Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years Everyone!!!

2010 starts with a list of goals and resolutions that this year you’re going to keep and accomplish. And by dang—you mean it this time. No more giving up, no more saying it’s too hard, no more sitting on the couch when you should be doing, no more high fatty foods, no more being ungrateful, unkind and sour faced. NO MORE
How many times have you said these same things to yourself—me thousands.
But this is the year I’m going to change, to do that I’ve decided to shoot low and aim high. I’m going to first set my goal on small project that will make a big impact in my life. Tomorrow first thing, I have set a date with my charming husband to meet me in our bedroom at ten a.m. (You have to peak a man’s curiosity and interest to get him where you want him) and then we’re going to play a little game of hide and seek. I’m going to hide and well, he’s going to find.
Where will I be? In a dark hole where things may creep and crawl and no one knows. Where heaps of outdated, knitted material lay, with stained and blemished cotton drip from dizzying heights. Where clumps of brown, black, beige, and blue meld into a pile of straps, buckles and laces. Where there was once semblance and now there is none. where things once had a place and knew what their function was. Now it is a place, I hold my breath, close my eyes and wish for my time to be short while I visit there. Where am I? My walk in closet.
So my New Year’s Resolution is this, I’m going to clean with my sweet husbands help—my closet. It is a small goal I know, but Its one I can accomplish in one day. Therefore, I can for go all the guilt of years past. And look forward to the New Year with a lighter, leaner, happier, grateful me. See I’ve accomplished all the things I’ve set out to change in the New Year. And this year I won’t need to toss my list away by January 2nd.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Have I taught the children

This next year holds a lot of changes for our family. My oldest is getting ready to submit her college applications to several colleges and if all goes well will be attending this coming fall. Our second child, a boy, gets his learners permit. By all means feel free to pray. As for the baby, she is starting Junior High School. And with help and guidance from above, hopefully, the mom will get a publishing contract for her first book. These are all the expected changes coming our way. It’s the unexpected changes I can’t factor in that gives me pause.

With all these changes, sometimes I wonder have I taught my children the things they need to know.

Have I taught them to be gracious.

Have I taught them to always, always wear a seatbelt.

Have I taught them to believe and trust in God.

Have I taught them to dream and that anything is possible if they work hard and never give up.

Have I taught them to become all that God wants them to be.

Have I taught them to LOVE and more important to FORGIVE.

Have I taught them to laugh long and hard and as often as possible.

Have I taught them to cherish the small moments because they touch more lives than monumental acts.

Have I taught them to put their napkin in their lap, open doors, and to be aware of those around them.

Have I taught them to give up and go without so someone else may benefit.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Raving's of a TICKED OFF mom!!!!

My son came home with his mid-term report card. As a parent I take grades very seriously in our house. So we sat our son down and asked him what was going on.
When we give our children cell phones they have to fill out a contract with us and part of the contract is they only get to keep their phone as long as their grades are above a C average at mid-term and on Final report cards they must have A’s and B’s, nothing less. This is all written out and signed by our child and us as parents.
This is my problem. We enforce the rules we have set with our kids, but our son said, “Mom I don’t know why I got a bad grade. We pulled up his grades he was missing four assignments and a test. We turn our bulging eyes onto the boy. Holding up two hands he says, “No way, I’ve turned in everything. I don’t know why there missing.”
So we fire off an e-mail to his teacher, on Friday afternoon the day we got his mid-term. I wait patiently. My toe starts tapping, in waiting for a response. Two days later still no response, then three, then four days and nothing. I’m trying to give this woman the benefit of the doubt, making up excuses for her. She’s probably busy, maybe she’s ran her car off the road and into a ditch. After five day’s my toe is no longer tapping it’s ready to kick some hinny. We send our son in to ask why his grade is so low. We’ve done the math of the grades listed on Skyward, and according to it he should have a C+. Now before you think I’m against teachers, I am not. However I do expect a little responsibility on their part.
Okay here’s where I get really angry. She tells my son that she hasn’t put in all the grades yet, she hasn’t had time, but as soon as she does he’s grade should go up. WHAT?
Aren’t mid-term grades supposed to be accurate? Aren’t they supposed to be a representation of what he has done up to that point, not the week prior or the week before that. Don’t teacher’s know when it’s mid-term? And don’t they start preparing so they can give their students parents a clear representation of what is going on in their student’s scholastic world.
With both hands gripping my hair, I want to scream at this woman.
A week later, I went back on Skyward. She’d put in his assignments and test which brought his grade up. We gave back his phone. However, if his grades had been put in when he’d turned in his assignments. None of this would have happened. We could have avoided a lot of drama at my house.
And in case you’re wondering; she never did email me back.

