What I do

I'm a content developer at UVU's Aviation Department and a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. I'm also a part-time photographer, a part-time writer and a full-time dreamer :)

What I'm Working On

Currently, I'm finishing an urban/dystopian fantasy adventure novel for teens. Afterwards, I have outlines for a comedic screenplay, a fantasy adventure for children, a redemption realistic fiction novel for teens, and a coming of age story for children. Lets just say... I have my work cut out for me!

Writing

For your viewing pleasure, I have posted a teaser for my current novel, Siren as well as a few writing experiments such as Flammable and Fireflies at the top of the page. Feel free to read & give feedback in the comments section! :) Happy reading!

Followers

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a YSA (Young Single Adult) conference for the southeast region. The speakers included David A Bednar, Sheri Dew & Brad Wilcox.

The firesides & workshops that were given were splendid & I did have the pleasure of meeting a handful of new friends that accepted me & enjoyed befriending me.

However, there was one specific part of this conference that was... disappointing. And it won't come as a surprise to any of you when I reveal what it is.

I do not pretend to be incredibly enthusiastic in attending the dance that is almost a requirement for any gathering of young people between the ages of 14 and 30. Although, of course as any female can attest, the opportunity to dance to a slow song is something so entrenched within us that we can hardly contain ourselves. And as Jane Austen astutely put it, "to be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love." We're suckers for romance, what can I say?

But for some reason, this particular dance was even more depressing than others. So I kept on asking myself why that was?

This dance I did attend with my few friends was perhaps the first one I've been to in years. The last time I did attend a dance of this persuasion, I must've been in high school or early college and still not quite comfortable in my own skin; afraid of letting my true colors show & was downright shy. I would stand in the corner, maybe bob my head back and forth to beats, or just find a group of kids talking among themselves and situate myself in a certain way so that it would be easy for them to reach out and include me.

But this dance, I decided to let all caution to the wind & just do whatever came to me. I decided to let my guard down & just have fun with it.

Now to be clear, I'm not a dancer. I'm quite terrible at it actually, and I've never had a talent for graceful movements, even in regards to walking or running let alone when it's set to music. But, here's the thing:
 I don't dance because I'm good at it, I dance because I know it'll make other people around me laugh. I embarrass myself with wild, flailing movements to make others feel comfortable doing the same.

And yet, while I was at this activity, I was asked to dance by one guy. One. Whereas before, I would be asked to dance at least every slow song, which is usually five or six times, depending on the occasion. Not only that, but I would have gotten the attention of several guys, who would inevitably turn out to be new friends or even romantic suitors.

Yet, this dance was a particular disappointment. At least comparatively speaking to the old days when I would give a coy, coquettish smile with a trace of tell-tale blush on my cheeks. I would pretend to be docile and mysterious which would inevitably capture the fancy of quite a few men in the room. (course it wouldn't last long, but that's not the point.)

Contrasting my old tactics to my new one, of simply being myself & not caring what other people thought of me, I reached a sad moment of clarity as I drove home afterwards.

Not many people, men especially, like or even tolerate my true, natural, unbridled self. 

Wow. That's a difficult pill to swallow. Now, I'm sure that my friends will of course disagree with me on this point & I can certainly see why. But thinking back to the time I spent in Idaho, Utah and now Georgia, it's quite clear to me that I am not a typical girl.

I am not only an a-typical girl, but I'm not your average Mormon girl either.

Taylor Swift is not my favorite singer. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or The Singles Ward are not my favorite movies. Downeast Outfitters is not my favorite clothing store. I don't say "Oh my heck," or colloquials such as "Totes adorbs" or "froyo." I do not have platinum blonde hair & I don't get eyelash extensions. Twilight and Gossip Girl are not my favorite books. I did not major in Elementary Education or Marriage & Family Studies at BYU-Idaho & I could never in good conscious watch Glee or One Tree Hill or Vampire Diaries.

