Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration: Choosing Between the Good

There is beauty all around when there's pastries to eat.
 (What? Don't tell me you don't agree?)

From doors of the Parisian boulangeries, mouthwatering smells fill the air.  One is helpless to resist the heavenly scents.  Upon enter the shop, the charm and beauty of each pastry must be properly adored.  Getting lost in the beauty of each handmade creation, it is easy to forget that you must make a choice.  Oh but how can one choose?

There are so many front running candidates to be devoured and only so many euros.  This new found heaven  mocks you.  You want some of everything.  With every breath you fall deeper under the spell the spun by the artisans.  There are just too many good things, and you know you just cannot have it all.

When surrounded by so much good it is hard to choose.  Life would be easy if every choice were black or white, but shades of gray cloud up our decisions.  Sometimes it is left to us to decided from the good, better and the best.  Whether it is choosing a pastry or which chore to check off of our to-do list, life is full of tough choices. 

How do you choose between the good in your life?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Value of Work

Growing up I can remember doing dishes, weeding gardens, cleaning bathrooms, and cleaning my room all before I was old enough to start school.  I want my daughter to know the value of work.  I want her to know that the good things in life are earned, not handed over.

I want these things but have NO clue how to do it.  I have trouble letting her complete a chore that I know I will have to go and  repeat when she isn't watching so that it is done properly.  Little Princess is only three she will be four before the end of the year.  

What do you do to teach a 3-4 year old the value of work?  
Which chores are appropriate?  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Can Breath Again

I haven't exactly been super active in the blogosphere recently.  You may have or may have not noticed.  But the first Trimester of pregnancy left me with little energy.  Doing anything more than watching my daughter seemed  impossible. 

Things have finally started to mellow.  Little Princess now goes to Joy School two days a week.  Of course these means that one week a month I have a teaching obligation.  But it is nice to have a few hours to myself.  I can browse my google reader and visit blogger.  And the goal is eventually to open up the document with my WIP and tackle some more writing.

While Little Princess is learning, I sit in Panera with my laptop and enjoy the peacefulness of freedom.  More than anything I just wanted to say Hello.  I am still alive here, and I have missed you all so much.  I can't wait to catch up on what is happening in your lives.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration --Finding Time

Behind one of the Large clocks in the Gare d'Orsay or  Musée d'Orsay

There is a time for everything,  a time for nothing, and a time for the things in between.  A time for painting, a time for cleaning, a time for mothering, a time for writing, a time for exercise, I even hear there is a time for sleeping (I am not sure if i believe it though.)  It can get awfully hard to figure out how much time to allow for all the things I need to accomplish.  
However, without planning nothing gets done.  Timing seems to play a key role in all aspects of life and writing for that matter.

How do you divide your time?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration --Rising to the Top

One of my favorite experiences in France was visiting Cassis.  We drove up to the summit of Cap Canaille.   The cliffs over look Cassis and the Mediterranean sea.  As you stand at the edge, there is no safety measures to keep you from swan diving or tripping to a sudden death.  Well, it would not be sudden; the fall would take a while.  But the beauty is overwhelming.  The distant landscape dwarfs you.  You become small, insignificant, and if you are my husband, slightly woozy.   At the same time, the view shares with you inspiration and hope. Standing at the top of the world, you have never felt so small; you have never felt so grand.

It made me think about the trials I have faced and will yet face in my life.  The distance and height that is still yet to travel to achieve the dream.  At times I definitely feel small and insignificant.  But as I look back over how much I have already accomplished I am inspired to go further, and I feel the power I have within me to live my dreams.

Rise to the top.
Conquer your goals.
  When you look back, enjoy the view.
Embrace the power within yourself.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Veiled Lady in the Louvre
(Taken from the Archives of Seriously Amber Lynae)

This statue reminds me of the statues in the newer Pride and Prejudice film. There is something quite hypnotic about her face with the veil. How is it that the sculpture was able to show the details of the face and the veil over at the same time? So much detail and emotion can be created from marble.  It is awesome that marble -so hard and formless- can be carved into beauty- flowing and whimsical.

  I hope that you enjoy this piece of Paris and take this message with you :

No matter how hard any situation may appear at first, you can make out of it what you choose.  You can choose to let life crush you, or you can carve life into something that will have people staring with awe.