Friday, December 11, 2009

C'mon, C'mon ya know you wanna...

Blogging is hard for me, I don’t know why, but I’m hoping I get better at it.
I have several people that read this blog, I know because they tell me. And I always ask, “How come you didn’t comment?”

Everyone has their reasons, but please for the love of all that is good and holy, please comment. I need your comments, I love your comments, I appreciate all who comment. No comment is stupid. Remember when your teacher stood in front of the class and said, “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” It’s the same for comments there is no such thing as a stupid comments! So come on everybody who reads this blog. This wannabe writer is on her knees begging those of you who drop by due to arm twisting by me or interest or because were related and I’m relentless. Whatever the reason may be please comment. I need you to, I want you to.

Nothing makes me happier than pulling up my e-mail and seeing a comment posted for NeedLesToSay, my heart leaps at seeing the comments posted and I smile when I think of each one of you that’s left a comment. You make my days brighter, and my job easier.

So if you haven’t heard it enough let me just say it one more time. PLEASE COMMENT.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

Cancer has touched my life. In fact its made a catastophic hole in it at one point. I lost my father to Colon cancer eighteen years ago, on Thanksgiving day. This single event changed my life. Not only did I lose my first true love, but I lost a mentor, a friend, and someone who challenged me to be all I could be in this life. It's been eighteen years and I have still not gotten over the loss completely. Does that mean I haven't moved forward and I dwell on my loss every single moment of every single day? No, I don't. Time doesn't heal all wounds like the saying goes, but it does make them easier to handle and grow from them.

I've written a novel called, Dying to Live in which I give my main character Karen Ramsey breast cancer. I've given Karen this disease, because it still takes millions of lives and devastates others. I know, because it took two very dear friends from mine.

My mother in law, Mae, sent me this video. If this video gets over a million hits a medical supply company medline will donate money. I thought this was a great way to celebrate those we've lost and those who have won the fight. But also to celebrate those who take care of us and comfort us through the fight. They are some of the truest angels on earth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I’m hoping some of you are wondering if I made my goal of 50k words for NaNoWriMo. But before I tell you, I’d like to keep you suspense for a while so I’m going to change the subject.

It’s the Christmas season and I love sappy movies and where better to see a good quality sappy movie then the Hallmark Channel. Now if you think I’m putting them down, Au contraire, I would love to be mentioned in the same category as some of these writers.

As I’m sitting here watching the Hallmark Original Movie Channel at this very moment. (while I’m writing my blog,) Its channel 312 for me. Over the next few weeks they are previewing movies that have been made from books written by fellow authors; The Timepiece, by Richard Paul Evans, Mrs. Miracle, by Debbie Macomber, and several other authors. It would be a dream come true to have one of my novels become a Hallmark original.

Maybe it’s the one I’ve written in the month of November. Yes, I reached my 50k word goal this month. Is my novel done, not by a long shot, in fact I’m pretty sure I’ll need another month to finish. I think Dating Ms. Harvey will end up being a 70k to 75k novel when it’s finished. I did however learn a lot by writing a novel in a month like this. I learned that finding and taking advantage of little niblets of time to write still adds up to quite a few words in the end, and everything counts when you’re trying to achieve a goal.

So would I do it again? I think I would, however I think I would do some planning starting in October to start a plot outline. I’ve written both ways and I think I like some kind of chapter schedule and character development better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Being grateful

Thanksgiving is almost here. This is the time of year that I LOVE most...the beginning of the Holiday season. It means eating a ton of great food, gaining about 5 pounds, hanging out with family and friends, seeing a newly released movie in the theater.(A tradition of ours.) It's a holiday that reminds us to count our many blessings, and be thankful for all we have. I'm grateful for so many things.

1-I’m grateful for a wonderful husband that supports me and my dreams. And for my three amazing children. Life is nothing if you don’t have family.

2-I'm grateful to live in a country where we can express ourselves and have freedom of religion.

3-Friends, I don't know what I'd do without the gift I've been given of good friends. They keep me going.

