Writing Journal: On Hallowed Ground

For some time, I've been thinking in generalities about writing a book about the history of the Winter Quarters temple.  This past week, though, the "do it" vibe has been gathering momentum.  Like, I actually came up with a schedule of deadlines.  I don't remember where I wrote them down, though.

I've been getting the impression that I need to do this.  Not just for me, but to hasten the Lord's work.  I feel almost conceited thinking that.  *runs off to listen to "In Me" by Casting Crowns*  The middle of the Venn diagram of People Who Can Get The Stories and People With Gumption to Write Them is slim.  As in, I may be the only one.  Over the course of the past, let's say eight years, I have heard so many stories that pertain to the building and dedication of the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple.  And they have all caught my heart.  Why else would I notice how many times I heard about the snowstorm of '97?  Because that actually played a role in obtaining the ground for the temple.  Why else would I have been assigned to work so many shifts as an ordinance worker?  To develop a love for the place.  I can think of no other building I want to wrap my arms around.

I even have a title for the book, too.  On Hallowed Ground.  I checked Amazon and Goodreads, and neither of them have a book listed by that name or one about the history of that particular temple.  Not that I'm surprised.  Like I said, who else would write it?  Who else would think enough of this idea to think it a good one and come close to going through with it.

Honestly, though, it scares me.  It scares me that it will be well received and I'll get praise for it.  I don't want praise.  I don't like limelight.  But I don't want it to not do well, either.  I want to write it so that it will inspire people to go there and do work for their ancestors.  To learn about and hold sacred the covenants made there today.  A lot of people know the history of the place; there are plenty of books about historical Winter Quarters.  I want people to know about the temple.  To know the stories of the people who dedicated a portion of their life to seeing it come about.  I want people to love it as much as I do, so that they will go there and grow closer to our Savior.

But it's not just success that scares me.  It's taking that first step.  It's calling people, on the phone, and asking to talk to them about their experiences.  It's the interviews and setting them up.  Not because I don't want to talk to these people or talk to them about the temple, but because then they'll know.  I'll have people who will be holding me accountable.  I can't interview someone for a book and then not write the book.  I need a cheerleader.  I need someone I feel knows me.  Someone I can believe when they say, "I know you can do this.  You need to do this."  Because I'm sure I can find someone to give me empty encouragement.  I'm looking for someone who can tell me when I've bitten off more than I can chew.  I need someone who knows my skill set and someone who understands the depth and breadth of this project on both a professional and spiritual level.  And I don't know if that person exists.
(True story, though: when a local paper interviewed me via e-mail about doing NaNoWriMo, the wife of the temple's architect read the article and told me she was impressed by my dedication to the craft.)


Writing Journal

I have a laptop that is more of a laptop than just a glorified typewriter (and Oregon Trail machine). I also have a reorganized room with more room for writing, which means no more using the "table's too dirty" excuse for not writing.

To celebrate, here's a bit of a poem.  I'm posting only parts of it because there are a couple of stanzas that I want to work on combining, but not as much as I want to post a poem here.
Tentative title: I Wish

I wish I could forget
All the bridges I've burned,
All the love that was lost,
All the tables that turned.

I wish the memories came
Without any pain,
Without any sorrow,
Without any shame.

I wish you had told me,
I wish you had said,
I wish you had promised
Our friendship would not end.

But the call's been released,
And I wish you could see
That if I am like you,
What I'm missing is me.


Writing Journal

I recieved the most wonderful compliment yesterday (Sunday)! I was attending church with a friend (same denomination, different congregation) and someone I used to visit teach came up to me and told me how much she has enjoyed reading the articles that I've had published on millenialmormons.org. The best compliments are those that are unsolicited.

A link to my latest post there: http://www.millennialmormons.com/anne-iverina-pedersdatter/


Writing Journal

Hey guys, I'm famous!
haha...well, kind of.
Through a pretty good friend of mine, I became acquainted with a gentleman by the name of Blake. Less than a year ago, he and a friend of his co-founded a website called Millenial Mormons, which has become pretty well read. My first contribution to the site was a piece on being refined by Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I was glad to do it.

When I ran into Blake at a New Year's party, he solicited me for more articles, which blew me away. Especially considering that my conversation with him was less than two full minutes. Between that and my branch president's encouragement to develop my literary talents, I felt a kick in the pants. Not a swift one, mind you, but a kick nonetheless. I made a sort of unofficial goal to submit an article every month for the site. I have since submitted three, and they've published two. (I can't fault them for not publishing the third, as I composed it rather hastily.) I also have two ideas on deck, but they definitely need work before I send them out.

Here's an image of both articles being featured on their home screen, which is quite the feather in my cap.


Writing Journal

Long story short, I've failed NaNoWriMo this year.

I'm only recording my excuses/reasons so I can do my best to not repeat them.

1. I didn't prep as well as I needed to in October. This includes my outline and my writing space(s).
2. I got off to a slow start. I let a few consecutive days go by without writing.
3. I got sick. A nasty cold knocked me out for about 5 full days. It probably only would have been 2 or 3 were I in a position to call sick to work.
4. I didn't set word count goals or a reward system. This probably falls under not planning well.
5. I didn't create a support base. At best, 5 people I come face to face with knew about my challenge. No one was asking me how I was doing or telling me they wanted to read it when I was done. Which is sad, because I might actually have let them with this one.