Sunday, September 29, 2013

The DeNae Report, in Living Color

Ick! Phew!

What's the deal with all these cobwebs? Doesn't anyone clean up over here? It's like the place hasn't been visited since July!

I suppose it could be argued that since this blog belongs to me, it should match the rest of my house. In which case, cob away, little spiders.

I actually had an 8-year old student tell me -- in reference to my piano -- that she couldn't possibly be expected to play on such a dusty instrument. Her inability to play had nothing to do with the fact that she suffered from chronic post-piano lesson amnesia, and forgot every week what that big black box in her living room was for.

Nope. It was the dust. See what I put up with?

And the worst of it was, I actually DUSTED the next week, just before her lesson. Like her opinion mattered or something. A tiny bit of my soul died that day.

Anyway, back to the shameful neglect of my blog. My friend Leslie, who is a missionary in Houston, took the time to notify my husband that I really needed to post more, on the grounds that she had told several people about my blog and I was making her look bad.

Who does that? Who willingly makes missionaries look bad? I mean, besides the Tabernacle Choir wardrobe committee?

I'm repenting. A thousand apologies, Sister Linton.

So, here's what's been going on since I incurred the wrath of at least one reader and, of course, my mother, when I wrote my last post announcing my intentions to be cremated. Incidentally, I just submitted that post as my column for Meridian for this week. Can the good readers of that venerable periodical handle the truth about alternative uses for the EZ Bake? We shall see.

Mid-July I went on a writer's retreat at Bear Lake with a whole slather of LDS writers who, against all reason, love me and want to spend time with me. They know my novels include sentences like "Hells bells and great small fish," and yet they embrace my wicked self anyway. Either they're saints, or they should probably schedule an appointment with their bishops to confess associating with publicly recognized pills, aka Yours Truly.

Bear Lake

Annette Lyon
Melanie Jacobson
Josi Kilpack and Jana Parkin
Becca Wilhite
Debbie Frampton
Brittany Larsen
Naturally, there are no pictures of me here, because duh.
Vanessa came home from school for eight weeks and it was totally awesome to have her here. (Remember when she told me she had Stockholm Syndrome from spending too much time with me? Yeah. She's over that now.)
Also, David and Karyn left for Ohio so Dave could attend law school and Karyn could cream me at Words With Friends from a safe distance.
Then, in August -- you know, I have no memory of August. It was so damn hot I just planted myself in front of the electric fan and prayed for death. If any of you saw me doing stuff in August, please send me a detailed report for my memoirs.
Wait. I think the David and Karyn thing happened in August. Oh, and Cori started back at the University of Utah like the obedient little Ute she is. And Jake started his senior year of high school, which means that in just (please hold while I do basic addition...) nine months I'll be DONE with public education forever and always amen and amen.
Then it was September. WOW! Big happenings in September. First, it was my husband's birthday. Then, it was my mother's birthday. Then I took a nap. Then I dusted my piano, and taught a million lessons. That's right. One. Million. Lessons.
Then I realized I had nothing to write my Meridian column on because it turns out you have to leave your house once in a while if you want to have experiences and things of that ilk. So we went to the Sheep Dog Trials in Midway, UT.
The actual hillside where the sheepdogs were tried and later convicted.
Me making brilliant use of my program, which nonetheless did not prevent my chin from being burned crispy
on account of I inherited it from my dad, who apparently inherited his from a claw hammer.
Then Vanessa went back to BYUI for her final semester of college, where she's pretty much the president of everything including the Holy Crap I'm so Sick of Being an Undergrad Booster Club.

THEN -- I went to Albany, NY for this uber cool mystery writers convention (the convention was cool, and so were the writers, so I rented some coolness for the weekend so I could blend in) and had the time of my life. You may recall that Anne Perry and I sort of connected in May (we're going to assume her epic stomach bug came before she met me, and not because of it, so all you Storymakers alums can just stop judging).
Anyway, Anne was in Albany along with her London agent, Meg. And for four straight days we basically goofed off and played and talked and ate and then ate while we talked and then talked while we goofed off and generally just loved each other to pieces. I learned a ton about the publishing industry, and the agenting industry, and the incredible joy that comes simply by adding the words "rubbish" and "knackered" to one's vocabulary.  

Yes, that is Anne Perry, Sue Grafton, and Moi.
I know, right??
Meg and I are both even cuter than we appear here.
This was the last day, and we were suffering from a happiness hangover.
This lovely lady -- who has been a literary agent for more than twenty years -- read, analyzed,
and then re-wrote my query letter for me.
Feel free to hate my guts.
Hee hee!

And now it's now. And I've attended a funeral, and come down with a head cold, and sent an article about cremation to Meridian.
On Thursday we kick off our annual girls weekend, so if you live in or near Park City you may want to lock up your hot tub.
And if you live in Stansbury Park and intend to play my piano any time soon, bring some Lemon Pledge.
Or you could just practice, you little twerp.


esbboston said...

I enjoyed my recent north to southeast pass through Utah. I saw an old friend from work (many years ago in Texas) in SLC and then went through the Moab area. Very pretty state, lotza pretty rocks! Plus I got to see a herd of buffalo.

Becca said...

Summer totally happened, huh? Sometimes I can't actually believe it. I'm glad I got to spend days and days with you, dear friend.

LMW said...

So glad to read a new post from you.:) Loved that last line!

Kara said...

You MET Sue Grafton???!!! Seriously, she is one of my ALL TIME favorite authors. As are you. Just sayin'.


myimaginaryblog said...

This was the most entertaining blog post I have ever read in my life this week. (I don't read blog posts very much any more. But really it *was* entertaining.) And my envy is such that almost thou persuadeth me to become a writer--especially since I've been working my way through the William and Hester Monk and Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books for months now, and only have one Monk book left before I'm all caught up.

I did go hear Anne Perry at Storymakers but I didn't get to ask her my only question: does anyone from the Monk books ever meet anyone from the Pitt books? Or are the two fictional worlds entirely separate? Please ask her for me ASAP.