Monday, December 12, 2011

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

Dear Friends,
So many of your have been so wonderfully generous and kind. 
Thanks to all who donated to make Isaac's hearing aids a reality. 
He leaves on Wednesday for Utah, then he's off to Romania. 
He will be an amazing missionary.


Here are some fun pictures taken since he got his hearing aids on Friday!
The proud mother, Theresa and her son Isaac

You can barely see them


Holding his hearing aid

Isaac and I at Latter-day Cottage in Mesa

Stephanie Abney, Theresa, Isaac and I at his farewell last night

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Boy with a Mission-and a GREAT need

I know a boy, a very handsome boy,
who happens to be a miracle. His name is Isaac Sneed. He just got his mission call for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My family got to be there when he read the letter that explained where he will be serving. He is going to the Romania Bucharest Mission and reports to the Mission Training Center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 14, 2011.  




Let me back up about 11 years, a time I remember well. Isaac's mom, Theresa Sneed is my best friend. Her son started complaining about his "tummy". You know, the kinds of complaints all kids have. Only his ache never went away. 




Long story short--he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. This cancer is almost always fatal, and most children who get this kind of cancer are diagnosed by the age of 2.  By the time it is discovered, the cancer usually spreads to the point of no return. Through a miracle, his tumor was completely intact and the doctors were able to remove it. Isaac was 8.


As a result of his treatment (chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant), Isaac's suffers from significant hearing loss.

So why am I writing today? Because Isaac needs hearing aids to be the best missionary he can be. Learning a new language is challenging for a normal missionary with a set of good ears, so you can imagine what Isaac's challenge will be with significant hearing loss. 


The cost of hearing aids is approximately $6500. His parents are currently without health insurance and cannot afford to purchase them. If you have a heart, and I know you do, would you please make a donation to get them for him. Every little bit helps. So far $110 has been collected in his behalf. But that's a long way from the total we need. Even small amounts add up. You can go to any Chase bank and deposit funds. The account number is: 2996079725. 


Thank you for your generosity and Christ-like love! Your donation may remain anonymous if you'd like.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blogging Blues-Or I'm changing my plan!


I started this blog as a way to journal, post stories, just for fun. However, I'm starting to rethink this whole blogger thing. I'm going to change the format of this blog. This is going to be my personal blog. The one where I get to vent, post stories I've written, and just be a little more about me. I'm going to use my other blog: Ramblings of a Random Writer as my official writer/author's blog. I'm going to post reviews, author interviews, and writing tidbits on that site. So, if you're following me here and not finding what you're looking for in an author site, then go visit me at the link above. 

Because, this is me:
Well, not just me, but my handsome wonderful husband, too!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Struggles with Edits

Waters of Mormon
By Walter Rane
I am in the throes of editing my Book of Mormon novel, Soulfire. My amazing editor believes in my story, I believe in my story, and my friends who have read it believe in my story. 


The writing SUCKS! 


Okay, maybe that's being a little harsh. I wrote this book over twenty years ago while I was a beginning writer. In fact it started out as a short story. I let it sit for a couple of years. Then the bug to write a novel hit me, but I didn't know about what.


While I was struggling, it came to me that I should turn my short story into a novel--it certainly had the potential for a longer version. It took me seven years to write it. During that time I experimented with different writing styles, never being able to quite find my voice. 






So now as I look back at this story, I'm having to really hard time editing it. Sometimes I think I just want to start over and rewrite the whole thing. So what keeps me from doing just that?


What do you do when you're stuck? When you're revising and you don't enjoy the process? What helps you? 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hang 'em High-by Tristi Pinkston

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.
***

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.




Second, come to the book launch!

You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ANWA Writer's Retreat-or why have I been so silent?

Our gorgeous cabin

Last week was amazing to say the least! What happens when you get 32 women together in 5000+ square foot cabin, loaded with plenty of snacks, and great classes on writing and creativity? You get a retreat to die for.
Did I mention snacks?



You'd think that putting that many women together would be nothing but chatter. But what if those women are writers? What if they have a passion for the story? They ignore each other during quiet writing times and only the sound of laptop keys clicking away and pens scratching on paper is heard.
The kitchen-darling, huh?




For me it was an incredibly productive week. During that time I managed to pump out over ten thousand words, and that was in only 3 days. Imagine what I could do if I was on retreat every week. Alas my dear family needs me. (Yes, I did come home to a yucky house).
The Gals!



