Monday, March 15, 2010

in between and almost new.

Listening To: Every Grain of Sand by Derek Webb
Line Love: The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it "the Riddle House," even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there. - first line from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

The sky is a stormy silver color today. And if I look really, really close I can see prickly buds on the tips of the trees. I have a certain fondness for every season (excluding summer days when the humidity ratchets up to 199%). But this in-between, almost-spring thing ... it's kind of rocking my world. Almost-Spring should be it's own season, I think. It reminds me good things are happening even though I can't see them yet. The scraggly bushes in my back yard will be dripping with roses in a few weeks. All the pear trees that line the fence will bloom bright white. I smell rain in the air and I hear birds chirping right in front of my window at 7am every morning (S'okay birds. I'm not mad. My dog, on the other hand ...). I could wax poetic about change and newness and how desperate my heart is for that kind of thing. I'll spare you though. I'll just say it's nice sitting in a place that's about to transform.

Last week, while I was in The Cave of Solitude typing out new stories on ye olde macbook, some really sweet things were happening for friends of the blog! I'm quite excited about name dropping. :)
* First off, my friend and fellow author Jenny B. Jones, who writes some of the funniest and sweetest YA novels on the market, shared chapter one from her new novel So Over My Head. You can read the excerpt here. If you haven't immersed yourself in Bella Kirkwood's world yet, oh mylanta. You're in for such a treat. They're like bookcandy; I can't stop once I start reading them. My opinion is of little importance here though. More important: when my niece, Erin, came up last summer, I gave her So Not Happening (book 1). And the girl pretty much had her nose in the book until she finished. We're both fans. [Dorky writer tangent: Jen writes the Bella saga* in first person, present tense. Usually, present tense novels aren't my thing. Unless they're done very well, I think they come off too pretentious and angsty. Her books are fantastic though. They move at such a clip. I'm jealous of the way that girl can pace a story.]

* Sarah Wylie, a friend of this blog since I started it almost a year ago, announced the publication of her first novel, All These Lives, with FSG/Macmillan in 2012! Yay, Sarah! According to Sarah's blog, the novel centers around a 16-year old girl who believes she's lived more than one life. How stinking fantastic does that sound? :) I absolutely cannot wait to read the novel. You can visit her blog here to read more about her book, her life, and her very famous personal assistant ...

* My dear friend Lola is a contestant in Knoxville's Dancing with the Stars (a swanky charity benefit). Lola is the celebrity dancer, because she's by far the cutest and coolest reporter at the Knoxville News Sentinel, and she's paired with a pro-dancer to help her bring out her inner ... shoot. I don't know any professional dancers. I almost said Ethel Merman but I don't think that's a good analogy. Anyway! I'm so excited about this. You can click here to see her profile and see how much money she's already raised for Children's Hospital (!). I'm so proud to be her friend. (GINGER ROGERS! That's who I was thinking of. But maybe that's not a good one either ...)

And on top of all that good, award season is upon us!

Kimmy sent over a Kreativ Blogger Award. How cute is this? Allow me a moment to brag on Kimmy. Her blog is called Red Said Paisley and I think her writing, and her art (you must see her art!), is so fabulous. So whimsical and wonderful. One look at the blog and you know she's a girl who loves books so, if you're a book-lover too, you'll feel at home there. Thank you so much, Kimmy! In accordance with this great honor, I'm supposed to tell you seven random things about myself. And then, if playing by the rules was my thing, I would tag seven people. However, I'll just open this up to whoever wants to play along. I would love to read seven things about you in the comments or on your blog too. Here goes:
Seven Items of a Mostly Random Nature with Some Seriousness Thrown In

1. Sometimes when I watch the Academy Awards, I hold up my bottle of Diet Coke and give a pretend thank-you speech. (This is cross posted from my Facebook. Sorry if you're reading it twice.) (Also, Sandra Bullock wore my favorite ensemble.) (I know some people didn't like the white dress/hot pink lipstick combo but I loved it. Sandy can do no wrong. Step down, haters.)

