Monday, August 30, 2010

A Brand New Day

It's the first time I've ever put "new blog post" on my list of things to do today. Usually, I float over to my blog and am antsy to fill it up with stuff. But lately I've felt like I had nothing NEW to say.

Now I do.

1. New school year! Today is the first day of school for my kids. All of them have a new bus stop. And, my twins are in first grade, so lots of firsts for them.... all day school, lunch at school, getting on and off the bus with their big brother. So fun!

2. I got a contract today for the next book in the Alvor series. I'll let you know as soon as I find out when the next book will be in stores.

3. Alone at home with my three-year-old. I was figuring out how long it's been since I've had just a three year old at home during the day. Ten years. Ten years ago my oldest was still an only child. It didn't last.

4. And now we have nap-time for my three-year-old. This is big. We had to abandon naps for a couple months this summer because our house was too crazy with kids. Of course, this means writing time for me. YAY!!!

I'll be pulling my kids out of school on Thursday and Friday to go to my niece's wedding on Friday. A five day weekend. I feel like I'm cheating. And then I promise to get back to the regularly scheduled life... work.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Things are changing. The weather kicked into fall gear last night as if someone handed in a calendar informing the storm patterns that most kids are either in school already, or almost. For us, we have one more week.

This morning as I helped my kids get ready for church, my first grader twins kept asking if school was tomorrow. They're so excited. The bus. Lunch at school. Friends, friends and more friends.

We've got the old tennis shoes replaced with new ones. All the boys have haircuts. The backpacks are waiting with baited breath. It's almost here.

They're ready.

And that's about how my contract for the second book of Alvor is right now. It's been edited, several times. Revised some more. And now, we're on our last go-through. Sometime this week I'll hopefully have the last editing suggestions. It's almost there.

Hmm, wish I could say the same thing for the book my agent is shopping out. Wouldn't that be AMAZING?! Someday. It will happen.

The SCBWI conference here in Boise is September 11 at BSU. Here's a peek at some of the guests...

Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Scholastic
Jill Corcoran, agent at the Herman Agency

And I get to present too. I'm excited.

And speaking of things I'm excited about, we're taking the kids to Idaho Falls in a couple weeks for my niece's wedding. Uhm, so, my kids will be in school for three days before we pull them out of school for a five-day weekend. Yeah. Oh well. Hopefully it's warm enough to use the outdoor swimming pool at the hotel.

I'm also very jazzed about the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner. I still can't believe Random House sent me a free book just because I asked nicely. Totally cool. I feel like I'm cheating. I got a free book AND I didn't have to wait until October when it's going to be released. No guilt here at all. Nope. Just pure joy.

Be expecting a book review coming soon. I've never posted a review for any of James's books, so this will be fun. My son who is now in 8th grade did a book report project when he was in 4th grade of one of James Dashner's A DOOR IN THE WOODS books. Back then I had no idea that I would someday write books and that James would become one of my friends. Life is full of wonderful surprises.

Aaah. It's good to realize how many things I have to be excited about. And that's only a few. The more I think about good things, the more ideas start piling up in my head. I could write a whole book on it... don't worry... if I do, I won't make you read it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Randomness

I can't believe it's Wednesday already. The little people are getting bored around here. Record high of crying and moaning going on. I think summer is coming to an end. I realized today that I've only written ten pages in the last two weeks. TEN PAGES!!! Of course, I've edited for several hours, so that should count for something.

Eighth Grade registration was a shocker. It cost over $100 for my son's classes, activity card, year book, lock and I can't remember what else. Then it occurred to me. My twins will be double that when they get into 8th grade. And I'll still have all these other kids to register. Woe. Hopefully I'm rich by then.

Which isn't likely.

Then there's the school clothes, school supplies and who knows what else. How do you people do it? The lottery? Rich relatives?

Okay, I'll stop complaining now.

Lately I've been up to my eyeballs in figuring out clogging costumes. I've seen more sparkly material in the last few weeks than the Miss America Pageant. And that's saying something. But I've got a lot of it figured out... I think.

This is the point where I should stop worrying about what we're going to wear and start worrying about what we're going to dance. Choreography season... I will get to it. I will.

In the meantime, can I just put a good word out there for all the boy dancers! I love it. This is a great time to dance if you're a guy. In fact, I have more guys than girls in one of my levels. Unheard of for me. And so cool. We're doing an all-boys class just because we can. So awesome.

And, my thirteen-year-old son taught a step to my adult performing team last week. That was amazing. After watching him teach them, I gained a whole new appreciation for his talent. Now if I could just get him to take out the garbage with that much enthusiasm...

Great, now I sound like I'm bragging. I'm not. Just thinking out loud... as it were.

My publisher found someone who has never read Alvor to review my second book to the series. They want a fresh eye to make it a strong enough story to stand alone. Hopefully we'll wrap up the editing soon.

In the meantime, I get to see my soon-to-be married niece and family this Saturday! Yay!

And I can't believe I'm saying this... but I'm excited for school to start. Don't tell my kids. But maybe they're getting excited too. Friends. Lots of friends. If you didn't have to wake up early there really wouldn't be a downside.

Okay, end of random rambling. Until next time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Someone at Walmart

My grandma sent this to me today. It just struck me with more than one reaction. Try it on and see what you think....

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really
tidy, clean-shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company and
obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.
One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.
"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang up job,
but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."
''Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.
It's odd though your coming in late.
I know you're retired from the Armed Forces.
What did they say if you came in late there?"

''They said, "Good morning, General, can I get you coffee, sir?'''

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lost two pounds... and other mysteries of the Universe

For all my international visitors, I didn't lose money. I'm not even sure I lost fat. Is it possible to lose two pounds of your brain?

Yesterday I went in for my annual check-up. No matter how I try to skirt the issue, they always manage to make me step on the scale. Oh yeah. Everyone's favorite part.

Except my son, but that doesn't count. Thirteen year old boys love to see that they've grown two inches in the last month and gained two pounds to go with it. Alas, I was never a thirteen year old boy.

And it doesn't matter how much you suck it up when you stand on the scale, you weigh the same. Dang it. What did I eat for lunch? Did it weigh a lot? I can't even remember.

So the Dr. comes in and tells me how perfectly healthy I am, and to top it off, I lost two pounds since last year's visit.


More like gained five pounds. Really. Not kidding.

See, last April I decided to buy these fancy Sketcher Tone up shoes that have rounded soles. They're supposed to be super good for you and all that. I bought them so my knee would stop hurting. My knee did stop hurting. It was like a miracle shoe.

Except that after walking in them for 45 minutes 3-4 times a week on top of my regular exercise schedule I GAINED 5 POUNDS!!!! Seriously. What is up with that?

Sure sure, muscle weighs more than fat. But see, I have fat, which means that the extra muscle is probably pushing my uhm, thigh line or something. I'm not skinnier. Actually, I'm pretty much the same, except that I weigh more and I'm NOT excited about that.

Now, if physics could just come into play, all that extra muscle would raise my metabolism and I'd lose fat. Right? Only in the text books I think.

For me, I'm still scratching my head. How did I weigh so much last year? Was I wearing my shoes AND holding my purse? Probably. Those scales always throw me off my groove.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

EAT LOVE PRAY- and those who won

It's been two weeks since I posted the contest for a $50 gift card to CSN stores and EAT LOVE PRAY book giveaway. Today's the day we announce the winners!

Congratulations to ladystorm, winner of the gift card and theladya, winner of the book.

And thanks to everyone who took a moment to share some of your dreams. I loved reading all the places you wanted to go and what you hoped to learn someday. And I think everyone had some attainable aspirations. So go for it. Learn it. See it. Someday you will if you want to badly enough.

I appreciate how diverse the people are who come to share a thought here at my blog. There are many days when I wish we could see each other in person. The things I could learn from you would be endless.

As for a quick update... the last two weeks I

1. spent hours editing the second book of Alvor. Crossing my fingers for a contract soon.
2. went on a mini-vacation to McCall and had a blast with my family. Too bad laundry waits for me now.
3. still writing, but hey, editing more than writing.
4. housework and all the stuff I try not to think about. Been busy with that too.
5. picking out new costumes for my cloggers. Where's my genius sister-in-law when I need her?
6. did a book presentation for some young women in Mountain Home. It made me want to do more visits. I love it.

There you have it. Hope to have some good news to share about books soon. Notice the word HOPE. Key word.