4- I’m grateful for my body. It may not be perfect, and yes, it has its problems, but I can walk, hop, skip and run if I want to. My hands can touch and feel, my eyes can see, my ears can hear, my mouth can speak, and confess those things that are close to my heart.
5- Life is wonderful and I probably could live without this next one, but I'm grateful I don't have to. I'm extremely grateful for modern connivances, such as running water, heat, flipping on a light switch and having light.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm not a quitter

In fact the word quitter is not even in my vocabulary. I can’t stand to let people down or myself, which leads me to do too many things in a small amount of time, and then I am over whelmed with all the things I need to do. Not only am I not a quitter I don’t know how to say no. I’m a yes person. Usually, yes people are yes people, because they don’t want people to hate them or think of them as unkind or lazy. Not me, I’m a yes person because I actually think I can do it all. And I usual can even though it may take me well into the night, make me ornery and use a few bad words. Oh, I get it done. It’s just sometime It’s not pleasant. But I am not a quitter.

Nano month has got me by the throat, but don’t worry I will accomplish my goal. I have had only six days to designate to my novel, which is hardly enough. I figure I’m down by 7000 words. To some that may be a lot, to others it could be an afternoon. To me it’s down 7000 words. But not for long, I have a plan. One I hope will lead me to the finish line on November 30 of having my 50K novel done.

The good news is, the book I’m writing is unfolding, and although I’m finding it more challenging to write, because I didn’t start out with a plot or a character outline. All in all though, I like it. Although I do have to keep reminding myself, it’s a rough draft and rough drafts are suppose to be rough. So I’m giving myself some room to grow. My title is Dating Ms. Harvey. It’s about a fourth grade class who tries to set up their teacher. I want to write something humorous and maybe a little slapstick. Humor is a hard thing to pull off in a book, if you don’t know what you’re doing. And there may be a question here if I do. I’d like to say yes, but it really is a wait and see. After I write a novel, I put it aside for a month or two to clear my head. After which I’ll let you know if I was able to pull it off or not.

Back to my original thought, Dating Ms. Harvey will be done by November 30, because, “Why,” that’s right, because I’m not a quitter.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I don’t know how many of you have ever seen the show pretender. It was one of my favorites while it was on. The main character of the show was savant smart, and yet socially able to blend into any environment. The catch is, scientist’s wanted to study his brain and so he was on the run from them the entire time, living in new places, changing occupations as quickly as some people change clothes. Michael T. Wiess, the main character could be anything, a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, an engineer, he could solve problem after problem. He could do anything, and be anything he wanted.

In kindergarten I wanted to be a nurse, because my friend’s mom at the time was a nurse. Then I wanted to be in the air force after watching the movie Top Gun, and then I wanted to be an accountant. (I’m so glad I changed my mind about that one.) I went to college and majored in Broadcast Journalism, with a couple of law classes.

But being a writer allows me to do all these things and more. I’ve written about architects, divesticators, (People who buy business’ and sell them off into smaller parts for profit.), an accountant, a school teacher. This truly intrigues me. I would love to be able to have the experience of these careers, and the knowledge that goes with them. The possibilities are endless. And while I’m writing my characters are a part of me, and so now I can be a surgeon with a scalpel in my hands extracting an organ or curing cancer or a painter whose painting hangs in the Metropolitan Museum.

I’m sure now you see why I love to write. I can create characters to be anything I want.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Thru several of my writer friends, I have found out about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I would have never thought this was possible, except I have two writer friends that assure me it is. They did it last year. My last novel took me over 7 months to write. However, it was also an 80K novel, with an extensive plot line and character development.

On November 2nd I will be starting my novel for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been thinking about a story in my head for the last few weeks and have decided to use it for my November novel. To accomplish my task I need to write for at least 21 days, and with a word count of 2381, to have a 50K novel by the end of the month.

I love a good challenge and although, I do realize this is going to be a lot of work and very hard for a mom of three. The idea is exhilarating, and yes, even a bit daunting to me, but I know I can do this. And the thought of being able to write a novel in one month kind of makes me a little giddy, like I said, I love a good challenge, and at the end of this one there will be something tangible I can hold in my hands and hopefully be proud of.

Here is some information and rules on NaNoWriMo.

Chris Baty started the project in July 1999 with 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area. Since then, the event has been held in November "to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather,” he said. 2000 was also the year that many of NaNoWriMo's ground rules were laid out, such as disallowing works in progress or co-authored books. 140 participants attempted the challenge, and 21 wrote 50,000 words.

