Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Trip to Nashville

Last weekend, SF and I hit Nash-Vegas for the SCBWI Mid South conference and WHOA, was it good! So good, that we both wanted to talk about it, so that's what we've decided to do.

KATIE: SF, what was your favorite part of the weekend?

SF: You mean, besides my daily spinach-mushroom-made-to-order-omelette?

KATIE: Yeah. And not the cupcakes or that cool coffee shop, either.

SF: Easy. That would have to be Cheryl Klein's workshops. She is incredible! I especially loved her talk on plotting--you can go to her website read her entire speech here. Actually, go and read all of them. She is a master. Plus, she is coming out with a book of all of her conference talks that you can preorder.

KATIE: I agree with you. Cheryl Klein! My ultra fave was her talk on plot, followed by her talk on character. But, I also LOVED Caroline Cooney. She literally made writing a new book, or revising an old one *cough cough* seem totally doable, if not easy. And she adored my sporadic, made-up story during her workshop! (which also gave me confidence :-)

SF: Yes! Caroline Cooney was amazing. I especially loved her emphasis on writing anywhere, any time. "You can do anything for fifteen minutes." So, no more complaining about not having time to write, SF!

Also, one of the biggest highlights of the trip was getting to be with our Atlanta friends Shelli and Jessica. It was like a giant slumber party.

KATIE: And it was so fun to reconnect with Marietta Zacker, whom we met in LA. Love her!

SF: Marietta is fabulous. She is so full of infectuous energy and passion.

Hey, don't forget dinner with Jo and Heather.

KATIE: Oh! And I bought a cool book, too! Your Screenplay Sucks! I might have bought it simply because of the title, but it's really, really good. And funny. And helpful :-)

A big thank you to all of the Mid-South Conference organizers! Now, it's time to get to work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


You know how fun and weird it is when you first get to say, "My husband did this?" Or, "My daughter did that?"

Well, the same holds true for "My agent is calling."


It has been a mentally exhausting couple of weeks. I've lost track of when it all started. But, to make a long story short, I found myself discussing representation with several different agents over the course of one week. All were in agreement that KISS needed a new plotline, and all had different ideas about which direction the story should go. But in the end, only one made me want to sit down and write. One energized me creatively. One made me want to sign the dotted line.


**All are incredible agents - dream agents, really. And I felt honored that they were so interested in me and my book. It was a scary and humbling experience at times but I am positively thrilled with the outcome :-)

Okay, now I have to get to work!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michael Buckley

Our children's indie bookstore, Square Books Junior, hosted the super-talented, super-entertaining, and super-charming Michael Buckley yesterday. My oldest girl is a huge fan of his Sisters Grimm books which are gorgeous to look at (they are styled to look like the original Grimm's Fairy Tale books), but inside, they are full of crazy, wacked out adventures starring fairy tale creatures gone awry.

Michael was in town for a school visit and signing of his newest book Nerds: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society. Once again, this book has one of the coolest designs I've ever seen, and it's a story about a secret group of nerds who use their dweeb powers to save the world.

Here's Michael with my two oldest girls.

And, I know you're all waiting for Katie to fill you in on her news, but these things take time . . . . keep checking in.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Decisions, decisions.

This is me these days. Sorry for the silence. Too much going on :-) Stay tuned.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


My favorite (and I mean favorite) website is this one. It is run by the hilarious duo known as Heather and Jessica and is called "Go Fug Yourself." It is my daily candy . . .my soy milk latte' in the morning . . . my plate of fried pickles . . . .

Now, for those of you who are wondering, these gals define "fugly" as

"Fugly, however, is a self-inflicted state, and no one seems to excel at dwelling in the depths of fug quite like pretty people with money to spare and little sense of how to spend it. Celebrities are always skipping around in public wearing things that are phenomenally perplexing; as these red-carpet dwellers are often considered trendsetters or bastions of Hip Present and Hip Future, we like to take them to task for careless choices. (Of particular concern: whomever got little girls thinking that miniskirts andUgg boots were a stellar combination.)"

