Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Today I am posting one of my very favorite Christmas Carols. The story behind it makes the song all the more touching and beautiful. Rather than rewrite the entire thing here, I'm just going to give you a link and highly recommend you go read it:


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
sung by Sarah McLachlan


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Today I've chosen what is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful Christmas tunes of all: Silent Night.

Silent Night, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht in German, was first performed on December 24, 1818 in the Nikolaus-Kirche (the Church of St. Nicholas), located in Oberndorf, Austria. There are several different histories connected to the writing of the story, though none can be indisputably proved. (Google it if you're curious, it's kind of fun to read).

Silent Night is my shout-out to my Germanic ancestry (Austria was once part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, so I'm calling it close enough).

Here it is in the original German, sung by the Vienna Boys Choir.

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
performed by The Vienna Boys Choir

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today's song isn't *technically* a Christmas song, but it's often sung at New Year's and I figured that was close enough. Besides, it's fantastic.

I trace my ancestry back to Germany, Ireland, England and Scotland--a typical American mutt, that's me--and I take pride in all those branches of my family. I posted the Wexford Carol a while back, which is Irish. In the Bleak Midwinter and the Coventry Carol (also previous choices) are English. Tomorrow I'll be posting a Germanic song, hint hint! Today's pick hails from good ol' Scotland.

Most of us here in the US have heard "Auld Lang Syne," though generally only the first verse. So, I've found a version that includes all the verses, with many of Robert Burns' original Scots retained. (Scots is not, contrary to what many believe, a dialect of English, but is considered its own language, having its own grammar rules, vocabulary, and distinct sentence structure, though with many similarities to English.) The sentement of the song is that, even with the passage of time, those people we've known and places we've lived remain important to us and shouldn't be forgotten. It is a celebration of life and friendship and family.


Auld Lang Syne
performed by Dougie MacLean

a few translations:

Auld Lang Syne -- Old Long Since (essentially "long, long ago")
twa -- two                                 braes -- slopes
pou'd -- pulled                          gowans -- daisie
fit -- foot                                   paidl'd -- paddled
frae -- from                              burn -- stream
dine -- dinner time                   braid hae roared -- broad have roared
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup! -- And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
And surely I'll be mine! -- And surely I'll buy mine!
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! -- And there's a hand, my trusty friend!
And gie's a hand o’ thine! -- And give us a hand of thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught -- And we'll take a right good-will draught


Thursday, December 22, 2011

You know that old saying, "Save the Best for Last"?? That's not how I do things around here. Today's carol is my favorite! My absolute favorite!! (Enough exclamation points?)

"In the Bleak Midwinter" began as a poem by 19th Century English poet Christina Rossetti and was set to music by the composer Gustav Holst in the first decade of the 20th century. While Holst's tune was the first the words were set to, Harold Darke composed his own tune only a couple years later. Both are considered traditional.

The words are touching and beautiful, and the sentiment very tender. The last verse is my favorite as it expresses very succinctly my feelings.

I won't tell you which tune is my favorite, but will instead let you decide for yourself. Here they both are for your listening pleasure. The first is Holst's tune; the second is Darke's. Both renditions are performed by the choir of King's College, Cambridge.

In the Bleak Midwinter
by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge



1. In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter long ago.

2. Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter a stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3. Enough for Him, whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breastful of milk and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

4. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air,
But His mother only in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.

5. What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today's post is short, sweet and to the point--a lot like yours truly.

I get to go home for Christmas this year.

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays
by Perry Como


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today's pick is a traditional Irish carol. It can be traced back to County Wexford, with lyrics dating to the 12th Century. Interestingly enough, the original lyrics were English, though modernly some Irish translations of those lyrics have been sung.

In case any of you somehow have missed my annual "Holiday of Coolness" postings on St. Patrick's Day, I feel a special affinity to the Emerald Isle. I have Irish ancestry, my people coming out of County Donegal. Also, I was born on St. Patrick's Day, which makes me especially Irish, or something.

So, today's carol is not very well known, but one of my favorites just the same.

The Wexford Carol
by James Galway, flute & Laurence Beaufils, harp 


The Wexford Carol

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Christmas song "White Christmas" has confused me my entire life. I grew up in Arizona. I had no concept of a white Christmas, no burning desire to experience one, no understanding of why wishing someone a "white Christmas" was even appealing. From what I'd heard, snow was cold and had to be shoveled and stuff. It seemed to me that wishing someone a white Christmas was sort of like saying "May your Christmas be filled with exhausting manual labor and high heating bills."

I now live in a cold area of the world where white winters are more or less a given. I kind of get it. I think. Snow is still cold and definitely has to be shoveled, but it sure is an improvement over bitterly cold weather without snow. At least snow can be fun. And it's pretty. I'm guessing though, the proverbial wish for a white Christmas has much more to do with fond childhood memories of home and family.

I do love the Christmas song "White Christmas," and here are my excellent reasons why...
  1. The movie. Dude. Watching "White Christmas" is a family tradition dating back to... well to probably the year the movie was made. It was always the first Christmas movie we watched each holiday season. Danny Kay made me laugh every time and Bing Crosby made me swoon. I always wished I could dance like Vera Ellen and sing like Rosemary Clooney. And, in the context of that film, wishing for a white Christmas totally made sense! (And now I'm grinning at the memory of Danny and Bing dressed in the ladies' costumes lip-synching to "Sisters.")
  2. The other movie. Do you remember the scene in "Home Alone" where Kevin pats his cheeks with aftershave, then screams? The Drifters version of "White Christmas" is playing in the background. Hearing their rendition always makes me think of that movie. We watched this movie with my grandfather the year it came out and it is one of my favorite childhood memories. Grandpa laughed so hard he had tears pouring down his face, which made us laugh even harder. I can remember sitting there with my family, all of us gasping for air because we were laughing so hard. I can't hear the song or watch the movie without thinking of him.
So, while there are many versions of "White Christmas" to choose from, I've gone with this one.

White Christmas
by The Drifters

"May all your Christmases be white." (provided you like that sort of thing.) 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nat King Cole recorded "A Cradle in Bethlehem" in 1960. I first heard it during the Christmas season of 2002.

