Friday, January 29, 2010

Kid C and the Case of the Burritos

I'm off to Vegas today! I'm going with 2/3 of the Six. Numbers 1, 2, 4, and 6. 

My weekend away feels like providence, because Kid C has a case of the burritos. 

You see, we don't really say the "d" word a lot at my house. You know, the word for the runs? Because if Kid C knows that word, then he'll use that word every time he has a little tummy-ache, or even a headache, and everyone around him will run for the hills.

Anywho, one morning this week, I actually called it the "d" word. I only used it once, but I basically said, "Hopefully it's just something you ate, and it's not a case of ["d" word]."

After school, Kid C came home and I asked how he was feeling. He said, "It's bad. I think it's a case of the burritos."

me: "What?"

Kid C: "A case of the burritos. Did you know if you have a case of the burritos for a whole month, you'll probably die?"

me (still totally confused): "Are you saying you ate burritos at lunch?"

Kid C (with a horrified look): "Eeeewwwww. No. I have a case of the burritos."

me (after a few calculations in my brain): "Do you mean a case of ["d" word]?"

Kid C: "Oh yeah. A case of ["d" word]."

I guess he was trying to remember the word I'd used, and the closest thing he could come up with was "burritos". I have to give him credit. They both have double r's. 

So, anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do in Vegas? I'm slightly Vegas-illiterate. I wish I had a huge enough blog where I could have friends in every city and they could show me around. 

Hubby Sam will take over the blog on Monday, so be sure to read and comment so he doesn't feel like a failure. 

What are y'all doing this weekend? Sorry if I forever ruined burritos for you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winner of The Dark Divine, and Happy Birthday Sam! Here's a Chia Obama.

And the winner of the signed copy of The Dark Divine is:


email me your address (email addy in side bar).

1. So, Sam got the coolest birthday present from his sister. Presenting... Chia Obama

Hail to the Ch-Ch-Ch-Chief.

You can even choose between "Happy" Obama and "Determined" Obama.

Personally, I think "Happy" Obama looks a little too much like George W. Bush. Like he's laughing at a dirty joke none of us heard.

Sam was excited to get "Determined" Obama, because considering the economy right now, it would be a little inappropriate if Obama was anything but determined.

2. Our three goldfish have gone to live on a farm. Not the one in the sky, but one right here on earth, where they can run and jump and there are no fences and no borders. Where they'll be happy, frollicking in the grass.

My friend Leisha said that sounds like an "All Kill Fish Shelter".

Anywho, we exchanged the three goldfish for one Betta (Kid C named him Chopie) and one little tiny snail (Quid. He wanted to name him Liquid, but we shortened it to Quid.)

I am happy to be rid of the goldfish... I mean, to send them to the farm, because they are so darn dirty. And they're not the brightest bulbs in the fishbowl. We'd put them in another bowl while we cleaned the tank, and instantly that new bowl would be filled with poo.

Not only that, they kept trying to eat the poo, and then they'd hurry and spit it out. And they never learned their lesson.

They'd go around in circles, saying:

"Hey, Food! ... Nope, poo."
"Food! ... Nope, poo."
"Yay! Food! ... Nope, poo."
"Food! ... Nope, poo."
"This time it's food! ... Nope, poo again."

I'd stand over the fish bowl and yell, "It's all poo!"

And they'd see me near the bowl, and they'd assume I had just fed them, and they'd look around anxiously.
"Food! ... Nope, poo."

So, how's everyone else's week going?

Monday, January 25, 2010

All the Benefits of Attending the WIFYR Conference (Meeting Shannon Hale!) and Using Google to Answer my Fashion Questions

Happy Monday Y'all

Don't forget there's still time to enter to win Bree Despain's The Dark Divine. Really, you just have to leave a comment. Yep. I'm that easy.

1. So, last weekend I got together with some of my friends from the WIFYR workshop. (See the friendships you can make? If you haven't signed up for the workshop, do it now.)

