Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Voices Are My Friends...


Hello? Is anyone out there? I'm not sure anyone is, seeing as it's 5 A.M. on a Sunday morning and honestly I'm amazed I'm up. Not only that, but I'm coherent and WRITING! And I don't just mean this blog post, but like for reals writing. Well, rewriting, anyway, while I also jot down some thoughts on a new project. What is so amazing about this, you ask?

I'm NOT a morning person. Generally, it takes until about 10 A.M. or so for me to be fully functional. I can be awake, yes. But that's just going through the motions. So it would seem the whole thing people have been telling me that having your third kid really changes this is true: looks like baby boy's plot to convert me from night owl to morning bird just might be working. Although, as I type that, he's sleeping peacefully in his bed. It's like he woke up the voices in my head or something.

I suppose that's something I should be grateful for. It's been several weeks since I've worked on anything writerly. So maybe I shouldn't complain about the voices in my head? Nope, no complaints here. Those voices make being awake by myself since 3 A.M. less lonely.

So that's what's going on with me this morning.

What are you guys up to?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) I don't know where the rest of you are, and what the weather is like, but this year, we're having some sort of bizarro take on an Indian summer in Utah. I'm not diggin' it. We can't seem to find a good temperature for the house and I can't put away summer clothes and pull out autumn/winter clothes because there just isn't enough room for all that. *sigh*

2) In 6yo's 1st grade class, I learned they do this fabulous thing every month: Author Spotlights. Where, not only do they learn about the books an author writes, but about the author themselves. I love that her teacher does that and is helping them learn about the amazing people behind the books they love. This month they're learning about Eric Carle and really, who doesn't love THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR?

3) I have 11 books on my nightstand and 4 (I think) on my Nook that I haven't yet read. Not that I haven't read anything lately, it's just I keep re-reading the books I love and have not yet gotten around to new stuff. I feel like I'm not in the mood to be introduced to new characters right now. Like it might be just too much energy for me to become emotionally vested in their lives. Does that sound weird or am I just, yanno, a writer? ;-)

4) We've bought our treats to give away for Halloween, our decorations are up, costumes have been picked out and all we have left are pumpkins to purchase. Which leads to the question of pumpkin patch or grocery store? Husband doesn't want to go without me and baby, but I don't want to take newborn out yet. Thoughts?

5) I keep forgetting what day of the week it is. I guess that was one benefit of getting up and going to dayjob every day, right? I had to be aware of the calendar, if for no other reason, than to count the days until the weekend when I wouldn't be working, Lol!

Speaking of weekends, hope everyone has a great one!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Easy Peasy Recipe

I'm blogging over at Pots 'n Pens today and sharing one of our family's favorite go-to easy peasy freezer meals, so swing over and see if you can save yourself some time too!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Legitimate Distractions

I haven't posted for a while. Since October 4, to be exact. I double-checked to make sure.

I apologize to all of you for my lack of frequency and regularity in posting. There was a recent Nathan Bransford post regarding the whole blogging burnout thing, and I think I may be one of the many who fell victim to that. Plus, I've been a bit distracted.

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes and, well, this one had a very specific shape and size.

While I've been very honest about the fact that I have a general ADD affliction *oh look, shiny!!!* where was I? ... oh yes, I am easily distracted, but this was different kind of distraction. If you follow me on Twitter or we're friends on Facebook, you've already gotten the news, but the reason for my distraction?

Let me introduce you to the newest little Aphayrath.

The last few months have been anything but routine for us around here, and The Boy's sudden appearance last Wednesday, 3 weeks before his official due date, was, well, unexpected to say the least. (Traumatic would be a much better word for it, I think, but without any of the negative connotations...)

Anyway, we are all doing well and I hope you'll forgive me for my continued lack of regularity on the blog for the next few weeks as we adjust from being a family of 4 to being a family of 5.

Sometimes distractions are not a great thing, in this case, I don't think I could have asked for a better reason to be distracted :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Experience: A Numbers Game

Recently I had a conversation with a CP / writerly peep regarding a numbers game.

You see, this week's quote, I think is great and so, so true, but only in the right context. Because it does not state if the experience is GOOD or BAD. It's just experience and it is what you do with what comes from your experiences that make you who you are.

This numbers game we were discussing was in reference to the number of books a writer finishes before "the one." I mean, in some cases, you get lucky with the first. In other cases, it's number umpteenth. Regardless, it is the experience of writing each one. That being said, is each one getting progressively BETTER? I mean, I think we can all say that anyone can write a book, if they so choose. It's really not that hard, right? Some words, a few punctuations, not too much to it.

So really, experience, in my mind, means learning from your past and realizing what doesn't work (through the help of CPs and the generally awesometastic writerly community), and taking what you learn and applying it, right? Otherwise, aren't we just doomed to repeat history? Over and over and over again? 

Personally, I look back to some of the stuff I wrote a few years ago and basically think to myself "OMG, I cannot believe I actually thought this was brilliant. What CRAP." And now, I'm a little more, hmm, this is a good third (or fifteenth) draft, but I'm still a ways away from it being really pretty and shiny. 

What am I babbling on about? I guess I'm just saying that IMO, while experience gained through perseverance is a great thing to have, what you DO with the experience matters far more than just getting it. 

What do you guys think?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) I recently (as in, this past Monday) just moved into a new position at the day job (yay me!). More responsibility, more travel, a little more $ (we all like that!), and a lot more of me going "omg, what have I gotten myself into." So please bear with me if I seem a bit more scatterbrained than normal. Like this is possible or something, right? I'm just trying to figure out the new balance of things as they are, things to come and how all of this is going to land around me.

2) It's still September right? Like, until tomorrow? Yeah, I thought so too. So what the what is up with the stores already having CHRISTMAS stuff out? I mean, for reals? Like it's not bad enough that every store every where kicks up the carols and all that the day after Thanksgiving, but seriously? Husband hasn't even let me put up our Halloween decorations yet because "let's have a little respect for September" so I have to wait until Saturday, but big plastic Santa Claus is hanging out at Walmart with Rudolph and Frosty already? Are you kidding me? *steps off soapbox* 

3) I've been terrible at commenting on blogs recently. For this, I apologize. However, in my defense, I have been reading, I just don't always comment because, sometimes what I was going to say has already been said. Multiple times. Or, I just don't have anything pithy and insightful to add to your otherwise profound and intellectually stimulating shared thoughts.

