Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life ... Paused

February 2015. It was one of those months when life forced me to just take a break.

It started off pretty well. I left my job and applied to be a substitute teacher. This would give me more time to write as well as the chance to help out at Small Child's school. The group that hires substitutes told me it would take a maximum of two weeks to get everything done. Great! I settled down for a week of writing, and I finished a draft I had been working on for a year!

I was proud of myself. I was Accomplishing Things!

Then, on February 6th, I went to the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona. I had a wonderful time at the first panels that morning. I had a great lunch with some author friends.

I went for a walk on the beach. And then this happened.

I missed two steps behind the hotel and fell. I broke my left arm, sprained my right wrist, pulled a bunch of muscles in my ribs, and busted up my left leg. The convention was lovely. The souvenir was not.

I was useless for the next week or so, but soon began to heal. One day, I woke up and my ribs no longer hurt. While my arms still hurt, I was able to open doors and drive. I was ready to rejoin the human race.

And then, on February 25th, I got a call from my husband's work that he had fallen from an 8 foot ladder. He fractured his skull in two places and sprained his right wrist (yes, the same one that I sprained). His left eyelid looked like someone had glued a large purple grape on top of it. He spent 6 days in the hospital, so I spent 6 days in the hospital. Thankfully, no surgery was required, and he is expected to make a full recovery. But there are doctor appointments ahead for both him and me. There is medication to administer, both during the day and at all hours of the night. There is a long road ahead of us.

I've thought about writing. I've thought about my Bookish Delights vlog that I have started, but is not ready to upload. I've thought about them, but that's it. Life needed me to take a break, so that's what I've done. I've rested. I've recharged my batteries. I've read (Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater and 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson). This is what I have needed to do.

The Drown family will be back and kicking soon. But for now, we are paused.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bookish Delights

Back in October, I had this idea that I would love to open a cupcake shop/used bookstore called Book Delights. However, I have no idea how to run a business like that, nor do I have the time to invest in such an endeavor. So, I decided to do it online instead.

Here's the deal. I will create a book-themed cupcake, make a You Tube tutorial showing how I did it, then upload process pictures here.

I plan on having the first episode, themed around Alice in Wonderland, up this week. But for now, here are a few cakes that I've made in the past for Small Child's birthday. For these cakes, I used store bought icing. For the cupcakes, I plan to use a combination of homemade sculptable frosting and other items.

This was my first attempt in 2012.

This was my most recent attempt last year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a Humid Christmas

Let it Snow 
White Christmas 
Jingle Bells 
Sleigh Ride 
The Christmas Song 

All of these songs bring to mind an image of a cold, snowy Christmas. It's become the ideal that people wish for, but it's something that so few people ever get. Living in Florida, I know that I am far more likely to get a humid, sticky Christmas rather than a white one, and hearing the songs year after year makes me a little sad that I will never achieve the ideal. Sure, people try. A plastic "ice skating" rink pops up in Celebration every year. You can find "snow" (soap bubbles) falling at Celebration, Disney, Universal, and a host of other places around here. But it's just not the same in shorts and flip flops.

And if you think about it, you know that a white Christmas is not the norm. Heck, half the world celebrates Christmas in the summer time. This makes me wonder where the idea came from in the first place. Did it come from songs? Paintings like those done by Norman Rockwell? A Visit From St. Nicholas? A Christmas Carol? Who was the person who got everyone dreaming of a white Christmas? Any thoughts?


Friday, February 21, 2014

Locally Grown Words Book Fair

Back in December, my critique partner, Amy Christine Parker, and I got to participate in the Locally Grown Words Book Fair. It was held in an absolutely adorable little place called the East End Market that features locally grown food.

And here's the best part, next month a bookstore is going to open up in the East End Market, expanding the idea to local authors. It's called Bookmark It, and Kim, the lovely and gracious owner will have my books in stock. If you're in the Winter Park area, check it out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Polk Authors and Illustrators Festival

Earlier this month, I got to participate in the Polk Authors and Illustrators Festival. Small Child joined me.

It was a blast, because it was also a Halloween fest. The zombie makeup table was right beside me. Plus, there was a dog show, so I got to see all of the adorable little dogs in costumes running around.

Of course, the event carried with it the inevitable learning lesson. I set up my table and was smiling at the passersby. My husband took Small Child off in his stroller to find some food. They hadn't been gone five minutes when my first customer approached and wanted to buy a copy of Spirit World. She had a $20. I had change. In my wallet. In the stroller.

Head desk.

Ah well. It was still an enjoyable experience, and next time, I will make sure to have my change in the same box as my books so this does not happen again.

What about you? Do any of you have learning experiences from events that you'd like to share?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gated Launch Party

Last month, I had the honor of attending Amy Christine Parker's launch for her debut book, Gated. If you haven't read it, you will definitely want to check it out. It's about a teenage girl named Lyla, who is raised in a cult and finds herself questioning their teachings. It's a thriller. It's contemporary. It's a romance. It's got it all. But anyway, onto the party.

First, Amy read a section from the first chapter. 

Then, she answered some questions and discussed the cults she researched in order to write the book. It's fascinating stuff, delving into the minds of people who lead and join cults. After the questions, she signed copies of her books and took photos with everyone.

Just look at that cake. Yum!

Amy is critique partner, but I'm definitely a fan of hers too, and I can't wait for the next book.

If you want to read more of Amy's writing, check out our short story blog, Fiction Femme Fatale.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tracy Tam - An Artist's Rendition

As many of you know, WriteOnCon was last week. Among the attendees was a very generous author/artist who offered to sketch everyone's characters. I'm not sure she knew what she was in for, but she has been diligently working on her drawings for over a week now. Here is her rendition of Tracy Tam. I love the devious smile.

Make sure you check out some more of Larua's work here:

In the Clouds
Deviant Art
NA Graphic Novel: "Geode Corner: Love is Conplicated"