Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Celebrating new friends, Forks, and Fun.

Warning: This is a long-ish post with lots of pictures... If you are only interested in the picture for Self Portrait Challenge, and do not want to read my ramblings, it is the second one down:)

Lately there is a portion of every day where I would look exactly like this if you were to look at me from where my iMac sits.

That is immediately followed by something similar to this:

It is all thanks to a lovely group of friends I began getting acquainted with back in September-ish. I know I mentioned the Twilight Mom's before, but I feel I have to mention them again. These ladies are SO much fun! Who knew that a group of random strangers could meet up in a message board and become such fast friends? I certainly didn't.

When I was in Utah over Christmas, I was lucky enough to meet up with some of them for breakfast.

My breakfast... It was yummy, it deserves a moment in the spotlight.

The whole group (we are so incredibly fabulous you have NO idea)

This is Jen (Twila) and Amy (Yogagurl)... Amy was demonstrating Yoga poses for us on the floor of Village Inn at one point during our breakfast, which sadly I did not get a picture of.

This is me, Meg (Megatha), and Lisa. Meg and I actually went to High School together and re-connected again on Small world :) And Lisa is our "Coven Mother", she started the website and brought all of us crazy fans together.

We were all in an especially good mood this morning because Stephenie Meyer herself had spent several hours the previous evening online chatting with us all... Good mood is actually quite the understatement. Steph (I am cool, I can call her that now) told ME that she LOVES the pendant I gave her at the book signing I went to last summer, and she thinks it is INGENIOUS! Yes... I nearly died.

Well, my Twilight Mom's and I are planning a HUGE trip to Forks this September. We have already rented 2 cabins, and made reservations at Bella Italia in Port Angeles (The restaurant where Edward and Bella went...) for 24 people... We are planning a MASSIVE slumber party, complete with Rock Band, karaoke, AND a Ya-Ya-esque campfire (headdresses and Twilight name required) We are all working on gifts to exchange, and we are also exchanging scrap book pages so we can have a page from each person in our Forks scrapbooks. My friend Kendra and I will be flying out to Seattle together, and meeting up with all 24 of the ladies there to start our super huge Twilight weekend:)

Yes... I am a nerd. And I don't care one lick. I am celebrating this year. Celebrating all my wonderful new friends, with whom I have so much more in common than just these books... I think it was Stephenie that said it was a "kindred spirits thing"... Or maybe it was Rhonda... I will be having a GINORMOUS celebration come September with all these ladies, and I can hardly contain my excitement :)

To see what other people are celebrating go here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Support your local Indie Bookstore :)

I am sure most of you are aware at this point... but if you are not, I am a total book lover. I absolutely adore reading. When I was a child I used to beg my mother to lie to my friends and tell them I could not play... Just so I could go read my books. I love getting lost inside of books. I really cannot think of very many things that are better than reading a good book. Chocolate? Good. But, better with a book. Dr. Pepper? Oh so yummy... But even better with a book... You see what I mean?

My new friend Justina, Readergirlz Diva and author of Girl Overboard, posted this list over at her blog. I wanted to share it here, because I agree with it. I feel that its important to support our local indie businesses, and because I love to read I feel it is very important to support our indie bookstores.

So, without further adieu, I give you Justina's Fab Five Ways to Support Your Local Bookstore:

1. Attend an in-store author event. Actually, don't just attend one event. Attend a bunch of them. The sad thing is that so many author events aren't attended by many people. Oh gosh, at readergirlz, Ann Brashares (she of Sisterhood book, movie, and fame) told us about a recent signing where NO ONE showed up. SAD for the author, but GOOD for you. This just means that you might have a super intimate conversation with one of your favorite authors of all time.

2. Bring your friends. Make a pact to bring a group of friends with you to these author events: the more, the merrier. It could be a standing date with all your favorite readergirlz buddies: author comes to town; you all head out to hang out with the writer.

3. Buy first edition books…from your local indie bookseller. Soooo…about 7 years ago, my hubby trotted home with an auction catalog from Sotheby's where they were selling off a book from the very first UK printing of Harry Potter 1. He said, "We should go for it!" I said, "What? That's the dumbest investment idea I've ever heard of. We should invest in…" (I know, I know.) Well…guess what that first edition copy is worth now. And it's not just Jo's books that become valuable. But forget collectability…go to 4!

