My Life in Pictures


It's Tuesday!!!!

There's nothing really exciting about that other than I haven't blogged in a while and I thought it was probably time I caught up with you all.

It's been a crazy few weeks around here! I've had a book release, a trip to Florida, a house FULL of sick, puking kids and so much laundry I've been thinking about moving my family to a nudist colony.

That's a legitimate way to fight the laundry, right??

I hate laundry.

I loathe it.

I have a friend that likes to remind me that laundry is a result of the fall of mankind. THANKS A LOT ADAM AND EVE!!! If you guys wouldn't have eaten the stupid forbidden fruit, we'd still be naked! Without stretch marks!!!!!!!


Where was I?

Anyway. First, let's talk Every Wrong Reason!!!

Because, you guys. You. Guys. This book!!!!

It's such a weird book for me. Seriously, it has some of my highest highs as a writer and some of my lowest lows.

It was one of the hardest books I've ever written. Right up there with 5 Stages. I felt this book deeply. To my bones. And I hope my writing reflected that. It was also like 5 Stages in that after I finished it, I couldn't write anything for a month. I was all book-hungover from it. I did crazy things like dye my hair purple and give up caffeine(That didn't last very long. My hair is still purple though.).

But it was also one of the easiest books I've ever written in that I didn't have to try. The words just poured out of me as my soul bled onto the pages. I couldn't get out of Kate's head. I lived that story with her. I felt it with her. And I couldn't wait to get to the end to give her the ending she deserved.

A lot of reviews have speculated if this is a true story. Or if this is based on my life. The answer to both of those is yes and no. :) It's not based on my life. Zach and I have been blessed with ten amazing years of marital bliss. But saying that... we've still fought. We've still been hurt. We've still hurt each other. We know what it's like to live with someone and feel alone. To say something that the other person doesn't hear or misinterprets. We've lived a decade of life together and so there have been incredibly good times. And then all of the other times.

And not only that but the majority of my close friends are married or in serious relationships. I've been there with them while they've cried, while we've cried, while they don't understand what their husband is possibly thinking. I've sat with them and listened as they've asked questions I don't know the answers to. I've watched them spiral into dark places and fight to heal each other. I've watched them be Married.

And they've watched Zach and me be married too.

So while Every Wrong Reason isn't a piece of nonfiction, it does resonate as very real. Because it is real.

So real.

And sometimes that hurts. Sometimes we don't want reality. We want fiction and fairy tales and make believe.

But I love this story just the same. I love it with a fierceness that surprises me because I wasn't expecting it.

I hope you also fall in love with it. I hope you go through this emotional journey and it moves you. I hope you can find a piece of truth in this story. A piece that resonates with you, not because you've been where these two people have been... but because you're human. And because you've lived. And because living and being human are hard. Even if they're also beautiful.

And then come tell me what you thought!!!

So right after I released Every Wrong Reason, Zach and I left for Florida- literally the day after. We took an extended trip and spent it catching up with each other, sightseeing that beautiful state and hanging out with one of our favorite couples of all time, the Cranes!!!

We got down there a day early because we wanted to hang out in Tampa and go to a destination brewery called Cigar City.

Zach is all about beer. I'm not kidding, our lives basically revolve around it. And he knows every single thing there is to know about it!!

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit.

But for real, he is a beer master. And part of the fun for him is hunting down rare and highly sought after beers. Cigar City is one of those places/beers. They don't distribute outside of Florida and they're one of the best breweries in the country.

Needless to say, we had an amazing time. And the beer??? Amazing. Superb. Fantastic. DELICIOUS!

That's us at the brewery!!! I had a strawberry vanilla thing that tasted like dessert and heaven and never-ever-stopping. I'm so sad I can't get it here.

We'll just have to go back next year! :)

The next day, we hit up the beach. Being from a landlocked state that barely has lakes of note, I get homesick for the ocean. It's true.

I swear, I long for it.

There is an energy with the ocean that buzzes over my skin and pulls something out of me that's profound and consuming. I needed to see it and experience and take enough home with me to last until the next time. And since the event was in Orlando, we thought Tampa was our one shot to visit.

Here is Zach and me at the ocean just after we breakfasted right on the beach.

