Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Scary Night

It turns out I'm married to my dream vampire.

Thank goodness he doesn't really bite. Although he disagrees.

Tomorrow- I'll get some pictures up of the kids.

Till then- Have a safe, if not scary, and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

On your mark, get set....

It's almost here.

You're probably thinking Halloween. And yeah, we're pretty excited for that holiday at our house. Is there another holiday where sugar is more glorified and easily accessible?

November is almost here. And besides the fact that I'm taking all five of our kids to the dentist on Monday, it marks the beginning of a national writing frenzy.

I'm talking about NaNoWriMoAs a writer, I love this month. So very much. November is my chance to re-focus on writing. Maybe it's because I feel like I have a good excuse to tuck in thousands of words a week. Or maybe it's knowing how many other people are out there writing like crazy too.

But I should tell you right now, I've never once done a real NaNoWroMo. The real NNWM involves beginning a brand new story and writing as much as you can on that novel during November. There are contests to see who can write the most words- stuff like that.

So far, every year when November rolls around, I'm already in middle of a story and I want to keep working on it. This year, I have an even better reason to keep writing on the same novel. My agent is anxious for me to get my latest WIP (work in progress) done.

I wish I were already done. I've already taken more time writing this story than any other book that I've worked on. I started it 8 months ago. Wow. It's really been that long.

*Me, shaking my head*

My goal is to get this thing done in November.

I've learned that each story takes a different road. My WIP is a contemporary YA with the tiniest touch of science fiction. The story is heavier than anything I've ever tried to write. It takes a whole new level of emotional clarity and awareness to make it honest and real.

Meanwhile, I have to balance the literary with action. I guess that's why it has taken me so long to write this thing.

I believe in writing goals, and while the rest of you NaNoWriMo people are typing wildly away, I'll be working steadily to meet my own goal next month.

Happy writing to all of you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It's that time of year again when things are going around. This week at my house, it's the stomach flu. I know. So exciting. Really, you may have an idea of just how much excitement that has been, especially if you were fortunate enough to have your child sitting behind my six-year-old during the Primary program last Sunday.

But that's not the kind of contagious I wanted to talk about.

It's so easy to catch a cold. Or the flu.
But how easy is it to catch success? Hmmm. Why isn't success contagious?

How many people do you know that have made it to where you want to be? How many people have you seen get there while you struggle to take those same steps?

Success might not be contagious like the flu, but if we want to get some of it, I think it's possible. Maybe we won't have the same exact path to our success, but by using some methods of the successful, we are going to get a lot closer to our goal than if we try to go it alone without any role models to look up to.

And, you are going to look a whole lot different when you get to your top than that other person did. We're all so different. Our idea of success varies a lot too. Is success money-based? Is it friend-based? Family? Love? Education?

Most the time it's a combination of all of those things with some rating a higher percentage than others.
And how do you know if you get there?

Well, you never "get there". Every time you reach the top of the hill you were climbing, you look out and see an even bigger mountain ahead. Another goal. Another struggle to get to the next top.
Which is why we can't "catch" success. We can only keep heading towards it.
So here's to the mountain you're climbing. Bring a water bottle and keep taking those steps.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What are you reading?

I don't know if it has anything to do with the fall weather, or if I'm just always like this and I never noticed, but I've been loving reading like crazy lately. The only problem with this is re-reading everything I own, but still wishing for new books.

Sure, there are plenty of good ones that are fun to read the second time around too, but a new book right now is like cheesecake. A new book that is super wonderful is like chocolate cheesecake.

What's on my plate right now? I'm re-reading Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. I just finished Uglies, again. I finished Firelight (which I loved) by Sophie Jordan and I'm reading My Double Life by Janette Rallison.
I went to Costco on Saturday and found a stack of books I wanted. Not that I bought, mind you, just that I wanted. A nice hundred dollar or so stack. Aaahhhh. I love books.

On Amazon last week I ordered The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards by Dinah Bucholz.

