Friday, December 31, 2010


(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's INFF guest is that really old guy with the beard and the cane with the number 2010 on his decrepit looking top hat. You know. The guy that *is* the old year and who's gonna get kicked to the curb tonight by the little baby in the diaper with 2011 on his shiny, oversized top hat. Yup. I'm interviewing The Year 2010.

SME: Welcome to INFF.

2010: Thanks for having me, but you're cutting it a little close. Only a few hours left, ya know.

SME: This is a pretty big day for you. Do you have any plans for the big hand-off?

2010: Not really. Just gonna show up. It'll all happen whether I do anything or not.

SME: That's gotta be a little depressing.

2010: It's enough to make a year feel pretty unwanted.

SME: If it makes you feel any better, I'll probably still be writing 2010 on my checks for the next two months or so.

2010: I appreciate that.

SME: I have noticed around the blog-o-sphere that a great many bloggers are posting their end-of-the-year lists: favorite books, favorite things they did, highlights, that sort of thing. What are the big things you noticed during the past year?

2010: It was a mixed bag. On one hand we saw some good books.

SME: Yes we did.

2010: And the elections added some spice.

SME: Nothing like grown people bickering like school children to liven things up.

2010: The FIFA World Cup. Not every year gets to have one of those.
SME: We enjoyed that at the Eden house. Except for those buzzing horns. *shudders* That's a sound that'll haunt a person's dreams.

2010: Speaking of which, this was also a big year for Justin Beiber. Good kid, but no self-respecting year wants to be defined as "The Year of Justin Beiber."

SME: If it helps at all he has a big ol' movie coming out next year. Maybe 2011 will have to be known as "The Year of Justin Beiber" and you can just be remembered as "The Year of the Annoying Buzzing Horns at the FIFA World Cup."

2010: That is comforting. Thanks.

SME: Are you going to stay up until midnight tonight? Is that part of the job description?

2010: Sure is. I'm not allowed to pass the torch preemptively.
SME: Do you have any big plans for your bon voyage party?

2010: The usual. Junk food. Soda. Hours of mindless television in which the hosts repeatedly tell us how many hours are left until the new year even though there is a countdown ticker right there on the screen.

SME: Been there.

2010: Then at 11:59 I'll give the new guy a pep talk.

SME: Really? Have you been working on the pep talk? Or is it going to be completely off the top of your head?

2010: I've got something prepared.

SME: Could you give us a few highlights?

2010: It'll start out something like this.
"New guy. You haven't done this before, so let me give you some advice. People are going to get your name mixed up. Some might call you "Twenty Eleven." Some might say "Two-thousand Eleven." Some might just say "Eleven" for short. Don't get in a snit about it, just go with whatever they come up with. Also, a lot of people are swearing that your year is the year they are finally going to stick with their new years resolutions. When they have all given up by the end of January, don't get all depressed and start eating hohos by the dozen. It's what happens every year."
There's more. But that's the opening paragraph.
SME: I like it. Very motivational.

2010: Thanks.
SME: Well, 2010, as far as I'm concerned you were a great year, and I'll always look back on you fondly. You were the year my first book was published with Covenant. To add to the joy, my second book hit shelves a little early, so it's part of 2010 as well. I attended writing conferences and retreats. I learned a lot of good stuff, made friends. As a writer, 2010 was a fabulous year for me.

2010: I appreciate that. Was it a good year from a non-writer perspective.
SME: Yup. But that's not what this blog is about.

2010: True.

SME: Well, before your reign is over, I'd lie to draw a portrait of you. Do you mind?

2010: That would be great.

*draws a fabulous portrait*

2010: That is a very good likeness of me.

SME: I drew dozens of portraits this year, so I think I'm getting better. Now, the final question of the interview--and the year, when I think about it. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

2010: 1-You caught me on my big send-off day, so that makes it pretty great.
2-I never was interviewed on a blog all year long.
3-Found out you had a good year and that always makes me happy.
4-I was reassured that I will not be remembered as "The Year of Justin Beiber."
5-I have a portrait for posterity.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Well, folks. I had anticipated telling you on this week's Walkabout Wednesday that I finally had a release date for "The Kiss of a Stranger" and that the anticipated arrival was slated for February 2011. Then I spotted this on the shelves of my local bookstore...


That's right. "The Kiss of a Stranger" has come early!

