressing room?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Misty Moncur's "Fight For You" author interview!


Keturah fought her way into the army, but now she's in Judea building fortifications, and the only thing she's fought so far is boredom. The work is hard, and the other soldiers don't think she can pull her weight. Her brothers are becoming strangers, and Zeke's jealousy is getting worse - because Keturah is falling in love with the wrong warrior.
But she's not about to let cruel pranks and hurt feelings keep her from doing what she knows to be right. She completes every order with faithfulness - a hasty retreat from the Lamanite army, a spy mission into the enemy stronghold, a midnight assassination. From burying the dead to whiling away hours on guard duty, Keturah will do whatever it takes to protect her religion, her freedom, her peace, and her family.
But in a camp of two thousand boys, the most important thing she has to protect is her heart.


Shirley: No, Misty, step aside. I’ll be the first one going down
that jungle path. Last time you led the way, you let a branch loose and it whapped me across the stomach. I still have a welt. Is that one of the battle strategies you learned from writing the book “Fight For You?”

Misty: You bet. It’s whap or be whapped.

Shirley: It figures. Ahhh! Look out for that snake! Oh, wait. It’s just a stick. No, no, I’ll still lead the way. After all, the Lamanites are following behind us. What is it that made you think of writing about a female warrior?

Misty: I've always loved the story of the stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. I remember learning about it in seminary – where I was sitting in the classroom, the things the teacher said, the pictures I had in my mind. It was a very vivid story for me, and I always thought there was more to it than just some boys who went to war because their mothers taught them to have faith. When I liken that scripture story to myself, I've always identified with the warriors, not the mothers (though I can identify with both now that I am a mother). I have to put myself there – in the villages, among the warriors, beating a hasty retreat from the Lamanites. And I guess I had the question every writer has—What if? What if there was a girl there? What then? How would the other warriors treat her? What challenges would she face? Why not create a story about a girl warrior since metaphorically it is a story that is clearly meant for all of us?  
Shirley: Interesting. I never wanted to fight, unless someone called me "Rock Brain." Then I was all fists. Ahhh! Where’s that screaming coming from? No, besides me…look! Lots of sharp-toothed monkeys coming down from the trees! We've got to hide! Misty, your hair is showing. Duck down lower! Whew. Are they gone? You know what, Misty? You can go first. But tell me this: are you a fighter?
Misty: One hundred percent no. I am a peacemaker – always have been. I avoid confrontation when possible. But I think there is a part of me that would fight to the death if it was necessary. I will definitely not let those monkeys hurt you!

Shirley: Thanks!  I'll only throw punches if any of them calls me "Rock Brain."

Misty: There is a part in Fight For You where Zeke is fighting Muloki, a Lamanite warrior, in the battle of Cumeni. He breaks Muloki’s arm, and Muloki switches his weapon to the other hand and prepares to continue fighting. When I read that part, I don’t see Muloki. I see myself. So, sure, there’s some fight in me somewhere.

Shirley: Then I'm glad we're on this trail together. Hey, who’s spitting on us? Is it those stupid monkeys?

Misty: No, it’s raining.

Shirley: Ahhh! Find a leaf! No, a BIG leaf! There, there’s one. Hey, it’s mine! I saw it first! Get your own! You’re the leader now. Do you think Captain Helaman would get an umbrella before he made sure all of his Stripling Warriors had umbrellas? I don’t think so. You talked about Keturah losing old friends and making new ones. How did she lose friends? (Did it have anything to do with leaf umbrellas?) How did she make new ones?

Misty: Losing friends had very much to do with who Keturah chose to share her umbrella with. Keturah’s practically betrothed to Zeke, and he just can’t stand to watch her falling in love with someone else. It’s easier for him to stay away, and their lifelong friendship suffers because of it. She used to be close to her brothers, Micah, Kenai, and Darius, but now they work, camp, and fight in other units. As they all learn to rely on the men in their units instead of their family, they begin to drift apart. Sometimes if feels to Keturah as if they are strangers. And relying on her unit would at least be some consolation, but the boys in Keturah’s unit resent that she’s there. She’s not as strong as they are, and they don’t think she can pull her weight. They give her all the domestic jobs, like cooking for them and laundering their tunics. But slowly, her determination and hard work begin to win them over. Saving Reb’s life doesn't hurt either. But once she wins their hearts, she has an entirely new problem on her hands.

