Category Archives: About me

Laurie Halse Anderson in January!

Please allow me to fangirl for a second. I about died back in November when Laurie Halse Anderson announced her book tour for her latest release, The Impossible Knife of Memory. Her first two stops will be in Washington State! I was fortunate to receive the e-ARC from Edelweiss several months ago and will start it any day now.

Anderson was in WA a couple of years ago and I missed the tour, but it’s something I’ve never totally gotten over in terms of my book world experiences. That sounds like hyperbole. But, Speak is one of my all-time favorite books, adult or young adult. Anderson’s books are painstakingly researched and therefore are authentic and raw. She handles delicate topics with care and even humor in some cases, calling her books Resiliency Literature (as opposed to Young Adult Literature). In my experience, her books are unisex and about topics that others are afraid to tackle or that others just aren’t able to write about with such honesty and finesse.

As part of my teacher preparation program at WSU, I took a course called Young Adult Literature, and we got to read books that would be popular for young adults–our future students. I wasn’t reading much outside of my school requirements and the books for this course were all books that were accessible and engaging for me, even as someone flirting with the outlying years of being a “young adult,” myself. My favorite book that we read in the course was Speak. The voice of the main character, Melinda, was realistic for a teen. It was the first book where I’d seen capitalization used for monikers that Melinda used, and lists (this is a me thing, and I loved seeing an author use it). I didn’t realize there were books being written like that, for this age group, that weren’t about girls struggling with wearing make-up and getting a boyfriend. The message is clear and important, yet the reader isn’t hit over the head with that message. My good friend (and now department leader!), Sarah, and I would talk about how important Speak is for young people to read–males and females–and hoped it could become part of our future curriculums, where ever we might end up.

Anderson’s books create readers. When Sarah and I did get to incorporate Speak into our Literature Circles unit in 2008/2009, boys and girls listed it as a top choice to read. After completing the book, students wanted to read other books by Anderson. It was a teacher’s dream, because students were excited about books and reading, and were talking about what they’d learned.

I can’t say enough about why I admire Anderson as a writer. I look forward to diving into The Impossible Knife of Memory and listening to her speak on Tuesday, January 7th at South Kitsap HS in Port Orchard, WA. Thanks to Eagle Harbor Book Company for making that visit happen, and for communicating with me about the change in location!


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Filed under About me, Book Event, Bookish, Uncategorized


(see this post by Katy Upperman for the chain of inspiration)

The VMAs – Or, railing against them. We know MTV doesn’t show music videos anymore (I think there’s three hours in the AM that they do, but still). It’s quite the spectacle, even if I don’t know who half the artists were, and the other half I think they keep bringing back on the show so my demographic will tune in. MTV has my number still, sadly. 😉
Reunions – For me, this was seeing my college girlfriends in July and seeing my camp family in June and August. I have the coolest friends, y’all. (Internet friends may include themselves in that statement.) 😉

With my beautiful friends for Katie's wedding in Yakima back in July!

With my beautiful friends for Katie’s wedding in Yakima back in July!

Can you tell we’re at camp, with our notebooks and our name tags on shoe laces? Leadership camp is one of the highlights of my summer. No where is everyone so positive, so thoughtful, and really pretty “into” school. I seriously love the experience, and the friends I’ve made on staff!

Music – 
Songs by Lorde – Specifically Royals and The Love Club. Her voice is crazy cool to me!
Songs by Vampire Weekend – Specifically Diana Young, Unbelievers, Campus and Walcott
Runaways by The Killers
Shake by The Head and the Heart
Baby Fratelli by The Fratellis
Cooking in my new casa!
Promoting positive energy on Instgram, FB and Twitter (gems from camp)

Apparently I have time to re-read books, which is what I did a couple of weeks ago with The Sea of Tranquility. LOVED IT.

I am starting a second manuscript (just finished one that I loved!) and a couple of books in prep for school and Wordstock!


