A lot has happened . . . well, sort of.
1. Andy finally returned from his trial in Boston. I think I mentioned in my last entry that he was leaving for 6 weeks. Well, he was gone that long, and only came home one weekend -- see item #2.
2. My sis-in-law got married on March 20th. So, we got to see family from all over the place (including Andy being home). That was fun!
3. My third kid, Arianna, went to Las Vegas for a big soccer college showcase. She was guesting with the top team in the state a year older than her own age group. While in Vegas, she got asked to become a permanent player on their roster, so she is very excited (and scared to death). Andy was going to try to cut out of Boston and get to Vegas to watch her play that weekend, but at last min. had to cancel his flight and hotel there; some big "emergency" happened with the case, and he couldn't get away.
4. My daughter, Alix, FINALLY got her appointment to West Point last week, so we are all super-excited! I told her that now that she got in, she will have to work really hard to STAY in. And her response was, "I will graduate from that place. If you could graduate from West Point, I can graduate from West Point." There ya have it -- moms of teenaged girls are the biggest idiots who ever roamed the earth.
5. My 2nd kid, Anastasia, had to have surgery TWICE in less than a month for that non-ossifying fibroma she was diagnosed with. I think I mentioned this issue in an earlier blog? Anyway, the first surgery was to repair it (clean out the cysts and the fibroma tissue and plug the remaining "hole" that was left with bone grafting material). The second because the incision site got badly infected -- swollen and yellow puss gushing out of the wound and lots of pain -- and so the doc had to clean up the wound and sew her back up. But, currently, things are healing up nicely.
6. Last weekend, I was part of a YA author panel at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference here in Denver. What a great conference! I got to meet a lot of amazing people -- authors and librarians and teachers. And as I was sitting on the panel, I was actually squirming -- one of the questions asked had to do with when as authors do we write, what is our schedule like, etc. My fellow panelists were so full of good writer wisdom. They journal. They schedule their writing time into their days and keep that time sacred (meaning, they don't get off track by picking up dog poop in their yards, as one of my fellow panelists (Todd Mitchell) said to the amusement of everybody). They view their writing as a job. They even unplug their wireless (that from Laura Resau) so that they don't get distracted by Facebook and emails and Googling. They give up their social lives in order to maintain their writer lifestyle. They have special places -- studios -- where they write (in Laura's case, a 1950's trailer). And so on. When it came to me, I had to confess that I don't journal, I get distracted by the internet, I don't set aside time to write hardly at all, etc. In fact, I told the audience, "Do NOT do what I do!"
So, I was all motivated to get working on my next book this week. And did I? Nope. And I wrote nary a word since the last time I blogged. Pathetic!
7. I did learn this week that AFTER is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award this year! And I'm invited to the award ceremony in Aspen in June. I did get my rear window in my suburban fixed -- the morning of the teen literature conference, I discovered that (8.) the night before, some thug in my 'hood smashed in my Suburban's rear window. So, I had to call the police and have them file a report AND catch a ride to the conference because I was NOT going to be seen in that rattle trap of a vehicle. I mean, seriously! I'm supposed to be presenting myself as a professional. A ghetto car does not accomplish that at all!
I did meet some authors who inspired me greatly (yes, "real" authors can and do get inspired when they attend writers conferences, I discovered), and I am determined now to get out of my Mommy cocoon and start acting like a "real" author myself. I don't know what my deal is, but I need to get my act together. I met Ellen Hopkins of CRANK (and her other novels in verse) fame and Matt de la Pena, who were both keynote speakers at the conference. I met some local authors (fellow panelists) who have emailed me before, but we never met in person, like Laura Resau (mentioned already above, and she's also a finalist for the Colorado Book Award -- yikes!) I also met Becca Fitzpatrick after meeting her briefly in the fall at a book signing -- she wrote the bestselling HUSH, HUSH, and she just finished the draft of its sequel which everyone is breathlessly awaiting publication. And Todd Mitchell (mentioned above), who was very articulate on the panel and has written his second (I think) book to come out very soon -- one I am looking forward to reading. And, finally, Tucker Shaw, who has the uncanny talent of writing a teen girl's voice (many of his protagonists are teen girls, and IMHO, he nails it!). Tucker is also the food critic for the Denver Post, and because of his job and the necessity to visit restaurants "incognito", finding a picture of him anywhere -- book jackets or Google or Facebook -- is almost impossible. So, the big mystery buzz was "What does he look like?!" Many of the female librarians/teachers, I've later learned, were all agog (is that a word?) with the two exceptionally good looking male authors at the conference -- Matt de la Pena (one of the keynotes) and Tucker Shaw, and were very disheartened to learn that Matt has a girlfriend in NY, but are holding out hope for Tucker because, as he said while on the panel, his dating life suffers because he is a writer!
9. And then a lot of "little" things happened during my blogging lapse that I'm sure were very important at the time, but I now can not recall. Tell me, what's more important -- cleaning toilets in your house for the upteenth zillion time? Or starting work on your next novel for teens?
10. Got asked to blurb a couple of YA's. One I'm going to turn down (I'm just procrastinating because I don't know how to tell the editor), and the other, I'm currently reading, so I'm not sure yet. I've decided that if I blurb a book, it really has to be good. I know many authors like to blurb books to keep their names out there, but I feel that the book I blurb is a reflection of me and my own personal values. If I wouldn't recommend the book to a friend or my kid, I don't think I have any business "recommending" it to the general population!
11. One of my fav coffee haunts may be closing its doors by the end of this month if the owners don't find buyers. So sad because that's usually the very first stop I make almost every day after dropping my elementary-aged kids off at school. To be honest, I have no idea how I actually get from my house to their school w/out ingesting the caffeine kick-in-the-butt first, but somehow I manage. So, keep your fingers crossed that somebody coughs up the cash to buy Novo Coffee in Arvada!
Okay, it's late. My husband is already in bed and prob mad that I'm not there with him. He thinks that, lately, I have a more meaningful relationship with my Macbook than with him . . . no comment . . . .