Monday, August 27, 2012


Okay, folks, it's ASK ME ANYTHING DAY! How do I know it's ASK ME ANYTHING DAY? Because I posed this question on Twitter:

Hey y'all, if I did a blog post where I answered your questions, would some of you actually ask questions? The potential silence is my fear.

Because I can totally see this happening. I say "Ask me anything" and then there's a silence so loud it makes my ears (and my pride) hurt. 

But I had enough people on twitter say they would have questions. So, I'm putting it out here. 

Have you ever wondered about my writing routine? Everbound? Everneath? I don't know, what other questions are there? What I eat? 

Okay, obviously my questions are a little lackluster. So I'm depending on you for better questions.

So, ask me questions in the comments, and I'll answer in the comments. 

Okay, ready? go!

Our first questions comes from twitter:

A) are you planning on touring other countries? maybe, say, New Zealand? and B) what do you do when you get writer's block? (:


A) I would LOVE to tour other countries. But I would have to save up my own money, because I'm not sure if/when my publishers overseas would be sending me anywhere. 

B) Many writers will tell you to take a break, and I agree to take a break, but then sometimes you just have to push through it and get words on the paper, even if the words are really bad, and they don't even form coherent sentences, much like this sentence I'm typing right now. 

Okay, bring it on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How I Took the Road Less Traveled... and why I might change careers

For this latest round of revisions, I decided I needed a change of scenery. So I put the car in drive (don't know why I needed to specify that) and I turned the steering wheel (again with the specifics) toward the South/Southeast of Salt Lake City. 

I went South really fast. Then I turned left at Highway 6, a.k.a. the "Highway of Death", so named after the man who discovered the highway, Richard J. Death. Richard had a hard time making friends, so he was thrilled when the discovery of this highway brought him notoriety. 

Then, when you reach Price, you raise your hand to shield your eyes from the sun, and you look out in all four directions, and you ask yourself, "Which way looks to be the most desolate?"

Then you take the road less traveled, highway 10, and follow it all the way until you hit... well, nothing. You just have to know where to turn left. 

Then you turn left. (I know, who would've thought simple directions would make such an awesome blog post? Wait. It doesn't? Um... too late.)

And you follow a dirt road, and suddenly you come upon this:
aren't you happy you took the road less traveled? 
I had no idea when I took that picture this morning that it would end up looking so dang good. See, a real photographer would be all, "Okay, I think I'll set up here, because check out how the reflection on the glassy pond optimizes the light from... that... giant golden orb in the sky!" (Okay, I don't know if that's how photographers really talk.)

But as for me, I was walking around the mini-lake, tripping over sage brush, talking to the grasshopper who happened to be following me on my walk. Okay, I wasn't really talking to him. I was yelling at him to please stop following me. 

I was thinking about my blog post, and I was all, "hey! I should take a pic!" So I stopped right where I was and clicked the photo with my iPhone, and voila. My new career! (Okay, maybe I'm putting a little too much value in the beauty of the photo above, but seriously, most of my pictures look like this:

That parentheses above is hanging by itself, so I'm going to close it here.)

Anywho, I'm planning on spending the next three days writing here:

Sleeping here:

Exploring this:

And talking to this guy:

I won't worry about the isolation until he starts talking back. 

So, what do y'all think? Anyone wanna come down and join me? Anyone taking bets on when the buffalo will answer my questions? Anyone else picturing a tiny camera in the buffalo's eye, recording my every move? 

Just me?

By the way, I arrived here last night, when the buildings were all dark, and the isolation felt more like the setting of a slasher flick. But I made it through the night. I don't have phone service, but I can send someone a frantic text if I get in trouble, and hopefully that person will check his/her texts. But if that person is like Sam, he may not find out anything until the next day. Not that anyone could do anything, because by the time they got in the car and drove to the ranch, my body would be cold and filled with maggots. 

But just so we don't end on a downer, like my own cold-blooded murder, remember the time I posed with Jef from the Bachelorette?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Week in Pictures

Hey y'all. 

I thought I'd give you a glimpse - through pictures - into my past week. 

Last weekend, my family and I went to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City Utah. This has been a tradition for me since I was eight years old. So, for about 15 years. Give or take a decade. Or three. 

We took Kid C and his cousin Necie to Les Mis. Got them tickets on the front row. Here's how excited they were: 

If there's ever an appropriate time to call your kids "brats"...
Oh, Les Mis. I've seen you at least ten times. How come you never told me you were so sad? My mom, sister and I were sitting on the front row, and maybe it was because of the fresh loss of my dad, but we were weeping the entire time. At one point, I caught one of the actors looking at us. I imagined he was mentally high-fiving himself, going, "I'm rocking this performance! They can't keep the tears in!"

