Monday, March 11, 2013

Catching Up--In Pictures

We got a new camera for Christmas (a Bloggie, so I can start vlogging--stay tuned!), and I've finally figured out how to upload the photos to my computer (baby steps). So I thought it fitting that I catch the blogiverse up on the big writerly events I've attended in the past few months, along with some addititional bonus pics (yes, I'm including last Halloween because those pics were just too awesome). Thanks to my writer friends for snapping many of these photos. Just because I bring my camera to events, doesn't mean I always use it!

Halloween 2012. Getting attacked by my zombie husband!

Purdies + Halloween = zombie doll, zombie father and son, and a witch

With my friend Michelle Davidson Argyle at her launch party for BONDED in November 2012

Emily R. King's after-Christmas party. Back row L to R: Jennie Bennett, Morgan Shamy, Elana Johnson, Donna Weaver, Peggy Eddleman, Katie Dodge, me, Emily R. King. Front row L to R: Leigh Covington, Erin Summerill, David Powers King

New author pic taken by my friend, Erin Summerill, in December 2012. Still working to redesign my blog w/this.

January 2013: Book club night for BONDED (written by Michelle Davidson Argyle--pictured on the right) at my friend Ilima's house. Our friend, Emily Prusso, was so sad she couldn't make it, hence the paper cutout.

January 2013: Watching the FRINGE finale with my husband and brother and eating Red Vines (in honor of Walter)

January 2013: At a book launch for Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand. Hanging here with (back row L to R) Natalie Whipple, me (I hang with myself!), Sara B. Larson, Ilima Todd, Dialma Jensen, and Stacey Ann Ratliff

January 2013: With Brodi Ashton at her launch for EVERBOUND

January 2013: With Cynthia Hand at her launch for BOUNDLESS

February 2013: With Michelle Davidson Argyle and Kasie West at Kasie's launch for PIVOT POINT

February 2013 at Kasie's launch (L to R): Sara B. Larson, me, Michelle Davidson Argyle, and Kate Coursey

February 2013 at LTUE: me, Sara Raasch, Jenn Johannson, Kasie West, Shelly Brown, Sara B. Larson, Peggy Eddleman, and Renee Collins

February 2013: At LTUE with Sara B. Larson (celebrating new agent sisterhood together!)

Blurry, but worth it! Lunch at LTUE (clockwise): Marion Jensen, Chad Morris, Erin Summerill, Jessie Humphries, Tyler Whitesides, Sara B. Larson, Peggy Eddleman, me, Shelly Brown, Jacqui Scott, and Jennifer Eldredge Jenkins

With my CP and friend, Ilima Todd, at Michelle Davidson Argyle's library author visit

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Two Amazing Stories

I always hesitate to talk on my blog about difficulties in my own life (beyond writing), but in light of two recent and incredible examples in the publishing industry, I'm feeling extra brave and extra humble today. Yesterday, I got served foreclosure papers the home my husband and I own in Florida. Through many severe financial struggles over the years, my husband and I have always been able to hold onto one last source of pride: our perfect credit. It hasn't been perfect for a few months now as we've pursued selling our home through a short sale (an option we didn't like, but had to face). And now we're confronted with the very real possibility that our home will go into foreclosure. By the way, a foreclosure on your credit report is even worse than bankruptcy. So, as you can imagine, this morning I've fought feelings of doom and gloom and self-pity. And then I read this uplifting post by my friend, Peggy Eddleman, and I was reminded that ruined credit isn't the end of the world. Not even close. I may be living in my in-laws' basement, but I have my family, and we have our health and strength (something my husband and son haven't always had). Some amazing writers in our community (and their families) don't have that.

Today is the book birthday for Chad Morris's, The Inventor's Secret. Chad isn't able to promote his book right now. He's where he should be, helping his daughter, Maddie, recover from a surgery to remove a brain tumor. Maddie has to wear a packing beneath her nose that looks like a mustache, and Chad's writer friends have started a campaign, "Mustaches for Maddie," to support this sweet girl, her family, and her dad's book launch all at the same time. Every time I see one of those mustaches on Twitter or Facebook, my heart is warmed by the love we writers can extend when our lives and concerns move beyond ourselves.

And then there's Bridget Zinn. I didn't know her story until I read Peggy's blog. Bridget won't be celebrating her book birthday for Poison on March 12th because she passed away from cancer in 2011. But her family and writer friends celebrate for her and her vision to bring laughter and joy into teens' lives through her words.

And to think I felt sorry for myself this morning. I have so much. A wonderful husband. Three beautiful children. Devoted friends. I have the happiness I feel when I write new stories and breathe life into new characters. I also have a loving family who has taken my little family in when we needed help. I'm grateful for what I have, and I'm feeling even more grateful today for the example of Chad Morris (and his writer wife, Shelly Brown) and their more important dream of helping their daughter, Maddie. I'm grateful for Bridget Zinn and the legacy she left. I want to be like her and Chad and Shelly. I've seriously cried my way through writing this blog post. I don't know how to express my gratitude to these writers, except by doing what I can to share my thoughts about them and help them keep paying it forward to writers and people everywhere.

Please celebrate and support these authors, spread the word about them, and buy their books (they look AMAZING)!