Friday, February 26, 2010

Evolution of Love... and Are You Smarter than a First Grader?

Happy Friday. I can't do a Free Book Friday until I actually get off my butt and mail the books to the previous winners. Hopefully next week.

Must Be Love

Kid C came home with a Valentine Card from one of his favorite girls. He has four favorites. But he told me he can't be in love with any single one of them until he's sixteen years old. 

I don't know where he gets his information, but I thought this reasoning was sound. So I called up my first grade boyfriend and told him I couldn't have really been in love with him, and I faked all my love letters. He asked for his pin back. It was a Michael Jackson pin.

In third grade, my cohorts and I had moved from monogamous relationships to that all out free-for-all known as kissing tag. This one boy with a brown turtle-neck (I can't for the life of me remember his name) followed me all around school, trying to tag me. I mean, "tag" me. Which, in this case, really does mean tag me, because as much as we played the game, I'm pretty sure there was no actual kissing involved. 

Anywho, turtle-neck boy followed me around the whole school, and all I could think about was how his turtle-neck must be choking the life out of him. So, although I didn't get any "action", I did develop my endearing aversion to "things that choke". i.e. turtle-necks, necklaces, rings, scarves... Units clothing.

In sixth grade, I received my first kiss. Her name was Tiffany and it was a game of spin the bottle. We were at an all-girls sleepover, and I'm pretty sure when we read the rules to "spin the bottle" we must've missed the part where it says: "Works better in a co-ed environment."

In the immortal words of Katy Perry: I kissed a girl. I didn't like it, but I did taste cherry chapstick.

I'll tackle the junior high and high school years next week. But back to Carter's Valentine Letter... he asked me to decipher it.
**Don't scroll down if you want to play**

It seriously took me hours. Don't try to read the words as words. That's impossible. Just pretend someone spilled alphabet soup on a piece of paper and your job is to sound them all out. Scroll down a ways for the answer, but let me know in the comments if you could figure it out without scrolling down.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kid C Speaks Chinese. Who knew?

Announcing the winner of The Dark Divine and The Way He Lived...

Random Number Generator:

Winner = Shauna.

Congratulations Shauna! Please email me your address. (My email addy is in sidebar).

Chronicles of Kid C (Like Chronicles of Riddick, only better)
Kid C came home the other day from school, devastated.

kid C: "Brodi [yeah, he still calls me Brodi], did you know there are people who kill fish?"

I assumed he was thinking about the welfare of our new fish, Chopie.

me: "um... yeah..."

Kid C: "Did you know they kill them... and... eat them?"

me: "You don't say..."

Kid C: "That's bad, right? They're bad people, right?"

me (Only because I don't particularly like fish): "Yeah. Very bad."

Kid C: "They don't realize fish have lives. I saw a man kill a fish."

me: "Where?"

Kid C: "In China."

me: "When did you go to China?"

Kid C: "Remember that time I didn't come home for dinner? I was in China."

me: "Oh."

Kid C: "Did you know when you're in China, you have to speak in a different Lang-goo-ish. Or they won't understand you. Here's how I sound when I'm in China:"

I hope no one's offended by Kid C's fake Chinese...

I'm off for a writing day with Bree Despain. Which means I'm not gonna get a lot of writing done today...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cardio Tennis: It's not Pole Dancing, and It's Not for Wusses. It's not for Super Cool People Either.

Thanks to everyone who entered Friday's contest, and special thanks to those of you who provided a Morgan Freeman Mad Lib. The winner will be announced on Wednesday's post.

What I'm Reading: Just started Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
What I'm Writing: 15,000 words on current WIP

1. Happy Monday, y'all.

**Sam told me to warn you: Don't read following paragraph if you haven't had breakfast**
Well, not very happy at our house. Kid B has been blowing chunks. You know it's bad when the only solid chunks are made of milk.

**End Warning**

I know this, because it was all over me. I think he lost half his body weight with that move.

2. Cardio Tennis: It's not what you think...
Saturday morning, my friend Alissa convinced me to go to a Cardio Tennis workout. She convinced me by telling me there would be music.

I'd never been to Cardio Tennis. All I could picture was all of us with our racquets, jogging in place to the beat of the music, or stepping up and down on a platform, or dancing around a metal pole suspended from the ceiling.