I was expecting and was two months into what would become 6 1/2 months of bed rest. I was sick of being off my feet, sick of constant trips to the hospital and anti-labor medications that left me ill and shaky and miserable. Thinking of reasons to be grateful became a daily regimen of mine. I was reluctant to tell myself it would all be worth it when I had a little baby to hold and cuddle and love at the end of those months of struggle. With so many complications, all of which could easily cause the baby to be born too early or to die in the womb, I didn't dare hang my hopes on a happy outcome.

As Christmas approached, I heard "A Cradle in Bethlehem" on the radio and fell in love with it. The song is a lullaby, soft and quiet and joyful. I distinctly remember thinking, "If I am blessed to have this baby, I will sing that song to her." The words speak of a mother in Bethlehem cradling her baby. I felt a connection to Mary that year I hadn't before--the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy and the birth of her child were not easy, but she was blessed for it in the end.

I still love this song. And, yes, I sang it to my beautiful daughter after she was born, healthy and strong.

 A Cradle in Bethlehem
by Nat King Cole

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My 11-year-old son picked today's Favorite Carol, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as performed by The Jackson 5. His reason, verbatim:

"I like this song because it shows what people thought of Santa and Christmas a really long time ago, like before the 80s. It's an old song, but that makes it kind of fun in a 'this was how things were in the old days' way."

 Before the 80s. Have I mentioned this kid cracks me up?

Alright. Christmas the way "things were in the old days"...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The Jackson 5


Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's Favorite Carol is a favorite year round.

When my oldest was a tiny baby we played classical music to help him fall asleep. He was born premature and had health problems as a result. He had to be fed via syringe, one ounce at a time at extremely regular intervals. He woke constantly night and day, desperately hungry but unable to eat. I knew he was uncomfortable, even pained, and likely even more frustrated than I was. We endured hour-by-hour, both exhausted and worn down. Though it didn't take away his struggles, classical music soothed him.

We first played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" for him some time in his first month of life. As he generally did when soft, soothing music played, he quieted down. But after a moment, I noticed that he was crying. He made no noise, this wasn't a pained cry or a hungry cry or a frustrated cry. Silent, tears rolled down his sweet little face as he listened, and for the first time in the short time he'd been with us, he looked truly at peace.

Over that first year he overcame many of the difficulties he was born with and grew strong and healthy. We still put on classical music, mostly because my husband and I love listening to orchestras and chamber choirs and such. Whenever "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" played, our little boy stopped whatever he was doing and just listened, and every time he cried silent tears. Every single time.

Ten years have passed since that difficult first year. Though he still likes the song, it doesn't impact him the way it once did.

I am convinced in my heart of hearts that this music touched his soul and brought him the peace he'd known in his Heavenly home before joining us here, helping him endure those earliest earthly trials. I cannot listen to it without being moved and feeling deep gratitude for the gift of music.

Here is the exact version we used to play for him.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

My eight-year-old daughter chose today's Favorite Christmas Carol, "We Three Kings."

"I like this song because it tells about the Wise Men who came at Christmas. I used to think the gifts they brought to Jesus were kind of dumb. Who brings frankincense for a gift? I didn't even know what frankincense and myrrh were. Then I learned this song and it tells about it, and then I thought those were pretty cool gifts. And the song sounds all exotic and that's cool, too. Oh, and I like to sing it."

 She picked this version of the song because she liked hearing the kids sing it and the video was "cool." They don't sing the verses about the three gifts in this rendition, so I'll put those lyrics below the video.


The "Gift" Verses:

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
Worship Him, God on high.

Myrrh is mine. Its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today I hand the Christmas Carol reins over to my husband, Paul:

"My favorite Christmas song is "O, Holy Night." I love to listen to it because I love the message found in the lyrics. I also love to sing this song. Singing loud is sort of my thing and this song is great for singing loud."

Okay, this is Sarah again. I also love this song because it reminds me of my husband. See, back when we were relatively unacquainted I was the director of our church choir and he sang baritone in that choir. I spent all of September, October and November trying to formulate the perfect way to spend some uninterrupted time with the really hot guy with the AMAZING voice.

So I begged my mom to send me the arrangement of "O, Holy Night" that was at her house. See, I happened to enjoy playing that particular arrangement because it was challenging, beautiful and, most important of all to my devious little plan, very impressive sounding. My plan was to ask him to sing it as a solo for our Christmas service that year. This, of course, meant I'd need to arrange for a lot of practices, ya know, one-on-one. Then, I could hear him sing, he could hear me kick it on the piano and we could be mutually impressed with one another. Obviously this was a fantastic plan because we have now been married over 12 years and I still play that song regularly and he sings along. Aaahhh. *sigh*

Paul has selected this version, and I think he picked a great one.

O Helga Natt
performed by the late Swedish tenor, Jussi Bj√∂rling 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do you have a Christmas song or album that you listened to every single year as a child that, now, whenever you hear it absolutely means Christmas has started? I do. I really, really do.

For me, that album is Bing Crosby's Christmas album. "Christmas in Killarney," "Mele Kalikimaka," "Faith of our Fathers," "White Christmas." Man! There are so many great songs on that album.

A few days back I was braving the crowds out Holiday shopping and one of my all-time favorites from that album came on over the sound system at a store. I heard a young child the next row over squeal with excitement. "It's our Jingle Bells, Mom! It's our Jingle Bells."

A sea of Christmas memories flooded over me as I listened to the song play. You see, it is my Jingle Bells, too.

Take it away, Bing!


Monday, December 12, 2011

In the two weeks between today and Christmas, I'll be posting here some of my favorite Christmas carols, along with a little history of each, why I like them, or just a cop-out along the lines of "Isn't this snazzy?!"

Today's selection is one of my ultra-favorites. I always loved the tune, which I had heard over and over at Christmastime. Only as an adult did I discover the tune had lyrics and those lyrics were hauntingly beautiful.

