Thursday, May 31, 2012

I feel so small

When the Artist took this picture of the Dancer it took my breath away. This is how I feel today.
I am done asking, begging and annoying you. No more voting. No more favors. This is just a thank you and it is heartfelt and sincere.  I just finished one of the most hectic weeks of my life.
Never imagining I had any chance of being a finalist I scheduled a family vacation right smack dab in the middle of the voting week of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
I spent the week on the gulf of beautiful, Southern Florida playing with dolphins, jumping waves on jet skis, spotting manatee, holding alligators and pontooning from island to island. It was incredible. I am pink and sore and tired and grateful to have had the week with my family. It kept me sane when my nerves were frayed.
But in the middle of the fun I was doing interviews, writing emails and networking my brain out! A huge thank you to those of you who facebooked, blogged, tweeted, interviewed, endorsed, advertised, voted and became a part of my dream to try to publish my work. And especially to the Artist who adopts my dreams as his own- I love you. I am so small and you helped me attempt something big.
I wish each of you were sitting right in front of me so I could look you in the eye and tell you that I appreciate your individual effort and support, whatever the outcome.
I look forward to the opportunity to show my gratitude in the future.
The last six months have been breathtaking, soul-shaking, terrifying and shocking. I just wanted to tell my daughter a story. I am overwhelmed that readers cared about me and my words.
I feel like I am standing on the edge of something beautiful, powerful, intimidating and unpredictable. Like the ocean.
I am just grateful I am standing there with the people I love the most. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Huge Announcement

I'm not pregnant.

Now that we have that out of the way, friends, let me get to my huge announcement.
On Little Wings is a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Out of 5,000 only three are left standing.
And of those three, two will fall.
I need your help to make sure On Little Wings soars.
Editors and experts picked three books they felt were fit to publish and they now let the public decide who will be published.
You can see the contest page here.

When I got the phone call I was right here:
I knew the winners were being called that morning, I knew my phone wouldn't ring and I drove to the middle of nowhere to sit in the warm air and count my blessings and have a long talk with myself about how being a writer doesn't define me. I was letting it go and telling myself it was okay to let it go. It was here that my cell phone rang. It was here that I reached down to the gravel road to steady myself. It was here that I started to cry and say incoherent things. Poor people at Amazon.
It is here that I felt so grateful for the people who have read, reviewed, supported and helped me forward. A million times, thank you.
And if I could ask one more favor:
Please make sure you vote!
Go to Amazon by clicking here: On Little Wings, (download your free excerpt if you've never read it) and cast your vote before May 30th.
As with all elections- please vote your conscience. (I will never know if you like the other books more and we will still be friends.)  :)
Thank you!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

If I were a tree and you were a tree..

I had a date on Friday. So long overdue and so very necessary.
After dinner outside on the patio I hadn't quite had enough fresh air. We went to a forest trail and walked and cleared our heads and stopped to look at fish in the river and mostly just cleared our heads. It feels so good to say all the things that get stuffed up inside during busy weeks. I love talking to my husband. (Just ask him, he'll confirm)  :)
As we were walking back to our car I stopped and pulled out my camera.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
I snapped a picture.
"What did you see?" he said, looking around.
I smiled and pointed to the tree I'd just taken a picture before I answered. "If you were a tree and I were a tree.. I'd still be in love with you."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Up on the Roof

My children did not inherit my fear of heights. They may, however, be genetic half-monkey mutants. They tend to want to live in the canopy and not on the jungle floor. They judge an object's value by how high it lets you climb.
To them the main function of a swing set is give you a better view.

The main function of shelves in papa's office is to give you a comfortable place to lounge.

And my brilliant husband has found another way to indulge them. He took the screen off our second story window so they can now climb outside every evening and be in their natural habitat.

Can you hear my trailing voice, "don't fall and die....oh, forget it..."? It is officially a lost cause.
Now the hard part is getting them to come back inside.

We are one step away from flying monkeys. When I can train them to do my bidding I will be a force to reckoned with.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Safe, sound, and back on the ground..

There was a moment when I thought, "Are you crazy? Back out, back out now!" but the rest of me thought "Who passes up the chance to fly?
I am writing a character who flies in a Cessna and I can't write it if I don't know it. Youtube just wasn't doing the trick. Some things you have to experience.
Before the flight I was getting inundated with instructions, but you can see from our faces I was mostly thinking, "Huh. So I'm gonna get in that thing and risk my life? Huh." and the girls were thinking, "Huh. It was nice having a mother..."

Here's my instructor, Matt. He's been flying since the year I was born. He's pretty comfy in a little plane. Maybe a little too comfy. He kept telling me to take the controls- the stick, the rudders, the trim, the ailerons. I did some climbs and dives and pitched turns all by myself. (um, if you don't count the fact that he was at the ready to save our lives).  A few times I got scared and he laughed and said, "you can't hurt a plane." Really? I'm not so sure about that.

The only time I got sweaty palms was when I told him I needed to experience a stall for my book.
"You want me to stall?" he asked. "I don't teach that until much later. But if you want me to..."
It took some insane courage to lie out my teeth and say, "yes" because I actually don't like airplanes that I am in to fall out of the sky.
But stall we did.
And fly I did.
It was pretty amazing. And I learned so much more about my characters and their experiences.
So to sum up-
Worst part: Thinking I might die.
Best part: getting to say "tango whiskey" and "copy that" on a headset.

Yep, that's me, in the pilot seat. If I can do it... well, you know the rest of the sentence.
I hope you all soar high today.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When you turn off the T.V.

I took longer than usual making the beds on Friday. There was an eerie quiet in the house. No one was complaining about how much cereal was left in the box or telling me to hurry and get the toaster going so I think I spent more time fluffing the pillows or daydreaming or something...
By the time I got downstairs I was starting to worry about the silence.
Then I stepped into the living room and saw this:
Happy sigh.
Home really can be a heaven on Earth. My thanks to all good children's authors everywhere.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dear Subjects,

Dearest subjects,
It was a significant day for your fearless leader. I had a learning excursion. That is like a field trip, only more dignified and important.
It started with a ride on a extra-tall yellow limousine that was staffed with footmen and servants. 
Then we trekked through the exotic forest of Kansas in search of flora and fauna. (please pardon the plebeian clothes. My royal entourage and I were trying to blend in with the commoners)
We posed at the top of Mount Miller:
Performed an impromptu charade on a woodland stage:
And touched wild creatures:
The weather was fair, our journey fraught with peril, but successful, and all are now safely gathered home.

The Dancer

Post Script: Due to the nature of our exhaustive adventure, I officially decree a royal rest for my entire kingdom.