What else was I supposed to think, when I Googled Cardio Tennis and found this:
Am I alone on this? That is not what playing tennis looks like. With one arm, she's pretending to hold a pail of water, and with the other, she doesn't even look like she knows she's holding a racquet. She's either about chop vegetables with that thing, or dismember her students.

And I thought, if there's going to be dismemberment, I'm so there.

So we get there, and we are the only girls, with eight men. The instructor comes out with a boom box (do people still call it this? Boom box?), blasts some 90's techno rock, and then she starts firing balls at us.

It was intense, and it looked nothing like the picture. At one point, I was paired against this one guy. I was instructed to hit passing shots. He was instructed to sacrifice everything including life and limb to thwart me. It was war and it was ugly.

Afterward, as we were picking up balls and bloody appendages, he sidled up to me and we both acknowledged the fierceness of our competitor a la Starsky and Hutch.

him: "I like your style."

me: "I like your moves."

3. Ice Dancing. Class with a capital K. 

Anyone catch the ice dancing last night? Anyone see the Russian pair, and wonder what alternate universe we'd landed in where this is a sport?

At least they weren't toting guns and shooting stuff.

So, how was your weekend? What are you Reading/Writing?

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Morgan Freeman Teaches us about Writing Novels... and Free Book Friday

Free Book Friday

Today, it's a Writer Peeps special! 

First I am giving away a signed copy of Bree Despain's THE DARK DIVINE. She is #3 Crazy in my writer's group. (Although lately, she's been making a push for #1)

Also, I'm giving away Emily Wing Smith's THE WAY HE LIVED. She's #2 Crazy since 2009. 

Read to the bottom to find out how to enter.

Here's What's on my Mind:

1. It's been one of those weeks. You know, the kind where everyone around you is eating message hearts that say, "Be Mine" and "I'm Yours" and "So Cute" and then you open yours to find this:
How did the heart makers know? The next heart I drew said "So, Suck it".  I didn't bother to take a picture of that one. 

I stopped drawing hearts after that. Chances are the next heart would say, "Grow a pair". 

2. The Olympics: Full of Characters I care about.
 Shaun White hangs a Double McFlurry
(Okay, maybe that's not a real trick name)

When watching the Olympics, I've been saying to Sam, "You gotta watch Vonn... She knows how to triumph over adversity" and "Here's Lindsey Jacobellis. Do you think she'll redeem herself?" and "Morgan Freeman says Shaun White is gonna do something that's gonna blow my mind!"

I got thinking about how this applies to writing a good novel: plot doesn't matter if the reader doesn't care about the characters. 

Without Morgan Freeman, Vonn would've been some stranger in spandex going really fast down a hill, and it left me wondering, how would Morgan Freeman narrate my life in 30 seconds or less?

It's like a Mad Lib.

When [insert name] was a little [girl/boy]
[She/he] would [insert endearing quirky characteristic, like eating cardboard, or drawing on bedroom walls]
And the other kids would [make fun of/spit in his or her jello]

Today, you can find [him/her] on the [mountain/ice/snow]
doing [crazy stunt/triple axels/going 90 mph]
And you know what? Nobody spits in her jello anymore.

Go World.

So, in honor of Morgan Freeman, to enter the contest:

1. Follow the blog. (This time, it's only open to followers. So, Follow first)

2. Leave a comment. Easy Peezy.

3. For a bonus entry, include how Morgan Freeman would narrate your life in 30 seconds or less. Feel free to use the Mad Lib.

4. Want one more entry? Tweet about the contest. Include the link in the comments.

You have until the end of the weekend to enter. Yay! Go World. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How the Olympics are like the Hunger Games... and the Free Book Friday Winner

The Free Book Friday Winner is:

Email me your address and book choice. (My email addy is in sidebar)

Many of you have asked how I pick the winners. It's simple:

1.    I assign a number to every commenter, starting at 1 with the first commenter, and continuing on. If the commenter has tweeted or blogged about it, they get another number too.

2.    I take all the numbers, and I write them on separate squares of toilet paper, and attach each one to a tiny little parachute.
3.    Sam then takes them sky-bound and drops them over Vancouver.