4. Give books as gifts. (And books autographed to your BFF are even better…) Over at readergirlz, we created our gift giving guide for the holidays: Best Books for Your BFF. Those bookmarks, filled with fun and fabulous book lists from our beloved postergirlz advisory committee (the smartest and kindest and most expert children's lit bloggers on the planet), are actually perfect year-round. Books are a gift from the heart. Your heart.

5. Negotiate a Package Deal with Your Bookseller. I thought this was such a good idea from University Bookstore here in Seattle. They're offering a bundle of autographed books from visiting authors for a set (read: discounted) price. Why not pitch this idea to your local bookseller? Eoin Colfer, Jon Scieska (new Children's Lit ambassador for the U.S.), Libba Bray, Shannon Hale and so many other fantastic authors are TOURING the country right now. As in: RIGHT NOW. If they're heading your way, talk to your bookseller. That way, even if you can't attend the booksigning, you can still get a book personalized for yourself and / or your BFF.

Justina ends her post with this:

Long live (and love) our independent booksellers. Feel free to REPOST these ideas everywhere. And finally, what else do you think we can do to support our booksellers?

I also wanted to make mention of the Go Overboard Challenge Grant again, because I think it is such a good thing. If you know anyone between the ages of 12 and 20 you should tell them about it. We can all make a difference in this world.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Readergirlz and Girl Overboard

A few months ago my love (read: obsession) of all things Stephenie Meyer lead me to a wonderful group called Readergirlz. Readergirlz is basically an online book community created by 4 superfantasic ladies... The Readergirlz Diva's: Janet Lee Carey, Lorie Ann Grover, Dia Calhoun, Justina Chen Headley, and a recent addition Mitali Perkins.

Immediately upon discovery of Readergirlz, I joined their myspace group and began participating in the various discussions. Can I tell you how much I LOVE these ladies? They are warm, and inviting, and passionate about literature... That is pretty much the recipe for a good friend in my book :) I absolutely LOVE to read, I mean LOVE it. so finding them was kinda like coming home... PLUS, Lorie Ann and I have exceptional taste in men... We BOTH love us some Jacob Black, and Severus Snape! But I digress... :)

When I discovered them, I added them to my friends on myspace. Imagine my shock, joy, awe, wonder... pick a word... when one of the Diva's actually contacted me. Justina messaged me on myspace one day and we started talking. Our conversation lead to Justina placing an order for several pendants as Christmas gifts to the other Diva's.

They turned out very pretty if you ask me :) Each one has 2 different beaded charms that they can choose from.

After Justina gave the other Diva's their pendants, she emailed me again with another order. I was already thrilled with the thought that they all had these pendants I had made for them, but now I was ECSTATIC!

Her new book Girl Overboard was just released, and Justina wanted 10 pendants for her book release party. At this point I was (still am) totally on cloud nine. I still feel so honored that she even asked me. After playing around with the design for a little bit, this is what she and I decided on. The front has the title of her book, over the background of her book cover. The back has a small quote from the book.

They turned out cute huh? I think so...

I wanted to add something here about something Justina is doing that I think is really great. She has partnered with Burton Snowboards and Youth Venture, they are co-sponsoring the Go Overboard Challenge Grant. If you know any teens who you think could help make a difference in this world, or maybe already are, send them over to that link. The people who submit the best idea's will win 1000$ to help them towards their goals.

Readergirlz has been so good to me, I just wanted to tell everyone about the great thing they have created. If you get a chance you should go check them out, you will be glad you did! Read their manifesta it makes me smile :)

Thank you Justina, Lorie, Dia, AND Janet for making me feel so welcome in your community. Mitali, I look forward to getting to know you, and ALL of you Diva's, in this new year.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our trip to Utah in images

We just got back from Utah after nearly a week and a half... So many great things happened... But for now, I will just post some of my favorite pics of the kids. I am exhausted!

The boys in the snow...

The boys on Christmas Morning... Covered in the chocolate they ate for breakfast and thoroughly happy :)

I'll be back in the next day or two with a real post.