Stay tuned for my traditional "My Book is Coming Out Soon' Contest, though Totally Revamped and Desperately Modified Because My Book Isn't Coming Out Soon, It's Already Out"! Guess I'll have that up and running by Wednesday instead of my announcement of February-ness.

Are you as excited as I am?!?!? Wahooooooo!!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

I started a tradition last year of interviewing the big man himself on the Friday closest to Christmas. Yup, Santa Claus! I figured I'd invite Mr. Claus back again this year and see how things have been. Well, I was informed in no uncertain terms that Christmas Eve is a particularly busy day for him. He couldn't do the interview and couldn't spare any elves to be interviewed in his place.
So... I'm re-posting his 2009 interview and hoping that next year's timing will be better. (And be sure to come back next week, as I have a fantabulous interview set up!)
SME: Welcome, Santa. Er... St. Nick. That is... Father Christmas. Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas. Um.

Santa: *dressed all in fur, from head to foot, clothes all tarnished with ashes and soot.* Ho, ho, ho. *belly jiggling like a bowl full of jelly* And those are only my English names.


SME: You certainly take the prize for the Friday Friend with the most names. Thank you for taking time to come visit at INFF. I know this is a busy time of year for you.

Santa: Actually, I have just reached my least busy time of year.

(in 2009, this interview fell on Christmas Day)


SME: Good point. How did things go last night, by the way?


Santa: Very well. I got an early start.

SME: Wait. Don't tell me you took off while creatures were still stirring. I'm pretty sure that's against some code of conduct.

Santa: I waited until sugar plums were in full dance before beginning my yearly journey.

SME: Excellent. I would hate to think "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" had been
rendered uselessly inaccurate.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho. *belly jiggles*

SME: Speaking of which, why did you lay your
finger aside of your nose? That never made much sense to me. Is this some sort of North Pole custom? Perhaps a signal to an accompanying elf that you are in need of a staged distraction?

Santa: Actually, I just had an itch.

SME: Been there. I often ask my Friday Friends what their favorite cookie is. I'm thinking though, considering the massive amounts of cookies you consumed
last night, that I'd do better to skip that question.

Santa: That would probably be best. I won't be able to think of cookies without becoming nauseated until at least June.

SME: True story.
So, is red a particularly warm color? I ask because I just moved to a cold climate and am trying to figure
out how to be at least minimally warm.

Santa: Red isn't any warmer than any other color.

SME: Then why do you wear it all the time.

Santa: At one point I wore an all white suit. Mrs. Claus hung it out to dry one year and it blended into the snowy landscape so well we never found it again.


SME: Hence the "no white after labor day" rule, I guess.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho.

SME: How would you like to play a game, Santa?

Santa: I love games! Although I am a little tired, so I may not be very alert.

SME: Not a problem, Santa. My games require very little mental clarity
.

Santa: (his eyes twinkle, his dimples look exceptionally merry) Perfect.


SME: I am calling this game, "Name The Presents Sarah Got From Santa on Christmases Past." I will throw out a year and you tell me what present you gave me that year.

Santa: I will do my best.

SME: 1986.

Santa: A "Kid Sister" doll. --------->

SME: Correct. I loved that thing. It was almost as big as I was.
1988

Santa: A Little Professor Calculator.
<---------

SME: You. Are. Good.
2009

Santa: I brought you exactly what you asked for.

SME: Yes...

Santa: You asked that the toys I bring for your children not make any noise.

SME: And you came through. What a guy!

Santa: (with a wink of his eye and a twist of his head) Ho, ho, ho.

SME: I drew a portrait of you. Would you'd like to see it?

Santa: I would love to!

*markers scratching paper in a very expert sort of way*

SME: Here ya go.

Santa: It is fantastic, though I'm not sure the elves would recognize me without my trademark belly.

SME: Ho, ho, ho.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho.

SME: Alright, Santa, the final question is: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Santa: 1. The interview was held after Christmas Eve, not before or during.
2. You thoughtfully avoided discussing cookies.
3. I enjoyed the game.
4. I can now go to bed.
5. I got to chuckle warmly.

SME: I chuckled warmly, too! Thank you so much for joining us today, Santa. Now go rest for a few months.

Santa: I sure will. (Gives a nod. Rises up the chimney. Springs his sleigh. Whistles. Flies away a la the down of a thistle.) Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 69:

I have a very love/hate relationship with technology. I L-O-V-E the way it makes my life easier. I H-A-T-E the way it messes things up.

