09 June 2008

Blogger ∙ Alison Palmer - Books

We've had a change in the Neighborhood. I am so sorry to say goodbye to our Book Blogger, Anne Bradshaw. But I'm very excited to introduce Alison Palmer who will be our new Book Blogger. Alison is a published author, a nurse, a wife and a mother. Wow! We're in for some good reading!

So who is Alison Palmer anyway? This is the place to go if you want to find out more about her. She was born in Mesa, Arizona and has lived in Arizona, West Virginia, and currently Michigan.

Alison Palmer - The Author: Obviously, writing is her favorite past time, but she also loves to read (mostly juvenile and young adult). That will have to be expanded. She likes to spend time sewing, cooking, taking naps and long walks, playing piano or enjoying music, playing with her children and generally avoiding housework as if it were the plague.

So, I had to ask her a few questions so we could learn a little bit more about her.

1. What brought you to the Blogging World and what is your favorite thing about blogging?

I started blogging for money before I ever had a personal blog. What can I say, I like to get paid for what I write! I still do that. I’m more productive when people outside of myself are counting on me.

I did break down and finally start a personal blog when I wanted some place to just ramble. Ok, I also wanted to be egotistical enough to assume people would want to read my ramblings just because they liked me or something. Every writer, no matter how lowly their pursuits, still has a glimmer of a dream for stardom. Not necessarily huge amounts of claim and fame, but at least one other soul who claims your writing makes them a better person.

Yeah, I like getting paid, but I like making a difference even more. Too bad I can’t fill my bank account with all the warm fuzzies associated with creativity and enlightenment.

2. What intrigues you the most about blogging for yourLDSNeighborhood?

One of my favorite topics to write about is, and always has been, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though I began my writing career in secular fields, my church related works are among the things I’m most proud of. It goes back to that old advice new writers often get, “Write what you know.” Well, what I know is that the church is true and that I love my Savior more than I could ever express in words. Though it defies expression, I like trying. It’s the process of getting to put those thoughts on paper that makes my spirit soar.

Because of this opportunity with yourLDSNeighborhood, I get to combine that testimony with another of my favorite things- books. My husband rolls his eyes at my perpetual “books to read” pile. The average number of titles in the stack at any given point in time is 13. Yeah, 13. Hey, I didn’t choose the number, that just seems to be the number of titles that will jump out at me all at once, crying to be read.

YourLDSNeighborhood gives me an excuse to share my excitement for good literature with people who can appreciate my standards and pull toward knowledge and spiritual enrichment. I get to ramble more and hope it makes a difference somewhere along the line.

3. What is your favorite thing about yourLDSNeighborhood?

One word: Diversity. It doesn’t matter what path of life you are currently on.

YourLDSNeighborhood meets you where you’re at in a down-to-earth, supportive and uplifting way. There’s something for every church member if you spend time in the Neighborhood.

4. Tell us a little about yourself: What your likes, dislikes, hobbies, hopes, dreams, etc . . .

I’ve already mentioned that whole reading and writing thing, right? Other than that I love being a mom. I love serving in the church. I love dessert. I love quiet times, and little ticklings of inspiration. Warm fuzzy slippers and nap times are also pretty high on my list. I despise sweating and housework.

My biggest dreams involve my children and my writing. I dream of actually seeing my kids through to the stage of normal, happy, functional, and stable adulthood without traumatizing or killing them in the process. (I’d like to be sane when it’s all over, too.) I dream of some day actually being able to support myself entirely from my writing projects in the LDS market. If you know anything about the LDS market, you know that’s a pretty lofty goal. So, I’m sorry to say I end up doubting myself and slinking back to my other markets more often than I’d like.

5. Tell us something unique about yourself.

Hmmm. I have very short toes.

6. What has been your greatest challenge to date?

See the above comment on my children making it to adulthood…

My biggest writing related challenge probably has to do with my own self-doubt and procrastination issues. I know I’ve been given a huge blessing, but I always feel inadequate in my efforts to live up to my potential. These inner conflicts are probably more challenging for me than any rejection letter I could ever receive. Those are just part of the business, but my ability to put my efforts, with full vigor and confidence, on the projects the Lord would have me do is a whole other matter.

7. What books/projects/songs are you working on right now?

I’m currently waiting with very baited breath to hear back on my first LDS women’s fiction project. It is currently under review for possible publication. In the mean time, I’m outlining and negotiating with my editors about a possible Book of Mormon tour guide project. I’m also scanning the horizon for next year’s Primary curriculum for my Sharing Through Primary Songs series and trying to catch up on some miscellaneous backburner projects between more routine writing commitments like yourLDSNeighborhood and LDSblogs.

8. What obstacles have you run into?

I feel I got started seriously writing much later in life than I should have. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but those around me did not see that as a serious pursuit and I once again lacked the self-confidence to stand up for the promptings in my heart. In some ways it’s put me behind many of my peers that I admire and left me without some of the valuable skills that would make me a better writer. If I had felt that it was really okay for me to become the writer I dreamed of while I was still in high school I would have taken those aspects of my education more seriously.

Curses on nursing school! Sure, I don’t faint at the sight of blood but I go into convulsions when someone tries to explain grammar rules to me. Honest, just ask my husband. Oh, and I can’t spell.

9. What advice do you have for all the browsers in Blogland?

Be careful. Words are powerful things. They can hurt both those who read them and those who write them. It’s fun to just “surf” sometimes and see what comes up, but remember if something comes up you didn’t want to see you can’t take it back. As with everything, browse blogs for things that are lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy and all that stuff.

Also, set a time limit. It’s worse than any other media for sucking away hours in your day that you needed to fulfill other aspects of your self and your life.

10. If you had 3 minutes to give advice to someone headed into danger, what would it be?

Stop. Pray. Walk away.

If it comes after you, have faith that it will turn out okay.

It all comes down to the Lord’s place in your life. If He’s there, He’s the one you turn to first to help you find your way through anything. He’s also the one who shows you the way around to a better path.

Now, if I could get that through the thick skulls of my teenage children, they might actually make it to adulthood.

Alison, welcome to the Neighborhood. We're so excited to have you as a part of our team.

And to my browsing bloggers, drop by the Neighborhood every Monday and Thursday and visit the Books Block. You'll find Alison's reviews in the Newsstand.

1 comment:

  1. Candace: Thanks for posting the interview!

    Alison: Nice to know more about you!


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