Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Twin Depiction

Since Bonnie posted her comments on authors and how they portray twins I’ve been looking at how twins are depicted in media.  Twins don’t ever seem to be shown as same gender fraternal twins, and only rarely do they do boy/girl fraternal twins. My assumption is that these types tend to come across as regular siblings and it’s harder to define and depict the twin thing whereas with identical twins there is more to work with, just show how they are alike and special. The problem is too many authors forget that they aren’t carbon copies.
Far too often you find stories where no one can tell the twins apart, and as a twin I can tell you, that doesn’t happen. Someone is going to be able to tell them apart even when they are attempting to fool you.
Recently I was reading Richard Paul Evans’ first two Michael Vey books. In them, he has a set of twins, one of which is Michael Vey’s girlfriend. The other is one of the enemy. I know, classic good twin/evil twin. But not really. See the “evil twin” has been brainwashed by the bad guy since she was young girl. One would assume had she grown up with a loving family as her twin had, she wouldn’t be twisted, like the man who raised her.
At first I thought Mr. Evans’ fell into the same twin trap everyone else seems to with the people around them periodically getting them mixed up and always commenting on how alike they are. Then near the end of the second book the bad guy, in one of his attempts to break Mrs. Vey, has the bad twin impersonate Michael’s girlfriend. Mrs. Vey is at first fooled, but then realizes the eyes aren’t quite right. She spotted the dissimilarity and pointed out that the trick didn’t work. The fun part was when the bad guy attempted a similar thing on Michael who eventually just told the bad guy that his girlfriend was prettier. Both the Vey’s could tell them apart.
Mr. Evans got it right.
Yes, people get twins mixed up, but there are going to be a few, who can tell the difference. Both my husband and Bonnie’s could always tell us apart. The weekend we started dating my husband saw a picture of our family and easily picked me out. My brother-in-law never once confused me for his wife.
No two people are exactly alike.
There are variations. It’s not impossible to find them and thereby tell the difference. That’s why I find it highly implausible that a twin could step into their twin’s life and impersonate them for any length of time without someone figuring it out.
So anyone who wants to can pass this on to Richard Paul Evans. I admire him.
Here is an author who knows how to weave a good tale, and made it big even with his first book even after all the publishers rejected him.
Here is a man who is faithful to his wife, children, family, and church.
Here is a man who didn’t let Tourette’s syndrome stop him or slow him down, he’s even used it to write his books. I think he could truly stand tall next to men like Nephi and Helaman (and yes, he’d know who they are). (I once dated a man with Tourette’s, so I do know a little about it.)
Here is a man who gets twins.

The more I learn about him, the more I like him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year

Okay, Bonnie was supposed to post this morning but apparently isn’t feeling well so it’s been dumped in my lap, only being the busy mother that I am, I’m swamped. I just returned from a doctor’s appointment (not mine) and am currently trying to fix lunch while typing this and hoping I have enough time to pay the bills before I have to pick-up my son from school. (Something my husband normally does but he’s out of commission too.)  And I still have to run to the store, a normal chore for me.
But while trying to encourage Bonnie to write something I thought of New Year’s Resolutions. I know people do those every year but I’ve long since not bothered. I figure IF I’m going to bother setting a goal and working toward it I don’t need a special day of the year to start on. But my approach to changing me tends to be a slow process.
As an example I decided once I needed to improve my diet, make it healthier, so I started working on it, and I’ve made several changes since then. Most notably I switched to nonfat milk. That was roughly eighteen years ago. My diet is still a work in progress. This last year I worked on decreasing the amount of treats I ate. I still need to work on that, but I’m getting better. Now if I could just get my diet closer in line with a diabetic diet I might be getting somewhere.
While for most things a little at a time is how I approach it, with my writing, it tends to take a back burner because I don’t have large blocks of time to devote to it. When I go to work on a story I need time to re-read the story so I can get the next scene refreshed in my memory. Generally by the time I’ve done that much my writing time evaporates. Either the reading took all my time or some catastrophe requiring my attention befell my household and I have to drop everything and attend to it. Sometimes it’s not actually important, but my family thinks it is, and it’s been something major, like an ER visit, enough times that I always drop what I’m doing.

