Sunday, 30 September 2012

New Blog and Web Site


My new web site, is now online. Please go there from now on for my blogs.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Dust and Cobwebs

It's been so long since I got on here that I hardly recognized my shelves for all the dust and cobwebs. It's amazing how life events can either keep us from doing the things we want, or we allow ourselves to use them as an excuse for not doing what we should. Unfortunately, too often, I fall into the latter category. I've now been invited to be an author on and will be making regular contributions there. I found however, that all of the other authors have a link to their blogs. Well, I have several blogs and I've not been super regular about writing on any of them. If I'm going to have a link to my blog, my regularity in writing has to become, well, more regular.

My goal is to post here at least twice a week, and more if time permits. I'm a husband and a father and my life revolves around my family, so the majority of my posts will relate to them or some experience I've had with them. Don't be surprised, however, when other topics, some of them a bit politically charged (in courteous and professional tones of course) pop up from time to time.

I invite you to stop by each week to see what's new, and leave a comment or two.

Have a happy Saturday.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.


Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Second, come to the book launch!

You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Golden Nuggets

By Randy McNeely

On Valentines Day this past Monday, my soon to be eight-year-old taught me a valuable lesson, though I didn't really realize it until this morning. You might say, I got the spiritual wind knocked t out of me, I've received a wake up call, I've, hopefully, "seen the light."

I had gone upstairs to shower and get ready for work after working out. When I came back downstairs and sat down at my table with my laptop, I found a little piece of paper on it. With the piece of paper was a little golden nugget (a rock painted gold). The note said, in child scrawl, "Happy Valentines Day, Dad."

My sweet daughter came running in right at that moment and said, "Did you get the note Dad?"

I smiled and replied, "Yes honey. Thank you very much."

"Do you like the Rock?"

Then I made my mistake. I said, "It's wonderful. Would you take it and keep it safe for me."

I can still hear her answer as if she were saying it right this moment. "That's okay Dad. I know you don't really want it."

"Oh, but I do want it. I'll keep it with me."

"Yeah, Okay."

Then she walked away.

As thick headed as I am, though it bothered me some at the time, I shook it off, stuck the rock in my sweats pocket and continued checking my email.

The real lesson came today. After getting dressed and coming downstairs to exercise, I slipped my hand in my sweats pocket. There was the rock. At the same time I glanced up and noticed the little box that my daughter keeps her collection of gold painted rocks in. I decided to just slip the rock in there. She would never notice. As I did so, I heard a voice in my mind say, "Keep it." I started to walk away and the voice spoke louder. "Keep it! Let it be a reminder to you of how precious your children are. Don't treat them or their gifts, given from the heart, lightly anymore."

In that instance I felt as I'd been punched. All the precious pictures, rocks, twigs, marbles that my children have given me, that I've taken for granted, seemed to parade before my eyes. I could see their angel smiles as they gave me the gifts. I can see the various locations where I set them, and forgot about them. I can hear myself saying, "Thanks, would you keep them safe for me?"

Then thoughts of all the hugs and kisses, the joyful greetings "Hi Dad!" Followed by thoughts of all things I've missed because I allowed my hobbies to take precedence over time with my children.

Needless to say, my heart has been pricked. I have a great desire to repent and do better. I'm going to keep that nugget. In fact I'm going to have it mounted with the words, "Never forget how precious your children are!"

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

New Opportunities

By Randy McNeely

New day's bring new opportunities. The are like the clean page of a journal or diary waiting for you to write on them. I'm grateful for that. Far to often I mess up one day, only to realize that a new day is coming and I can try again to do better and mess up less.

Writing is like that. We can start out with a less than masterful work. However, over time, we can rework and polish our creation as long as needed until we are satisfied with it.

The gospel is like that too. We make mistakes but because of the Savior, we can try try again. What a blessing to know that we are not stuck in one spot today because of a mistake we made yesterday.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Painting With Words

Have you ever thought about how much writing is like painting? Just as a good artist can paint a picture whose bright colors and scenery, or whose fine detail or majestic subject draws you to it, so a great writer can do the same with words.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I love a story that takes me away to far off places, and brings those places alive in my mind. You know the kind. The minute you start reading, you are somewhere else--in a castle, on an airplane, in the mountains, in the jungle, in someone's head, in another galaxy--and you can see, in your mind's eye, through writer's wordsmith wizardry, the place described in vivid color or shades of gray or shadow.

I also love a story that gets my emotions going--that allows me to feel what the characters feel. As the good writing artist continues, describing situations, sharing character's feelings, building up suspense, you can feel what the character's feel--wet, sloppy, snow against your face; cold that chills you to the bone; fear of the unknown; steamy, hot jungle air; the smell of Indian spices--the list could go on forever.

Another aspect I love about truly artistic writing, and perhaps I should have placed this first, are great characters--believable characters, lovable characters, nasty villains I love to hate. I thrill when a writer helps me see a character, hear a character--know a character. I can hear that character's voice. I can understand what they are feeling, or at least be hooked enough to want to understand and learn more.

What I've described above is only a small part of what I believe makes a writer like a painter--a few of the many things I love. What do you like? In what ways is a writer like a painter to you? Let me know.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Joy of New Life

It's been far too long since I've written here. Too many blogs. Family, work, etc. Excuses, but reality.

I need to write today. I've got to get the feelings of my heart in word.

On October 28, 2010, our youngest daughter made her entrance to the world. Words can't adequately describe how I felt as her little head finally popped out, then her shoulders, and, finally, her whole body. For my wife, great relief. For me, the labor coach, relief and joy. True joy as she appeared to smile immediately, as if to say, "I'm here and I'm glad about it." It was a priceless moment. With in seconds (yes, I said within seconds) after the nurses slapped her to get the crying going, she opened her eyes and started looking around. All of our babies have been alert and "gawking" at an early stage, but not like her. She's been looking around since those first seconds as though she's trying to take in everything.

I can't help but wonder what life has in store for her. Both her mother and I have felt she has a special mission in this life and she has been blessed that she would be light and a joy to all she comes in contact with.