Sunday, September 25, 2011

St. Louie Was Good To Me

This was the view from our hotel room.

I feel like I could just stop right there and it would be enough.

Of all of the views I've ever had, this may be the prize winner.

And if I scrunched way up against the wall, this was the view.

I think you see my point here, but I'll continue on anyway, because, as you know, I'm prosey to begin with. Send me off to a writer's conference for four days and you can imagine what it does to me.

And if you're wondering what sorts of things happen at writer's conferences (I'm sure you're all burning with interest...), it's this: "You have five minutes to write eight lines of dialogue between two people at the fair. Go!"

"Kenny's doing tattoos tonight after shut-down in the whack-a-mole truck."

Nick pulled up his shirt sleeve and inspected his right bicep. "Who's he doin' 'em for?"

"I guess whoever. His girl got locked up last night for battery. He's gotta make her bail."

"Becky got locked up?" He shoved his hands back into his pockets.

"Yeah. She bit Crystal out by the kiddie rides."

"Why'd she do that?"

"Crystal told that new girl at corn dogs that Kenny's a good kisser."

"Huh. Guess I didn't know she cared so much." Nick spit on the dirt and ground the toe of his boot into it.

"So, wanna go over with me? Get some ink?"

"Naw. I think Becky's just fine sittin' in jail."

Pretty sure my award is in the mail for that inspired piece of art. What do you think? Should I scrap everything and start fresh with Nick??

This was the view out the window of the holding cell for writer's waiting to go into agent/editor appointments. I was pretty twitchy when I took this shot. My pits were flaring up a little.

And now, a word on Courtney. She kept me up until all ungodly hours of the night talking about Robert Downey Jr. and church. She helped me brainstorm for my book and listened when I wanted to re-count an awkward encounter for the eleventh time in two hours.

I'm not a big snorter, but if I were, I would have snorted myself into a sinus infection because she's so dang funny. She's the one who bossed me into going to this conference in the first place. She has encouraged me every step of the way in my writing, and that's a big gift, because she's a published writer. She doesn't hoard her talent, she shares it.

She's also a fibber, because she told me she knew "five" people who would be there then proceeded to get mobbed and hugged to death by droves of people who also know how rad she is.

She lugged a quart jug of coffee creamer around in her purse every day so her coffee would be just right and she spilled sun-dried tomatoes on the buffet counter then scooped them up and back on to her plate. Swoony, right? I thought so.

She didn't ask questions when I put this exact same pair of socks on every. single. night. She didn't begrudge my bedtime beauty.

This is her friend (my new friend) Deb Raney, another accomplished author.

It warmed me right up to sit and listen to other writers talk about things that spoke to my soul. What a privilege, to learn from them. They were encouraging beyond everything I could have hoped. This girl in particular, who looked me straight in the heart and settled me down when I really needed it. Also? She won a big fat award last night and gave a most charming acceptance speech.

It's official: I want to be an author when I grow up.

I've got my work cut out for me with my book. It's time to buckle down and bring it all home. Thanks a mil, Louie. You gave me just the inspiration I needed.

Thanks for helping me give Summer her due. It was fun to be reminded of her very best qualities.

The winner is:

Sarah said...

Camping-- sitting by the lake, bicycling on paths through the woods, campfires...

Email me, Sarah!

I'm also sending columbine seeds to three grand finalists, though I can't promise what variety they'll be.

lauren said...

one of my favorite things about summer??? right.. like i can just go and pick. like the minute i say one out loud the thousand other things won't remind me of their goodness and i'll call a take back. if you forced me down the decisive path.. i would have to say it's the sun. the deep, turns me inside out sun that melts me into a puddle. the kind of sun that warms your bones and leaves you mellow and good straight through. summer can't be over... except fall is pretty good too. it's possible my favorite part of every season is the very first day it arrives. :)

Micah Jamie said...

Fantastic giveaway! So generous & kind. I love floating down the river on our boat with friends the most :).

Kim said...