I know writing goals down and having a support system helps you to accomplish your goals. So, I’m asking you. Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Do you write your goals down? And what kind of support system do you have?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Okay, here is the setting: A young college student at an airport waiting to return home between terms for Christmas talking on the phone with her mother when she suddenly tells her mother she has to go because a member of their church just went past her. The young lady named a specific person who should have been at home in the same city where her parents lived. But neither this lady nor any of her family had been seen at church that day, leaving the young lady’s family confused. Was she home or two states away and why would she be over there anyway? Clearly she can’t be two places at once.
A little while later the family got another phone call, and low and behold, it’s from the same lady the daughter said she’d just seen.
Can you just imagine what the family is thinking?
The father takes the call, commenting on the fact they hadn’t seen her family at church, which she confirms saying, “I know, we’re all home sick right now.”
Okay, so his daughter didn’t see this lady at the airport.
When he asked why she called she told him. “My sister is at the airport and ran into your daughter. They’re coming in on the same flight.”
You can guess the conversation from there. But let me insert the conversation between the sisters before calling the father.
A few minutes earlier Bonnie called and said, “You’ll never believe what just happened.”
“Someone just walked up to me and asked if I was related to the Enos’.”
In my mind I immediately flashed to the fact it was the Sunday before Christmas and the airport she was at was nearest to the school a number of kids from our area were going to and some of them might be flying home.
I asked for a description since she didn’t know the young lady’s name and then asked Bonnie if she could, given the chance, ask the girl her name, mentioning who I thought it was. Well the young lady had told Bonnie her name and she remembered it as soon as I said it. So I got off the phone with Bonnie and called her family where I found out they were a bit confused as to where I was, because of the earlier conversation with her mother.
I assured her father that his daughter hadn’t seen me, “Just very very close.”
Anyway, Bonnie spent a week with us and this Sunday went to Church with me. Because of parking, I dropped her and my daughter at the door and went to find a parking space so they walked into the chapel without me. The first person they saw was astounded when my daughter introduced ‘me’ as her aunt and he told me so when I finally came in. He’d thought I’d changed my hairstyle.
My daughter also noticed another man doing a double take looking between us, but he didn’t come up to us.
Then as we were leaving another lady passing us said, “You could be twins.”
There’s only one response to that and we both said it. “We are.”
I did introduce my sister to several people at church, it’s just those were the most obvious reactions to how much alike we look.
But then I noticed something. Not everyone focused on how we were identical. The first man who saw her at church noticed her hairstyle was different. Others realized we were sisters but didn’t focus on the fact we were identical. And the young lady who saw her at the airport? She did think she saw me go past her, but by the time she was looking Bonnie in the face she realized it wasn’t me. She could see the difference.
And, as my youngest daughter says, “How can anyone mix you up? You don’t look anything alike.”

You be the judge.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Plagiarism and the Law

This is making me angry, so I have to get it off my chest. Here is a blog about one author’s struggle with a plagiarist and the part I find hard to take is this statement by New York Times bestselling author David Farland, “The legal system considers plagiarism to be a civil matter rather than criminal.”

Why isn’t it a criminal offense?

We’re not talking about some lazy kid slapping their name on someone else’s term paper or essay for an easy A, we’re essentially talking about a forger stealing someone else’s hard-earned paycheck and cashing it. How is that not criminal?

I mean honestly, if a man took a log in one hand and knife in the other and spent hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years little by little turning that log into a sculpture then once it’s in its final form the man sands all the rough places. After that he takes a palette of paints, adding color to his creation, and finally he takes the time to add a layer or two of varnish to make it shine, only to have someone else come along, take the piece, change the paint job a little, claim it’s his creation and sell it.

Would anyone argue that wasn’t a crime? Of course not! It is a crime.

So how is that different from a man sitting in front of a computer and spending hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years word by word filling the screen with a story of thousands of words. Then after all that, he goes through the whole manuscript several times, first fixing the grammatical errors, next tweaking the details, and other times to fix problems with the characters, and another time to work on the story flow, and on and on for up to a dozen or more revisions.

Only to have some unscrupulous cretin take all that work and effort, make a few minor changes, slap his name on it, and sell it! How is that not the same crime as stealing a sculpture and selling it as your own work? 

Do you honestly think authors don’t go through all those steps to create a novel?

Think again!

And I’d like to see any creative person have their creation stolen by someone else, and that someone then sells said work as their own and not cry foul. It is wrong. It is stealing. I mean, really, just look at the words the Thesaurus says you can use instead of plagiarism.
And finally:
Illegal use

Those are all crimes! Why isn’t plagiarism?

I think every artist in the world will agree with me that this is not right and needs to be changed. Do you?