The Conventry Carol is, perhaps, the oldest "Christmas carol" in existence. It dates from the 16th Century (so 1500s!!) and was originally part of a play put on in the city of Coventry, hence the name, that depicted the story of Jesus' birth and earliest years as told in the Gospel of Matthew. This tune and accompanying lyrics are the only piece of that play that hasn't been lost to history.

The lyrics are meant to represent the mourning and sorrow of a mother who, upon seeing the murderous rage of Herod the King, realizes that her child will suffer the same fate as the other young ones he has ordered killed by his soldiers. Fittingly, considering the subject matter, the traditional tune is in a decidedly minor key.

I have always loved the song because of its beautiful melody. Now that I know the words, I've come to love it that much more--it brings to life a moment in the life of the Savior and makes the time in which He lived that much more real and the people around Him who experienced those moments ever more human.

The Coventry Carol
performed by Collegium Vocale Gent of Flanders, Belgium

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Today's Friday Funny comes via, a site I don't recommend you go to unless you have a great deal of time on your hands. It sucks you in. You can't look away. There's no escaping. You go to look at one single entry and end up there for hours without realizing it!!!

All of my siblings will be together for Christmas for the first time in quite a few years. I am excited about it. We'll be crashing at my parents place--every single one of us! It'll be crowded and chaotic and probably really, really loud. So, in honor of the joys of siblings growing up to be friends, here's an entry from Awkward Family Photos' recent "Awkward Sibling Photo Contest," an older brother's approach to pushing his sister on the swing:

"A Little Push,"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in which scads and scads of authors spend scads and scads of time writing scads and scads of words. The official goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. I joined the fun this year, but in a "sort of against the rules" way. Let me explain.
The official way to participate in NaNo is to write 50,000 words of a brand spankin' new manuscript. You can outline, create character sketches, make scene lists, etc. leading up to November, but on November 1st, the first word you write must be the first word of something new. That's not what I did, and I'll tell you why.
I've been working on a new manuscript that I am exceptionally excited about. I'd already written the first chunk of it and knew without a doubt that it wasn't working. Not quite. So my goal for November was to write until I uncovered the problem. That might take 50,000 words, might take 5. I just needed to figure it out.
That folks was quite the lengthy introduction to the actual topic of this post...

In the Writing Trenches:
Sometimes you just have to do the work

We recently had an addition built on to our quaint little circa-1940's house. A second bathroom, in fact. Home remodels are never smooth or fast or painless. We ran into a difficulty quite early on in this project. No one, including the city, had any idea where to find the pipe that connected the plumbing in our house to the city sewer. The information on file from back when the house was originally built proved extremely unhelpful. The sewer line, that paperwork informed us, ran perpendicular to the street from under the house 100 ft from.... something. Nowhere had anyone written down what that something was.
The builder did what anyone would. He guessed, based on logic and the hope that the easiest location was the correct one.
It wasn't. Problem being, the list of possible locations was somewhat long, some of those spots were harder to get to than others, some a little more far-fetched.
The only thing to do next was pick the option that made the most sense and dig. For almost 10 hours, two guys stood in front of my house digging with hand shovels straight down over the spot the builder thought might be the actual correct place. The hole they dug went 9 feet down and at the bottom of that hole... was a sewer hook up.
What does this lovely little story have to do with anything? I'll tell you.
As writers, sometimes our only option is to roll up our sleeves and do the work.
I knew early on in my latest project that I was off-target with my story, that something wasn't right. I spent weeks theorizing about what I should have been doing different, what was at the heart of the problem, how to salvage the story. But thinking about the problem only gets you so far.
I set aside the month of November to write as many words as it took for the problem to become clear. I kept going with the story as it was, but with a new awareness of the plot and characters. I jotted down any insights I had as I went. But I kept writing.
After a while the problems were obvious. An inconsistent character. Weak motivation (in a character, not in me), a need for a deeper conflict. I knew what was wrong, because I'd forced myself to find it.
How long did it take? 40,000 words, give or take a couple. By then I knew and I was ready to go back and fix it.
The take-away lesson here is simple: Writing is hard work, but not impossible. Push through it. Keep at it. Eventually you find the sewer line... er, you get it right.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30th is St. Andrews Day, Scotland's official National Day. (St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, you see.) So, in honor of our Scottish heritage & our tendency to celebrate a great many holidays, we'll be donning our kilts at the Eden home tonight, enjoying a hearty helping of Cock-a-Leekie Soup and downing an entire pan of shortbread.

Scotland's Flag, "The St. Andrew's Cross"

For your listening pleasure, here's Flower of Scotland, the unofficial national anthem of Scotland, performed by The Pipes & Drums of Leanisch.

Flower Of Scotland by The Pipes & Drums Of Leanisch on Grooveshark

Friday, November 25, 2011

I particularly enjoyed this one because, quite frankly, I can't always remember which is which. Also, I know people who definitely do know the difference (ahem... Annette Lyon... ahem).

Enjoy, all you Amateur Grammar-tarians & Hoplessly Grammar-Illiterate.

(by under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License)

PS-My November writing goal has been very productive. I sense a blog post coming. Brace yourselves. Come December 1st, I'll probably tell you all about it. Lucky you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My dad has great taste in music. A teen in the mid- to late-60s, he had some great stuff to choose from. I grew up listening to the music he grew up listening to. CCW. Crosy, Stills, Nash and Young. The Doors. The Rolling Stones. Janice Joplin. Simon & Garfunkle. The list could go on and on and on.

My children have relatively undeveloped taste in music. They listen to what their friends listen to and, thankfully, dismiss most of it as annoying. We have had our share of Miley Cirus, Selena Gomez, The Beibs (though that didn't last very long).

Here we have a coming together of generations, a mash-up of epic proportions, a closing of the great generational divide.

Thank you, Jimmy Fallon. Thank you.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Because authors don't second-guess themselves enough as it is...

(by under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License)

I should hit 25,000 words today on my November writing project. Wahoo. I shall celebrate by doing something very celebrational, though I haven't decided what yet.

Happy November, everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This made me laugh. Enjoy!

