Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas, Weddings, Nano, New Stories

Lots of things have been on my mind this December, and my life has been packed with all brands of wonderful. Here's a sampling of the sweetness.

Winter bride
1. My baby sister got married yesterday. She looked lovely in her beautiful white dress and lacy winter shawl, but much, much more importantly, she was SO HAPPY. She cried. I cried. We all cried. I love you, Emily. I'll make 700 crepes for your reception any day.

2. I won NaNo in November. I realize this news is late and therefore anticlimactic, but I'm still thrilled about it. While doing NaNo again was cool, it was ten times more thrilling that I also finished my novel in November. Now The Lovely Invisible is taking a little rest in prep for a scrutinizing revision, and it always helps to have a little distance so I can get super objective.

3. I have a bright, shiny, and very different (for me, anyway) idea for a new novel! Since I revel in revisions, I'm amazed I want to draft something new already. This story is that special. It's already given me a rash of sleepless nights and all kinds of glorious distractibility. Good signs. But the premise is tricky and needs more research. I want to do this right, so I'm gearing up for major brainstorming and research-a-thons come January.

Trying to rock the 3D glasses
4. I saw The Hobbit in 3D and at an IMAX theater (my first IMAX experience). I'm a harsh film critic, and I have lots of opinions about this film, but I'm willing to forgive many things because the last half of the film was pure awesomeness (Peter Jackson rocks endings), and Thorin (played by a fab actor, Richard Armitage--have you seen North and South? Swoon!) was incredible and totally made the movie for me. So go see The Hobbit (but not in 3D). I can't wait to see it again!

5. I'm spoiling myself for Christmas (yes, I pick out my own presents) by getting a bunch of novels and writing books I selected with a focus on emotion and impactful endings--two aspects of writing I don't feel get enough attention on blogs or books on craft. I'm excited to dig in and continue to learn, learn, learn.

6. I'm most grateful, especially in light of world events, for my sweet family. They are my best gift.

Celebrating my oldest daughter after she performed in A Christmas Carol

I'd like to leave you with a Christmas present (courtesy of Coldplay). This is one of my favorite songs ever (probably tying for first place with Brandi Carlile's "The Story"). Even though this is a Christmas song, it reminds me of summer, which is when I first heard it. But it's definitely a year-round favorite.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2012

And You Are...?

As part of Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault's blog hop, I'm subjecting myself to David Spade's grueling interview questions. See, he's helping Mrs. Clause, who's helping Santa determine who's been naughty or nice this year. Three special presents will be awarded to those David finds worthy. Pick me, David. Pick me!

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?
I haven't gotten a speeding ticket since I was 18, thank you very much. Since I'm almost 36, that's pretty impressive. But I was a nasty, nasty speed demon as a teen. I was good at dodging cops, but I still got two speeding tickets.

2. Can you pitch a tent?
Yes! The basic pop-up kind anyway. And I could write a novel about a tent, and then pitch it to an agent. Does that count? :-)

3. What was your worst vacation ever?
My worst vacation was also my best vacation--FRANCE! I was nineteen and stayed a month with my French pen pal, who had visited me two times in the U.S. before. But we didn't get along this time. (I tried, David!) She ditched me twice. Once in the ginormous Louvre and once on a random street in a little village. This was back in the pre-cell-phone days, and I didn't speak French. I was scared out of my mind!

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?
My registration for LDStorymakers in May. It's an awesome annual writers' conference in Utah. I just paid the fee this morning!

5. We're handing you the keys to what?
I think you want me to name a car, but I want a house! Not too big, not too small. Good neighborhood. Fenced yard. A place to call my own and raise my kids. *sighs*

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?
Cream cheese chicken casserole. Sounds good, but I've made it one too many times recently. Last time was gagorama. I don't want to even think about cream cheese chicken casserole for another decade.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like  ____?
David, I refuse to answer this question! I'm too self-conscious about my own derriere to ever make fun of anyone else's!

8. What was your first car?
I shared a 1977 gold Datsun (oh, yeah, baby!) with my older brother. The paint was peeling and the defrost button didn't work. I had to stick my head out the window during winter to see the road. Also, the passenger door wouldn't open from the inside unless you pulled the lever, lifted it just right, and banged the door with your elbow--all at the same time. It was a sign of true friendship if you could open that door; it meant you spent a lot of time driving with me in my horrible car! I named it "Platypus" because somehow it looked like one. I've never seen a car like it since! Everyone knew it was me driving that beauty around.

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?
Oh, no. David, are you trying to put me on the naughty list? Because I'd totally laugh first! I'm such a clumsy person that I find it hilarious when other people trip, stub their toes, and smack their funny bones. But if my best friend REALLY got hurt badly, I wouldn't laugh, I promise! *crosses fingers behind my back*

10. What's the worst song ever?
Anything by Aaron Neville. UGH! That nasty, nasal, overly warbled vibrato. It's fingernails on a chalkboard for me. It's shoving my finger down my throat. Nothing's worse! (Except maybe elevator jazz.)


All right, David. I see where you're going with all this. These questions are all of the damning-me-to-the-naughty-list variety. I really am a good person. Can't you see the halo over my head?