I would also hope everyone who agrees would help Rachel Ann Nunes pay her legal fees. This just isn’t right.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Last week I was on Facebook and saw a couple of videos of young kids, toddlers or younger, reacting to seeing twins for the first time. One was a little girl, toddler, reacting to meeting her father’s twin brother.
Since my sister and I can’t see each other every day because of distance, we’ve had some experience with this reaction. I had two daughters, both under three, when my sister and her husband were able to come visit us at my house. (We’d seen each other a couple of years before at our Dad’s place.)
When my sister walked in it was fun watching the kids look back and forth between the two of us trying to figure out what they were seeing. My older girl, who was pushing three, had actually met my sister at our Dad’s place. Her eyes got big but she accepted my introduction. She was then and always has been a very friendly girl, though a bit shy at first. She had no problems with her Aunt Bonnie.
Now, my younger daughter hated strangers. In fact if she couldn’t see Mommy well then she better have Daddy, or Grandma Sharon (all of which she lived with). Anyone else and she’d scream like a banshee until I picked her up again, and I mean for hours on end without stopping. And she’d probably start screaming for both Sharon and her daddy if I didn’t show up fast enough. So I held her for her first meeting with her Aunt Bonnie. And like all babies, the sight of two faces so similar confused her, but she had mom and was fine.
Then at one point during Bonnie’s visit I needed to run errands and left Bonnie with the kids while my baby was asleep, but I hurried concerned she’d wake up and start her banshee impersonation. However, when I got home I found my kids on the couch with their aunt Bonnie reading a story to them, and my baby was fine.
I avoided the couch and did some chores that needed done while I had the reprieve. And it lasted until my daughter got hungry. At which time she got really upset when she realized the woman holding her didn’t have anything to feed her.
But, besides the people she lived with, Bonnie was the first person who could take care of that particular daughter without earplugs. The next person who walked into her life who ever managed that ended up becoming her favorite uncle.
Anyway, it’s fun watching kids react to seeing two of the same person for the first time. And their confusion can be hilarious if one of those twins is someone they see all the time and the other one isn’t. Kind of reminds me of the incident in eighth grade when the Neilson boy, started talking to me outside our fourth period classes (which were across the hall from each other) and while I was trying to figure out why he would even talk to me Bonnie walked up all happy because we were actually being nice to one another.
He gasped. “There’s two of you!”

At which point I saw the Neilson boy walk into his fourth period class down the hall. “That’s nothing. There’s two of you too.” Which solved the problem of why Bonnie liked him and I didn’t, and apparently solved the same issue for the two of them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy Holidays

Dang, I have been so busy writing, finishing my Christmas shopping, and wrapping presents, I totally forgot to write a blog.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I know I normally write about twins and being twins but as I sit down to write this I’m thinking about the loss of someone near and dear to my family. Rusty walked into our lives several years ago when my husband spotted him walking the streets near our son’s school, clearly homeless. Jerry called him over to the car and he hopped right in and into our lives.
He walked into our house and greeted all family members, with and without fur, with an attitude of, “Oh, you live here. Well, I live here now too.” He wasn’t domineering. He didn’t try to boss or take over. He recognized Lani, our oldest and only female pet, was the leader of the fur covered family members, and he took an immediate shine to Jerry, understandable since he is the one who rescued him.
We called him Rusty Bear. Rusty because of the color of his fur and Bear because he sure looked like one. But he was the sweetest, gentlest one in the bunch, unless you got his paws. He had no collar and we had our vet check him for a chip. He had none. We posted notices everywhere and no one called. We tried finding him a home but before long we knew, he was ours for good.
He loved long walks and the kids said people in the neighborhood would move to the other side of the street when they saw him coming and often ask the kids, my girls especially, if they were sure they had a firm grip on his leash. The thing is, if you dropped his leash he’d stop in his tracks, unless he could see our front door, then he’d just go home. The only person he ever terrified is my sister-in-law and I half suspect he barked at her like that because she was drunk.
And even though all the pets are allowed on the furniture, he never did. He’d get on the couch for maybe two seconds. His preferred place to sleep was by the front door.
He loved human food and eating meant getting a wet nose nudging your arm as he asked for his share. We tried to get him to learn “Sit”, but he was never very patient and it had to be repeated several times during a meal. More than once I got frustrated with him and had him banned to the back yard so I could finish in peace.
Then again when he just wanted attention you could end up with a wet nose on you or he’d rub his head against you. Other than Lani, the one pet he got along with the best was Tiger, our cat. They were always rubbing against each other and he was the one dog Tiger got along with the best.
From the start He’d have problems with throwing up occasionally, then recently Jerry noticed he wasn’t as energetic as usual. He took Rusty on a short walk and it was too long for a dog who normally loves going for at least an hour. Then he threw up several times in one night.
A trip to the vet showed he lost a great deal of weight over the last month. After several tests we finally found it was a large tumor.

So on Sunday November 30, 2014 Rusty Bear Enos peacefully went to sleep in the arms of his dad (Jerry). He will be greatly missed by his whole pack (with and without fur).