I Can Admit When I'm Wrong

I can admit when I'm wrong. Sometimes it just takes me awhile.

For years now I've been helping my kids type their assignments. Please don't lecture me. I know they can and probably should do it themselves, but I'm a really fast typist (or should I say keyboardist), so sometimes it's just quicker and easier if I help them out.

Many times they've noticed that I double space after the period at the end of the sentence. I was taught to do that in typing, back when it was called typing. I guess there's a clue right there. I took a typing class. My kids take keyboarding classes. I type two spaces. They type one. They've asked me to do it the way they've been taught, which I do while grumbling about it being wrong.

So here I am today, working on my manuscript--the one that has been accepted for publication. The one that I've worked on and poured over to have it grammatically and typographically perfect. One of the first sentences in the letter of revision requests is to go through and change ALL THE SPACING TO SINGLE SPACING AT THE END OF THE SENTENCE.

CRAP! I say to myself. I've been wrong all this time? My grumbling was just an older generation's insecurities about change and arrogance thinking I'm right. So I follow their instructions (yes, they gave step-by-step instructions to help me through the painful process) and create a manuscript with single spacing at the end of each sentence.

Now, you may wonder, as I did, if they really are right. (Just a sidenote: I'm struggling to single space right now, but I'm determined to teach this old dog a new trick and become proficient at the sentence-ending single space.) According to several websites, double spacing at the end of a sentence is a relic left over from the days of typewriters--those antique writing instruments that were nearly impossible to correct, made revising difficult and made loud, snapping noises. The single space is perfectly fine now because fonts are programmed to space our text beautifully without us having to worry about it. Some programs, have quietly and sneakily fixed this for us. If you look back at past postings on any of my blogs, you'll see single spacing and you'll surely be impressed. Sadly, that is because Blogger has been correcting my mistakes ever since I started blogging.

Now I've been my mother-in-law's go-to gal for anything computer-related for many years now, so I'm not a computer idiot. But with regard to the question of sentence-ending spacing, I am now resolved to move into the twenty-first century. I get it now. I may have to back-space a hundred-thousand times before it comes naturally, but I'm a smart woman and I know that with a positive attitude and an iron will, I will get it.

I'm an Author

I love words.

My favorite subject throughout elementary, junior high and high school was English. My favorite part of English was writing.

In High School, I took a creative writing class and loved it. It was fun to figure out interesting ways of putting words together, and even though I was painfully shy and preferred that no one pay much attention to me and my big feet and frizzy hair, I loved it when the teacher chose my work to be read aloud in class.

College brought more writing classes and I began to think about writing books. I practiced writing--poems, short stories and sample chapters.

Four years ago, my family gave me a birthday present they knew I was longing for--an online writing class with a focus on getting published. I felt confident that this was what was going to be the spark. I began writing with focus. I wanted to be published. At the same time that I took the class, my youngest child started school. I knew if I was ever going to do this, this was the time to give it a real honest effort. I started writing children's books as I watched and even prayed for ideas for a good novel.

An idea came and I began writing "For What It's Worth," a story with a main character I liked and related to. But then I stalled and didn't know exactly where to take it, so I continued working on class assignments, short stories, and children's books.

Then one night, our neighbors experienced a tragedy--the death of a pregnant grand-daughter. Miraculously, doctors saved her unborn baby. A couple of nights later, the tragedy on my mind, I went to bed and had an unusual and fantastic dream about this tragic, newborn baby. I got up early the next morning to drive my son to a basketball camp. I like sleep and was anxious to get back home and sleep until the other kids woke me up a couple of hours later (it was Saturday, after all). But in the mile or so from the school to my house, inspired by the previous night's dream, a story began to form in my mind.

Instead of going back to bed, I sat down at the computer and began writing--first the dream, then character descriptions, a scant outline and a few setting ideas. A couple of hours later, I had enough of an idea that I couldn't wait until Monday, when the kids would be in school and I'd have four uninterrupted hours to write.

The story became "Gifted." It came to me in a way nothing ever had before. I couldn't write fast enough. Thoughts and ideas came at a pace I could hardly keep up with. Every day that week I wrote. The weekend of no writing was hard. I couldn't wait to find out where the story was going. It felt like the story was being given to me a day at a time. A piece at a time.

I emailed my "dailies" to my parents and sisters. Veronica read them each day after school. Every day they wanted more. They'd read and then we'd talk. It was motivating and exciting to be writing something others were enjoying and feeling.

