Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Puppy Pictures!

Thanks for the congrats, guys! I've had my puppy Akita, Katana, for two days and already I'm in love and addicted. The first night she slept beside my bed in a crate. She did great. Me? Not so much. I tossed and turned, worrying why she was being so quiet. At 4:30 am my hubby woke up and saw me. He knew, too. After snickering, he encouraged me to check on her so I could get to sleep. I grabbed the flashlight and sure enough, she was breathing. I am officially the new momma of a furry baby. That's for sure!

Play Time

Potty Time

Nap Time

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting A Puppy Today!!!!!!

Today, I'm getting a puppy!!!! And if you've read my "About Me" little area, you'll know I'm a dog hugger. I love them. To the umpteenth power. I've had a little Bichon named Squeakers for a while now. Before her, I had a little Bichon named Ozzie. I've had little dogs since I was eight.

I've wanted a larger dog to go running with. To protect me while walking the woods, or nature trails on my own. But, with my hubby being a military man, we were moving every two years. And we were never guaranteed we'd live in an area that was large enough, or safe for a large breed dog. So we always said that when he got out, and we settled down and bought a house with a big back yard, we'd get a big dog. Well, that time has come. And I am giddy with excitement.

Want to see what she looks like? She's an Akita, which is a Japanese breed, so we are naming her Katana.

 As the proud mommy of a new puppy, I will no doubt be posting pictures to my blog on a constant basis. Just to let you know.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving & Publishing...An Interesting Mix?

I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. :) Here's some of what my spread of yummies looked like.

If you'll notice, I started placing the sides in serving dishes, but by the time it was time to plate the mashed potatoes I just threw the mixing bowl on the serving table and called it a night! :)

Also, I read a great post today on Rachelle Gardener's blog today that I thought I should pass along. It's written by a published author, and it's about the publishing process...kinda. Go here to check it out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breaking Dawn Premier!!!

So I did it. I went to the premier of Breaking Dawn Part 2. And man...It was AMAZING!!!

Yes, the rumors are true. There is a surprise ending. And it caused such a visceral response from the movie-goers that a few times during the movie there was yelling and gasping. From me? What? No, I'm not one of those crazy Twi-Hards...FINE! Yes! I shouted at the screen and felt so strongly I actually shook in my seat! At one point I grabbed my sister's thigh and squeezed to release my anxious feelings without actually having to get up and pace the aisle. Yeah, it was like that.

And yes, I'm one of those Twi-Hards who got there way early and waited in the cold. Let me tell you how it went down...

I live two hours north of my sister. So, I drove south. She called the theater that afternoon to double check the line rules, where it was located, and that sort of stuff. They said we weren't allowed to line up (outside) until 7:15 pm. Our showing was at 10:30 pm. I was shocked we had to wait.

So, we got to the theater at 6 pm. Because my little sister was adamant about being the first in line, we hung around the theater. Grabbed some coffee at a nearby coffee house and then stood beside the people lining up for the 10 pm showing. See, the theater was taking the 10 pm showing folks in early, so as to decrease the outdoor line length. My sister wanted to hover near the 10 pm line so that the moment they were taken into the theater, we could be first in line for the 10:30 showing. So, we pulled the blankets, coats, Twilight games, and foldout chairs from the car trunk, and waited.

Then, the 10 pm folks went in. And guess what? We weren't merely the first in line for our showing, but we were the ONLY ones in line!

My sister, very excited about our line status. 

    We set up our chairs, and waited.
By this time the line was forming. 

What? We look cold? Yeah. It was 37* out with a light mist, because you know, we ARE in Washington. But, our line wasn't supposed to be taken into the warm theater till 9:15 pm. What did we do while we waited? You mean besides drink lukewarm coffee and eat buckets of popcorn? Why, play Twilight trivia games of-course!
My sister's sister in law, clearly excited.

And then the moment came. They opened that side door and led us into our designated auditorium. My sister reminded us a couple times, that since we listened to her, we had first choice of seating. Joy of all joys. After our bones warmed a bit we shed our coats, and scarfs, and gloves. And then we ate more popcorn. (I hadn't eaten since 11 am, so popcorn was my dinner.)

We didn't shed the blankets, though.

And then we chatted excitedly. Until...the lights went down. The previews were even great. But when those words came onto the scene, uh, my breath hitched, and my eyes locked onto the huge rectangle of amazingness.

Now, I wont tell you the ending. I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. But, I will tell you how sweet the very end was. Many of you know the meadow scene in Twilight was the dream Stephanie Meyer had had that sparked this whole thing. You'll also notice in every movie (save for the first Breaking Dawn, I think) there's a meadow scene. Breaking Dawn part 2 ends with Bella and Edward in the meadow and man, that made me want to cry! Also, during the credits, when they show the actors who have played characters in the Twilight movies, there's a piece of the screen displaying the book that character was in, and pages that flip to the page where that character is introduced. To me, as a book lover and writer, that small piece was incredibly special. 

So there you have it. :)

Have you seen it yet? Are you planning to?

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Me and Jacob!
In exactly two hours, I will hop in my car and drive two hours south. In exactly six hours, I will be standing in line...waiting...for the premier of BREAKING DAWN!