But with all said, I came away with a great grip on my new story. I advanced the plot, and got to know the characters better. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review of Winning Mr. Wrong

Winning Mr. WrongWinning Mr. Wrong by Marie Higgins


When Charley sets out to win the man of her dreams through a series of internet fail-proof steps, she is lead into one disaster after another. Damien, the womanizing neighbor tries to help her, which makes matters even worse. You will get plenty of laughs out of Charley's antics to win Max. I won't spoil it and tell you who she ends up, but you'll enjoy her discoveries about herself and why she can't seem to keep "Mr. Right" for more than three months. This sweet romance is refreshing and delightful. Lots of quippy dialogue and romantic tension. A fun summer read for sure!


View all my reviews

You can find Marie Higgins' blog here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Too Busy to Blog

What happens when you're in the middle of final edits, galley's and all the amazing happenings when a brand new author gets a book published? I'll tell you, the blog goes to pot. But I am truly excited. Today I got to see my cover for the first time. I stared at it for almost a full two minutes. Then I did this really weird thing. I walked into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror walked back to the computer, continued to stare at it for another minute. Then as calm as could be I went to my son in the other room and said, "I have something I want you to see." I think I was in shock. As we both stood there looking at it, I started crying. Then I started giggling, then I started dancing around the room! This was MY book cover. My honest to goodness book cover. And soon my words will be inside of it and sitting on a shelf in a book store!!!!!!! (I know better than to use that many exclamation points, but hey, I can...that's how excited I am.) So here is my book cover.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview with Donna Hatch



Donna, your new release, Queen in Exile, is described as a Fantasy, can you tell us a little about the book?

It’s sort of a blend between a fairy tale and a medieval-style romance, mixed liberally with adventure. Here’s my official pitch: The last surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life, and the fate of her kingdom, into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting her destiny, and her own dark powers, will mean losing the man she loves.

In the past, you seem to have focused on Historical and Regency genres. What made you decide to try a Fantasy? How did you like writing Speculative Fiction as opposed to Historical?

I have loved fantasy almost as long as I have loved historical. I grew up reading both; the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gable, and Jane Eyre, plus I adored fairy tales, which are very magical and have lots of fantasy elements. Then, a little later, I discovered authors such as Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Andre Norton, and Terry Brooks.  So I grew up with two loves. When I started writing as a kid, I wrote fantasy because I loved being swept away into a totally new world. My fantasy novel was actually conceived when I was a junior in high school. About a hundred revisions (or more) later, Queen in Exile is the finished product.  I like writing both genres; both are pretty much new worlds, since we don’t live in the same world as Regency England, so there’s a lot of imagination and world building required for both historical and fantasy.

What did you find were the major differences between the two? Was anything more or less difficult?

Both required extensive research, the Regency much more than the fantasy, of course, but I did research knights, weaponry, battle tactics and the Japanese Samurai Warriors, after whom my hero is patterned. There is a little more freedom with regards to research in fantasy.  If I need something to happen in the fantasy story, I don’t have to stop and find out if that’s based on any sort of historical event or custom, so that part is really convenient.

On the subject of difficult, just how much research do you think is required to write effective, believable Regency Romance? (Readers, I am fascinated by the prospect, but fear the organization involved just might kill me)

I actually wanted to write historical novels all along, but was intimidated by the research required.  But I had a story that just had to be told with characters demanding I tell it. So I read and re-read a lot of Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte to help give me a good idea about the world and customs in which they lived, because they write books that took place during their time, so they weren’t making any historical inaccuracies, which one would normally find in a historical written today.  I also joined a couple of on line Regency research groups where we discuss aspects of the era.  I read a lot! It’s an on-going process and sometimes I learn things that make me wish I could go back and edit my previously-written books to correct mistakes.  

That being said, I don’t think an aspiring historical author should wait until she/he thinks they know everything there is to know about that time period to write about it. Otherwise, they’d never write it!

Your book covers are stunning across the board. How much input did you have in designing them?

