Monday, January 30, 2012

Introducing... Twins!

This is like when your in-laws come to the hospital to see your new baby. And you have no makeup on and that thin hospital gown? Not a whole lot of coverage there. But you're just so happy to see them and show off the new addition to your family!

Well, here's my new baby...

And it's twins!

Up first, the paperback cover of POSSESSION got a redesign. WITH COLOR. And a new (uber-fantastic) font. AND an extra line on the tagline!

And for twin #2, SURRENDER received a matching design, just in time for the hardcover release, which is coming on June 5, 2012.

You can preorder these books now!

Of course, you can always get the POSSESSION hardcover (or POSSESSION on Kindle), which is still available in all its shiny whiteness.

I'm almost afraid to ask... But what do you think of the new covers? You can see them side by side (with my short story INSIDER INFORMATION -- oh my heck! It needs a new cover too!) on my newly designed website.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Day In The Life

Okay, so I don't know if this'll be inspirational or make you want to cry. I live this life, and sometimes I want to cry. But I enjoy seeing how other people spend their day, and here's how mine go down.

*Note: I only work Tues - Fri, so this is for the typical Tues - Fri. Monday is a whole different beast, because I spend all morning (usually until about 11:30) cleaning my house. Then I have a few hours before anyone comes home to mess it up where I work (I try to get two solid hours in on Monday before the kids come home). Then my afternoons mirror the schedule below. Weekends are a free-for-all. I work a lot on the weekends, actually.

So Tuesday - Friday:
7:00 AM: Wake up and drag myself out of bed.

  • Make lunches.
  • Read scriptures with the kids.

7:20: Get clothes for daughter. Nag her to get dressed, put her shoes on, and/or complete her reading/homework.

  • Personal study.

7:40: Son leaves for school.
7:45: Shower and get ready.

8:05: (Yes, that's only 20 minutes.) Find out daughter has done none of the above I nagged her about. Nag some more while rushing around to find shoes and socks and pack backpacks. I also do the dishes here. I absolutely cannot leave for work with dirty dishes in the sink. OCD? Your call.

  • Do daughter's hair. Tie her shoes. Etc.

8:30: Daughter leaves for bus.

  • Start car. (It's freaking cold in Utah in January, okay?)
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Enjoy 10 minutes to myself with no TV, no one asking me questions, etc. Sometimes I email myself documents during this time to look at during lunch. Sometimes I open something and work for 10 minutes. Sometimes I tweet and/or Facebook.

8:40: Leave for work.

  • Sing really loud in the car to my favorite songs. The power of this should not be underestimated. Maroon 5 CAN change your life!

8:55: Arrive at work
  • Work. Sometimes I email at work. Or during lunch. Or blog. Or whatever. My schedule is sometimes loose, and sometimes not. The life of teaching = flexibility.

2:15 PM: Leave work.
2:35 PM: Arrive home. Change shoes. Go walking. (This is if I have no errands. Ha! I usually have errands. But I walk when I get home.)
2:55 PM: Check dinner menu. Open computer. Email/tweet/etc.
3:10: Son arrives home.

  • Errands and taxiing begin.
  • Make dinner.

4:00: Daughter arrives home from school.

5:00: Eat dinner.

  • More errands.
  • More taxi driving.
  • More dropping off or picking up or whatever.
  • Somewhere in here, I make my daughter shower. Also, sometimes in here, I go to the library to work in between drop offs and pick ups. Sometimes I have so many that I can't do that and/or I only have time to drive between places. 
  • Whoever said life gets easier when your kids get older was LYING.

8:30: With everyone finally home, it's time for bed. Daughter goes.

9:00: Son at least goes upstairs, whether he goes to bed or not is his call. Whatever. He's upstairs and I'm not. This ensures that I don't become homicidal.

9:01: Begin working. Writing, editing, revising, critiquing, whatever it is I have to do.

  • Watch The Office. Or Chopped. Or whatever we've recorded that night. (While working, usually.) 

11:00: Go to bed.

Rinse and repeat the next day. So, see? I sleep for 8 hours every night. I also cook dinner and walk (most days). I squeeze in time to write and edit and whatever where I can.

It's a good life.

How do you spend your waking hours?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Experiment I Want to Try, If Only I Weren't A Chicken

Okay, so prepare yourself for me to talk about my books again. I swear I'm not trying to spam you here on the blog. But if you don't want to read about my promotional stuff for POSSESSION, you can stop reading now.

