Hey you guys! My first solo novel!

HEY YOU GUYS!

Sloth and I have an announcement to make.

Stonehouse Ink is going to publish my first solo novel.

That’s right!

I’d say this calls for an exclamation mark parade:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And perhaps a bit of hyperventilation freak out.

Okay, okay, I’ll calm down. *sticks head in sink of cold water*

All right. I’m good now.

So, let me introduce the story to you.

The title of my book: The Silver Sickle, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
Ha! NO NO no, I mean: The Silver Sickle. 
That’s it. Just The Silver Sickle
by: Me. (But it will say By Ellie Ann on the cover). (with my picture on the back) (possibly)
1
The Silver Sickle is about a girl who is taken from her love and forced into the King’s harem. She discovers an extraterrestrial plot to destroy the Kingdom and with the help of stalwart clockwork soldiers, she must take down the regime.
It’s cyberpunk. It’s adventure. It’s romance. It’s boy vs. girl. Alien vs. Robot. It’s basically the story of Esther meets District 9.
There’s no official date for it’s release yet. So Imma gonna have to write another blog post or two or seven about it before it’s released. More to come later. In fact, I may not stop talking about it from now until infinity. Silver Sickle all the way. If I don’t stop talking about it then slap me if you need to and I’ll talk about the weather and jalapeño Cheetos again.
Thanks to all of you for reading and helping me along my writer’s journey. I like you so much.
An extra dose of gratitude goes out to Aanna and Logan Greer, Albert Berg, Myndi Shafer, Piper Bayard, and Jen Kirchner. You’re my faithful and kind and keen and supersmart beta readers who gave me feedback on The Silver Sickle that made it SO much better. You make getting critiques my favorite part of the writing process. And Erin Keyser Horn–you’re amazing. Seriously. She’s the most amazing editor on planet Earth, and probably on all other habitable planets. *hugs you tightly* You’re the best.
And thanks to Aaron Patterson from Stonehouse Ink, my super suave and savvy writing partner who decided to do all the work to get The Silver Sickle published and left me with the fun job: writing!
Now I’m going to celebrate! Time to get out the drinks! Time to get out the Leia costume! Time to go on a X-Wing Fighter ride!

Breaking Steele, the New Book Deal, and A-Patt

Four years ago, during the grand month of November, I wrote my first novel. It was called Demas’ First Task: The Prophecy of Rob and it’s hidden deep in my hard drive, banished there because it had no plot.

And so I started learning about how to write a book. Because for most people (yes, probably you, too) it doesn’t come naturally. And then I started hanging out with writer people, and I met a hundred awesome and inspiring authors that made me even more passionate about the business. And they also taught me that being published wasn’t the end goal, but just a huge, exciting event along the way. And then I started blogging, and I learned how to write things in a way people connected to. I learned what people liked, and what people didn’t like, and also that you couldn’t please everyone.

And then, with the help of Kristen Lamb and Piper Bayard, I got a job as an editor at Stonehouse Ink.

So, four years later, and four books later (they say it takes four books before a writer is published. Which is exactly true for me.) I was asked by my awesome boss at Stonehouse Ink if I wanted to co-author a series with him.

So unexpected. And so fun.

So we made a deal and wrote a book together. Easy Peasy Dumplin’s Greasy. It certainly wasn’t how I thought my first published book would turn out. It was so . . . painless. =D

Aaron Patterson (or, A-Patt as I like to call him when he isn’t listening) is a phenomenal writer with a head full of ideas. I swear, he has so many ideas that he probably swims in a pool of them at night. And what he’s good at I’m bad at. And what he’s bad at I’m good at. So we’re coming out with a series together and we’re going to kick butt.

You can pre-order our book. It’s called: BREAKING STEELE. Or you can just look at it. It’s so pretty.