Because it sounded so cool and I can't imagine how fun it's going to be to eat Harry Potter food for Halloween.
I'm still waiting for that one to arrive. I hardly ever buy cookbooks. It takes something pretty creative, like Chocolate Never Faileth, by Annette Lyon or something equally alluring to catch my attention.
I'm not so good with keeping up with Goodreads or Shelfari, but I do read. A lot. And, let's face it, I would rather spend my time writing books that giving public reviews books I've read.

Hope you find a good book to lose yourself in. I only mention books I think would do the trick, so be brave. Try one out. Well, take into consideration that I love Middle Grade and Young Adult. And yummy food that I may never figure out how to make. But I'll try anyway.

And tell me what you're reading. I'm always on the hunt for another good book.

Friday, October 22, 2010


In case you think I've stopped doing all things authorly, here's a fun dig going on tomorrow.

If you're looking for something to do this Saturday, check out Booktoberfest from 10-6. This non-profit event includes booths for area writing groups, local author spotlights, book signings and a kids' corner. The festival goal is to connect, inspire and educate writers throughout the Treasure Valley.

I'll be speaking at 1:50.

The address is
1422 South Tech Lane
Meridian, ID, 83642

(Off of Overland just past Roaring Springs. The event area is directly on your right as you enter.)

Speaking of looks like I need to come up with another power point presentation. My husband suggested I just put up a bunch of random pictures that have nothing to do with what I'm saying so that everyone has something interesting to do while I'm talking. Was that a hint?

So, if you're in the area and you want something fun, free and different to do- come. You can bring the kids.

And while we're talking about events, put this one on your calendar too. November 19- Rock to Read. Sounds cool. It will be. Check out this article

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wicked Good Shoes

I had to choose something. Something......

It took me hours. CSN has so many choices.
Did I go with the light fixture or the globe????

Well, my feet stepped in and chose for me. Years ago I had problems with my arches and my Dr. threatened to slap me in a cast for 5 weeks. Maybe I've been dancing too much, or running around in my slippers too many hours of the day, but when my feet started killing me, I knew I had to do something.

So I did my research and found Alegria Paloma- cute little Mary Jane shoes that work magic on arches.I got them yesterday and they are awesome. Really.

CSN was super easy to work with and they even upgraded my shipping for free. Fast. I couldn't believe it.

Now my only problem is, I want more of those shoes! Aaaah. My arches don't hurt anymore... We'll see how my feet do after six hours of dancing between today and tomorrow.

No, I'm not getting too old for this. No way.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Look Up

The other day someone asked me why I had glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of my dance studio.

In the winter months it gets dark earlier. Sometimes, due to a storm or some other cause, we lose power. It doesn't happen very often, but when the bright studio is plunged suddenly into darkness it can cause panic.

Panicked kids can get hurt.

So I have the stars.

If the lights ever go out during class, I just say, "Look up."

They look up and see the ceiling full of glowing stars and they forget that it's dark. Every time, the stars have calmed my students- students of every age. It's not scary when you can look up and see the stars.

And maybe it doesn't even make logical sense. The stars aren't bright enough to light the studio. The kids are still in the same black room with the same question in their minds... Is the power going to go back on soon?

But I'm here to tell you that it does work. Every time. And I've been thinking about it since the question was posed.

Does your life feel like the power went out? Are you sitting in some form of darkness and you're not sure when it will ever get light again? Are you feeling your way around a big room hoping to figure out where the door is?

It's kind of a funny thing, but real life has stars. I don't care where in the world you live, if you look up in the middle of the blackest night, you'll see the stars.

Sometimes stars might be gratitude. Realizing all the things you do have. Stars might be your dreams, knowing you're not going to stay in the dark room forever. Stars can be prayer. Knowing that no matter what, you're never alone. Stars can be other people, sharing the moment with you so that being in the dark isn't as hard.

Look up. You'll see there are stars. And it won't be forever before the lights come back on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A peek into my glamorous life....

