Monday, August 31, 2009

The newest Winner

It's Monday, which means the first day of school for us. It was so strange how easy we slipped back into the routine. My twins have their first day of Kindergarten today and they're excited, but not freaked out about it.

Things seem really normal. How strange...

Anyway, I feel a little sad that we had to draw a new winner, but it's already Monday and we still haven't heard from the other winner.

So... using I have a new winner....


Angela- send your mailing address to laurabinghambooks at

And, to keep this contest from going on forever, Angela, you have until this Thursday to send me your address. If we haven't heard from you by Thursday night, we'll announce another winner Friday.

So, here's what's new on the writing home front. Hmm. Now that school has started I am thrilled to have more time to write. That's a big one.

I'm working with Costco to get my books in the Boise and Nampa stores. I'll be doing some signings there sometime.

School visits. It's been a slow start, but we're working on it. My friend is helping me contact schools and it looks like we'll be getting more places once school is more underway. If you happen to want an author visit at your school, go to my website and make a request. Or, if you know me, just give me a call.

Someone stopped me yesterday and said she didn't know I wrote a book. I shrugged. She said she found my website and blog and it looked like I was finally coming out of my shell. I laughed. She thought I was shy. I had no idea.

Anyway, I'm really not shy. Or, I guess I spend most of my time at social events chasing after my kids. The fact is, I don't really have time for most social events. I guess I'm going to have to work on that.
Alright, signing out for now. If you want to look at another author interview, check out Anne Bradshaw's blog. Thanks Anne.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Taking a Deep Breath

Aaahh. Feels good.

The Kiwanis presentation went well. It was my first time ever visiting a Kiwanis club. Nice people. For some reason I was expecting a bunch of men in funny hats or something. Maybe I'm thinking of the Flinstones cartoon.

Really, I had no idea what to expect or what they expected out of me. Considering all things, I think it went pretty smoothly. Lunch first. A good opportunity to drop something like salad dressing or salsa all over myself, but miraculously, I didn't.

Then things got rolling with announcements and all that meeting stuff. When it was time for me to present, there was a little less than 20 minutes left.

I did my best to go through the presentation without speed talking and hoped that the whole thing worked out okay. And, because I tried hurrying so I wouldn't get gonged or something, there was time for questions. That's when the fun started. There were so many questions. I think we could have kept going for another half hour- but we ended right on time- thanks to the president standing and clapping. Universal symbol of this party's overrrr.

It was fun talking to different people afterwards about books and writing. I might even get a chance to work with the Jordan School district in Utah if I'm lucky.

It would be great to get other opportunities like this. Once the ice broke, it really was fun. And now that I know what to expect, I don't think I would be as nervous the next time.

Okay... in other news... everyone go check out Six LDS Writers and a Frog. They asked me to be a guest on their blog, and it's already posted. Thanks guys!

So, tomorrow I'm signing books at B. Dalton in Nampa at the Karcher Mall from 11-3 PM. I'm thinking power bars or something. Yeah, I'm a wimp and get hungry during lunch time. Hey, if anyone wants to visit me and smuggle in some food, I'm all for it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calling for Winners...

We have posted the winners for the 25 comments giveaway. So far we have only heard from Taylor.

We need to hear from numberonedashnerfan by Monday, August 31. If we don't have a mailing address by then, we will be drawing a new winner.

E-mail address is laurabinghambooks at

In the meantime, if you haven't read Alvor yet, you're seriously missing out. If you're still waiting to win a free copy, you need to go to Dave's blog.

There are going to be a couple more giveaways from other bloggers. I'll keep you posted as they come up.

Here's to second chances.

A Day in the Life

I heard someone critique another writer's work last week, and she said, "It sounds too much like a day in the life story."

Well, here goes my version of the dreaded 'a day in the life' story.

On Saturday our washing machine starts acting strange. Monday the engine literally burned up- the house smelled terrible. My husband found another washing machine just like ours, only bigger, on Craigs List for $50. Turns out the heating element in their dryer died so the family decided to replace both the washer and dryer. Good for us. For a half day we had a running washer and dryer.

Then the heating element died in our dryer yesterday. Not kidding.

Today is the lull day in our week, kind of. Things don't start getting crazy until the afternoon.

Tomorrow we start the day out with a Flapjack Feed for United Way. My cloggers are dancing for them- which means so are my kids and I. Should be fun. Oh, and we get to meet our kids' school teachers during clogging lessons that night too. Piece of cake.

