Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fashion in Politics

I recorded the Democrat National Convention so that I could fast forward through all the political commentaries and just watch the speeches. I'll do the same with the Republican Convention. I believe it's important to draw my own conclusions before listening to all the media mumbo-jumbo.

During my marathon viewing session, one thing jumped out at me that I didn't expect.

Michelle Obama.

Remember how I commented on the fashion of Sex in the City? You may recall I predicted roses would be popular. Well, check out Mrs. Obama.

Obviously, brooches are a signature of hers. Did you notice, though, that each night those brooches were floral? Since some are comparing her classic style to Jackie-O, perhaps she's one to watch.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Journal:sultry summer

As I write this, the weather has been beautiful in New Jersey. The sun shines and people can still go outside and enjoy it. We're told that back in Oklahoma the temperatures climb to the triple digits daily. As a result, most people don't dare venture far from their air conditioners.

Surprisingly, this was always my favorite time of year to be on a boat. We could go fast and let the air cool us off or hook up some fun contraption and get pulled behind the boat as the water splashes in our faces. Usually, I enjoyed simply lazing about in the middle of the lake on a Jetski, boat, or raft before jumping into the water to cool off.

Journal: Describe a sultry summer afternoon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Les Mis

I saw Les Mis yesterday with my friend Alison and her friend Nicole.

Since I've not read the book, I only knew what I'd read about the book and musical.
Here's the extent of my knowledge:
  • Some guy was imprisoned in France for a long time for stealing bread.
  • A kid plays a role in the motivation of the story.
  • It's historic and rather depressing--but who'd expect a comedy with a title like that?
As I watched it, I realized my expectations were correct. The music was beautiful and required talented voices. The backdrops effectively enhanced the power of the story as well as the setting.

But I was a little confused about the timeline when the characters began enacting a revolution.

See, I'm really not very good at history. The trick I've always used to connect to a time period isn't the politics or inventions--it's the fashion. So, when it seemed the musical was talking about revolution, I was seriously confused. Didn't the French Revolution occur not long after our very own? The guys onstage wore long pants, but our American rebels wore breeches that stopped at the knee. Was it a French thing to indicate class? And didn't the French of the French Revolution wear fabulous, fancy clothes with elaborate wigs? Marie Antoinette lost her head during the revolution, and she was a fashion diva, right?

So.... I was confused that this started in the 1800s and the clothes didn't look right for the French Revolution. The musical supposedly began in 1815. My mind remembered that the turn of the 18th century was the time of Jane Austen. Where were the empire waists? Hmmm. Maybe society was over those by the time 1815 rolled around.

I was confounded.

So, I came home and looked up Les Mis online. It's not about the French Revolution. My search taught me a lot about the time period. No wonder it was a rather depressing novel. Well, go ahead, read for yourself here and here.

I'm so thankful I live when and where I do.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How cool do I feel?

Sonia Gensler, my friend and critique group member, told me about this fascinating blog she learned about while at SCBWI in LA this summer. She's now a contributor.

Kidlit Central News provides all sorts of useful and interesting information regarding children's publishing--especially by or about those in the central United States.

Yesterday, August 21, Sonia was the contributing blogger. She offered an idea that was useful for her about how to critique online. Guess where she says she got it?

No, really, guess.


She's so sweet and provides a plug for Glamour (coming to a store near you November 18), my website, and my author blog. Great advertising.

Learn more about Sonia by going to her website and her blog. You'll be glad you did. When her novels get published, you'll be able to say that you knew she'd make it big.
The above is a picture of Sonia from the OWFI conference this year. For the last two years, she's won 1st place with two different novels in two different categories. Yeah, she's one to watch!

journal: school days

School is back in session in some states. In others, the time is coming soon.

Kids have new clothes. Teachers flash bright smiles. Teens rev car engines.

There's nothing like the smell of Crayolas in the morning.

Every year at this time, I have a compulsion to buy school supplies or at least walk down the aisles and pick up the pretty folder, lovingly touch the Elmer's Glue, admire the array of pens. Does anyone else do that?

Ah, nostalgia.

Usually, I'm brought back to reality by something in the store--maybe a clean up on aisle 9. Then I remember that strange smell and funny orange powder stuff the custodians poured on the carpet where some kid in class got sick. Or I recall the heartbreak of a boy liking some other girl while not even noticing my existence. Or that sinking feeling when the teacher passed out the multiplications test on 7's and 8's and I'd not studied. Or the experience of making new lunch friends because my regular pals were away on a field trip. Or the horror when five other girls wore my prom dress in five different colors.

Okay. That one was funny. We even had our picture taken.

School days. There's definitely a story in there somewhere.

Journal: Write about a school moment.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Girl Scouts Rock!

Girl Scouts rock!

When I spoke at HAWK's writing conference this summer, I met a friendly writing group from Arkansas. Later, I received an email from my publisher that Jeannie Stone, one of the fun-loving members, is a Girl Scout leader and wanted to work with Glamour to help the girls achieve their Bronze Award.

I'm thrilled to get to be a part of it. They've scheduled so many fun activities for Glamour's release. The best part is that even if you're not a Girl Scout, you can still attend.

Here's what I know so far.

Friday, November 21 in Fort Smith, Arkansas
I'm not sure of the details on this one.

Saturday, November 22 in Russelville, Arkansas
11-3 Booksigning at Hastings 11-3
5-7 Writing workshop given by yours truly at Pope County Library. We'll focus on journal writing and "Finding your Fairy Voice"
7-midnight Slumber party at Pope County Library. Lots of fun activities are planned that relate to Glamour. During the evening, attendees will receive special patches made just for the event!