Back Cover:
Sarah Steele has a lot to prove. Foster care brat turned successful Assistant District Attorney, she’s enjoying her magical pumpkin carriage ride but knows she is only one mistake away from landing on the curb. When she’s given an open-and-shut case regarding multi-millionaire Hank Williams and his murder of young Tracy Mulligan, Sarah’s determined to win. But when everything goes wrong, and there’s a killer on the loose, she isn’t prepared for who the real battle is against: herself. Is she really willing to do anything to take Hank Williams down? 
Who is she? The successful, happy ADA or the wild, angry vigilante? 
If you’re thinking it sounds like a female, attorney version of  Dexter, you’re kind of right. Except it isn’t nearly as dark as Dexter and it has no sex or swearing. I swear.
I’m just so humbled by it all. I’m thankful for A-Patt, that he chose me to write with him. I’m thankful that he’s such a stellar guy to work with. I’m glad that Stonehouse Ink is there to publish it. And I’m glad for all of you, for being there for me and encouraging and laughing and listening with me during this journey.
In honor of my book deal I’d like to give you this: a cyber egg roll. From me to you.
Oh, and here’s some cyber Jalapeño Cheetos, I know they’re a favorite:
And here’s a cyber chocolate statue of Michaelangelo’s David. But don’t eat it all in one sitting. Trust me.
I love you all. (Yes, even you in the back, the one licking Cheeto dust off his fingers.)

The Best TV Shows In The World

When I say, “The Best TV Shows In The World!!!” *clashes cymbals* *toots horns* *confetti everywhere* What I really mean is, “My favorite shows in the world!!!”

LOST

It was love a first sight. I’m hooked, HOOKED on this show. I was from the very first minute it aired, until the very last second of it’s TV Primetime Heartbeat. It has the ability to make 46 minutes fly by as if they were 5 min. It has the ability to grab you by the heart and mind at the same time.

Apart from it’s sheer entertainment, it also taught me a lot about storytelling. #1 rule in storytelling: It’s about the characters, and always will be. #2: Never underestimate a good mystery.

If you create mystery in a story about people you care about, then the audience will be eating out of your hand.

John Locke is one of the best characters I’ve watched, as is Benjamin Linus. The Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle was fascinating and mysterious. Hurley made me want to hug the TV anytime he was on. And Shannon made me want to slap it. And Desmond and Penny . . . need I say more?

I really liked the last season of this show. It was incredibly satisfying to see how they concluded every relationship. Although every mystery wasn’t solved, I am okay with that. Because in it’s essence, it wasn’t a TV show about The Island and its mysteries, it was a show about people. And they gave us their conclusion, which left me breathless and not completely dry eyed.

If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend it. It’s #1 in my book.

Veronica Mars

Witty. Good-hearted. Mysterious. Witty. That’s why I like this show. The dialogue is brilliant, and the themes edgy yet . . . fun. It’s about a teenage detective who solves crimes, and she must discover who killed her best friend. That synopsis in itself seems loaded with cliches, and the trope overdone. But this is not Nancy Drew, and Veronica Mars is one of the most well developed female character I’ve seen on TV.

She also has an awesome relationship with her dad, which is always good to see.

Something cool about this show was the fantastic way they gave her a mystery to solve every show, and also developed an over-arching mystery throughout each season. I love it that way. It keeps the tension high.

Sherlock

Speaking of mystery, let’s talk about the reigning King of the Mystery Thriller, Sherlock Holmes himself.

Just like Veronica Mars, this dialogue is quick and witty. The characters are fully realized and engaging. Each 1:10 min. episode has Sherlock and his only friend, Watson, solving a case.

It’s hard to think of this as a TV show, though. Each season has only 3 episodes, and there have only been 2 seasons. The episodes play more like feature films.

The climax to season 3 was brilliant, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. It truly wrung my heart strings and left me giddy for more. The perfect show, aye?

Firefly

What do you get if you mix a rebel cap’m, stalwart warrior wife, nerdy and funny pilot, faithful and wise shepherd, lawless and lewd gunman, sweet and ornery mechanic, and two mysterious strangers?

You’ve got one of the best shows ever made.

If you are a geek, or related to one, chances are you’ve heard of Firefly. And chances are you’ve heard about how IDIOTIC it was that it got cancelled.

So there are only a few episodes to enjoy. But enjoy them I did.

Joss Whedon is an absolute magnificent MASTER at creating a team. The subtle (and not so subtle) way each character interacts with each other is nothing short of brilliant. The plot is enticing as well, always developing and growing deeper, yet never overwhelming character development.