Every year, on the friday morning of our festival visit, we play tennis. The games are epic, although my partner was more interested in playing against his own shadow than against our opponents. 

My nephew wanted a real sword from the festival, so he appealed to my mom, who of course bought him one. My sister bought him a bow and arrow for christmas. For his birthday, I guess there's nothing left to get him but a handgun. 

Here he is, knighting my other nephew. 

Pic taken seconds before he lopped Asher's head off
On Sundays, we have an hour of church. Here's what Kid B used that time to create:
Other children are coloring pictures of Jesus. Kid B made his own XBox game console.
He also made a dog, with 87 movable parts.

Then he proceeded to shake it at the people sitting in the bench behind us, all the while barking loudly. 

Why do I suddenly think church is fun? 

Last night, I was lying (laying?) on the grass. Kid B saw me, and immediately ran inside the house. He emerged a few minutes later with three blankets and two pillows. 
We stayed until the stars came out. 

What's your week been like? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How in one Encounter in an Airport, I Conquered my Fears

Hey y'all! Sorry I missed last week. I spent much of the week at the SCBWI conference in L.A. 
Photo taken by SCBWI Team Blog

For those of you who don't know, SCBWI is pronounced "Skehbwee."

Kidding. Do not go to this conference and be all "I'm so proud to be a member of Skehbwee." Trust me. I did that my first year, and I made no friends. 

SCBWI stands for Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I know, I know, we can all think of a million easier acronyms. But... there you go. I've said it so many times now that Kid B's middle name is Esseebeedoubleyouwhy.

I don't even know why I'm talking about the conference, because the most exciting thing happened on the way home from L.A. 

To preface this story, you should know that I have a really hard time approaching people I admire. For instance, if I see an author in the hotel lobby, and I loved their book, I will turn in the opposite direction and run to Canada. Unless I'm in Canada. Then I will run to Peru. 

Some would say this inability to function would interfere with a publishing career. Sometimes it does. For instance, there was the time I saw my agent across the lobby, scanning the lobby for me, and instead of approaching him, I texted him. I thought this was an appropriate course of action, until a friend said, "Why are you hiding behind that pillar texting someone who is mere yards away from you?"

And that was my agent. (My agent, Michael, doesn't know this story. Welcome to my neuroses, Michael.)
This is Michael. Intimidating, isn't he?

So, now that you have been properly informed...

On Monday afternoon, I was at the LAX airport waiting for my flight home, when I noticed someone sitting across from me. I did a double take, and realized it was the most recent winner of the Bachelorette, Jef Holm. 

Emily and Jef, looking a little homely for my taste.
So I texted people. I was all, I'm sitting across the aisle from Jef from the Bachelorette

And people responded, Get a picture! 

So I got a picture! And here it is:

If you'll notice, I held my phone up from behind the book I was reading (which was an ARC of Lindsey Leavitt's GOING VINTAGE, which is so good that it took me a good twenty minutes to even notice Jef.)

I texted this picture to friends. And friends were all, No! You have to get a picture with him! You will regret it for life if you don't!

So, I thought to myself, This time, I will not be the coward who is taking pictures from behind a book! 

Before I could chicken out, I put my phone in camera mode, and shoved it into the belly of the girl sitting next to me, and commanded, "Take my picture! Take it with me, and that guy." (points at Jef)

Now, from her point of view, we had been sitting there in silence for half an hour, with Jef across from us, and then all of a sudden, I accost her and demand that she take my picture with some strange guy. Not only that, but she's from Australia, so she has NO CLUE who Jef is. 

But I sprang from my seat and said, "Follow me, beeyatch!" (Okay, I didn't add that last word.)

I walked up to Jef and said, "Can I have a picture with you?" Then, for good measure, I added, "My nieces will just die."

Now, this was a lie. I do have a lot of nieces, but I couldn't think of a single one who watched the Bachelorette. 

So... behold the picture proof of the giant leap forward for my cowardice:

This picture was the second attempt by my foreign friend. Here was her first:

I like to think that if Jef and I spontaneously decided to run away together, this is what it would look like. 
Wow. This was supposed to be a short blog, but I guess this moment was more significant than I thought. 

My friend, who is obsessed with Jef, called me immediately after I texted her the picture. She was all, "What was it like? How tall was he? What did he smell like? How did his waist feel?"

And I was standing in line right behind Jef trying to board the plane, speaking softly into my phone, describing how the person in front of me smelled like soap and lavender and his waist was not squishy. Please say that he couldn't hear me. Please.

What do you think, bloggerville? Do you know who Jef is? Even if you don't, are you impressed by my gumption?