Monday, April 24, 2017

What Have I Been Doing?

Wow, I just realized how long it has been since I've written on here. Maybe you didn't miss me, but I missed being on here! Let me tell you, April has maybe been the craziest month of my life this far! I'll just give a quick recap.

I had the pleasure of going to Nashville to attend Maggie Stiefvater and Courtney Steven's 7 Sentences Seminar, which was amazing! I swear, I learned so much in eight hours. I was amazed. We walked out of there with a story concept, character, setting, and plot. And I'm actually pretty excited by the premise! Plus, it was such an honor to get to listen to these two amazing authors that I respect and admire so much. They're also fantastic speakers!

Family Wedding in Cali! I hadn't been to California since I don't know I was ten maybe? A long time ago, and I had definitely never been to La Jolla (which is basically a super wealthy suburb of San Diego). But getting there was no piece of cake. It was actually the flight experience from Hell. There's no other way to put it. Long story short: after horrendous weather the previous day, we stood in line for six hours, from 11:30 pm to 5:30 am, to get our flight rescheduled. We even would've flown into LAX and driven to San Diego. We just wanted to get there for the wedding. But it turned out not being the worst experience. I met Chris Gallagher, a disney animator and a super awesome YA book nerd, a man who was an extra in The Office episode "Casino Night," two missionaries, and two women from New Zealand. And we did eventually make it to San Diego...just without our luggage. And our luggage did not make it back into our hands for seven more days. Thank you, Delta. FYI if you're luggage doesn't arrive, you're allowed to go shop for necessities and Delta will reimburse you. They didn't tell us that tiny detail until after we'd missed the rehearsal dinner. Again, thank you, Delta. But the wedding on the beach was absolutely beautiful, the reception was a great party; and it was so wonderful to spend time with family that I don't get to see often enough! Even if it was a blitz trip.
Also that weekend, my publisher accepted the Gold Award in New Voice: YA from the Independent Book Publisher's Association's Ben Franklin Book Award for Ascension. LIKE WHAT? You guys, this is huge. I don't think I even fully understand how huge this is. But it's huge. And it's the first trophy I've ever gotten that isn't for participation. I'm actually good at something, guys!

Well, that was Easter weekend. Nothing too much insanely awesome happened here. I spent my entire Friday applying for part time work this summer. I'm still unemployed so...yep! It's okay though. The right job will come along. PLUS I got my sunflower seeds planted, and they are already sprouting. Hopefully, my mom won't kill them this year by accidentally thinking they're weeds.

Let's just say I did a lot of driving this past weekend, folks. I made the very worthwhile drive to Nashville to see one of my favorite humans and go see Jon McLaughlin with her at The City Winery. Very good wine, even better music. Seriously, if you haven't heard his music, listen to it. Not only is he a great song writer, he's an amazing pianist. His hands were a complete blur. It was also a neat concert because it was just him, and it was celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first album's release. So he just played that album, and I'd never heard that music before.
Next day, drive to Maryville to kick of Maryville College's celebration of Katherine Paterson, the magnificent author of Bridge to Terabithia among many others! We thought she'd be at the kick off of course...but that's just a lesson to all you out there. Don't just assume based off of a flyer. Get all the facts or else you'll be disappointed when she doesn't show up.
Well, Sunday she showed up, and she was more magnificent than I ever could have imagined--cute, witty, funny, sweet, and absolutely heart breaking. I think I almost started crying four times during her talk. FOUR! If you ever get the opportunity to hear her speak, GO! I mean, people drove all the way from Nashville.
Shout out to author Brooks Benjamin for having me get a Halls cough drop wrapper signed by her. Made her laugh and probably made me stand out ;)

So that's what's been going on with me.

What's going on with you?