The Friday Five!

1. I’m writing this in the midst of trying to pack for our trip to Austin. We leave early tomorrow and I am SO far from prepared it’s laughable. Or maybe cry-able. Or laugh UNTIL you cry. Whatever, I don’t have time to figure it out as I am NOT READY. Somehow between Valentine’s Day and our normal chaos, I put off until today getting things organized and now it’s coming at me like a tidal wave. Plus my kid insisted on “helping” pack her own suitcase, which means that along with her clothes and allotted two stuffed animals there is now all OTHER kinds of things in it, like a lunchbox and a tiara and an old baby blanket she hasn’t used in ages. Clearly, she inherited her packing skills from me. My husband will do his later tonight and it will take him fifteen minutes, tops. Honestly.

2. In other news, I think I am the last person in the world with super slow internet. As I write this, I have two other tabs still trying to connect. And that’s a GOOD day. I love so much about living in the country: the wide sky and stars at night, the quiet, deer walking through the yard, lots of room for my kid to run and play. But some days, especially when I’m trying to do something important like, you know, look at GIFs on Tumblr, I wish I lived closer to town so I could have a cable modem. Also, pizza delivery would be nice, but I’m not trying to be picky here. We have DSL, because it is all that is available, and every time I am someplace else with regular fast internet it’s like I’m a caveman seeing civilization. Wow! Look at that! Maybe, someday, cable will come out this far. Or maybe we’ll get to some technology change where you just have to THINK about the internet and it appears. In the meantime, I will just hope a chubby squirrel doesn’t jump on the phone line as I’m writing an important email. And wait patiently for those GIFs, which I shouldn’t even be looking at anyway, because I’m supposed to be working. Ahem.

3. Speaking of work, this week I did started a blog tour to give out some new info about THE MOON AND MORE, which will be published June 4th. We kicked everything off over at the amazing Forever YA, which provided the first fact AND links to all the other blogs I’ll be popping up on. You can get the full list here. And coming up in early March, I’m going to be doing a Twitter chat, so details on that when I get them. Be prepared for me to clog your feed. You have been warned! I’ll try to be nice about it, though. That’s the line between promotion and being obnoxious. I am trying to walk it carefully. (OH and I hope those squirrels stay off the lines that night. Maybe I can throw some food in the yard to distract them?)

4. In other animal news, I continue to battle with my little bantam rooster, Frank. My husband and his co-worker Will usually deal with the chickens, and both Frank and our big rooster, Foghorn, don’t really mess with them that much. But since I’m not in the coop too often, Frank always takes issue when I turn up to get the eggs. I’ve taken to recording his behavior so I can show my husband exactly what I am having to put up with, so I have documentation when I someday end up punting Frank across the coop in self defense. This is my second video, and as you can see, he is not backing down without a fight. And once he IS strutting off, he’s talking so much smack in chicken language it’s ridiculous. I get enough flack from the world. I do NOT need it from my own rooster. See what I mean here. (And FYI, I do NOT kick him in this video, even though I say I am going to. I only nudge him with my foot so he WILL NOT ATTACK ME.)

5. I’m really excited to cheer my husband on while he’s running the Austin Marathon this weekend. It’s his fifth one (I think?) but the first I’ve seen in ages, and the first time my daughter and I have accompanied him. He’s always nervous and stressed about the race, but as someone who gets to just tag along I LOVE the whole marathon experience. For a treadmill runner like myself, it’s like hanging with rockstars. But while I can’t relate to wanting to run 26.2 miles unless my life depended on it, I do like the connection between running and writing. I’ve talked about it before, the idea that books, at least for me, are marathons and not sprints. You can have a strong start and a slow finish, or the reverse, or anything in between. You will have times when it comes easy and feels great, and others where you literally don’t think you’ll make it another page or step. And support from others is key, although in a race it’s with clackers and cheering and for me, with writing, it’s my husband patting me on the back when I’m in a defeated spiral, or my agent reminding me I freak out Every Single Time, or even all of you here, asking when another book is coming because you’re excited to read it. There’s a lot to be said for a single, “You can do it!” That’s what I’ll be yelling when my husband and anyone else who might needs it passes me by on Sunday. I’ll be using my clacker, too.

Have a good weekend, everyone!