Monday, May 26, 2014

Update on what's been keeping me crazy, busy, exhausted, and laughing

So toward the end of last year, I thought it would be awesome to pack this April as full as possible, with big events every week. Actually, when I first planned it, I mostly just hoped that I'd still be alive at the end of the month. I didn't expect to love every minute of it so much, or to end the month being fine to keep going at this pace. Probably because it all ended up being so. very. awesome. Here's a recap:

The first week of April, Liesl Shurtliff (author of RUMP and a pub-mate of mine) and I decided to go on a school visit tour together in Texas. We had gotten to be friends online and had even met once, but we don't live near each other (she's in Chicago; I'm in Utah). But when you're going to another state, that doesn't seem to matter so much. :) We planned a killer presentation that we did together. Not only was it so many kinds of fun doing it together, but it also gave us a buddy to navigate the freeways of San Antonio.

For the record: Texas is awesome. Doing school visits there is like nothing I've experienced. 

We had a lot of fun, signed a lot of books for a lot of different schools....

Got to visit some who did completely awesome things like decorate the doors with welcome signs...

Gave us a basket of treats (including cookies, because they let the kids check out our websites before we came. Is that not the coolest thing ever?! LOVE this school)...

 And made great big welcome banners that we faced while we spoke.

I made the nastiest food combination EVER, and double-dog dared Liesl to eat it. And she did! Liesl's the best.

We also got to hang out on the riverwalk in San Antonio a few nights. It was such an incredible place to be.

And we took a selfie right before going on stage for our last performance of the week, after speaking with nearly 3,000 kids in four different school districts.

It was an amazing place! But at the end of the 7 day trip, we were definitely ready to get back home to our families.

And I actually got a couple of days to recuperate before it was time for SALT LAKE COMIC CON!! (Trust me-- it was so huge, it deserved the all caps.) I spent three days hanging out with 100,000 of the faniest fans around, checking out fabulous costumes, great booths, speaking on eight panels, and totally enjoying the geekfest.

And got to fan-girl myself while listening to Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin speak. (In case you were wondering, yes it was awesome, and yes, they are both incredible people, and yes, I grinned the entire time.)

Then I came home for four days--- just enough time for the germs from MASSIVEST HEAD COLD EVER to kick in. (Side effect from hanging out with 100k people. Still worth it.) Then I headed off to LDStorymakers, and got to hang out with this lovely crowd:

And promptly lost my voice, just in time to do my two hour-long presentations. It was awesome, because I had a mic, so my voice was coming out all chipmunky but loud. At least I didn't have to resort to interpretive dance to get my presentation across, so I'm counting it as a success!

All of the presenters donated a picture for a "Talk to the Hand" advice video. Here was my advice:

Then, on the eve of the conference, my hubby drove up and joined me, all dressed up, for the Whitney Awards Gala....

Where I got to wear these fabulous shoes. (One of my favorite perks of being 5'2" is being able to wear five inch heels.)

And in the middle of it all, my daughter's youth group decided to do a pinewood derby, and she somehow got assigned to make two of her team's cars. We promptly forgot about it until the night before, then pulled off these two babies in less than 24 hours. She had a ton of fun making them, and she won! Who says procrastination is a bad thing? I call it putting out the nearest fire first, and it's something I've become an expert at.

Around that same time, I found out that I was in my old high school's paper! The last time I was in the Viking Crier was when my hair was blonder and curlier (and much taller in front). It was kind of cool to see it.

Then, three days after returning from Storymakers, my family and I headed off to Vegas for Jessie Humphries's book launch for KILLING RUBY ROSE. I got to hang out with her and my other writing bestie, Erin Summerill, on Freemont street with Jessie's publicists who had flown in for the event. It was a blast.

The next day, we went to Container Park before the shindig started. It was the most amazing launch party I've ever gone to (and likely will go to). There were bands playing, a scavenger hunt going on, ice cream being given away, books being sold, signing lines, photo ops, and all around fun for the whole family.

The next night was the awards ceremony for the high school aged winners of the writing contest Jessie had. A few people performed, including the beautiful and talented Kathryn Purdie. She killed it! 

Then Jessie spoke and did a Q&A. She was funny and gracious and amazing and touching. (Plus, her hair glowed purple in the lights. I kind of wanted that hair for me. Permanently.) It was a fabulous weekend, and I'm so glad my family got to join me.

Since I've been home, I've been writing like crazy (finally!), and visiting several more schools in my area, including this awesome one where two students showed up before school started to save me the best parking spot in the house. Awesome, no?

And that's been my crazy past seven weeks. How about you? How the heck are you? What have you been up to?


Unknown said...

Very cool. Sounds like you have some great fans at the schools. :)


JeffO said...


Just, wow!

Good for you, Peggy--glad you've been having such a great time.

ilima said...

So cool. I hope you're taking a nap right now. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

How awesome!!! I especially love the we know you write for cookies note. How sweet. You and Jessie are doing so great, I'd be jealous if I didn't think you were totally fabulous and deserving! Way to go :)

Tammy Theriault said...

if anyone says you're not busy...stone them for lying! and then send me those fab shoes!! squeal! pinewood derby was fun for cubscouts and my son won 3rd but gave away his trophy. it probably would have broken after a while of his lil bro playing with it! but dang, those you made are crazy good!! :D hope some day you make it this way!! I'll make you cookies of your choosing!!

Rebecca said...

It looked like you had so much fun! I definitely want your shoes!

I found out about your work through the Brandon Sanderson lectures on youtube and now I've started planning my first novel. It's not going to be middle grade but I've learnt so much from looking through your blog. So thank you!

Nicole said...

Wow, sounds like an epic month! That's so exciting you got to experience all that. And who wouldn't fangirl for Nathan Fillion?

Jeff Hargett said...

Looks like it was a great month! Great pics.

Kathryn Purdie said...

Ahhh...memories. How did I miss this blog post! Thanks for your kind words and snapping that fun picture. <3