4) Kidlets and I went (with my dear friend Christine) to the Taylor Swift concert on Wednesday night and it was a great show. We've got some cute pictures that I can't seem to find right now, so I'll have to post those next week sometime. My friend Simon (aka Christine's boyfriend) was kind enough to chauffeur us to and from the show, so we didn't have to pay for parking OR fight the crazy traffic. This is the only way to do a concert at ESA, SLC people. Just saying.

5) This weekend is IT! I've been saying it for a little while now and timing just has not worked out. But this weekend is IT. I am planting my tulips this weekend or I'm just not going to let Monday come. *thought lightbulb flash* Hmm, not letting Monday come around. Maybe I won't plant the tulips and we'll just not have Monday. I'm sure most of you wouldn't mind that right? A super extended weekend to last, oh, say a week or something?

Well, have a great weekend - however long it turns out to be.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

I've not slept much the last several days. Sick kidlet will do that to you.

In the mean time, I've tried to be productive. I read-through my backstory and sent it off to a CP to see if I missed any details we'd discussed. I started my draft 1 of a previously drafted story, the last version of which should've been called something like, draft -237. And I've been very careful NOT to start typing any plot bunnies up because, well, I have writerly ADD and then my revisions and new drafts of existing projects and all that stuff would NEVER get done.

Oh, and I discovered a new show on Netflix: Life Unexpected. Yes, I know, to most of you it's NOT technically a "new" show, but I *gasp* don't watch much television aside from the news, and even that I catch sporadically (most news I get online). So imagine my sadness when I realized I discovered this angsty new show only for it to have already been canceled and there's only 13 episodes, total. Sad day *sigh*. At least that means I don't have to wait forever for the next season to come onto Netflix, I guess.

Why does this always happen to me? Well, probably because we have no cable at our house, no dish. We have very lacking basic television with Watch Instantly Netflix. I know, that's like a cardinal sin for a writer, right? No wonder half the time I feel so out of the loop when people talk pop culture. I really need to try to keep up better ... 

So that was my weekend: sick kid, Life Unexpected, random writerly stuff. How was yours?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

 1) It's Friday. In case y'all missed the memo. I guess that's not really a random statement, but I just wanted to reiterate it, hoping that as I enter into the weekend with 2 sick children and 1 husband who will be working all weekend, it will not be as bad as I think it will be.

2) My right foot is falling asleep as I type this. I hate that feeling, but at the same time, it's sort of reassuring that my limbs are reminding me, by tingling like crazy, that they are still there and functional and stuff. Right now the tingling is mostly closer to my ankle and on the top of my foot. I'm wondering if I keep typing about this, if my foot will realize I am blogging about it and quit the attempt to nap or if it will try even harder to fall asleep faster.

3) Husband and I went to the Sunflower Market this week. It's like a quasi-farmer's market sort of store, but anyway, they were filming "The Program" in the store and someday, sometime in the future, you may see us in the background of some show. We're not sure what show. We're not sure what channel, but we are future background tv stars.

4) I asked this question on Twitter and FB yesterday, but no one answered me and I actually wanted someone to give me thoughts. I was sad when no one said anything. Is that weird? I feel all lame for feeling like I was neglected because no one cared about my random question. I'm such a dork. So really, if you have thoughts, let me know.

5) A thought just occurred to me, and this is probably not one of those "Mom of the Year" thoughts: Sick kids require medication. That means they should sleep more right? Like, during the day? Maybe that means I can get some more done on my revisions. And with Husband gone and kids sleeping, that could mean I'd get lots of quiet sort of alone. Hmm, maybe this weekend really won't be as bad as I'm imagining. I can always be hopeful right?

All right, peeps. Hope everyone has a great weekend free of illness!

P.S. In case you were wondering, my foot chose to not fall asleep. I know it was all because I was blogging about it. It got self-conscious.

Oh, and one other note! I'm blogging over at Pots 'n Pens today, so go check out a fabulous interview with the lovely Tess Hilmo, get a tasty noodle recipe AND enter for a chance to win a personalized signed copy of her debut WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's A Start

Thanks for the input, you guys! Apparently I'm one of the few who are a bit abnormal and don't write chronologically.

My brain doesn't think that way until way after the fact.

So I start, well, I just start with what I see in my head. And only ONCE has it ever been what turned out to be the beginning. When I write, it's like building a big giant puzzle with, say, a thousand pieces where you don't know what the picture looks like. While I've got about 200 or so laid out and ready to assemble, I'm still missing the other 800 pieces, right? Somehow, they hopped out of the box and skittered off somewhere to bide their time. So I work with what I've got until I stumble across another handful of pieces. And then another and another.

All these pieces come to me in what's basically a jumbled mess. As I piece together a little scene here and another one there, I start to figure out where they all tie together. It may be just one tiny little sequence association, meaning I'll have to figure out the big chunk between two parts, but it's something right?

It's a start.

And that's what I've learned through what you guys have told me and my experiences. Whether to start with a totally sucky beginning and then go back to fix it later or just starting with what you think might be the beginning and going from there, we just need to do what works for us. And as much as I wish I could be one of those writers who tweet things like "one more chapter to go and I'll be done with this draft!" I'm realizing I just need to accept that that's not me as a writer.

So I'm off to do some drafting (after I finish this revision from hell that I can't seem to get through) ... and hopefully I'll know what this puzzle picture looks like sooner rather than later :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In the Beginning

That Plato. He was one smart dude, right?

So the beginning ... always sucks for me. I never know where to, well, start.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Maybe because I've got about 10 storylines bouncing around in my brain and none of them have an actual "beginning."

But really, what constitutes a beginning when you first start? Is it your Once upon a time ... or the On a dark and stormy night ...

Or is it that little plot bunny that has gone from being just a cute little furry fluff ball to some sort of giant Easter basket carrying creature who drops eggs at random intervals in your brain causing you to forget what you're really supposed to be focused on. You know the one I'm talking about, the little rabbit that showed up and planted the seed of an idea in your brain. I don't know about you guys, but my plot bunnies do not leave me with directions saying "this is where you start." They leave me with "this is a perfect scene that should go on page 139."

Well, what do I do with that??

I've asked before and I'm going to ask again, because the thought fascinates me. Do you write chronologically? As in, you start with Chapter 1, page 1 (or what you hope will be a good ch 1/pg 1). Or do you do ... other? And if you do write chronologically ... how do you just know that's the place to start?

