Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ICRS and Other Florida Fun

We stayed in Florida a total of 9 days, I believe. I didn't really keep track.  We filled the days with ICRS, playing Rummikub, playing the card game 'Scum,' visiting friends, hanging out with family, and some of us went to Rock Springs and the beach.

Three of the days were spent fully at ICRS, so that took up much of our time in FL, then the rest we did whatever we pleased, really. We weren't very scheduled.

Oh! One day my dad and I hosted an open house for his fans to come over and ask questions about the books, listen to our speeches, that sort of thing. 18 people came to that, plus my siblings and their families. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I'm a bit rusty on my speech giving, though, since it's been about 7 months since I did my last one. You'd think after 103 public speaking events I wouldn't get rusty, but I do. I'm not very good at public speaking, so it takes a lot to get warmed up.

I'd better stay warmed up, because my dad and I are going on tour in Canada in September and October and there are many speaking opportunities there!  Book signings are my preferred event, though school events are nice, too, because the kids are usually so enthusiastic. :)

The drive home from Florida was uneventful. We left Sunday morning and arrived in Tennessee Sunday night. Monday we plunged straight into yard work, cleaning up and mowing our 9 day neglected yard. Grass grows fast!

Monday, July 30, 2012


Oncourse is a teen oriented magazine produced and put out by the Assembly of God churches.  I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to write three magazine articles for them.

Oncourse started my writing career. I started attending writer's conferences when I was 15. The Florida Christian Writer's conference was the first I attended.  

There I met Amber, Oncourse's head editor. She offered me and my friends (who had come to the conference as well) a writing opportunity, which we quickly accepted. None of us really knew much about article writing at the time, but I think we did okay anyway.

Amber was my first official editor and gave me two more magazine articles before I started writing novels. She helped me get my foot in the door and understand what it meant to write professionally!

I got to see her again at ICRS because she wanted to do an interview with me. It was great to see her again.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The International Christian Retail Show - 2012

Every year since 2004 ( maybe missing one year) we have attended the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS.) It used to be called Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) but a lot more than books is brought to the convention - music, gifts, etc, so the powers in charge decided to the name to better reflect the convention's purpose.

 Publishers put together this show every year by putting up booths to show off their wares, and book store owners from around the world come and talk to the publishing house reps and network with each other and purchase some of their stock for their book store for the year.

It used to be a giant convention, one could walk for 2 hours and not see the whole floor, but with more people purchasing on the web along with other factors, it is much smaller. Still, one can easily walk 2 miles in a day wandering around the floor.

Publishers bring authors in to do book signings and give away books because that attrachs book buyers to the booths and lets them know the authors, which incentives the buyers to put those books in their stores. Make sense?

 And that is why my dad and I go to this show every year.

And my sisters come, as well, but mostly for the candy that the publishers have in their booths.

I like the candy, too. :)

 This year my dad signed copies of Liberator (with his publisher Zondervan) and From the Mouth of Elijah (with his publisher AMG), and I signed copies of Noble Imposter (with AMG). He had 4 separate book signings. I had one. :) Less work for me. ;)

My sister and cousin were excited to get to meet Steve Green and get an autographed CD.

My nephews thought it was cool to see grandpa signing his books. :)
Signing Noble Imposter.

I think the pictures turned out okay this year, but I like last year's pictures better.

I signed copies of Precisely Terminated last year.  They were pre publication copies, though, and didn't have their final cover yet.

And I got to meet Roma Downey (sp?)   the lady who plays Monica in Touched by an Angel. 

And no. Monica in the Cantral Chronicles was not named after Monica in Touched by an Angel. I didn't even think about them both being named that until I met Roma!

She was very nice, btw. :)

Also, ICRS moves almost every year. It rotates between being at the convention center in Denver, CO, to St Louis, MO, to Atlanta, GA, to Orlando, FL.  This year it was in Florida, last year it was in Missouri, and next year it's in Missouri again. I'm not sure what makes them decide which state to use, but that's the way it is. Two years it was in Denver twice in a row. No telling what makes them do what they do. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Visiting Family

 One of the days in Florida we got to spend some time with our family and see my brother, his wife, and their daughter, Madelynn.

  My sister and nephews hung out with us as well and my cousin and other sister in law were there, too! It was quite a crowd, but fun. :)

My parents with their granddaughter
My parents, Madelynn, my older sister, and 3 year old nephew Gabe

Older sister and Madelynn

Gabe taking pictures

Madelynn, my grandmother and me - Madelynn is her great granddaughter, of course

With Red in the bakground

Siblings and their kids. My older sister and oldest brother. 4 year old nephew Zachary didn't want his picture taken for some reason

Two sisters in law!  Nicole is in the red dress. She brought presents for Maddie.  Brandi is holding the pink sweater. She's Maddie's mom.

She really did like her presents, even if she doesn't show it. :)  She's a very easy going baby

We had dinner together and talked for awhile. I don't remember if we played board games or not. We played a lot of Rummikub while we were there, because it's my grandmother's favorite game. We played it almost every night, much to Red's displeasure. She doesn't like it very much. I do, though. If I'm in the mood. :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Off to Florida! - Us Edition

This time it's my family (those who still live at home) who headed off to Florida, not just my sister and nephews.