Since our workshop in June, one of us signed with an agent (Kim Reid), one of us had a book come out (Bree Despain), one of us sold a book to Greenwillow* and signed with an agent (Heather Dixon). In fact, the editor and the agent she signed with both came to WIFYR and she met them there. See? Good stuff happens.

Anywho, so we had a little reunion of sorts, and Shannon Hale came too and dished about the latest goings-on in the industry, because she really is that cool.

I wanted to be cool too, and since I can't do it through my wit or my writing success, I decided to buy a knit headband like all the kids are wearing.

Only, when I put it on, it looked like this:

And I thought, although that woman looks very hot, I don't think that's how it's supposed to be worn.

So then I tried it Rafa style:

And really I looked more like Bjorn Borg:

Finally, I knew I was going to be late to the party, and I had to come up with something because I didn't bother actually doing my hair. So I ended up Googling "how to wear a knit headband".

What do you think? Somewhere between Rafa and Bjorn, right? I'm sure that's what every woman aspires to look like: a mix between Rafa and Bjorn.

Also at the party:

*Bree Despain said her husband should totally write bodice rippers, and then offered no further explanation. (Brick, feel free to defend yourself. Unless you really do want to write bodice rippers. In that case, I'd exercise your right to remain silent.)

*Leisha Maw asked me why I haven't blogged about blood or other bodily fluids lately. I guess I need to remedy that.

*Joel Smith said he doesn't tweet because someone (okay, it was me) kept laughing at his tweets. I said that was a good thing.

*Someone said they don't tweet because they have nothing interesting to say. Then I took a look at some of my latest tweets:

Watching Doggy Makeovers on the Today Show. Wondering when we switched to the alternate universe where this is news.

At marathon writing day, @emilywingsmith said, "Wearing bunny slippers means I want a guy to put the moves on me."

Local news anchor just said a rumor was "spreading on the world wide web." She then pegged her pants and said, "talk to the hand".   

Willard Scott's creeping me out. As in, there's a 50% chance I can find him on Today, and a 50% chance I can find him peeping in my windows.

And it got me thinking, WTH am I tweeting about? What was it about Willard Scott that I had to share with the world immediately?

Well, really it's the creepy way he talks about the Smucker's birthdays. "Here's Eleanor LaMott, she's 105 years old today. Doesn't she look young? Spry? Hot? I'm gonna get me some of that. She can butter my toast any day. Whoa ho ho. Happy Birthday Eleanor."

Okay, he doesn't go that far, but I'm reading between the lines.  Moving on...

*Jenilyn Tolley joined my conversation just as I raised my hands up in the air and shouted "Eustacian tubes!" She promptly left.

*Amy Reall dropped her homemade pie, and then still served it:
It was delicious.

*Bree Despain called me a comment whore. I totally agree, but I'm not sure what it means. Like there's nothing I won't do for comments? Or I pay for comments? Or I get a lot of comments? At least it's a cool title. Brodi Ashton. Comment Whore.

*Shannon Hale said it's very easy to make fun of James Dashner, but not as easy to make fun of Brandon Mull because of the dimple in his chin.

*Someone said she hasn't gotten very far in a certain book because she only reads it on the toilet.

*Okay, that was me. The high point in my conversation-making skills.

So, what did y'all do this weekend? Anyone else signed up for WIFYR?


Friday, January 22, 2010

Win a Signed Copy of The Dark Divine, My Favorite Writing Conference, and the Rafa-Agent Ted Connection

I'm giving away a signed copy of Bree Despain's THE DARK DIVINE today! All you need to do is comment, and answer a question. Find out at the bottom.

1. WIFYR Conference
One of the best writing conferences I've ever been to was the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers down at BYU.

This year, the conference will be held June 14-18, but the location has changed (it's in Sandy) and registration is now up. Click here to register.

The lineup of faculty is illustrious, including BFF Emily Wing Smith teaching the beginning/intermediate writing class.