Beginnings. Like I said, they always suck for me, but I'm open to advice from anyone who's got thoughts on becoming a great beginner!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) It's only Wednesday night as I start my Friday post, but I had to get this down now because I didn't want to forget. Seriously, I do NOT live in the hood. Even if it totally sounds like there are gunshots going off outside right now.

2) It's September now and guess what that means? The tulip bulbs I bought can be planted now! Husband thinks I'm pretty insane since, you know ... I bought 2 packages of bulbs that combined have, oh, a hundred flowers. That's what you get when you buy from Costco. Go big or go home, right? And next spring, I'll hopefully have a little tulip festival right in my front yard!

3) 6yo tried out karate. We had some awesome back to school deal and she got to try out 2 private lessons and now we're "discussing" if she's earned it. One of the rules from the karate master who she was training with? No Fighting. The text message I got from Husband this morning: "Ugh. Kids fighting again." Not sure she's quite figured out this isn't going to help her cause.
4) My sister got a new computer. It's just a tiny little netbook, but it's given me gadget-envy. I want a new computer now. I've only had this one for a year and, well, as much as I love my Little Greeny, I'm about ready for a new one. Plus, I really want to get rid of our HUGE, OLD, LOUD pc. We can just use Little Greeny as the "family" computer. That's what I told Husband. He said something like "add it to your want list. Oh, and how's your Want Stuff savings coming along?" *sigh*

5) Husband's going hunting with a few buddies this weekend. One guy got the elk tag and the others are going along for moral support. Plus, the tag-guy is not exactly what I'd call a total sportsman. I think the last time he shot something hunting Husband and one of the other buddies had to take care of all the game-dressing stuff. Still, Husband's excited. And me? Well, turns out, other than margarita night I've had planned with some girlfriends for ages tonight, the kidlets and I have virtually no plans this weekend. And I'm actually pretty ok with that. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's Your Random?

I talk about myself a fair bit on this blog. My experiences and my strange and random life. But in all this getting back to blogging thing for me, I'd love to know more about you guys!

Are you writers who read? Readers who write? Lovers of books or just fascinated by my randomness?

Tell me a little about you guys! 

What have you been working on? 

What genres do you read and or write? 

And honestly, a question I so need help answering ... what books do I NEED to get reading asap? I haven't read anything new in ages (though I did just get Maggie Stiefvater's FOREVER and couldn't wait to start the end of that trilogy - thanks Cole!).

Anything else wildly entertaining or just plain random you want to share? I'd love to get to know you guys a little better!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not a Quote, a Question Instead

This was supposed to post yesterday. Apparently I've been offline for far longer than I realized and have forgotten how to use just about everything. Ugh. Working on retraining myself. But anyway, think of this as waking up, thinking it's Monday, but really it's already TUESDAY so I totally just cut your week by a whole day. Cool? Yeah, I thought so too.

It's Monday. And I have no quote for you.

Well, that's not true. I've got lots of quotes, just none that felt right for today. So instead of some worldly wisdom from greater minds, you just get me. Hope you're not too disappointed.

I started this post last night and kept deleting it. Which is why it didn't post first thing this morning like it usually would if I was on top of my game and all that jazz. I just didn't know what to blog about.

I know I've been MIA for a while, due in some part to the dayjob, in other parts to being hit with what feels like every possible sickness / virus / ailment that could cling itself to me. But I've missed you guys.

I've been reading / blogging for a few years now, read lots on writing and books and authors and all that stuff. I don't claim to be an expert on anything, but like anyone else, I have my own thoughts on things. So why don't you tell me what you want, blog-speaking? Topic suggestions, book recommendations, random questions for me. I'm game.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the Week

Sorry it's a bit delayed today, but you'll have to understand why. Remember on Friday how I said I had this nasty viral laryngitis? I thought an apt post to share would be all the yellow warnings that came on that one bottle ...

I'm a bit under the influence as I type this now, so forgive any rampant disconnections, non-sensical stuff. Have a lovely day :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) Kidlets were sick over the weekend and I caught it. Or so I thought. Turns out... 2 dr visits, Husband telling me I looked like death warmed over, AND Bossman sending me home from work later I've got some "highly contagious, viral laryngitis that's 'going around.'" Throat's raw, can't stop coughing hurts to speak / eat / move anything above my collar bone. Suck. On the other hand, I got some kick-A drugs, the "controlled substance" variety that makes me feel way better, but maybe not a great thing to be under the influence of when parenting, Lol!

2) I apologize in advance in my posts over the next week or so, as I remain under a controlled substance's influence, are completely discombobulated.

3) We're repainting 3yo's room this weekend. Well, Husband is. We're tagteaming on the housework (as I'm able what with the sickies on me and all). I get to catch the family's laundry up and he gets to move furniture, replace a light fixture and repaint 3yo's entirely pink room. It came with the house when we bought it and we've just been putting it off. And now? It's been decided that it's time. And our little pink princess? We've discussed it and she's totally okay with painting it the "vanilla ice cream" color we've picked out.

4) Oh, another apology: to anyone I owe anything to. I'm a little behind because of all this sickiness and not wanting to spread this God-awful plague to the rest of the world. Soon as I'm out of quarantine, I'll get things sent.

5) All right, almost just hacked up a lung. Gonna take some drugs and head back to bed now.

Hope your weekends are filled with way more fun than mine will be.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off the Beaten Path

Speaking of the Scenic Route, I thought I'd just drop in a few pictures from the scenic route the family and I took over the summer when we went to visit one of my dear friends who is an awesome crit partner and AMAZING adult urban fantasy writer --Amanda Bonilla. (SHAEDES OF GRAY, Signet, is out December 6, 2011 and is available for pre-order it now!)

We had opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have had and both our families had a great time getting to know each other!

I would show you where we stayed, in this cute little 1975 nostaligic (flowered wallpaper, orange/green decor - very *ahem* vintage. It was awesome!) lakeside cabin. Husband was too excited by everything else, he forgot to take a picture of the outside of the cabin we stayed in, but here's a picture of a picture of it! Yep, that says May 10, 1917. And guess what? It looks EXACTLY the same on the outside. Well, except it's a dark red color, not the black and white, but you know what I mean. See, totally vintage. So cool!

