Secret Travel Plans and Upcoming Events Revealed!

Hey everyone,

I’m back in Oregon for Thanksgiving!

*Happy dances*

Normally, I like to keep everyone apprised of my travel plans before I hop on airplanes, but not this time.

Why you ask?

Because I’m here as a Thanksgiving/birthday surprise for my mom.

Although, apparently what she really wants for her birthday is a new trash can. I’m not kidding. And when I pointed out that the last time I checked never is the right year for a birthday trash can, she insisted that she doesn’t want just any old garbage bearing receptacle.

Oh no, she wants an enormous green one that’s up to Ashland code with a lid that actually closes properly.

“Sounds like rubbish to me!”

Still, when I jumped out from behind a white pillar to surprise her at the airport, her expression was priceless. I was pretty amazed myself…that my family managed to keep it a secret.

I may be the only blogger in the family but none of us are particularly good at keeping secrets.

Which is why I will reveal all my plans right now:

I’m going to be in Ashland until November 26th and then my aunt and I will be driving up to Portland. This is the point where an accurate Magic 8 Ball would insist that I should try again later because it cannot predict now.

One of the best parts of my job is the travel flexibility. I can pretty much work wherever I can get a steady supply of coffee and Internet access. So I’m not sure when exactly I will be returning to LA.

To be honest, part of the reason my travel plans are so open right now is because I’ve got a serious case of tunnel vision going on.

I have a week to turn in the (hopefully) last round of edits for Invisible.

“Damn you, evil paragraph! Why must you ruin everything? WHY?!” 

And the only other thing my mom requested for her birthday–besides the trashcan–was a copy of Notable. I thought that I might be able to appease her by printing out the 2/3rds of it which I’ve edited but…she’s finished it already.

And now she keeps not-so subtly dropping hints that she wants to read more.

Today as we walked together to her fabulous quilt store, Sew Creative, she sighed and said, “This weather is great for quilting. Or reading.”

When I merely nodded, her smile widened devilishly.

“Hint hint.”

Yeah…so no pressure there.

I also have a short story for an anthology that needs to be edited (More on that later! I’m so excited for it!) and I’m organizing two panel proposals for the Romance Writers of America conference this year.

And I have a super exciting Decked with Holly project that I’m hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving!

So stay tuned for that explosion of awesomeness.

It’s times like this when I laugh really hard when my siblings suggest that I get a real job.

Okay, so maybe I respond more like this:

But if everything goes according to plan, most of the pressure should be off in a week or two.

And in the meantime, I get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving in my hometown. I get to go for walks and see trees with actual leaves that are actually changing color. I’ve also found time to snuggle with our dog Rascal and to read romance novels in the hot tub.

So despite the time crunch, I’m enjoying the holiday season to the fullest!

Now I better get back to work.

Happy reading, everyone!

~Marni

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Here’s Some Ridiculousness for You!

Hey everyone,

I debated whether I wanted to share my 4th of July photos with all of you.

Part of me was like, “Um…Marni? You’re going to the Romance Writers of America conference soon! You want to be taken seriously. Maybe you should, you know…not share everything.”

And then I realized that everyone who reads this blog already knows how geeky I am! So my parade pictures aren’t exactly going to come as some big shock.

I mean, if I wanted to hide my high geek quotient…I probably shouldn’t have shared my celebrity stalker journals “idea notebooks” here.

A sneak peek at Decked with Holly! That’s Dominic Wyatt on a cruise ship. That’s right: he’s on a boat.

Plus, I totally posted about the time I forced the UPS guy to take a photo with me. To be fair, he was handing me the copyedits for Awkward…

And he was never to be seen again.

Probably because I don’t tend to stalk mail-carriers.

Then there was the time I spent 12 straight hours in the Lewis & Clark computer lab creating these:

I still look back at that night fondly. That whole month, actually. Roughly 94% of the Lewis & Clark people I shared them with, loved it. The other 6% placed bets as to when a cease and desist/ restraining order would be issued.

But I like geeking out with all of you. So here it is:

Yep. I was the “Dancing Spool of Thread” in the Sew Creative parade entry. You can’t tell from the picture but I was wrapped in blue yarn to emphasize, you know, my spool-iness.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that it is not easy to dance with a huge cardboard circle around your waist. And that when I absent-mindedly imagined running into old high school classmates, it was not bedecked as a spool of thread.

But I earned so many daughter points.

So it was worth it.

Anyhow, I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

Sincerely,

Marni

GRADUATION!

Hey everyone,

I’m done with college.

Finito! Terminado! Finished!

I have to say, it’s a really great feeling. No more homework. No more pretending to be paying attention in my boring SOU class, while I secretly read romance novels.

Or not so secretly, actually. I’m pretty sure the teacher knew something was up when I started grinning. Probably because I was not smiling as he blithely wasted my time ranting about Obama’s first girlfriend.

Yeah. Never again!

Although, it is kind of scary because now I don’t have schoolwork to use as an excuse for procrastinating on my work. Like editing Invisible. Not that I would ever do that. *Blinks innocently*

My actual college graduation ceremony happened a few months ago. And I wrote a whole long blog post on it and then delayed actually sharing it because I wanted to include photos.

Then I saw the ones my family took of my very special day.

Complete and total failure.

First of all, they snapped all of five photos. And nobody noticed that my hair was absolutely ridiculous!

Don’t believe me. Here’s the proof:

I look like Count Dracula.

And nobody said anything!

Here I am with my lovely aunt! You can tell that Count Marnula is speculating about when she’ll be able to drink her blood.

And smiling at the thought.

Actually, that day I was feeling more zombie-like than vampiric. I came down with an awful flu the night before my graduation. I was able to keep it at bay until after the ceremony, but not by much.

Thankfully, my amazing friend Diana W. Rosengard drove me back to the hotel, where my aunt was waiting. She wisely let me nap before taking me out to dinner in the hotel. Honestly, I didn’t have the strength to move any further than that.

But even with the shivers and the sore throat, it was a magical day. And it was really great hanging out with all of my friends for the brief amount of time I was, you know, fully functional.

Still, it was kinda hard to feel graduated when I knew I had my SOU midterms waiting for me in Ashland.

But now all of that is over! Well, everything but the paperwork. I need to transfer my SOU classes to Lewis & Clark, but…c’mon, that doesn’t really count.

So what have I been doing with my time?

Well, my mom just bought a quilt store in Ashland! It’s called Sew Creative and in my unbiased opinion, it’s going to be spectacular.

That said, right now it’s in the work in progress stage. Which means I’m going to be spending this week sanding shelves, painting fixtures, cutting fat quarters, and doing anything else she needs.

I like to think this will earn me tons of daughter points, which I plan on cashing in very soon.

Specifically, July 19th when my mom is driving me very early to the airport.

Where am I headed?

LOS ANGELES!

Why?

Because I’m going to the ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA CONFERENCE!

More on this soon–I must return to my sanding.

Sincerely,

Marni