If you are writing a novel, or thinking about writing one, I would recommend her class with all my heart. (I happen to know many of the classes are filling up fast, and seating for the workshops is limited.)

I also know of several people who have found their agents and publishers at the conference.

2. Rafa and Ted: They're like twins

The Australian Open started this week, and y'all know what that means...
Tis the season for this:

...this too:
(Rafa, laughing hysterically)

But last week I found out about one of the downsides to blogging about Rafa too much. (There aren't that many downsides, so I was surprised I found even one).

Bree Despain and I were trying to find a picture of our agent "Ted" and so we put his full name in quotes and then Google-Imaged him. And up popped this:

(Rafa. Not Agent Ted.)

Updated: Real pic of Ted

I thought, "That's weird. When I type in my agent's name, I get my absolute favorite tennis player in the world and my (not so) secret crush." What are the chances?

And I suddenly had this sinking feeling, could this be something I caused? Have I somehow, in the far reaches of the interweb universe, connected the two? Talk about unprofessional behavior on my part.

Then I looked at the web site that popped up with the picture. It was Bree Despain's. Ha ha. Totally not my fault. Bree Despain has linked Rafa to agent Ted.

Best. Day. Ever.

And personally, I think both Rafa and Agent Ted would be honored.

3. So, to enter the contest:
Leave a comment and tell me anything embarrassing or inappropriate you've done over the internet. Comments that had you up at night? Pictures meant for someone's eyes only? Sent your agent a tiny microscopic version of your manuscript?

If you are one of the lucky few who has done nothing embarrassing on the internet, you can leave a comment about Rafa.

As long as the comment is not: "Rafa is a poser", because my brother in-law said that yesterday at lunch. And he hasn't been seen since.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Maze Runner Winner... and Happy Birthday to Sam

1. And the Winner of the signed copy of James Dashner's MAZE RUNNER is...


Email me (addy in sidebar) your address.

2. Okay, since I had no money to buy Sam a birthday present, bear with me on today's blog...

Dear Sam,

I was in college, dating lots of Bill’s and Joe’s and Steve’s (the names have been changed to protect the super-boring), and wondering if I would ever be slammed in love, or if it was something only read about in books. Like a Tale of Two Cities.

And then you slammed into me. Literally. In the hallway at school. I dropped my books and later my pretenses, and started writing really cheesy lines like, “I dropped my pretenses.” Gag.

It took you awhile to notice me. We were in the same class, but you sat on the other side of the room next to that Heather chick, the one with the giant silver cross necklace and the clear skin and the daring necklines.

I promise she never would’ve converted for you.

Then we became BFF’s, and I thought, “this is it”, but you totally asked that "Sue" chica to the Jazz game, and told me all about it afterward.

And oh yeah, there was that missionary you were writing…

I was a waitress at The Cowboy Grub, and you came in to eat and ordered steak - which is a little silly because the Grub is known for Mexican - and my friend and co-waitress said, “That’s the guy? I totally thought you’d go for someone more… GQ. He’s a little shlubby.”

I love how we still laugh about that.

Now we’re getting older and a little squidgy around the edges, and who knew we’d be so adamant about the rule of the “4 T’s of bedsheets”: (No Tenting, No Touching, No Tucking, No Twisting).

And sure I could go without:

-Your pack rat nature. (Seriously, you still have that Bart doll from the 1980’s? Are you kidding me? Remember that time I secretly threw it away, and you got it out of the garbage?)

-And your habit of singing songs that make no sense? (See: You dancing in the kitchen, singing “Shake shake shake… Shake shake shake… Shake Beckham’s Bottle. Shake Beckham’s bottle” to the tune of “Shake Your Booty”. )

-And your clothes that would scream early 90’s if they could, only they can’t because they are old and decrepit and lost their ability to scream decades ago.

I’ll admit, you did have your snaggle tooth filed down, in a most considerate move, but the gold fillings? Gold?