It’s a heckuva show, folks.

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip

The creator, Aaron Sorkin, packs a punch in each episode. These characters are layered and complex and extremely fast talking. Which I love.

There are some timeless moments in this show. It’s the only time I’ve ever laughed and cried at the same time.

It was cancelled after one season, but the writers had enough time to wrap everything with a pretty little bow. I like it that way. I had enough time with the characters to enjoy them thoroughly, but not enough time with them to grow tired of them.

Oh, and did I mention it’s witty? It is. It seems wittiness is a must for my favorites.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Wait, you haven’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? Oh my word. You guys. YOU GUYS. YOU MUST GO SEE IT NOW.  If I could describe it in one word it’d have to be: likable. It’s jam packed with likability, which is a worthy trait. Without a doubt, this is, minute by minute, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The plot and characters are unparalleled.

It’s synopsis: In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar.

The world building is thorough and intense. The creators did an amazing job of putting you in a fantasy world, where people can control the elements, and yet they also gave a big sense of familiarity and home.

Prince Zuko has one of the best character arcs I’ve ever seen or read. Ever. This show is brilliant in its simplicity, heart, and dialogue. Aang. Katara. Sokka. Toph. Uncle Iroh. Just saying the names bring vivid memories, as if I really know them in real life.

Ever storyteller should watch this show, and hopefully follow suit. We need more stories like it.

Oh, and it’s witty.

Runners Up:

Lie To Me

Downton Abbey (1st Season)

Heroes (1st, 2nd Season)

Fringe

Legend of Korra

Most anticipated:

What are your favorite shows?

How To Let Everyone Know You’ve Written A Book

I recently finished writing my fourth novel. Amazing, I know. No, none of them have been published (trivial detail). But now I’ve reached a problem. How can I let everyone I meet know that I’m an author? I want to be delicate about it, of course, because I know how fragile other people’s egos are and I don’t want to make them feel bad because they’ve never written four novels. Egos are sensitive and must be tended to expertly.

So I can’t just be like, “Hi! I’m Ellie Ann Soderstrom and I’ve written four novels. But don’t feel bad about yourself.” It’s just too unmysterious, and if there’s anything I like to be as an author it’s mysterious.

A nameless mysterious author enjoying her cuppa. 

(photo by Tai Segel from his awesome Everyday Ninja photoshoot)

So then how DO I let everyone know I’m a prolific and desperately brilliant author without coming straight out and saying it? No worries. I’ve been spending all my writing time lately developing strategies on how to do it:

Like all good scenes in books and movies, setting really matters. So your lines must be said in context. I cannot stress the importance of setting when you’re talking about your awesomeness.

Bookstores

This is actually the easiest place to inform others you’re a writer. However, their astonishment might not be as ecstatic as you wish, because around half of the people wandering around bookstores or typing on cheap laptops in the bookstore coffee shop have either written books or are currently writing a book. And some of those writers have probably written more books than you. Not better ones, of course, but simply more.

Personally, I like to go to the section that my books will one day grace (it’s not the paranormal romance fantasy section, that’s all I can say), and then say wryly to the next person who wanders by (or maybe yell across the row of I see someone across from me)  “This is my real estate right here.” And they’ll probably ask me more about what I mean and then be amazed by all the books I’ve written. I’m sure it’ll go that way, however I’ve only met people in bookstores lately who are very very busy (they must be doctors rushing to a surgery) because they don’t meet eye contact with me and they walk away as quickly as they can.

Movie Stores

Simply pick up a movie and explain to the person next to you that you’ve based one of your characters off of this actor or actress.

Dear Nathan Fillion,

I’m the most popular unpublished author you know, and I’ve based most of my characters after you. Yes, even the females. That’s how charismatic you are. So I just wanted to let you know that once I’m published I’ll give you a 25% discount on all my works, as long as you tweet about them. Now just give me your address and credit card number and I’ll have them shipped to you within 2-4 years. You’re welcome! Stay cool.

Love,

Ellie Ann

Grocery Store

When you’re signing your name on the credit slip just say, “You might want to keep that for the future . . . it’s going to be worth a lot of money someday.” And then give the clerk a wink.