Case in point:

Google Reader has been the bane of my technological existence lately. Apparently, on Fridays Google Reader lists as my newest post an INFF interview that is approximately 2 months old. That's right folks. 2 MONTHS old. And, to make matters even more confusing, Wednesday's posts are correct.

As far as I have been able to discover, there is nothing I can do to fix this. So, those of you following this blog through Google Reader have probably missed the INFF interviews lately, because you have been seeing only reruns.

You have probably missed:

  • Terry Ervin and I discussing the finer points of "The Princess Bride"
  • An interview I did with "Peter Pilgrim," a really happenin' 17th-Century guy, and the advice I gave him on Pilgrim Pick Up Lines
  • Kim Coates and her fantastic Write Planner, a planner designed specifically for writers
  • The 4-year-old boy I interviewed while standing in line at the store and the imitation he did of his mother's driving tactics
I don't know how long this problem has existed, so I'm not sure how far back to go. If I figure out how to fix it, I'll let you know. In the meantime, join with me in a lament for the frustrations of technology.

*sigh*

(ignore "Read More!")---->
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Friday, December 17, 2010


Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.

I do not know the actual name of today's INFF guest. Let me explain:

So there I was standing in line at a large discount department store along with many, many other people (see despite this being the Holiday Season, this particular store had only 3, count 'em THREE, checkout lanes open). Right behind me was the most adorable little boy, probably three years old, inside one of those shopping cards all rigged out to look like a car. So we got to talking and I realized he would make a great INFF guest. I never asked his name (and his mom said I could put our conversation on my website, especially since he would be entirely anonymous).
Here goes!
SME: The store is very busy today.

Adorable Little Boy: *honks the horn inside his cart-car*

SME: Do you like driving your car when you're here?

ALB: *nods* I get to pick where we go.

SME: Because you're steering the car?

ALB: Mm-hmm.

SME: And where did you go in the store today?

ALB: *scrunches up face like he's really trying to remember* By the food. And the soap. And... um... other places. I don't remember.

SME: Did you go by the toys?

ALB: *shakes head* Mom said no.

SME: Oh. Well, maybe another time.
Are you excited about Christmas?

ALB: *suddenly becomes extremely animated* Oh yeah! I love Christmas. There's Santa and presents and candy. *glances up at his mom, then back at me* And Jesus, too.

SME: *manages to maintain a serious expression* Jesus is a very important part of Christmas.

ALB: *looks very serious, too* Mm-hmm. *then, looks a little mischievous* *whispers* And the presents.

SME: Do you think you'll get presents this year?

ALB: *nods emphatically* Mm-hmm.

SME: How do you know?

ALB: *gives me a look like I'm a complete idiot* 'Cause Santa never forgets anybody.

SME: Santa is very smart.

ALB: And really old.

SME: Yes. That's what I've heard.

ALB: *becomes instantly and entirely engrossed in "driving" his car*

SME: You're pretty good at that. Who taught you to drive?

ALB: *shrugs* No one.

SME: You just figured it out on your own?

ALB: *nods*

SME: Did you learn by watching your parents?

ALB: Mm-hmm. They drive all the time.

SME: So you had some pretty good teachers.

ALB: *doesn't answer, but keeps "driving"*

a minute or so passes, the line doesn't move, ALB keeps driving

ALB: *suddenly honks his horn and declares at the top of his voice, while pretty much glaring at the line of people in front of us* Are you kidding me? Where'd you... everybody... learn to drive? *honks horn again*

SME: *barely holds back a laugh, recognizing a child mimicking something he's seen before*

ALB: *grins up at me*

SME: Is that an important part of driving?

ALB: Mm-hmm.

SME: Who taught you that part?

ALB: My mommy.

*ALB's Mommy looks both embarrassed and like she's about to laugh*

SME: Do the cars usually get out of the way when she does that?

ALB: Nope.

SME: Then why do you think she does that?

ALB: *resurrects his "I'm thinking really, really hard" look* It must be one of the rules.

SME: *nods* It must be.

*I drew him a stick figure picture of himself, but he wanted to keep it, and my iPhone's batteries were dead, so I couldn't take a picture of it. It was fabulous--just take my word for it*

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(ignore "Read More!")-->



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