Friday, July 29, 2011


This is one of my best friends, Jenn:

This is Germany:

They are getting married and together are going to make beautiful babies:

Jenn is getting published in Germany!!! She sold in auction to Heyne Flieght. I couldn't be happier for her. Her book, INSOMNIA, is amazingly creepy and wonderful. I love it! So go congratulate her on her upcoming production by clicking here. :) Love you, Jenn. Thanks for everything you've done for me. I couldn't have made it this far without you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Sorry I've been absent, but I've been hanging out with these lovely ladies:

(Photos by Michelle Davidson Argyle)
From left to right Michelle, Renee, Candi, Jenn, Me, Sara, Natalie

It was so fun to be surrounded by writers and get to talk "shop" for three days. We also did other things, like this:

And we ate. Boy, did we eat. Michelle and Natalie volunteered to be our chefs and fed us well. The last night we had a campfire and Candi's dad had us in laughing tears as he acted out some stories. (I see where Candi gets her crazy from.) :) Then Renee and my daughter and Natalie's sister had us screaming with some scary stories. It was so much fun.

So now I'm home and refreshed and motivated and ready to write!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Reads

Okay, I changed the title of my post from 'Wednesday Reviews' to 'Wednesday Reads' because let's face it, I don't really review the books, I just say, "Look what I read, it was good." So, true to form, look what I read:

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
It was good!

This book was a weird read for me because I started off reading it to my daughters (ages 7 and 10) but it was taking SO LONG. We rarely got around to it with our busy lives, so it took us like 6 months to read 85 pages. Finally the other night, I was like, BLAST IT ALL (blasted all? blast all?), I'm reading this on my own. And then I read the next 250 pages in two days. So yeah, needless to say, I'm not sure if those first 100 pages were slow or if they just felt slow. But the book was super cute. Perfect for my daughters (now I have to finish reading it to them) and the message was so good. I have the next three books in the series so I better get to work.

back of book summary: "Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isille, Corwn Princess of Kildenree, was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue. She spent the early years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the swans. Then, a colt was born with a word on his tongue--his name, Falada--and when Ani spoke it, she found the key to his language, too. But as Ani's gift grew, so did others' mistrust of it, and soon her mother felt she had no choice but to send her away to be queen of a foreign land. . . "

Next in my TBR pile: "Back When You Were Easier to Love" a book I won in Mary Campbell's contest last month. Thanks Mary!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--Measuring Rainfall

Have you ever wondered how scientists accurately measure annual precipitation. Me too! It's what I think to myself on a daily basis. How do they do it?!? How do they know how much rain fell? Well, this year, I found out.....accidentally. You see, we have this possession that holds water very well. It's not exactly *supposed* to hold water. But if one accidentally forgets to, I don't know, take out the plug that normally drains the water in the winter, it becomes a perfect vessel for holding water. Yes, I'm speaking of our boat.

It was a very long, wet winter. So long, that where we normally take our first trip to the lake in May, we didn't even take the cover off the boat until last week. Mid July! A group of college kids from our church asked if we could come to an activity they were doing and take some kids on a few runs. Of course we can, we said.

So as we were getting the boat attached to the truck to service it, my husband said, "That's weird, does the truck bed look extra low to you?"

We both stared at the back of the truck which looked closer to the ground than it ever had. "Yes, that's too low," I said. "Did it break."

We got out a flashlight and looked under the truck bed.

"What's changed?" My husband asked.

That got me thinking. The only thing that could have changed is the weight of the boat. "Do you think some sort of animal crawled in our boat and died?" We do live in the country, after all, so it wouldn't have surprised me.

"That would have to be one heavy animal."

I gasped. "Water."


"Yes. Rain."

"No," my husband said.

"Is the plug in??"

"Yes, but it can't be water."

"Take the cover off."

And we did. And it was water. Lots and lots of water. After screaming, Whyeeeeeeeeee?!? And then crying for 24 hours, we drained the boat and then took it to the mechanic to find out it's chances of survival which we thought were little to none. (If you would've seen the muddy mess that was inside our boat, you would've agreed.) But the man I will now call the Boat Doctor from heaven, said it was fine. He just had to change the belt and the pump. It may have been inappropriate that I gave this man a big hug and a sloppy kiss, but I totally did (just kidding, I didn't, but I wanted to).

After all this though, I can tell you we got 20 inches of precipitation in our yard this winter (or one third of a boat full). I'm sure there are devices that work better for measuring rainfall, but if you don't have one of those on hand, try a boat.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Reviews

I'm on Goodreads now. Yay! So if you're on Goodreads too, come be my friend. I need friends. :) I'm still trying to figure it all out, I've only been on for a couple weeks now, but I think I'll get it.

Now onto my Wednesday read. Fire by Kristin Cashore:

blurb: "It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her."

I loved this book. I might have loved it even more than Graceling (the first book in this world). Kristin Cashore does such an amazing job of building a rich, deep world. I do have a question, though, for those who have read these books. They don't feel YA to me at all. More so this one than Graceling. That's not to say I didn't love it, because I did. But what makes a YA book a YA book? Can it be based only on the age of the main character? Personally, I think it needs to be more than just the age of the MC. It needs to have some teen dilemmas: Parent issues, coming of age, feeling out of place, etc. I felt that Fire had very adult issues: child bearing concerns, lack of commitment in relationships, war strategy. That might just be my personal opinion, but what do you think? Let me reiterate, however, that I really did enjoy this book. A lot.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm sure this isn't news to any of you, but I felt the need to post it anyway: My dear friend, Natalie Whipple, sold her book!!!!! She actually sold it back in April, but wasn't able to announce until the contract was signed. It takes a while to get your official contract (still haven't gotten mine) the one that has everything in it that both parties agree on. And some agents don't like to announce until the deal is sealed. But it is now official and I couldn't be happier for her.

Natalie was one of the first friends I made when I joined the online writer's community almost three years ago and we've been crit partners ever since. I have never met a more prolific writer than Natalie. She has so many brilliant ideas floating around in her head. And every time she starts her next book, I'm like, I know I said your last book was my favorite, but now this one is. Plus she knows so much about the industry. She's helped me through a lot of low points in this journey. I feel so lucky to call her my friend. And I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Good, supportive friends are a must in this industry full of ups and downs. So if you haven't already, go congratulate Natalie and enter her contest to win a book!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--Zombies and Clean Closets

Happy 4th of July!!!!!

I just got back from out of town last night and now I'm off to girls' camp with my daughter today. Wish me luck. Camping with 150 teenage girls is fun, but exhausting. Mainly because of the fact that putting them together like that somehow makes them be able to live on less sleep. I don't know how they do it. Maybe they suck all of the energy out of anyone over 25. That's why by the end of the week all the adults will look like zombies and all the girls will look just as beautiful as ever.

Every time I go out of town my husband thinks he can turn me into an organized person and cleans my closet. I love it. But the only thing it makes me do is realize that I need to go out of town more so that my closet will be cleaned. So if you want to have a clean closet, marry an organized person and tell him you're perfectly fine with his organizational intervention when you are gone. Or I guess you can clean it, but that's not nearly as fun.