See? Don't we always ask ourselves how someone so pretty could spend so much money to look so hideously ugly? Do celebs want to just prove that they are so rich and famous, they can get away with anything? I mean, how else can you explain this:

I know, I can feel Apple stock plummeting as Justin Long tries to maintain his cool Mac persona next to those stockings.

What I love best about this site is the fact that Heather and Jessica never, ever poke fun at people for things that they cannot change--like cankles or body shape (unless they have done some surgical altering--then it's totally fair game). They are totally cracking on things like crazy shoes, spray tans, and leggings worn as pants. So, it's just a whole lotta fun and never mean-spirited.

Go and look. Then you will bookmark. Then you will check in twelve times a day because my girls update often. You're welcome.

Oh . . . . and I cannot end my post without a little, tiny teaser. Katie has got something really, really cool that she will be telling you about soon. So check back in . . . twelve times a day if you want . . . it's that good.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Hester Bass: The Secret World of Walter Anderson

One of the really great things about SCBWI Conferences is getting to know other authors. Katie and I met Hester Bass at our very first SCBWI Conference three years ago. At that conference, Hester relayed (make that, shouted and sang) her Cinderella story of selling her book The Secret World of Walter Anderson to Candlewick Press.

Her book tells the story of the Mississippi artist Walter Anderson, and it is illustrated by the amazing watercolorist E.B. Lewis. The book is billed as describing "the most famous artist you've never heard of"--but for someone like me who has grown up in Mississippi, he's the first famous artist who's work I loved. I mean, really loved, deeply and passionately.

Walter Anderson painted many of his paintings alone on the islands off of the Mississippi gulf coast. He became one with nature and the animals, even acting like the animals at times to understand their movement and perspective. His artistic voice is unique in it's use of vibrating color and line, and he expresses Gulf Coast nature in a way that no one ever has or ever will again. I grew up going to these islands in my dad's boats, so Walter Anderson's work has personal meaning for me--especially after hurricane Katrina completely altered the landscape of the Mississippi Gulf Coast forever.

I love seeing Walter Anderson receiving national acclaim, and especially children being able to see his work on a national level (his work has been shown at the Smithsonian and there are books about his life written for adults--but this is the first time that his
story has been told for an audience of children).

He is the Van Gogh of the southern United States, and I'm thankful for Hester's persistence and belief in her dream to tell his story.

Here are a few picture's of Walter Anderson's work:

The gorgeous book cover painted by E.B.

And, Hester at my daughter's school where she did a fabulous presentation. The picture next to her is the name of the school (Bramlett) spelled out in Walter Anderson's alphabet that he designed.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


Have y'all seen this? Maybe it's because we have girls and they have the need to get LOTS of words out, but this cracks us up! Our poor husbands....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hmmm...Coincidence? Hopefully not.

Wednesday was an ominous day and I'm not one who believes in "signs". It all began with a really cool phone call, followed by several extremely exciting emails! (more on that hopefully later)

At The Kroger (SF has caused me to add "the" to everything :) the checkout guy accidentally stuck someone else's two giant PAY DAY candy bars in my bag as well as EXTRA gum and two giant Almond JOYS. You see where I'm headed?

Payday in hand, I got another two phone calls from peeps who I haven't heard from in a long time. One of them even said she had a "Katie vibe" and felt the need to check in. Cue Twilight Zone music.

After the calls, I turned on the TV and The Doctors was on. Do you know this show? Well, it's like Dr. Oz and 4 docs who cover some sort of medical topic. *I must confess here that I've never actually watched it. But, before I could flip the channel, I saw that their guest looked familiar. I sat there staring at him and wondered, "Is that the guy on MTV Tool Academy? Was he on the Bachelorette? Hmm... who is that guy?"

The Docs said his name and lo and behold it was the guy I sat next to on the plane home from SCBWI-LA! Needless to say, I ran upstairs to find his card so that I could email him and say I saw him when I flipped the card over and read this:

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole.