The Divergent trailer. Over and over and over…

Thinking About…
Back to school! The dreams have started, the monopolizing of my time has, too.
I do love my job, and back to school also has me thinking about curricular connections. We’re reading some great new short stories compared to my first 9 years, so I’m thinking about doing some read alouds this year. Not sure what, yet.
I would also love to incorporate some Kelly Gallagher into my writing routine with kids this year.

Dave Matthews at The Gorge next weekend!

Catching Fire and Divergent!
Hoping I get approved for Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest.

The release of Renee Collins’ RELIC. It’s so good, people! It comes out on Tuesday 8/27 and if you need any inspiration (besides my glowing endorsement), check out the summary from Goodreads, below. Add it to your TBR and order online–check out this post by Natalie Whipple about how you can support debut authors. It’s important to support them and support early on. 🙂

Here’s a fun post on Hobbsities where Renee names her dream RELIC cast.
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

WORDSTOCK! I went last year, and this year I signed up to volunteer. The line-up isn’t formally posted yet, but I know some authors, including Maggie Stiefvater, have released tour schedules that include Wordstock!

Imma go light with this. I wish I was BFFs with the following celebrities:
Jennifer Lawrence
Justin Timberlake
Beyonce & Jay-Z
Joseph Gordon Leavitt
Who am I forgetting? Don’t these people seem like legitimately nice, humble celebrities? 🙂

Making Me
ALL THE THINGS! I was even sitting in my classroom working today, thinking how much I love what I do. I posted on Twitter at some point this summer that life is good. It really is!

How about we look at some pictures of Theo James (playing Four in March 2014’s DIVERGENT movie):

What are you currently LOVING?


Filed under About me, Bookish, Music, Review


Four score and seven years ago (or, January 20th-ish), I actually posted something on this blog. I’m back for an easy breezy “Currently” post. 🙂

(see this post by Katy Upperman for the chain of inspiration)

This time of year. The sun is out! Plus, family! Plus, friends! Plus, free time (sort of)!

Coco O. – I really liked the The Great Gatsby soundtrack and mostly liked the movie. This song, though, I die for!
Blurred Lines – Just catchy and poppy! The video is kind of ridiculous, which I *think* they did on purpose.
Die in Your Arms – I don’t… I can’t… I’m sorry, I don’t know why the Biebs makes this list, but seriously! I adore this little ditty.
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over – This is old school, but I love this song. Love. Plus, long haired Lenny.
Runaway Baby – Bruno Mars always has a song that I listen to. Always.
Alanis Morrisette, in general – Reading Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone reminds me of the awesome music of 1995, AKA my 9th grade year in school. So much amazing music, really. This is Uninvited (because the song is great, but so was the movie City of Angels, amirite?)
Dark Side – Kelly Clarkston is one of those pop artists that wiggles her way into my “Now” playlist on my iPod. (See also: Bruno Mars)
Chelsea Dagger – This song, thanks to Blackhawks hockey and the puke scene at the end of Pitch Perfect, was what introduced me to The Fratellies. Now, I love!
Long Black Veil – Dave Matthews, enough said?


My TBR is insane, let’s start with that. But whose isn’t?

I’m reading Here Comes Trouble (for real this time–I’m over half way through), The Sea of Tranquility, and Right of Way.

I just finished The Infinite Moment of Us, Golden, and Time After Time recently. I’m perpetually 2% behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal (50 books in 2013) but I hope to cover a lot of ground this summer.


NOT Game of Thrones. 🙂 But, yes, I have heard what happened with the Red Wedding business.
True Blood (namely, Alexander Skarsgard)


Was Watching… (when I drafted this a couple of weeks ago)
Mad Men – The last episode was pretty great!
Smash – I just really got into this show and it turns out it’s too late for many reasons, including that it was canceled. 😦 So sad!
Romeo + Juliet – It’s the end of the school year finale–the final unit–and I show the Baz Lurhmann version the last week of school. The kids don’t totally get it, but they

If you can believe it, I haven’t been watching much TV. There’s not a lot on and I haven’t had much time. The hubs and I did see The Great Gatsby in the theater and watched Lincoln, finally.
I also just bought Silver Linings Playbook. You know, to support my BFF J. Law.