They are judged in much the same way as the pairs figure skating event, with high points awarded for artistry and synchronicity, and with a slight proclivity toward Russian entrants.

Anyone watching the Olympics?
Evan Lysacek was amazing on the ice last night. He makes it look so effortless. 
Okay, maybe that move took a little effort.

I love watching men's skating, because like many girls from my generation, I wanted to grow up to be Johnny Weir.
 Did you see the looks he was throwing the judges last night? He'd wink at them like they could get him VIP seating at the Bedazzler Convention. (I bought my tickets last June. I can't wait!)

Winter Sports can be extreme, and not just a little schizophrenic. Like the biathlon. 

Cross country skiers are forced to stop after each lap, drop to their knees with skis on, and shoot targets. It just seems so random.

Like the gamemaker was all, "They go round and round in circles, with sticks on their feet, then they stop and..." scratches head... "get attacked by bears?... no... chew 17 saltine crackers and whistle the Star Spangled Banner?... no... I know! Carry an egg in a spoon!"

They were about to give up when another guy was all, "Let's just have them drop to the ground and shoot stuff. We'll make 'em carry their own rifles."

It's something straight out of Hunger Games. I'm just waiting for the Muttations to appear.

Anyone else watching? Anyone else putting off writing to watch women's hockey? I know I am.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Our Dinner turned into the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

1. There's still time to enter the Free Book Friday contest. It's open until... well... tomorrow. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday's post.

2. How was all y'all's Valentine's Day? 

Whoops. I meant:

Sam took me to the most romantic sports bar in the city, where the televisions outnumber the patrons, and the chips come in a big metal bucket, with the Corona insignia on the side. Step back, ladies... he's mine.

I couldn't help watching the televisions, seeing as how there were so many, and they were showing all these factoids about Canada. 

Turns out, that's all I could talk about.

me: "Can you believe Canada reaches into the Arctic Circle?"

Sam: "I never really thought about it. Or wanted to think about it."

me: "90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. So they're probably not too cold."

Sam: "Are you gonna talk about Canada the whole time?"

me: "No... But I just think it's weird that Kanata is the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word for "village" or "settlement.""

Sam: "How's your mom doing?"

me: "I don't wanna talk about my mom."

Sam: "Well I don't wanna talk about Canada!"

It was very romantic. Sam got me a tiny little ring, in the hopes that I'd actually start wearing one. 
My hand looks huge...

When I opened the box, I exclaimed, "He went to Jared!" just for fun.

Everybody came up to Sam to congratulate him on his fine decision. The commercials were right: Men revered him, and women envied me.

Then the waitress came over and said, "But I thought every kiss begins with Kay!"

At that point, the entire restaurant split into Kay factions and Jared factions, and one side started singing, "When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day..."

And the other side painted their faces blue and shouted, "They may take our lives, but they will never take... our FREEDOM!"

They drew swords and brawled. Sam and I sneaked out the back door. I didn't bother telling everyone he really went to Fred Meyer to buy the ring. It just doesn't have the same ring.

added: here's the ring. I had to use the Super Macro lens. But that's nothing to be ashamed about.

It's thin and tiny, and it feels like I'm not wearing a ring at all. Which is the only way I like my rings, what with the fact that too often they choke my fingers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Having a Passion for Writing... Why I'll Never Best Gershwin... and Free Book Friday

Free Book Friday!
I got a buttload of books at the Authorpalooza!

Your choice. To enter, leave a comment on today's topic. Want a second entry? Tweet about it or blog about it, and then let me know in the comment.

1. Blogging Presentation

I gave a presentation on blogging the other night at the SCBWI thingee, and I'm trying to figure out how to give access to the notes through my blog. So, I'll work on it this morning and it should be here by this afternoon.

2. One last word on the odds and passion.

The other day I was playing the piano. It's a 1940's Wurlitzer, and although it's old and ugly, it reminds me of my Grandma - Yaya - who could play the piano by ear. Okay, that sentence didn't come out as well as I'd planned, especially the "old and ugly" part sounding like it reminded me of Yaya, who was anything but ugly... anywho. Her picture is on top. 
Remind me to tell you some stories of Yaya because she is a hoot. 

So, I was working on a really hard song, and Sam comes in the room.