Your Favorite Clothing Store

Just ask to see the manager and explain that you’re the author of the best unpublished fiction you’ve ever written and then offer them a sponsorship space in your next NaNoWriMo writing marathon. Promise them that if they give you $50 of merchandise of their clothes every month you’ll wear a shirt with their logo on it on your NaNoWriMo profile. They won’t be able to resist.

And then–

Oh wait.

Those are all the secrets I want to divulge with you at the moment. I need to keep my mystery, remember? And I have to save some for the next time we meet. Until then, enjoy your time of basking in the glow of everyone’s admiration. After all, there are only 100,000-250,000 books being published every year so authors must insist on being treated like the rare and valuable jewels that they are.

Stay cool, dudes and dames.

Confessions of a Window Licker

My name is Lilia. And I’m a window licker.

Okay. Okay . . . it’s not just windows. It’s everything. I started several years ago, when I was young. The spring of ’09, when I was 9 months. The first time I was able to put something in my mouth was a rush like no other. It was a plastic toy, and felt good on my gums.

Perhaps if I had just stuck with plastic toys I wouldn’t be here.

After toys stopped doing it for me, I learned how to crawl and then I was able to experiment with a lot of different things. Table legs. Walls. Books. Rocks. Sand. I don’t recommend sand. It sticks to the roof of your mouth.

And then I learned how to walk and Mother Guard wasn’t able to keep me contained anymore. Plus, I learned how to be fast. A quick lick to the ketchup bottle lid. A quick lick to the floor where some mysterious yet yummy looking crumbs fell. She doesn’t even know about 1/4 of what I’ve licked. I think she’s trying to ignore it.

Not that I have a problem.

I don’t know why Mother Guard sent me here to talk to you.

What’s the experience like? Hm. Rocks taste gritty, some of them are smooth some are cutting. Books taste like trees. Trees taste like books with moss on them. Windows usually taste like popsicles, because I wipe my fingers on the windows after I eat popsicles. I can’t help myself. Dolls have a plastic aroma, but taste like baseballs. Stuffed animals . . . I don’t go there anymore. They make my tongue fuzzy.

I’m not like some other kids who have no dignity. I’ve seen them at the park, licking sand and chewing on stuffed animals. I’ve seen one kid even lick the swings. They’re in public! Have they no shame? I’ve learned certain things can’t be seen by Mother Guards. Like . . . the S word.

Shoes.

I’ve been trying them lately. I don’t lick more than one shoe a day, but Mother Guard reacts like crazy. It was just a lick, ya know? The shoes usually taste like simple dirt, which isn’t unpleasant, but once I found one with watermelon gum on the sole. It was phenomenal.

OH gosh.

What did I just say? Did I just admit I lick shoes?

It’s not that bad, people! Stop judging me.

It’s not like I lick slides. I never lick slides unless I feel like it. Or windows . . . take windows as an example. I never lick windows unless no one is watching. And it’s not like I do it before noon. I never lick things before noon unless it’s cups, toothpaste lids, books, strings, and doorknobs. I like to keep boundaries on myself that way.

Boundaries are important.

I eat my boogers but everyone my age eats boogers. I do draw the line at eating other kids’ boogers. That’s just nasty. They taste like gooey hazelnuts and I hate hazelnuts.

I don’t know why Mother Guard is worried.

I’m very careful in public. I never lick anyone’s shoes I don’t know. I never take any candy from strangers unless it’s Skittles. I never swallow the rocks, only let them swill around in my mouth. And I NEVER lick trash cans unless there’s ketchup on it. It’s ketchup, guys. I can’t help myself.

Excuse me. I have to go. There’s this new piano bench I haven’t tried yet. I wonder if it will taste like English breakfast tea like the last one . . .

So will you please tell Mother Guard to stop worrying?

You Know You’re A Toddler When . . .