I hope that you will choose the latter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration --Reaching Goals

Stranger biking the country roads of France

Today is stage 9 in le Tour de France 2010.  It just gets me thinking of all the work the competitors have put into being about to make 3,642 kilometers trek.  Not many people would be physically able to survive the race.  However, each participant has trained and put in the necessary work.  The race is not something entered unprepared on a whim.

It is this knowledge that inspired these thought/reminders:

Life is meant to be lived with purpose and we cannot reap what we have not sown.  

For me this reminder was a much needed push to get me to stop whining and start doing.  There is no someday but today.  So I will use today to start changing the things that are not as I would have them be, because no matter how hard I wish on the evening star it will not change the fact that life takes effort. 

 What goals are you working to accomplish?
How do you keep yourself motivated and consistent?


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Setting Goals and Open to Questions

So Sarah of Confessions of the Un-Published is hosting a 50,000 words in 50 days challenge.  I am needing the encouragement and goal setting.  So I am participating. It started July 12th and runs until August 31st.  If you need so group encouragement sign up yourself.  I will let you know how I'm doing through the 50days.

Also, as a way of letting my readers get to know me better, I hope that if there is any questions you would like me to answer that you might leave it in the comments below.

Dying to Know more about Amber Lynae! 
 Ask me questions in the comment section.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration --Accepting Talents

 Gustave Eiffel's Iron Lady was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May.  Today the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the world and is the single most visited paid monument in the world.  However, the tower was not well received when first built; many called it an eyesore.  Novelist Guy de Maupassant—who claimed to hate the tower—supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure. 

When I ponder on the lack of acceptance given to this architectural art piece, which I hold so dear, I begin to relate it to my own lack of acceptance of the talents that my Heavenly Father obviously wants me to develop.  

Let me explain--as a child I wanted nothing more than to learn to play piano like my big sister.  I begged my mom to take lessons.  Both of my older sisters had the privilege of lessons.  And I will state as evidence that the youngest sibling does not get everything they want, that I was denied my request.  My mother told me that my sisters could teach me.  

Well that really did not get anywhere.  Teenage sisters are not very interested in teaching younger siblings anything.  So I took it upon myself to learn the art of piano playing.  And I did learn.  However, I have never gotten to the point where I would consider myself a pianist (even though I can normally sight read at least one clef at a time.)  I have never accepted piano playing as a talent.  Even though I enjoy sitting at a piano to play some tunes, I have never really thought to seriously try to better my abilities.  

It would seem that my Heavenly Father has other thoughts of my talent.  In my last ward, I was called to be the pianist for the primary children.  When I moved last fall, it took a month to receive the same calling in my new ward.  I hear my Heavenly Father silently shouting to me that I am a pianist and my talents are meant to be used.

Are you overly modest about your talents? 
Do you have talents that you have a hard time accepting?  
What are they?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

In Our Economic Turmoil Seriously Amber Lynae (re)Presents:
From the archives of Seriously Amber Lynae

My husband loves to shop around. He is always looking for a bargain. Whether we are vacationing in France or living in Virginia, he wants the best deal in town. Personally, I think it is great that I've married a man who doesn't want to throw away his money. But as his aunt and I learned from letting him and his uncle book a hotel.... Frugality can go TOO far.

For the equivalent $40 we stayed at Premiere Classe. (Just in case the name is deceiving you, it wasn't first class.) The room was barely big enough to fit the double bed with the luggage shelf above it. And the bathroom (pictured above) was more of a pod than a room.  It was so small that you can shower, poop, and shave all at the same time without moving an inch.

Overall, it was a laughing experience. The small size of the room really wasn't enough to rate Premiere Classe at the bottom of our list. The rooms which were non-smoking (in France??) definitely had been smoked in (there is a headache for me), some sort of mold looked to be growing over the door, and the two bath towels the provide were scaled down to fit the room and were more like hand towels.

Have you had any money saving experiences go awry?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Before visiting the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, I was completely unaware that Claude Monet's Water Lilies was  a series of approximately 250 oil paintings or various sizes.  I thought it was one painting. This May, it was announced that today, June 23rd, the 1906 Nympheas work would be auctioned in London. (I wish I could afford the estimated price of between £30 and £40 million).

In two oval rooms house within l'Orangerie, eight large paintings are now available under direct diffused light as was originally intended by Monet. The paintings depict Monet's flower garden at Giverny.  Many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts
It is romantic and almost magical when you stand surrounded by these magnificent works of art.  I felt all twitterpatted with a desire to be spun around the room or to be wooed by poetry.  The imagery really does evoke strong emotion.  Just like a good book artfully crafted, these works have the ability to transport you into a different world.