Sam: "Sounding good. You still working on that Gershwin?"

Me: "Yep."

Sam: "How long have you been practicing it now?"
Me: "Hmmmm." I had to think. It didn't seem like that long. I often turn to working on it when I need to organize my brain. I thought back to all the pianos on which I'd been playing this song. "I bought the music when I was in college, and started practicing before I even met you. We've been married 11 years..."

And then I did the math. I've been playing this song, trying my darnedest to learn it, for fourteen years. Fourteen years.

Some days I can play it all the way through, but these days are rare, and not without a lot of four-letter words and wringing fists toward the sky, shouting, "Curses, George! Why do you hate me?!" 

And I don't know if you're familiar with Gershwin, but most of his chords don't sound "right" in the first place. Every single wrong note sounds like a third-grade school band marching through a library.
And I got thinking about how this can be similar to having a passion for writing. 

With the dreaded Gershwin:
1. I'm never planning on performing it. In front of people.
2. Even if I learn all the notes, I lack the inner syncopation for Gershwin.
3. I'm guessing arthritis will set in before I perfect it.

I don't do it with the intention of someday making a living at it. I don't think of it like that. I do it because I love it. For me, the piano is something I turn to when when I need to impose order on chaos in mah brain.

My point is, it's okay to abolish gargantuan intentions!
1. Allow yourself to have a passion for something without being crippled by the fear of public rejection. You can write as much as you want without ever taunting the Fluffy White Bunnies.
2. A passion for the road can be just as fulfilling as a passion for the destination. More so.
3. Someday, if you find you've created a strong enough Flang Mace... can decide to take on the Fluffy White Bunnies. (Heretofore or henceforth known as FWB's.)
If you want, you can write for the joy of writing, and the FWB's never have to know.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fellow Crow's Debut... and There's never an Ice Pick When You Need One

**Whoops. For those of you  coming from Bree's blog, I'll post my blogging tips on Friday. Sorry! **

First off, fellow Upstart Crow-ian (Upstart Crow is our literary agency) and fellow Sherpa Ted client (Ted is my agent) Josh Berk has a debut that hit book stores yesterday. 

It's called The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, and I can't wait to read it. 

It got starred reviews from Kirkus and the School Library Journal, which says: "A coming-of-age mash-up of satire, realistic fiction, mystery, and ill-fated teen romance, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is a genre-bending breakthrough that teens are going to love."

Josh Berk is hands down the funniest person I know on Twitter (as in, actually know, because there are some funny people I don't know...), and if his book is anything like his personality, it's gonna be huge. He's also good at online Scrabble, and he knows his Karate Kid quotes.

He even wrote and sang a song and made a music video for his release day. You can check it out here. Stop by and tell him I sent you.

Here are some random things that are on my mind this Wednesday:

1.  I thought it would be cool, after Monday's post, if we did pretend we were up against fluffy white bunnies. And then we could get bumper stickers that said, "Kill the Fluffy White Bunnies" and tattoos and stuff and it can be a blog-wide inside joke. What say you?

Kill the
Fluffy White Bunnies

2. Anyone watch 24? Anyone else think Freddie Prince Jr. is going to spend the entire day being "five minutes out"?

Jack: "They've got Renee. They didn't buy her cover!"

Freddie (in helicopter): "Okay, Jack. I'm five minutes out."

Jack: "Renee got her hands on an ice pick, and now all the Russians are dead. She's totally stable, though, and I might love her."

Freddie (in car): "Okay, Jack. I'm five minutes out."

Jack: "They're taking me, and I think they have torture on the mind. One guy has jumper cables with nipple attachments in his back pocket."

Freddie: "Okay, Jack. Stall for five minutes."

I think when Freddie actually arrives at a place -- any place -- the show will be over.

3. Watching Hollywood week on American Idol last night:

me (drawing parallels to getting published): "Wow. Can you imagine getting all the way to Hollywood and then going home after five minutes? I feel like that sometimes."

Sam (snorting): "You'd never get to Hollywood."
Where's an ice pick when you need one?

