Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Happy October, friends!
Sorry I disappeared for ages. I was starting up a bunch of projects and trying to figure where I wanted to go next. But I am back!
This won't be a very long post, just something to let you know I am, in fact, alive.
This past weekend we got to visit some friends and family in St. Louis, and this weekend I will be doing my first official book signing! So excited! I currently have three giant, heavy boxes of my books in the basement, ready to go.
Also, have any of you seen the BBC show Merlin? I watched a few episodes back in high school but lately Tom and I decided to watch the whole thing. I am obsessed. I love living in a magical world for 45 minutes every night. Thank you, Netflix.
This month is very busy and exciting. Sunday marked a whole year since we got engaged! We are also preparing for our Halloween costumes and Halloween party.
An assortment of life photos:
Puppies in their puppy beds.
A visit to the St. Louis Zoo!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
In this post I talked about my novel coming out. Since I don't think I've mentioned my children's book, I will talk about it now because stuff's going on with that too!
I wrote this book in January of 2013. It's very short. I think I wrote it ten minutes, but then edited it several times over a six month period. And then...it sat on my computer for about a year.
So what caused me to dig it out of the depths of my documents, find an illustrator and kick off a marketing plan?
There was a huge arts event last weekend that my coworker helped coordinate. My coworkers found out about my novel, and then somehow, I ended up telling one of them that I had a children's book I might try to publish as well. Well, word got around to the one coordinating the arts event, she asked to read it, and then told me I should read it at the "Storybook Nook" portion of this massive arts event.
So, I did! The only issue was that it's still just a document, and I needed a book. So I picked out a bunch of public domain photos and threw together a book (in one hour!) at Walmart with one of their photo books.
Saturday arrived, and I put on my owl dress to read my children's book, "Owl and Moon." I had a crowd of about six children and their parents (plus my own little crew), and I was TERRIFIED. I have no idea why. I just remember turning bright red and sweating a lot.
After the reading, a woman from the local library came up and told me she loved the book, and that the library is having is a big fair for children's book authors in November to sell their books. She said if I found a way to get my book in print, I could join.
So, fast forward a week later. Another coworker used to work with a woman who attended school to be an illustrator, and she put me in contact with her.
Now I have book sketches in my inbox, potential book signing dates, and sleep deprivation because I'm too exciting about everything that's going on.
August, you have been good to me. Some photos of the book reading event!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I woke up really, really early last Thursday. It was 5:20 a.m., I was up an hour before my alarm went off, and I could not get back to sleep. I was tired, too, but my body just refused. My mind was very busy that day, and has been ever since.
It's that back-to-school sort of giddy excitement, but about other things in my life.
So after another 20 minutes or so, I knew I wasn't going back to sleep. I decided to drive.
I had created a brand new Halloween cd, so I listened to that while I drove. (This is not surprising. I have been listening to the Monster Mash since April.)
This is going to make me sound like a creep, but once I was in the car, I decided to drive to the neighborhood Tom and I want to move to this spring. It's not too far, the roads to get there are rarely busy, and I like to think if I go there enough, the neighborhood with just invite us to live there. So there's my reasoning.
I drove around the sleepy neighborhood, imagining what we needed to get there, and planning out my life for the next seven months or so. I have some very big plans, and only recently have I decided that they might actually be possible.
I drove again on Monday morning. That was helpful because the car was running on empty and I pass a gas station on the way.
I can't drive every morning because it costs gas and we are working hard to pinch every penny right now, but it has changed my view on mornings. I am a morning person, and I usually get up early and start doing mindless things, but those drives are a sort of meditation. And on days when I don't drive, I wanted to continue that feeling. I have been using every single morning lately to focus on my goals, and get into a mindset that will make me the most productive and creative for that day.
And for the past month, I have been trying to do one thing every day that gets me closer to my goals. The morning is a fantastic time to do that.
It doesn't have to be a drive. It can be a morning workout, a journal entry, or a cup of coffee outside. Yesterday I lit candles in my room and made the bed, and if felt therapeutic.