Because we like to keep things interesting around here, we decided to leave for Florida at 6:30PM (July 13th)and drive through the night. My dad's intrepid like that. 14 hour drive. No biggie.

July 13th was cow appreciation day, so of course we had to participate and go to Chick Fil A dressed up as cows for free food.

We had cow ears, tails, the whole outfit.  And we were black cows with white spots. Going against the grain, yo.

It was fun. :)  Chick Fil A in Tupelo, MS was the place to go! They were kind enough to give us all a sandwich, medium drink, medium fry, and a large milkshake each!

We also plan on participating in support Chick Fil A day on August 1st. We think it's a great company.

After we were loaded up with our scrumptious meal, we headed off into the wild yonder . . . of Alabama.   Our route was Corinth, MS, Tupelo, MS, Birmingham, AL, Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL.   And plenty of cities in between.  

We arrived at my grandmother's house at around 9:30 AM.  My dad drove 12 of the 14 hours, and I drove 2.  My cousin, sister - in - law accompanied us on this trek. Everyone pretty much slept the whole way. Except my dad. We'd be mad if he'd have slept. Since he's the driver.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garage Doors

Another project I've been wanting to work on is painting the doors in our garage. We have a 2 car garage that has a large door for the cars (Doesn't need painting, it's fine), a door to the house, a smaller door to the outside, and a door to the utility closet.

The three small doors are all an ugly beige/brown color, with scratches, nicks, etc in the paint making them look rather sorry. Also, two of the doors have lattice work on the windows that hadn't ever been painted. Armed with leftover paint from another project, I set to work on one of the doors (The other two will have to wait until I have more time).

Smaller door to the outside before picture. It's hard to get a good shot of the door without the sun messing up the lighting. 

Unless I take the picture at night. This is after.  Lattice work is white, door and frame are creamy beige.

I think it looks better.

It took me awhile to get this door painted because I had to do two to three coats of paint to make it look good. The old paint was a lot darker than this new paint.  This door had rust on it, too. Hopefully, the paint job will stop it from progressing.

The other two doors are on my top priority list for fix it jobs now. I want them to match.  :) 

Of course,  I can't let this sort of thing get in the way of my writing, either. I'm rushing to try to get my third book done. Since Noble Imposter is now out, I really need to get to work on CCB3.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Books Arrived!

Recently my dad's book Liberator arrived and we packaged and sent off orders of it.

And we just had two more books come in!

Noble Imposter, my book, and From the Mouth of Elijah, my dad's book, both arrived from the publisher, and we packaged those up and shipped them off, too!

There were 65 packages in the end

The black is where I hid people's addresses so I could post this. :)
It's actually quite fun to do this  and I always look forward to getting a new book in.

We don't have another book coming in until next year. Sad, yes?  I think so.

Here's Noble Imposter's cover. Doesn't it look great?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Time to Go to Florida - At least for some

My sister and nephews left for Florida a few days earlier than we, and flew down (where as we drove)

Of course, the car ride to the airport is about 2 hours long, so i took some pictures on the way to help pass the time.

Watching the houses rush by

Sisters being weird

Three year old looking sleepy

Then they realized I was taking their picture


They rode well and they got onto the airplane and flew away. They arrived safely in Florida and we went safely home.  Not a very eventful day. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Going On a Walk Outside Today

Evenings around here are prime walking time.

It's too hot in the afternoon and morning's are too busy.

So we often take family walks in the evenin 1 - 3 miles.  This one was 3 miles long.

About 1 miles from home

1.25 miles and the road turns to gravel

And there's a stream

Our neighbors who are about 1/2 mile away from us have 106 acres (For sale, btw)

They have quite a few horses and one just had a baby. :) He's adorable.

Baby with his mom

The donkey just had a baby, too
In my opinion, he's even cuter than the baby horse.

And a whole herd of them. I think they're adorable. All ponies, too, so they're tiny. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

To the Park!

One Sunday while the nephews were here my mom took them to a park in a town a little whiles away so the rest of us could take some naps!

Us old folks get worn out easily. ;)

They took pictures!

Apparently, they had a lot of fun. I slept the entire time they were gone. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Pink Palace

There's a museum in Memphis called the Pink Palace. It's an old mansion turned into museum with an interesting history.

The founder of the Piggly Wiggly convenience store started building this mansion for himself, but ran out of money halfway through. The city of Memphis purchased the shell of a house and turned it into a museum.  So the 'palace' looks like a mansion on the outside, but not like a mansion on the inside.

My mom, sister, and I took my nephews there to see the dinosaur exhibit they have going right now.

Lots of casts of skeletons and such.

I didn't take many pictures with this camera. I'll do another post with pictures I took on a different camera.

3 year old nephew was terrified of them (even though he was so excited to go see them!)

This animatronic dino at the exhibit entrance was especially frightening for him. He wouldn't let my mom put him down.

After the palace, we went to Wendy's

Some of us behaved better than others. ;)

The pink palace had many very interesting looking exhibits, but we basically jogged through some of them because of the boys, so I would like to go back some time. It's free between the hours of 2 and 4, I believe.  But if you're interested in going, you should check their website first.