Thank you! In all cases with both publishers, I was asked to submit detailed character descriptions, questions about the tone of the story, and a basic concept of the cover. In The Stranger She Married, they gave me a heroine with the eye color spot-on, but nothing about the rest of the cover was what I had envisioned. I liked it instantly, though. Queen in Exile included a castle, but that was about it as far as what I’d asked to have on the cover. The Guise of a Gentleman was almost exactly what I wanted, right down to the Jolly Roger waving across one corner.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m working on book three of the Regency Series. It’s rough-drafted and I’ve just begun revisions and edits. I’ve also started writing a dark young adult paranormal. No, there are no vampires ;-)

Do you have any favorite advice to give for the aspiring authors out there?
Be persistent. Most people have dreams of writing a novel, but never finish one. Most people who finish a novel never submit it, and most who submit, give up after a few rejections.
 I wish you the greatest success with the new book! Can you tell us where we can find it?

You can find my books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and my website www.donnahatch.com. Queen in Exile is also available at Costcos across the country.  The Guise of a Gentleman is also available at www.thewildrosepress.com Here is the direct link to my book page. The Wild Rose Press

I’m also running a contest to win a book for free and you have five chances if you do all five, or you can just do one or a few:
1.    go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero of The Guise of a Gentleman (hint, read the backcover blurb underneath the book cover), then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "free book" in the subject line
2.    go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero of Queen in Exile (hint, read the backcover blurb underneath the book cover), then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "free book" in the subject line.
3.    Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "free book" in the subject line.
4.    Leave a comment in my blog, www.donnahatch.blogspot.com. Then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put “free book” in the subject line.
5.    Friend me on Facebook,  Click here then send me an email at donnahatch29 at gmail dot com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "free book" in the subject line.
Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!


Thank you, Donna for joining us. You can find Donna’s books at Amazon, Your local bookstore, and her website, www.donnahatch.com. Queen in Exile is also available at Costcos across the country. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cayman Summer by Angel Morrison


Angel Morrison, my fellow ANWA member, and author of Taken by Storm and Unbroken Connection  finishes up her series with Cayman Summer. 


"In Morrison's debut young adult novel, TAKEN BY STORM, Michael faces incredible loss, but he finds Leesie. UNBROKEN CONNECTION is Leesie's story. By the final page, she is broken and battered--physically and spiritually. Morrison vowed to her readers not to leave her that way. CAYMAN SUMMER recounts Michael and Leesie's final journey.
"Michael takes Leesie to the Cayman Islands to heal. Time, sunshine, and Michael's devotion free her of physical pain, but grief and guilt haunt her. Michael will do anything to find the old Leesie who prayed, spoke of visions, and kept the rules. For Leesie, that girl is lost forever. Rules? What's the point now? She's ready to break every one."


You won't want to miss this contest. She is giving away some amazing prizes. So head on over to her blog to enter. Click here to visit. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shared from Peggy Urry's Blog



Peggy Urry posted on her blog today something that struck me. In her blog she discusses the power of words. As a writer, I have the power to heal, the power to hurt, the power to demean, or the power to build up.

One of the most powerful phrases comes from John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Think about it for a moment. What are words? What impact do they have in your everyday life? Since my greatest desire is to write using words, let them be the kind that will bring joy, will edify, will build character. I hope you enjoy this very short video about the power of words.

Thanks, Peggy, for sharing. To see Peggy's blog click here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Clarity in Writing



As I go back through my edits on my various novels, I think to myself WWJD (I know what you're thinking and no, it's not that. I've already asked those questions during my first draft.) It means, "What would Janette Do." One of my favorite writers is Janette Rallison. She has brutally slashed and hacked apart more than one of my stories, and yet I keep going back for more. Why? Because she is brilliant! She really knows writing. Along with voice, style, and point of view, she excels at Clarity.

Clarity is something I've been working for in my writing. I picked up this great little book, called A Pocket Style Manual by Diana Hacker. In her section on Clarity she outlines 9 ways to make your writing clear:


1. Tighten wordy sentences: Get rid of redundancies, inflated phrases and needless complex structures.

2. Choose active verbs over passive. "As a rule active verbs express meaning more vigorously than their duller counterpart- forms of the verb be."

3. Balance Parallel ideas, such as paired ideas, and series or words or phrases.

4. Add needed words: "Do not omit words necessary for grammatical or logical completeness."

5. Eliminate confusing shifts: This has to do with point of view. Don't head hop. Also Shifts have to do with verb tense. Stay in the same tense.

6. Untangle mixed constructions: The subject and verb should make sense together. For instance: "Social Workers decided that Tiffany's welfare would not be safe living with her mother." Tiffany or her welfare?

7. Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers:
     Misplaced words: these include adverbs if placed in the wrong spot portray the wrong meaning. Her example: Wrong: "There are many pictures of comedians who have performed at Gavins on the wall at." Wow, that must have been hard. Gravity has a way of keeping comedians on the floor. Corrected: "On the walls are many pictures of comedians who have performed at Gavins."
     Dangling modifiers: A modifier that fails to refer to the thing it is modifying.
     Split infinitives: Putting adverbs in between the "to" and "verb" part of a sentence. Such as: Mr. Harris instructed his students to brightly sing at the concert." No, no, no...that just sound silly. Try it this way. "Mr. Harris told his students to sing brightly at the concert." Yes, that sounds so much better.

8. Provide some variety: Okay, this one is just a plain no brainer. Vary your sentence lengths and structures, combine choppy ones, shorten excessively long ones. (I'm guilty of this!). Also vary your sentence openings. I once heard that if you had to pay your editor for the number of time he/she had to take he/she out of our opening sentences, most authors wouldn't get paid. (Maybe that a bit of an exaggeration.)

9. Find an appropriate Voice: This would be one that fits your subject and your audience. You want to be sure and engage your reader.

And there you have it. Diana Hacker in a nutshell. If you'd like more information click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Short Story Characters

by Betsy Love

Round or flat, static or dynamic. What does that mean in terms of characters?

Round ones, not fat ones, are the characters that we know something about, okay we know more about them than we do other ones. Round characters are never stereotyped. They have personalities, struggles, values. How they react to any given situation is a result of their roundedness. On the other hand a flat character is almost never the main character. A flat character might make a brief appearance in the story--the cab driver, the waitress, the nosy neighbor next door.

A dynamic character is one who changes as a result of the situations in the story. He is the one who realizes something important about himself. Or she finds herself doing something she might not have done. We grow with this character and feel what he/she feels. Whereas a static character is one that does not change through out the story. Villains are often portrayed as static characters.

The most interesting characters are the ones we care about. Give me a reason to buy into why your character (good or evil) does what he/she does, and you'll have a great story.

I hope you'll take some time and write a short story and then submit it to my contest. You can read about the submission guidelines at:

Short Story Contest-Deadline May 31

Oh, and by the way, everything I just told you about short story characters applies to characters in all genres of fiction.

Happy Writing!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to Get More Followers to Your Blog


I was blog hopping the other day. I do that a lot. I found this incredible blog on how to get more people to not only visit your site, but to follow and check back frequently. Trina Boice does a great job in listing the "do's" in blogging. 

Here is her #1 Tip 
"Post often and on the right days: People are more likely to read blogs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays."

After reading her great advice, I laid out a plan for my blogging today.

Roughly like this:
Tuesday's Tip-I'll give some writing tips.
Thursday's Interviews-This will be author interviews, contests, blog hopping, reposts. 

If you have any ideas what you'd like to see on any of these days, or would like me to interview you. Let me know. (It's all subject to change.)

So, if you haven't had a chance to look at Trina's post, jump over to her blog and check out the other 26 Traffic Ideas:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Short Story Contest



Dear Friends, Followers and Family,
In celebration of National Short Story month, I'm sponsoring a contest! I'm rather excited. The best short story will win a copy of my soon to be released novel, Identity. If you're interested, click on the link below to learn the details:

http://betsyloveldsauthor.blogspot.com/2011/05/short-story-month.html

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whatcha doing since LDStorymakers?


LDStorymakers was amazing. I had no idea what to expect since this was my first time. It was like a smorgasbord of all you can eat writing ideas, helps, tips, networking, and spending. The spending part was optional. And those of you show greater restraint than I--shame on you! Those starving authors (okay maybe not, but I love a great hyperbole) depend on your pocket book, cash, visa, or checkbook to support their delicious habit.

With an average of 5 classes per session and 10 sessions, that's 50 classes to choose from. It was tough, let me tell you. I studied them, stacked them against each other, and had to agonize over which class. In some cases the choice was just plain too hard to decide. In that case I opted for the marketing one. I know my writing skills need to be improved--don't we all need that? I digress. I have to say that my favorite class was by Marion Jensen. He taught one huge no-no...one that I am embarrassed to say I do, a lot. That's sound like a running commercial for my book. 