You Know You’re A Toddler When . . .
– You resist daily naps.
– You can’t wait to brush your teeth.
– You brush your teeth with a fairy toothbrush and bubblegum toothpaste.
– At the supermarket you jump up and down as high as you can, giggling uncontrollably, and no one calls the cops.
– At the supermarket you jump up and down as high as you can, screaming uncontrollably, and no one calls the cops.
– You know how important snacks are. And you know that carrots can’t be considered a real snack.
– You judge the entire experience on the last two minutes.
– The coolest outfits have your favorite cartoon character on it. Bonus points if your panties and t-shirt have matching characters.

- The all-important question for a new friend is, “What’s your favorite color?” closely followed by, “What’s your favorite animal?”

- You use half the toilet paper roll in one wipe.

- Your greatest achievement in life is making it all the way across the monkey bars.

- People yell at you when you go near a street.

- Eating two cupcakes makes you act like you’re on crack.

- The toilet bowl is a sink your size. People freak out when you wash things in it.

- You’re never tired.

So let’s face it . . . are you a toddler?

How To Be Rich And Get Whatever You Want

This is the guide to being rich and getting whatever you want. QUICKLY.

After reading this post, I guarantee you will know a surefire way to own anything you desire, including love. You’ve heard in the songs that love can’t be bought but that’s not entirely true for most of humanity. Of course, true love is another matter and it can’t be bought with bazillions of dollars though bazillions of dollars often destroys true love.

Anyway, let’s get back to our scheming.

After paying me a small fee of only $4.98 you’ll know the secret to being rich and getting whatever you want.  Not only that, but I’ll send you my kit to never-ending possessions. How do you know you can trust me? Because my cousin’s husband is a CPA and he once said, “you make really good potato salad,” to me. And also because I’ve had three children who are still thriving and healthy and out of prison. And because three of my relatives are doctors (one is a doctor of philosophy which gives me an extra well-rounded doctor family). So if those credentials don’t pass for you, I don’t know what will. Sheesh, get off your high horse.

Okay, now we’ve gone over how trustworthy I am, it’s time to start.

First put the $4.98 (what a bargain!) in an envelope and send it to me before you read any further.

Did you do it? No cheating! I know where you live! Wait, that wasn’t supposed to come out.

Alrighty. If you’ve paid then you can continue reading.

Ellie Ann’s Get Rich Quick and Get Whatever You Want Guide

Kit includes:

First, you will need comfortable running shoes on.

Second, you will have to get in good running shape. Being able to climb over chain link fences is a must.

Third, conceal your super secret identity concealer (aka, mustache and glasses combo) somewhere on your person.

Fourth, find what you want. This could be a purse. A bra. A power tool. A llama. A llama with a power tool. An antique book. A poster of Orlando Bloom. A poster of Orlando Bloom with an antique book. A car. A gold bar. A gold car. Whatever it is you want, then get your eye on it.

Fifth, look around. Make sure no one sees you. This is when you put on your super secret identity.

Sixth, Steal the item.

Seventh, Run away.

And that’s it. The quickest way to being rich and getting whatever you want that I’ve ever heard of. I know what you’re probably thinking; it’s so simple! Don’t worry, I didn’t really think of this brilliant method until I watched Gone In 60 Seconds and Oceans 11 and Bonnie and Clyde, all in one night. It was then the method just came to me.

But I can’t leave you with only that, there are too many mistakes to be had. Here are some free tips:

- Practice with your lock pick before you try to open a store or car door with it. It’s trickier than they let on in the movies.

- If you’re holding up an old woman, speak up. They are hard of hearing.

- If someone catches you in the act, you are walking a tenuous line. This is what separates the good from the great. If you are a girl, burst into tears and tell them your abusive husband’s cousin is forcing you to steal but you never would except then the goddess Diana appeared to you and said if you complied then your wheel-chair bound daughter will walk again. They’ll be so confused by the personal, religious, ethical statements that they’ll get flustered and let you go. However, if you are a man, I suggest you burst into tears and go on about your abusive husband’s cousin forcing you to steal but you never would except the goddess Diana appears to you and . . . .well, you know the rest. It usually works like magic.

- Lastly, I suggest moving quite often. When your neighbor asks for the third time if that lawn mower is theirs because they have an identical one that was stolen last week, it’s time to go.

So, I guess that’s it. And you’re welcome! I’m always happy to help.

Aren’t get rich quick guides awesome?