Shirley: Does it have anything to do with burying people? You mention that Keturah has to bury people. Did you have to research that? How did you do it? (Or do we even want to know?) Any other research tips you’d be willing to share?

Misty: You’d be surprised some of the weird stuff I get to research. I've watched tons of videos of Native American dancing and costuming. I've learned 52 ways to tie a sarong. I've learned how to cook and eat a rattlesnake (my Facebook friends were surprisingly knowledgeable about that). And I've learned how to skin an animal and tan its hide. The thing I find my readers are most interested in are the plants Keturah uses as medicines and food. I've done a lot of research, but I’m not an herbalist and have little personal experience. I do try to write in plants that are purported to have the properties my characters need them for, but there comes a point when you just have to go with what you know and take a little poetic license with the rest. As for wartime burial practices, I used my imagination on that.

Shirley: Imagination is good. Hey! There’s light up ahead! Is that blue sky? Is it the ocean? Oh, I hope it's both! Let's hurry! But tell me, how in the world did you manage to weave romance into a story about war?

Misty: It’s more like I managed to weave war into a story about love. The war is the setting where Keturah falls in love for the first time. It is the backdrop to the story of how she formed lifetime bonds with the boys in her unit. It is under the conditions of war that she learns what her family really means to her. It is the construct in which she learns to recognize the Holy Ghost and follow his promptings, in which she learns to rely on God’s love. The war we fought in heaven is continued here on earth, and we all learn and experience these same things Keturah does in a battle of our own. Besides, I just can’t get into a story that doesn't have romance in it.

Shirley: Hey, it is the ocean! This beach would be a great setting for romance, don't you think? Soak up the sun! Too bad the Lamanites are on our trail. Now, Misty, what do you know about boat making? Can you build a boat as well as you battle monkeys? And where can people get your book?

Misty: I just finished writing book eight in the series, a book about Hagoth’s ship, which did involve some research about sailing vessels and a careful reading of the scriptural account vs. what modern archaeologists say about sailing in that time period. If you’d like to read more about how all this research and imagination come together, the first two books can be purchased at online retailers or in a bookstore near you. The rest of the series is currently FREE on Wattpad and can be read in its entirety.

Daughter of Helaman         Amazon         Barnes & Noble
Fight For You                       Amazon         Barnes & Noble

Thanks so much, Shirley, for taking the time for this fun interview. And thanks to everyone else for stopping by the tour today. 

Fight For You is the second novel in Misty Moncur's Stripling Warrior series. Fall in love with these romantic novels set against a vivid Book of Mormon backdrop.

Misty Moncur wanted to be Indiana Jones when she grew up. Instead, she became an author and has her adventures at home. In her jammies. With her imagination. And pens that she keeps running dry.

Misty lives in a marsh near a very salty lake in Utah with her husband and children, where they cuddle up in the evenings and read their Kindles. Well, she does anyway.

Connect with Misty at the links below.

Visit Misty's blog
Like The Stripling Warrior Series
Connect with Misty on Goodreads
Follow Misty on Twitter
Follow Misty on Wattpad

Monday, September 9, 2013

A dress made out of WHAT?

My dad saved everything, including every necktie he ever owned!
Now that he's gone, what should we do with them all?
They could be re-gifted...recycled...donated...or made into a dress.
Yes, made into a dress.
Impossible, you say?
Is it impossible to fly to the moon? Break the four minute mile? Write a book? Not to me, it isn't.
My son Bron said it looks like a Tinker Bell dress. Well, Tinkerbell didn't get her dress from her dad's neckties.
Don't be afraid to create!

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Mysterious Big Rock Ball

When writing, you can find interesting things to add to stories just by taking a walk instead of driving. Then on your way back, if you walk a different route, you can find even more intriguing things.
My son Scott and I came across this giant rock ball on BYU (Brigham Young University) campus. It originally came from Costa Rica, but yours could come from anywhere you want it to. Think of all the things you can do in your story with a giant rock!
(For one thing, it provides a convenient arm rest for an author.)
What would you do with a giant rock in your story?