No one will blame you.

So last year, about this time, I had bookmarks made for POSSESSION. And stickers. And jewelry. I was planning countdown giveaways each month from March - May. I had forms made for ARC requests and for people who wanted to host me on their blog for the release.

This year, I have nothing. None of that. Not one thing. (Okay, I do have an ARC request form. But that's it!)

Is this what happens to the second book? Is it "second child syndrome"?

I don't know, but I do know one thing. With POSSESSION, I didn't want to look back and go "I could've done more."

I can do that. I can look back and go, "I did everything I could've possibly done to ensure the success of my book."

With SURRENDER, I almost want to do the exact opposite. That's right. DO NOTHING. I want to see if it makes a difference. Does the blog tour really matter? Do people really care about stickers and bookmarks and jewelry? Will my sales be affected because I didn't answer five thousand interview questions?

I have a theory about what makes books sell, and I want to do this experiment to see if I'm right. But I am a huge chicken (which is ironic, because I'm terrified of all feathered animals. Especially ducks and chickens).

I'm not sure I can do it. I'm not sure I can just sit back and DO NOTHING. I keep putting it off, but I know that unless I make a commitment, eventually I'll DO SOMETHING.

So...should I commit to doing nothing? What do you think about promotion these days? Blog tours? Swag? All that jazz?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Talking To Teens -- And To You!

Okay, so I'm speaking to a group of junior high kids tomorrow. I'm pretty stoked about it, because I love talking to teens. They *get* me and my book--and they laugh at my jokes, even when they're not funny.

I'm taking copies of POSSESSION to sell for $10 (an ultra low price for a shiny hardcover. Hey, it's all about getting books in the hands of teens). I'll be signing them if the teens want.

So there's that. Dunno why I was impressed to tell you, but I was.

In addition to that, I am participating in NiNoCon, which is a Ninja Novel Con, a one-day awesome conference run by the awesome Ali Cross. I am doing a live query letter chat from 10 - 11 AM Mountain time on February 4. And you can submit your query for my shreddage... er, help. Yeah, help. Go here for details and to submit.

Go here to learn more about NiNoCon.

I don't really have a question for this post. Dangitall. Wait. What joke should I open with tomorrow?

Friday, January 20, 2012

What I Think About Reviews

Okay, so I don't think I can be any clearer about this. It is my opinion that any author, at any stage in their writing career, should not be reading reviews of their book(s). (I submit that reading reviews of other books is not super-healthy either.)

I suppose a clarification is in order: It's (semi-)okay to read reviews on another author's blog. They're going to be nice and upbeat and positive--for the most part. Authors supporting authors and all that.

But Goodreads? Book bloggers? Shelfari? Amazon? The Reading Room?

Do not read those reviews. Not now. Not before the book comes out. Not after it comes out. Not ever.

Retweet them, sure. Read them, no.

I can hear some of you saying, "But Elana! It's so exciting to see my book on Goodreads! I have to check it!"

No, you don't.

Is it exciting? Heck to the yes!

Can it damage you, even before your book comes out? HECK TO THE YES.

You're better off not reading reviews. You can't change your book. (What? You're going to edit it after it's out? Do another revision pass because someone doesn't like your MC? No. Both of those are ridiculous. So...why are you reading reviews again?)

It does the author absolutely no good to read reviews of their book. Not even a little bit. Why? Quite simply it's because reviews are for READERS, not authors. Authors would be better off spending their time and energy on what matters: crafting that next novel.

This is what can happen to you:

Disclaimer: This is not me. My hair is much longer and darker than that.

Disclaimer: No computers were harmed in the making of this blog post. But I did read a review back in March of 2011 (POSSESSION wasn't even out!) that convinced me that I should never read another review again. And I haven't. 

And then how are you going to write? I mean, seriously.

What do you think? Authors, do you read your reviews? Aspiring authors, are you planning on reading your reviews? I don't think you should...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Does One Blog About for Post #850?

Dude. This is my 850th post. I wish I was kidding. It makes me happy and a little depressed at the same time.

I mean, eight HUNDRED and FIFTY freaking posts? What could I have possibly said that was worth it? How much time have I spent in blogger? And the real kicker: What do I have left to say?

I wish I knew. And I've never done this before, so hopefully you won't start throwing tomatoes or anything (although I do love tomatoes. Especially with ranch).

But what do you wish I'd blog about? I feel like I open veins here and you get to see the good, the bad, the messy. I'll give you fair warning on those posts.

