Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pinkston Family Christmas Card

Hi, everyone!

This year has been ... wow. It's been a year. In lieu of cards (although, to be honest, when do I ever really do cards?) I'm posting this here so you can all see it and know that we're thinking of you.

We started out the year of 2014 living in our trailer home in Orem. Matt served as the ward employment specialist and I was the second counselor in the Relief Society, and we both loved our callings and were happy to be able to do some real good. I released Tulips and Treason, the first in the Omni Orchids series (spinoff on Secret Sisters), and kept growing Trifecta Books, my publishing company. Matt worked for GoPro, doing customer service for their cameras, and then later found a better job working for Digis, doing customer service for the Internet.

In the early summer, we got a very wild idea and decided to move. We've been thinking about it for a while, but things hadn't quite panned out. After a lot of prayer, we decided it was time to make things pan out. We started dejunking our house and doing some minor repairs, and put it on the market in August. Literally six days after we got an offer, we moved out ... Yeah, it was a really fast process, so fast that we ended up living in a friend's basement for two weeks while we found our new place. Thank goodness for friends!

Our new home is located in Bountiful, and we really like it. It's an older home, but has been updated in several ways, and has four bedrooms (one more than we had before), a family room (which we didn't have before), a giant laundry room/storage room (we were able to get rid of our storage unit), and covered parking. Hooray!!

It's also really close to the Bountiful Temple, and we've spent a lot of time there feeling the Spirit and soaking in the peace there. The kids and I liked to sit on the grounds and talk about cool gospel stuff ... until the weather got cold. (That's where the pictures of the kids, below, were taken.) We've been here since the middle of September.

Matt has really had his share of adventures this year. In addition to putting up with me, he got to manhandle our belongings into the new house, do a copious list of honey-dos, use his mad skillz to get the small car off the freeway and parked safely when the engine decided to blow, changed jobs from Digis in American Fork to Unisys in North Salt Lake, cope with the gearshift in the van when it decided to come completely off in his hand while driving on the freeway (our cars have had a hard year too), and has been a real trooper through it all. He's become very adept at using the train and bus systems in our area while we've had all this car drama. In the meantime, he's still growing his freelance genealogy business and loves working with his clients, finding their ancestors in unusual places all over the world. He's writing a book about genealogy for beginners, and will be publishing it at some point during 2015. He'd also love to write some books about the areas where he does genealogy, but that'll be another year or two down the road.

As I mentioned, I've been busy running my publishing company, and decided that since I wasn't busy enough, I should take on a new pen name (Paige Timothy) and start writing sweet romances. It's a new venture for me, one that I didn't anticipate doing previously, but it's been a lot of fun. I'm still doing a ton of freelance editing. During the move, I really hammered my body, particularly my back and hips, and by early fall, I was pretty much bedridden. My chiropractor diagnosed me with sacroiliac syndrome, which basically means that my hips don't know how to behave themselves. I have been helped a lot by my chiropractor and a cranial/sacral therapist and am starting to see some improvements. At the moment, I'm down with a bad virus, but that's temporary, so we won't even worry about it.

Caryn turned eighteen this summer, which I can't believe. Who said she could do that? She graduated from seminary, and after she returned from her final year at girls' camp, we went to the Humane Society and adopted a dog for her. The dog's name is Belle, and she's perfect for Caryn in every way. Caryn is settling in to our new area really well. She's attending the young single adults' ward, and plans to serve a service mission next summer when she turns nineteen. She has continued with her artwork and writing, and wrote fifty thousand words in November to win National Novel Writing Month.

Ammon went on Pioneer Trek this summer and had a great time. He also finished up his first year of seminary and started his second, recently turned sixteen, got his patriarchal blessing, and will soon be ordained to the office of a priest. He's six foot three now ... yes, that's right. He's very, very tall.  This irritates Caryn, who is fully one foot shorter than he is, and he's constantly mistaken for the oldest in the family. He is in the process of looking for a job, and he's still very much into electronics and building things with bits and pieces of wires and things that I don't even know what they are, but he does. He's currently learning Javascript.

Joseph turned thirteen this summer and hit a growth spurt. He's now taller than Caryn (okay, it's time we just faced it. Everyone's going to end up taller than Caryn at some point or another. Sorry, kid.) He's been really active in Scouts, and he's getting the hang of things in our new ward. He's still a very avid reader, and he's been drawing his own Pokemon. His health has continued to improve (hooray!) and he's doing awesome. He still loves bearing his testimony every month in fast and testimony meeting.

Benjamin just had his tenth birthday, and he's now a Webelos. He loves playing on his DS, writing original songs on his electric keyboard, and basically keeping us laughing. He's making new friends in Primary, and gave his first official sacrament meeting talk a couple of Sundays ago when our family was asked to speak. He is naturally a really good speller - his editor mommy is glad for that.

So, that's what's going on with us! We've gone through so many changes this year, it's incredible to fathom. I guess we're living proof that if you want to make a change and feel it's the right thing to do, you should go for it. It's been scary at times, really scary, but we've been blessed every step of the way. The Lord is good.

We're excited to see what happens in 2015, and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Water So Deep by Nichole Giles

I'm super excited to take part in this cover reveal for Water So Deep by Nichole Giles, who is one of my bestest writer buddies! I've gotten to see this book come to life through several different stages and love it.She has a writer's voice that is unlike any other - I love reading her stuff. And you can preorder here!

Author Bio:

Nichole Giles, the author of the Descendant trilogy, has lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She loves to spend time with her husband and four children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.   

Social Media Links: 
Here's the cover!!
Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land. No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps. Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have. When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever. Preorder here!

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Calling All Writers with Generous Hearts ...

