Sunday, February 11, 2018

Craig Johnson author talk! So much awesomeness!

Last night I drove up to Everett, WA to hear author Craig Johnson talk. If you've heard of the Longmire series, if you've heard the name Walt Longmire, if you enjoy nothing town sheriff murder mysteries that take place in the middle of nowhere with a cast of characters so compelling you feel like they're in your life, riding your shoulder and speaking in your ear, then you know why I made the 90 minute drive through Seattle traffic on a Saturday evening.

Here are a few neato things from last night:
Many years ago, Craig Johnson's wife pushed a magazine in front of him and said, "You should do this." It was a short story contest. I can't remember the title of the contest, but Walt Longmire was born. And the best part is that Craig Johnson read the award winning short story that introduced the world, but not really the world, the readers of that particular magazine, to Walt and a bit of his brand of sheriffing. Only thing was with the awesome contest win and the stage set to turn it into a novel, Johnson wrote two terrible chapters (terrible according to him) and stuffed them in a drawer and didn't stumble across those pages for 9 years. Nine years!

If I had time to process this I'd have tons of questions for him, like, "Hey, Mr. Johnson, what the heck? Did you long to get back to those pages? Did you write during that time? Or did you write via write-thinking/write-living? Did you stop thinking of yourself as a writer if you weren't writing? And after all those questions, I'd get to my favorite question for authors, "What is your writing routine?"

Sadly (and typically), I didn't ask any questions. Beside the fact that I need time to process mind blowing stuff, I am favorite author shy. This is true, but I did get his signature on my Kindle cover in silver Sharpie. So cool.

Another neato thing is learning that one of your favorite authors is seriously awesome aside from the stories they create.

I'll leave you with something he said near the end of his talk. He writes for the over-reader, the reader who wants a hero who is overweight, over-age, over-...I can't remember all the overs, but he creates characters we can relate to, a real person who has qualities we value, not stats, but qualities, like character, humor, and even loneliness. If you think loneliness isn't a high quality value, think on a person homesick or lovesick or shattered by loss, and then imagine them putting one foot in front of the other and getting stuff done.

So, if you get a chance to attend a Craig Johnson author event, jump at it. If not, grab a copy of Cold Dish and fall into Walt Longmire's world. If not even that awesome advice, check out the Netflix series Longmire that is now over (but there might be more TV-edition Walt in the future...not an actual series, but something).

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Girl power time! Most Girls! Rock the song, people!

I heard this song today on a walk up one of my town's many forever hills, the kind of hill that kills cars because it's so steep and goes on for blocks and blocks, but hey, why not walk up the beast? Before most of my summers begin I formulate lofty goals. Oh boy. And you better believe that somewhere fitness hopes are smack in the middle of the mix. We're two weeks in and my lofty goals are drifting in every direction. Did you know July was ice cream month? Or something to do with ice cream. See the battles I'm facing? Anyways, girls out there thinking too much or feeling alone or maybe working your ass off but feeling a teeny tiny lack of the parade that should celebrate your new found body-awesomeness, take a listen to this cool song.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Soundtrack love!

Holy hoppleheads! The school year! It's almost over and I need music. A lot of it. I'm a soundtrack girl so here are a few that I bounce to as I race all over the place getting stuff done.

Pitch Perfect rocks the the planet and the music is so much fun!

The Sing soundtrack is straight up feel good music.

And lastly, sometimes it's not about dancing down the sidewalk. Your soul needs a softer touch. I love the music from Pride and Prejudice. Just love it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Here's some happiness for you

It's spring. The school year is nearly done. Adults are stressed. Kids are wild. How about some Sesame Street?

Sesame Street: Sings "What I Am"

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Time for a music blast! How about Andy Grammer?

You know when you get in that mood where the only thing that can speak to you, that can reach into the mess inside your head and heart (it can be a fantastic mess, doesn't have to be a dramatic hot mess deal), is a song. I haven't found the song. I even dug into my old CD's that I don't tap too often because they are all memory stamped. Each one takes me to a time I played the shit out of it and lived it like an anthem. So in the meantime, while I search, I'll tap those around me for their songs. Today we're hitting Andy Grammer and "Good To Be Alive" because my youngest loves this song (partly because of the word shit at the beginning and he's only allowed to say swear words if he's quoting something -- very sneaky and pretty adorable). Do you ever feel like the only thing that will get you is a song? 
Andy Grammer "Good To Be Alive"

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pinterest Quote Time!