(licensed by under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License)

PS--I'm over 12,000 words so far in National Novel Writing Month! Aren't you soooo proud of me?! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

(Today's lack of a "Friday Funnies" post brought to you by the Northwest Writers Retreat and all the work/fun/relaxation I am currently accomplishing!)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Did you know that November is "National Novel Writing Month?" It is. Every year during the month of November writers from around the world set aside gobs and gobs of time to write. The "official" goal? To write a novel in 30 days; 50,000 words of one anyway.

These aren't 50,000 words of sheer genius, mind you. This is more in the realm of a really rough first draft. The point isn't to start November with nothing and end it with a publication-ready work of art. The purpose of NaNoWriMo, as those of us in the cool club call it, is to get our writing brain back in gear, to jump start our creative juices, to get out of a writing slump if we're in one.

I haven't participated in NaNoWriMo the past two years. Life happened and it just wasn't possible. This year, however.... I'm all over it.

My personal goal is a little different from the official one. I have a manuscript I have been working on for the better part of four months and am rather anxious to finish up, polish up and send out into the often-cruel world of publishing. That's what NaNoWriMo is for me this year... dedication to finishing & polishing so I get on to the sending.

So, blog posts will be fewer and further between. Tweets will come in at a much slower rate than usual. I might forget how to spell Facebook. But it will be worth it. I'm even contemplating putting a little "word count/progress tracker" thingamajig on the side of the blog here so y'all can see that I'm not slacking.

Wish me luck. It's gonna be a fantastic month!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Your weekly dose of funny.

I am taking a trip this coming week. Without my children. I love them. I'll miss them. But this sort of says it all...


Monday, October 24, 2011

Hey, all! I will be at the Springville Library Grand Opening this Saturday signing books and generally having a fun ol' time. Details:

45 S Main St, Springville, UT
Saturday, October 29th

Books will be available for purchase, or you can bring your own. Or, you can just come hang out--it'll be a lot of fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Your weekly dose of funny.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Sarah's weekly attempt at being funny.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to handle tools. I happen to be one of those people.

Case-in-point: I attended a wilderness-ish girls' camp when I was a teenager (we had cabins and running water and electricity, sure, but it was still "roughing" it). One of the classes we took was on proper use and handling of axes and hatches. (See? That's pretty wilderness-y.) The intelligent adults teaching the class knew me well. Too well. My certification test went something like this... "If we were to give you an ax, how would you use it." Then I pantomimed the proper use of an ax. These people were smart. If anyone was going to die in hatchet class, it would have been me. I actually ended up with a pretty grotesque injury from the class on tying knots, but that's a story for another day.

So, we're all on the same page about the I-shouldn't-be-within-100-feet-of-sharp-objects thing, right? Good. Today's Friday Funny will consist of a picture and a caption that pretty much sums up the relationship I have with tools. From earlier this week:

I caught the saw, and the saw won.
Don't worry Mom--all my fingers are still attached. AND, I discovered my tetanus shots are up to date. Aren't you proud?!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have an official cover for Friends and Foes! This will hit shelves January of 2012!

For those of you who have asked about Philip Jonquil, Crispin's friend from The Kiss of a Stranger, you'll be pleased to know this is his story. We finally find out why he acts the way he does, and Philip meets his match: a fiesty, independent lady who pushes him out of his comfort zone. I love this book!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

So, I'm on "I Need Friends Friday" hiatus. Have you noticed? Life is crazy. I'm tired. Things are busy. I'll be back with new INFF interviews in January. In the meantime, I'm introducing something new...

Sarah's weekly attempt at being funny.

So, I'm not a Trekkie. I love me some original Star Trek. My husband and I regularly sit down in the living room after the kids go to bed and watch an episode from the original series and call it an official date. I was not always so well-versed as I am now. Let me explain.

I had seen a few episodes of the original over the years, but I had a gripe with it. You see, I just could get passed how horrible an actor I felt Leonard Nemoy was. You see, the actor never showed any emotion. None. He was so serious all the time, so unemotive, so unexpressive. Didn't that drive everyone crazy, I often thought.

Those of you familiar with the series are now laughing at me and my ignorance. Everyone else is mostly confused.

Not until I was married for some time and happened to mention this hangup of mine to my husband did things become clear. After he got his laughter under control, my husband explained something rather crucial to me.

  1. Spock, the character portrayed by Leonard Nemoy, by definition never shows any emotion.
  2. Leonard Nemoy pulled off the no emotion thing exceptionally well. So well, in fact, I noticed it even in my complete idiotness (never caught on to that rather crucial part of his character).
  3. Considering 1 & 2, Leonard Nemoy is actually a pretty incredible actor.
So, lesson of the day... there isn't really one. Just an extra-special glimpse into my history.

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

First of all, a big thanks to everyone who posted/tweeted or reposted/retweeted pictures of Seeking Persephone over the last few weeks. It really helped get the word out. Also, it was super fun for me!

I enlisted the help of once again to randomly pick a winner of the second "Post a Picture" prize. The winner is...

Emily Nelson, who posted this picture on Facebook:  

Wahoo! Emily, send me a message over on Facebook or use the "contact me" link at the top of the page and we can arrange to get your prize to you.

Thanks everyone!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

 It's this week! It's this week!

Join me and authors Josi S. Kilpack & Melanie Jacobson as we launch our brand new books!

Thursday, September 22
Barnes & Noble
5300 South State Street.
Murray, Utah
Food, Fun, Fantastic Reads!

(And any pictures taken of Seeking Persephone at the party (and posted to FB or Twitter) will be eligible for the giveaway drawing!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

As we look back on the tragic events of September 11th, I can't help feeling I have little to add to what has been said and is being said. I will, however, share a thought from my wonderfully articulate daughter. During a recent conversation about those events, she said something profound. I will leave my comments on this day of reflection and sadness to her.

"I hear people saying that they keep trying to understand why the hijackers did what they did on September 11th. I don't think anyone can understand something that hateful unless they are that hateful too. If we can't understand it, that means there's still good in us. As long as there's still good, there's still hope."
---Katherine Eden, age 8


Monday, August 29, 2011

It's that time again, folks. I have a book hitting shelves in the next few days. (Have I mentioned that? A little book called Seeking Persephone? Heard of it? Has it come up at all?)

