My Favorite Week

First of all, I just wrote a whole post and this dang computer ate it. I know nobody cares, but a few of you relate, and I wanted to share.

In So Over My Head, a carnival rolls into town and camps out all summer. This was loosely based on a fair that comes to a nearby town where I live and makes its home in a mall parking lot. Last week my friend Tiffany texted to me to let me know my carnival had arrived. A few days later I accidentally drove by it and had to smile.
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Here is where the crew lives.
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In So Over My Head, Bella and crazy Ruthie McGee get caught snooping around in the carnival workers’ trailers. But they totally talk themselves out of trouble. . .the first time.

Here’s the ferris wheel that inspired a few critical moments in the book.
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We find out Bella doesn’t like ferris wheels. Some people might scoff at this, but I find this quality admirable and very, very sensible. Not that I’m afraid of ferris wheels myself. . .

So this is my favorite week of the year. It’s Shareholder Week. It’s a big week of celebration (and meetings) (and concerts) for employees (associates) of Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club and those who have shares in the company. Like me. I have one whole share. Just so I can get in the final Friday meeting and see famous people and eat donuts. Except this year I’m gluten free and I will just have to stare at the endless supply of mini donuts. And cry on some stranger’s shoulder.

The week kicks off with concerts. The only one I was interested in was last night’s, which featured Tim McGraw and the Zac Brown Band. I’ve seen Tim a few times (enough that I feel comfortable calling him Tim), so I was really interested to see the ZBB. Especially because they’re known to be fab musicians. And I’m just country enough to appreciate that.

You have to wait in line for these things. Ya gotta want it. So we waited. In 93 degree heat. With no shade. I am kind of a neurotic line waiter. Is anyone else? I brought a book just in case I got bored.
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But bringing this  meant I had to bring a bigger purse. And then I worried I was bringing it for nothing–so then I stressed over the thought of carrying it around. And there’s always the rudeness factor to worry over–if there’s a lull in line-waiting conversation, is it rude to break out the book? Or if it’s all a lull, and I don’t have the book, will I be sad? I didn’t get a chance to read (shock), but I know one thing. Next time I will at least compromise and bring a paperback. (What idiot brings a heavy hardback? Me. That’s who.) (Anyone read Shiver, by the way?)

We rarely get seats front and center. And it’s not even possible to get seats on the floor. Those seats are for “somebodies.” Or for people who know “somebodies.”
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I teach kids whose parents work (or run) Wal-Mart, so I always see a few of my kids on the floor. Invariably, they get on camera. And get the guitar picks. And the free tshirts shot into the audience. I try not to let my bitterness carry over to the next school day.

Here I am with my friend Kim.
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I have “I took a nap on this hair then stood out in the burning sun for almost two hours” hair. I also have a glisten and glow that can only be from sweat and Coppertone.

My parents and nephew.
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My stepdad likes some “pickin” and I was really interested for him to see the Zac Brown Band. My mom loves concerts and I think might’ve been a groupie back in her day. (Word is she still is one, but don’t tell anyone. It would upset my brother.) And my nephew thought it would be a good place to play Nintendo DS.
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Zac Brown was pretty much awesome.
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They do a HECK of a “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a song I don’t even especially like. Though Aunt Jenny might’ve brought out the ear muffs during a few choice words of the song.

I learned ZB is a great musician.
And Jack Black’s doppleganger.
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The fiddle player absolutely kicked butt.
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Alabama is right…if you’re gonna play in Arkansas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band. This guy pretty much stole the show. I liked how you could tell that he just loved what he did. I get that same feeling when I write detention slips. (And that same face.)

Here is the man of the hour.
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In this picture he’s trying to pick me out of the audience. His shirt was sooo wrinkled. Like “I just got my shirt out of a wet wad in the laundry basket” wrinkled. But by the end of the night, he had sweat all the wrinkles out. I wish I could do that to my forehead.

Friday is the big day where they will hold the meeting. My one share allows me into this important event. I need to know they are handling my investment responsibly. People get the chance to speak for their voting propositions. Apparently there are usually angry nuns there with lots to say, but they have bailed on the last two years, and this makes me sad. I want to see the Angry Nuns. Last year I saw the Angry Alternative Lifestylers. It wasn’t the same.

Have a great rest of the week. I’m taking a little blog break and will see you Monday. If you’re in the Springfield, MO area, come and see me and some other YA authors at Teen Book Mania. I would love to meet you and hang out at this fabulous library! I’m super excited to meet online friend Sarah, the Green Bean Teen Queen, who has a FABULOUS YA site.  You’re gonna want to meet her too. See you then!!!

JEN