I have naturally mousy brown hair. I look terrible without makeup on. I can't remember the last time I got a manicure. I have watched Schindler's List, Die Hard & the Hangover. I have listened to music from Breaking Benjamin to John Denver and everything in between. I swear more often than I would care to admit & I sometimes make dirty jokes. I want to be more than just a housewife & a homemaker--I want a career & my own aspirations. I do not have a direct lineage that dates back to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young and my family's favorite Christmas movie is Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.

I am an anomaly when it comes to Mormons and especially Mormon girls.

And I'm not really saying this to get attention or to complain. I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm not normal even for a "peculiar people." This just means that the man who I end up with, whether in this life or the next, will be just as strange and just as abnormal as I am. I believe it's a requirement for him to be able to put up with my shenanigans.

However, it does get a bit disconcerting and oftentimes can lead to loneliness when I am sometimes surrounded by men who are looking for a brand of Mormon women. When I'm surrounded by men who want a girl solely to keep house for them and bare children because that's all that they're good for. To come in contact with men who want trophy wives that enjoy nothing more than stroking their ego after they come home from work every night.

I'm not saying any of this to bash on marriage & family. Nor am I trying to pigeon-hole every Mormon girl that I've been acquainted with. I'd, of course, like to be a wife and a mom someday. & I, of course, know plenty of girls that don't fit the standard I've painted earlier.

All I'm saying is, that it seems to me that the majority of men I've met in my Mormon culture, aside from a few I've known & dated, have an image in their mind of what their future wife looks & acts like. And usually, I don't fit that archetype.

I never have & I don't believe I ever will.

And yet at this dance, it dawned on me that perhaps the reason why I had so many relationships in so little amount of time was because I did hid behind a carefully placed facade. And that they ended all too quickly because the alleged "boyfriend" began to see through it & didn't like what he saw.

He would see that at times I was short-tempered, sometimes irreverent, obnoxious, slightly volatile, irrational, rash & childish. He would see how eager I was to please, to prevent him from leaving me as so many other men had in my past. He would see me as a broken doll, far beyond repair. He would see the things I enjoyed, such as the Muppets & Beauty & the Beast, and was bemused as to why I was in my twenties & still watching silly, puerile shows. And he would see how sensitive I was, crying at certain scenes in movies and even ranting & raving about characters in a book that were completely fictional and would think how ridiculous and crazy I was for letting things affect me the way that they do.

Well, it's rather obvious that they weren't for me anyway. & although I'm not proud of my defects, if I could accept theirs, it was only logical that they should accept mine as well.

So at the end of this rather lengthy blog post, what's the point? So what?

Well, I know I'm not alone in being strange & weird. I've noticed that I'm attracted to the "black sheep" or the "rejects" or even the individuals who have a past or a story that's unlike my own. People who are different almost to the point of being outsiders.

I know that I have sometimes dated & surrounded myself with men who did not accept me for who I am, and were either scared off or put off by my personality.

And I also know that perhaps now, at the ripe age of 24, I'm finally comfortable with who I am.



Thursday, August 8, 2013
Okay, if it's not one thing, it's twelve, as my mother would say.

If my sister's situation in Kuwait wasn't enough to shred my soul, with some asshole vigilante destroying innocent dogs like a slaughterhouse, then this was just the icing on the cake of a glorious inhumane day.

I shouldn't let the ignorance and vacillation of others affect me the way that they do... yet, sadly they do.




I don't usually pass judgment on people. In regards to race, religion, background, disability, language, culture & certainly sexual preference, I am very easy going & have prided myself in loving everyone equally.

Except for douchebags.



Allow me to explain. There are really few things in the world that "gets my goat." I don't care what your views are on politics, I don't care what your career path is, I don't care what your religion is or your opinions on lima beans are. I really couldn't care less.

Some topics that would stir contention & anarchy in a debate really don't move me either way. You may find me at the back of the room with my feet propped up holding a bowl of popcorn and grinning from ear to ear as I fantasize about the next episode of Sherlock or what I might eat for dinner later. Sushi or Mexican? hmmm....