Ah, but then you understand how year after year I forget the exact date of our anniversary. (The 25th. Booyah.)

And you let me drag you up to Butt-Munch Idaho, ranking just above I’m-gonna-kill-myself-if-I-stay-here-one-minute-longer, Nebraska in the Fun Department, so I could try my hand at journalism.

And we both laugh about those movies that show the couple kissing first thing in the morning, because all we can think about is gross morning breath.

And we make fun of the newscasters and their dangling participles and faux-excitement. (“Is your water poisonous? Find out at Ten. If you’re still alive.”)

You allow me my crushes:

And I yours:

And no matter how many times we see “Shaun of the Dead” we still laugh our arses off.

I love that in a funny movie, you laugh the loudest of the entire theater, even though it’s totally embarrassing for me.

So what if you have a strange attachment to actual newspapers (we subscribe to two dailies), and Tab, and beef, and sports boards, and spandex jokes, and yelling, “Who’s yo Daddy?” You still laugh every time I answer, “Dennis Ashton.”

You didn’t kill me when I did this to your hair:

So what if the first time you met my dad, and he asked that Dad Question, “Sam, what are you going to do with your life?” and you said, “I don’t know. I like sports, so maybe there’s a way to like sports for a living.”

You stayed with my dad in the hospital while I went to his own mother’s viewing because he couldn’t make it. You got him out of the anesthesia and back to his home.

So I think my dad has completely forgotten about the time you told him, “Shakespeare is okay and all, but I prefer mysteries.”

You’ve always thought I could write, even when my words resembled alphabet soup puked onto the computer screen.

And now we’ve had to tighten our belts, and all I can give you is a bunch of words. You married me, and all you got was this lousy blog post. And your perfect evening:

Happy Birthday Sam.

Me. You. The boys. Against the World.

Monday, January 18, 2010

She Can't Bluff at Cards, Even when the Cards are the Size of my House

Happy MLK day, y'all.

Remember to enter my contest for a signed copy of James Dashner's The Maze Runner here. It's been so great to meet so many lurkers, so if you're a lurker, stop by and say hi.

This weekend, my entire family went to our condo up in Midway, Utah. We escaped the sludge they have the nerve to call "air" in Salt Lake City.

It was nice to have a break from the apple-corer we'd use up our noses to dig out the sludge that had collected there.

While we were at the store in Midway, my sister saw a big box of face cards. She said the condo needed a bunch of decks on hand, so she bought it.

Only it wasn't a big box of cards. It was a Box of Big Cards.

It's all in the semantics.

We played B.S., and little Necie had a difficult time managing such big cards while at the same time bluffing.

So she'd put down a card and say, "It's a four."

her dad: "We're not on fours. We're on fives."

"Okay, it's a five."

My sister can't bluff to save her life either. Every time she bluffed, her face looked like this:

(Nothing to see here)

When that wide-eyed innocent face didn't work, she tried for the super-distracted tactic. The one where she's so distracted by other stuff going on in the room, that she's just gonna throw down two 3's, without even thinking too hard about it. Trust her! She's too distracted to lie!

Only problem was, there was nothing else going on in the room.

Yeah, she ended up holding the entire deck of big-arse cards.

Today I'm off for a marathon writing day with The Six. What's everyone else up to? How was all y'all's weekend?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Free Book Friday: THE MAZE RUNNER... Calling all De-Lurkers. And non-De-lurkers too.

Happy Friday y'all!

The kids are out of school, though, so how happy could it really be? Ha ha.

1.  Many of you told me that after Wednesday's blog, you had my writer's block song stuck in your head. I apologize. The last thing you need in your head when you're trying to write, is my voice singing that lame song. I should know. My voice is in my head all the time, and I can't write a thing.

2. My friend Sara B. (#6 on the "Crazy" list) has started a blog. She promised she would start one if I would finish my darn book and send it to her, so I was all over that like gravy on chicken.