2. This morning, after I got out of the shower, I flipped my hair, reached for my root lift and began spraying like mad. (I realize there are some guys who read this blog, who probably read the word "root lift" and thought I put some kind of garden funk on my hair. Root lift just creates the illusion of fullness. No sprouts in the do ...). Within seconds I realized the smell was all wrong. And then I flipped my hair back, staggered backwards (because I have sinus issues that are seriously swaying my balance) and realized I was spraying my hair with air freshener. So. If you pass a girl on the street today and think, hmmm, she smells like Clean Linen ... do say hello.

3. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I think I've scored a great parking spot at Target ... only to discover someone has parked their motorcycle in the space. *Kenny Point!*

4. I think grace is an amazing, incredible thing. I wish Christians would concentrate more on grace, and on loving people, than on being so dern judgy. This is possibly a separate point, but I'm going to list it here as it also fits: I've discovered very often when someone says they are "speaking the truth in love" ... they aren't. Too often, that seems like more of an excuse to say something mean and hurtful. It bugs me when people utilize churchy terminology to justify being hag-like. Or jerk-like.

5. Sometimes I have an uncanny craving for strawberry flavored fruit roll-ups.

6. There's a specific decision I made, several years ago, that I wish I could unmake. I've made several decisions like that, but that particular experience is the one that still keeps me awake at night. I know I can't undo it. I know sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes. Grace applies here too -- I need to realize what happened then doesn't have to be some persistent umbrella over my now. It's almost spring, after all. :) It's a season for new. But even knowing all that, sometimes the decision still smashes down really heavy on my heart. I think it's pressing down on me lately because it's time to lay that sucker down, and let it go for good, and move on. Sadly, that's easier written, than done.

7. I'm still in The Cave of Solitude this week. I'm running my own private writing marathon, trying to finish up something new. I wish I could tell you about it. I want to so much. And I wish I could post some of my favorite parts. I'm smitten with this one. But I'm neurotic, and a little bit eccentric, and I'm always afraid I'll jinx myself if I talk in detail about what I'm writing.

I can talk about Paperdoll though :). This week, I noticed there was a copy of Paperdoll on sale for a mere $999.99 on Amazon. I'm fairly certain this seller meant to post the price as $9.99. Or perhaps that is the magical version, in which the girls on the cover twirl off the page, show you how to clog, and then make you breakfast. However. If you don't have a thousand bucks in your back pocket, there are some cheap copies of Paperdoll available on Amazon! The regular book is only $10, but there are also some bargain copies available for $5. Sometimes bargain copies have little scuff marks but they're barely noticeable. If you've ever considered doing the book as a study with your girlfriends, or the girls in your dorm, or youth group, that would be a seriously economical way to get copies. I wish I could just give the book away for free but my publisher might pelt me with play-dough.

I can also talk about Facebook. I've started trying to use Facebook a bit more pro-actively. Facebook still seems too bizarro for me. Did you watch The Big Bang Theory last week? Remember when Sheldon walked in the room to get the ring with the long grabby tool? This is the same way I approach Facebook. I feel like I'm poking at it with a grabber trying to figure out 1.) how to make the most of it or 2.) if I really need it. Leaving a status update that says something like. "I accidentally flipped the tab of the Diet Dr. Pepper down into the can" just doesn't seem all that necessary. That's also why I don't twitter. (And, sadly, that's about the most exciting thing that's happened in the past week). That said, if you every want to say hello, you can find me here.

And on a serious note.

And this is seriously serious. I didn't know a better way to tangent into this, but I knew you would be okay with the roller-coaster-ness of it :). I know some of you used to read Brio *group hug*. If you were a reader of Brio Magazine, or you attended any of the Brio Missions trips, you know and love Krishana Kraft. Krish was the associate editor at Brio for several years and she's one of the sweetest, most upbeat, most genuine girls you'll ever meet. She's a smartie too but she's not pretentious about it. Also, I've been in the jungle with her, and it's just uncanny how pretty she looks even when the tropical climate was making my hair look like a massive fuzz-fest. (Also an important note: Krish believes cereal is a delicacy to be enjoyed at any point during the day - not just at breakfast - and I so agree.)

