Saturday, October 25, 2014

Donna K Weaver: Where I Live and Why I Like It

My guest this week is one of the most supportive blogger/authors around. Donna Weaver is constantly promoting other writers and attending writer conferences to improve her own skills as a writer. A published writer of romance adventure novels, she's also honed her skills in another art--martial arts. She's a black belt in karate.

1.      Geographical Information:
State or ProvinceUtah
City or TownOrem
District within City or Town: N/A
Neighborhood: N/A

2.      Is there any place in your area that’s considered a pilgrimage site, such as a religious shrine? If so, have you been there? Calling the state a pilgrimage site might be a bit much, but this area was definitely a gathering place for early Mormon (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I think there are probably more redheads here than I’ve ever seen anywhere else, simply because there are so many people of Scandinavian descent.

3.      Is there a site that has special meaning for you? Outside of my private religious feelings, I love the area because of the mountains. I’ve lived a lot of years in Sacramento. It’s a beautiful area, but relatively flat. It was easy to forget that there were foothills less than an hour away. Here, I can’t look outside and not see gorgeous mountains. As I write this, the fall colors are already coming on. *sigh*

4.      Is this where you were born and/or grew up? If not, how did you come to live here? I was a Navy brat. I started school in Seoul, South Korea. We also lived in the Philippines for two years. Between 8th & 11th grades, I went to four different schools. Then I joined the US Army and served in Germany. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere in my life.

5.      What do you like best about where you live? I think we have the best of both worlds. While the community has over 90,000 people, it doesn’t really feel like a big city. I like that, but I also like having amenities close by.

6.      Do you plan on living here the rest of your life? Probably not. When we retire in a few years, we’re tentatively planning on living close to my hubby’s brother and his wife. She prefers a community that isn’t quite a built out as this one. So, not quite small town enough for her.

7.      Do you have family in the area, or have you ventured out on your own? When we moved here 22 years ago, we ventured out on our own. Our two oldest kids have ranged quite far, one lives in China and the other in Hawaii. The three youngest are within half an hour though.

8.      Are you happy where you live? As long as I don’t get to fretting about some of the local psycho politics.

9.      For tourists, what would you recommend seeing?
  • In the immediate area, there’s Sundance Ski Resort up Provo Canyon. And yes, Robert Redford owns it. We’ve even seen him when we’re up there. They open the ski lifts in the summer. If you want to mountain bike, you take your bike on the lift up and ride down. For us less brave souls, we ride the lift up and back down. This time of year, with the changing colors, is gorgeous. 

  • There’s also the amazing Timpanogos caves or hiking the glacier on the back side of Timp.
  • About twenty minutes from us is a huge dinosaur museum with hands-on exhibits for the kids. It’s at Thanksgiving Point, and they have some amazing gardens there. There’s also an amphitheater for outdoor performances. Last year we saw the amazing Piano Guys perform
  • If you want to venture a little farther out, you can check out the Kennicott copper mines—this you can see from outer space.
  • Get a little closer to Salt Lake City, and there are lots of historical and religious sites to see like Temple Square and This Is the Place Park. There’s also Hogle Zoo/
  • If you travel a few hours south or southeast, you can visit Zions National Park or Moab where you can see the Arches National Park. This state is amazingly beautiful.

  • Not quite that far south is Cedar City and the Shakespeare Festival. They won a Tony award one for their festival.

10.   What do you do for entertainment where you live? Sporting events, theater, concerts, so on and so forth. We like to watch movies, and there are lots of theaters. But there’s also live theater here as well. There’s the Hale Center Theater Orem, which does live theater in the round. Close and intimate an experience. Sundance has lives plays as does the SCERA Center for the Arts. There are also two major universities within about eight miles of each other, and they each offer both sporting events and cultural/artistic events. The Orem Owls (a minor league team feeding into the California Angels) has its home at Utah Valley University in Orem. If you’re into college sports, having two universities so close provides lots of games to watch.

11.   If you’re a writer, have you included where you live in the settings of any of your stories? If you’re a painter, have you painted any of your area’s features? I haven’t so far, but I will be with my next book which will be set here in Utah. The reason I chose it, though, is that it will be a small-town political thriller. I run my city’s elections, and I needed to know how things work. That meant taking advantage of my knowledge of state election law.

12.  Would you recommend others to move to where you live? Why? The economy is booming. American Express built a large facility in Salt Lake County because there are so many bilingual people here. And by bilingual I don’t mean a large group that speaks English and one other language. Because there are so many people here who have served internationally as LDS (Mormon) missionaries, they are able to get employees who are bilingual in a large number of languages. Adobe just built a large facility about fifteen minutes from here.

A lot of people come here to go to college, like it, and stay. That’s good and bad. Utah has one of the highest education levels in the country. It sometimes means the competition for jobs can be pretty intense. Fortunately, there are a lot of jobs right now.

Thanks again,


Thank you, Donna. It's been a pleasure learning about where you live. I've been to Utah--Zion National Park, and that was amazing--but that's it. Maybe someday I can make it to Orem. Please visit Donna at Donna K Weaver.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, there is a lot to do there.
As a military brat, I've lived all over the world as well and prefer mountains to flat.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Thanks, Richard!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm amazed at how many authors live in Utah. It sounds fantastic. And didn't realize all the places Donna lived as a child. She's a fantastic support to the writing community. Thanks for featuring her.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow, tons to do at your place. 90,000 people not quite a big place? Must be sprawled out haha

Bish Denham said...

Interesting information! So much to see and do. LOVE the mountains.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Never been to Utah, but would like to visit.

JeffO said...

Very nice post, Donna.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I have lived in the same area all my life and cannot imagine living anywhere else, I like having my family so close by.

Kaye P. Clark said...

Great post, Donna! I'm glad you're setting your next book in Utah. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Another interesting place I never visited! So wonderful to learn more about Donna and where she lives.

Donna K. Weaver said...

And here's the link to the video I'd hoped would be ready in time for this post, Richard.

Jeff Hargett said...

I shan't be tangling with any black belts, that much is certain. :)

The mountains must be grand. Myra and I would ride through the Appalachian / Blue Ridge, but they're tiny compared to those out west.

D Biswas said...

That's an awesome backdrop for an author.

Lady Lilith said...

Fascinating place to live. Thank you for sharing all about it.

David P. King said...

Donna is awesome, and I agree with her sentiments about living in Utah. I need me some mountains! :)