Sunday, August 29, 2010

Andy, Annie and tomatoes

This was my clock. OK. Maybe not the EXACT clock. But this was my clock when I was 4 years old, maybe younger. Now someone is selling it for a ton of $$$ on e-bay. Anyway . . . when the alarm went off it said, "Andy, Andy, please wake up, it's time to start our day." (or something like that.) If there's any more to it, I don't remember.

I remember this clock because my mom was at work and my dad and brother were outside shoveling the Chicago snow. I was in the house all by myself. Sure. My dad and brother were technically "there" but in a 4 year old mind, I was in the house . . . ALONE!!!!! I remember grabbing this clock and a few tomatoes from the refrigerator and hiding under my bed.

Cartoons had taught me well. The clock told me when mom should be home. The tomatoes were to throw at an intruder. I was set!!!

I love this memory! I'm even contemplating buying this stupid clock!

Can anyone else remember their irrational childhood moments? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Critter-inspired Giveaway!

This has been a fun blog week! Fist it started out by lil ol' me winning an ARC giveaway on PJ Hoover's blog for the book "Girl Parts" YaY! I love winning books.

And starting today . . . . Author Tina Ferraro is offering a Critter-inspired giveaway!!!

Tina is the author of "Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress," "How to Hook a Hottie," and "ABC's of Kissing Boys" Not to mention, she's also a sweet-cutie-patootie as well.

Go on over to Tina's blog to show some luv for Tina, Critter and St. Jude, and win a chance for a free book or a 1st chapter critique from a fabulous author on top of it all!

Don't forget to become of Critter on Facebook! Click here to go to his FB fan page.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

whooo hoooo!

Critter and I met up with Jacqui Robbins at SCBWI LA. Here's Jacqui giving Critter some luv!

Critter has been to visit Jacqui Robbins in MI. She's starting to post about some of the Critter mayhem in her house. Plus, she called me a "cool person." I think I love Jacqui. (In a totally non-weird way, of course.) I tend to favor people who call me "cool"

anyway, Click here to see what Critter and Jacqui have been up to.

And while your waiting for Jacqui's posts, you might like to know that Critter is on his way to visit YA author, Tina Ferraro. I hear she's taking him to Vegas. whooo hooooo!

Friday, August 13, 2010

You never know who you'll meet. More SCBWI LA

Remember my crazy-canceled/delayed flight from DFW to LAX? ( previous post) Well . . . there's more.

You see, at first, when I got on the original (canceled flight) I was supposed to have a window seat. I ADORE window seats (despite the bathroom dilemma) I like the view and I like having a surface to lay my head and snooze. What can I say? A moving plane is like a rocking cradle to me.

Anyway . . .

I approached my coveted window seat. I saw a man, a woman then and baby. A cute, friggin' baby sucking on a pacifier (in my seat). uggggghhhhh!!!!

"Would you mind switching seats with me?" said the man.

Crap! Now I'll be sitting in the Hell-of-all-middle-seats! "Of course. It's no problem." If only I was the angel in my thoughts like I was the angel of my words.

I would've been a heartless soul to refuse. I couldn't. The angel of words won. The angel of thoughts repeatedly stabbed the back of my eyeballs.

So. I settled in between a nice woman and a young lad several rows back. (in the middle seat)

I blew up my inflatable travel pillow. Adjusted my i-pod. (in the middle seat) Did I mention middle seat?

The nice woman next to me snapped her head in my general direction and said, "Stop it!"

Stop it?

OK. So, I wondered if maybe Critter was up to some of his Critter-tricks. He's a bit ornery, you know.

But then she says (in the most adorable Texas twang) "I'm so sorry, hon. I'm not talkin' to you. My son is traveling with me and he's pokin' me from behind."

awwwwww! She was so adorable! I wanted to pinch her cheeks! But I didn't. I have some self control, don't cha'know.