Anyway, Sara is very funny with a wry sense of humor, and in her latest entry, she explains why she was voted #6 crazy, and why people like me were voted #1. So stop by and say hi - and defend my honor - if you get a chance!

Also, did I mention my critique group is called "The Six"? Here we are:

The Six

Well, we are officially on Wikipedia! (Thanks to Wiki-fiend Ben. Please don't misread and think "wiki-friend"). Okay, maybe we're not officially on it yet, but very soon we will be. Especially after our Writer's Conference on a Cruise Ship. Emily Wing Smith, our cruise director is planning it.

Check out our entry here.

3. Lastly, and Most Importantly...
or is it Last and Most Important? (I think Stephen King would choose the latter, since he abhors -ly adverbs. Abhors them vehementally.)

Anywho, around the blogging world, it's "De-Lurk Week" or something to that effect. I totally want in on that action. So, in honor of De-Lurk Week, I am reconstituting Free Book Fridays!

(Reconstituting involves taking the shriveled old and decrepid FBF and putting it in a vat of water mixed with laundry detergent, and voila! Reconstituted FBF. I learned this on an episode of Bones.)

Up for grabs is an autographed copy of James Dashner's THE MAZE RUNNER

By the way, before you non-de-lurkers stop reading, know this: you can be entered too by answering the same questions, and then telling the de-lurkers how painless it is to de-lurk. How we are all very nice!

For Lurkers:
Answer any or all of the following questions.

For non-Lurkers:
Answer the questions, and give a shout out to the lurkers.

1. Name, rank and serial number
2. How did you find the blog?
3. Do you know how to kill goldfish and make it look like an accident?

(Check out the new digs. This is getting ridiculous. They are eating me out of house and home.)

4. Do you write? Read? If so, what?
5. If a Priest, a Rabbi, and Ghandi walk into a bar, who's walking out?
6. Anything else you'd care to share? Anything on your mind? Anything you'd like to ask me?

As in the days of yore (last November), winners will be picked out of a hat by Smokey, our hairless cat.

Okay, folks, that's all. Please de-lurk so I don't look like a loser.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waiting on the Publishing World? Why Not Write a song about Writer's Block?

So, on this Wednesday, of a particularly long week, I'd like to talk about waiting. I know many of you are in the middle of talking to/submitting to/querying to many prospective agents/editors/publishers, and if you've had a taste of the process at all, you know there's a lot of waiting involved.



And then some more waiting.

So, I thought I'd share with you some of my techniques to pass the time while you're waiting. (Let me preface this by saying, I also read books and work on other projects. On occasion, I even feed the kids. But sometimes, I'm just waiting.)

1. Solitaire

The other day, I reached 666 wins. I'm not normally a superstitious person, but you can bet I stayed up the extra two hours that night until I turned that win number to a more appropriate 667.

15.7 win percentage. 4,279 games played. As the Marines say, Hoo Wah.

(Of course, when they are yelling it as they invade countries, I'm sure they're thinking, "America rules!" and probably not, "Did you see that chick post the 15.7 win percentage? Hooo Wahhh!"

2. Turn your book into a cheesy, lego-like cartoon trailer.

During one wait last year, I made a cartoon preview for my first book Echo, just for my own kicks and giggles. Here it is:

3. Write a Song... and then record yourself singing it.

And this is the one colossal waste of time I can't believe I'm about to share with you. But, in honor of American Idol starting up, and those sad sacks that crashed and burned last night in front of all of the country, I shall push forward.

During one of my more manic waiting periods, I wrote a song. (A "Manic Wait" is the same as a "Wait", only with more pills.)

It's about writer's block. And I wrote it to the tune of that classic Suzanne Vega song "Tom's Diner".

If that wasn't embarassing enough, I recorded my own version of WRITER'S BLOCK. Me singing.

Those of you who've met me in person know my speaking voice resembles a chipmunk with two acorns shoved up his nostrils. Well, my singing voice is even better.