Now that I've had a nice slap on the wrist, I'm going to do better at simply connecting with fellow writers. My mantra..."Don't alienate my market!"

For the next several blogs I'm going to focus on what I learned from each of my presenters. 

But before I do, I want to give a huge shout out of congrats for all of the hard work that went into the conference. I can hardly wait to go next year. And yes, I will have a book to sell in the bookstore. 

So what have I been doing since Storymakers? Daydreaming-well that's what it looks like to my family and friends, but in fact, I am plotting--my next book. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I know that my Redeemer lives!

Apostles testify that He lives. How grateful I am to know of this truth.

This is the true reason for Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Face in the Mirror May Not Be Your Own


Have you ever walked past a mirror, caught your reflection and startled yourself? Or have you ever gazed into your eyes and wondered about yourself? All right, maybe you haven’t, but being the weird writer I am, I talk to my reflection from time to time. (Only when no one’s around because they might think I’m crazy—Oh, wait, I am crazy!—I’m  a writer!)

Sometimes I play my characters to see what their expression might be if they were surprised, or angry, or jealous or any other myriad or emotions. Then as I’m looking at my expression I try and think about what my stomach feels like in that moment. What happens to my head, my feet, my chest, my lungs, my hands, my head. What thoughts run through my head, what phrases escape my mouth? I do this with my various characters.

I dash off to my computer and recreate my “scene” with the mirror. It’s amazing how quickly I can nail my characters down. 

You try it, but only when everyone is out of the house. You wouldn’t want to get caught in your insanity. I’ve been doing this for years. But if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The People in My Head--or I'm not crazy--really

I have this darling character, okay, I have several darling characters, okay and some not so darling. But hey, they're mine...all mine. They pester me. They taunt me. They whine, and complain and demand my attention. "Write about me next."
"No, you had your turn."
"She's done with you, it's seriously my time!"
I lie in bed--and each torments me with their stories. There's the abused wife suffering from the loss of her premature baby, the pyschotic shrink, the cowboy and his cadillac, the teenager who doesn't know she's adopted. Sometimes it's my elven child and her dragon who haunt me while I'm drifting off to sleep. Let's not under-estimate the villany of the wizard who would make her his bride in order to take her powers. Then there's man with the mysterious past come to heal a broken family.

So where do these people come from? My head, of course. Do any of you fellow writer have that same problem? Certainly, you do. That's what makes us writers. So what do you do when you have more than one story screaming to be written? I'd love to hear how you decide who gets your attention.

I'm glad my characters don't shut up, though, otherwise I'd have nothing to write about. So put me in a padded cell...

...just let me have my laptop, please!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday-Or only 7 of them left!

I hate Mondays. I really do! (Especially after I've stayed up way too late reading a good book). But here it is again, Monday. Luckily there are only 7 of them left before my book comes out and before my darlings head off for their summer romps, forgetting everything they've learned for the last 29 Mondays.
Of course the closer to summer, the crazier my Mondays get. The more excited I get.

I vote we skip Mondays all together. (That just makes it closer to my book release.)

So what will the next 7 Mondays Bring? Since I'm so new at this whole publishing world, I'm feeling a bit clueless. I know editing happens-lots of it, an ISBN number, a cover, a blurb on the back of the book. A few pre-reviews, setting up my book launch, signings, oh, and don't forget SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!

And with that said, my dear readers, please follow me, check back with me to see how I'm doing/holding up. And most of all, have fun with me as I giggle like a little girl on Christmas morning!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Beginning!

And so begins my journey as a soon to be published author! I've signed my contract, met with my editor, Linda Mullineaux and my marketing director Amy Orton, both incredible women. I get butterflies in my tummy (I really do) when I daydream about my book cover. I can hardly wait to see how amazing it is. If you've looked at the covers already done by Walnutsprings Press, you know what I mean! Incredible!

I hope you will come back frequently, leave a comment--virtual pats on the back are always welcome.

To my family:

Thanks for your support, love and encouragement.

Betsy Love
LDS Author

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Fair Godmother Giveaway

Jeanette Rallison, one of my favorite authors, is hosting a giveaway on her blogsite!
You can find her at:
If you haven't read her work, you will love her writing. Her sense of humor keeps the reader giggling all the way through...and who doesn't need a good laugh!
Leave a comment and she'll put you in the drawing, become a follower and you get in twice. And if you're really anxious to win post a link to her website in you blogspot, like me, and you'll get 4 chances. Hey, I'm greedy...can't help!
Love you tons my fellow yellow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Calling I Never Want

I love Relief Society Presidents! I can’t think of one I haven’t. But I often wonder how the Lord chooses the amazing sister who will love unconditionally all the sisters and their families, and meet their numerous needs.