What has the power to to evoke strong emotions within you? 
Have you ever felt like you walked into a fairytale?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Crypte archéologique du parvis Notre-Dame 

Beneath Notre-Dame cathedral square is an archaeological crypt which preserves the foundations and vestiges of buildings which were constructed between the Gallo-Roman period and the 18th century.   There are remnants of bath houses, shops, hospitals, and house.  It is interesting to see this crypt of Paris's past.

It reminds me that our past is a part of today.  Our ancestors have paved the way for us to be what we are today.  We must learn from their successes, learn from their failures, and take those lessons to build our present.  I am grateful for the struggles and accomplishments that my ancestors.  I am grateful for all they have made possible for me today.I hope that we all can build upon our past in a way that would please our ancestors and allows them to know that we cherish all that they have made possible.

How do you build about the past to make a better future?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Lady Lamp post outside of the Paris Opera House

"Landscapes exercise a strange power over you.
As if each of us has an internal landscape, embedded in us during childhood
and which lies in wait until the point of recognition. 
Ah, there it is, you think. 
Or rather, there I am." 
-  Lucy Wadham The Secret Life of France

 I agree completely with Lucy's thoughts.  I felt this way as I walked through various parts of France.   I think we all have a place, whether we have been there or not, that we know is our own little heaven.  There is not one place on earth that I would be completely happy, because I would always long for the closeness of all my friends and family. 

I grew up in the foothills of West Virginia. The turning of the trees in the fall boasts colors that artists would struggle to capture.  It is breathtaking.  Those landscapes will always be a part of me.  

Yet there is a connection for me to Paris.  With her (Paris is nothing if not feminine) intricate ironwork, casual cafes, grandiose statues, cobblestone streets, and the glorious gardens, she beckons me.  This is my internal landscape.  The aromas, the sounds, and sights leave you longing for more around every corner.  You are seduced into a relationship.  While you eat your pastries or culinary art,  roam through the leafy boulevards, or hunt bargains at the weekly markets; you are charmed by her arrogance and coquette manner. She all but demands you love her; and you helplessly obey.

Describe to me your internal landscape and why you love it so much.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dream Sequence Blogfest

So very last minute over at Elizabeth Mueller's blog, I find out about a Dream Sequence Blogfest being hosted by Amalia T.  
I don't think I have ever participated in a blogfest.  But dream sequences are part of what my current work in progress is about.  
The following scene is very raw example of the 'condition' that my MC--Damien deals with daily.

The queasiness in my stomach told me that I was lost in someone else’s dream again. It had been happening for months and I still hadn’t gotten used to it.
The night of my sixteenth birthday, it happened for the first time.  When I woke up my head felt like someone had used it for batting practice.  After I figured out that these dreams weren’t my own it became easy to distinguish when I wasn’t dreaming.
Gives a whole new meaning to “pinch me I must be dreaming.”    
In someone else’s dream, everything outside the dreamers mental focus appears in black and white.  Landscapes further from the dream center appeared vague and blurred as if I were walking around without my glasses.  Even the sounds of the dream becomes muddled the further I am from the dream center. 
I always felt a little bit safer being out of the dreamer’s focus, because sometimes people would remember seeing me in their dreams if I didn’t.  If I could, I would stay in the blurry outskirts of the dreams but it is only when I get closer to the vivid colors and crisp objects that the sickness in my stomach eases. 