This was the view we woke up to every morning, coupled with the sounds of boat motors and people wakeboarding and waterskiing

3yo discovered the way down to the dock, beach and lake pretty quickly after we arrived.

Besides the lake, we got to go out on ATVs - which we'd never been before. And we all had an awesome time!

The view from the top of the ATV trail we went on. Beautiful!

Husband (who is an avid outdoorsy-man - fishing, hunting and all that) got to go salmon fishing! And he caught enough for us to bring some fresh fish home too! Yummilicious (see last Friday's Lox post!)

We got to see wolf tracks! And Husband was too excited to remember to put something beside the track to really demonstrate the size, but that thing was close to the size of BOTH my hands open, palm up!

Fire Chief Juan took us on a fire station tour complete with checking out the ambulance. 3yo to the Chief: "I'm sorry sir, it's too late. I can't hear your heartbeat." Lol!

We went on a fire truck ride through the district.

Then came back and learned how to use the hose and foam spray the firefighters use. We may have a couple little firefighters on our hands...

...Or maybe not. They decided the best part of the tour was playing in the foam spray afterwards!

We picked deliciously sweet wild strawberries. They're tiny but PACKED with flavor.

Every strawberry I've had since then has been bland in comparison.

Thanks so much, Amanda, for letting us come to visit! We had a blast getting to know the family and I'm thinking our husbands may be BFF from here on out. You know, since they are already planning next year's trip out there!

So you see, sometimes, getting off the beaten path and taking the scenic route is good for the soul, the spirit and just plain fun. It lets you recharge and take a break from "reality" and all things that comes with. Doesn't hurt, either, when the place you're staying has NO internet except for what you can get on a little smartphone. After a while, that just gets annoying.

*Raises glass* Here's to summer vacations and scenic routes! Make sure you take some time once in a while to get off the beaten path. Wild strawberries and wolf tracks may just be around the next corner!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Scenic Route

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when he said "Life is a journey, not a destination."

Man had a point. Because really, what's the Final Destination for us all in life? Something involving a hole and some dirt, right? (or, if you're like a certain movie franchise where Death is the bad guy, you NEVER die... but that's a subject for another blog post)

It's taken me a while to realize that stepping back isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's been so much going on in the things I'm involved with, personally, writerly, dayjobbishly, you name it, that I found myself stretched too thin to do anything really well. It took a while to realize that stepping back and taking my time, reorganizing my priorities and realizing that it's okay to go slow some of the time.

It sure beats running yourself ragged and then not being able to do anything at all. Something so many of us forget, because we're too busy on that marathon that is parenting, writing, working, etc.

So to all of you who have also had what feels like one of the busiest summers ever, I leave you with this thought: someday on this journey, when you reach your Final Destination, chances are, your inbox (email, texts, twitter, FB... etc) will NOT be empty. So do you want to miss out on the scenic route now?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) OK, I suck. Yeah, I know, it's been a while, but I can't help it. Well, I guess I can, but I've just not been able to get to the blog recently. There's just been so much going on with the end of the summer closing in, lots of things I didn't count on or plan for and I am so a planner that it's basically thrown my entire rhythm off.

2) I have a ton of pictures to share with you guys, but I can't seem to find the memory card they are all on. I was going to show you all the beautifulness that is where we went for our family vacation (to visit my dear authorly friend, Amanda "Auntie Mandy" Bonilla and her family). It was an amazing trip and the kidlets didn't want to come back, crying as we drove away. And in case you didn't already know, Amanda Bonilla has an amazing adult urban fantasy coming out SHAEDES OF GRAY (Dec 2011, Signet).

**UPDATE ... in a conversation earlier this week with 6yo regarding our next family vacation -
Husband: Do you want to go to Disneyland or Auntie Mandy's house?
6yo (no hesitation): Auntie Mandy's house!
End of conversation.
So clearly, you need to see the pics, because apparently Auntie Mandy's is even BETTER than the Happiest Place on Earth. I'll try to get some up next week!

3) Our bank recently updated their website. And it sucks. Like mucho suckage. It takes FOREVER to log in and I can't even figure out how to READ the damn homepage and NOTHING is intuitive and as we speak, I have a window that's been loading for about 5 minutes so I can try to figure out how I can see the balance in our accounts. Seriously, folks, only make the big webpage "improvements" if you're actually going to IMPROVE something. *steps off soap box* Rant over.

4) Our friend "El Jefe" made a comment to me earlier this summer that basically stated that you can learn how to do ANYTHING from YouTube. I'm not a big YouTuber, but I did take his advice and taught myself the basics of crocheting via YouTube, but that's not our big accomplishment for the summer. We love food at our house. (And thanks to the Pots 'n Pens blog, to which I'm lucky enough to be a contributor, I've had a great chance to learn more new recipes - go check it out if you haven't already. **shameless plug!**) Anyway, back to the food and YouTube ... THIS was the big summer achievement:
Homemade Lox! Husband did all the work, I just reaped the rewards of being the taste tester. Our relationship works out best that way most of the time ;) Here it is on a cracker with some veggie cream cheese, capers and red onions on top. YUM!

5) Guilt's rolling in. I owe some CPs revision pages and I should really get to work on those - soon as I'm done with day job stuff today. So I wish you guys much productivity or wordage or relaxing and enjoying one of the last few weekends of the summer. I got stuff to do. Or else someone's gonna come down here and kick my @$$

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh and if you're still wondering, the bank page STILL hasn't fully loaded.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Unplanning Experiment

I'm a planner.

Many a friend will tell you (along with most of my family), I'm sort of a freak about my calendars and day planner and timelines.

But recently, with illness and exhaustion, day job stresses and life in general going a bit crazy in the Aphayrath house, I've not been able to maintain my freakish timelines I've laid out. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Well, that's not true. I don't actually like it at all. Not one bit, honestly. I like my timelines and the accomplishment I feel when I hit a deadline, even if it is self-imposed. So working with no timelines has been a bit bizarre for me, an experiment in the unplanned.

Which is funny, because I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing. I've learned about myself that if I overplan a book - you know, outlining and all that - I get bored because I already know what happens, so there is less of a thrill for me in "unraveling" the story as it were.

As things slowly calm down, I'm taking the time to re-establish the planning portion of things that work for me as well as accepting that there are parts of what I do that I cannot plan for anymore (like, OMG, seriously? what happened to that character? how come she turned out like that???) and sometimes, the unplanned stuff is what makes my plans turn out just the way I want them to.