"Let's get lost in a world made of books, coffee and rainy days." The forecast promises a return to rain this week, so this quote is more of a promise.

"Never hope for it more than you work for it." I'm not a big fan of quotes that begin with Never and Don't, but this one rocks. Of course, when I get cranky-bossy I often start with Don't and Never. Total hypocrisy.

"Friends and good manners will take you where money won't go" (Margaret Walker) My translation of this has nothing to do with table manners since I eat like a hungry teenage boy, but I'm big on saying thank you and meaning it especially to kids.

Last one...
"Grow through what you go through."

Okay, this really is the last one...
"head up, gorgeous"

Monday, December 26, 2016

Year of books!

I listened to my first audiobook in January and fell in love! Listening to books while driving all over town made traffic a non-issue (unless I was hungry or stressed or late, okay traffic is always an issue).

I started with Storm Front by Jim Butcher read by the best narrator ever! James Marsters was Harry Dresdren all the way. There is no one like Harry. He's good to the core except for his arrogance that can run amuck and his bad attitude that often quadruples his enemy tally every time he hunts bad guys.

Darynda Jones' Charlie Davidson also starred in my audiobook addiction this year. Narrator Lorelei King rocks the planet. She can do any voice in any genre. Despite the steam factor in this series, and oh boy, the best of the best has to be the friendship between Charlie and Cookie. I love those girls.

There was a bit of indie author love with Jana Aston, Katie Mettner, Michelle Mankin, and Dannika Dark. I reconnected with forever favorites, Kristen Ashley, team Ilona Andrews, Katie McGarry, and Patricia Briggs. And found a new favorite, Julie Garwood (historical romance with awesomely hilarious heroines). 

There were a couple nonfiction reads in there to add a little legitimacy to my book fervor. I loved loved loved Stephen King's On Writing memoir. He narrates the audio version and it feels like a weekend long seminar on writing, life, passion, you name it. Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing made the favorites list because the woman made me laugh about grammar.

Here are a few top favorites:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pinterest Quote Time! December Pep

"This is the beginning of anything you want."

"radiate love" (illustrated in a big flaming sun, how cool is that?)

"celebrate every tiny victory"


"thou shall not take shit"

"you're pretty special. just saying."

Take it easy during this last push to visit with everyone you're supposed to visit with and to shop for everyone you're supposed to lavish with gifts. A smile goes a long way and that includes the ones you give to yourself. This advice is for me too. I'll try to growl less on the road. Really try. I mean it. That's like my very last 2016 New Year's Resolution. You can make them anytime. There's no rule on that. I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Moms don't have cartoon stretch arms

Last week after marveling that I got my oldest to his dentist appointment on time, my son flew out of the car. My first instinct was to check for cars. He zipped across the parking lot so fast I was still smiling when he slipped on the wet sidewalk. I stopped breathing when he went airborne. My body suddenly moved through rubbery air, the kind that pushes you back in heavy bounces, adding weight to your limbs, keeping you from any superhero rescue. My arms weren't going to stretch across the street to catch him. This wasn't a cartoon. The colors were all wrong to be one of the many animated shows I loved when I was a kid. Dusk with wet concrete everywhere I looked turned most surfaces black except where the street lamps created golden sparkles. I see this scene when I close my eyes because right after this snapshot before he landed I became human. Moms aren't human in their minds. Even the ones who downplay it. We're something more because we have to be. So my big guy always ready with a joke landed with the worst scream. Somehow I was there with rain drenched jeans and him writhing in my arms seconds later. It all took seconds. Racing me across the parking lot, beating me, slipping and falling on the slick sidewalk, breaking his femur and wrist, and changing the landscape of our future.

By the next day I discovered he has an insanely high pain threshold, he has soft bones, and a kid scared out of his mind who was just informed he'd have to have emergency surgery by an ER doc who did not think Will had anything more than a bruised bone could tell a disbelieving ER doctor a knock knock joke.

It's been mind blowing, a little heart breaking, and a lot soul affirming. Happy Holidays people.