My lack of focus, the gurgling of my stomach and grayish hue of my skin let me know I was far from of the dreamer’s focus.   Bile burned my throat, so—I headed toward the vivid colors. 
Unmarked gravestones surrounded me.  I figured names were just something that this dreamer’s mind just hadn’t generated.  Across the cemetery, there was a ceremony taking place near a short casket in color.
I began to walk with purpose forgetting that I cover ground much quicker in the dream state.  It only took seconds to reach the congregated group.  You could taste the sadness in the air.  I know that sounds weird, but emotions were very different in dreams. 
A young mother in the front row hugged an infant to her chest as she sobbed on the shoulder of her husband.  No one could even look up at the pastor as he spoke about loss and tragedy.  There were subtle glances at the tiny casket, but other than that everyone cast their eyes to the ground.
In fact, I think I was the only one that noticed the lady walking toward the group.  She proceeded slowly with her white dress draping the ground.  Her face was veiled.  Cradled in her arms was a swaddled infant.  With slow precision, she made her way closer to the group.  She started to gain the crowd’s attention, when she approached the mourning couple. Everyone was silenced and waiting.
The white lady bowed her head toward her swaddled child and hugged the bundle to her chest.  Her shoulders shook in a sob. 
“I can’t...  I can’t live like this any longer,” said the voice beneath the veil.  She handed the baby to the man who had been comforting his mourning wife.  He glanced down at the baby he had just been gifted and then to his wife.  While I stood confused they seemed to comprehend exactly what had happened.
The white lady then proceeded to the closed casket.  She clasped her hands over her chest. From beneath her hands black flamed over the white flowing fabric of her dress as if her despair singed the white dress completely blackening it with grief.  But when her veil vanished I felt as if the breath had been sucked from my lungs.  She was my mother.
I stood there stunned and staring.  I knew dreams could be disjointed and complete nonsense, but this dream and the emotions were so thick.  I guess the fact that I hadn’t been close to my mother in weeks made seeing her in this dream now hit me that much harder.
The funeral party vanished.  Only she, I, and the casket remained at the graveside.  This was her dream. 
There was my mother, the same woman who could no longer look at me—her son.  I felt like that baby she had just abandoned so easily when it would need her the most.  The fire was burning within me and my heart pounding.  She was giving up just the way she had on me.
In a low voice, somewhere between a plead and a demand, I said “Mom?”   She seemed unaware of my presence as she crumpled to the ground next to the small casket and opened it.
“Mom,” I said louder more forceful.  The lump in my throat was growing.  I couldn’t swallow the pain back.  My eyes were burning; my breathing deepened and I clenched my teeth.  Then, I exploded.  “Mother, look at me now!” 
She looked up at me. “Damien,” she said. It was nice to hear her say my name to have her look at me.  Yet there was nothing but sadness in her eyes.  She returned her attention to the casket and removed the corpse of an infant.  She hugged it to her and sobbed.
As I watched her pain, my anger melted.  I knelt beside her.  I wanted to comfort her the way she had always comforted me in the past.  I wanted to look in her eyes again.  Somehow, I knew that if only she would look at me she would stay here with me and fix my problems.  “Mom, I need you.”
     For a moment, she looked at me.  I could feel her love the emotional barrier separating us was fading.  I reached for her.  The movement reawakened her previous resolve. She closed her eyes, her head hung and she sobbed harder. “I can’t. I can’t live like this.” Tears washed down her cheeks, and our surroundings changed to a mausoleum.
A large stone casket lay open in the center of the tomb.  She rose with the infant in her arms.  My eyes bore into her back as she stood there frozen for a long moment.  She glanced over her shoulder to look at me once more.  She levitated above the casket.
     I was losing her for good.  “Please stay?”  My words brought her instantly before me.
 She raised her hand to my cheek and tucked my hair back.  “Sweet boy, it is too late.  My baby is dead.” 
I wanted to object to tell her no, I was her boy and I was living right here.  But she had faded like smoke before me.  She was in the stone coffin holding the small corpse. 
The sound of the stone grinding closed filled the crypt.  A chill ran up my spine.  With all my strength I struggled to stop the stone.  It was useless. 
A deafening echo boomed.  My mother was sealed in a house of death.  All was black and I was back in my room—awake with another migraine.

There you have it my first Blogfest.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

 Some of my new readers wonder why French Inspiration?
So I am taking you back to the beginning
From the archives of Seriously Amber Lynae

 I love my husband a little more now than I did before.  I have more reasons to love him the longer I know him. He is a wonderful man. But why have I decided that I love him more now? why am I telling you in my post? "Because he gave me the world. Not really, but he gave me a stamp in my passport." He took me to Paris (and various other beautiful parts of France.)

It is strange to go somewhere you have never been and feel so at home. I could only understand about 80% of what was being said; could respond at the level of a 15 month old (maybe); a wallet was stolen; and my feet ached from walking ALL day. I LOVED IT. Paris is always a good idea. I can't wait to go back. The beauty and grace of the country is undeniable.

And the pastries..... oh I miss them very much. We had a wonderful boulangerie at the corner from our apartment with wonderful selection. I think I ate more chocolate during my stay in France than I have in the past 4 months combined. How can you not love a place when you are doped up on chocolate? Seriously I would go back tomorrow if I had the opportunity. Any takers? Who wants to take me to France? I must admit that this is the first time I've travel off of the American continent. I am certain there is a lot of the world that I would love.  Paris has held my heart since childhood and part of my heart shall always remain in Paris.