Here is how I imagine it happens:

(The Bishop’s office-early evening, it can be any time of year, but somehow I picture this taking place in January-you know new start of the year).

Bishop: Good Morning, Sister Potential. Do you know why I called you into my office?

Sister Potential: (brushes a lock of her long hair out of her photo-shopped eyes) I have no idea. (And she doesn’t, she is that humble).

Bishop: Before we begin, let me ask you a few questions.

Sister Potential: Absolutely (smiles with her polished teeth glinting in the florescent light).

Bishop: I understand that you know how to sew.

Sister Potential: Only a little. My husband’s suit didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to. The left lapel was off by an eighteenth of an inch.

Bishop: I see. What about your cooking skills?

Sister Potential: Oh, dear. Did my husband tell you I burned the last batch of cookies? (She blushes). My neighbor came to the door. Her son was blue. He was choking. What could I do, I mean calling 911 would have taken too long. After I performed the Heimlich on him and calmed her down, I smelled them crisping away. The last batch was a little brown around the edges. But it was alright, because I’d made enough to spare. Between my daughter’s school party, the cookie exchange, and the two new families who moved in, there were maybe only six dozen left. I sent two dozen home with my neighbor and a Book of Mormon. And we’re all so excited that they are getting baptized. Did you know that her parents are also taking the discussions? I suppose we never know how many apples in a seed.

Bishop: Good, then I see that covers several topics I wanted to discuss with you—medical training, community involvement, and missionary work.

Sister Potential: Oh, it’s just a little thing, really.

Bishop: Now, Sister Potential, I have a very important question to ask you. How is your scripture study and personal prayers? And I need to know if you are attending the temple regularly?

Sister Potential: (dips her head in shame). Oh, Bishop, this is where I really struggle. I tried so hard this week to get that in. Between my walk at 4:39AM and the baby’s waking at 6:00AM, I’ve only been able to get in 47 minutes daily this week. Once Jr. is through teething, I’ll go back to my regular hour. And as for my personal prayers, I never miss those. Although, now that Zack is going to early morning seminary, we have to wake all the children at 6:22 so that we’re all together for family prayers. It’s been a tough week for temple attendance. You know that Brother Potential was promoted to CEO. We’ve missed three days this week. But we’re revamping our schedule so that we can do double sessions on Friday and Saturday, and maybe sneak in one on Tuesday evening while Liza is home from college. Once she gets married to her returned missionary, I don’t know how we’ll manage. You know her fiancĂ© is going to med school.

Bishop: I see that you are committed to the gospel. I only have one more question for you Sister Potential. And this is the most important one. Do you scrapbook?

Sister Potential: (with tears in her eyes, she grabs for the Kleenex box on the corner of the bishop’s desk). Oh, Bishop, I need to repent. I’ve bought all the supplies. The photos are in organizer boxes by year, just waiting for me to get to them. I’m so ashamed to admit to all the paper in my craft cabinet. I haven’t been able to work on any of the books this month. But I promise, I’ll get to them in February, after the wedding. You know since Liza wanted all those handmade centerpieces… (she trails off something unintelligible into the tissue.)

Bishop: (leans across the desk) You know Sister Potential, that the Lord only issues calls according to our availability, not our capability.

Sister Potential: Yes, Bishop, I know (dabs her eyes—of course no mascara or make-up has been altered.)

Bishop: The Lord has called you to be the Relief Society President.

Sister Potential: Oh, dear. I don’t know if I can fulfill such an assignment. I feel so inadequate. But if this is what the Lord wants, then I will do my best.

Here’s how my interview would go:

Bishop: I hear you come to church every Sunday.

Me: Yes, and sometimes I’m in my seat before the opening prayer.

Bishop: That’s good. Hey, I was wondering, if you’re not too busy or anything, the Lord would kind of like you to be the Relief Society President—the last six said, “No.”

Me: (passes out)

Bishop: Sister Love, Sister Love! (Opens door). Brother Executive Secretary, Would you call the next person on the list? We lost another candidate.