Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Where have you been and what have you not been doing?

Mostly at home.

Well, that's not true. Since the last time I blogged, I have traveled several hundred miles to spend Christmas in Palm Desert, California, where the weather was so warm that I could walk around in flip-flops and a t-shirt. Sigh. I miss that.

But all things considered, I think I've adjusted pretty well to my first real winter in three years. It helps that I got a gym membership so I can still go for walks/runs even when it's dark and cold outside and when your icicles are taller than you are.

Honestly, though, other than the gym, that trip to California, and going to work, I've spent a ton of time home alone lately. That's because I've been working on revisions for The Jane Journals. My friend Emma, who is also my editor, gave me lots of great suggestions on how to improve the book and I decided to use pretty much all of them. Altogether I think the book got about 25 percent longer and way cooler. I feel so much better now about the fact that it's getting published.

But because of all that time I spent revising, I've let a lot of things slide. That's one of the hazards of being a writer. Sometimes you just have to live with a sink full of dirty dishes, a blog that never gets updated, and library books that sit unread on your bookshelf. All in the name of drafting or revisions.

Or maybe I just use writing as an excuse not to do my chores. Either way, I have a major confession to make.

There are some things it's okay to let slide for awhile (like dishes) and other things that it's not okay to miss.

And I missed a big thing.

I told my friend and fellow author Kimiko Christensen Hammari that I would be part of her blog tour for her recently-released book. I was flattered she asked, actually. I've never participated in a blog tour before. I had every intention of posting about her book on the day I signed up for. And then . . . I didn't do it.

On the day I was supposed to post, I forgot and went to San Diego instead. I have no excuse. I deserve no forgiveness. I am officially the worst.

But in the interest of preserving some thin thread of my friendship with Kimiko and also in the interest of letting you all know about her super cool book, I think I should now let you all know about her super cool book.

Here it is:

For years, Kimiko and I have been writing Tiny Talks and her FHE book together. Normally we're so crunched for time that we both go nuts, but it's great for me to know that there's at least one other person out there in the world who fully understands what I am going through for those few days or weeks of insanity.

Both of our books are based on the Primary sharing time theme, but Kimiko's specifically focuses on taking the lessons your kids learn on Sunday and reinforcing them in family night on Monday. Her book is so great! It has everything you need for family night—a lesson, scriptures, songs and hymns, activities for older and younger kids, and a challenge that you can commit to for the week ahead.

I am not a mom, but if I were, this would be my weekly go-to. Especially with younger kids, I can see how it would be super draining to try to plan a family night every single week on your own. What I like about Kimiko's book is that you can use it as much or as little as you want. So on weeks that you really want to have a lesson on a specific topic of your own choosing, by all means, do that. But on weeks that you're tempted to skip the lesson and head straight for the snacks, this book can be a great back up.

And I'm not just saying all this because Kimiko is my friend (assuming we're still friends now that I've completely failed her in my blog-tour duties). I'm telling you honestly this is a great book and so helpful.

Plus I haven't even mentioned that it comes with a CD full of things from the book that you can print out for activities—stuff like games and puzzles. So cool! I don't know how Kimiko comes up with all this stuff. She's just that awesome.

(Maybe I can flatter her into being my friend again.)

As always, I hate to imply that you should buy anything. I write enough ad copy at work. I don't like doing it on my blog. But in my honest opinion, Kimiko's book is great. So if it seems like something you might be interested in, you can find it at Seagull and Deseret Book or online at Amazon or and probably some other online places too. I even found on Walmart's site, if you're into that sort of thing.

Caveat: As Cedar Fort's production manager, I should probably also apologize to Kimiko for not being able to keep her book in stock. It sold out quickly and it wasn't until yesterday that we were able to start sending it out to stores again. So I am sorry if you readers went to the store looking for it or ordered it online and weren't able to find it. That's sort of partially on me.

Like I said, I'm the worst.

Just look at me, relaxing at the beach. Totally not blogging or ordering more of Kimiko's book.

And as long as I'm confessing, I might as well just come out and state that I don't actually regret going to the beach that day. But Kimiko's from California and she is also experiencing her first winter in years this season, so I'm just crossing my fingers that she'll understand.

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