Are you guys life planners and pantser writers? Or am I just the only crazy one?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the Week

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 29, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) It feels like it's been a while since I've done one of these, doesn't it? It does to me. I suppose that's what happens when I'm frantically planning for our family vacation, then off ON our family vacation, so it's about time right? And in case you were thinking that Idaho is only good for potatoes . . . ummm, nope. We had a super-fun vacation staying in a lakeside cabin and hanging out with some great friends. The kids didn't want to come back! 6yo was crying in the car as we drove away. Pics to share are soon to come!!

2) Is anyone else STILL dealing with allergies? Usually, my seasonal allergies are a springish thing and by the beginning of June, I'm all right. It's going to be August in just a few days time and I'm still sneezing up a storm! Ugh.

3) While we were on vacation, my little brother came over and watered our plants for us. He did a really good job, since we had a few that were still in pots that we didn't have time to plant before we left, and most of them are still alive! ;) ... Then he gave me crap for the weeds in our backyard, but after a rough negotiation, and the fact that he's 18 and unemployed, he's going to weed our patio for $20. I think I just got a pretty kick-A deal.

4) I have most of the furniture for my new office nook! Woohoo! (Thank you, IKEA!) You see, I did have a home office, and our kidlets shared a room, but 6yo decided as part of her whole "turning 6" thing, she wanted her own room, which was fine. But it also involved dismantling my office and that furniture was not going to fit into anything nookish. So now, in 3 boxes on our living room floor - to be assembled by Husband today!! - is my new desk and chair! I'm so excited. All that's left now is the shelves that are going on the wall above it to house my gazillions of books. There's some shelving weight limits I apparently have to go figure out ...

5) With the end of the summer came one huge success for us: 6yo is officially off training wheels on her bike! And she is trekking along so fast! It only took her about 4 hours to figure out most of the basics of balancing and by the next day, she was ready to ride by herself, no one helping to give her a push start! We're so proud of her and she's so excited to be able to go on bike rides with the bigger kids in the family now!

All right everyone, have a nice weekend. Cling to the last few weekends of summer and enjoy your sunshine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Beginning of the End

I'm back!

Did you guys miss me?? Probably not, huh? Well, I DID miss you guys, but where we were staying was seriously limited on interwebzzy access and I just couldn't keep up with everything on my little phone. So if I missed something from you, I'm sorry. :( I did my best, but the middle of nowhere apparently doesn't really care much if you can't get interwebz.

Now that our family vacation is over, it really marks the beginning of the end of the summer for us. In less than a month, school starts (6yo heading to first grade! eek!!) and we will be back in our mostly routine life of school, work and home. *sigh*

Because of what we knew the end of our vacation would bring, I was on strict orders (from Husband and the friend we were headed up to visit) that "work" was not invited on this trip. By that I took it to mean day job stuff and I didn't even take my day job stuff with me! BUT I did take Little Greeny and got some revisioning done, though I kept being distracted by things like ATV rides, wild strawberries (omg! so so good!), lounging on the dock, learning to make posole, and LOTS and LOTS of good eating.

Speaking of food, I'm blogging over at Pots 'n Pens today, so swing on over for a peek at my vacation reading, a great YA Contemp book filled with nummy-sounding recipes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MIA ... Time for some Vacay!

I've been meaning to blog for the last week and clearly I've been terribly remiss.

Few things going on. Firstly, a sort of impromptu work trip to Mexico City that left me scrambling to plan my presentations, followed by me being completely exhausted from the trip. That led to a weekend full of family events and then FINALLY, the family summer vacation we've been waiting for for over a year!

So I will catch up with all of you on the flip side of the vacation because seriously, if you were waking up to this view every morning, I don't think you'd be all that interested in blogging either.

Peace out, yo! Just kidding, hold down the forts and don't have too much fun without me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The use of travel is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are."

Samuel Johnson

Friday, July 8, 2011

Random Stuff Friday with A Couple Winners Too!

1) I'm not sure if you're here to read my randomness or if you're really here because you entered a little contest Debbie CranberryFries and I kicked off a couple weeks ago. I seem to remember it included something like some cinnamon bears . . . and, oh yeah, A SIGNED ARC of the fabulous Brodi Ashton's EVERNEATH! Plus a second prize pack filled with all sorts of Everneathy goodies. So if you're name is LESLI LYTLE, come on, up! You're the next contestant on the Price is Right - oh, wait. Well, Lesli, you're our big ARC winner!! We'll be getting in touch with you for your shipping info. And because one winner is never enough, ALICIA GREGOIRE, you're the very lucky winner of some Everneathy stuff. We'd show you what's in there, but then we'd have to let Hades have you. We'll be contacting each of you for details! Congrats!!
2) In other, more random, stuff . . . a couple weeks ago I blogged about my nephew J3 (cousin's youngest son) saying that Reading is Boring. Blasphemy, right? I thought so too. Well, the other day my other nephew, J2 (J3's older brother), was sitting around in my parents' backyard with us, looking at some little American flags that came off my daughters' bikes. (They were decorated for a kiddie 4th of July parade we did for our family picnic.) Here's the conversation --
J2: Hey.
Me: What?
J2: America only has 50 states?Me: OMG, you're not seriously asking me this.
J2: I thought there was 55.
Me: How old are you again?
J2: 16.
Me: And you're really asking me this question?
J2: Really, I thought there was 55. Or maybe 48.
Me: *looks away, ducking head down*
My sister: Yeah, now you know why he failed 9th grade.

I still don't know what to say about this conversation, so instead, I'll leave you with this cute picture:Yes, those are the flags I mentioned above . . .

3) Did I tell you about this awesometastic new blog that I'm lucky enough to be a part of? It's over at Pots 'n Pens where you can meet some fabulous writers and get some tasty recipes! You can read all about writers and food and writers writing about food and did I mention the food? Yeah. Trust me, that's enough to get me anywhere most days :) and if you're interested in seeing where this all started, you can go check out Sarah Bromley's blog about how Pots 'n Pens was born!

4) At the day job, things are a-changin' . . . and as Bossman likes to say, "with all changes come opportunities." That's a code for us who have worked for him over the years. When he says, "I have an opportunity for you . . ." what that really means is . . . Guess what? There's more stuff we gotta get done and have I got "an opportunity for you." I'm in the midst of LOTS and LOTS of opportunities. Things that I'd avoided learning or even touching with a 10-ft pole in my near 6 years here, yeah, they're in my lap now. *sigh* . . . opportunities, man. They are EVERYWHERE! So needless to say, things overall have been CRAZY busy!