4. I got a musical education during my trip to Vegas.


a. Did you know it's not "CoCo Cabana"... It's "Copa Cabana"?  Me neither!
b. I've never heard of Barry Manilow's most famous song "Mandy". I'm thinking my friends are messing with me, and the song is really obscure. Either way, they are ashamed of my lack of Barry knowledge.

c. I heard a Taylor Swift song for the first time ever. We also watched two Taylor Swift videos. 

Where's an ice pick when you need one?

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Insist it's Good to Know the Odds When You're Navigating the Publishing World

Some of you, I won't name names... Cam... complained that my last post was a bit depressing. Especially, I assume, the part about how the house always has the odds. But I maintain it was not depressing. It was empowering. Hear me out.

Maybe I should've ended that section with a sentence along the lines of:
"You Can Do It!" said in thick Romanian accent, like a gymnastics coach who will carry his lame little gymnast.

Or I could've gone all Stuart Smalley on your bum, and forced you to repeat: "I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with."

Or, we could choose those immortal words Han Solo uttered in Empire Strikes Back: "Never tell me the odds!"
But that doesn't change the fact that the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.

Oh man, there I go again. You see, I'm sorta in a position in which the odds are comforting. It's a formidable river, where the currents are working their hardest to pull me under, and sometimes they do. And each time the river wins, it helps for me to acknowledge the fierceness of my competitor.

How embarrassing it would be if I kept being pulled under by a white fluffy bunny. 

But I call myself a writer. Okay, really I call myself a typist. I write. And even though the river has had it's fair share of victories, I've made some distance across it. And one of these days, if the weather holds, and my boat is yar, I'll make it to the other side and the victory will be that much sweeter.

The only people that will make it across, are the ones who dare. Everyone, at one point, has dipped their toe in to test the temperature. Will you shiver and back away? Or will you kiss your loved ones good-bye, and dive in?

Anne Lamott points to a poem in her book on writing "Bird by Bird". If you haven't read it, it's worth a perusal. Anyway, Bill Holm says it much more eloquently than I.

"August in Waterton, Alberta":

Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed 
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful. 

And this applies to anything you're doing in life, but I'll use writers as an example. Writers are mad as snakes. But it's the "mad" who go up against the rivers and win. 

Ummm, so... go you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What the Game of Craps teaches us about Writing a Book

Happy Friday, Y'all. 

Some of you have (Okay, just Hubby Sam) questioned whether or not I got any actual writing done during my "Writing Retreat to Vegas". Sure, I may not have written 15,000 words. But I guarantee I ate 15,000 calories. And the more I got thinking about it, the more I realized that Vegas had a lot to teach me about writing a book. So, here goes. My attempt to justify my trip to Vegas as a tax-exempt writing expense.

1. Always bet the Pass line. 

In Craps, every time there's a new roller, everybody bets the pass line. Every single time. It's like an ante. 

In Writing: Write something, every day. Even if it's something throwaway, like a blog post. (Okay, like most of my blog posts). You may "crap out" on the first roll. But it might also turn into something beautiful. Like a seven. Or an eleven.

2. To win a lot, you have to bet a lot. 

In Craps, the people who win are the people who have chips covering the table. And if a certain number rewards them, they "press it" (corrected), meaning they apply their winnings to the same bet.

In Writing: You gotta take chances. Don't be afraid to get your writing out there. Don't be afraid to get slammed. And if something resonates with people, "press it". Find what works, and double down.

3. If you are afraid to lose money, don't play. 

In Craps, the dealers see it all the time: people counting their chips before they make their bets. These are the people who don't lay it all out on the line. These are the people who lose.

In Writing: Lay it all out on the line. Write what you want to write. Write what you think you can't write. Write the book that no one else can write. If you are scared of rejections, don't bother submitting. If you are scared of ridicule, criticism, or failure, don't write. 

4. No matter what you do, the House always has the best odds.

In Craps, there's only one bet that will get you the same odds as the dealers. Betting the odds is the best bet in Vegas. Other than that, the House always, always, without a doubt, regardless of how many pretty women kiss the dice, always has the best odds.
In Writing: Everyone knows their odds when it comes to getting a book published. They suck, basically. That's just the way it goes. Even if you write a killer book, it may be a time when there's a deluge of "killer books" on the market, and they won't have room for yours, no matter how good it is. It's good to know this, going in.