What is not to love about summer? For me it is the sloooow mornings - no rushing for breakfast, searching for homework or running for the bus. It doesn't get much better than that. Thanks for the giveaway!!

Holla, Ladies!!


  1. all i can say is, hurry it on up, woman. i want to read your book like yesterday.

  2. I am so very, very proud of you.
    Especially proud of your socks.
    You are such a super star.
    Love, your #1 fan.

  3. Girl. Robert Downey Jr. deserves our undivided attention (and apparently our precious hours of sleep.)

    I should've stolen your socks. Dang.

    You should've waited to post this till I had something decent on my blog because right now it's a post I wrote when I was half-drunk on coffee creamer and swoony over your claw hands.

    Also, I love you. I just DO.

  4. okay so first: i'm diggin nick and the carnies. (do you all call em carnies too?)

    second: Robert downy jr. and church ***snort***

    third: i am so stinkin excited for your book that i already have plans to buy all my female relations it as the Christmas gift that year. so it better be quick and it better not stink. but no pressure.

  5. How exciting! I LOVE your writing! It's what keeps me coming back to visit so often! You will be on that list of accomplished authors sooner than you think!

  6. St. Louis! Ollie was there kicking it with the Cards and Albert Pujols' Down Syndrome extravaganza. And dang my bestie Micah Jamie won. Wait til I see her. She best be sharing!!

  7. PS Those socks will make great Halloween witch socks!

  8. From writer to, so very proud of you!! Such an awesome accomplishment!

  9. I am so incredibly proud of you, sweet friend!

  10. I love our small world. I know Courtney from back in our respective heights of being published scrapbookers, and now she's (of course) a published author and amazing artist who just got done sharing a hotel room with FPFG. Kills me.

    Glad you had such a fun, inspiring, uplifting time!

  11. Always the start of a beautiful friendship when the newbie asks NO questions about bedtime get-ups or repeat sock wearing!!

    My best friend is a writer so I can understand (somewhat) the stress of writing classes and exercises. I think you did well! I found that I wanted to know more about the corn dog girl..

    You were just south of me in Missouri! ;-)

    Need to know more about your blazer and if that was the sweatshirt blazer? <---see? Obsessed with good looking but comfy clothing!

    Sooo glad you had fun and met your new friend!



  12. both of you are too cute for words! that's it period. oh and i wish i could have been there snortin' with ya.

  13. You obviously did not heed my advice to let Siley draw the winner.

    Your words are like honey.

    I am a honey addict.

    That's what's official around here.


  14. We had a wonderful view too, with three of the cutest littles in the world. Thank Cor again for bringing them down to us.
    And I laughed so hard at your take on three minutes at the fair.
    So glad you had a great time. Now get to work and get that thing done,its winter and time to read,read read!!!

  15. I woke up this morning with a headache and I have to say that laughing hysterically at Kenny and Nick did nothing to help the situation. Also, I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I had coffee in my mouth, and I kind of snorted some of it up into my nasal cavity. I didn't know that was possible.
    Thanks for a great start to my Monday morning, Farmgirl!

  16. St. Louie is very photogenic!

  17. a few words…
    1)You and Courtney met.
    2)You were supposed to come to Colorado.
    3)So I could meet you both.
    4)But I am really excited that you both hit it off.
    5)Now you might really come to Colorado.
    6)And I can meet you both.
    7)Let’s put this plan in motion.
    the end.

  18. I can't wait to read your book! And I love that she kept you up talking about RDJ and church. Tee hee!

  19. I love Nick. If ever a girl should sit there in jail and think about what she did it sounds like Becky to me. I'm so proud of you for following your dream of writing, and I don't even know you! Never surrender, or Don't Stop Believing or Come on Irene or whatever your favorite 80's inspirational anthem is to motivate you (...sorry bout the come on Irene...I was stumped!)

    And slap me and call me crazy!! I. Never. Win. Anything. I'd like to thank my fans and the academy, but seeing as I don't have any fans and don't belong to any academy I'll simply thank fabulous lil ole YOU! I love columbine, I love new pretties for my garden, and turns out I LOVE winning! Wow. Who knew? Seriously, thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity.