5) Two weeks ago today we were headed up to Rockport Reservoir (just up past Park City, UT) for some camping. On the way there, I got a phone call from my sister asking me "What is a good name for a boy dog?"

This is what, er, who she came home with on that fateful Friday:
Don't let the adorableness fool you. Inside, he's wolf, all the way. Even if he's only 15 lbs and a foot tall right now. Lol!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fireworks and Real Days Off

I realized earlier that I hadn't blogged yet this week. I even tweeted it. But still no blog topic that came to mind. So I figured, I'd blog about not blogging.

On Monday, I was going to be all cheesy and put up this quote:

"You gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July"

- Katy Perry, Firework

But then ... I didn't. No reason. I just seem to be less onliney when I have real days off, it seems. By "real" I mean, days when I don't head into day job, days where I am not running through airport terminals to catch a flight here or there.

Just a real day off to be me, hanging with the family, being mom and wife and reluctant dog owner, wannabe gardener and sometimes-the-food-is-edible cook.

So maybe I was just owning the few days off I had, even if I've got a few more coming (in just 12 more days!! woohoo!!).

Hope everyone had a great time this past weekend, that things were chill and relaxed and you got to spend some time just hanging out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Stuff Friday and #everneathARC Contest Extension!

1) I was in San Jose for day job earlier this week and had a chance to come back on an earlier flight. It turned out to be the absolutely worst flight I've ever been on since I started traveling with day job. Turbulence from takeoff to landing - like the takeoff and landing were the smoothest parts of the whole flight! Makes me dread the next flight I've got to get on in a couple weeks. :(

2) So I know I've been a bit EVERNEATHy this past week, but come on! Have you seen the cover of Brodi Ashton's book? How could you not gasp at the beauty of this thing? Plus! How could you NOT want your very own??? Last night was supposed to be the end of the #everneathARC contest, BUT due to popular demand, the continued influx of entries, Debbie CranberryFries and I decided to EXTEND the contest another few days! So NOW you have until Tuesday, July 5 at 5pm Mountain time to get your Tweet on! Go check out the deets HERE or HERE! And remember, if you don't win the #everneathARC, you could still get lucky and win yourself a whole load of EVERNEATHy goodies! GOOD LUCK! ( And big ol' fat thanks to Brodi for being such an awesome author support of the contest!)

3) It's the beginning of Independence Day weekend. I'm off work early today and then don't have to come back until next WEDNESDAY! Woohoo! Our big plans this week: the kidlets are going to be in a parade, big family barbecue and fireworks! Always a fun time. Good food, friends and family, and fireworks. That's what it's all about!

4) Also, if you all will remember my twitpic from earlier this week:
after 5 days of untangling on/off, I swear I'm making progress:I know, I could totally go buy another $2.99 thingy of yarn, but I'm finding this whole untangling thing a bit cathartic ... good thing I told Husband he wouldn't have a scarf until ice fishing season in January, so I've got some time to finish untangling!

5) Don't know about the rest of y'all, but I've got a 4 and a 1/2 day weekend this weekend :) Off mid-day today and not back in the day job until Wednesday! So don't forget to get all EVERNEATHy and enter the deadline-extended contest ... be safe on the roads / with the fireworks / working the grill ... and don't forget to have an absolutely awesometastical weekend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Let's meet at that one place by that tree where we went that one time."

-EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (January 2012, Balzar & Bray)

What was that? What am I talking about? Oh, you haven't read part 2 of the exclusive Brodi Ashton interview to know why that's this week's quote. Well, what are you waiting for? You even still have a chance to win an ARC of Brodi's debut novel, EVERNEATH!! Click HERE for the details on how you can still enter to win!

Friday, June 24, 2011

EXCLUSIVE Interview & #everneathARC

UPDATE: The #everneathARC Contest has been EXTENDED! For your chance to win, keep reading, but know that you now have until 5pm on Tuesday, July 5th to get your tweet on!

A few weeks ago, I had a Twitter conversation with a friend that basically ended up with me landing an awesome opportunity to FINALLY be one of the cool peeps to get an EXCLUSIVE! I mean, come on, who doesn't want one of those, right? And what did I get? Well, according to Michael of HarperCollins, I got the ever-amusing Brodi Ashton! Well, an EXCLUSIVE interview with Brodi, I mean. Along with Debbie over at CranberryFries, we were able to get some insights into Brodi's life, writing and the world of her debut novel EVERNEATH (coming January, 2012).

Ah, yes. EVERNEATH. What is it, you ask? Well, here's the lowdown:

EVERNEATH is partially based on the Greek myth of Persephone: 17-year-old Nikki's been banished to the underworld escapes to return to her former earthly existence with her family and boyfriend. The catch is that she only has six months in this real world before being sent back to Hades, this time forever.

Now if that doesn't sound like you need to CLICK HERE to go add it to your GoodReads, I don't know what does!

You're probably now at the stage where you're wondering, okay, so who is this Brodi character, anyway? Well, she, like about 2.7 million other people (give or take a 100,000) lives in Utah. She's married with two young boys who still have no idea why she's at the computer all the time. Brodi has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master's degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Several times a week, you can catch up with her and her amusing antics on her blog HERE. And sometimes, if she's not around, her hilarious husband covers for her and it's worth keeping up with the blog just to read his posts sometimes!

And now on to the EXCLUSIVE! part 2. (You can find EXCLUSIVE! part 1 at CranberryFries!)

Me: So Brodi, can you share your favorite one-liner from Everneath?

Brodi: I love it when Jack says to Nikki, "Let's meet at that one place by that tree where we went that one time." And Nikki knows exactly where he's talking about. It really shows how much history they have together and how well they know each other.

Me: What was your first thought when you saw your cover?

Brodi: My first thought was pure joy, and then relief that I wouldn't have to be one of those authors who has to pretend she loves her cover. I absolutely love love love my cover! [Me too!] It's really what I had pictured, only way better because I'm not very creative.

Me: Does thinking about the upcoming signings and other public events make you nervous? Or have you not thought about the groupies and paparazzi who will be stalking you at said events yet? Oh, should I have not brought them up... ?