This last Wednesday night, my husband and I took our kids down to the Festival of Trees. For those of you who may not know what that is, it's a fundraiser held yearly for the Primary Children's Hospital, the premiere children's hospital in the area that donates a lot of services to families who can't afford them. People donate lavishly decorated trees to this event, and people can come in and purchase them. Every single penny gathered goes straight to the hospital. They've also got a fudge shop, a candy store, a gift shop - it's awesome.

My kids had never been, and seeing as how we now live so close to the venue, we decided to head down. It was just as magical as ever. Many of the trees were donated in memory of someone who had passed on, and pictures of that person were on display with the tree. We saw many decorated in the "Frozen" theme, and of course there were superheros and Snoopy and the Grinch and all kinds of elegant trees as well.

When we ducked into the gift shop, I was touched by the hundreds of hours that went into making the items sold in there. Quilts, scarves, receiving blankets, all donated. The spirit of generosity was overwhelming, and I wanted to participate. But I don't sew. What could I do?

I can write.

Ah ... I can write.

I popped an e-mail that very night to the lady who organizes the gift store and presented my idea. She loved it, so we're full speed ahead. Wanna hear it? Wanna? Wanna?

I'm going to put together a collection of Christmas stories and publish it to be sold in the Festival of Trees gift shop.

And I'm going to need your help.

I need authors who will write the stories, and I need donated funds to purchase the copies of the books to go in the gift shop. None of this will be reimbursed--this is a donation, not an investment. I'll do all the editing, and I'll find someone who will donate the cover and the formatting.

Here's the timeline and what I'm looking for:

June 1st, 2015: All short stories to be submitted to Tristi. This gives you half a year to dust off old stories, write new ones, or obtain permission to reprint Christmas stories you have written that may have appeared in other anthologies. You will hear back by June 15th if your story has been accepted.

I'm looking for Christmas stories with an uplifting feel to them. Many of the people who support the Festival of Trees have children currently in the hospital or have recently lost one, so we want the feel of the book to be comforting and joyous. No stories over three thousand words. Christmas poetry is more than welcome. Family friendly, of course.

July 2015: I'll be editing these stories and sending them to you for revisions/corrections.

November 2015: The files will be uploaded and the books printed and shipped to Primary Children's Hospital for the Festival.

If you are an author and would like to donate a story to this anthology, I will also ask for at least a $20 donation. That will purchase roughly four books to be resold at the gift shop. If you are able to afford more, that would be fantastic.

If you aren't interested in donating a story but would like to donate money to help us purchase the copies, that would be fantastic as well. Any amount is appreciated, but again, keep in mind that each book will cost around $4 to print (the store will be able to sell them for $10.00).

If I get several interested authors, I'll do several different volumes so people can buy individual books or complete sets. That would be fun.

I'm not asking for any stories or any money at this time. What I do need, though, is to create a list of those who are interested in participating so I know how feasible this is. Please send me an e-mail at tristipinkston@gmail.com and tell me if you'd like to donate a story, if you'd like to donate money, and roughly how much money you'd like to donate. Of course, I'll be collecting both for months to come, but getting this kicked off now will tell me what to plan for.

You will get a contract clearly stating the terms for your story or money - that it's a donation, non-profit, and that I will not be pocketing anything that is brought in. In addition, you would have the chance to purchase copies at a discount to give to family and friends, with all proceeds going to the hospital.

Again, the stories are needed by June 1st. The money would be needed by November 1st

Okay!! Let the e-mails start pouring in!! Let's publish several volumes, with gobs of stories, several copies of each - what they don't sell this year, they can sell next. Books never go rancid!!

Thanks to all of you for your generosity. We can make this something amazing if we all work together.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Open Letter to Men

Dear men,

There's so much rattling around in my head that I want to say, it's kind of hard for me to decide where to begin. So I'll just leap in.

First off, I want to say that I'm sorry about the way modern entertainment has been portraying you with greater and greater frequency over the last few decades - as armpit-scratching, beer-guzzling, cheese-for-brains idiots who can't do a single thing for themselves and need their women to make all the "smart" decisions for them. That type of portrayal just makes me cringe for the whole human race. I'm really, really sorry about that, and I hope with all my heart that people get a clue and knock it off.

Secondly, I want to say thank you. I want to thank you for being the kind, compassionate men you are. I want to thank you for working hard and being examples of what it means to have a good work ethic. I want to thank you for loving your mothers and showing your kids what it means to respect their parents. I want to thank you for your steadfast determination to protect the women in your lives. I want to thank you for your commitment to doing the right thing and demonstrating integrity.

Third, I want you to know something. A lot of the time, we think that in order to be romantic, we have to make these really over-the-top gestures or spend a lot of money. But you know what? The things that make a girl's heart melt really aren't things you can buy. When you open a door for her and gently touch her back as she goes through. When you ask her to dance when her favorite song comes on. When you call her to see how a job interview went or what grade she got on a test she was stressed about taking. When she knows that you will be there for her through thick and thin. When her safety is the most important thing in the world to you. These are the types of things that will make her swoon, and they're all extensions of who you are as a person - you don't have to spend a lot of money to impress a girl. You just have to be the best version of who you really are deep inside, and hopefully you're striving for that anyway.

Fourth, a word to you men who are already married. Thank you for the time and devotion you put into your families. Thank you for playing catch with your son when you'd really rather be taking a nap. Thank you for every choice you make which strengthens those around you and makes them feel better about themselves. Thank you for remembering your wife's favorite flower and bringing it to her for no reason whatsoever except that you were thinking about her.

Men, you are amazing. Thank you for being who you are and striving to do better. Thank you for giving us women something to look up to. Please ignore all these media nonsense about how men are idiots and just continue to be who you really are. And know how much the women of the world love and appreciate a man of honor and integrity. I truly feel blessed knowing that you're out there.

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