So.... I'm bringing back my favorite giveaway from way back when Courting Miss Lancaster first hit shelves. *drum roll*

The "Take a Picture of Seeking Persephone
on a Bookstore Shelf
(or in your hands if you order it online/for your ebook reader)"
Giveaway Contest Thingamajig

Here's how it works:

1-Spot Seeking Persephone out in the world and snap a picture.
2-Post it to my author Facebook page -OR- Post the picture to Twitter with @SarahMEden included in the post (so I don't miss it)
3-I will give away 2 (that's right, TWO) prizes:

Prize #1: Given to the FIRST person to post a picture of Seeking Persephone out there in the world
Prize #2: Chosen randomly from amongst all the people who post pictures

Description of Prizes:
A really cute purse (see in the picture how fabulous they are??) with
a super-cute journal
Lindor chocolate truffles
Stephen's gourmet cocoa mix

The contest opens NOW and runs through September 22, the day of our big ol' fabulous launch party!!!

(If you do not have access to Facebook and/or Twitter and still want to enter, send me an email via the Contact Me tab above and I'll help you out!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

(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 the fabulously funny Becca Wilhite. Becca writes humorous (and by "humorous" I mean "laugh so hard you can't breathe funny") romance. She can be found on the web at her site and her blog. Okay. Brace yourselves. This is gonna be good!

Becca Wilhite: At the risk of appearing too eager, I'm here early. I'm all about being early for appointments and stuff.

SME: Now if only I would show up early. Wait. No. Not gonna happen.

Becca Wilhite: Oh, you never know. Someone may come by and change all your clocks...

SME: Except, if that does ever happen, I'm immediately blaming you.

Becca Wilhite: *looks around, eyes too wide* Who, Me?

SME: Drop the act, Doll Face. I'm on to you.

Becca Wilhite: Rats. Foiled again.
As opposed to foiled rats. Ewww.

SME: I prefer foiled mice, personally.

Becca Wilhite: Oiled, foiled and then broiled?

SME: So long as they're not spoiled.

Becca Wilhite: Okay, that's wrong on SO many levels. Sorry.

SME: You are encouraging me here, Becca. I wouldn't recommend it.

Becca Wilhite: *smiles*

SME: So, aside from your culinary preference for broiled rodents, tell us a little about yourself.

Becca Wilhite: I am a wife. A pretty nice one. And a mama. I have 4 kids, all in school. I love books and reading and pages and words and pencils with pointy ends. I also like food. A great deal.

SME: Food is a particularly good friend of mine. We go way back.

Becca Wilhite: That puts us one step closer, then, doesn't it?

SME: In fact, just the other day Food and I were hanging out and we discovered that we've known each other all my life. Crazy, eh?

Becca Wilhite: We just passed a degree of separation or something. Me and you and Kevin Bacon. Mmmm. Bacon

SME: Bacon. Dude. Don't get me started.

Becca Wilhite: Sorry. *folds hands reverently in lap*

SME: So, here's my story of how I first heard the name Becca Wilhite:

Becca Wilhite: Oh, I can't wait.

SME: My mom called me and said something along the lines of "I think I may have given birth to twins back when you were born and no one told me, because I just read this book and the author's voice reminds me so much of you it's scary!"

Becca Wilhite: That is the nicest use of "it's scary" I've ever heard. I think I love your (our) Mom.

SME: So I went and found that book by the scary author. It's title? "My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession"

Becca Wilhite: Yay! What a great book to spend some time with.

SME: So I read it and thought, "I have finally located that twin I misplaced in grade school."

Becca Wilhite: You got all the tech savvy, but I'm 5'6. That's 5'6". And a half.
I'm lying about the half.

SME: And, I'm 4'11". And a half. And I'm also lying about the half.
I'm pretty sure it was Parasitic Twin Syndrome or whatever that's called, where one twin comes out scrawny and sickly and the other is destined to be the tall, athletic twin.

Becca Wilhite: I have a group of friends wherein I am the Short One. You and I should definitely hang out in person.

SME: If I could charge for making average height people feel really tall, I would be set for life.

Becca Wilhite: Likewise for me, if I could charge for making average people feel like great housekeepers. Dust = nemesis.

SME: A little birdie told me (and, for the record, the little birdie was you) that you make kickin good bread.

Becca Wilhite: Indeed I do. And while we're discussing my talents, I'm also extremely humble. For the record. Yes. Bread. Of all colors and shapes, but mainly loafish or round, and brown or white.
Shall I bring you some? You'd have to tell me where you live. Which opens a whole can of... issues (for you).
Just kidding. I"m the least scary person I know. Truly. But I don't get out much.

SME: We're not very far apart actually. You have a mountain to your west. That same mountain is just barely to my north.

Becca Wilhite: Well within Fresh-Bread limits.
And I love that mountain. I moved here and put my kitchen right there, just so I could see it every day, all day long, while I wash dishes. All day long. As I may have mentioned.

SME: Wow. My kitchen window faces a mountain, too. Not the same mountain, but a mountain nonetheless. We really are twins!!
Okay. I have to ask (because it's tradition), what's your favorite continent?

Becca Wilhite: Australia. I've never been there, but I'm a big fan of the accent, celebrating Christmas on the beach, and people who despise Americans on principle. JUST KIDDING! I LOVE AMERICA AND AMERICANS! USA! USA!

SME: "despise Americans on principle"--if only France were a continent, then you could pick France.

Becca Wilhite: I know, right? Oui.

SME: *sigh* C'est la vie.

Becca Wilhite: Hey, remember when we were speaking of talents and humility? I also do musical theatre. And see, I spelled it "theatre," so you'll know I"m legit.

SME: I did musical theatre back in the day. Fact: I never once played an adult, even when I was an adult.

Becca Wilhite: And I was recently cast to play Nancy in "Oliver" - she's a teenage prostitute, remember? I am NOT. Remember?
It's called ACTING. :)

SME: I was once cast as Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol" -- he was a five-year-old crippled boy, remember? I was NOT a boy, nor crippled. Also, I was fourteen.

