Becca Wilhite Blog

October 31, 2011

Books Read in October

Filed under: books,recommendation — becca @ 9:53 pm

So maybe I was busy. Or maybe I was writing. A lot. But here’s what I managed to get through this month. And I liked it very much, thank you.

* OBSESSION by Traci Abramson. A shivery, shuddery stalker novel written by the coolest lady/former CIA ninja you’ll ever know. A little outside the box for me, and a whole lot of fun.

PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger. I want to get my frequent readers’ card punched. I’ve read this at least five times, and it never, ever gets old. Oh, how I love the outlaws and the miracles and especially-especially Swede. I adore Swede.

SOLOMON SNOW AND THE SILVER SPOON by Kaye Umansky. (Reread.) This time, I read it to the Kids. It took a while, since there were very few days/evenings that we were all home and not committed to doing something else, but this is a fun Dickensian romp with very funny twists. Please read it with the accents. You’ll be glad you did.

* THE LONESOME GODS by Louis L’Amour. This was my first try at a L’Amour book. It was fun. Truly. A storyteller’s book. Gunfights and desert magic and family ties and lots and lots of horses. Thanks to my Very Dear Friend J for the birthday book.

October 27, 2011

Busy, busy…

Filed under: priorities — becca @ 10:25 am

I’ve been subbing

and finishing a book (written by Mr. Louis L’Amour, not by me)

and helping a little with the high school play (Beauty and the Beast, and you so want to come see it)

and doing house-ish stuff (the usual bread-y and clothing-ish and sweep-like stuff)

and thinking about losing 15 pounds

and taking a week off from revisions before I hit Draft 4.0 (tomorrow?)

and generally unplugging

and it feels good.

October 21, 2011

Update: Again

Filed under: writing process — becca @ 9:43 am

Okay, so I’ve done another pass on Fifth Gift. And it’s improving. I think. Another one down. Several more to go.

(Remember that I have theories? There’s one that says it’s my job to get the manuscript as clean as I possibly can before I subject anyone else to it. And that’s where I am. Except I did make a few friends take a look. Because I felt like it. And they were helpful. A lot of helpful. And so I keep going. We’re sitting at about 60,000 words right now, with maybe 3 more passes on my end before I send the baby into the big, cold world.)

October 20, 2011

Look. More History.

Filed under: cuteness,familyness,history — becca @ 9:47 am

My Uncle R. sent me this photo. He is the family historian I’ve mentioned before. And he has a great deal of patience to find and deliver pieces of history. Like this one.

This is my big brother. See how he’s cute? Yeah, still. But more old. And hairy. Just saying.

See how he’s probably got food in his mouth? Yeah, still. The man knows good food. It’s one of his best talents.

See how he’s the funny one? Yeah, still. And yeah, he still laughs at his own comedy. But he should. It’s funny.

See how I’m kind of reveling in the “I’m so proud of my big brother?” Yeah, still. He’s pretty awesome.

See how I’ve always struggled with clothing issues and awkward hair? Yeah — I’m working on it. “The Seventies” are no longer a valid excuse. Darn it.

See how I just might be planning something? Yeah. Still. That happens sometimes. It’s no longer quite so cute. But it does still happen.

See how we’re snuggled together in a large leather chair, with perfect lighting and an aura of happy childhood? That’s not exactly where we are anymore. I don’t have white furniture, because I’m not a white furniture kind of a girl. Neither does he. He has two boys and a dog, all right? And really? We’re full-sized humans. We don’t share chairs. But do you know what? I love to sit down with him. I love to get a good laugh on. I love that we can talk over the life parts and laugh about the laughable parts and breathe through the un-laughable parts and Be There, beside each other for all the parts. Even if we live many states away (which we sometimes do, but not right now). He grew up to be a clever guy, a terrific husband, a great dad, a hard worker, a willing and eager server, and a good all-around support. He Deals. With a great many things which are not my stories to tell, but include exciting parts and funny parts and really, really hard parts. And he does it with his own kind of joy. That kind, see above. The kind that makes you laugh your heart out with your mouth full of something delicious.

October 17, 2011

Primary Program Highlights

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 9:01 am

If you are a non-initiate, let me tell you that the Primary Program is the LDS church’s idea of  “taking a break” or something. Okay, that’s not true at all. It’s a chance. An opportunity. A pleasure (after it’s over). One Sunday a year, the kids’ organization takes over the whole worship service. I happen to have an assignment in the kids’ organization, so I got to have a front row seat to the hilarity.