Since it's humiliating and just plain really really bad, I thought it would be perfect for my blog. I've also included the lyrics, in case you can't understand my singing. Unfortunately, the GarageBand application on my Mac makes my voice very clear. Again, this is unfortunate.

So, below, I present to you... Brodi Ashton, singing WRITER'S BLOCK, to Tom's Diner. (The lyrics are included below. You can sing along. Just follow the bouncing ego.)

I am sitting in my bedroom
Told my hubby this is “working”
I am waiting for the answers
To my villain’s motivations

And it’s hard to concentrate
And before I even know it
I am looking out the window
Are those doggies walking by?

(Doo doo’s)

Then I head to the store
Family says I need to feed them
And I watch for inspiration
Maybe it’s around the corner

There’s a guy at the counter
And he’s looking kind of iffy
Maybe he’s got superpowers
And he’ll make a good villain

(doo doo’s)

Do his eyebrows knit together?
How do eyebrows “knit together”?

I opened up the file
Oh this dialogue it is cliché
Who writes this sappy drivel?
Oh yeah, that would be me.

And I’m turning to the keyboard
And I’m writing random letters
When I’m feeling someone watching me
Oh yay, it’s the mailman!

There’s a letter meant for me
Is my agent gonna drop me?

There’s a woman on the outside from my church
Does she see me?
No she does not really see me
Cuz I’m hiding ‘neath the counter

And I’m thinking it’s okay
cuz I swear I’m on a roll

Only thirty thousand more words
It’s like I’m almost done

Now I’m jumping with my son
Did you see the way my arm moves?

Writer’s block it will continue through the morning as I’m listening for the voice of revelation…

I don’t hear it even now
And maybe now I hear it
But it’s telling me my book sucks
I look at the clock
It’s time to go to bed

Are you wondering how in the world I have such time to waste? Well, let me tell you, It's not easy, but I can waste time with the best of them. Give me an hour, and no matter how busy I am, I guarantee you I can waste it.

How about y'all? What do you do to pass the time?

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Weekend Movie Report... and Further Evidence as to Why I Stink at Housewifery

Hey, y'all.

How was your weekend? Mine was good.

1. Saw two movies: Sherlock Holmes and Avatar. Both were an excellent waste of time.

I loved Avatar, although I think that's because I went in with low expectations. As much as everyone was saying it's the wave of the future, I couldn't help thinking it would be a smurf-erific treat, with aliens and humans interacting along the lines of Paula Abdul dancing with Skat Kat.

So, yes, I was surprised I liked it so much.

As for Sherlock Holmes, I liked it too. When I mentioned I was seeing it, Bree Despain tweeted to me the following:

"Sherlock & Watson are like you and me. If we were guys & wicked smart detectives, that is."

Which begs the question... how exactly are they like you and me then? And I happen to think I am a wicked smart detective. So one for two ain't bad.

2. Continuing on in our series "Why Brodi Sucks as a Housewife", take a look at this:

Pretty Chinese cabinet, right?
Only take a closer look:

I thought this "Bibbity Bobbity, Boo" thingee was a cute Halloween decoration, but I was too lazy to procure a hammer, nail, and an actual hanging place for it. Luckily I found a nail already in place behind the Chinese cabinet. Now it's January, and yet, it still hangs.

3.  I don't know how many of you live in Salt Lake City, but today we officially have the worst, most unhealthy air in the country.  I think I shall stay indoors, trying not to exert any energy, or even move. I was so worried about breathing the stuff that I made the kids walk to school so I wouldn't have to step outside.

Just ikidding.

Whoops. I guess ikidding is "kidding on the internet".

How was your weekend? See any good movies?

Friday, January 8, 2010

In Which I Actually Make a New Years Resolution... and Documentation of my Failure as a Housewife

I don't usually make very many New Years Resolutions. Can you imagine how depressed I would be at the end of the year if instead of just feeling like I didn't do a lot of stuff in general, I actually had a bullet point list of my failures? Talk about suicide by friction.