But here I am. I've been blogging for going on 4 years now. I have one book out and another on the way. I teach classes on query letters, (NiNoCon is coming up!) and building your blog, and pitching agents, and quasi-outlining at conferences.

What do you want to know?

Monday, January 16, 2012

GCC January Releases, Part Two

Dude, you thought I was kidding about the forgetting, didn't you? Yeah, well, I wasn't. I have one more January Girlfriend to spotlight. Lucienne Diver, author of FANGTASTIC.

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:

Fangtastic: True vamps infiltrate lifestylers to solve some mysterious murders, but find even darker doings behind the scenes.

Praise for the VAMPED series:
“As ever, Gina's feisty, funny narration carries the day. Gina never fails to please, as she strides down the runway of afterlife with just the right mix of humor, make-up advice, youthful lust that never crosses the line and a kung-fu style all her own. This one doesn’t miss a beat.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Perfect for teens and adults, this is a book to share, savor and revisit. ReVamped is full of smart, spot-on dialogue, engaging, authentic characters and a plot that’s so much fun it’s impossible not get swept up.” —

"VAMPED is a total delight! Diver delivers a delightful cast of undead characters and a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos. Next installment, please!" — Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series

“Diver uses wit and adventure to hook readers with this teen vampire story.” —VOYA

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

The first thing I remember wanting to do with my life was become a cryptozoologist, looking for signs of the Loch Ness Monster, the Jersey Devil, chupacabra and all that jazz. It wasn’t long before I realized that while I might not be able to find these things in real life, they could live in my imagination. I could script them! I wrote my first “novel” at eleven. It was a class assignment to do a short story, but it came out at over 100 pages. Yeah, I’ve never been able to write short. My stories want to be novels; my novels want to be series….

What made you decide to go that “extra step” and seek publication?
I’m very goal oriented. I always knew that I was working toward something, even while I enjoyed the journey. I started seeking publication as a teen with the Avon Flare competition. I don’t know if that exists any more, but at the time it was like American idol for young novelists. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready yet. I think I exhausted every cliché I could come up with in my early work. Plus, it was too self-conscious. I don’t do as many critiques now as I did when I had more time, but I still contribute them quite often for charity, because I really do believe that talent can be honed and refined. I’m living proof.

Quick! You’ve been chosen to go on Survivor. What luxury item do you take?
I’d say my Kindle so that I could load a zillion books on there, but without electricity…. The biggest, meatiest book I can find to hold me over. An omnibus edition, maybe, of a favorite series. I can’t live without books.

And the most important of all: bacon or chocolate?
Just one? That’s torture! Still, if I had to pick…bacon. (Yessss!) I’ve become much more about the salt than the sweet.

Click here to learn more about Lucienne.

So yay! I still like vampires. Anyone with me?

GCC January Releases!

Okay, you guys, I have been so lame this month. I completely forgot about some of the Girlfriend releases. *doh* Up first, Eileen Cook, author of UNRAVELING ISOBEL.

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less: Creepy house, family secrets, ghosts, threats, and a hot brooding boy. (Oooh, nice. You had me at "creepy house.")

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. As long as I can remember I’ve loved books and reading. As soon as I could understand the concept that someone actually had the job of writing the books I was always reading then I knew that is what I wanted to do. Then I went through a period where I decided that wanting to be a writer was like wanting to be a princess, a nice idea, but not actually possible. One day I realized that I might not ever be a published writer, but if I didn’t try I wouldn’t for sure. I decided then to go for it.

What made you decide to go that “extra step” and seek publication?
I don’t think I really understood how hard it was going to be when I started out. I had finished a book and I was so sure everyone would think it was as brilliant as I did. (Turns out no one thought that book was even in the same room as brilliant.) I always wanted to see my book on the shelf at a bookstore so I just kept trying. I can be really persistent when I want to be.

Quick! You’ve been chosen to go on Survivor. What luxury item do you take?
A giant inflatable raft so I can get the heck off the island. I am much more of a comfy sofa and book at home, or a luxury spa hotel type of girl. I’ll skip the competition and choose comfort instead.

And the most important of all: bacon or chocolate?
While I love bacon, I’m going to have to go with chocolate. My favorite would be anything dark chocolate.

