Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Moments #34

Yup, we've all had those moments. A big WHOOPS. Didn't mean to do that. Of course, I've had my own, but why embarrass myself when I can tell you of a complete strangers red-faced moment.

Yesterday, as I returned to my side of the water via ferry boat, I took a kiddo to use the restroom. As I typically do, I hovered by the sink, waiting for kiddo to emerge from the stall. Now, it never shocks me to see a boy come out from stall (typically in the hand of his mom) but yesterday I did a double take.

It went like this:

Stall door opens. Child, approximately 11 or 12 walks out. I'm immediately struck at how androgynous said child is. Shoulder-length, blond hair, a pretty face, but dressed more boy-like than girl-like. I assumed said child was a girl since I was certain I walked into the restroom labeled WOMEN. But then said child's face scrunched at the sight of me and I heard, "Oh man. I didn't just walk in the wrong one." Ouch. My heart kind of sunk for him. Although not a big deal for me (I would have still thought he was she if he hadn't said something), I'm sure he felt embarrassed and his pace picked up as soon as he hit the exit.

Any embarrassing WHOOPS incidents in your characters story? (One more way to inflict a bit of ouch!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Moment #33

Yes, I made it through my nearly 50 pounds of laundry (that was my children's alone). Thanks for your concern and not making me feel bad for taking so long to get it done.

And just when you're sick and tired of hearing about my need to clean, you're going to get it again. This time toilets and tub. Joy of joys! Does that make anyone excited? Does any person in this world enjoy these bathroom chores?
For sure, NOT ME!

But that's what I've been doing, like the deep-super-cleaning type of clean as I prepare for a house full of guests this week.

What's this have to do with a Monday Moment, you ask? Well, I have extreme dislike for these tasks, but they had to be done. On top of that, my cleaning gloves, one in particular, sprung a leak. Of course, it was on the thumb of the right glove...the working hand. Irritation on top of an already irritating task.

If we're doing something right while we write, we chase our characters up a tree and throw some rocks, right?

So, where do you do this in your story? And what do you do to tweak it that much more? What's your hole-in-the-glove moment?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Tired's On!

Yeah! I just stole that line from my nine year old. That's what she told me tonight, and I totally identified.
I just wrapped up a freelance project. So fun. So challenging. But it was seriously brain bustin'.
There's been lots I've wanted to post about! Like this...

And this...

And this...

But I felt it was time to deal with this...

Okay, so that's an old version of Mt. Clothesmore. I'm pretty sure the mountain I'm dealing with was far larger and wider and scarier. As I carried the heaping basket down the stairs, I thought it must've weighed 50 pounds. So curiosity got the better of me and I put it on the scale.
It weighed 46.5 lbs! Reee-diculous.
I promise I'll get to all those things (especially the laundry), but right now I plan to hit this...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Moment #32

Hi, friends! I'm playing a wicked game of catch-up, and I have to say...I'm totally losing. I still have conference goodies I want to share with you and more, but until my kids have some clean'll have to be patient.

That said, I will NOT miss a Monday Moment! So here it is:

Just before the SCBWI conference, my family road-tripped to Montana. We went to see family, as well as say a final goodbye to my father-in-law.

My father-in-law was a veteran, as well as a pilot, so the memorial was fitting from start to finish: twenty-one gun salute, the playing of taps, and his ashes being scattered from a plane over the Montana mountains.

My father-in-law's good friend, also a pilot, offered to take my husband up in his old war plane (how beautiful is the Sweet Mary Lou) to distribute hid dad's ashes. There was quite a scene at the airport, as this plane was something to see. Before my husband headed up onto the wing and into the cockpit, I hear Gene (the pilot) tell my husband that they would surely need to do a victory roll, which made my stomach do one of its own. Gene assured me he has spent more time upside down in planes that right side up. I'm not sure that made me feel any better.

I, along with the rest of the family, watched on as Gene buckled Derek into his seat. Then, before he turned around get himself in, Gene turned to my husband and I heard him say, "Now, just in case we have to bail out..." Let me just say the explanation went on far longer than I could stomach so I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang the la-la song.

All that said, I was excited for Derek to have this experience and the chance to honor his dad in this way. And I thought he looked pretty Top-Gun handsome in there.

As the plane headed for the runway, an airport official escorted us out so that we could watch the take-off and landing. When we reached our viewing spot I heard what I thought was two backfires and I said so to Derek's uncle. We both gave each other a bit of a concerned look and then notice the plane's propeller was slowing, followed by an emergency vehicle raising with lights flashing to the plane. Uh, yeah! Not good.

Now, I knew they weren't in danger, but I knew that whatever was going on wasn't a good sign. Sure enough, that was the case. A brand new back tire had popped. Strange, I know. There was no going up that day and we were leaving first thing the next morning.

Disappointment. Big time.

But such things happen. There are big events in our lives and suddenly something intervenes and those big events can get squashed or changed or ruined.

