Feeling Kinda Zen…. (Pictures, Long)

Woo Hoo!
O hai! I’m on my way to Schaumburg! Look how excited I am!!!

With the exception of a headache, I feel pretty good today. I went to a new yoga class today, Mindful Vinyasa, and it was really amazing. It’s getting to the point where my body craves yoga practice, and if I skip one for any reason, I feel all knotted. AND, apparently, I have bad dreams! Last night/this morning, I dreamed that I went to class and went to unroll my mat and it was all ripped apart! Eeek?!

Fortunately, the are 57 classes that I can always make up if I have to miss. :)

I’ve been practicing yoga in this classroom/studio setting for more than a month now, and already, I’m stronger in some ways. Weak in others, but that’s the beauty of yoga. We’re all different. Everyone has their own practice, and it’s OK not to be perfect all the time. Such a refreshing view to have (and a hard one to learn in this competitive society). So, I plan to continue practicing and learning and growing. Plus, I meet the most incredible people there. Even if we only touch lives for a brief moment, it’s a gorgeous moment.

I went to the library today. Got out a bunch of awesome ones, but before I read those, I’m going to finish Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti. I had the pleasure of meeting her Wednesday evening at Anderson’s Bookshop in Downer’s Grove. (I just have to say, that if I ever move from the Chicago area, I will miss Anderson’s a great deal.)

Anyway, getting to Downer’s Grove SUCKED. I swear, it’s rush hour ALL the time in Chicago. Still, once we got there, I got to spend hours in a bookstore and eat yummy pizza in a cool-looking pizza place, so that was cool. And meeting Susane was such a treat! She’s hilarious and so much fun! I love how candid she is. Here are some pix from that night:

Susane Colasanti and Me
Me and Susane. Isn’t she so pretty?? Pictures don’t do this woman justice, just sayin’.

Susane loves her some cupcakes, so when someone brought her some, she was totally thrilled:

Susane Colasanti

AND then Susane shared them with us!!!

They were red velvet and totally yummy!

This week was busy. Not that I can remember WHY, but it was. Yesterday, we headed out to Schaumburg so Adam could do an Author Event. It was interesting. The Schaumburg Township District Library, though? OMG. Amazing and awesome. Five star. I didn’t know libraries had a rating system but apparently they do (and Columbus Metropolitan is a five-star library too, but I’m not surprised by that at ALL). This library. People. It’s crazy. Bright and welcoming. Board games and computers and books and books and books. NEW books! And the best part is that they let Chicago library card holders borrow books as visitors. :) It’s like Heaven on Earth for me. I wish it was next door to me. I took out books last week when we were there for a different Author Event type deal that Adam was filling in for, and returned them yesterday. Today, we went to one of the Chicago branch libraries, which is five million times more pleasant than going downtown to Harold Washington, where I rarely feel welcome at all.

So… how awesome was Betty White on SNL last weekend? I hadn’t watched SNL in years, but I made an exception for this. She was hilarious! I was also very excited to see the return of some of my favorite SNL Ladies, Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolph especially.

Flowers are blooming like crazy all over the neighborhood:

Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood
Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood

And this is on the ground on the way to the yoga studio. I don’t know.


Hmm, what else?

· Adam and I have been trying to eat better, thanks to watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This result of this is that there are snow peas in the house almost all the time. And BEAN SPROUTS! And clementines! I try to eat something raw every day, even if it’s just a little bit. Less processed, more real please!

· In 25 days, Aidan will be here for the summer! Woohoo!

· Still enjoying the new Doctor, even though some of the episodes are a great big cup of wtf.

· I am sooo behind on emails, game requests, etc. I’ll get to them. Eventually.

· I’ve been going through and editing the categories/tags on my old entries. Unfortunately, I thought (wrongly) that the updated entries would simply update on LJ. Oh no, the cross-poster cross posted the entries AGAIN. So I have doubles of a lot of my LJ entries from before 2010. It’s a PITA to go and individually delete thousands of LJ entries, so they are just going to be some doubles in the archives.

· Adam and I can’t take Aidan to Disney World this year, so of course I’m getting all kinds of emails from Disney Destinations with all these fantastic deals! They’re driving me crazy. If only I could get a huge, crazy windfall….

· Excited about … well never mind. Adam interrupted me to tell me something and I forgot. :O

That’s all for now. About to watch some Molly Shannon and chill out. ‘Til next time! :)

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Authors & Books, Oh My! (Pictures)

Today, Adam and I went to the International Reading Association convention. He to do a book signing event, me to tag along and look at the exhibits. Exhibits are FUN. Lots of information, pretty displays, and free stuff. (My shoulders are quite unhappy with me thanks to the load I was hauling around today.) I knew there would be author events sprinkled about, but I had NO idea the authors would be people like:

Adam, Jerry Spinelli, and Me
Jerry Spinelli

Me and Ann M. Martin
Ann M. Martin

Shannon Hale and Me
Shannon Hale

… and even fun online friends like:

Kate Messner and Me
Kate Messner!!!!