However, some of the few things that do affect me are things that you wouldn't think were that serious of a matter. For example, books. Specifically children's/teenage literature.

Now, why on earth is this such a big deal to you Megan? Oh, let me extrapolate!

Not only has children's literature influenced my early reading, so much so that my mother was forced to get me a library card because every time she'd buy me a book I would finish it in a single night, it has become a very vital part of my soul from day one. If I'm not reading something on a daily basis, I go into a form of imaginative paralysis and mental atrophy.

I firmly believe that the books you read as a child become a part of your identity in a way that no other form of reading ever does later in life. (Thank you Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail!) So many books and authors have shaped my character: from Roald Dahl to J.K. Rowling, to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes to Marianne Curley, to L.M. Montegomery to C.S. Lewis to Robin McKinnley & so on & so on it goes.

Children's literature has been so much a facet in my life, and a passionate, fiery, all consuming love (much more so than pretty much all of my actual relationships) that I have dedicated myself in writing children's and young adult literature. It has been my lifelong dream to publish books that will empower & broaden the minds of the future of our society. When I write a story, I write it thinking about my incredible nieces & nephews, who've been my inspiration & source of consolation in an ever growing awful world.

So when someone says that they "hate kid's books" or "books targeted at children" it shouldn't be of any surprise when I become mortally offended by that kind of remark. A part of my soul dies inside.



Going back to what I said at the beginning of this blog post, I'm not privy to judging or being biased towards others on any of the more important basics or fundamentals of a person. If you're Muslim, if you're of African descent, if you've classified yourself as being a homosexual, if you're suffering from the crippling effects of a mental or physical disability, if you're a Democrat or Republican, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be more prone to love & trust you from the very first meeting.

But if anyone, regardless of background or identity or political affiliation, says those words to me, I'm pretty much gonna shun your from my social circle forever until you give me a handwritten & signed apology in addition to a list of children's books you've read & liked. (with a brief synopsis of each book highlighting the themes & what you've learned)

Now that seems a bit unreasonable, doesn't it Megan? Just because someone has an opinion, just because someone isn't a voracious reader or has a different perspective on children's books than you, that's no reason to judge them? Don't you think you're overreacting a bit?

And to that argument, I would simply say: yes. Yes I know it's extreme. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am overreacting. It is very unreasonable.

Inevitably, most of the time I start feeling like this:



But here's my reasoning:
1.) You have just insulted the very fabric of my soul. You have belittled the virtues of a genre that I've clung to in times of trial & affliction. You have demolished & desecrated a sacred place that I would escape to in times of trouble and despair.
2.) I'm a woman. I can be as unreasonable and as irrational as I'd like to be. I have a uterus. And cleavage. I win.
3.) I really don't care. At some point in my life, pre-college, I was very sensitive about offending others & confrontation. But the only delightful thing about getting older, is the less damns you give.

:)

So if you want to completely obliterate my good opinion of you, please, do insult the one thing I hold dear & the only occupation I've found happiness in.



Thursday, August 1, 2013
Yes, I'm going to do it. This past year as a writer has been a series of ups & downs, or high rises & pot holes. And here to explain my story perfectly, is a collection of animated gifs I've come across over the year.

So it kind of started after I got a BRILLIANT idea, and with me feeling like this:
and pretty much after every single chapter review in my writing group I'd walk out of there like this:
And then looking over it the next day, it would end kind of like this:
And then I'd go back to the drawing board to fix it looking a lot like this:
But then I'd get good reviews either in class or in my writing group & start looking like this:
Pretty much every day my mother would ask me the same question:
Then I'd come across a former classmate or friend or teacher who's having minor success & say something like:
And then after my last & FINAL draft I start to realize I have to edit all 40,000 words of what I wrote and it turns into something like this:
and this:
and some of this:
and a bit of this too:
but then I get a lil confidence boost & start feeling like this:
and then I start sending out query letters and get no response, making me think this:
and some of this:
but eventually I'm sure I'll start feeling like the badass that I am, which is something like:
and I'll probably say something like this to my haters:

because once the royalty checks start coming in I'll be feeling like this:

so here's to the first of many books! and the first of many successes I have yet to have! :)

xox
Mega Mega
Monday, July 15, 2013
So, as all of you know, I'm a huge proponent of music. And every time I find a new song that speaks to my soul, I just have to share it with the world.