"That's funny stuff." I replied. Truly relieved that I wasn't sitting next to a stuffity'uppity window-seater, and thankful for the comedy relief. I liked this woman from the very start.

But then, the flight was canceled.

We reboarded 3 (or more) hours later.

I sat next to the nice lady with the Texas Twang once more. But that was OK, because I already liked her.

We giggled at the loud-mouth braggard sitting in the row in front of us. What can I say? We were loopy from the plane delays and flight changes. We must've been easily amused.

I liked her, even though I didn't know her. We talked, but about nothing in particular. Simply pleasant company.

Fast forward to the hotel. . . .

I'm standing in line to check into my room for the SCBWI LA conference and who do I see? It's the nice lady with the twang from the plane.

"Oh!" She said, "If I had known you were coming here, you could've shared a cab with me and my son!"

Nice! Such a nice lady. Wow! We were at the same conference. How amazing. What a small world.

Fast forward once more to the next morning:
. . . I'm sitting in the opening session of the conference. The faculty of SCBWI is introducing themselves on stage.

Who do I see introduce herself as one of the faculty authors? You guessed it!!!! The nice lady with the twang, the one who sat next to me on the plane and whispered "stop it!" in my general direction (although not directed to me)

We spoke several times throughout the conference. Her name is Jill S. Alexander (BTW) She's sweet as pie. I swear, children's literature people are the nicest people on the whole entire earth!

Consequently, I bought her book, The Sweetheart of Prospect County, and I read it in 2 nights. That's a big deal, seeing that I read it during the conference. They keep you going at conferences like this, so it was no easy feat to stay up in order to read a book. However, I read Jill's book. I laughed. I cried. I stayed up way later than I should have. As a matter of fact, I bought a book for myself and I bought an extra to use as a book giveaway, here! On my blog! Might I dub Jill as the Sweetheart of Children's Literature? She deserves it!

Prepare for a book giveaway! Not today, but in the near future.

Not only has Jill agreed to do a future interview, but she will also be a Critter host as well. Stay tuned.

More to come.

Here's a picture of Jill, Critter and her debut novel, The Sweetheart of Prospect county.

I'll blog more about the book, but for now, I have to marvel at our unique meeting. How often does that happen?

I'll tell ya . . . it made the flight delay well-worth it. If you're ever going to get stranded in an airport, Jill is the lady to get stranded with! :0)

The way things work out sometimes . . . it's amazing!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Critter saves the flight from DFW to LA!: The great SCBWI, LA adventure

Our flight was early. Critter is coffee-mad. Can you imagine drinking a cup full of coffee that is 98% of your height? But critter did it. And it paid off. (Critter likes mocha) We had no idea what was about to challenge Critter's energy level.

Our connection in Dallas was delayed as a result of mechanical difficulties. Annoying and yet, I prefer delays over crashing. Crazy. I know. I'm weird that way.

Three hours, two cups of coffee, 8 1/4 cranky employees, two tram rides and three gate changes later . . . we were on our way to LA. Seriously . . . picture 150 people being herded through an airport, parting escalators Exodus-like, complaining that our time was being inconvenienced as opposed to risking our lives in a plane crash.

You might think people would be cranky during a circumstance such as that. No need to worry. Critter saved the day. He pulled his guitar out of his backpack and led the entire flight in rounds of campfire songs and bad 80's ballads and supervised line-dances.

Everyone agreed. It was the best flight they had ever taken. Some airline employees were ready to quit their jobs and join a circus. But Critter's enthusiasm reminded them of what was really important in life and dubbed it as the best work-day EVER!!!!

Yay, Critter saved the day!

Foam board is truly amazing. Isn't it?

Critter was pretty tuckered out after all of that rabble-rousing. He needed to kick back when we finally checked in. Here's a picture of Critter chillin' with his i-pod. (He likes Toby Mac)

This is Critter chillin' on our balcony.

You can become a fan of Critter on Facebook by clicking here

More Critter in LA stories to come . . . .