Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A little sumthin'

Well . . . . I've still kinda got nothin'. I'm here figuring out all the different things that I can make from a turkey carcass . . . turkey gumbo, curry turkey salad, turkey tetrazinni, turkey soup (yes Shelli, I'm sounding very Bubba Blue from Forest Gump).
Naturally, my children are sick of turkey, so I'm making grilled cheeses.

We're in the after Christmas groove over here. It's kinda worthless fun--we've got new board games, wii games, art supplies, books . . . Plus, my daughter is learning tons of new songs to play for me on her guitar (I've finally figured out that I can download the chords for songs that I like and she'll learn how to play them!!!!). She's serenading me with a little Lady Lenka right now :-)

Here she is at my in-laws' house the day after Christmas playing with my niece Julia (who hung the moon, as far as I can tell). How cool to be a guitar playin' girl?

Here I am holding up my phone where I have downloaded chords and lyrics for Anne to play requests. She's playing our requests!!!

Oh, and speaking of my in-laws . . . my mother-in-law, aka Anne Mama, was interviewed this morning (all morning, in fact) by a group who is making a documentary inspired by Kathryn Stockett's book The Help.

The filmmakers are traveling through the South asking people for their stories about relationships with domestic help in the sixties. The film is not connected to the book in any way, it is just a glimpse into the true-life stories that were happening in the sixties. I wasn't there to hear my mother-in-law be interviewed, but I heard that she was amazing (she IS amazing, after all--and ninety-years-old!!). Here's is her picture with her housekeeper and best friend Irma.

They actually hooked mikes up to the two of them this morning and recorded them as they went through their day. And, yes, we have totally been teasing Anne Mama and calling her "Miss Daisy."

Gone to break up a Wii fight. Ugh.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We've got nuthin'

I just hung up with SF. Here was our conversation.

Katie: You wanna post? I got nuthin'

SF: Nah. I'm going out of town. But, I'm taking these delicious Kahlua brownies.

Katie: Mmmm, that sounds divine. I need the recipe.

SF: I don't have it. Someone brought them to us. I'm cutting them into squares and they look awesome.

Katie: I have to do laundry and get groceries. Can you believe Wal-Mart and Kroger were closed yesterday? I mean not everyone is christian? I'd be so mad if I were jewish or something and wanted to make latkes.

SF: They're always closed on Christmas. Have you heard back from your agent?

Katie: No. Maybe I should write a post about waiting.

SF: Yeah. Waiting would be a good post. You know that awesome toy I just got?

Katie: Uh huh.

SF: The pen broke. I'm devastated.

Katie: Oh man, that sucks.

SF (speaking to her eldest) No! You can't wear that.
I have to go.

Katie: I think I'm gonna make a buttermilk pie.

SF: Okay - I'll call ya later.

SO dear readers, you get the idea. We don't have much news. I did get a new idea this morning for making my second book richer and more interesting, so I am off to do some research. But, it's top secret, and therefore, I can't blog about it. Sorry.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


We hope that all of your Christmas wishes and dreams come true!!

You can probably guess what ours are . . .

Love to you all,
Sarah Frances and Katie

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts. Vol. 623

1. I have been loving my two new GLEE cds! (Look at Sue kickin' butt) If you watch GLEE, you must go get these. There is nothing funner than belting out old favorites with Mr. Shue and Finn and the gang on a daily basis. But, I must warn you... do NOT, I repeat, do NOT play aforementioned cds in the car with non-Gleeks because they will stare at you funny and ask you why you are playing Kidz Bop. Seriously, it sounds like Kidz Bop if you don’t know the show.

2. I read a great quote on Sherrie Peterson's blog the other day. Go follow her if you don’t already - she’s fab. Here's the quote. It's by Michael Crichton.
"Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it..."
OMG so true!!!

3. I heart Poochie Prints. I'm telling you - if you wanna order someone a gift that is totally original, and personalized, and beautiful, and gorgeous, ORDER them some poochie!!! I did and am wanting more!

4. I am sitting in the coffee shop, writing this post and staring occasionally at the two women across from me, who are sitting at a table, wildly planning something. They are very animated and often speaking in hushed tones as if this plan of theirs is super cool and secret. They also seem to be diagramming a lot. (?) I am wanting to go see what they're up to, but I can't. But it's obvious that they are planning some sort of new business venture.

New business ventures always intrigue me. I think because I used to sell commercial real estate and am very in tune with what will work and what won't. But what strikes me more is that I am watching them as I sit here rocking out on Pandora, proofing my book and feeling overly grateful that I have found my calling and no matter how cool this business is they're planning, it doesn't hold a candle to what I'm doing. Well, at least not to me. So, I hope they love their new job as much as I love mine.

5. Lastly, I love my coffee shop's new snowflake cup things that wrap the cardboard cups. They make me feel happy. I'm thinking they should have one for every season.

Oh wait.

6. And finally, I think I might be alone in this - But, I laughed out loud at this bizarre and stupidly hysterical trailer. I give you THE HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Crazy Weekend

Because, clearly, the normal Christmas rush isn't enough of a time suck for me, I added a lil' something into the mix this year . . .