That being said, Sara Bareilles has been an artist that I've gradually come to love & admire. Her songs are written well, both lyrically & musically, and as soon as I heard her single for this next album I was instantly in love.

The song is entitled Brave and it is slowly becoming my anthem for this year. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to stand up for yourself, to speak up when there's something you see that isn't right, or even to just go out and do something you've always wanted to do, but could never summon the courage. Well, this song is for all of you :)



You can be amazing 
You can turn a word into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love
Or you can start speaking up 

Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
When the settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside & no sunlight
Sometimes the shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down
By the enemy 
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don't run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won't do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the truth? 


Friday, June 28, 2013
Learn Portuguese like a native
Learn Spanish like a native
Learn French like a native
Learn Dutch
Learn Arabic
Improve my photography through workshops/classes
Improve my writing through writing groups
Get a Master's Degree
Travel to every country on my wish list
Finish & publish my book(s)
Read at least one book a week (52 books a year)
Take voice lessons
Write one song a month
Keep an updated journal
Take at least one photograph a day
Walk as often as possible
Buy as little as possible



1. Ireland
2. The UK/Scotland
3. Iceland
4. New Zealand
5. Spain
6. Portugal
7. France
8. Italy
9. Greece
10. Denmark
11. Belgium
12. Czech Republic
13. Holland
14. Germany
15. Austria
16. Sweden
17. Norway
18. Switzerland
19. Liechtenstein
20. Poland
21. Croatia
22. Slovenia
23. Turkey
24. Jordan
25. Egypt
26. Israel
27. Hungary
28. South Africa
29. Thailand
30. Australia





Friday, June 7, 2013
This is going to be quite a strongly worded rant, that I probably should apologize for in advance, but I'm not going to. I refuse.

I guarantee you I'm going to offend one or many of you, but at this point, this is something that's been weighing on my mind for some time now, ESPECIALLY in regards to the young men in the Church. And I have to get this out in black & white so I can at least clear my mind of the anger, frustration and disappointment when it comes to many returned missionaries.

Now, I realize that this may or may not apply to everyone. And I will say that yes, I do understand that many RM's face unparalleled hardships when they return home that were maybe not as grievous as they were before they went out to preach the Gospel.

And I do realize that a few men in my acquaintance have chosen not to serve missions, and are faithful in keeping their temple covenants and worthy of the Priesthood which they administer. OR, are men who have served missions and are still perfectly active in the Church. These are men that I value more than anything, men who I admire and look up to always. Let me ease your conscious when I say, I am not aiming this at you. You have done splendidly so far, and I hope and pray that you keep on enduring to the end like you have always done.

My venting session today, my throw-down if you will is towards the men (and possibly some women, though they are rarer to find than the men) who served a full, honorable mission, made sacred covenants in the temple, sacrificed two years of their life willingly, performed & saw miracles on a weekly, if not daily basis, and not ONE YEAR after they return from their 24 months, decide to go inactive. Completely inactive. Like the last 21+ years of their life never happened.

They turn their backs on the Church, and forget about the 2 years they spent preaching, proselyting, tract-ing, etc. etc. Not only do they go completely astray, but they begin living a lifestyle and developing habits that they TOLD THEIR INVESTIGATORS AND CONVERTS NOT TO DO!

I'm sorry, but I have little to no sympathy of this epidemic. None whatsoever. I have had at least five guys in my social circle follow this exact same pattern. FIVE. Five too many.