5. Listen to your dealer: He'll tell you what odds to bet.

Unless you're John Nash or the Rain Man, listen to what the dealer says you should bet. For reasons beyond my mental capabilities, certain bets get you whole integer returns, and certain ones get you like a buck 45, and the casino will just pocket the 45. The dealer (in our case, "Carmine" at the Casino Royale) will tell you what to bet so this doesn't happen. 
In Writing: Take constructive criticism. Find a good critique group, and listen to what they have to say. I like to have five people read my stuff, and then if 4 out of 5 have a problem with a certain thing, I know it should be fixed. No book is good enough the first time around. Every book gets edited. Unless you're Stephenie Meyer. And I'm pretty sure Cormac McCarthy sets his own rules. But at one point in their careers, they were critiqued and they listened.

6. Every day, someone in the casino will roll for forty minutes without hitting a seven. You want to be there when it happens.

In Writing: At some point, you may finish a book, about Fallen Vampires in the Dystopian future, and right at the moment you finish, you might hear on Twitter that a particular agent is begging for books about Fallen Vampiers in the Dystopian future, and you've got one. This will never happen if you don't play the game, and put in the work.

7. Never switch the dice to a different hand.

They get so mad when you pick up the dice and then switch them to your other hand. And then you get nervous, and so you switch them back and forth without realizing it, and then you lash out and blame the guy standing on your left for distracting you...

Okay, maybe that's just me.

I spoke at SCBWI about blogging on Wednesday night, so I'll share the tips with y'all next week. What's everyone doing this weekend?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Las Vegas by the Numbers

Howdy Y'all. I'm back from Vegas! I missed my blog, because apparently Vegas has everything, including Wi-Fi, but for a price. Isn't that like paying for air these days? 

I'll get into more details on Friday (when I compare writing a book to a game of Craps) but for now...

Las Vegas by the Numbers:

Number of times we went to bed before midnight: 0

Number of times I’d stayed up after midnight before this trip: 0

Time on the clock when I finally woke up on our last morning: 11:00 (Seriously? How embarrassing.)

Number of snacks waiting for us in Valynne's car: 7

Number of “Craps 101” classes taken: 1

Number of consecutive hours at a Craps table: 2

Number of times I told other players what to bet: countless

Number of dealers named “Carmine”: 1

Number of times I annoyed the roller by yelling, "C'mon Orange Hat Guy! Gimme a nine!": 4 (In fairness to me, he was wearing an orange hat, and he didn't tell me his name...)

Number of times we lost Emily Wing Smith in the casino because she saw and followed “pretty shiny machines”: 52

Number of times we searched for her by following “anything resembling a snow globe or a bunny, or anything with pretty lights”: 52

Number of times we watched the fountain show in front of The Bellagio: 3

Number of buffets: 3

Number of countries represented at the Rio Buffet: at least 30

Number of bead strands earned from scantily clad men and women aboard a floating pirate ship in the sky: 2

Number of times – after reading above sentence – Sam asked me, “Are you sure you weren’t drinking?”: 4

Number of times friends told me I simply had to “smell” the Venetian Hotel: 6

Number of times I said, "I've found my happy place" while visiting Coke World: 7

Number of samples from Cokes around the world: 16

Number of samples that made Sara regurgitate on the floor: 1 (the sample from Italy. Disgusting.)

Number of times I said, "Isn't he cute?" about a Diet Coke aluminum bottle: 4
(His name's "Fred")

Number of times we ate before 3:00 p.m.: 0

Number of fingers I gnawed off due to hunger: 3

(Finally discovered Emily and Valynne don’t get hungry until dinner time.)

Number of times we debated the merits of the Chipendales vs. the Thunder from Down Under: 4
Number of times I saw the show: 0 (A number I hope to rectify soon...)

Bree Despain and I are speaking at the SCBWI meeting at the Salt Lake Library tonight at 7:00 p.m. It's free, so if you're in the neighborhood, stop on by!

Thanks to everyone for making our guest blogger Sam feel so loved on Monday. I thought he did an excellent job. If you like his sense of humor, check out his blog

How was everyone else's weekend? Anyone catch Lost last night? Anyone else's mind blown? As a side note, how many times to I have to watch Juliet die?