My class told me to admit I was an author. I don't know why that was such a challenge for me. I was writing. I'd written books (I had rejection letters to prove it) and I regularly had people ask me what I do, yet it was almost impossible for me to say the words. Then one day in the reading material for my class it said something like this:

If you can't say you're an author, you probably aren't, and there's a good chance you never will be. An author writes and isn't afraid to admit it. Whether you're published or not, if you're an author, say you're an author.

I can distinctly remember the first time I told someone I was an author. I felt like a phony. I was so embarrassed. I hoped they wouldn't ask any more questions, but of course they did. So I told them I'd written a novel and some children's books, but hadn't found a publisher yet. They thought that was great. (At least they said they did. They may have been rolling their eyes as they walked away.)

A major move, a few years and many revisions and submissions later, I'm an author. Yesterday I was offered a publishing contract for "Gifted" and today I had a wonderful visit with an editor who will be working with me on a few revisions. "Gifted" is going to be a real book. People are going to have a chance to become acquainted with Anna, Susan, Brent, and Kelsey.

Ahead of me lies the business end of things that I know almost nothing about. I will have to learn.

But for today I just want to say that I'm an author.

MEDIA

From the February, 2011 issue of the Cedar Hills Newsletter

http://cedarhills.org/newsletter/february_2011.pdf

Cedar Hills resident Karey White’s lifelong
dream is coming true. This month
she will become a published author of a
novel. She wrote the book while raising
four kids, keeping up a home, volunteering
at school and church, and doing some
substitute teaching. The novel, Gifted,
which will be released this month, is the
story of a couple that adopts a little girl
with special gifts and how those gifts affect
her parents’ lives and the life of her
poor and neglected friend. During the next
few weeks you may run into Karey at
Costco signing her books. Karey’s accomplishment
is proof that, with persistence,
dreams can come true.

Reviews for Gifted

Share your reviews for Gifted in the Comments Section.

From Amazon:

LINUS: Five Stars

A book with great impact

I loved this story. It touched me deeply on so many levels. Having had a large family, and all the challenges that come with a large family, I related to Susan and Brent in this story on almost every page. And when they reached their greatest trial, I shed many tears of empathy for them, having experienced some of the same feelings. I would recommend this book for all ages from ten years and up. It will expand your understanding of how parents relate to and feel about their children, and how true friends relate to each other. You will never find a more perfect story of friendship! I loved every minute on every page, and could hardly take time to eat or sleep until I finished this wonderful book.

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LUMPIN LARRY: Five Stars

A Great Read

This book is fascinating and fun to read. The story is moving, tender, complicated and endlessly surprising. It reminds me of the movie "Groundhog Day" in that every time I thought the author had tapped this idea out, she came up with something new and original and interesting. While Gifted dips a toe into the realm of the fantastic, its themes are totally relevant to real life. Karey White employs the miraculous to illustrate the impact of one mortal's existence the way Capra did in "It's a Wonderful Life." Gifted is Capraesque in other ways too. The characters are real people with the problems, flaws, and challenges of real people. I enjoyed this book very much.

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MARCI: Five Stars

A Delightful Book

Gifted was captivating from the first page. A scrumptious read! You will love Anna and her sweet spirit. I couldn't put this book down. It's one of those stories that I want to enjoy over and over again, the kind I'd love to snuggle up with on a frosty day with a cup of hot chocolate. A definite must-read for anyone.

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DAN: Five Stars

Wonderful Story!

I loved this story about friendship and family. It kept my interest, surprised me and made me eager for more. Read it while traveling on business and I can't wait to have my wife and daughters read it. The book is well-written and worth reading.

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BOOKWORM: Five Stars

A Book With Heart

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had trouble putting it down. It's charming, heartfelt and emotional. The characters are real and relatable. So looking forward to another the next book by this author.

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ALLI: Five Stars

READ THIS!

This was an amazing book. Read it so fast and am planning to reread it. As a teenager, it was interesting to read from Susan's perspective and see the struggles and joy Brent and Susan go through. It was also great to read about Anna and Kelsey's friendship. It made me look at my own friendships and relate to them. I felt like I knew Kelsey and Anna and was their friend. This is an incredible book and I LOVED it.

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SHANNON MARTIN: Five Stars

A Must Read

I loved this book, couldn't put the book down, finished it in 2 days! Kept the readers attention and had me thinking days after I finished the book. A must read!

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girl with her nose in a book: Four Stars

You Won't Be Disappointed

Although this book wasn't complete "reality", I very much related to the parents and their struggles to know how to best let their gifted child, Anna, experience the world. There were events that made me evaluate my own life, my own children, and my relationship with others. This book will definitely make you think! I was very engrossed in the story and had a hard time putting it down at times. Get this book, read it... you won't be disappointed.