Forgive me for going Jeffrey R. Holland on you S.O.B.'s, but that is COMPLETELY unacceptable. Reprehensible. Despicable. Yeah, I said it. I'll say it again. UNACCEPTABLE.

And you know what? I've found that a possible contributing factor among these men, is the fact that they are in their mid to late twenties and still unmarried. All of these guys are single and either dated a little and never got anywhere, or got their heart broken by some chick they thought was "the one."

Oh B.F.D.! Seriously. Big EFFING deal. If that's what got you so butt hurt to begin with, then maybe that just goes to show your real maturity level & the fact that maybe you have some growing up to do before you find her. Oh, and by the way, you're NOT going to find the mother of your future children and loving eternal companion in a BAR. or at a RAVE, or STRIP CLUB or wherever the hell you're hanging out, being a douche bag.

Wake up Sunshine, ain't gonna happen.

That being said, I'll also add that how can you look one of YOUR converts in the eye, a person you prayed for every day on the mission, a person you baptized & confirmed, a person you maybe even attended their sealing & marriage in the temple a year later? How can you look them in the eye & admit to them that the Gospel "is just not for me," or "it's too hard," or "I'm just figuring out who I am," or whatever B.S. excuse it is you're making up because you're simply too lazy to get your ass back in a pew?

OR, how can you look your companion in the eye? Your mission president? The people who were with you every step of the way, saw the good days & bad days, the light & dark sides of you and yet stuck by you every step of the way?

To give you an example about how wrong you are, let me just tell you that my brother served an honorable mission 2 months after my father's passing. While he was on his mission, my grandmother died unexpectedly. After he returned home, he was married and then divorced 4 years later. Yet he is STILL active in the Church, still attends his meetings, still honors his Priesthood, still attends the temple & still magnifies his callings. Doesn't he have more of an excuse than you do to quit? Doesn't he have more pull to throw in the towel & say "It's too hard" or "It's not fair" or "Why is it always me?"

Well he hasn't. And he won't. Because of one thing & one thing only:

Out of all of the people in Chile that he converted, the most important person he did convert was himself.

Elder Holland put it perfectly when he said this:

"How can any missionary could go do what we're asking you to do, and come home and not be faithful to that very doctrine and those very covenants and those very principles and those very ordinances, something is manifestly wrong. [...] We need to convert you and then you figure out how to convert investigators."

"When I said leave you nets, it was forever. When I asked you to follow me, it was forever. When I asked you to be an apostle, it was forever. When I asked you to be a missionary it was forever! When I asked you to see this through to the end, it's because it's not over till it's over. Now forget your nets, and forget the fish and jettison your boats and throw your oars away and feed my sheep. We're in this till the end. And that's the day Peter strode into eternity. [...] and the issue is for all time and all eternity. Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love Him? You need to decide tonight whether you're on a course that's committed to the idea that you really love God. You really do love the Savior. And if you do, then your call is to feed His sheep forever. Now can you understand why you must never and can never come back? It will never be the same. Peter you can't go home! You can't go back to fish, you can't go back to Galilee. You can't go back to boats. It's over. It is a new life, a new day, a new time. This commission marks that hour in your life. You CANNOT go back. And if you do you will break my heart and the heart of God himself. If you turn your back on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which you have pledged your life to teach. I'm here at 47 years and counting. I pray that it is never ever over for me. And I pray that it is never ever over for you. And if you are ever tempted on your mission or after to leave this faith or commit a transgression or to walk away from the covenants you've made, not assuming we're perfect & knowing we're gonna make mistakes, but your course needs to stay true. You can't go back. You've left your nets. And you're gonna feed sheep. You're going to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ for time and eternity."





Lastly, to leave on a bit of a higher note, I'll just share this:




If you have strayed, if you did know of a surety that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if you had a testimony, it's not too late. It's never too late. And as Jeffrey R Holland said, it's not over till it's over.

Come back. Leave your nets. Feed His sheep. & do it forever.