Do you have anything more to add to this method?

How To Attend A Poetry Reading

I’ve been invited to a poetry reading this Saturday. It’s my good friend Jennifer Joseph’s coming-out-party for her new book, Speeding In Reverse.

The poetry will be fantastic, of that I’m sure.

I’m so excited for this I’ve peed my pants three times just thinking of it. I’ll probably have to wear adult diapers the night of the event.

You see, I’m not invited to very many poetry readings (perhaps it’s the overalls and Shetland-Pony-on-a-leash).

So I’m pretty nervous about going and I hope I do okay.

I’m not worried about what to wear. That’s easy. I’ll go dressed as Kahlil Gibran, one of my favorite poets:

Because as everyone says, Every Party Wants To Be A Costume Party. To which my answer is: WHERE’S MY MUSTACHE?

So I’ve got the costume down. But what do I do after each poem is read? I’ve heard sometimes audiences will snap instead of clap. Dang, what if I clap when people are snapping or snap in a clapping audience? Also, I’m terrible at snapping. I’ll look the fool!

I’d better start practicing my snap ASAP. Can anyone help me? ANYONE?

Also, do I bring a gift? I hear wine and cheese is a popular gift. But some poetry people are snobs. Perhaps I shouldn’t bring my good old reliant gift basket of wine coolers and Velveeta.

Miniature Wine. They’re so small. One won’t hurt. Or five. Or seven. Or eight.

 Or *urp* nine. Or . . . where was I?

Velveeta. Cheese done up right! ‘Merican style!

Maybe I’ll upgrade and bring her some of those nice Kraft Cheese Cubes. And some wine in big bottles. No one could turn up their nose at that.

No matter with the trivialities. I’ll do my best to fit in and pretend I’m cultured. I’ll have fun bragging about this experience for the next ten years. And NO, of course I won’t stuff my pockets with extra food. Unless she’s serving cupcakes. I’m helpless against them.

And I’ll get to enjoy some darn good poetry. Here’s a taste her talent:

kiss me

by Jennifer Joseph

kiss me one more time before i give him my heart.

i’ve already slipped from your fingers so make this

last one count. it’s not that i didn’t want

you, but sneaking glances isn’t enough to keep me.

i’ll think of you fondly even though you left me

cold. maybe i loved you a little, maybe a lot.

i have to be careful to keep things separate;

make sure your lips don’t affect me.

i can’t trust what you’re feeling; you’ll disappear

again, break my will again. touch me gently. don’t

leave marks because this can’t last. i knew you

were wrong in so many ways but as it often happens,

the brain points to the heart and says, “i’m with

stupid”. don’t tell me what you’re thinking because

i won’t hold up if you say you still care. i’m

drawn in by your mystery but i’ll be trapped with

the truth.

january smiles

i want to sing you a morning lullaby

after a night spent foolishly.

let’s recreate this moment a thousand times;

you are the reason for my january smiles.

Tell me, kind readers.

How do I fit in at a poetry reading?

Missus Sunshine

There’s some awesomeness going on here. And by that I mean, Tori Nelson’s blog. She’s as funny as she is Southern, as joyful as she is hilariously self-effacing. All in all, she makes me giggle on a regular basis. And she was just awarded the Sunshine Award from THE SUN (I guess the sun gets bored on his off hours and is a blog reader) and then she in turn passed it to people she thought the Sun doesn’t hate.

The sunshine award is a good thing, right?

I mean, is it this kind of sun:

Need More Deodorant!

Or like this:

I want to bathe in this sunlight

So I’m assuming Tori called me sunshine in the best possible way. I’m hoping it’s the warm, beautiful sunshiny way not the uncomfortable, glaring sunshine.

And then she gave me eleven awesome questions to answer.

Questions for those tagged or otherwise sunshined (?):

1. Life is all about making David Letterman happy. What’s your most entertaining Stupid Human Trick?

I can touch my nose with my tongue. This is SO useful for when my hands are full and there’s an itchy booger that needs picked (if you’re reading this while eating, my apologies. I know booger eating jokes are in bad taste. hahaha)

2. What’s your most traumatic experience?

Giving birth. It was EXCRUCIATING torturous pain so I don’t even see how it’s legal. But then again I got a baby out of it so alls well and good now. Best consolation prize EVER.