    And JANIE FOX who??? I.Don't.Know.You.And.I'm.Definitely.Not.SHARING!Ha, I kid, I kid, We'll do halvsies...I will give you half of my columbine seed, and I will take half of you jewels and makeup. It's only fair. Please do not hold Macie's watch and purse hostage now.

  20. sounds like a wonderful trip in so many ways. am happy about that for you. now please stop reading comments and get back to writing your book! thank you. :)


  21. your story about the fair is HILARIOUS. Seriously I could NOT LOVE IT MORE.
    Becky's in jail for battery? She bit Crystal by the corn dog stand?
    My inner ear is singing. Singing!

  22. hahahahaHA! Love that a good Carnie story was the first to come to your mind!!!!

    That bedtime apparel would make a stylin' WIWW post! ;) Something to think about! :)

    Glad you had a blast in St. Louie with sweet friends! I've been there a number of times also ~ the hubs even raced there once. Only track I've been at when the 'Arch' in the background wasn't a McDonald's arch.

  23. Maybe the five minute fair dialog is the inspiration for book #2, maybe?

    I'm compiling a list of activities for River, Little C, and Wile-E for entertainment purposes so you'll have quality packing AND inspired writing time during my visit later next month ;)

  24. So, just so you know. Don't give up on that book when you're trying to get it published. ever. the woman who wrote the book, The Help, got turned down 60 times. 60. And now she is a new york times best selling author and has a movie. craziness.

  25. woo! so excited for your book!!

    p.s. we have started the application process to adopt from ethiopia! yay!!

  26. Glad to hear that you had a good time and were inspired at your conference. Good luck putting all that inspiration into action. And I'm wondering...will the characters from the fair be making any appearances in your book? :)

  27. i love that you have a blog friend who has become a for real friend in real life. :) yay for matter what anybody else says.

    the first picture is todiefor...makes me want to go there tomorrow.

  28. So today I finished "The Help", which I decided to read since you went on so much about the movie. I haven't picked up a book in forever. Started reading it Thursday and couldn't put the darn thing down. But then it ended, not like I wanted it to, and I remembered why it's been forever since I've read a book and why the last movie I went to that I actually liked was Tangled. I guess I just like tidy endings, the girl gets the guy, and the evil step mom gets what she's due. So while getting supper ready tonight, I decided I was done reading novels. No more, that's it.

    And then blast, I read this post, and for some reason it almost made me cry. I think you remind me of Miss Skeeter, in all the good ways, and I hope you take that it all the good ways. So, get cracking on that book Shannon, I've got some reading to do!
    Becky, a blurker, who would love to not be called anonymous

  29. I'm so excited that I can say I know you. Like, she has bought junk from me and it's some of her favorite. Yep, I'll be saying that when I'm standing in line buying your book. You look so spiffy in your blazer!!!

  30. You should look up my nana, Patricia H Rushford. Excellent christian woman, fantastic and very published author. If you look her up and wanted to pick her brain or just chat with her, I could hook ya up :) Haha!

  31. And you *will* be a published author! I just know it.

    Girl, you were on my mind for much of this weekend, and I'm thrilled the experience was beautiful for you.

    Love ya, Friend!

  32. So glad you had a great trip, I can't wait to hear all about it over gyros! ;)

  33. I cannot believe you were in the home town! This blog stalker would have had to wine & dine you over some good grub on the Hill had I known! =( Hope you enjoyed your stay! Congrats on totally have it in you to do great things with it!

  34. Lived in St. Lou last year for an internship before moving home to South Dakota, so there is so much nostalgia looking at your photos. Trying to get through all of your posts to figure out why you're leaving the farm. Can't help but also relate, since we were at a super cool farmplace all winter/spring and had to move out when summer began. Now we're still in the country, but we put a new house here and it's just not the same. It needs a lot of help to have the character an aged place has.

  35. This is a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it
    Dentist in Spruce Grove
    Spruce Grove dentist