Friday I'm going to the Kiwanis club to do a presentation. I'm ready. No idea how it's going to be though. I've never been to the Kiwanis before.

Saturday. Well, everyone starts going different directions first thing in the morning- but I'll go to B. Dalton in the Karcher Mall in Nampa from 11-3.

And then Monday school starts.

My days of sleeping in are numbered.

Now it's your turn to tell me how boring my 'day in the life' story is. Or maybe how glad you are that you're not trying to figure out how to do wash for seven people without a dryer or a clothesline. Either one. Or, you know, if you have any words of wisdom about presenting to Kiwanis.

I should tell you- I'm okay with it all, looking forward to most of it and other than the dryer- I feel lucky to get to have what is in my life right now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

And The Winner Is . . .

Since this was my contest, Laura told me that I was to post the results. I tried to find a creative way to randomly choose who would win the much coveted book that would be signed both the lovely and talented Laura Bingham and her most adoring husband. So after printing the comments and cutting all of the paper and adding in those that are followers so they had two entries, I started narrowing it down. One by one entries were knocked out of the running until I finally came down to two and well that soft spot in my heart made it too hard to choose just one. So there are two winners!

The winners are:

numberonedashnerfan and Taylor

Please e-mail your address to and I will get your books in the mail.

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your copies of Alvor!

Thanks to everyone that entered and please go out and get your copy of Alvor and tell everyone you know to get one too. By the way Dave still has a book that he will be giving away, so go to his blog and enter for another chance.

I'm Back

Yay for all of you! You made it to the 25 different people commenting. Very cool. Today's the last day to enter- if there are any of you out there who have been holding out.

And now, a quick scoop on what I've been up to for the last week.....

Yes, that's my actual arm. I was kind of taking a break from writing in general. No, I didn't hurt my wrist by writing. No, it's not carpal tunnel syndrome. Someone called it writer's block yesterday and I had a hard time arguing with that. It is a lot harder to write with the brace on.

So, I know you're all wondering what happened. Here's the story. I don't know. If any of you have read Twilight, I have a couple things in common with Bella. I like to read and I'm a total clutz- you know, tripping over things on a regular basis.

That's all we have in common, though. I'm not in love with a vampire and, thank goodness, I CAN dance. Which brings me to another person's comment to me the other day. She said that she thinks dancers have to have music on to be graceful. It might actually be true.

So, no, it's not broken- whew. And yes, it's getting better.

And now that it doesn't hurt as much as it used to, I think I'll be doing a whole bunch of writing.

In other news, I spent the weekend in Baker City, Oregon doing a lot of dancing and a bit of book signing. There's a fabulous little bookstore there called Betty's Books. Carolyn, the owner, is really nice. I met some new people and even spent an hour chatting with a small group about writing and books. Lots of fun.

They have the coolest picture in an art shop that looks like it came right out of my book. The picture is partly constructed out of wood so that it has dimension. It's a 3-D painting.

And, for a mere price of $2000, it could be mine. ha ha. I wish I had that much money to spend. Anyway, they did take a picture of me and a couple of teens with the picture and hopefully they will e-mail it to me. I'll post it if they do.

The picture looks like the Door of Vines in the cabin idea with a whole lot less vegetation and more cabin. If you've read the book- you'll get it. In the painting, the door is open and Aelflaed is picking flowers. Well, a more brunette version of Aelflaed. Okay, it's not a perfect replica, but it's the best I've seen.

Hmm, wrist is already hurting. So much for getting a lot of writing done.

Now I need to clean my house, unpack from the trip and see about fixing the washing machine. Who says being a writer isn't glamorous? Ha ha ha....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you want to win a book?

My husband decided to do his own book giveaway with his own rules. This is all his idea, but I told him I would post it.

So, here's how it goes. It's easy. He is looking for comments from 25 DIFFERENT people- that is his first requirement. If there aren't enough comments, he doesn't give a book away.

To enter to win a free copy of Alvor (which my husband decided would be signed by him and me) all you have to do is leave a comment.

If you follow this blog, you get two entries. The most anyone can get is two entries.

The biggest catch is that there has to be 25 different people comment by the 25th of August. We will do a random drawing and announce the winner August 25th.

Post your comment by the end of the day August 24.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thank Goodness for Smart People

I finally have a website. Whew. I've been dreading it for ages, avoiding it and pretending that it wasn't really that important.