So there you have it in order to relive Paris and France
every week I relate some of the thousands of photos 
to my life and writing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seriously in Real Utah Life and Storymakers Photo Evidence

Debbie, Jenn, Jenni, Yours Truly, and Meagan

 I think it may be time that I finally put up some photos from my Olive Garden Luncheon.  It was a small gathering that took place April 17th at Olive Garden.  A lot of last minute plans, and sickness kept the group from being bigger.  There is always next time for those of you who missed it.  IT was a lot of fun. And I even brought a treat for everyone.  This group was so much fun. You should have seen Jenn's face when she thought I very casually talked about my baby's fatal fall. (Mentioned halfway through the linked post.)  She may or may not have heard the whole conversation.  I will have to make sure to have some more bloggers' luncheons when I'm in Utah again.

I also was lucky enough to attend LDS Storymakers the following Friday were I met a lot of people in real life.  Like Elizabeth, LT Elliot, Terresa, Melanie J, Kym, Alexes, CK Bryant, and Carolyn V.

I may or may not have done some of the following:

Attended a class by Bree and said a quick hello to her.

Heard Howard from writing excuses talking and knew it was
him before I saw him. Then proceed to tell him so.

Stopped James in the corridor to tell him I LOVED The Maze Runner.
And demand he keep writing.

Forced Aprilynn to stop and take a picture with me.  And told her I love Spells and Wings.

It was great visiting Utah.  There were a lot of people I would have loved to meet that I didn't So it only proves that I must come back again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration.

Through the years Mona has been speculated over, stolen, recovered, splashed with acid, warped, cracked, stoned, mugged, passed around, spoofed, and always adored.  Needless to say, she has quite a backstory.  This is what makes her so special and an irresistable stop in the Louvre.  She is not a larger than life painting like some in the same museum.  She could easily be displayed in the average home. 

She can teach every writer a good lesson.  Your characters don't need to be larger than life.  They don't need to be perfect.  They take time to develop.  They need a good backstory and some mystery.  When properly developed your characters will not only be irresistable and adored, but they will also be spoofed and hated by some.  They will be real to the readers.

Do you have a Mona Lisa character?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

I couldn't find the history of this piece.  When I passed it in the Louvre I instantly loved it.  Recently I have felt a particular connection with it.  My husband has been away since March.  When we are apart I miss him like crazy.  My daughter misses him.  Our house, our lives are incomplete without him in our home.  Yesterday, we were reunited once again. 

What completes your life?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

On our way back to the train station in Versailles, our group passed El Rancho.  We all laughed at the thought of the French having a Tex-Mex bar and grill.  I realized later that it isn't such a bad idea.  In a market that is saturated with French cuisine (it is France after all), Tex-Mex would really stand out.  Of course not everyone if going to be dying to eat at a Tex-Mex grill in France.   However, the is a market for it:  those who have moved and want a taste of home, those who want to try something new, those who really love tex-mex,...etc.

Yet I think that our initial reaction says something about many aspects of life.  No matter how you decorate your house; write your book;  drive your car; or wear your clothes you will always have some people who just don't get it.  I think it is when you stop trying to please everyone and start trying to be true to yourself that you learn to be truly happy

Is your book like a Tex-Mex restaurant in the middle of France?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Globe found in the Dauphin’s large study at Versailles
In 1781 Louis XVI commissioned Mancelle to make the celestial and terrestrial globe, enclosing a second globe featuring land and underwater reliefs, for his son’s education.   This is a very fascinating piece to me for a few reasons.  Firstly, it is interesting to see how much they knew about geography of the world.  Secondly, this globe is huge... I keep expecting it to be one of  those furniture pieces with a minibar inside.   

Like most things it gets me thinking.  Whenever I see a globe I always enjoy searching out for my current location, the places I have been, and the places I long to be.   As I spin a globe, I can hear the song It's a Small World After All.  Walt really had something with that ride he designed.  While at times our world seems so huge other times we each have had those moments when we realize just how small it is.  No matter your geography we all have basic human needs and wants. One of the wants I constantly see in myself and others is the need for acceptance.  
I can admit that being a person who has always enjoyed participating in and partaking of the arts has made it sometimes hard to find my niche.   And since I have started my writing journey finding those I connect with has been done in the blogosphere.   Well during my unannounced/unplanned absence from my blog I got to live in my niche.  I attended LDStorymakers.  I felt at home with people who have a passion for the same things as myself.   It may have been my first writer's conference but it will certainly will not be my last.  My only regret is that I didn't get to attend both days and meet more people.  