Participants' novels can be on any theme and in any genre, and in any language. Everything from fanfiction, which uses trademarked characters, to novels in poem format, and even metafiction is allowed; according to the website's FAQ. Starting at midnight November 1, novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before 11:59:59 PM on November 30, local time. Advance planning and extensive notes are permitted, but no earlier written material can go into the body of the novel, nor is one allowed to start early and then finish 30 days from that start point.

Information provided by Wikepedia and National Novel Writing, Website.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Confessions of a middle reader.

Let me explain. I have friends that when they buy a book, they instantly go to the back and read the last word or the last paragraph. My friend tells me this is her way of ensuring that she will enjoy the book. But for me, the thought of knowing the ending before you ever read the beginning disturbs me just a little.

So, I read the middle. I find out the page count, and go straight to the middle of the book, and read a couple of paragraphs, and sometimes if it captures me a whole page or two. This way I know some of what the book is about, but I haven’t ruined the ending, because for me and for maybe some of you, the ending is the best part. But I like reading the middle. I know I’m holding a gem in my hands as I carry it up to the register to pay for it. The anticipation I feel knowing a little bit more about the characters then what the back page told me carries me home with renewed eagerness to escape into another place or time for at least twelve hours of reading bliss.

Just the thought of finding a book that intrigues me, and adding it to my collection of lovelies has me thinking about leaving the comfort of my home during a snowstorm. Then I can come back home, wrap myself up in a blanket in front of a blazing fire and read until the sun comes up. Hmmm, ten minutes of driving in the cold for a whole night worth of warmth, and pleasure. I think it’s worth it.

So does anyone else have some confessions to make? Are you a middle reader or an end reader? Or do you really just judge a book by its cover.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some of my favorites

When someone finds out I write books, they usually ask, “So, what’s the best book you’ve ever read?” or “Who is your favorite author?” I have to say my favorite book—well, I can’t pick just one. It’s like choosing one chocolate candy and sticking with it as your favorite and sometimes you feel like M& M’s and sometimes you need a little Reese Peanut Butter Cups. As for authors it's the same, I like Jodi Picoult, Barbara Delinsky, Jane Austen—of course, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Myers, Kate Jacobs, and so many others.

But these are some of my favorite writing books that I use. I have found them helpful, inspiring, and sometimes down right annoying. Usually, that's when I've done a major mistake and I have to go back and fix it. But, all in all, I think these books have helped me grow and become better at what I love to do. So here are my picks for the best books for writers.

So, tell me what are some of your favorite authors or books?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You like me, you really like me.

I just sent my manuscript into a small publishing company for consideration. I hope they like it. It's one of those things where you are excited to send it in, and at the same time you're scared to the bone to hear what they might say. And yet, you must hear what they have to say, to move forward with your work, and to learn.

But there is a whole lot of self doubt going on in my head right now. I wonder if they are going to find the story compelling, will it touch them in a way they can relate, and therefore, feel for the characters in the book. Will the book evoke emotion, where I want it to, and will the reader be able to picture each scene as it unfolds?

This reminds me of when Sally fields received her Oscar for Places in the Heart, in 1985? (I know, this totally dates me.) As she is accepting her Oscar, she says, "This time I really feel like you like me. You really like me." I hope I get to say those words someday, when a publisher says, they want to publish one or all of my books. (I’m hoping it will be the publisher, I just sent my manuscript to.) Or when one of my novels has sold over a million copies and is being translated into ten different languages. I want to be able to stand in the middle of the street and yell, "They like me. They really like me." I know, I know, this is a bit over dramatic, but I think if you're going to dream, you ought to dream big.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An interesting day.

Today, I woke up to the sound of the telephone screaming in my ear, at six in the blessed a.m. It was our friend, saying that he had just recieved an instant message from my husband, telling him he was stranded in London and needed money. I rolled over and looked at my dazed husbands face. When my brain finally kicked in, and I said, "No, it's a scam don't send money. My husband is home."

I would post the actual message if I had recieved it for you to see, but I didn't get one.

In fact, my husband raced down to his computer and watched little hacker man, hack away. He logged on from my sons account, and said, "Hi."
Little hacker man, replied back with, "Hi, how are you?
My husband said, "You're up early."
To which there was no response from little hacker man. My husband had changed his password and the hacker got off.