Here's what people are saying about UNRAVELING ISOBEL:
"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." - Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy

"Ideal for readers who like their stories supernatural but their dream guys human." - The Bulletin

"Spine-tingling setting…Isobel’s sass and her steamy romance with her new stepbrother will help readers race toward the dramatic conclusion." - Publishers Weekly

"This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments…Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters." - Kirkus

"Isobel, all snark and sharp edges covering some intense vulnerability as she continuously checks in to see if she has crossed into mental illness (as her father did when she was young), is a compelling narrator." - Horn Book Magazine

And because I want to pay it forward, I will be giving a copy of UNRAVELING ISOBEL away, right here, right now! All you need to do is leave a comment.

Click here to find out more about Eileen and all her books.

Doesn't that sound like something you want to read? And the cover! What do you think of it?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Surrender, Surrender

Okay, first there's this:

You can click on that and listen while you read. You'll like it. (I KILL on this song on Guitar Hero. K-I-L-L.)

Second this:

It's hard to believe that my second book is coming out soon. Don't they look pretty next to each other?

Third, if you are a book blogger/reviewer, teacher, librarian, Simon & Schuster has SURRENDER on their Galley Grab now. This will be an e-galley.

If you're not any of those things (or if you are and don't want an e-galley), you can sign up to be considered for an ARC of SURRENDER by filling out this form.

Fourth, the POSSESSION paperback comes out on May 8. You can preorder here!

Fifth, this has all be promotional, so I'll just throw in that I dyed my hair a week or so ago and almost died when I saw that the dye was this funky blue/purple color. Upon closer inspection, I realized I'd bought the "blue black reflective" dye. My hair has a slight blue shimmer when viewed in the sun. I wish it was like this:

But I teach kindergarten, so...

Maybe in June. Maybe around JUNE 5. Maybe for the LAUNCH PARTY of SURRENDER on/near JUNE 5.

I'm looking forward to having SURRENDER out in the wild! I really loved writing this book, and I can't wait to share it with everyone.

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Four, Three, Two, One, Now

Why hello there, Wednesday. I haven't blogged on you for quite a while. It's a great day to blog. Today we're going to be taking a wild and crazy ride inside the last four years (since I started writing). I'm doing this because I think sometimes writers get discouraged at how long things take in publishing.

When I started writing (December 2007), I scoffed at advice I saw on forums. Things like "Take a year off and read."


Oh, the naivety. (Yes, I had to look up that word to make sure it was the one I wanted to use.) See, I was new. I didn't really get the publishing industry. And most importantly, I hadn't been rejected yet.

Rejection plays a whole new part of the game that maybe we'll talk about later.

So there I was, four years ago in January 2008, with my first novel. And it was not going to take a year to get published. I spent January editing and preparing to query. I started querying, and quickly realized that hey, it might take a year.

After querying for 8 months, I definitely knew it would take a year -- and a heckuva lot longer than that.

What changed my perspective was a tiny conversation with my mother-in-law that I'm sure she doesn't remember. She said she was watching Oprah or something and heard an author say that you have to give everything you do five years.

Give yourself five years to make it as [insert what you want to be].

I seized on that and thought, "I can do this for five years." And then at that point, the plan was to re-evaluate and decide at that time if I should continue pursuing publication or not.

So I continued writing.

January 2009, three years ago: I was frantically preparing my manuscript for submission into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I successfully entered that competition, and I often cite this as the confidence booster I needed to keep writing/querying. (My first novel tanked. Confidence had to come from somewhere!)

January 2010, two years ago: I'd queried for most of 2009 and had signed with my agent in November*. This January found me revising in preparation for submission to editors.**

(See a theme here?)

January 2011***, one year ago: Finally 2011! I'd spent a year waiting for this year. (No, really.) And it found me once again preparing a manuscript for submission. This time it was my second book, SURRENDER.

And here it is, January 2012, and I'll bet you can guess what I'm doing this month.

It really seems like I work in cycles. I write/draft the most in the fall. I edit and revise the most in the winter. I promote and speak and do book launch parties in the spring/summer.

Do you have a time frame for how long you'll stick with this before you re-evaluate your writing career?****

*And yes, it took me less than five years to get published, but longer than one.

**This does not mean that if it takes you longer than five years to publish that you're somehow inferior. That's ridiculous.

***This does not mean that if it takes you less time to publish than it took me that you're somehow superior. That's ridiculous too.

****We all have our own journey.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Think Bigger

Okay, so dude, I went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol a week or so ago. And not only was it a fast-paced thriller (just what I like to see), but it taught me a thing or two about writing.

Or at least the kind of writing I want to do.