Last weekend, I opened my home for the first ever Christmas Tour of Homes here in Oxford. All of the proceeds from ticket sales went to the Jr. Auxiliary of Oxford whose sole focus is on helping children in our community. Sooooo . . . about 400 people tromped through my decked-out house on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. And, I have to say that while the preparation was tough (I repainted all the baseboards in my kitchen last week and dusted all the fuzz from the high-up cabinets and light fixtures . . . not to mention the decorating!), the actual event was tons of fun. I mean, no one is going to say anything mean about your home when you're standing right there. So I got to hear lots of great comments like "homey" and "happy".
I feel like I should mention that our home was by far the homiest house of the five that were on tour--no marble or crown molding or huge fancy rooms. We live in a historical area, and we restored (saved, actually) our home about seven years ago. It had been chopped up into apartments and was about to implode. We tried to be as true to the house as we could be--the house is a very simple house with cozy, small rooms. Our house is nothing grand, but it feels good. We love it. And, we love living right in town.

Oh, and to add to the chaos, my oldest daughter was in a tennis tournament all weekend and my other two girls were in the Nutcracker. Plus, they were all in our church Christmas pageant. I had lots of quick wardrobe changes and frantic shuttling of girls to rehearsals. Crazy!!!

Here are a few pix:

I made this of my girls about three years ago from treated plywood. It's funny how they've grown up to actually look more and more like these choir girls!

My kitchen is not particularly "decked" but look how clean it is!!!

My creche set I bought at Chartres Cathedral when I was in college.

Now I get to hang out in my clean house . . . until the stacks reappear and the fuzz bunnies reroot.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nancy Meyers

As a screenwriter, I have always admired Nancy Meyers. She is my total fave. She wrote The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, the new Parent Trap, The Father of the Bride I and II, Baby Boom, Jumpin' Jack Flash, and Private Benjamin. Yeah. Impressive.

It's been a while since one of hers came out but the wait is over. I cannot wait to see It's Complicated :-)

I shall be watching this Christmas day and loving every minute of it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unofficially Official Agent Day

In this season of blessings, we feel so grateful for our agents.

SF and I haven't been agented for long, but we can definitely say that we ADORE ours!!!!

KATIE: Cheryl makes me feel like the most inspired soul on the planet. She's a terrific cheerleader and my brainstorming twin. We tend to think just alike which makes it oh so easy to trust her judgement when submission time rolls around. Not to mention the fact that she's crafty, strategic and uber creative. And... She just ran the NYC marathon, making her just about the coolest chick I know! Thank you so much Cheryl!!!

SF: Well, I just have to say that I adore Joanna. She is enthusiastic, encouraging, and dead-on with her comments and suggestions. I can't say enough about how wonderful she is, but the very best thing that she has done for me has been to bring the FUN back into this whole process. I mean, I'm writing and illustrating picture books for children--it's supposed to be a wacky, wild ride . . . not something to sit around and ponder over while sipping cognac.

Jo has given me such a boost of enthusiasm, and I am once again pumped about working on my books. After a bit of a crazy agent search, I feel like I have met my perfect match!

This is what we used to think agents were.

Now we know better :-)

And we're not the only thankful chaps. Check out all these writers who love their agents too!
And thanks Lisa and Laura for posting the master list!!!

And a HUGE thanks to Kody for organizing this blessed event :-) Thanks y'all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Katie's Biggest Dream

Since it's Christmas and all, I thought I'd tell you my biggest dream.


Get ready. This one's big.

Being a bestseller would be nice, but that's not it.

And seeing my book on screen would be cool too, but that's not it either. (However, both would have to happen for my dream to come true.)

Because my dream is to have an original score written and recorded for my book. And I want to fly out to the recording.

That's it. My musical dream. I want an original score. All mine. Just for my book. And I want to watch it being recorded and cry.

This is my buddy Jo's recording :-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Look what I've got!!

As a reward (or actually an early Christmas present) for signing with super-agent, my husband bought me a Wacom tablet.

On this gorgeous piece of plastic, I can draw just like I'm using a pencil, and my drawings will appear on my computer screen . . . where I can EASILY edit them and move characters around within scenes in my story. EASILY. Right?

Okay, so learning how to use a new piece of technology always involves me spouting out words that you will never see in one of my children's picture books. But, once I get this thing figured out, I'm going to be streamlined as I work up my book dummies.

I still plan to use good old fashioned paper with pens, watercolors and gouache for my final illustrations. But there are forests worth of trees that I would normally use just to plan what those final illustrations will be--plus, until now I've been going through the time-consuming process of drawing on paper, scanning into my computer, redrawing the image a tiny bit differently, scanning again, over and over again (the whole time spouting out words that are not appropriate for children . . . )

Wait a minute. Let's think about this. I'm saving hours of time and reams of paper. This thing has already paid for itself. I mean, I'm saving so much money, I'm practically making money. Maybe I should buy myself another gift . . . suggestions???


Friday, December 4, 2009

Realizing Joy

I am ready to sell my book. And when I say "sell" I mean, "sell BIG."


If I don't sell it, I will still be happy. Make that joyous. I'm not sure I realized this until a few days ago, but the fact remains that writing this book, pursuing publication, attending conferences, and meeting loads of people in the process has brought me more joy than I have ever experienced in my life. Seriously. Outside of the normal joys of being healthy, having a wonderful husband and two beautiful children, writing is the single biggest love of my life.

Over Thanksgiving I found myself getting into bed one night and pondering my characters as if I had a secret lover. I laid there and wondered what I might have them do, or say, and what plot angles I might use. The next morning I took some notes and thought, "I can't believe I'm lucky enough to get to do this." I mean how many people discover the career of their dreams? Ever?

Therefore, although it's my greatest desire to be able to walk into a Barnes and Noble and buy my book (off of this table - or have it made into a giant Christmas tree :-). I will try to remember that the real joy has come from simply being allowed to write it.

Our Motto

Our Motto