I hope you know where to find your niche.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Winner of their very own...

...signed copy of Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell has been chosen by 
 And just who was it that they saw fit to choose? 

 Melanie J

To get your signed copy email Michele Ashman Bell at 
with you information and how you would like your winnings personalized.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Seriously in Real Utah Life Meeting

You have spoken and the date has been chosen.  If you are hoping come to the Seriously in Real Like Meeting, then you will be glad to know that a time, date, and location has been set.

 Where:  The Olive Garden (Provo-504 W 2230 NORTH)
 When:    April 17th starting at 1pm

So to RSVP so I can make a reservation please email me at amberlynae (at) gmail (dot) com.

I can't wait to meet you there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

When visiting the Eiffel Tower you just may see the stampede of gazelles (the people selling the unofficial memorabilia).  It is quite the sight.  As you walk toward the tower you pass their blankets covered with  a wide assortment of souvenirs.  You hear their trinkets clink.    They offer you deals that you will not find in the Official Eiffel Tower Shop.

But their task is an illegal one.  When they sense a cop, they raise their heads like prey sensing  a near by predator.  With a tug on one string their blankets gather all their contraband and the stampede begins.  If one person runs then they all sense the oncoming danger.  They race away and scatter to safety.

It is interesting to see pure instinct kick in when faces with consequences.  It gets me thinking about the human's natural response to danger.  In some people it brings out the heroes in in others it brings out the villains

When in danger is your character heroic or villainous?

Also, you have until April 12th to enter and win a signed copy  
of Michele Ash Bell's 
Summer in Paris.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

(The link takes you to previous post about Premiere Classe)

Today my thoughts are on expectations.  It is very hard for things to live up to our high expectations.  So why do we set them so high?    Are high expectations a good thing or a bad?  I think it can be both.  Sometimes our expectations get in our way and sometimes they push us to try harder.

I can recall experiences from my past in which my parents' high expectations kept me from making poor choices.  But I have also experienced times when I knew that I could never reach my  high expectations and instead of doing my best I felt paralyzed by the realization that I would most definitely fail.  There have also been times when my high expectations have kept me from enjoying the journey.

What are you thoughts on high expectations?

You can check out my Friday Post on Mormon Mommy Writers about my muse.

Come back tomorrow for my interview with Michele Ash Bell about a her newly released book
Summer in Paris.
You won't want to miss it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Statue of Marcellus* in the Louvre Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities

"What the heck is he thinking?

Many women ask themselves this question very often.  We just don't get men.   I have a problem--my man character is a teenage boy.  If anyone ever reads my manuscript I am hoping they don't say the same things that have been said about Edward Cullens.(Not saying I agree with that article.)

So how can we write what men think?  I think first you have to accept that men and women are very different creatures mentally.  So if you are like me and you need to learn to write believable men get out there and start learning.  If you like to laugh while you learn, then watch this video about what Mark Gungor has to say about the differences between the sexes.

Who is your favorite fictional male?  Was he written by a woman?
 * Am I the only one that noticed the only finger remaining on Marcellus? (That was part of the reason we took his picture.)

Did you know that you can now hear more from me on Fridays at Mormon Mommy Writers?
My contribution last Friday was about the need for wholesome books.

If you live in Utah or will be there in April,
please respond to the polls in the right sidebar about the
If none of the suggestions in the poll work leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Writing a novel is a lot like driving around the Arc de Triomphe.  

You have all these ideas and hope converging into one novel.  You have to be a little crazy and a little daring to drive right into the middle of things.  Some times you get cut off, some things may hold you up.  There are no lines that you must stay within.  You forge your own path.  Heck, you may even end up in a few accidents in the process.  You may miss your stop the first time around.  But you just keep going until you get another shot.  But in the end you come out on the other side and you feel grateful to be alive and a sense of accomplishment.  (At least that is what I am assuming.)

Below is just one of many videos on You Tube about this crazy one of a kind roundabout.

Where are you at in your roundabout?
 You really should check out the links under the picture to get a better vision of the process.  Great stuff there.

Did you know that you can now hear more from me on Fridays at Mormon Mommy Writers?
My contribution last Friday was about the merits of writing.

