Wednesday, October 31, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Gratitude

I saw this on Pinterest. Which is basically where I get all my brilliant ideas these days.

So it starts tomorrow. Wish me luck!! Join me, if you'd like to. I'd love to see your pictures! And I hope mine will be slightly entertaining.

Here goes! : )

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here's to Awesome Authors

I read like a maniac. This is common knowledge. I have favorite books and I have favorite authors. Through the invention of social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.), I am able to hear about the daily happenings of the people who write such awesome books. And I love it. They're just people like us, you guys!! And you know what's REALLY awesome? Being able to meet some of your idols in person. YES!!

About 2 months ago, I went to my first book signing. I was SO BUMMED I missed out on so many while I was in Colorado because either a) it was in Utah and I was not or b) it was in Denver and it REALLY sucks to drive there. Really. So once I got back to Utah, I promised myself I would make it to at least one signing if possible!! The first I went to was for Kiersten White who wrote the Paranormalcy series.

Kiersten White. Isn't she the cutest?!? And so TINY.
(did not take this pic, sadly)

I really enjoy her books. The Paranormalcy series is funny and sarcastic and witty and VERY entertaining. I recommend them if you're into the paranormal and kick-A girls who carry pink tasers. : )

I heard about her signing through either her blog or twitter and decided THIS IS THE TIME. I'M TOTALLY GOING. And my sister, Alex said she'd go, too, although she hadn't read the books. It. Was. AWESOME. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Alex even did! Kiersten talked about her writing process, future projects, read an excerpt from the last book in the trilogy, "Endlessly", and told hilarious stories. She is seriously adorable and talks incredibly fast. I love her. : ) It was held at the King's English, an Indie bookstore in Salt Lake. Hadn't been there before, but now that I make it a point to go whenever I can! Recommend it. 

My second book signing was in the beginning of October. Robison Wells, local author of "Variant" and the newly released 2nd book "Feedback". Also held by the King's English, but the lecture portion was in the art gallery a few doors down for more room. Variant is about a boy who shows up at a new boarding school in New Mexico run solely by the students and soon discovered he's not allowed to leave. Ever. It's intense and worth a read. So, I decided to go to the signing. Robison Wells is a great guy.

The man himself. And I *did* take this picture. : )

He spoke a lot about his personal struggles and his father, both of which highly influenced his writing. It was really great to meet him in person. So glad I went and look forward to reading "Feedback". I purchased it that day for him to sign, but my to-be-read pile is RIDICULOUS. And having a deadline from the library stresses me out. 3 weeks MAY seem like enough, but with 3 out at a time, I cut it close sometimes. Oy. 

My most recent signing was for the brilliant and incredibly talented Libba Bray! That's me with her in that first picture. :D I definitely got nervous meeting her. I've been a big fan of her for YEARS. First books I read was the "A Great and Terrible Beauty", first in a trilogy. Brilliant. So well written. Girl goes to a boarding school outside London in the late 1800s with a hint of magic. She also has some stand-alones, Going Bovine and Beauty Queens, and now a new series beginning with The Diviners. 1920s New York meets ghosts, murder, and mayhem. I'm pretty excited about it. :D 

Libba was presenting along with Shannon Hale, who is a local author. She's written quite a few books but the only one I own and have read is Austenland, which was really good and soon will be a movie! A girl obssessed with the A&E Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, and gets to experience life in Jane Austen's time for 2 weeks. SO COOL. Totally wish I could do that. She also had a sequel entitled Midnight  in Austenland, which I picked up there for her to sign. 