3. What one word best describes you?

PRESIDENTIAL

4. Cake or Cake? (Note: Trick Question!)

CAKE! Wait…er, um. I guess that was wrong. I actually think it’s cake.

5. If you were a celebrity and thus legally obligated to name your offspring something horrendous, what would your little bundle of publicity’s name be?

Wonderwoman Soderstrom

6. Who would win in a girly pop/dance/hair flip battle, Bieber or Beyoncé?

Beyonce. Just because you can’t rock a hair flip battle without hips.

7. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

I’ve never met a woodchuck nice enough to ask. They’re very surly creatures.

8. If given the opportunity to get away with it, who or what would you like to punch?

I’m not a violent person, but anytime people try to speak for Jesus and talk like he was a white republican masochist who hates sinners makes me want to punch them just so they’ll shut up.

9. Desperate times call for weird measures. What strange career would you try to make that money, honey?

I’ve thought about this.

The strangest thing I’ve come up with would be to take people on fake adventures. They’d pay me to help them break into a house. They’d pay me to drop them off in the middle of the forest. They’d pay me to crash land their plane. They’d pay me to…well, basically any adventure you’d see on the movies they’d pay me to plan for them.

Weird, huh?

10. What’s one thing you can’t live without?

The Word.

11. The most important question of all of ever and everything: Big Spoon or Little? Spork?

BIG SPOON.

Whew! I hope I answered all those in a sufficiently sunny way. Thanks for the fun questions, Tori! What would you have said, readers?

Now to share some of my favorite sun-filled blog sites I love. Please click and visit. That is, if you’re interested in sunniness.

Tori Nelson’s Humor in the Humdrums

August McLaughlin’s Savor the Storm

Myndi Shafer’s Blogging Barefoot

Paige Kellerman’s There’s More Where That Came From

Leanne Shirtliffe’s the Ironic Mom

K.B. Owen Let’s Cozy Up To The Chase

Seeing the World Through the Eyes of A Blaria

Awesome graphic artist The Sofi’s World

Kristen Lamb’s Writing and Social Media blog

Being Arindam

Thoughts Appear

Fabio Bueno’s Diamonds and Rust

Marcia Richards In The Company of Smart, Sexy, Strong Women

And there are so, so many more I adore but that’s all for now because I just spent way too long writing this post because I had to catch up on SO many darn awesome blogs. Now it’s your turn.

Cya ’round the coral, cowboys! Have a sunny day. And I mean that in the best possible way.

How To Be The Best Labor and Delivery Assistant

My sister just had a baby. Her name is Valentine Greer and she’s 7 lbs of pure awesomeness. I didn’t think I’d get to see her birth, but the one night I was staying in town, my sister saw fit to go into labor. So there I was. Getting a call at 1:30 a.m. to come to the hospital and assist her. Gosh! Labor is so intense. There was a lot of freaking out, yelling, and trembling involved . . . until her husband told me to pull it together.

So now that I’ve experienced one labor and delivery (I don’t count my own), I think it’s only right that I share my wisdom with the rest of the world. Here’s some tips for everyone out there who might one day be asked to be IN THE ROOM as a baby is being born.

#1: The drive there. This is your chance to drive any way you want to. When I was in labor, my husband drove like Yoshi in Mario Kart, dodging and spinning and laughing in a high pitched voice. I did not appreciate this, I’d much rather have more of a steady but fast Ryan Gosling-esque experience like in Drive. Actually, no . . . maybe it was just that I wanted Ryan Gosling to drive me? I don’t remember. Anyways…

[insert obligatory picture of Ryan Gosling]

This is your one chance to go fast and furious. To be the ultimate transporter. To be like Jason Bourne and race your car backwards through traffic. Because if the police stop you all you have to do is shout, “MY SISTER’S HAVING A BABY!” At least, I think it works that way.