I need to think bigger--and I'm not talking like Imax bigger, though I did see the movie in Imax.

No, I'm talking THINKING BIGGER. More outside the box. More impossible.

As an author who has a book out and one on the way and hopefully the third the year after that, searching for and finding that next idea (that next series) is stressful and difficult. There are all kinds of worries and variables.

Everything feels too small.

And now that I've seen Mission Impossible, I know why.

I need to think bigger.

Have you seen MI? Or another movie that shifted how you look at your writing? Which one?

Friday, January 6, 2012


Dude, I'm excited to host Shelli Johannes-Wells today! I've known Shelli online for a few years now, and she's a fabulous person. Her novel, UNTRACEABLE, is available now. Let's dive in a learn a little more about the book and about Shelli!

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:

Untraceable is a YA wilderness thriller about a missing forest ranger dad, a kickbutt heroine, and of course, two deliciously hot boys.

Why indie-publishing? Why now?
I’ve been so close so many times, I had nothing to lose. I was tired of waiting for others to make something happen. I was exhausted from stressing about what would sell and what wouldn’t sell. I was ready to do something for myself after 8 years of close calls, disappointment, and frustration.

I did not want to give up on this book.

What’s the one thing you learned about publishing this way that you didn’t anticipate?
How much fun it is. I thought it would be stressful and was ready for an uphill battle. But it has been the most wonderful experience of my writing career. People have been supportive when I thought they would turn their backs on me. The process has been so creative. And my book is exactly what I want it to be. I have no regrets. And though it’s been hard, it’s been awesome!

What else are you working on? Secrets? Inside scoops? Give us the juicy stuff!
Well, I am putting out a special edition [of UNTRACEABLE] at the beginning of the year that will have the original ending. Also I am working on Uncontrollable – Grace 2. It will be set in the winter, so very different survival stuff goes on – It does have wolves in it (though they are not werewolves).

Scoop? Let’s see – what can I say without giving anything away. Grace and Skyler are on a project together and have to hang in the woods. (Makes me laugh just thinking about it.) Which is hilarious because they are very different, especially outside.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have always written – like poems, short stories, and am a copywriter. But no – not until I had my daughter in 2004. When I finally took time off work – it gave me the space to realize it was my passion. I actually wanted to be a singer and a marine biologist.

What made you decide to go that “extra step” and seek publication?
I am better in the underdog role. I was determined to find my own way and take control of my own dreams and destiny. Good or bad.

Quick! You’ve been chosen to be a contestant on Survivor. What luxury item do you take?
Grace would hate this question. ☺ (Good thing I asked Shelli and not Grace!)

I don’t want to say book or computer or pen and pencil because that seems boring. (And Grace is kicking me under the table.)

So I’ll say, solar powered Christmas lights (did you know they have those?!). I love little lights in my garden all year round. They make me happy and they make bad places seem more magical. So maybe they will add some sparkle to the dreary island.

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know.
I’ll tell it all baby! I am petrified of alligators (no really they freak me out so I stay out of rivers and lakes), terrified of great white sharks (my toe won't even go in the surf – did you know they can attack in like 3 feet of water?!), and bumpy planes (I even hold my cell phone when I fly so I can try and text my hubby that I love him if the plane goes down. Hopefully I can get a signal). Yes, I am a freak.

I am also afriad of failing and disappointing people. Mostly, I am very sensitive and completely awkward in social situations.

And the most important of all: bacon or chocolate?
I am so going to say chocolate (specifically dark chocolate with pomegranate). I did see bacon chocolate for sale in Charleston and it looked totally disgusting. I don’t understand it. (I've eaten it and still don't understand it. Don't worry. But brown sugar bacon? Now that's magical!)

Thanks for stopping by, Shelli! You can get UNTRACEABLE for only $0.99 here.

Are you afraid of alligators, like Shelli? Don't hold back now. You know I'm afraid of all animals with more legs than me, and all geese, ducks, and fish. You can admit to a itty bitty fear of gators...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Very Bookanista Farewell...Sort Of

Okay, so I've spent the better part of the last year and a half talking about books I love each Thursday. I've rarely missed a post. The Bookanista group has been a great resource and friendship for me.

But today, it's time to say good-bye. Others have left the group, and many remain. Some come and go, participating sometimes and sometimes not. I wish I could be like them and stay in the group but not participate.

Unfortunately, my OCD/pitbull personality/whatever will not allow me to do things like this. When I chomp down on something, there is no letting go.