Shannon Hale and Libba Bray. Yeah, blurry. Sorry. They're cuter in person. 
And clearer. : )

This one was held at the West Jordan Library, but still presented by the King's English. (Are you sensing a patter here? Support your local bookstores, guys!!!) It was such a great time. They told the most hilarious stories about the last time they toured together. SO. FUNNY. And apparently, Libba's new book about scared the pants off of Shannon. haha! Can't wait to read it! Had to wait quite a while to get my books signed. I brought ALL the books I owned of Libba's except one (5+the new one I bought there) and Austenland + sequel for Shannon to sign. My back pack was HEAVY, you guys. Totally worth it, though. I might have to make a post just of the awesome things they wrote when they signed my books. : )

When I met Libba, she noticed my Doctor Who shirt and said she like it! We talked about the show for about 5 minutes. It was so great. Geeking out about meeting a favorite author WHILE geeking out about Doctor Who. It was a truly perfect moment!! I even got a picture and a hug. AAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. Had to freak out about it again. :D 

Also, I posted that picture on twitter and she saw it!! She wrote back saying "Aaah! I didn't know you were THAT Anika from twitter. Great to meet you!". And then she followed me on twitter. Um.......about died. That may not mean a lot to most of you but believe me, IT IS A BIG DEAL. I had a slight freak-out during church when I glanced at my phone and saw that. My sister, Ashleigh, can corroborate my story. 


Siiiiigh. Sorry. Well, I'm gonna go now. They say you shouldn't meet your idols for you will likely be disappointed, but I haven't found it to be so. GO FOR IT, I SAY!! 

Oh, and p.s. Thank you all for welcoming me back to blogging! You guys are awesome. Thanks Jenny, Holly, and my good friend Kim who I didn't even know had a blog! But now I do. And I'm totally gonna follow you now. : ) You guys rock!!!

Good night!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Begin Again

Hello. My last post was about a dream I had involving marrying an NFL football player, so I'm fairly certain I have no credibility to lose by taking such a long and unintentional hiatus. But I feel lame about it anyway.

The past few months have been....something. I don't know what. Odd? Frustrating. Lovely. Long. Anticipatory. Just....weird.

I "lost" my job in Vail at the beginning of June. It was a surprise, but I wasn't sad to leave. That job and that restaurant were not at all what I wanted. And it seems the feeling was mutual in some ways. The job was really all that was keeping me there, so I was done. I didn't even look at jobs in Colorado. Whatever happened, I knew I wasn't staying there. On the whole, it was a good experience and I learned so so much. I'm also sad to leave some people and places behind, but I was ready to move on. A possible job ( that eventually fell through) brought me back to Utah and I'm glad it did.

What followed was months and months of job applications and interviews that led nowhere and frustration and waiting, but there was good, too. I was able to spend time with my sisters and theirs kids while they were out of school. I baked a lot. Just for fun. I also catered and made the wedding cake for my youngest sister, Alex. Good to know I still have what it takes! : )

The week before the wedding, I decided to visit my old boss up at Snowbird. I worked there for 2 1/2 years before moving to Colorado. Anna and I got to know each other pretty well and even kept in touch through email after I moved. I heard whispers that they were looking for a Pastry Sous Chef and, although my pride made me resist, I knew I had to look into it. Anna and I chatted for about an hour and she mentioned the position after I casually shared that I was out of work. I still had to go through all the corporate channels: applied, 1st interview, 2nd interview, paperwork, background check, but an eventual offer!!

I accepted. Of course. I was in no position to turn down a job. The past 2 months I had been receiving unemployment checks through Colorado. It was hard to do, though. Again, with my pride. But I was eligible and grateful for something to keep me going. I started work again on September 22. Quite a shock to my lazy-bones body. You forget how much endurance you have being on your feet all day until you've lost it. I was a sore, tired mess after that first week. I think I'm about there by now, though. We're a bit slow as well after Oktoberfest ended last weekend. Gearing up for the season!! Pray for snow!! : )

Anyway, I'm back at Snowbird. I never thought it would happen and I still can't believe that's where I was led, but it does feel like the right place for me right now. It's a much better situation than the one I left and having a title and better pay definitely doesn't hurt! The view ain't bad either, see evidence below! I love the cool, misty mornings in the mountains.

I always say this, but I will seriously try to update here more often. I'm actually writing this on my iPhone cause that seems easier to do and "less official" than sitting down with my computer. Cause I'm weird like that.

Shoot me a comment! I'm always around. And just know, if I follow your blog, I read every, single post even if I don't comment. I appreciate ALL you write. So, uh...yeah. See ya soon!