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RamaRPh: Five Stars

Couldn't Put It Down!!!

This thought-provoking story keeps your attention the whole way through with an unexpected twist in the end. It has a strong message about friendship and will leave you thinking about your beliefs and what is truly important in life. This story makes you think and makes you feel. I highly recommend this amazing book!

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LOU: Five Stars

Truly A Gift

I loved this book. Having a child of my own, I understood the concerns that Brent and Susan had as they tried to understand what Anna was experiencing. I also understood the worry they experienced throughout the book and the reasons why they wanted to protect her. Anna's gifts made me want to evaluate my own life and see what I could do to bring beauty and JOY into the lives of those around me.
I was impressed with the ways Karey White was able to continue to take me on a journey of emotions as I related to the characters. I smiled, I cried. It was a journey of love, JOY, suspense, friendship, and gratitude with a twist at the end that left me in awe. It was very powerful to me... and I just began reading it again.

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Lori: Five Stars

A Must Read

I loved reading this book.From the beginning it holds your attention and gives you much to think about. The characters are easily related to and so very real.You will share their ups and downs as if you were there.Reading this book will give you a fresh perspective on your own life and make you evaluate what is really important.
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DANA: Five Stars

Beautiful Story For All Ages

I couldn't put this book down! A beautiful story of love, compassion, faith and hope. Anna will steal your heart and leave you pondering your own gifts and mission in life. Written from a Mormon perspective, the daily life assumes the reader understands the culture of Latter-Day Saints but it does not rely heavily on it. The message is universal and very relatable to readers of all ages teen to adult. I'm looking forward to Ms. White's next work!

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FROM POWELL'S BOOKS:

alittleme: Five Stars

What a great book. I started this yesterday and couldn't put it down. I kept thinking I'd go to bed after I finished the chapter and then when I did, I had to keep going. I stayed up way to late and finished the book. Then I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

At first I thought Anna's gifts would be great. But as I continued to read, I realized what a mixed blessing they were. It's interesting to think that something so wonderful could actually be difficult. I loved the relationship between Anna and her friend. This book moved me to tears a couple of times.

I'd recommend this book to everyone. It's entertaining, thought-provoking and inspiring. In fact, I want my teenage daughter to read it soon. It's good for all of us to be reminded that we really can make a big difference in someone else's life.

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From Bethany on LDS Publisher blog

I bought Gifted from amazon.com and just finished it. It was so, so good. I couldn't put it down and I loved the characters. Would have loved to win it but I'm glad I already got to read it. It really makes you think. Whoever wins it is in for a real treat.

About Me...

Here are some bits of trivia about me and my life--some may be of interest. Some, maybe not so much. But all of these combined are what make me, me.

I am the oldest of eleven children, born to parents who were either saints or crazy, maybe both. They thought we were all capable of being professional athletes or broadway stars. They weren't right, of course, but they did help us have self-confidence.

I am married to a funny, clever, handsome and hardworking man. He was an excellent choice that I'm thankful for every day!

I am mother to four clever and good-looking children--two boys and two girls. They're not perfect, but probably a lot better than I deserved.

Through the years I've been a student, a teacher, a secretary, a clothing designer and seamstress, a wedding cake maker, a crafter, a scrapbooker, a cook, a housekeeper (alright, this skill I'm still working on) a homework helper (until they pass me in math, somewhere around the third grade), and a calm and ladylike fan at my children's sporting events.

I've been writing since Jr. High, when I was hired by a county newspaper to do a Happenings column about our little town of about 300 people. I got paid by the word so every week I called every family in town and got their news. It wasn't high-brow journalism but the column earned me a little spending money.
On our way to Aspen, CO, my sister, my two oldest kids and I were hit head-on by a drunk driver in a stolen car. Although we suffered serious injuries, we all survived.

Candy isn't worth eating unless it's chocolate. (See's are the best.) I love to experiment in the kitchen and make delicious treats and gourmet meals.

When I was seven years old, I fell and broke my arm...on a dirtclod.

When I was a child, my family bought and renovated an old school-house. It was a wonderful place to live in spite of the bats that flew over our heads at night.

I'm driven to create. I've never been without a project or two (or twelve).

I've been told that my naturally curly hair doesn't get longer, it gets bigger.

I love The Amazing Race. When faced with something daunting (like parasailing in Hawaii, triking down a ridiculously long hill in Alaska, trying to find a difficult address, or catching up on my laundry,) I imagine it as a task on The Amazing Race.

Nothing makes me happier than being with family and friends eating good food, sharing good conversation and a few laughs. When I'm with smart and funny people, I could stay there for hours.