Brodi: Ha ha ha. For some reason, I have not been worried about paparazzi. Mostly I just hope at least two people turn up to my signings. And then I hope those two people aren't my husband and my mom.

Me: How has working with a "real-life" publishing house editor affected your writing? Do you drink more Diet Coke now than in the era BE (before editor)?

Brodi: I'm lucky enough to have the world's best editor by my side, Kristin Daly Rens. Seriously, I think she was recently voted "Smarted editor on the planet" and was awarded a golden burrito. She taught me (by force, which may or may not have involved a whip) [dare I even ask??] to never stop asking questions about the world in my book, and thus made it a stronger book. And she loves Diet Coke and cinnamon bears as much as I do.

Me: You're working on Everneath 2 right now, what's been the most challenging aspect of writing a sequel?

Brodi: The most challenging aspect has been trying to keep my focus when all this exciting stuff is... I HAVE A COVER! BECCA FITZPATRICK BLURBED MY BOOK! ARC's ARE ON THEIR WAY! ... Sorry... where were we?

What, besides the cinnamon bears and Diet Coke, gets you "in the mood" to throwdown some major wordage and get the creative juices flowing?

Brodi: My friend and critique partner Bree Despain and I have been holding "Word Wars" on twitter where we write for an hour straight and then report back our word counts. It's all about getting as many words as you can, so it allows you to write crap, which is the first step toward writing awesome. Any writers can join in!

Me: And finally, with your books having Greek mythology in the roots, if you suddenly discovered you were a Goddess, what's the first thing you'd do?

Brodi: Easy. I'd cure cancer.
That's kind of boring, though, so how about I'd cure cancer, and I'd also give me the power of having acid for blood. So if someone picked a fight, and made me bleed, they'd be sorry.

Thanks so much for your great answers and giving us some insight into the book as well as you and your writing! So basically what it comes down to is, Don’t mess with the Diet Coke & Cinnamon Bears powered Goddess Brodi, or else you’re gonna be in big, BIG trouble!!

But WE are not in trouble and I know you’re DYING for this next part! … but before we begin, let’s check --

Do you have a Twitter account? Good.

No? Better get one asap or else you're gonna miss a chance to win your very own Brodi Ashton-signed and donated ARC of EVERNEATH! Here's all you've gotta do:

Go get the first half of the "OFFICIAL Brodi-approved #everneathARC tweet" from CRANBERRYFRIES’ #everneathARC post HERE

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay, got it? We’re back now? All right.

Add that to this second half of the "OFFICIAL Brodi-approved #everneathARC tweet":

I want the #everneathARC NOW!!! (deets:

Now, put them together and go TWEET IT!!

Easy-peasy right? Of course it is!

Now, if you want some extra chances to win ... there's a few things you can do, and NO, you do NOT have to keep track of your points or come back to us with an email or anything like that. If you just do any of the following things, we'll take care of all the math, counting and adding and stuff for you!

+1 following either of our blogs (+2 if you follow both) - new and old followers, same number of points.

+1 commenting on either of our #everneathARC blog posts (+2 if you comment on both)

and the big one ...once the cover is revealed and available on the PageTurners blog you can get

+5 for changing your Twitter avatar over to the EVERNEATH cover and leaving it up for the next week! (we'll be spot checking - no work necessary from you other than the switch over)

And don't think the ARC is all we've got up for grabs! If that's not enough for you, there's an awesome second prize surprise basket containing oodles of EVERNEATH-y goodies! You won't be disappointed!

This contest is open to all US residents only (sorry international peeps) through Thursday, June 30 and we'll be announcing the winners on our blogs Friday, July 1.

UPDATE: The #everneathARC Contest has been EXTENDED! For your chance to win, keep reading, but know that you now have until 5pm on Tuesday, July 5th to get your tweet on!

And now that you’ve finally reached the end of this forever long blog post – hey, my name is Windy, I can’t help that I’m a bit long-winded, okay? – Click on over to the PAGETURNERS Blog for the big reveal of EVERNEATH’s breathtaking cover! You won’t want to miss it!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Random Stuff Fri--er, Thursday

1) I know, today isn't Friday, BUT you'll still want to come back tomorrow as the lovely Debbie -i.e. CranberryFries - and I have the fabulous opportunity to offer to you ... the very FIRST Arc contest for Brodi Ashton's EVERNEATH! Along with exclusive interviews with the Bro-meister, this contest runs alongside the cover reveal for EVERNEATH that will be hosted on the PageTurners blog! So I'll see you back here tomorrow, right? Right!

2)In other randomness, I confess, I forgot to blog last Friday and by the time I got around to realizing it, well, I couldn't remember all of the week's random stuff and I was distracted by life-ish things and just didn't get to it. I'm doing better this week, because, well, as I write this, it has just become Wednesday, which means, I'm trying to keep track of the random stuff that's going on. Yay for me! I know, this is weird to those who know me and know I'm a bit of an overplanner and a little Type A. But there you have it.

3) I've been saying I've wanted to learn to knit and crochet forever. I've taught myself how to do needlepoint pretty decently, and, well, that's about it. Unless you count coloring in the lines to be really crafty. But anyway, so my sister learned how, with some help from Mom and Dad. So then she tried to teach me. Apparently I was pupil # 3 to try to learn. I didn't do half bad, but pupil #4, well, just the fact there was a pupil #4 was surprising. So there I am, sitting on my parents' couch with my almost 20yo sister AND 18yo brother learning how to knit. In his words: It takes a REAL man to be willing to learn how, even if I never do it again. Which is true, to that. Because, yanno, my dad totally knows how to knit.

4) A conversation between Husband and 3yo after family dog (a 1 1/2 yo boxer) spastically ran through the house and knocked a bunch of stuff over while we were trying to organize food list for upcoming camping trip --
Husband: maybe we'll just eat Kentucky Fried Dog (yes, I know it sounds gross, just go with it)
3yo: Do you mean Lucy?
Husband: Yes. She's crazy.
3yo: We can't eat Lucy.
Husband: Why not?
3yo: She's a person too.
It was a little bit "aw, cute" and a little bit "how does this kid put this logic together??"