* JP repeatedly putting his finger in JS’s ear. As they stood to “sing” (or stare at each other). JS batted the hand away again and again, right up to the point where he couldn’t anymore, and unfortunately took one in the eye. Really, right in the eye. JS had to make an exit. Ouch.

* MM’s FOUR trips to the restroom.

* JP (of ear-and-eye-poking fame) giving the world’s best talk about scripture prophets ever delivered by a four-year-old. And he stuck to the doctrine (as opposed to the “Jonah and the Jellyfish” detour he may or may not have practiced). The kid is amazing, and his parents have taught him so, so well.

* JH ad EH (no relation) didn’t do any of the naughties they threatened to do during the entire Saturday practice. Love those boys. Especially when they’re avoiding the naughties.

* Kid 3 got a laugh during the opening sentences of her talk. Her face lit right up and she SPONGED in all that attention. She lit up the room with her talk about how much she loves her family and how grateful she is that families are central to God’s plan. What a cutie patootie. No kidding.

* LM volunteering (again) to help out if anyone was unable to do their parts. The girl is eager. Willing. Excited. I want to be her.

* The program lasted 35 minutes. After Saturday’s practice, we were sure it would only go 20. And then we (the leaders) would have to speak. Not the best thing. But – hooray! Everyone breathed after sentences and it was perfect timing. We call that a tender mercy from the Lord.

* OJ finally, finally cracking a smile after he delivered his part.

* BB singing the word “Pirates” instead of “Tyrants” in the best song ever.

* JE in general, for overwhelming cuteness. In specific for memorizing his part and delivering it with confident stature, great diction, and a totally sincere smile.

* Husband, staying awake through the entire meeting (which is a good thing, as he was facing the congregation while wrangling 8-year-olds).

* Watching the kids be a vehicle for the Spirit of God to fill the room with feelings of love and gratitude. They are the best and I am lucky to work with them.

October 14, 2011

School is fun, too — I mean it.

Filed under: school — becca @ 9:10 am

I had so much fun teaching 7th and 8th grade yesterday that I almost wanted to do it full time. Even in the classes where kids looked at me with slack jaws and glazed-over eyeballs, it was fun to have a chance to explain something to people who were listening (mostly).

We read an article by Mr. McNeil (Of McNeil/Lehrer) on the evils of television, and the kids caught the irony thereof. Also many of them picked up a Moses metaphor, which is awesome – because kids and metaphors are sketchy business at best. And they laughed at the part in the article that called television the “instrument of national linkage” and wondered, How old is this guy, anyway?

I love teaching. I do. So much. But one of my favorite parts is the part where I say, not today, thanks, and I work on my revisions and I write things and I clean the sticky kitchen floor and I bake bread.

But being in the room, with minds whirring, and kids getting rowdy about words, and laughing together, and Learning happening, that is really, really fun. Thanks, Ms. M — whatever you were doing yesterday, I doubt it was as awesome as what I got to do in your classroom.

October 11, 2011

Dangerous Revisions

Filed under: writing process — becca @ 9:50 am

Um. Did you know that there’s the possibility of making your story worse through the revision process? I just thought you might need one more thing to be afraid of.

But, really? Revision is coming along. I did many pages this morning, and plan to do some more after I take care of a couple of matters of hygiene. (That word, Hygiene, is one that I can never, never spell correctly on the first try. Or first four tries. Also, Privilege. Except I just did. So maybe I am getting better at this.) I am moving through the story and trying not to wreck it. Or something. It hurts.

What does carpal tunnel feel like? Because something is going down in my right wrist, elbow, and the occasional finger. It sort of feels like there’s a phantom bone that needs to be removed. And it seems bruised inside. Or something. It hurts. Pooh.

Sometimes when I’m revising I forget to eat. Or feed my family. (Don’t worry. They remind me about the things they need. In kind, non-whiny voices. And then they clean up after dinner.) [1]

And another note: Possibly there should be a written rule that one should not read Leif Enger at the time that one is revising. His prose makes mine look like something I scraped off the bottom of my shoes. Or something. It hurts.

[1] Hahahahahahahahaha.

October 10, 2011

Curly Girlie

Filed under: kids — becca @ 8:57 am

When she was little, we curled her hair in those fat-pencil rollers almost every week.

It prevented the brushing, which thing (the brushing, not the prevention) she really hated.

And Daddy was convinced that she behaved better less hideously when she was curly.

In any case, she has always had some pretty great hair.

She let me roll it up again this weekend.

She behaved herself in a most pleasing manner.

And looked adorable, natch.

Love this girl.

(*Hi, Kid 3! It’s all about you!*)

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