Becca Wilhite: Awesome. Truly. We play to our strengths, and God Bless Us, Every One.

SME: I worked that crutch like nobody's business.

Becca Wilhite: Oh, I believe you. At this point, I wouldn't dare doubt you. You might beat me with a crutch.

SME: Little known fact: I beat people with my Tiny Tim crutch.

Becca Wilhite: Uncle Charlie (****ens) would be so proud.

SME: *giggles* The content filter cracks me up.

Becca Wilhite: Did your program just edit the spelling of Mr. ****ens' name? I am so, so amused.

SME: Rob Wells went nuts tripping the filter when I interviewed him. Asterisks everywhere!

Becca Wilhite: I remember that interview. I may have soiled my armour.

SME: Let's take a look at your portrait I drew of you, eh?

Becca Wilhite: Oh, yes please! I want to see me. (Humble, remember?)

*draws an amazing portrait*

Becca Wilhite: My picture is lovely. It's like looking in a mirror. Like the magic mirror at Nordstrom. The one where I look taller and thinner than any under-priced clothing could possibly make me look.

SME: Which is why I forgo the clothing entirely in the picture. Is that creepy? Should I rephrase that?

Becca Wilhite: Shouldn't I be holding a loaf of bread or something? Wait. That might make my stick figure gain some flesh. Leave it out.

SME: Exactly. I'm all about adding to the effect through minimal distractions

Becca Wilhite: Yes, I'm beginning to understand this about you.
And I have some literature about adult-onset ADHD, if you're interested.

SME: I'm sorry. What was that? I was just suddenly completely focused on something else. But now I'm back. For a minute or so anyway.

Becca Wilhite: Riiiight.

SME: So, Becca Wilhite, we're gonna wrap this thing up in style. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Becca Wilhite: Number Five: I tripped the censor. That is news for me.

Number Four: Had I been drinking milk, it would have surely squirted out of my nostrils once or twice. Never fear. I don't drink milk.

SME: Me either. We really are twins!!!

Becca Wilhite: Number Three: Despite nearly insurmountable technical odds, I think I managed to spell most things correctly while watching the little chat box.

Number Two: Bread! Bread! Bread!

Number One Reason that this is the best interview ever: I needed a friend this Friday, too. Lucky, lucky Sarah.

SME: I totally lucked out. Dream come true for me. *read that with whatever tone of voice you prefer*

Becca Wilhite: Oh, I prefer dripping with sincerity. Always. Drip, drip.

SME: Well, thanks being my newest Friday Friend!

Becca Wilhite: Seriously my pleasure.

SME: *cue exit music* 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!

Friday, August 19, 2011

No intro. Just enjoy!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Given the choice between arranging, conducting, formatting and posting a hilarious, insightful interview of an unavoidably interesting individual -and- kicking it at Disneyland with your family... which would you pick?

I picked the Happiest Place on Earth. Just so you know.

I didn't do an interview this week. Also, I didn't respond to the emails I got this week regarding future interviews (that's right, I'm looking at you Becca Wilhite, who sent me an email rife with begging and kissing up, though my favorite part was where she thought she needed to explain to me who she is almost as if I didn't absolutely devour My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions and then decide that Becca, whom I've never actually met, was either my future BFF or a twin from whom I was separated at birth.)

So... here's my offering to you as a "sorry for not keeping up my end of this relationship," sort of like how a husband brings his wife flowers because *fill in the blank with any number of things a guy can get in trouble for neglecting to do.*

The End.

This is a book I wish I'd written:

I really hope my next book is priced in Whiz Wrappers!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On shelves September 2011!


Friday, August 5, 2011

(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.)

You know that old saying about "fool me once, shame on you" and then that other one about "if you don't learn your lesson the first time" or something like that? Well, somehow those are all connected to this interview. I think.
A couple weeks ago, I handed the INFF reins over to my 8-year-old daughter. I did it again, people. What was I thinking? (Probably that it's nice to take a break from interviewing once in a while and let my kid do the work.)
This time she interviewed Jill, the dental hygienist who cleaned her teeth at her recent dentist appointment. My lovely little girl hardly stopped talking enough for her teeth to be accessible--difficult for the hygienist, but great for this interview.

Take it away, "Bertha."

Bertha: *sitting in the exam chair* What are we doing now?

Jill: We're going to take x-rays--they're like pictures of your teeth

Bertha: Oh, I know how to do that.

Jill: Have you been to the dentist before?

Bertha: *with more than a touch of sarcasm* It's not like I have dentures or anything.

Jill: You are definitely too young for dentures.

Bertha: And I brush my teeth too much for dentures, too. I know how it works.

Jill: I'm glad you take good care of your teeth. *puts the x-ray film in place in Bertha's mouth. blessed silence follows* Okay. Here comes the x-ray.

Bertha: *smiles and tries to say "cheeese"

Jill: It's not that kind of picture. You just need to stay still.

Bertha: *nods, but doesn't stop her supermodel smile*

Jill: Alright, let's clean those teeth.

Bertha: Did you have to go to school for a long time to learn this job?

Jill: Yah. I had to go to school for it.

Bertha: What do you do for this job?

Jill: I clean your teeth.

Bertha: I do that every single day, and I didn't have to go to school to learn how.

Jill: I also take x-rays.

Bertha: I guess that could be kind of tricky. And you have to move the chair up and down. Was there a class just for that?

Jill: No. That was something I figured out by myself.

Bertha: Do you get to do anything cool in this job? Like blowing up the rubber gloves like balloons?

Jill: I haven't done that yet.

Bertha: If this were my job, I'd do that every day.

*Jill manages to clean for a while despite Bertha's efforts to keep talking to her*

Bertha: You have a feather in your hair.

Jill: Do you like it?

Bertha: Is it like one of those wigs men wear when their head is getting bald?

Jill: Do you mean is it covering up a bald spot?

Bertha: *nods*

Jill: No. It's just supposed to be stylish.

Bertha: Oh.