I had no idea that publishers put out ARCs and ARCs and ARCs. Seriously, I kept walking by a few choice booths because they’d not only put out loads of ARCs, but they’d ROTATE them, so there were different ones almost every time I walked by; I came home with about 40 new books to read. And if that’s not enough, Little Brown had sheets where you could check off the ARCs you want and they’ll mail them to you. I am most excited about my SISTERS RED and THE GUARDIAN AND THE GATE ARCs. I also enjoyed seeing books by people I know on display or advertised with big posters.

Meeting Jerry Spinelli was such a treat. He has the kindest eyes and he was so soft-spoken and sweet. Meeting Ann M. Martin was a blast. When I first realized that there was something set up, and I saw the line, I thought to myself “not even close.” The line was SUPER long! But I wandered by about 45 minutes later. The line had calmed down, but I noticed that the people in line had on yellow wristbands. I thought that meant you had to pre-purchase or somehow have signed up for the event in advance, but there was a lady there handing out wristbands! So I got in line, freaking out with excitement now. THEN I found out that I didn’t have to buy the book–they were giving them away free (a hardbound AND and ARC), and that I was allowed to get my picture with her. Plus they were passing out free cookies. Ann was very sweet and gracious. It was fun talking to her. She probably thought I was crazy, cause I was fangirling all over the place. She signed my book “BSC 4-ever!”

After that, they had a photo booth set up where people could get their pictures taken, then Scholastic would give a printout so it looked like we were on the cover of KRISTY’S GREAT IDEA. I will not be posting that, as I think I look quite creepy in the picture! :)

Rumor has it that Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld were wandering around the convention as well, but I didn’t see them. And I am kind of bummed that I missed running into Julie Halpern, because I absolutely loved her book GET WELL SOON and would have liked to tell her so. I did get to meet Jane Yolen, so that was all right. Still, it’s all good, BECAUSE I FREAKING MET ANN M. MARTIN AND JERRY SPINELLI WHAT!

Now I am very tired. Time to sleep. Yoga tomorrow. Night!

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A Day In Naperville (Large Number of Pictures)

So, as many of you who have followed me for years know, I am a HUGE fan of Sarah Dessen. HUGE. I love her work, and I love her blogs and yeah, she’s just awesome.

I GOT TO MEET HER TODAY!1!!11onewonuno!!!

Two of My Favorite Authors

Yup, that’s me in between Laurie Halse Anderson and Sarah Dessen (who is mid blink, bless her heart).


What was so cool was that when they came in, Laurie spotted me in the audience and grinned and waved and said “Hi Ronni!” I about died from glee then. I mean, HELLO, it’s Laurie Halse Anderson, who is teh awsum! as it is. And I would have come out to see her by herself, but with Sarah? Um yeah. CLEAR THE CALENDAR, right? THEN when it was my turn, SARAH RECOGNIZED ME FROM MY COMMENTING ON HER LIVE JOURNAL. OH man. OH MAN OH MAN. *dies* SARAH DESSEN KNEW WHO I WAS, you guys!!! MAJORfangirlSQUEE! :D

I had a great time talking with both of them. Laurie hugged me, blew me kisses, complimented me on my wedding photos, and encouraged me to keep writing. She’s definitely getting a shoutout whenever I get published. She’s so inspirational and supportive and amazing. I lubs her. :)

I snagged this from Laurie’s Twitter. Can you see me and Aidan in the audience?

So yeah, I’m riding on that high pretty much.

Spending all afternoon in Naperville was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day, and they were doing IndieBound. All the indie shops (and some non-indie shops!) were having sidewalk sales. I got a pair of Keen Newports, and I found out that I can wear a child’s size five, thus saving me lots of money on future shoe purchases. Aidan and I ate lunch at Noodles & Co, where he ate a HUGE bowl of mac & cheese, which he loved. Oh, at first he turned his nose up at it b/c he saw “white” cheese in the bowl and the cheese wasn’t all melted and mixed in. I got really firm with him because his pickiness is frustrating at the best of times. I KNOW he loves mac & cheese, and for him to say “I don’t wike cheddar” when I know DANG well he eats cheddar in his mac & cheese all the time was almost too much. I mixed up the mac & cheese for him, he took one bite, and then gobbled the rest down pretty much.

A Day In Naperville
Om nom nom!!!

While we waited for the long hours until the authors arrived to tick by, Aidan and I busied ourselves in Anderson’s Bookshop. There is PLENTY to do to spend time in that store, honestly. Like this:

Aidan Reading
Who knew SpongeBob Squarepants had his own magazine?

Here are some other pix from today:

O Hai!

