Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fancy Nancy : On the town with Gracie

Gracie girl loves Fancy Nancy. The books, the accessories, the vocabulary - she loves it all. So we got tickets to the play and made a day of it.

We picked up our tickets and had a bit of time, so we went for sushi. Well, I had sushi, Grace had shrimp tempura and a great miso soup. We're not usually fans, but it was delicious. It had lotus root.

They had crafts at the theater where the kids could make themselves a tiara out of a paper plate, and there was a table where they sold all the Fancy Nancy fanciness. Grace just had to have the multi-colored tutu and sparkly sunglasses and feathered boa get the idea.

She loved the play. It was fun and funny, and the kids were encouraged to dance and sing. She said it was a Fancy Nancy party. So cute.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Romantic Times Convention : New Orleans!

Every year, the leading magazine about romantic fiction holds a conference where thousands of readers convene to celebrate all things romance. At the RT Convention there are parties and book fairs and parties and luncheons and parties get it.

I'd never braved the masses, but I've always wanted to go to New Orleans, so I prepared my introverted self and made the trip. Largely because my publisher promised I could throw beads off a Mardi Gras float. Can you say bucket list?

Plus, it was my birthday weekend, and Randy lives there so if I truly freaked out I'd have someone to laugh at me in the loony bin.

Things did not start as I had planned. I made it to the airport for my buttcrack-of-dawn flight, and they postponed my flight for two hours. Then six. Then...I took a flight that would get me as far as Denver, and hopefully to New Orleans by midnight. I had an eight am meeting the next day, so I was keen to get there. Plus...I had scheduled a ghost tour. Ah, well.

I made it there around two am. Luckily my roommate was waiting at the door and had found a couple of dudes to buy our drinks. Apparently, I've set a precedent with her that the bar is required after airline issues.

The conference started in full swing the next morning. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. There were so many people! Most of the authors had been there before, or were newbies. So I was in this weird place of being established, and not knowing what the heck to do. I learned quickly - give stuff away. Lots of it. These readers want stuff for them, and for their family and friends. Okay. Will do that next time.

Every time I felt overwhelmed or underprepared, I took a walk outside. Our hotel was an easy walk to just about all the bucket list things in Nola. Our first excursion was to the French Market. They have a little bit of everything there, mostly at tourist prices. But I did find a few budget friendly reader bribes - I mean gifts. Whenever I do a print signing, I like to have a few things on hand for readers who come to say hello, but don't buy a book because they already have the ebook. Given the crowds at RT, I knew the dozen treats I'd brought would be gone in no time.

Lynda had vacationed with her family there the week before, so she was able to play tour guide to a cemetery - where if you knock three times on a witch's crypt and make a wish, it comes true. We also saw Nikolas Cage's pyramid tomb. Like all good ghost hunters, we stopped for beignets on the way back.

During the weekend we also went to a voodoo shop, and an occult shop where a friend had her cards read.

On my birthday, I dragged all my girls to have our tea leaves read. Accordingly, I can expect seven years of success and overseas travel in 2015. So there is that.

The conference went well for me, but next time? I'm swagging it out!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Giver :: On the town with Bayley

Whenever we can, we try to do things one-on-one with the kiddos. It's nice to get them alone, and they tend to be more talkative. Plus, you can do things they'd like and the others might not. The local children's theater had a production of The Giver, which Bayley read in school last year, so I thought taking in the play would be a great way to spend time together.

We got into town a bit early, so we walked over to Cacao where Bayley enjoyed his first drinking chocolate. No surprise that he loved it.

The play was great and afterwards I took him to Shigezo, my favorite Japanese restaurant downtown. He had his first bowl of traditional ramen, and even tried some of my sushi.

It's so nice to have him be old enough to appreciate experiences and be willing to expand his palate. I love this kid.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gracious Mae 6th Birthday Interview

1. What is your favorite color? Purple
2. What is your favorite toy? 
Yo Gabba Gabba Tutti 
3. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries
4. What is your favorite TV show? Jake & the Neverland Pirates
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? hot dog
6. What is your favorite outfit?
The one I'm wearing
7. What is your favorite game?
Castle Quest
8. What is your favorite snack?
Peanut butter crackers
9. What is your favorite animal?
10. What is your favorite song?
The Alphabet
11. What is your favorite book?
Ariel Books
12. Who is your best friend?
13. What is your favorite cereal?
Honey Nut Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
15. What is your favorite drink?
Chocolate Milk
16. What is your favorite holiday?
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Scrambled eggs and toast
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
Red Robin
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?

5th Birthday interview...
4th Birthday interview...