*a few more minutes of silence*

Bertha: Your ceiling is dirty. Does anyone ever clean it?

Jill: I don't know. That's not my job.

Bertha: Yah, because you didn't go to school for that.

Jill: Right.

*they manage to get all the way through the cleaning and to the fluoride treatment*

Jill: This will help make your teeth stronger. It's bubble-gum flavored. It's like candy.

Bertha: But candy's not good for your teeth. I don't think a dentist should be making kids think that candy is good for their teeth.

Jill: I just meant that it tastes like it.

*Bertha spends a full minute completely quiet while her mouth is full of fluoride*

Bertha: *spits the fluoride out with determination* That did NOT taste like candy. Yech.

Jill: Well, it's better than it could have tasted.

Bertha: I don't think so. That was totally gross. They should say it's gross-bubble-gum flavored. *spits some more*

Jill: Maybe it doesn't taste great, but it really is good for your teeth.

*the dentist examines her teeth*

Bertha: I'm missing some teeth. But I'm supposed to be missing them. It's not like they fell out and they weren't supposed to.

Dentist: You are missing all the teeth you should be missing at your age.

Bertha: And I'll get new ones. I already know that part.

Dentist: Good. Then you're not worried.

Bertha: Nah. I figured it out.

Dentist: Your teeth look healthy, and you don't have any cavities.

Bertha: I told you, Mom.

SME: You sure did.

Bertha: *talking to the dentist* She said if my brother and I didn't have any cavities it was because we got totally lucky.

Dentist: Why would she say that?

Bertha: She doesn't think we brush our teeth enough. But she didn't go to dentist school or anything, so she's really just guessing.

Dentist: Brushing your teeth is never a bad thing. So if your mom tells you to brush, you probably should.

Bertha: But I didn't have any cavities?

Dentist: Nope. Not any.

Bertha: Niiice.

SME: You still should probably brush your teeth more.

Dentist: *nods*

Jill: *nods*

Bertha: *rolls eyes* Okay. Okay.

*we leave after the appointment*

SME: I'm glad you didn't have any cavities.

Bertha: Me, too. Can I get a candy at the store for not having cavities?

SME: How about you just go back in and have some more fluoride?

Bertha: Lame, Mom.

Yep. I still got it. *cue exit music* Well, this has been a very special installment of "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!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Look what I found at! The pre-order link for Seeking Persephone!

The book is scheduled to hit shelves early next month. AND... are you ready for this? Paying attention? Josi Kilpack, Melanie Jacobson and I are working behind the scenes on a big ol' three-author event in September that you will not want to miss!! I'd say mark your calendars but the date isn't completely and totally for sure yet. So... make a note to yourself to mark your calendars at some point in the very near future.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Okay, first the sob story:

This week's INFF was done in-person, which isn't a big deal, it just means I have to type up the interview from my meticulous handwritten notes. This takes time. I ran out of time. Time's up. Time flies. All that jazz.

As my peace offering, I submit the following bit of film magic. Created in 1940, this magnificent short film does the seemingly impossible: praise women for all the work they do while managing to repeatedly belittle them. The script and the narrator's tone of voice are so ridiculously condescending. The basic summary: "Look at all the neat-o things the dames do during their cute little days. It's too bad they are so frail and weak. Good thing we men invented important things to make their days easier!" Personally, I thought it was hilarious.

Enjoy (and don't take it too seriously ladies, or this will ruin your day -AND- if your husband/father/boyfriend isn't a neanderthal, be amazed by that, because obviously men have come a long way in only 70 years):


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I had a brief, but enlightening conversation on Twitter earlier today with the fantastic, Sara Megibow, literary agent with Nelson Literary Agency. I'm passing what I learned on to you because, if you are shopping around for an agent or know someone who is, this something you need to keep an eye out for.

The conversation began with a tweet Sara retweeted:
#dealbreaker RT @victoriastrauss Just saw agency contract language that imposes a $2,500 minimum commission fee, regardless of advance amt.
Essentially, this author's prospective agent would require at least $2500 in commission instead of using the standard % of an author's earnings. (ie, if Author gets a $15000 from the publisher, the agent would receive 15% of that [$2250])

So, I replied:
@SaraMegibow Woa. I've never heard of anything like that before. Does that show up in contracts often?
Here was Sara's response:
@SarahMEden no and it shouldn't. My realestate agent doesn't say "I'll shop your house, but if they pay <$200,00 I won't complete the sale"
Real estate agents, like literary agents, are paid a percentage of a sale. The sale price determines what their commission is.

If this agent who set a required minimum were earning off a regular percentage--we'll say 15% because that's relatively standard--they would have to sell their client's book for just over $16000 to earn that minimum. For some books, this would be an easy thing to do. But, not all books are going to get that advance--perhaps they are a better fit with a smaller publisher, or one that offers lower advance but better royalties, or the book is in a genre that doesn't sell in the big numbers that other genres do.

The agent may simply not close a smaller deal despite it being a better fit (or the only fit) because that commission is guaranteed them in the contract.

***Also: Please see Robin Week's excellent & insightful comment below for additional problems this scheme may create!!***

Minimum commission guarantees are not standard in agency contracts. If you see one in a contract, proceed with maximum caution!

Friday, July 22, 2011

(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 Christy Dorrity, an author, dancer, mom, reader (and gal with fabulous taste in sweaters--you'll get that reference by the end of the interview). I first met Christy at the 2011 LDStorymakers Writers Conference in Salt Lake City.

Now, for the disclaimer: I was feeling pretty rotten the day of this interview. Rather than my usual perky self, I was just a touch grumpy/tired/yicky. Christy was a joy to interview & I enjoyed it a bunch, but I apologize if I didn't make sense/seem grumpy/whatever.

Alright. Here we go!

SME: Welcome to INFF, fellow mom writer!

Christy: Are you a nap time writer too?

SME: I was back when my kids took naps. Now I'm more of a "the kids are in bed and it's late and I should be sleeping but I'm writing instead" writer

Christy: aha. My brain shuts off at night so I have to write in the daytime.