Thinking About…
Home ownership! We got keys on Friday and we’re in the middle of making some improvements before we move in in August. Exciting, and, I finally get it… it’s so much more rewarding, exciting, etc. to clean, organize, and all that when it’s YOURS and you LIVE there with the one you love. 🙂

Moving into our new home!

The Dream Thieves – I am dying to hear if I’ll be approved for the e-galley on Net Galley. The Raven Boys was one of my top three of 2012!

The Divergent movie – Does this need explanation?

I was better at blogging. As such, I’m jumping on some of the days of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge, hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. I am not really a book blogger, but this should get me back into blogging and of course I love books, so there’s that!

I was traveling right now. Seeing Jessica Love’s travels is inspiring and she shares really great pics!

I could see Beyonce, Muse (again) and Foo Fighters in concert. Not together, just in general. I have a wish list of concerts much like my TBR (never-ending, constantly being added to). 😉

Making Me
Becoming a home owner!
Being an auntie – My nephew was born 5 weeks early and was a little 4.2 pound DOLL. He’s absolutely adorable. There are some pics on my instagram profile.
photo 4

What are you currently LOVING?

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Filed under 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge, About me, Bookish, Music, Review


Happy New Year, everyone! I missed my one-year blogiversary (oops!), but things have been pretty busy for me, lately. I’ve (sort of) been doing this blogging business for a year, now. Best way to get back in the swing of things is with a good ol’ meme! (Is that what this is?)

(see this post by Katy Upperman for the chain of inspiration)

Salted Almond Chocolate Bites – These things are amazing and totally addicting. People never really know what I’m offering when I give them one and they are seriously blown away. (SO GOOD!)

P!nkJust Give Me a Reason
Alabama Shakes – I found these on the Grammys nominations page and have been loving their retro vibe ever since.
B.o.B.Don’t Let Me Fall
Girls Soundtrack (from season 1) – so much great music, including this Michael Penn song. Plus I Love It by Icona Pop. Also, White Nights by Oh Land.
Damien RiceDelicate
Nada SurfPopular


My TBR is insane, let’s start with that. I have a couple manuscripts to read, but in the books that are published world, I’m reading This is Not a Test and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. Up next: Taken and Nobody But Us!

Football (Well, I was, until the heartbreaking–yes, HEARTBREAKING–loss to the Falcons) 😉

Catfish – Although I knew my husband face-to-face and we had many an interaction before we officially started dating, we got to know each other well over IM over a vacation, so I understand how relationships form online. As my brother-in-law said, though, those who are “Catfished” should have their internet privileges revoked. Truth?
Girls –
No joke, I’ve re-watched the first episode of this season three times. Love it. Oh, and Donald Glover being on the show? LOVE IT.
Friends/Sex and the City
reruns Always. Even with SatC, if it’s on cable, I will watch the edited crappy episodes. I have the box sets for both these shows so I really should just have a marathon some day. Both shows still make me laugh, so much!
Pitch Perfect –
I love this movie! Add that I have also watched Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit a couple of times in recent history, and maybe there’s a recurring theme…


Thinking About…
Friends – I’m so lucky, I think, because I have the greatest friends in the world. We don’t get to see each other often, but when we do, there’s no time lost. A couple of them are going through difficult, life-altering situations and they’re on my mind and in my heart constantly.
KWeekendWinery12 Me&Emily

The Muse concert on February 1st!! The husband got me tickets for my birthday and I’m so pumped, especially after a great Lady Gaga concert on Monday.

A new semester at school. I seriously need the second semester shake-up (we keep the same students but the class periods get jumbled up).


There was a such a thing as grading fairies. It seems like I’m consistently wishing for more time?


Making Me Happy…
Classic music that, without fail, makes me happy (or teary, if need be): Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Nirvana (I know–do they have any upbeat songs? But, I can listen to them all and love them) Try Unplugged if you haven’t!

And, as always, my family and friends make me the most happy!


Sorority girlfriends this summer (minus Heather and Jessica–we missed you)!



Me with my mom, aunt and cousins at Lady Gaga!

What are you currently LOVING?


Filed under About me, Bookish, Music, Review