How about for your character, do they ever experience a change in plans that results in disappointment?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Answering Your Conference Questions (or more like Ben Watson's questions)

I didn't have a lot of takers on the questions, but I said I'd get them answered, and I did!

This one's for you Ben Watson!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Member of the Year and the Golden Kite Luncheon

I still can't believe it. Really? Sara and I won Member of the Year? Everyone kept saying, "You didn't know? We thought you figured it out."

NO. I had NO idea. It wasn't until Steve started talking about two people and I felt eyes (and cameras) on me that I started to feel strange, nervous.

Okay...let me back up.

I was supposed to sit at the Team Blogger table, because HELLO! I was at the conference to work. But suddenly everyone was saying I needed to sit at the Western Washington table, up front, to cheer on the amazing Bonny Becker as she accepted the Golden Kite for picture book text. Totally convinced.

So it started like any typical Golden Kite Luncheon...

With rolls that look like buns on one side...

...lips on the other.

(Someone, somewhere has a picture of my bun lips and Martha's bun lips in a bun-lip lock.)

And yes, I was being this goofy, even with the wise and witty Karen Cushman (love her!) sitting in our midst.
Then the main course came...Lin Oliver's famous chicken (the Lin Oliver chicken count mention reached 10).

Then we engaged in some self-photography.

(Yes, you can pretend I'm giving you a hug!)

...Interesting nametag wearage.

And Jaime's video camera was ready (but Sara and I were still clueless!).

The winner of the Portfolio Show was announced.

And then (I think) our award came next. But really, I can't quite remember the order of things.

Here's what I know: I know that Steve started talking about the Member of the Year Award and that, at times, they give it to two people. This was about the time my face started to get warm and my veins started to throb. And I was thinking this can't be me and Sara because people KNOW when they get this award. Then I was thinking that I'm going to feel really stupid that I'm even thinking this could be me and Sara. But bodies must sense things because inside I was sort of freaking out. Then Steve mentioned bringing SCBWI to ALA for the first time in 2007 and I knew. My head turned and looked at everyone at the table (I think it was the first time I allowed myself to move...because remember I was freaking out but attempting to look cool). Then Sara turned (she was in front of me) and we locked eyes in an is-this-happening sort of way.

I believe there are a couple of videos of what Steve said and our reactions. Now that should be a kick to watch.

That fast Sara and I found ourselves on stage, plaques in our hands, saying something (I don't remember what we said).

When I got back to my seat to watch Bonny accept her Golden Kite...

And then Richard Peck be unbelievable, indescribable, and amazingly charming...
...the only thing I could think about was, what did I just say and did I have broccolini in my teeth on that big jumbo screen? I did ask, and friends assure me, that I did not and that what we said was great.

After, Sara and I posed for some pictures with the founders of SCBWI, Lin Oliver and Steve Mooser.

As the ballroom cleared and everyone moved on with their day, Sara and I did what all Members of the Years do (I'm sure!) with their award after they are honored...

We propped up our plaques on our beds and stared at them like giddy, little girls.

But let me say this, being honored with SCBWI Member of the Year is extremely meaningful. I truly love the organization and the people who run it--from the office to the regional advisors world wide. The three years I spent as co-regional advior were crazy, busy, fun, and absolutely rewarding. I've made the most amazing friends and SCBWI has provided me unreal opportunities. I'm so very grateful and so very honored.

The Blue Moon Ball at SCBWI Conference

I mentioned on Monday (in my Monday Moment) how much I love the pool-side galas at the summer conference. And this year's Blue Moon Ball didn't disappoint! I had my camera ready to catch some of the action, I stuffed myself full of about 4.5 quesadillas and some drinks (just a couple), then danced, danced, danced.

Here's some of the photos form the ball!

The stars came out for the party!

...and the moon made an appearance too! (a few blue ones at that)


So I was ready to join them. Jaime and I were both rockin' the socks. And Martha was rockin'!

I loved Varina Johnson's suit... and Ellen Hopkins.

Hey, I think tall guy/big heart Bill Cochran is checkin' me out. Then, there's me with friend Jill S. Alexander who I interviewed HERE.

Richard Peck and I had a very serious exchange. Then we were happy, happy, happy!

Some out-of-this-world costumes.

I loved Ingrid Law and Co.'s hair pieces and this proud group of Royals.

Some pretty wings and lovely ladies. That's the SCBWI WWA regional advisor team with Elizabeth Law.

Then Austin Powers aka Jay Asher got hold of me. "Oh, behave!"


The sweet and innocent Mary Poppins. And the sassy and naughty (that's for you Suz) Heather, Suzanne, and Amanda.

Time to dance...and what's a party without housing Joni with Jaime?

I decided this contraption would make dancing a bit difficult.

A brief break from the dancing to pose with the wonderful Steve Mooser.

Thanks for the great party, Steve and Lin. Like I said, out-of-this world!