Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lovely Santa Barbara!

My husband is on the board of directors at our local YMCA and he had a board retreat meeting in Santa Barbara, CA. It's about 120 miles from our house, roughly 2 hours in good traffic. Yesterday was NOT good traffic. It was raining and rain in So. Cal. makes people stupid on the freeways. Speed up, slam on the brakes, slide in the oil-slickened water pooling on the freeway. *sigh* Anyway, back to the meeting. We booked the hotel room and were majorly excited about attended the meeting on Saturday morning at the Reagan Ranch. Yes, President Reagan's former home! But (you knew there was a "but" coming, didn't you?) there was massive rain and a cold front fore casted. And snow. Snow?? In Santa Barbara??? I didn't think it likely, but, hey, I'm a writer, not a meteorologist. The board retreat was canceled because the road up to the Reagan Ranch was closed because of the snow. Projected snow. We still had to pay for the hotel room because it was the day we were to arrive, we had already made arrangements for my in-laws to keep our kids, and we were ready for a night away. SO we went to SB anyway. In the rain with the aforementioned stupid drivers. It took about 3.5 hours to get up here but we were fortified with fruit snacks and granola bars. (Thanks babe!)

We are staying at the Harbor View Inn which really does have a view of the harbor from our balcony. ("Obstructed view"=not paying for the "Ocean view" room, FYI.) There was quite a bit of rain and it was cold but I didn't see any snow last night as we drove to the restaurant for dinner or on the way back to the hotel, either. In the morning, the sky was clear and I was able to get a few shots of sunrise on the harbor. NO SNOW. Blah. We could have seen the Reagan Ranch after all!!! (Can you tell I'm disappointed??) Oh well.

We walked down State St. and ate at a charming old restaurant called "Joe's Cafe" which was built in 1928. Food was good, service was great. I would definitely go back. We're trying to plan on what to see before we make the trek back home. We're aiming for the Botanical Gardens if it warms up a bit. More photo ops! Yay! :)

On to other news...I spoke with the publishing company that offered me the contract for 1.5 hours on Thursday and hammered out all the details of the contract, questions I had, etc. I will have the final contract to sign on MONDAY! *squeals and hand clapping* I have to send it back within 24 hours but I'm sure I'll have it at the post office right when they open. After I sign it, I'll put out more details on the contract and the company. All that good stuff.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Friday!

"Icy Leaf"

We went to Big Bear Lake last weekend (here in California) and I took this photo when we went to play in the snow. I am inspired to write a snow scene now! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Signed to a Publishing House?! What? Wow!

So, I went away this last weekend (to the mountains in pic above) with my church's youth group (my husband and I are youth leaders) and found two messages on the machine. It was a publisher offering me a contract!! Yes, really! I had to keep myself from hyperventilating/screaming/fainting. Many deep breaths were involved. I was able to shoot an e-mail off to the person who called me who in turn called me again and officially offered me the contract. Yes, I have a BOOK CONTRACT OFFER. Wow. I could barely speak but somehow managed coherent sentences on the phone. I have a week to review the offer and make a decision. I really like the company and I think it'll be an awesome experience with them. Oh, yeah. The offer is for a three book series. THREE BOOKS. I am still shaking my head with the wonder of it all. Wow wow wow wow. Once the contract is signed, I'll give more specific info about the company and how I queried them, etc.

I'm so very happy about this opportunity and just...super grateful. And amazed. Still floating above the floor.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photo Friday

"Dreamer in a Tree"

This is my little sister. She is one of the people that inspires me to write. I'm always thinking when I'm writing, "Would I allow my sister to read this? Would she like this? Would her friends like this?" Even though she is much younger than me, we like to hang out with each other. She's been my model for several fun photo shoots that I've done. (It helps that she's so pretty!) I can tell her my ideas for stories and she can easily tell me what she likes about it and what she dislikes. I'm thankful that as a YA author, I have a "Young Adult" so easily available to me. Thanks T. You're the best. <3