We only got to spend a few hours there, then it was time to drive inland to Orlando for opening night and to meet up with my dear, dear friend, Shelly Crane!!!!

Shelly is one of the most beautiful people I've ever had the privilege to know, both inside and out. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet. And hilarious. And perfect. And I love her with my whole heart.

We hung out at a book event called SF:SE. And if you ever get a chance to go, you really should!!! The caliber of authors they had at the event was insane. I walked around with my mouth hanging open in awe.

Plus it was so much freaking fun.

Here's Shelly and me on a panel where we talked about authors and blogging. HEY!! Like what I'm doing right now!!!

This was my favorite panel. Not only did I get to be on it with Shelly, but a comic book author named John Crowther was also there. And I'm going to be real with you, John is one of the COOLEST people I have ever met.

Not only does he write a freaking comic book!!! (WHAT?!??!?!) But he's so genuine and truly interested in the people he meets. And he's beyond generous. He gave me signed posters and a signed comic book and his friendship. And it was awesome.

You need to check out his comic, Rochelle the Teen Cockroach as soon as you can get your greedy fingers on it.

It is everything.

Here is the Amazon link in case you're interested!!! Rochelle The Teen Cockroach for Amazon

Not only did we meet John, but we also got to meet Orson Scott Card.



I'm not sure if you heard me right... I MET ORSON SCOTT CARD!!!!!! AH!!!!!!

I know most of you are romance readers, but if you've ever ventured into the world of Sci-Fi then Orson is a freaking legend.

Like beyond a legend.

He's a pillar of the entire genre.

I mean... They made Ender's Game a movie. That starred HARRISON FORD.

So, yeah. He's legit.

And Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time. Of. All. Time.

It's one of those books that I think about all the time. Like all the time. It just had this huge impact on me and it has the kind of staying power that only comes around so often.

I read it before I started writing and it's one of those books that molded me into the writer that I am today.

But I was an idiot and didn't even get a signed copy. UGH! I don't even know what I was thinking. CLEARLY I wasn't. I think I was just too overwhelmed to function.

I did get a picture though!!!!!

That's right!!! Just hanging out with Orson Scott Card. No big deal.

Doesn't he look happy to be hanging out with us? :)

He also came to our first panel. On self-publishing. And he listened!!! And was super interested!

I smacked Shelly in the leg as soon as he walked in the door. I was like BAM! SHELLY! LOOK!!!!

And she just smiled at me and my fangirling self.

The whole event was fantastic. So fun. So cool. I gave a workshop on plotting and 8 point story arcs. It was awesome. There was standing room only. That's never happened to me before! I did a bunch of panels. And met some very cool fans.

I was sad to have it end and even sadder to leave Florida. So I asked Zach if we could stay one more night back at the ocean before we headed home.

He was like, that's the best idea you've ever had.

And I think he was serious.

But then one night turned into two... We just couldn't make ourselves leave.

I mean, look at the view from our hotel room!!!

And there are people that live there. Like permanently. Could you imagine????

I look out my window and see suburbia and soy beans.

They look out their windows and see beautiful blue water with white crested waves that stretches to the horizon.

My heart aches with jealousy.

Practically, I could never give up my Nebraska. I could never leave these four seasons or the unique beauty of my own surroundings. But isn't this world we live in just breathtaking?

It makes even me speechless.

That there is a place like that beach, with water warm and briny and immense. And then there is a place like my home. Where golden cornfields blanket rolling hills and tall, swaying, gilded-tipped grass rivals the beauty of the oceans.

It makes me want to go everywhere. See everything.

And one day I will.

Eventually we had to come home.

And then it was straight to the gates of hell.

Just kidding. But my kids did ALL get sick. One at a time. So it was this constant thing that lasted two weeks. We're still not entirely over it.

It was life's way of welcoming me back to reality. It was all, "Oh, did you have fun at the ocean? Did you relax? Did you sleep in a bed without miserable kids? And live in a place that wasn't covered with puke??? HA!!! Welcome back, bitches!!!!"

So now here we are. Deep in life with beautiful kids that will eventually feel better and life that spins and spins and spins.

But it's good to be home. And it's good to be back to real life.

If you haven't picked up Every Wrong Reason yet, GET IT HERE!!!!!!

For Amazon
For iBooks
For Kobo
For B&N


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