If you thought that meant posh furniture, console tables with roses... hmmm, it's making me want one just thinking about it.... then you haven't seen my glamorous life.

It's October and I've been in a bit of a funk. I spent the last two days sewing a witch dress for my six-year-old and avoiding the general population because I have pinkeye. Pinkeye does not look better with makeup, by the way. Still pink. And if it's so dang contagious, I'm guessing it's only a matter of hours before my other eye catches it... ha ha ha.

But sewing. You know, the weirdest thing about sewing is that I normally hate doing it. But then October funk rolls around and all I feel like doing is sewing costumes. Seriously. It's almost like an obsession. I don't want to write, do housework or anything but sew the cutest little costumes.

Don't worry, I'm gonna get over the costume thing really soon. The dress is almost finished, but the Zorro cape waits for me. I need a sword right now. Whipping that thing in a big fat Z would be so satisfying.

Told you I was crazy.

And, because I wanted to find out first hand what CSN stores were like, I decided to review one of their products. There are so many things, how will I ever choose????

Do I go with the floating globe or the aqua towels? Or should I be more practical and buy a light for the living room? We don't exactly have any lights in our living room. Did you know CSN has over 11,000 pendant lights to choose from? I think I'm going to make my husband choose.

As long as I'm aimlessly rambling, I have to tell you that I'm reading FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan and I'm loving it. It took me by surprise. This is one of those stories I will read more than once. It's such a rare treat to randomly buy a book and have it be such a winner. Get it. Read it. It's that good.

Okay, my mountain of laundry calls. Back to my glamorous life....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Gift of a....

Every year, I share my birthday. It's sort of a family tradition. It all started when I had my first child. The wrapping paper was so colorful and fun....why does Mom get to open it and not Me?

And it's not that much fun opening presents with my kids all sitting there with sad looks on their faces because all the presents are for me instead of them.

Back in the day, we would go to the mall and let the kids choose something small at the Disney Store. We always had a modest price limit but they were thrilled beyond reason.

Then the Disney Store went out of business. I guess that kind of kills the trip to the mall. And the kids have school, and after that, after-school activities. I'm still trying to figure out the perfect thing.

And I doubt it means as much to them as it does to me, but as I thought about my birthday this week, I decided to give them something different. Well, and on a selfish note, I gave them something that I wanted.

Clean bedrooms.

Uhh, this is the part where you all realize how domestically challenged I am. It took me two hours per bedroom. And I didn't even clean under their beds. They do have these under-bed boxes though, so there's really not a whole lot to do. I usually make them shimmy under their beds to grab the stray toys and lost socks.

But this time I did it while they were in school.

And you know what? They didn't really care. My six-year-old son immediately filled his vacant dresser top with toys. My nine-year-old son was in heaven that I found his lost game. My six-year-old daughter was sure I stole all her bracelets...after all, if they're not all over the floor, they must be gone forever!

Just to make things fair, I cleaned my room too. I found more things that I had lost than what they had lost. What does that tell you? Oh, yeah, and it took longer than two hours to clean my room.

I won't say that my house is sparkling clean. It would take a crew of professionals to accomplish that. And probably a remodel. Seriously, there is only so much you can do with used carpet from the neighbor's house in your living room and an unfinished ceiling. Uhh, not to mention the eroding panel walls, the scary kitchen counters and we don't even want to get into what the bathroom needs.....

But, I will say that I feel happy every time I go into the kids' rooms. And, for rest of the house, I'm lucky enough to live in my future-house-of-my-dreams. It's what I've always to move, a pasture out back with horses, my very own dance studio and a place for the kids to play.

In five years my house will be 100 years old. And I will always get to feel young next to it.

The only thing I wanted for my birthday was for my family to be happy. I was lucky enough to get that. And I feel blessed. When I think of everything else I have in addition to that, I feel grateful beyond words. Especially grateful for the One who gave me everything, and all that I will ever have.