Anywho, I don't make a list. But I finished the complete draft of my new novel, and while my first wave of readers read it and mark it up, I had a few moments to look around my life, and the first thing I saw, I vowed to change.

Literally, it was the first thing I saw, because I was sitting on my couch and looking at the fireplace, and I saw the mantle. And the mantle is the perfect picture of my problem, the reason I'll never be a good housewife:

Up top, we have a framed map of the world, which is great because I love maps. (That should really go on the list of 25 things about me, but anyway...) But if you look closer, the map is wrong in so many ways. America's good, South America too... but then at the bottom of the world there's this blob of land, and I think it's maybe Antarctica, perhaps at a future time when it's about to take over the world.

And sorry to my friends around the world, but I don't see Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia. So, I'm proudly displaying either a map of the world on the day of Armageddon, or I'm displaying a map of Middle Earth, post ring, pre-hobbit.

Map discrepancies aside, my problem in my mantleplace really lies in the clutter. Take a look at the left side:

From the left:
1. Random tall white box. Holding nothing.

2. Nutcracker. It's there all year, not just for Christmas. And it's about to fall off.

3. Cheap silver plate, saying Hubby was a finalist in an Ice Breaker tennis tournament. Not to lessen his achievement, but this is tantamount to displaying a homemade blue ribbon that says my Hubby plays Ward Basketball, written in crayon.

4. This is my favorite. A framed Girls' Night Out picture. Don't those girls look like they are having the time of their lives, and thankfully there was a camera around to capture that moment? Only problem is, I don't know those girls. It's the picture that came with the frame. If you look closer, you'll see the box is still around the frame.

I didn't even bother to take the frame with the pic of the "fake friends, who are not me, on a GNO" out of the box. I just put it on my mantle, the place where you display your Artifacts of Precious to all the world.

People come over and say, "Aw, what a cute picture. You've changed."

And I say, "Well, apparently it was my wedding day, so that was a long time ago."

And they say, "You called your Wedding Day a Girls Night Out?"

And I say, "Makes you feel sorry for Hubby, Ha ha."

This. This folks, I would like to change. So, here's my first New Year's Resolution, written in big bold letters:

Before the Year is Out, I Shall Change out the Picture of "Random Girls", and put a Picture of Me and my Actual Girl Friends on a Girls' Night Out.

There. That should do it. Now it has to happen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What happens when you're driving and you get a killer idea... and Kid C's First Funeral


Well, judging by the comments from Monday's post, I'd say my readers are back from their holiday break, and they brought some friends with them. Welcome!

Or maybe I just had a lot of comments because Josh Berk promoted my post by saying "Don't click if you're offended by the word 'booby'. " I'd totally click on that. I know a lot of you would too.

If that's how you found my blog, that works too. Welcome. Introduce yourself.

1. So, I've been really delving into my book lately because I want to send it to Sherpa Ted as soon as possible. This means I'm in the zone. Like, driving down the road, running red lights, striking stray soccer balls, squashing squirrels in the zone. (See? I wasn't even trying to alliterate. Boo Yah!)

Yesterday, while I was driving, I got a flash of inspiration, and I had to write it down before I forgot. Only it was a green turn arrow, and I had to push on the gas, plus steer the car. So I scrounged around for a piece of paper (a receipt) and, using the steering wheel as a desk, I wrote down my killer idea. The one that couldn't wait for a red light. The breakthrough.

I picked up Kid B from his school and took him home, and in that short amount of time, my brain squirted out all its inspirational juices, and I blanked on my idea. Thank goodness I had the receipt.

I took it out of my pocket and this is what I saw:

Any way I look at it, all I see are the words "kitchen snot".

Now, my blog may be full of snot and other bodily juices, but I know for a fact snot would not be appropriate for my novel. Especially kitchen snot. Come to think of it, I don't even think my main character has ever been in her kitchen.

Can anyone else figure out what it says? "Kibble Snat"? Does that ring any bells? "Kively Squit"?