Until it's time to let go. And then I do. Fully and completely.


Until today. That's right -- this goes against the very fiber of my being. But I'm going to do it (change is good, right?).

I'm still going to be a Bookanista; it's just one of the things I'm scaling back on. I've also been a big part of the League of Extraordinary Writers this past year, and I'll be down to blogging over there only once a month from now on (did you see our new shiny members?! They're awesome).

Both of these scale-backs have freed up some breathing space in my life. I'm eternally grateful for the groups and my role in them, and I hope to be able to count those people as friends for a long time.

I still love to read, and I will still talk about books. Don't worry about that. I just won't be doing it as often, and my blog schedule will adjust to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the occasional Bookanista post on Thursdays.

I have big goals for my newly found "free time." I have taken stock of my life the past several months and have made some discoveries.

One that startled me: Before I sold Possession (in Feb. 2010), I'd written 12 books. Since then (Feb. 2010), I've written 1. ONE.

That is not okay with me. In 2012, I have plans to write 3 books. THREE. In one year. That will be triple my production rate over the past two years. So what's that in a year? Sextuple? Something like that.

One that saddens me: Before Possession came out (June 2011), I read 50-100 blogs each day. I realize this is an insane number, but still. Since Possession came out (June 2011), I usually read 0. ZERO.

This is not okay with me. I miss being an active participant in the blogosphere. I'm going to start small--after all I have to write three books this year. My blog-reading goal for 2012 is to read 10 blogs each day, Monday - Friday. I think I can do it.

One that I've always known but ignored: My family needs me. They need me more than my manuscript and more than the blogosphere and more than my critique partners. I am tired of the saying, "My real life got in the way."

That is not okay with me. My real life is what's REAL. It is not a nuisance or something horrible that gets in the way of something wonderful (writing). At least it shouldn't be. So 2012 will find me cultivating the real life relationships that need cultivating.

So anyway. This turned into a goal post when really I just wanted to say what a wonderful time I've had--and hope to have again in the future--with the super-cali-fragilistic-expial-i-docious Bookanistas. *mwah*

But... do you have goals for this year?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten Moments of Christmas Break

Dude, I think every new year should be spent in reflection, but honestly, I'm tired of reflecting. I think it's all I've done for the past four months and it's EXHAUSTING.

I seriously can't take any more reflection right now, unless we're talking mirrors, which I don't really like either because my hair needs to be re-dyed.

Anyway. Today, I thought a fun post about the awesomeness that was the end of 2011 would be fun. Here we go.

10. Christmas treat a day. (Okay, I might have missed a few days, mostly because I may have said, "I never want to eat again" a couple of times.) I made a treat each day. Ghetto toffee. Apricot kielbasa. Chips and queso. Cookies. Corn and bacon dip. (Bacon!) Bacon-wrapped smokies. Pork on pork. HOLY COW. (Or PIG.)

9. My daughter's handwritten notes. I love her invented spellings and her cute first-grader handwriting. My favorite: Hi mom I am not feling good today cuse my nose is stufe and my throt is clogd. and my tume isit feling good. P.S. I stil wont to go to Arethr Chrismas.

I mean, seriously. (Yes, I took her to the movie.)

8. My new ring.

I've had the butterfly for 6 months. The hummingbird is new. 

7. Time to read. I think I read 4-5 books over the two week period. There's nothing I like more than lying in bed late at night, reading. *bliss*

6. Sleeping in. Fine, there's nothing I like more than staying up late at night reading and then sleeping in late the next morning.

5. Showering in the afternoon. FINE. There's nothing I like more than staying up late at night reading and then sleeping in late the next morning and then sort of getting a few things done and writing and whatever and then taking a shower at 4 PM.

My husband thinks I'm weird. Whatever. I love showering in the afternoon.

4. Not driving my kids around. I have loved looking at the Google cal these past few weeks. I haven't even cried or tried to smother the crushing load of drop offs and pick ups under a mountain of false cheery thoughts like, "Well, at least I'll be home by 7:30." Like that's early or something.

3. My new sound-canceling headphones. You think you don't need them. You do.

2. Sitting on the couch watching movies. There is nothing I like more than... Oh crap. But seriously, we had a romantic comedy day and watched You've Got Mail, Two Weeks Notice, and Notting Hill back-to-back-to-back. What an incredible #win of a day.

1. Being with those I love most. Because my husband and I both teach, we've been home together as a family for 16 days. And no one died!

What would be on your list for best moments of 2011?

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