If you live in Utah or will be there in April,
please respond to the polls in the right sidebar about the
If none of the suggestions in the poll work leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

Today I am somewhat empty.  I am missing Paris.  It has been almost a year since my brief visit and I am craving a sequel.  No matter how many chocolate bars and croissants I eat, I just can't recreate that feeling of joy I felt every time I stepped into the Parisian streets, the cafes, the museums. 

When you finish a great book with compelling setting and lovable characters it is hard to accept that it is over .  You want there to be a sequel.  You crave more.  Your heart can't adjust to the truth that you must return to reality.  You feel somewhat empty.

How do you return to reality?

Did you know that you can now hear more from me on Fridays at Mormon Mommy Writers.
My first contribution was last Friday about criticism.

If you live in Utah or will be there in April, 
please respond to the polls in the right sidebar about the 
If none of the suggestions in the poll work leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

When you tour the Loire Valley during the off season you may not get the full experience.  I love how the covering over the scaffolding tries to fool your eyes.  If you close one eye and turn your head and squint a little then it might look like the real thing.  It leaves you somewhat unsatisfied.

Have you ever read a book like this?  Maybe it has be a first, second or third draft of something you have written.  It looks good.  It works for the most part; however, it needs revised yet again.  If you want to pull in the big crowds your work has got to do more than an off season castle.  Sure it will draw a crowd, but just imagine all the bells and whistles.  Fully restored and the gardens in bloom.  Your book completed with the best word choices, the subplots weaving seamlessly with the plot.  You would have a real page turner on your hands.

No matter what you are doing in life, do it well, and make it something you are proud to put your name on.

 *The link above will take you to previous Chenonceau Wednesday French Inspiration posts.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

And the Winner is.......

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  

You girls are just too great.  When I asked for some advice you had my back.  A girl needs friends she can count on.

So I rocked it out old style and wrote your names on sheets of paper and had Hubby pull one lucky winner out of the pot.  Well that lucky girl is

Her schedule breakdown :
I spend a couple of hours blogging every couple of days. I'm trying to write a little every day, although it seems to happen in bigger chunks on some days and infinitesimal chunks on others. I try to sleep 8 hours and the rest of the time I spend on family and pretending to care if my house is messy. :)

I am right there with you about ignoring the mess, maybe if I ignore it long enough it will get the hint and leave.
I also found a great post by InkMom about her cleaning and scheduling regime.   It is worth a look to any girl in the same boat as me.  

For those few of you who can't get enough of me and my craziness, I have a new jig over at Mormon Mommy Writers.  I will be there weekly on Fridays.  Even if you aren't mormon, a mommy or a writer. I think you will love to chat and get to know some wonderful women. 

Jenn you can email your address over at amberlynae (at) gmail (dot) com

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday French Inspriation

Versailles window/door latch  LP= Louis-Philippe

No matter the continent, country, of city you visit, you will always find the park benches, trees, or buildings tagged by some person trying to leave their mark.  "I WAS HERE" the markings scream.  Where does this desire to leave our mark on the world come from?  We are not dogs that have to leave our scent to spread the world there is a new kid in town... however, as a human we do have a desire to create and so some how brand the world with our name.

Some people do this through music, some through painted or sculpted art, some through writing, some through sciences.  There are many grandiose ways of leaving behind our "I was here" sign.  The desire to create is a godly desire.  We long to make something that is so distinctly ours. 

Today my thoughts are focused on the fact that we do in fact leave our mark on the world.  Each day you are carving you mark, your every action whittles away at the very fibers of this earth.  I am not talking about our carbon footprints, but our spiritual ones.  Some days your only progress may seem more of a mess and less than a masterpiece.  Some days your work may cause tears.  Other days the crowds may gather to cheer your name for your efforts.  But every thing you do will leaves the world changed. Whether or not you leave behind bookshelves filled with your work or walls covered with your art; you will not leave this world unchanged.

We must be as the scouts and leave the earth better than we found it.  Make your life and your life's work something you are unashamed to put your name one. 

When people see your "I was here." may they be filled with overwhelming joy.