I guess it doesn't matter if I'm awake or asleep. I still can't read my writing.

2. We went to Sam's Uncle's funeral on Saturday. Clifton was a good man, and we didn't want to miss it, even though it meant we had to take our kids.

As we were in line at the viewing, I tried to explain life stuff to Kid C.

me: "We're standing in line to see Uncle Clifton"

Kid C: "But I thought he was dead."

me: "He is, but we're going to see his body. It's not really Uncle Clifton, though. It's just his body."

Kid C: "Just his body?"

me: "Yep."

Kid C (giving me a horrified look): "Then what did they do with his head?" ...and then a little louder... "Where's Clifton's head?"

Yep. Kid C can be very literal. Next time, we're getting a babysitter.

So, what are y'all up to this week?

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Dark Divine Launch Party and the Explanation of the Booby Jar

How was all y'all's New Years? Good?

Bree Despain's launch party was on Saturday at the King's English (indie bookstore in Salt Lake City).

She did a fabulous job, and I think she may have secured herself a place as #1 crazy in our writing group when she showed the crowd her revision process, involving roughly 465 color-coded tabs and highlights, each color representing a different aspect of writing. Seriously, we should vote now. (Added: Thanks to Melissa for the pic)

All in favor of Bree for #1 Crazy? Aye! (In the pic above, she's raising her hand too.)

Bree packed the house, and the bookstore sold out. I've never seen that happen.

Our writing group's official t-shirts came in.

 (Sara B. and Kim R., modeling the new shirts with Sarah W.)

I went into the back room of the bookstore to change, and when I finally squeezed myself in (using a shoe horn and a nearby oil slick), I realized what Valynne meant by "they run a little small".

I looked at myself in the mirror, and I could read the make and model of my bra.

So I put a v-neck black shirt over the t-shirt. But I still wanted to feel a part of my critique group, so I pulled down at the "v" and flashed everyone wherever possible.

Not only was it gratuitously tight, but I made it worse by looking like a flasher.

After I flashed Matt Kirby, he said, "Brodi, you have turned awkward moments into an art form."

(Matt Kirby and the non-awkward Sara Zarr)

Emily Wing Smith kept saying the shirts "amplify our ample racks" or something to that effect, which meant she owed a lot of quarters to the "Booby Jar". (Every time someone mentions boobies, or refers to them, that person must donate a quarter to the jar. To give you an idea of how much we talk about them, we're planning on the jar financing a group cruise.)

I met a lot of blog readers in person, so thank you to all of you who came!

Here are blog readers Mary and Alana with Emily Wing Smith.

Here are Ben Ballou, Cam Ballou, me (in my v-neck, in a rare moment of non-flashing) and Heather Zahn Gardner. Ben, Heather and I went to Junior High school together.

I also got to reunite with my class from the BYU writing conference over the summer. I felt like there were so many familiar faces, I sorta grew accustomed to introducing people, culminating in this moment:

me: "Elana, this is Kim. Have you two met?"

Elana: "Um, Brodi, Kim and I have been in the same critique group for years."

me: "Right. Sorry. Here, have you met Bree?"

Elana: "Years ago. In our critique group."


Finally, blog reader Robin (who lurrrves spreadsheets) sent me a custom made spreadsheet to document my Diet Coke intake in 2010. Isn't that nice? I was trying to explain it to my family, and I was all, "It's got like, a bunch of columns, and a bunch of rows, and I put in a number and it magically gives me another number. It's in a program called Ex-ell. Exx... celll... or something."

I told them I wanted to show it on the blog but I had no idea how. My bro-in-law D says, "Lemme guess. You took a picture with your iPhone."

How did he know?

Do you see the awesomeness that is the spreadsheet? Can you imagine the depression at the end of this year if I'm vigilant and record every diet coke?  The last column should read "percent chance that your skin will fall off due to over consumption".

How was everyone's New Year? Do your kids start school today like mine? Are you jumping for joy too?