I have special feelings for this series. It reminded me of my love for reading and writing. It gave me the gusto to actually write a novel. And, when the first Twilight movie came out, I was living in Texas desperately missing my home state of Washington. I sat at home, watching the DVD over and over again, reminded of the evergreens and ferns and cloudy days. I even planted a fern, but it didn't last long in the Texas heat. :(

My little sister cavorting in the woods with Edward! 

After New Moon came out, my little sister joined the Twilight Bandwagon. We made a pact that no matter what state I lived in, I'd fly to Washington and we'd go to the midnight premier of Breaking Dawn part 2. Tonight, I will sit beside my little sister (and a few of her friends) and watch the last piece of Bella's story.

My life has changed since sitting in the theater, years ago, enjoying the first movie. 

I now live in Washington. I have ferns in my yard and they are thriving, by the way. I've written two books and am working on a third. Both of my books have been submitted to agents and editors, so I am on the road to publication. I get to go hiking in the Washington forests when I feel the need. I get to jog on trails that wind in and out of the woods. And today I don't have to get on a plane to fulfill my promise to my little sister. I just have to hop in the car. :)      

This is my parents' dog. In this version, Jacob bit Bella first.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Blog Hop #1

This month I'm participating in Brenda Drake's Thanksgiving Blog Hop! Go here to sign up.

Today, I'm thankful for the ability to write. For the fact that I love it. Because, I know this sounds crazy, but to most people the idea of sitting down day after day, stringing together 90,000 words of cohesive story is pretty painful. Like gouge their eyes out, painful. To me, it's heaven.

I've always loved to write. Even as a kid. And when the teacher assigned an essay, oh yeah, I was ALL over that! Now that I'm older, I like figuring out how best to weave together plots and characters. How to show the beginning, the middle, and the end in a way that best highlights each story component and leaves the reader glued to the pages. I buy best-selling novels and mark them up with a pen. I study how the author shares what's in their heads in an understandable and addicting way.

It's because I love stories.

Admittedly, I still don't completely grasp the idea of the comma. My spelling is less than desirable. But, stories...I know stories. I live and breathe stories. And for that, I am VERY thankful. :)

Found this the other day. I forgot about it. Now I need to find the novel that won this award!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Just For Him

As most of my blog friends know, I attended my first ever writer's conference the last weekend of October. It was awesome. And I'm planning a blog post explaining its awesomeness. But, I wanted to write about something most people don't know.

My grandfather was an author. Well, first he was a journalist. That was in the late 40's and 50's and on. Which is pretty cool to me. :) Later he became a journalism professor at a university. And then, he became an author.

Growing up, we didn't live near him, and I rarely got the opportunity to visit. But he and I wrote letters. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and he was very encouraging. When he'd respond to one of my letters, he'd include my written letter with red ink all over the page. Always editing. :) I wonder if he was preparing me a future of seeing red.

When I was in high school, he offered his home to me if I chose to attend his college, and especially if I continued to pursue a career in writing. Unfortunately, I never took him up on that offer. After high school, I fell in love and ran off to Germany. That's also when I gave up on my dream of becoming an author.

Fast forward to a few years ago when my dream of being published reignited. I wrote a book. And then another. And then started on another. But, I hadn't told my grandfather that I'd dusted off my desire and chased it like nothing else. I wanted to prove it to him. This time, I wanted to show him more than my will, but my book. The finished product, proving I'd finally stopped talking and started doing.

I dreamed of sending him a signed copy like the book he'd sent me. Pictured his face, proud of his granddaughter. Pleased to know the "author gene" hadn't ended with him.

But, about two or three weeks ago, as I prepared for the conference, a thought occurred to me. The process of being published was a long one. And my grandfather was getting older. Maybe simply telling him what I'd done or sending him a manuscript would suffice. He'd still be proud, even if I couldn't sign a copy yet.

So, on Saturday, October 27th, after I'd pitched to agents and editors and received wonderful feedback along with requests, I decided it was time to write a letter or make a phone call. Time to tell my grandfather that I'd followed my dream. I had one more day of conference left. One more day till I made that phone call.

On Sunday, October 28th, after the closing ceremony  I followed the new friends I'd made to a gathering for the after conference dessert and celebration. As I was chatting and laughing, I got a text. I peered down at the phone and my heart dropped. My throat closed. And my eyes stung. My Grandpa Ladd had passed away that morning.

I tried to pull myself together. Not show that I'd just received devastating news. But it was impossible. So, I left and headed home. The moment my car door slammed shut, I wept. I wept for my loss. Wept for the missed opportunities. I never told him I'd written a book. I never told him how far I'd come. How close I was to my dream. And now I never can.

It's been a rough week for me, mourning the loss of my author grandfather while submitting my work. Being continually reminded that I had waited too long. That I had missed out on the experience of holding his hand while walking the author's path.

Yesterday, though, a friend suggested that my Grandpa Ladd can still be an inspiration. He can still push me forward and hold my hand through this process. And I very much agree with her. As I write, I'll think of his encouraging letters. As I edit, I'll laugh at his red-ink revisions. And when the day comes that I'm sitting in front of a stack of my published books, signing my name, I'll set one aside. Just for him.