#2: Labor starts out pretty slow. There’s the sudden rush of excitement when the water breaks and you rush to the hospital, but then things get pretty boring as the heavy contractions don’t start until later. So this is when you step in and liven things up. Some fun activities during this time are:

-playing basketball with the birthing ball, using a trashcan strapped to an IV as a hoop. This works especially well if there are several laboring mothers with you in the hall, because then you can form teams.

-set up video game consoles and play some games to get the mother’s adrenalin up. Postal 2, Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, and Madworld give some precious background ambience as the child enters the world. Sometimes the mothers might want to play, but usually the real entertainment value is watching the ladies screaming at their husbands to stop playing and get back to the labor room. Sometimes this excitement is enough to get real heavy contractions started, and I’m surprised more Doctors don’t recommend this method.

-have a spicy pepper competition between the laboring mothers. Whoever eats the most peppers gets first dibs on the big jacuzzi.

-hire a clown. Or rent a bouncy house. However, I suggest asking the mother first which one she wants, as you don’t want to waste your money on both, just in case she doesn’t like bouncy houses or clowns.

Bouncy Houses. Clowns. Always Fun. Better yet . . . a clown bouncy house!

#3: When heavy contractions begin, this is when things start to get intense. if you don’t concentrate on relaxing, you might lose it altogether. So if the groaning is starting to wear on you, just turn up the music. If the screams make you lose your cool, jump into the jacuzzi for a bit (if there’s a laboring mother in there just ask if you can share or something). If the constant walking is making you tired, eat something (note: don’t offer the mother anything to eat because she’ll probably vomit it up later and the meal will be wasted). But most importantly, don’t freak out. It would most assuredly not be good for the mother to see you freak out. Anyway, she’s probably doing this enough for the both of you.

Labor is starting? Hold ON!

#4: Listen and obey the mother’s every word. If she wants a blanket, give her a blanket. If she wants you to knit her a blanket from toilet paper, knit her a freakin’ toilet paper blanket! If a second later she wants you to take the blanket off and burn it in the trash can, then burn the darn thing. If she doesn’t like your perfume, change clothes (if you don’t have extra clothes put on a hospital gown). If she wants you to massage her left big toe, do it. If she hates the color in the hospital room, paint it. If she wants some warm, fresh goat milk then go milk a goat! Basically, obey her orders as if your life depended on it. Because you never really know what a laboring mother is capable of. And also, because you love her.

#5: Do NOT say what you are thinking. They call it the miracle of birth because there seems to be no physical way this baby is coming out.

Saying: “You’re doing great!”   Thinking: “How the heck is this going to turn out? I know anatomy but . . . it might as well be pulled from her belly button . . . how is this going to end well?!”

Saying: “Take a deep breath and push. You’re almost there.”   Thinking: “This baby better be the size of a pickle or this is gonna get really messy.”

Saying: “I see the baby’s head!”   Thinking: “Oh my gosh this child doesn’t have a face. I’m seeing a head and no face!”

Saying: “Oh wow.”   Thinking: “Aaaaaaaaaaaagh. It’s cranium is made of jelly bones!”

Saying: “IT’S COMING.”   Thinking: “Don’t lock your knees. Think about drinking a cold beer on a beach. This is incredible but I’m going to faint.”

Saying: “You did it! Beautiful! What an amazing baby girl!”   Thinking: “Totally purple skin. Wrinkly scrunched face. Big head, little legs. She’s going to have a hard time in Jr High.”

But then the Doctors wipe up the baby and she takes deep breaths and the baby skin isn’t so purple and they are lying skin to skin and the air seems to glow with pure life and joy and you’re crying and saying how much you love them and the world and then you give the nurses kisses and chocolates and then collapse in a puddle because your adrenalin just ran out.

#6: After the birth, you are not done yet. CARBS! Bring the new mother a lot of carbs. Anything she wants, this first meal is important and should be memorable. My sister asked for “something with a lot of carbs” so I made her a roasted strawberry, dark chocolate, and brie sandwich. I thought it fit the bill.

Click for Recipe

So there you go,

good luck in the most intense and rewarding experiences of your life. Now begins the best part: giving that new baby a thousand kisses and whispering “i love you” in her hair. Also, baby breath. Can’t beat it.

Picture by Maria Casteel

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 396 other followers

%d bloggers like this: