Month: July 2012

Such Happy News

Guys, listen.

Remember Bright Blue Miracle? And how I love that book? And how it was my first really, really published book? And how I love that book? And how it sold lots of copies, but not quite enough? And how, after a year, it became one of the Out of Print? And how I still love it inside my heart, even if it feels like the squinty-eyed, red-headed stepchild of the published-book world? Remember?

Well.

I got a letter (in the MAIL!) from the nice folks at Shadow Mountain publishers this weekend. They are very happy to tell me that BBM will be again commercially available to those of us who like books with pages (vs pixels — it’s been selling as an ebook all this time). ISN’T THAT HAPPY NEWS?

Well, I think it is. And if you’re interested, here is the link to a website where you can purchase one of your very own. Or, you know, two.

Is this all news to you? Are you unaware that BBM exists? Well, then. Here is a very short (off-the-cuff) blurb: Marriage changes everything. At least it does when Leigh’s mom marries Paul — and brings along his perfect daughter Betsy to misalign all that was finally right in Leigh’s life. Some laughs, some tears, some ice cream… and a love triangle. It’s all here. [1] (Contemporary YA. With squeaky-clean romance elements and at least one Really Great Kissing Scene.) (Also available from Amazon, with some great reviews, here.)

Is it any surprise to you that self-promo is not my greatest human strength? But guys, I do love this book. Really and truly and gladly. So I wanted you to share a second of my happy news.

Because, you know. I like you, too.

[1] I know. Just call me when you need a completely thoughtless write-up of a book you spent years writing. I can only do as much for you. 🙂

Overheard, Vacation Style

I went to wake up Kid 1 to do Insanity this morning. (Yes. Really.) I knocked on her vacation-rental-bedroom in the cabin in the woods. I sat down on her Very Squeaky Mattress and said, “Good morning. I hope you had a good sleep. Let’s get up and exercise.”

She said, “I named my bed.”

“Pardon?”

“I named my bed last night. Do you want to know what?” She asked. As she rolled over, her mattress gave another almighty squeak.

“Of course I do.”

“Chastity.”

That’s my girl.

TOP TEN THINGS I Learned at Girls’ Camp

10. Leftovers = happiness.

9. The right mattress-pad camping thingie makes all the difference.

8. “Lights Out” is hilarious. Completely.

7. Two words: Banana Creamies.

6. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. But give them a responsibility and they’ll amaze you to the end of the project.

5. Showers. We like them.

4. Saying the nice thing out loud is MUCH better than only thinking it.

3. Lake, paddle boat, good friend and an orange. What more do you really need?

2. Asking for what you need gets you exactly what you need. Who knew?

1. It’s good to be home.

Grosserie

Want to know what I find gross?

Milk. [1]

And what I find more gross?

Milk falling out of the fridge and exploding onto the kitchen floor, under the fridge and under the oven.

Grosser than that?

Having it happen twice. In one morning. Before 8:15.

—-

Happy Sunday, Day of Rest. Come on over and I’ll hand you a mop.

—-

[1] Sorry, milk lovers. I will put rice milk on cereal and I will drink coconut milk straight from the carton, no glass needed. But if it comes from a cow, it ought to be ice cream. Or butter, obviously. Or cheese. Or possibly custard. You get me?

Stuff Again

A reason to love my husband: He knows what to do when a replacement modem shows up on the doorstep. Viola! Internets. Rah!

I was doing a HUGE shopping trip today at Costco to prepare for church girls’ camp next week. Like 3 baskets full, big, HUGE trip. A lovely older couple (white hair and happy wrinkles) stopped and asked what we were shopping for, and then wished us luck. After a minute, the gentleman came back and said, “Do you know what Luck is?” I asked him what. He quoted Vince Lombardi, which I can’t probably do, but it was something like this: “Luck is the residue of careful planning.” I showed that sweet man my list (tracking sheet), and he said, “Good luck,” with an understanding and confident nod. I sort of wanted to bring him home forever.

Chicken salad sandwiches. On croissant. For a girl who thinks mayonnaise is icky, that there is some pretty great food.

DeNae posted a beautiful, funny, lovely story today. Maybe you should read it. 

It’s Friday the 13th, and I don’t care.

INSANITY. The workout. I’m 5 days in. And still walking up and down the stairs on my own power. Muscles are growing. Then I hope thighs and arms will start shrinking. Husband’s arms are exploding. That guy grows biceps really fast. I like arms. Mostly his.

Life without internets is not the same life I love to live every day. I’m not addicted. I just like the internet like I like oxygen and water.

I got to teach two different teen writer’s classes this week. My visit to the U of U teen writers’ camp was lovely and delightful, and Allie, Ellie, Alex and Hayden were VERY BRAVE and put their work up for us all to read. I love writer kids. And our Wasatch County Library teen writer day was a blast. Such darling, lovely kids. All girls this time, including 2 of my very favorites. Sometimes known as 1 and 2.

It is trying very hard to rain today. I hope it succeeds. Fires are bumming me out, if you want to know the truth. In fact, wouldn’t it be funny (the ironic kind of funny) if it rained all next week while I’m up on top of the mountain for camp? Hahahaha. That would be ironic-hilarious. It would.

Kid 2 is now firmly devoted to Kneaders’ Raspberry Bread Pudding. Send it her way, apparently.

My flower baskets hanging from the porch are lovely and thriving. It’s a tiny miracle in my life, and I like it.

Kid 3 is rereading the Harry Potter books. She started 2 days ago. She has finished 2 books. Also done some chores, showered, and visited the Rope Swing. That girl loves Harry like her mama loves Harry.

Okay. Here’s hoping next time I come around here, I’ll have something brilliant to say.

No guarantees.

What? Still? (Yes.)

Shalll we discuss  the issues involved with no Internet? We shall. After I don’t have to blog on my phone. Soon. I hope.

 

Meanwhile, off to get some totally non Internet related work done. Boo. I prefer the Internet related variety.

Good Stuff

Guys, listen. My dear friend L.T. is involved in this great charity thing. I’m not asking you for money — I’m giving you an opportunity to help out if you’re looking for a way to share your bounty.

Here are the deets:

L.T. Elliot is a part of a team working to raise funds on behalf of special needs kids in Nicaragua. The Los Pipitos School in San Juan del Sur helps educate and enrich the lives of children who, due to their limited abilities, would be otherwise unable to take advantage of a regular classroom education. In early August, volunteers are going to Nicaragua to bring school supplies and funds to help keep the school running.

About The School

This special needs school provides an educational experience for the mentally and physically disabled that a regular school cannot. Their goal is to help their students develop to their full abilities and be able to live as normal and independent lives as their disabilities will allow. Disabilities range from cerebral palsy to Down syndrome to mental retardation and brain damage. Beyond the classroom, they provide activities that these children would not otherwise be able to do, including teaching them to surf, dance, and make music.

 

What they need

It costs the foundation $150 per month to pay for the teacher’s salary and $200 per month to pay for bus transportation for the students at the school. Many of the students are confined to wheel chairs and live in communities with dirt roads; therefore if the foundation does not transport them to school then they will not be able to attend. Also, they desperately need school supplies. Unfortunately they cannot rely on the postal system to receive the supplies so they rely on visitors to bring supplies with when traveling to Nicaragua.

 

How you can help

All children deserve an education, and too often special needs children are overlooked. In order to keep the school in operation for another year, it’s our intention to raise $4,200 to go toward teacher’s salaries and the cost of transportation for the children. The remaining portion will be used to buy and transport school supplies as well as help the school to buy new chairs, desks, and chalkboards for the classrooms. Help these children by being the change you want to see in the world. No contribution is too small: $1, $5, whatever your can give; every dollar counts. Time is short and we need your support to give these children hope for a brighter future!

HERE is the link to the funding page. (It’s kind of like KICKSTARTER; you can donate from that there page.) This is a sweet way for those of us who are privileged in every way to help out some who are… not so much. Thanks to L.T. for being a great example of humanitarianism and heart-felt charity. (Visit her blog here to get her take on the project.)

Re-Re-Revision

It’s that time again. Revision. Re-revision. Re-re-revision. (That sort of implies that it started with a VISION, right? And that should help this process along.)

Agent M sent the latest round of notes, I read them right away, and I’ve taken the weekend to process. A few thoughts on the whole deal:

— Far fewer notes than the last revision (does that mean I’m getting closer?)

— I remind myself about the generous and kind comments she’s made in past versions, and I ask for a compliment now and then, as my confidence begins to slip. (She sends the compliments and reminds me that she loves my invented characters. *sigh of relief*)

— It’s still MY story, even though Agent M has invested a great deal of time (at least 3 thorough readings at this point) and effort (wow, I need a lot of coaching) in making it better. And it is getting better. But ultimately, decisions lie with me.

— I’m rediscovering how much trust I’m placing in Agent M. It feels great, GREAT to let myself be guided by her professional wisdom.

— After many thousand new words, still only a few words are up for deletion. (I’m an adder, not so much a subtractor, apparently.)

— This is WORK. Remember when revisions (in school or something) meant changing a word, or a phrase, or a paragraph? Yeah. I remember that, too.

— The things that go on behind the scenes in the story, the implied parts, are very clear in my head. But at some point, they may need to be made clear to the readers. This may cause hair-tearing and whinging. Why is it that what’s clear inside my head becomes so muddied when I try to extract it?

— Right is better than Quick. What in the world is my hurry?

— Still very grateful to be on this ride. Very, very grateful.