5) And since I started with bookish, EVERNEATH-y stuff, I thought I'd end with some bookish, EVERNEATH-y stuff: LAST CALL for UTAH Book Bloggers!!! If you're interested in the Locals Arc Tour please email me at windy.aphayrath (at) by 5pm Mountain time on Friday, June 24!! .... For those of you who have already emailed / signed up way back when the first call went out - I've got you on my list and I've already contacted those of you who I needed additional information from. I will be emailing everyone over the weekend with more information!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reading is Boring

Over the weekend (thankfully BEFORE I got sick), the kidlets and I went to a family birthday party. Husband was off working and so we were free to party it up.

Well, this party went from a 9yo's birthday with pinata bashing to Glee Karaoke Revolution and ended with a very, very high spirited game of Catchphrase - like Charades, but where you can talk as well, you just can't say the "catchphrase."

Anyway, during this game, one of the catchphrases that came up was BEDTIME STORY. After the clues were solved for this one, my nephew (cousin's 15yo son), said "Mom, you never read us bedtime stories."

My cousin just shot her son a look. You know the one, that Mom-look? Yeah, that one.

Nephew then said, "It's okay, though. Reading is boring."

I nearly dropped the drink in my hand as I just stared at him. It was like a moment where everything around me just went eerie and quiet and I didn't even know what to say because . . . OMG THAT IS BLASPHEMY! HOW COULD HE SAY SUCH A THING?????

I get that reading's not everyone's fave activity. I do, really. Like Husband? He's a very specific kind of book guy, otherwise, he's a magazine guy all the way. BUT, he will always read to the kidlets and always supports them in their reading (or attempts at it - they are only 3 & 6, after all).

When I was little, my parents weren't really read-to-me types. One reason: English is not their first language and they had a hard enough time with general communication, let alone trying to understand all the nuances in children's storybooks. BUT, they were ALWAYS supportive of my reading, taking me to the library whenever I wanted to go, even signing me up for those kids' book of the month clubs.

And now, both Husband and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that our kidlets enjoy books. That in most cases, they'd rather read a few pages of Harry Potter together than watch the movie. (It may have something to do with 3yo being afraid of Voldemort, aka "The Flat Nose Guy.") But still.

Okay, I'll get off my ranty soap box now. But a quick question for you guys: How have you guys fostered reading with the kids around you, whether they are your own or just ones you borrow from time to time?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

(Belated) Quote of the Week

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Dr. Suess

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Popcorn and Pots and Pens

It feels late to be blogging - well late in the day for me. I mean, it's nearing lunch time and . . . well, the whole food thing might be why I felt like blogging right now. You'll get where I'm going in a sec, I swear!

Firstly, I took yesterday off because the big kidlet turned 6. And what did the officially 6yo want to do? Go see Kung Fu Panda 2.

And eat an entire large tub of buttery popcorn, washed down with orange soda. Yeah. It was a good day.

Now secondly, since I started with lunch, went off on buttery movie theater popcorn . . . this leads me to some Pots. And some Pens.

The fabulous Cole Gibsen and several other blogging writers (yours truly included) are looking to launch a fun new blog stop called:

The blog's going to have writerly stuff, and foodie stuff, including things like our favorite recipes, what our characters are eating, author / agent / editor interviews involving their favorite foods and recipes and . . . well, if it involves food, I'm sure one of us will throw it up there.

We're still looking for contributors, so if you write and you like food and you like to write about food, well have I got blog for you! So if you're interested in participating, you're welcome to shoot me an email at windy (dot) aphayrath (at) gmail (dot) com . . . OR you can email Cole directly at cole (at) colegibsen (dot) com!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Possession Winners!

I love these posts!

You know why?

Because SOMEONE - in this case SOMEONES - are getting signed books!

Last week a whole bunch of you guys joined in with Nichole, Ali and I on a bloghop on June 7 to help launch POSSESSION by Elana Johnson.

Through the wonders of (and verification bloghop posts were up), the three winners of the signed copies of POSSESSION are:

Amy McBray
John Sankovitch
Rachel Morgan

Congrats you three! Keep an eye out for an email to come from one of us for your info so we can get the books sent out to you!

And if you DIDN'T win ... you've still got a chance to get some personal Elana-time! There's still time to enter to win this awesome prize! All you have to do? Send a copy of the receipt from your POSSESSION purchase to windy (dot) aphayrath (at) gmail (dot) com! You've got until the POSSESSION Virtual Launch on Thursday, June 16 (at 12:00 pm Mountain time) to get these in! I know you've already bought your book(s), so why haven't you sent me the receipt yet???

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) I really need to capture a vid of my kid brother jamming out that horrendous "It's Friday" song, seeing as that's the first thing I thought of when I started this post. Every time I say something about Friday, he busts out in the chorus of that and it's hilarious! Regardless, it IS Friday and I'm so glad. It feels like it has been a long, long week. Even if I had yesterday off ;)

2) So every year, between Mother's Day and Father's Day, well, things at this Aphayrath house are jam-packed! We've got 3 birthdays (the 2 kidlets & mine, the parents' days, our wedding anniversary), and then this year we had to add to that 4 graduations (1 college, 3 high school), a family wedding and, of course, a lovely friend's HUGE book release & launch party (*ahem* Have YOU picked up your copy of Elana Johnson's POSSESSION yet?? Well, have you??).. and well, yeah, it's been a busy 6 weeks or so. Just listing it out makes me want to crawl back to bed and take a nap.

3) I'm writing again. Woohoo! After a long and unexpected hiatus, it feels so good to get new, albeit crappy, words down again. Love this feeling and have missed it so, but the break was good, I think.

4) We've lived in our house for 4 years now and finally, FINALLY, we've gotten to some MAJOR yard work. In the last couple of weeks, Husband and a couple of his buddies rented a chainsaw from Home Depot and chopped down 2 obnoxious trees that I've totally hated since the first summer after we moved in. One was a nasty tasting purple plum tree with a mean ol' robin that would dive bomb you if you got too close, and the other was a tall flowering shade tree that while the flowers were pretty, they smelled sort of like dog poop. And we have a dog, so I know that smell. GROSS! So yay! Every time I look at our yard now I feel a bit more Zen.

5) And lastly, if you're a local Utah blogger (reader / writer / general supporter of all things wordish) I've still got a few spots open on the locals ARC tour of Brodi Ashton's EVERNEATH (Winter, Balthazar & Bray). Email me at windy (dot) aphayrath (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested. Spots are filling up fast! - to those of you outside of Utah, I know Brodi's going to have ARCs out with some of the other tours, so keep an eye out!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!