Anyway, she's having some serious health issues right now, which she's writing about very candidly on her blog. If you're able to click through, maybe say a little prayer for her and her fam, or give her a virtual hug in the comments, that would be so awesome. I can't even imagine all the people she's encouraged. I hope she's able to see that encouragement bouncing back in a big way. In her most recent post, she writes about hearing the song "God is Bigger than the Bogeyman" over and over in her mind. I love that so much.

I'll be back later this week to tell you about a concert I attended, and about a most-embarrassing experience at a local Mexican restaurant that involves a little activity our Latin brethren refer to as "vomitus aloticus." Till then, I would love to hear your good news, your random confessions, or your favorite flavor of fruit roll-up. I hope you have a happy week. And I hope your almost-spring is intoxicating :)

* It sort of cracks me up that the Twilight series is not referred to as a series, but as a saga. Gone With the Wind is a saga. Roses, the novel I recently finished that spans 100 years, is a saga. Twilight? Is not a saga to me. Thus I've decided to call every book series that lasts beyond two books ... a saga.


  1. Ooh, the air freshener for hairspray thing. I SO relate. Instead of cooking spray, I once used this oven cleaning spray.

    A while back, I finally parted ways with Facebook. Maybe I'll go back someday, but it just became too much of a distraction. Also, the novelty has worn off.

    I'm praying for Krish. I've just clicked over to her blog.

    Finally, thank you so much for the shout-out and your sweet comment! Clicking over and seeing my name on your blog is sort of like when they read the Oscar nominations and you're like, "Ooh! That's me!" I mean, I imagine that's what it feels like since I haven't personally been nominated for an Oscar. :) And I also give impromptu, teary speeches on Oscar night (and beyond...I might've done one this weekend, actually. :)

    Have an amazing week!

  2. I am thoroughly enjoying this whole almost-spring thing. Seeing that tiny bit of color on the tips of tree branches makes me really, really happy. I'm pretty sure I've never been more ready for spring to come--I can't wait!

    Random thought: I recently came across two Nashville-based music artists that I think you might enjoy (since you seem to like the folksy-type stuff about as much as I do!). You should definitely check out The Vespers ( and Jenny & Tyler (

    Have a great week! :)

  3. I don't have anything particular to say, I just wanted to say hi :) I always get so excited when you have a new blog post - there is something special about your writing that makes me want to lock myself in a room and try to get some serious writing done. Of course, there is always something else I should be doing instead of reading blogs, much less instead of spending an even longer amount of time blogging myself.

    Anyways, happy Monday! I hope you have a wonderful week and you succeed with that writing marathon! (I wanted to make some joke about the people holding water as one runs down a marathon path, but I couldn't think of anything funny to relate it to writing. Story of my life.)

  4. Loved this! So funny and, so creative! Than again, I suppose that is why you got the award! =D

  5. Awesome post! You made me laugh! Very fun and, very creative! I suppose that' why you got the award! =D

  6. Sarah, you are most welcome for the shout out. We'll have a release party up in here when your book comes out. In 2012. I'm already calling dibs on an interview :) I'm always questioning my relationship with Facebook. Weirdly, even though I blog, Facebook feels so much more like an invasion of privacy. I don't know why but I can't get into it. Also, glad I'm not the only non-morning person!

    Brittany, thank you so much for the music recs! I can't wait to check them out. Folk is definitely my favorite kind of music. I'll let you know what I think!

    Sam, that is a super kind compliment! The writing, at present, is moving at a snail's pace :) I definitely shouldn't have called it a marathon. And the interweb is like a buglight for me. Sometimes I disable it when I'm working, which doesn't really help much either. Ugh :) I wish all the fabulous blogs out there didn't entice me so much!