Because I don't know that much about computers.

"My name is Laura Bingham, and I am a techno idiot."

I'm serious.

So, among all the many unexpected things that happened while I was in Utah last week, I was blessed to sit by Todd Durrant at the Book Table on Saturday afternoon in Logan, Utah. Not only is Todd a science fiction author- something I could never successfully be- he offered up his son's computer skills to me.

I didn't think he was serious. Fortunately, my husband had the good sense to take off with things and between Todd, his incredibly gifted son Dylan (of course, he has his own website) and my husband, they were able to put together a website.

It looks so professional. Now I have to figure out how in the heck you write on it. Blogging is so much easier. At least I don't have to go it alone. No. My intelligent husband will be there to fill in the large gaps for me and keep the pages up to date.

Like I said, thank goodness for smart people.

So, in the meantime, I would like to thank some other smart people.

James Dashner- dude, if you've never been to his blog, you really are missing out. James has been such an example to me on so many levels. I can't even believe or explain how great the guy is and how it has helped me.

Dave Latiener- you have to check out his blog. He is one of the first complete strangers to me who loved my book without reservations, and now is doing his best to tell the rest of the world what he thinks. Bless his heart.

I just realized that if I wanted to start listing all the smart people I know, I would be able to go on forever and ever. And ever. I mean, the list doesn't end. So, instead, I would like to thank all you brilliant people out there that make my life so much better.

And, here's to all the computer geniuses. My world would be a dark place without you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Stores, White Fudge and a Free Book

The last few days were great. I even got to spend some time on Easy Street. - Can you see the sign?

After meeting a couple authors and a few folks at the Book Table in Logan, not to mention being completely spoiled while I was there- home-cooked meals, quality time, and losing a round of some kind of card game that's a lot like scrabble- I headed farther down south into Utah.

On Tuesday, I discovered a cool little place called Park City. I spent a couple hours at Dolly's Books, an adorable little shop in the middle of a tourist trap marketplace where some of the Olympic skiing events were held a few years back.

And, did I mention the candy? Sue had the candy company bring in a tray of white fudge and rice crispy treats for anyone who talked to me. It must have worked- I sold almost all of my books. The hard part was not eating the whole tray of fudge while I sat next to it for two hours.

I can't believe I've never visited Park City before. I'm definetly going back.

All of it is this beautiful.

Orem was a unique experience. I wish we would have taken more pictures. The Authorpalooza ended up being fun and unusual. Now that James Dashner beat me to posting my own picture, it takes some of the fun out of it. But, here it is, anyway

It was fun talking to the other authors, and meeting a lot of them for the first time. And, I can't tell you how cool and strange it was to have people come up to my table and tell me that they've been following my blog. Sometimes I forget that the whole universe is welcome to read about my quirks. One lady told me that if it wasn't fun, it wouldn't be worth it. So, sorry world, I'm still planning on being me. At least you'll have something to laugh about on a regular basis.

There were so many great people I could tell you about. I finally got to meet Jeff Savage, author of Farworld. Someone dragged him over to my table and he had me sign one of my books for him. It was fun talking to him, and James Dashner, and all the authors too. There were 35 authors, minus the few that didn't come, and a couple that left early. The most disappointing part was realizing how many authors I didn't meet at the end of the night. The ones I missed as I took little field trips from my table and ventured out into the store.

Utah- I won't be gone for long. I've already got plans for more events- and school visits. It's going to be so fun.

And, last but not least, you need to go to Dave's blog. He's done a lot for me lately. Check out the book review, author interview and, drum roll please....... a book giveaway. If you don't go, you can't win. Besides, aren't you interested in the author interview? I answered all the questions in the middle of the night on a laptop while I was in Utah. No spell check or editing. Just the raw me. I can't believe he cut and pasted the whole interview off the e-mail. It makes me laugh.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A day off in Utah

It's Monday afternoon and I'm sitting around reading and checking e-mail. In Utah. I have the whole day off. So weird.

We brought our youngest with us and all the others are in Idaho with family and friends. So, it's really quiet here, in Sandy Utah.

This morning I talked to Michelle, the CRM at the Barnes & Noble in Sandy. She's really excited about the Authorpalooza tomorrow. Her exact words--"I'm really interested in how things are going to go tomorrow night. There's 32 authors. When I say I'm interested, what I really mean is that I'm excited."