I believe baby, I believe!!!!!! Something's in the air around here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

People of Walmart

Today was quite a day. I'm crazy busy--and a bit discombobulated because of the three day weekend followed by the four day week. I can't remember who has ballet and who has tests and who has a soccer game (and what IS our coach's name???). Add to all of this the fact that I had to go to Walmart today. Where I saw things like this:

Now, sometimes, I go to the Walmart (it's very Southern to say "the" Walmart), and I see friends, cute moms with baby carriers, and college students looking for rubbermaid bins to organize their dorm rooms.

Today, I did not see any of those things.

I don't know if it had to do with the holiday weekend or what, but these people made me want to never leave the house again. I saw the women in their house shoes and curlers . . . the mommy yelling at her children to the degree that I almost called the police . . . the guy with the rebel flag bandana worn as a belt . . . the crazy bearded man who kept walking beside my shopping cart and looking into it while muttering some sort of mantra under his breath. . .

Okay, so I did not actually see the guy pictured above. I lifted his picture off of But, I am sick, sick, sick that I didn't have my camera with me today. I could have contributed some doozies.

Next time.


Saturday, September 5, 2009


Lila jumped me on this post, but if you haven't seen Fox's new series, Glee, run, don't walk! As a matter of fact, you can watch the whole episode ON LILA's BLOG!! Go see! It is totally adorbs.

What other new shows are you looking forward to?

Oh! And if you are our Twitter friends, bear with us, we like to IM each other during Project Runway :) which means you might see a lot of fried pickles on your home page.


P.S. Anything with her, I heart.

And SF, you are WIPping me on your WIP durn it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Snow Leopard and Screenplays

Katie and I went to lunch yesterday to brainstorm an idea for a TV pilot, and we came away with a KILLER hook for our screenplay instead. It is so awesome, I can't even believe it. Sorry to be a tease, but we can't reveal the details just yet . . . just know that it involves soccer moms, cheesey games of Bunko!, and the World Series. That's all you get right now (oh, just so you know, the women in our movie are totally goobed out by bunko).

Then, I came home from lunch to obsessively check my email, and my computer would NOT connect to the internet. I installed the new Mac operating system Snow Leopard a few days ago, and my computer has been acting squirrely every since. Frustrating to say the least.

When my husband came home, I got on his laptop and searched for "Snow Leopard connection problems." The Apple chatboard advice went something like this . . .

"Dude, you see that button that looks like an apple on the top left of your screen? See it? Okay, click it.
Then, like, look around in all that stuff and when you see the word automatic somewhere, click on that.
So, rename that thing that says "automatic" something cool like "starfish" or "paisley". And, then, like everything should work fine."

Believe it or not. I did all of that. And, I'm connected faster than ever. Gotta love a Mac!

Dinner tonight? Chicken and Dumplings.
Got a sick little girl here.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still Tellin' the Truth

Happy Tuesday all!

If you haven't read this, do. It will make you laugh. This too.

Both are my current fave truthy-type posts by some super talented writers.

As far as I go, I have a rogue credit card and am in need of some cash. Being the industrious gal that I am, I accepted a couple weeks of temp jobs and Holy...Mackeral... I have a newfound appreciation for writers who also work.

For two weeks I haven't had time to return any emails or calls, much less do laundry and take showers. I basically work all day, then come home and nap for 20 minutes while my kids hover around my bed and ask me stuff. Then, I drag myself up, crack a diet Coke and make dinner.

(allow me to stop and say that I like to cook. I am, in fact, a great cook. But, working has sadly taken away any desire to cook anything other than microwaved take-out.)

So, we eat take-out. Then I clean up, sign papers or whatever, get the kids to bed, and then up to my office to re-plot my masterpiece which is wonderful and exciting, but also very hard, and requires intense concentration.

Did I mention my poor hubby who likes for me to watch TV with him for a little while every night? Not to mention his other favorite pastime? Yeah, well I do that too.

But guess what that leaves last on the list?


Yes, blogging has sadly fallen to last on the list. Thank goodness the rest of you are doing such a great job! Won't it be a great day when all of this work actually pays off and I have a real book on the shelves. 'Til then, I guess it's take-out and lots of caffeine.

Our Motto

Our Motto