    HopeFul Romantic, Thank you so much! I am absolutely crazy about your profile pic. That scene in the movie made me squeel out loud. It's a good thing I wasn't actually in a theater when I saw it ... :)

  7. In order for us to be BFF's you must at least consider the following:

    1. I agree, that "Twilight" Book One, was wonderful, but not quite sagaish.
    2. Book Two: "New Moon" was lame. Although I'm proudly on Team Edward.
    3. Book Three: "Eclipse" is beginning to sound and look like a saga (if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...)
    4. Book Four: (My personal favorite), "Breaking Dawn" SAGA, SAGA, SAGA. Amazing, Fantastic, Love, Love, Love it.

    Don't hate. Join us. Team Edward Forever.

  8. Molly, you are going to throw things at me, and you are so entitled. Breaking Dawn was not my thing. I thought the plot was a little bit wackadoodle and toward the end, I just kinda skimmed. BUT. I realize I am in the vast minority. I think most people who read the series loved the finale. Breaking Dawn was not what I expected, but overall I thought it was a fun series. :) You make many good points though!

  9. My good news is that I am now the sponsor of a 5 year old boy in India! His names is Atul and he is precious. My facebook will have pictures soon. :)

    Seven things:

    1.I am soooo ready to be out of college. I love it but I am ready to graduate. *sigh*

    2.I am hopefully going to Africa on a mission trip in December!!! :)

    3.I have a new found love of Tazo Chai Tea Lattes. It is fantastic.

    4.I have to take a book break thanks to all my homework. :( Not happy about that.

    5.I cannot wait to see The Last Airbender this summer. That kid is fierce!

    6.I have a mini heart attack when I think about Mockingjay.

    7.Spring Break is almost over. Sadness. But that means classes are halfway done!! :)

  10. Hoorah for Sarah! And congrats on the award. Will definitely click through to leave a comment for your friend. It's amazing how much prayers from strangers can truly make a difference.

  11. I can't wait to hear your comments on Jennifer Knapp/Derek Webb. My friends and I hopped on down to New Orleans last night and got to see her at the House of Blues. It was everything I ever wanted (aside from a really creepy lady in the audience who was already wasted by the time we got there and kept screaming "Undo us! Undo us!"... That wasn't cool. Jenn even said so.). Unfortunately Derek Webb decided to skip out on this leg of the tour, so we missed out on his musings. But I was okay, because JK has been my favorite songwriter since I was 12.

    Anyway, I can't wait to hear what you have to say about your experience.

  12. Hi Natalie! I'm so glad you found my blog Woven by Words!! I loved So Not Happening! I was surprised at how many Bullock haters there were on Twitter. I was so giggly when she won!! Now I'm profoundly sad for her. Cannot believe you had your root...stuff..close to air freshener! WHAT were you thinking? hahaha You poor thing! Maybe you could write a book called "When Christians Aren't". Gotta love it when we become all godly and ready to dole out "wisdom" and "ideas" and surround it with a blanket of Christianity. Such a bummer. We give Love a bad name. Sing it Bon Jovi.

    Have a great week!


  13. Thanks for your comment! That means a lot to me coming from an author. I've looked at your book on amazon before and I've put it down on my reading list! I love your blog also. :)


  14. L&L, you two are so sweet. Thanks for clicking through. I nearly swooned over your NYC pics. I've never been there (just driven past). And to be that close to so many cool authors? I could not have been as cool as you were. (Also, I was thrilled to hear you wore flats. Every rule in the book says I should wear heels for swanky things, since I'm only 4'11" as it is. But I can't do it. I like to be able to move ...)

    Ashley, I would love to compare stories with you. Let me know if you write more about your concert experience. Too bad we don't live in the same city. We could have a party when her CD comes out. A party just for us. :)

    bigguysmama, thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment! Thanks to you, Bon Jovi is going to be stuck in my head for awhile ... :) (And point taken: the air freshner and the root lift have been separated to prevent future catastrophe.)

    Tessa, thanks for coming by : ) Let me know what you think of the book when I get a chance to read it. Can't wait to read more of your blog!