SME: Mine does too. That's why most of what I write during the summer gets scrapped when I get back to daytime writing during the school year.

Christy: Ha. What are you working on now?

SME: A couple things. One is the next book in my *unofficial* Lancaster family series: a follow-up to "Courting Miss Lancaster" & "Seeking Persephone." And I'm writing a novel set in 1870s Wyoming.

Christy: Neat. I'm from Wyoming. There's a really cool old rock church in my hometown that was built in 1889.

SME: Are you? Very cool. You realize of course, this means I'll probably be emailing you with questions about it.

Christy: No problem. I love helping out with research.

SME: Hooray! How about you? What are you up to these days?

Christy: I just published my first book on Amazon in June and I've been busy with the launch tour. I've just finished about 2 years of planning on my YA novel and I'm ready to lay it all out on paper--starting with a retreat in two weeks.

SME: No rest for the weary, eh? But great things to be busy with.

Christy: True. From what other writers say we are all compelled to write, even if we don't want to.

SME: It's kind of like being followed around by a very loyal puppy, except the puppy has an unfortunate tendency to bite your ankles if you don't move fast enough.

Christy: And that puppy is so cute and so frustrating at the same time.

SME: Exactly. I do believe we have just created the world's next great writing metaphor

Christy: whala!

SME: Genius at work, right here! So I saw on your website that you are a dancer.

Christy: My entire family dances, it makes it so much easier. One day for lessons instead of 5 or 6 and everyone can compete at the same time.

SME: That is really cool. Do you travel a lot for competitions or are there a lot nearby?

Christy: A few more competitions have sprouted up locally so we stick around here with an occasional trip to Idaho or Colorado.

SME: I took my daughter to watch a Scottish dancing competition a few weeks ago, but we've never watched Irish dancing.

Christy: Have you ever seen Riverdance?

SME: Yes!! I guess that counts, doesn't it?! I was totally being a dance snob there and only counting what we've watched in person. Shame on me!

Christy: Irish dance is exactly what Riverdance is. And let me tell you, it's just as much fun to dance as it looks!

SME: Okay... I know probably everyone asks this, but I can't help myself. Why do Irish dancers keep their arms at their sides so much?

Christy: The arms at their sides thing is said to have been a tradition from way back when the Gaelic culture was under oppression and they had to keep a low profile. It's just one of those things that everyone says, "that's the way it's always been done."

SME: AND... why do the girls all wear their hair in those teeny, tiny ringlets?

Christy: Most people don't know that the girls are wearing wigs! Tradition says that the Irish girls used to dance after Sunday meetings when their hair was curled, but I think it's because it makes them appear to leap higher. Irish dance definitely has its own culture.
Some of the milieu of my WIP is Irish dancing.

SME: I noticed that too. I think it is fabulous (and so, so smart) when authors incorporate things they are already passionate about into their work.

Christy: I agree. When you can put your soul into your writing and love it, readers will love it too.
I heard that you are going to emcee Storymakers again next year, is that right?

SME: Ah, yes. The Storymakers Emcee rumor... totally true. I'm taking on the gig again next year.

Christy: Is it stressful and tons of work? You are such a natural for it and so much fun! Plus, your kids are hilarious! My hubby (also a writer) and I watched your "romance" video at home and laughed!

SME: Stressful? Yes. Tons of Work? Probably way more than anyone realizes. But it is a great deal of fun.

Christy: I'm sure. So much fun. It amazes me the many writerly folks in our area who are willing to share their expertise and mentor each other.

SME: I have to ask, 'cause, like Irish dancing, INFF has some "the way it's always been done" traditions... What's your favorite continent?

Christy: Well, the only continent I've ever been to is North America, but because of my heritage and also our love of Irish dancing, I will have to say The United Kingdom (is that a continent?)

SME: We'll say "Europe, with a particular partiality to The United Kingdom & Ireland." Does that work?

Christy: Perfect

SME: So, I drew a portrait of you (again, a tradition around here). Wanna see it?

Christy: Yes, I've been awaiting this moment all day!

*draws an amazing portrait*

Christy: Wow! Those are the best looking ghilllies I've seen in awhile!

SME: I was crossing my fingers you'd know what they were supposed to be. Yeah!!

Christy: Yipee!

Christy: My dress is so form fitting, it disappears!

SME: Yes, well... I can draw shoes, but not clothes. It's an odd quirk, I realize, but I'm a writer not an artist.

Christy: I can totally relate. I think your stick figures are lovely.

SME: Well, I do what I can.

Christy: You could always give her a really neato sweater that probably no one else will have a duplicate of.

SME: Heehee. For the sake of our readers: Christy and I sported identical sweaters at the STorymakers conference in May. This is how I knew we were destined to be friends.

Christy: Perhaps next year we should coordinate our wardrobe.

SME: Wouldn't that throw people off. We're walking around wearing the exact same clothes and people are like, "Wait a minute...."

Christy: I've always wanted to have red hair like Anne of Green Gables. I'd totally die my hair to match you.

SME: Nice. Or I could go blonde. Hmmm.... Such decisions!

Christy: But you are funny and I'm so not. So people would catch on right away.
But, if you need a stunt double while you are emceeing we could totally pull it off.

SME: I was just going to say... but you can reach the microphone and I can't always. A stunt double could solve that problem.

Christy: Sweet!

SME: Well, that brings us to the final question of the interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Christy: 1. I got to talk about Irish dancing and writing-my two passions.
2. Rubbing shoulders with Sarah and getting a signed portrait is priceless.
3. I got to listen to music and eat my chocolate while being interviewed and nobody is the wiser. oops, until now.

SME: (Me, too. Double oops.)

Christy: 4. I always laugh at the INFF and now others will get to laugh at mine (laugh nicely please)
5. I managed to procrastinate my writing once again (why do I do that?) but it was worth it.

SME: Totally worth it.
Thanks for for being my Friday Friend, Christy! This has been fun!

Christy: Thanks for having me Sarah! Such fun. Amazing how we can talk for an hour about absolutely nothing! Imagine if we had something to talk about!

SME: Whew. We might never stop. *cue exit music* 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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