She's kind of wondering how it's going to work out with 32 authors and a store full of people. Uhm, so am I. At least I have a guaranteed chair. I guess if you get too tired of standing in line, you could sit on the floor. That's what my boys did when I took them to the Brandon Mull signing in Boise.

Anyway, it's going to be fun.

Michelle is thrilled she gets to be there and have fun without being in charge of anything. Yeah, me too. All I have to do is sit around and smile and hope that some of you all want a copy of my book so I'll have something to do other than watching the fans flock around their favorite authors.

They have a nice line-up of authors coming. Michelle said that after they set the 32 authors, more people wanted to be part of it. The event grew into something that everyone wanted to be a part of. The thing is, it's going to be nothing without you. I mean, there will still be 32 authors in the store and plenty to talk about, but I'm thinking what a big bummer it would be for them to go to so much work and then not have a fantastic crowd.

Authorpalooza August 11 from 7-10 PM -- Barnes & Noble in Orem, Utah

So, you have to come. I mean, why wouldn't you? Unless you happen to live in another state or something. In that case, you're excused.

And, tomorrow afternoon I'm headed to Park City for a book signing at Dolly's Book Store from 1-3. The last time I was in Utah, someone told me I had to go there. I'm looking forward to finding out why.

Wednesday is Layton Barnes & Noble from 12-2, for those of you who just couldn't get to Orem on Tuesday night.

My two year old decided to put herself to bed and take a nap, and for some reason so did my husband. Go figure. I guess a day off once in a while is a good thing.

But, I'm reading. I know, I should be writing. No, I'm still going to read. I don't get quiet afternoons in Utah very often. Better take advantage of it while I can.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Like Mike

Have you seen that movie? This orphan kid gets a pair of Michael Jordan's old basketball shoes and suddenly turns into a superstar basketball player. With his new found ability to make every shot, he is inducted into a big bucks team.

But when he gets there, he wants the autograph of all his basketball heroes.

I kind of feel like that kid. I'm going to Utah in a few hours to do some book signings. I'll give you the list again....

Tomorrow- Saturday- August 8. Book Table from 12:30-3:30 29 S. Main St., Logan Ut

Tuesday, August 11, Park City at Dolly's Book Store from 1-3. 510 Main, Park City UT

Same night -Barnes & Noble in Orem for the Authorpalooza from 7-10 PM.University Crossings Plaza 330 East 1300 South Orem, UT

August 12 from 12-2 in Layton at Barnes & Noble 1780 North Woodland Park DriveLayton Market Center, Layton, UT

Okay, now back to the Like Mike story. I'm going to the Authorpalooza - and I'm going to see all my writing heroes there. But instead of being one of those people standing in line to get their autograph on my book, I'll be sitting next to them signing my book.

Uhm, but I still want their autograph. I mean, these people are big time. Some of them I've been waiting forever to meet. And now that I'm an author too, I wish we could all be good buddies.

But I still feel like that orphan kid who gets thrown into the big leagues. Maybe he can play basketball really well, but that doesn't change the fact that he's looked up to these other people for a long time- respects them and hopes to someday accomplish as much in their career.

At least all of you have good motivation to try to make it to Orem Tuesday night. I mean, you'll get to see me... ha ha. And all those brilliant other authors. I know I'm super excited. I plan to come out of there with several autographs. Maybe even a few bookmarks. The possibilities are endless.

And, I even made sure to have clean, freshly pressed clothes to wear to make my publisher proud.

Seriously, it's going to be so much fun. You know, on second thought, if none of you come, I'll get all those other authors to myself. That wouldn't be such a bad thing either. Think of all the conversations I could have if the store were empty.

Okay, I probably shouldn't say that- I mean, the CRM at B&N in Orem is a super cool lady and I wouldn't want to spoil her evening.

Besides, my real heroes are regular people who do something great. People like you who decide to read my book and tell everyone else to read it too. I hope I get to see some of you in Utah.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Catching up

I can't believe I missed it. Well, almost. You have like one more hour to try to win a signed copy of my book at Journey Through a World of Books. Go there, try to make the deadline. Good luck to you all.

So, catch up with you all really soon. I'm going to finish packing for the big trip to Utah tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maze Runner

Alright. I've got an obsession with books. Occupational hazard. But James Dashner's new book Maze Runner is coming out on my birthday, and I've been trying to get my hands on a copy early.

Which means, I'm doing a blog contest. Melissa Caldwell's giving away an advance reader copy, aka, arc. Sigh. And I want one.

Now you all have to bounce over to her sight to see it. And enter the contest- cuz then you'll win the copy and make me have to wait until my birthday to read it.

And while I'm busy sending you away, go to Dave's blog. He's been kind enough to offer to do an author interview with me and review my book.

And, if you still haven't bought a copy of Alvor- I mean, who hasn't? He is going to be doing a book give-away on his blog soon. You're going to have to check it out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Purple Smile

It was seven and a half years ago, and I haven't thought about it for a long time. But for some reason, the memory bubbled up, so I'm sharing it with you.

It was the week before Christmas- and I wasn't filling stockings or wrapping presents. I was stuck in a hospital room. For a week.

Long story short- I had my thyroid removed because it decided to go crazy and strangle me. I don't know the medical terms- but basically my thyroid suddenly grew really big and cut off my esophagus so I couldn't eat- for a month. I lived on Ensure- a nasty drink that is apparently good for you and that I've vowed never to touch again so long as I live.

Anyway- there I was, a nice big purple sewed up gash on my throat. I looked like someone tried to slit my throat and practically succeeded. The week before Christmas.

My doctor told me I could wear a nice little necklace and no one would notice. What he meant by that was that in a year or two, that little trick would work.

But right then, when I looked in the mirror, I had two smiles. My own lips and the big purple smile on my neck.

I told my sister-in-law that no one would see me any more- they would just see the big purple smile. She said people weren't that shallow.

The day I got out of the hospital I went to the grocery store with my family. Everyone looked at the big purple smile. Most people stared at it, then looked away. Like it was contageous- or scary.

But I'll never forget this one guy who looked at my big purple smile, but then lifted his gaze to my eyes and gave me a compassionate nod. He never said a word, but to me he said, "It's okay. You've been through a lot, but you're going to be okay." I don't know why it made such a difference that a stranger decided to look past the purple smile- but it did. And it taught me something.

Everyone's got some kind of purple smile. Maybe they have a necklace to hide it, and maybe it's so obvious that it's hard not to stare, but the purple smile isn't who they really are. There's so much more to see if we're willing to lift our gaze and look into their eyes and their heart.

Monday, August 3, 2009

And it's only August 3

If the rest of the month goes by like the first three days- August is going to be completely crazy. I know, blogs are where one can look organized and on top of things to the whole world while the toys and laundry piles up in several areas of the house, but seriously... I'm running out of blank days on the calendar.

Not book related, but still cool- I spent Saturday afternoon at the National Guard base performing for and enjoying the Diversity Days celebration. Wow, did they take good care of us. It was unbelievable. They offered ice cold water bottles to us the second we arrived, and asked us to stay for dinner- which I totally did. Meanwhile, "Go check out the free school supplies donated by Family Dollar." I got most of my back to school list of supplies for FREE. Holy cow.

And, if that doesn't just make every mom's day- there was jump houses for the kids, free face painting, and enough candy for all. Between that and not having to cook dinner, I was in mom paradise.

Oh yea, I should mention that my cloggers totally rocked. Our shoes were really loud and everything echoed of the metal covering making us deafening. But we were outside and considering how loud their jets are, I'm sure we hardly made a dent in anyone's hearing.

So, back from the National Guard and onward to a preschool show tomorrow. Nothing too big or too small for my dancers. I talked to the gal who organizes the Women's Fitness Celebration entertainment and she said they had our name down in a hundred places so they wouldn't forget to invite us to their event. I'm sure she was exaggerating- but still- what a nice thing to say.

Changing the subject to writing...
so close, so very close to the end of Book 2. So close.

And, Utah, here I come.

Logan on Saturday- August 8. Book Table from 12:30-3:30-- notice the time change.

Tuesday, August 11, Park City at Dolly's Book Store from 1-3.

Same night -Barnes & Noble in Orem for the Authorpalooza from 7-10 PM.

And Layton at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, August 12 from 12-2.

I think I'm supposed to post a whole blog thing about the Authorpalooza, which apparently is a big deal. My publisher even e-mailed me to tell me to be sure to wear clean clothes that are pressed if necessary. Talk about posh. The pressure... ha ha.

So, I'm thinking I'll have to paint my toes or something. You know, make it really special. Maybe even wear a necklace or something. We'll have to see.