A Day In Naperville A Day In Naperville
A Day In Naperville A Day In Naperville
Tyrone Says Hi! A Day In Naperville


We ate Wendy’s for dinner because although I KNOW there are McDonald’s restaurants in Naperville, I couldn’t find any on the roads I was on. Thank goodness Aidan was agreeable to that suggestion. I got teased by some customers behind me because I ordered myself a Kid’s Meal. :o

Those are the highlights of a pretty great day. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel OK all day because I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I was playing Sims3 last night and mistakenly called Aidan over to watch as one of the Sims was getting carted off by the Grim Reaper. It scared the pants off of him (I thought he might laugh at it) because of the scary music and the guy turned into a ghost… he was up all night freaking out, and he climbed into bed with me at about 6am. Poor little guy. Sometimes that stuff makes him laugh but sometimes it scares the poop out of him. Last night was a poop eliminating (figuratively, of course) session. I just didn’t THINK. *hits self on head*

Oh well. Live and learn. It all worked out in the end. Aidan only bumbled up slightly a couple times, and both times were easily remedied by getting his blood sugar back up. He was a really good boy. :)

Now I have to figure out how to get him to bed soon. I have a headache and he’s going strong for some reason. : Well, he knows that once The Wiz ends, he’s to go to bed. And they just made it to Oz. Woohoo.

Until next time….

P.S. Only 35 Days Til Disney!!!!!!

E.T.A. Click! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry (Pictures)

Saturday, I got the pleasure of meeting Meg Cabot, NYT Bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and 4935843954987 other books. It was lucky for me that during the author table chat, my table didn’t have an author so I ventured over to Meg’s table. I was shaking because I was so nervous! She was absolutely sweet and gracious and adorable, and she told me that I was gorgeous! Here we are!

Seventh Annual Children's Literature Breakfast
Meg and me! ♥

The breakfast was a lot of fun. The last time I went to one was in 2007. One of the best things was running into Laura Ruby (didn’t get a pic with her, unfortunately, although she is awesome!!) and Cynthea Liu!!!! Cynthea is just as energetic and adorable as she comes across on her Web site and on her Live Journal. ♥

Seventh Annual Children's Literature Breakfast
Cynthea & me!!!!

My guess is that we’ll be heading to this breakfast every year from now on. :) And 2009 makes the fourth year in a row that I got the chance to meet a NYT best-selling author!

(I’m thinking that black was THE color for the breakfast. Adam wore black, too.)

I’ve been working some crazy hours. Last Tuesday, I popped in at 10am and ended up working until 2:30 the next morning. They bought me dinner and paid for me to take a cab home. I didn’t go in until 2pm the next day, I stayed until about 5:30pm, and I got paid for the whole day. Today I went in at 9am and stayed until 7pm. Tomorrow, I am going in at noon and I plan to be there until about 4 o’clock Thursday morning. But then I get Thursday off with pay. It’s going to be crazy, but I’m taking some comfortable clothes! On a “normal” day (’cause face it, there are no normal days at Ogilvy), I’d work from 10-6 or something like that. I love those hours.

Books! I’ve acquired many books. I bought Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (OMG amazing book!!), an autographed copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry, an autographed copy of Forever Princess by Meg Cabot, and a copy of Copper Sun by Sharon Draper, which she autographed for me on Saturday. (She has the best autograph ever, by the way). Mandy sent me the ARC of Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen. I’ve been in BOOK HEAVEN.

I also did my yearly “What’s In My Bag” photo. I’m late this year–I usually do it in January. Anyway, here’s what was in my bag last night:

What's In My Bag - February 23, 2009

That’s about all for now. I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to play a few games of Word Twist on Facebook and then go read. I get to really sleep in tomorrow, but the night will be rough. I’m a trooper, though, so I’m mentally ready for it. ‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Author Visit (Pictures)

I think that I need to make it a goal to meet at least one best-selling author a year. In 2006, I got to meet Jennifer Cruisie, Bob Mayer, and Alesia Holliday. Last year, I got to chat a bit with Brian Selznick, but the highlight was with I met the lovely Laurie Halse Anderson (halseanderson), and this year, it was Melissa Marr (melissa_writing), the author of WICKED LOVELY and INK EXCHANGE.

Melissa Marr & Me
Melissa and Me
She has awesome hair.

I’m always interested in people’s voices, and her voice is definitely not what I expected. She sounds a bit like laurenbarnholdt, actually. It was great to sit and chat with her about anything and everything. I’ve been to a few author events, and each one is different, each one is awesome.

It’s always inspiring to meet authors. Just knowing that this person sitting in front of you is where you want to be. OK, I know that I LIVE with an author which should be constant inspiration, but still, it’s nice to meet those I read about and talk to online, and whose works I enjoy.

Who’s next for me to meet?

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