Do you use your mornings to kickstart your day? Or do you prefer to sleep until the last possible moment?
Monday, August 11, 2014
My friend Sandy got married last weekend and it was honestly so much more beautiful and surreal than I ever could have imagined.
We got to Chicago Thursday for the rehearsal dinner, which was fun. We ate a lot of pizza and hung out in Sandy's room at the hotel playing drinking games with the bridal party and groomsmen (because why not?!) Tom and I left at 10 and immediately passed out at my mom's place on the comfiest air mattress I have ever experienced.
Friday I got up at the crack of dawn and left with my mom to go to Sandy's hotel room (my mom did some of the hair!) We stopped at Starbucks first to get some coffee, and I couldn't leave without one of these:
I felt elated on Friday. I played the Pandora wedding station while my mom did Sandy's hair and I had way, way too much caffeine. I was seriously giddy and excited and way more awake than I should have been.
After Sandy's hair, my mom and I had some time to ourselves while Sandy had her makeup done at the salon with the other bridesmaids and my mom did my hair. I talked about how crazy it was that I was with Sandy before her first date with Ross five years ago, and how I still couldn't believe that was her wedding day! After I was done, I headed down the road to the salon to get makeup done. My makeup artist, Gwen, was awesome. But there was another lady there, caked in bright blue eye shadow, who some of the other bridesmaids had the ...pleasure?...of working with.
Her name was Jersey, she was probably just shy of 70, and as she mentioned over and over again, SHE LOVES COLOR!!!
Yikes. So those girls had to remove some of the hot pink lipstick, but it all worked out fine.
The hour before the wedding started felt like an eternity. I was terrified so I can only imagine how Sandy felt. I was convinced I would fall or have to pee really bad mid-ceremony or something. But everyone walked down the aisle, no one fell, and it was beautiful!
It was so strange to watch someone I'm so close to get married. I think it makes it stranger that I'm engaged. So I was watching them and trying to wrap my head around the magnitude of their promise to each other, and occasionally I would think, "Hey! I'm going to do this next year in front of a bunch of people too! Is that exciting or terrifying? Both? Let's go with both."
I kept trying to remind myself that it was all real and Sandy and Ross are MARRIED now, but it was still so surreal! I have no idea why, but it felt like a dream.
So after the ceremony came the reception, and I was very wary of the reception, because that meant I'd have to give a speech.
Sandy asked me if I'd like to give a speech a few months back, and I pretty much started on it immediately. (I am usually the ultimate procrastinator, so this was very out of character for me.)
I created six different versions of this minute-and-a-half long speech throughout the summer, printed out two versions of it, folded one up and hid it in my dress, gave the other copy to Tom, and then I was ready.
I also tried to drink a lot of champagne. Not enough to slur my words, but enough to take the edge off. Turns out I don't really like champagne, so I had a lot of water, and that didn't help. I was completely sober when I had to give that speech, AND I had to go after Ross's brother's amazing speech. So. That was a scary moment. But I did it and I lived to tell the tale! And people said they liked it!
|Me trying to down champagne prior to the ceremony... Love Sandy's sister's face here haha|
Liza and the beautiful bride
It was an exhausting, beautiful day. But there was a second wedding! The next day was the Indian ceremony.
We had henna done, and mine is still on my hand currently. I love it.
So we started the day with henna and bagels, and then my mom did my hair. I slept with my fake eyelashes on the night before, so at least part of my makeup was done. I wore a red and gold sari.
The ceremony was so cool. It was about four hours, and there was tons of color steps and even GAMES involved. I got to see Sandy and Ross dump giant bowls of rice on each other and fish out a gold ring from a pot filled with water. It was amazing.
I loved that I got to be a part of that. It was brand new to me (and Sandy, actually. She had never been to an Indian wedding herself) and it was neat to see that wedding the day after the Catholic ceremony.
And now they are off to medical school! Whew, those crazy kids. I miss them already.