Contact Jeannie Stone at 479-747-0210 for more information on the slumber party and writing workshop.

Jeannie's ideas are fabulous, and I can't wait to see her and the girls in action. She's incorporating some of the ideas found on my website as well as coming up with her own. I'm not sure what's been decided, but all of her ideas are based on the novel. I've heard there may be a Native American dancer, an astronomer, a doll maker and much more.

Monday and Tuesday, November 23-24 in Little Rock, Arkansas
I think they're planning more of the same, but I'm not sure of the details.

Contact Meredith Poland at 501-758-1020 or 800-632-6894 ext. 224

If you're in the Arkansas area, I hope you stop by for the booksignings and/or sign up for the slumber parties and writing workshops. It's going to be a blast.

If you have a Girl Scout Troop in another state and would like to incorporate Glamour into your schedule, let me know. I'd love to meet more amazing people and get to be a part of activities.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Glamour-ous contents in an unassuming brown box

My hubby came home for lunch and asked if I'd seen the box on the front porch. Nope. He carried it inside so I could open it.
Lovely advanced copies of Glamour gleamed up at me.

Seeing a beautiful book with my name and picture on the cover and my story inside was surreal. The cover is even prettier in person than on the computer screen. The font looks friendly and inviting--especially for tween and teen girls. Admittedly, I was afraid to look too closely for fear I'd see a mistake of some kind even though the publisher sent word that everything is perfect, "glamorous even."

For now, I'm content with admiring the book from afar. I've got to get used to the idea that I'm a published author.

With a hardcover novel.

That you can buy.

At a bookstore.

Yep, this should sink in by November 18--when you can buy a copy of your very own!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Journal: life list

I don't think The Bucket List is a stellar movie. The film doesn't say anything new and is as predictable as any Nicholas Sparks' book. Yet, similarly, it still has a good message. Perhaps that's the reason the movie found moderate success.

A Bucket List is a list of things you're supposed to accomplish before you "kick the bucket."

I've always called this a Life List.

In high school, my English teacher (also my mom) assigned the task of creating a Life List. There were no limitations. Nothing was too outlandish. If I wanted to do it, I should write it. I still have mine. It's fun to look at it from time to time. For example, "Go to Australia and meet an aborigine" is on there. Guess what? It's checked off. So are many other items I'd never really thought I'd do.

As a teacher, I also gave the Life List assignment. Students seemed to enjoy it. I wonder how many tasks they've already accomplished.

Journal: Create your own Life List/Bucket List. Take a piece of paper and number to at least 20. The items can be as simple or complex as you wish. Consider the near future as well as years and years from now. Don't edit yourself. Simply wish.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shiny new apple

I have a new computer.

Garrett spent hours this weekend transferring things from my old laptop to this one. He's been telling me I needed a new one for almost a year. A plethora of reasons, including the desire to complete Glamour without having to learn a new system, kept me from yielding. Although the blue screen of death appeared frequently, Garrett always resurrected my little laptop for me. This week I consented to a new computer because my old faithful IBM Thinkpad was doing strange things a little too often.

Change isn't easy. I like my old laptop.
Sure, only one of its closure clasps works.
Okay, so the keyboard is coming apart from the rest of the computer.
Yeah, the letters are missing from most of the keys from daily use.

I'm a big fan of The Velveteen Rabbit. Loving something makes it real. Just because it's not shiny new anymore doesn't mean it should be thrown in the fire.

I still don a plaid, pleated skirt I've had since the 8th grade.
I still date the guy I met as a college freshman.
I still drive a dented Taurus with the check engine light on.
Why? I love them.

However, I have a lot of work and photos saved to that laptop. If it decided one day to eat them all, I'd have thrown the thing in a fire myself--after running over it with my car and bludgeoning it with a hammer. When I realized that possibility was close, I consented to the new computer.

Since it's a Mac, a definite transition period is to be expected.

But I'm sure I'll grow to love it.
The flat keyboard feels rather nice beneath my fingertips.
The white color is bright and cheery.
The features seem exciting--once I learn how to use them.

Yeah, maybe I'll like this newbie after all.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Journal: travel

My friends are getting married in Paris today. I wish I could be there. Congrats, you guys!

I love Paris.

I've always loved the idea of Paris.

A long time ago, my grandmother asked me where I wanted to go on vacation. At six years old, I immediately responded, "Paris."

I took French in high school so that I could speak it when I one day had the opportunity to visit. When Garrett and I went, it came in handy. We enjoyed the culture, the food, the sights...everything.

I definitely want to return. And a wedding would have been a good reason, but I'd hate to go into labor somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. My French isn't good enough to say, "Take me to Nice and get me Angelina and Brad's doctor. I want to deliver at the same hospital as the twins."

Journal: Write about visiting a foreign land.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Glamour's Cover

Okay... I've talked about how cool it is...

Here is the wonderful cover Nan Bishop designed for Glamour.
I know you want one of your very own.
Don't worry. Copies will be available in stores November 18.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Journal: tea party

I mentioned my tea party yesterday. You've probably read or watched the cartoon version of Alice's Mad Hatter tea party in Wonderland. Perhaps you've been to a tearoom or shared a tea party with friends. Even if you haven't, imagine!

Here's a link to tea rooms near you as well as reviews.

Journal: Write about a tea party.