We reported it to facebook and changed our passwords. Facebook answer was to shut his account down. He lost everything. He had over 540 friends on his account. It is sad when honest law abiding citizen get hurt by others who are trying to fraud the system.

I know this is a big scam going on. I actually saw it two days ago on The Today Show. I am so grateful that we have wonderful and loyal friends who checked to see if we we're okay and to let us know. Because of them we were able to respond in a matter of minutes to shut little hacker man down. Although, I am horrified to think what would have happened if we had not been made aware, and someone we know and love had been scammed out of their hard earned money. Thanks, everyone for being on your guard.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I like that!

I like the word that. That is to say, I edited my manuscript using search and replace and it took me ten hours to look through all the times I used the word that. “What’s that?” You said, “Really, that long, wow!” So I decided to see how often that four letter word comes up in everyday conversations. Here’s what I found out. It is obvious that we as Americans like the word that. Not only do I like the words that, but others like me do to. It can be a valuable word and yet it is quite possibly highly over used. However, I have come to realize through editing my manuscript that I have a personal relationship with the word that. That’s crazy, I know, and it’s not enough that I’ve gone through every page and changed, deleted, and yes, sometimes left the word in. That’s because I like it. Somehow, it’s a four letter word that has become special to me, although, I do realize as a writer I’m just going to have to keep that to myself and try to keep it out of my manuscript. Sigh, that’s too bad, I think I might miss that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

'What's in a name.'

As I have been getting ready to submit my first manuscript. I've been going over pseudonym. At first, I chose L. B. Bennett. Then my youngest, said mom, "What will people call you?" Huh, now there's a thought. So as a family we discussed it at the dinner table. It's funny how you think you want your children's opinions, until you ask. Let me just say, I got an ear full, of it's to masculine, it's not personable enough, but the ultimate decision is mine and I wanted L.B. Bennett. Then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the only people who have ever called me by my initials are men, and although I like men, they are not my target audience--women are.

Sheesh, I wonder, do all writers have a problem coming up with a pen name or just me?

The next step was to Google my name and see if anyone else has it. I'll spare you all the details, but yes it is being used. However, it is with an ie at the end, and not ee, which is me. And for some reason, I feel this makes me unique and special, since, I have never met anyone who spells their name like mine.

After much deliberation, Google and talking to other writer's. I have chosen to go with Leslee Bennett. The reason I went with my maiden name and not my married--is this. My parents have three lovely daughters, and no son's to carry on the family name. So when my father died eighteen years this Thanksgiving, our last name died with him. In a small way this is my way of keeping my family name and legacy alive.

I hope you like it. I know I do. Here's hoping we'll see it on every major bookseller shelves in the future in big embossed letters...Leslee Bennett, just wanted to see how it looked. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This may be foolish.

This may be foolish, but all new writer's were asked to write a writer's resume if they had a one on one interview at the League of Utah Writer's Conference. I worked really hard on mine and thought why not post it on my blog. I hope you like it.

I have been writing for the last ten years, during this time I have also been an aerobics instructor, and office manager for the family business. My first novel, Moving Forward, was a learning experience that I enjoyed immensely, but has indefinitely been laid to rest. My second novel, Turmoil, is a historical romance novel, which will be re-visited upon the publication of my latest projects.

For now, I’m putting all my attention into my last two novels Dying to Live, a contemporary mainstream, and Proof Positive, a contemporary romance. Dying to Live deals with a single mother rebuilding her life with her seventeen year old son when the unimaginable happens. Karen’s life, perspective, and priorities all come into question when a searing pain seizes her chest, leaving her breathless, scared and dealing with breast cancer.

At the young age of 22, I lost my father to cancer. Although I was old enough to understand that I would live the rest of my life without the day to day guidance of my father, I couldn’t understand what questions I would have later in life. This is my way to heal, and address some of the questions I wish I had asked my father during the last months of his life.

I have studied fiction writing through numerous writing workshops, including UVU and the Jordan extension courses. I am a member of the RWA and League of Utah Writers. I believe my writing can touch many people, with a focus on women, eighteen and older.

I majored in Broadcast Journalism at Ricks College and the University of Utah. I also volunteer for a non-profit called Young Entrepreneurs of America where I organize and speak to teenagers. YEA caters to thousands of students a year and I have presented to up to 400 teenagers in one conference. I really enjoy showing young people that they can take a hobby or interest and turn it into a career.

I’ve been married for twenty years to a fantastic man and have three amazing children.