Don't forget to enter last weeks giveaway  of The Time Traveler's Wife  BOOK if you haven't already.
And respond to the polls in the right Sidebar about the Seriously in Real Utah Life Meeting.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seriously in real Utah Life Meeting

It is happening and if you are not there you are going to miss it...(as if that isn't obvious).  I have to prove to my husband that I don't make up my online friends (ok some of them may have been made up).  So let's do this.  You know you wanna meet me in real Utah life. It is going down sometime in April. And I am going to be putting it together with some door prizes.
In the right side bar i have some polls to get your input on where you want it to happen. 
Give me some input.  
See you soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration (and a Giveaway)

Behind one of the Large clocks in the Gare d'Orsay or  Musée d'Orsay

There is a time for everything,  a time for nothing, and a time for the things in between.  A time for painting, a time for cleaning, a time for mothering, a time for writing, a time for exercise, I even hear there is a time for sleeping (I am not sure if i believe it though.)  It can get awfully hard to figure out how much time to allow for all the things you need to accomplish.  
However, without planning nothing gets done.  Timing seems to play a key role in all aspects of life and writing for that matter.

So to get some advice from my readers (within the US), I'm going to have a giveaway.  I'm giving away a copy of  The Time Traveler's Wife  (the book not the movie.) Entering is simple-- You can either answer in the comments of write a post on your blog and send me the link.  But I want to know how you divide your time (especially from those who are writers, but also from mothers in general).  
How much time is devoted to writing/hobbies, cleaning, mothering, exercising, socializing/blogging, sleeping in an average day (and/or) week? 
The entry deadline is midnight eastern standard time on February 27th.
 The winner will be posted February 28th. 
So help a girl out.
(Winner will be picked at random.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

You've gotta be kidding me.

I will admit my house isn't exactly the most organized place in the world, and laundry doesn't always get done in regular intervals.  The pile had grown so high I was unable to exit my room without climbing the likes of Mount Everest.  

I decided today is the day I get rid of this mountain and make it a mole hill.  I picked up some of the darks I could find without much examination (I didn't want to upset the whole dang pile) and I threw them in the washer.  Rather pleased with myself, I go down stairs and get my daughter some coloring to do.

Man I am on my top game today,
housework and mothering in one day.   
So I'm feeling great.  

When I hear the washer finishing the spin cycle,(and believe me everyone on my block can hear when my washer is spinning that thing is louder than the music at a concert.) I decide to go switch the load over to the dryer.  When I open the washer everything is covered in this huge mess of something.

Now what can this be???

I keep digging into the mess until I see the offending mess of my daughters pull-ups (which she doesn't even really wear anymore).  I had gel crystals over everything.  I tell you what those things are not made to hold enough water.  It could even handle one measly load of laundry without spewing its contents over everything.  Some pull ups just don't make the cut.

Time to Rinse and repeat I guess.
Without the pull up that is.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Funny Friday

Could you use a good laugh?

I just need a good laugh sometimes.  I thought we can share some laughs together. You know you want to leave a joke in the comments. Here is a joke for you.

The following is not an actual story (although I could see this happening to me) it was from an email that had me laughing.

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately
needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my
gas with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my meal,
and noticed that everybody was staring at me....

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday French Inspiration

I'm getting myself a shot gun before next February 2nd. Why would I want to do that?  My thoughts were that when Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole, he won't see much if he is dead.  :)   Six more weeks of this cold is just not happening for me.  I am boycotting the cold.  There is something lonely about the cold.   So I say forget the cold.  Come and scadoo (a term from Blue's Clues) into the picture above.  We can listen to Le Soledad/ The Solitude (Translation of lyrics below).

I didn't get to visit the Château de CassisI only saw its beauty from a far.   It was once a medieval castle built in 1382, sits high along the Blue Coast of Cassis.  It is now a hotel with the rooms only being reachable by staircases or tunnels

I would love to sit in my room overlooking the Mediterranean Sea enjoying some Amorino gelato.  I would write my book to the sound of the crashing waves.

A girl can dream right?

"Welcome to Amber Lynae's Place! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Amber Lynae's Place, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Amber Lynae's Place. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'."

Le Soledad (Translation: The Solitude)
by Pink Martini 

You came to me
Like poetry in the song
Showing me
A new world of passion

Loving me
With no selfishness and with no reason
But without knowing
That it was love
I protect my heart

The sun is gone
And I singing your song
The solitude
Owns all the emotion

Forgive me
If the fear has stolen my illusion

You came to me
I didn't know to love
And this song has been left alone

You came to me
Like poetry in the song
Showing me
A new world of passion

Loving me
With no selfishness and no reason
But without knowing
That it was love
You protect my heart

The sun is gone
And you singing your song
The solitude
Owns all the emotion

Forgive me
If the fear has stolen my illusion
You came to me
And this song has been left alone