Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Resolution Time!

by Stephanie Black

Since it’s the last day of 2008, I figure it’s a good time to discuss two things:

1-The Whitney Awards. Today is the LAST DAY to nominate novels by LDS authors for the 2008 Whitney Awards. Josi Kilpack mentioned on her blog that many eligible novels haven’t yet received the five nominations required to make them official nominees. If you’ve read some excellent novels by LDS authors this past year, please go to the Whitney Awards website and nominate them. Don’t assume they already have the required nominations—you’d be surprised how sometimes even wildly successful novels don’t get the required noms (I served on the Whitney committee for 2007, so I saw this happen). If you loved a book, nominate it!

2—New Year’s Resolutions.

Ah, yes. It’s Self-Improvement Time. Our home teacher was talking to us about New Year’s resolutions and remarked that he didn’t go for them anymore because why wait for the new year to make the resolution?

He has a point, but it will tell you volumes about my character when I confess that I like this quality of New Year’s resolutions. “My New Year’s resolution is to lose fifteen pounds,” I can say to myself— a statement ringing with self-control and perseverance—even as I stuff chocolate into my mouth with one hand and pizza with the other because, come on, it’s only December 31st, and to jump the gun would be unsporting.

My four-year-old declared her resolution to be playing with the toys she got for Christmas. That’s the kind of resolution you can sink your teeth into. I think I’ll make a resolution like that:

Goal: Finish reading Brandon Sanderson’s Hero of Ages. My fifteen-year-old got it for Christmas, read it in two days, and now it’s in my hands. No, I will not confess to any ulterior motives in buying it for her.

And just think how good I get to feel when I finish it. Unlike 99.9 percent of the resolution-making population, I achieved my resolution!

(Tangent: My four-year-old got a stuffed fruit bat for Christmas. We had to translate for Santa when she was sitting on his knee and he asked what she wanted and she said, “A fruit bat.” I’m betting that’s the first time he’s heard that request. I’m guessing she was inspired by the fruit bat display near the fruit bat enclosure at the zoo. Her toy is quite cool, with a thirty-one inch wingspan. It’s amazing what Santa can find at Amazon these days.)

I do have some more resolutions that I’d like to make this year. I won’t post all of them, but here are a few things I’d like to accomplish:

*Do more to expose my children to classical music. I’ve been very remiss in this area. Even if they don’t develop any kind of passion for it, I’d like them to at least know what Mozart and Beethoven sound like. I’m setting a goal to play more classical music in the house.

*Learn to sing tenor. Seriously. I usually sing alto, but I can hit the higher tenor range, and I think it would be fun to learn to sing tenor on the hymns. Right now, I can’t hear the tenor notes—can’t pick them out from what the organist is playing. So I’ll have to practice.

*Finish my work-in-progress by . . . um, let’s see. At this point, it’s hard to pick a precise date, so I’m going to say “early fall.” Sometime in September or October. As the time gets closer, I’ll be able to firm up the target date.

How about you? What would you like to accomplish in 2009?


At 12/31/2008 3:43 PM, Blogger Just_Me said...

I have 3 novels that need last chapters.... that's for January.

I'm trying to do 30 minutes of excercise 6 days a week. I refuse to be turn into a blubby pregnant chick.

Read a fun book at least once a week. Reading cheers me up, it boosts my mood, and it gives me ideas.

At 12/31/2008 4:55 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

I don't make resolutions; instead I create yearly goals for myself. My most important goals have nothing to do with my writing. They are spiritual. I admonish myself to renew my covenant with the Lord weekly and to do work needed for my ancestors (and others) in the temple that they may receive the gospel and the Lord's blessings. To give my wife, my eternal companion, the love, honor and respect she deserves. These goals, with their eternal implication attached, I strife to meet.

Having said that I have some temporal goals as well. I will complete (hopefully) my current manuscript. I will go room to room and weed out years of collecting things we no longer need and pass them on. I will also be reading throughout 2009.

Charlie Moore

At 12/31/2008 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Whitney people need to post a running talley of the novels with one, two, three, four, and five nominations so us little people can see which novels have made the five limit (who selects five anyway?). No one wants to go to the trouble to nominate a novel that has already been nominated umpteen times. And if we think a novel is wildly successful, and a big seller, most of us think we don't have to nominate the no-brainer novel because, heck, fifty other people already did it. If you want people to get involved in the nominating process post a list for heaven's sake, a running tally of nominated novels and update it every week until the end of the year. Then you'll see the rest of us getting involved with nominations. Otherwise you can kiss some best selling novels goodbye bye...

At 12/31/2008 11:20 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

With due respect, anonymous, I disagree. While I may be interested in seeing which literary works are garnering the most Whitney interest, publishing a list would be detrimental in my opinion. Consider this: Most people jump on a band wagon, it's human nature. If they see a novel that has 20 votes v. one with 2 they will most often join the group who voted for the more popular book because they want to be associated with the popularity. You can say not me, but I would say yeah, maybe you. Vote for something if you feel it's worthy of consideration. Who cares about the number of previous nominations. I just finished and immediately nominated Freefall by Traci Abramson (I suspect it has well over the required 5 nominations),because it is a well written novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and it deserved to be nominated.

Don't worry about what others are doing. If you've read a book or books that deserve to be nominated then do it.

Charlie Moore

At 1/01/2009 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh, Charlie. You list a novel when it gets the first vote. Once it garners five votes you stop the talley and list the novel as accepted for consideration. Five votes. That's all we're asking. No popularity contest. Just let us know which novels have gotten a vote or two, and which ones have gotten the requisite five votes and you're set to go.

At 1/01/2009 12:40 PM, Blogger J Scott Savage said...

There is actually a problem with that too, Anon. Because everyone has an unlimited number of votes, you could get the sympathy vote and end up with every LDS book published being nominated. While that would be nice for the authors, it would be a nightmare for the judges.

I don't know of any other major award that lists who has been nomited until the actual nominations are closed.

At 1/02/2009 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you wanting your own stuffed fruit bat:


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